Musician Nkazimulo Ngema’s breakout song My Dali was certified triple platinum last week after selling more than 60 000 units since its release in 2019.
However, instead of celebrating, his current and former management are at each other’s throats, hurling insults, damming accusations and counter-accusations at one another.
At the core of their squabble are missing funds for digital revenue, amounting to thousands of rands.
Ngema, better known as TNS, is the brains behind the hit single, which features vocalist Indlovukazi. He is currently on tour promoting his latest single.
After news of the record achieving triple platinum status last week, Lebo Mlangeni, who is the son of legendary musician Babsy Mlangeni and was previously TNS’ publicist, claimed that he was not credited for his work on the hit.
“They might not credit me and Jozi Entertainment, but I also contributed to this record. That’s why lately I don’t do [joint ventures] because people suck my hard work and take credit. I don’t even need this plaque, I got many,” Mlangeni vented on his Facebook page.
When called for clarity, the Jozi Entertainment boss declined to elaborate, only saying: “I don’t want to deal with that thing. I wrote what I wrote there … There is a lot I don’t want to indulge because they know the truth.”
However, TNS’ manager, Ngcebo Mdima of Charlie Communications, did not hold back and charged at Mlangeni, accusing him of stealing an undisclosed amount of money from the musician.
“We don’t owe him anything. In fact, he owes us. Please ask him how much it is that he owes us. He knows very well because he was dealing with digitals and we never received any portion of that. He went Awol and never gave us anything … He must not contradict himself because he owes us,” Mdima said.
Mdima said in 2019 that he roped Mlangeni in because the latter was more experienced and Mdima wanted them to share duties relating to the TNS project.
He claimed that their relationship went sour when Mlangeni allegedly disappeared with their money.
“The recognition he is asking for, what is it for? What did he do? What did he contribute because he left with the money? He must not lie. I do have a letter stating that I would give him a certain percentage after profit, but he decided to eat the money and disappear. He must not drive me crazy!”
Mdima also alleged that Mlangeni fraudulently registered his name as a contributor on the hit song at the SA Music Rights Organisation (Samro) for royalties.
“The reason I brought him in was because I trusted him. I am the one who called him and said: ‘Lebo, let’s come together and work; the pie is too big and I don’t know other things.’ Lebo went and registered the song at Samro and I didn’t know that he registered himself to get 10% [of its royalties],” Mdima said.
Mlangeni replied to these accusations through text messages loaded with profanities.
“He is talking sh*t. I never got a cent from Samro. I never got my cut as Jozi Entertainment. He must tell you the truth and stop talking sh*t.
“This was a [joint] release [between] Jozi Entertainment and his company. He didn’t know sh*t. I was taking him step by step.
“I’ve never eaten TNS money. [He’s] just bitter and they can keep the plaque, I don’t care,” he wrote.