Award-winning musician Cassper Nyovest came under fire at the memorial service of Mahotella Queens member Nobesuthu Mbadu when their producer Veli Shabangu publicly accused him of exploiting the group and failing to comfort the deceased’s grieving family.
Mbadu, who took a break in 2017 due to poor health, died of kidney failure at Thelle Mogoerane Regional Hospital in Vosloorus last week.
Speaking at Mbadu’s memorial service held at Dumisani Masilela Theatre in Germiston on Tuesday, Shabangu launched a vitriolic attack on Cassper, accusing him of not paying royalties due to the group, three years after they did the song Malome, which took the industry by storm.
He also fired a broadside at the megastar for allegedly failing to send words of condolences to the bereaved family and the remaining members of the internationally revered act.
Cassper, who has replaced rapper AKA as the host of SABC1’S The Braai Show, did not attend the memorial service to pay homage to the fallen heroine, whose death sent shockwaves across the entertainment ecosystem.
Speaking after the memorial, Shabangu said he was disappointed that Mbadu died without realising the royalties of their collaboration with Cassper, real name Refiloe Phoolo. He said after recording the hit song, they had been trying for many moons to reach out to the Gets Getsa hitmaker to pay what was due to the group without success.
“What is even painful and disrespectful is that he did not even send a word of condolences to the deceased family or other remaining members of the group. Not even on social media or any platform. The Mahotella Queens, who are internationally recognised and treated as royalty overseas, have gone through a lot here at home and have been exploited by these patriarchal males,” he said.
Shabangu said that he was hopeful Cassper’s conscience would make him do the right thing and pay the group. Failure, he added, would leave them with no choice but to go the legal route.
“I just hope it doesn’t get there. The same energy
that he used back then when he wanted the song from them, he must use it to pay them their royalties. Why should they chase after him now?” he asked.
Limpopo Artist Movement chairperson Mphoza Mashabela, who was among the guests who attended the memorial service, said that he was saddened by Shabangu’s revelations.
“Yes, I can confirm that Veli mentioned that Cassper Nyovest did not pay royalties to our legends and did not even pass a message of condolences to the bereaved family and the remaining members of the group. It’s very said indeed.
“And as Limpopo Artist Movement, I just wanted to say we are with Mbadu’s family and the remaining members of the group and we will give them our support whenever they need it,” he said.
Attempts to solicit comment from Cassper drew a blank as he ignored our phone calls and text messages.