Multi award-winning singer Makhadzi has reportedly survived a shooting in Tshwane, this past weekend.
The Limpopo-born star, who was scheduled to perform at the Ga-Rankuwa Shisanyama, was standing outside the venue when the shooting took place, reports Sowetan Live.
She fears for her life and does not feel safe at gigs anymore. She believes she was a target after a gunman almost shot her. Makhazi (25) fell victim to an armed robbery before her performance outside of her car at the venue parking lot.
The singer tells Drum she was robbed at gunpoint outside the venue while waiting to get on stage for her performance.
“I am still in shock,” she says.
“To think I almost lost my life over a cellphone.”
But when she is ready to share what happened on that night, Makhadzi will.
“I am not ready to speak about the incident yet. I just need to process what happened first.”
Makhadzi’s record label, Open Mic Productions has since released a statement stating that Makhadzi is now safe and explaining what transpired that night.
“Open Mic Productions confirms that superstar musician Makhadzi was robbed at gunpoint at the weekend,” the statement reads.
“Makhadzi was waiting in the car at an event where she was scheduled to perform when a man verbally abused her and the dancers. Help was sought with bouncers called on the man who later apologised. The same man returned later to the car where Makhadzi was alone and put a gun on her neck dispossessed her of her phone in her hand. She then ran to her dancers as the man fired a shot and missed,” the management adds.
“After leaving the venue, a car tailed the musician and she drove to the nearest police station in Ga-Rankuwa where she opened a case. Makhadzi is at home recovering from the ordeal and has thanked her fans for their unwavering support.”
In his statement, Open Mic Records co-owner Lionel Jamela also expressed his dismay at the senseless act of crime.
“As the company, we are shocked by this incident that someone would want to harm one of the country’s superstars. We are happy that she is safe, and the dancers (too).
He added that Makhadzi and the dancers will be receiving counselling to help them deal with the traumatic incident.
“As the company, we promised to beef up security for our artists when they go out to work,” read the statement.
The owner of Ga-Rankuwa Shisanyama, Trust Lekhuleni is saddened by the incident.
“This is really terrible. We have never had an incident of this nature happen at our venue. We are known to be a safe space for artists and customers.”
Trust says none of his staff heard a gunshot or saw exactly what happened on the night.
“We heard about the incident from Makhadzi and her team. We didn’t witness anything, even the staff didn’t see what happened,” he says.
Detailing events before the robbery, Trust says Makhadzi arrived with her team at the venue at around 9pm, she was booked to perform at midnight.
“They came early. We have allocated parking for some guests and artists. They did not use the allocated parking, but she parked outside, maybe because she was early and didn’t want people to see her. I heard she said she was tired and needed to take a nap,” Trust says.
“Her team and dancers went into the venue and were given their seating. When we asked, they said, Makhadzi was tired and sleeping in the car tired.”
Trust says they requested to change into their performance costumes in the car.
“We offered them a place to change, but they asked to change in the car. They went to the car and came back running saying Makhadzi had just robbed at gunpoint. Because of the loud music, no one heard any shooting sound or witnessed anything,” he says.
“Just as we do for patrons, we always make sure there are bouncers and car guards. It’s also never happened that a celebrity would park where they were not designated. Maybe she felt more comfortable so she can sleep there. I don’t know what the reason was. They chose an unfortunate spot. When talent arrives, we always take care of them, so they don’t get mobbed by the crowd. We offer bouncers, parking spaces and security. Hearing what happened to Makhadzi was truly unfortunate because she also couldn’t perform and had to go to the police station to open a case.”
Following the traumatic event, Makhadzi took to Facebook on Sunday, and wrote: “Don’t forget to thank God for your life . Life is too short.”
Hip hop artist Big Zulu, recently raised serious concerns about artists' safety and security in South Africa.
Though in his case, no guns were fired, the “Imali eningi” hitmaker explained how, in most cases, there isn’t enough visible security at the events.
In his post, Big Zulu explained how some people tend to get too excited when they meet celebrities, like himself.
“Sometimes people injure themselves by shoving … and it’s impossible to meet everyone because there isn’t enough time.
“But the other challenge is to find that security is not there, and even our cars even get damaged during the mobbing and shoving,” said Big Zulu.
“My two cents – I believe that all events, small or big, need to have proper security to ensure the safety and well being of our local stars,” added Big Zulu.