GOSPEL stars, Dr Tumi and Lebo Sekgobela, have pulled out of a church event after allegedly finding out that reality star, Somizi Mhlongo, was also going to take part. Dr Tumi and Lebo were booked by event organiser and former Generations actress, Sophie Ndaba-Lichaba, to perform at the consecration festival of the St Oak Church of Christ in Majakaneng, Brits in the North West, on June 30 and July 1.

WHAT CAUSED THE TROUBLE

Their withdrawal from the event has upset the church’s bishop, Elly Mogodiri, who says it is a shame that the artists do not practice what they sing about. “How can gospel singers judge people by their sexuality? Who gave them that right to label others as sinners,” he says.

According to the bishop, Somgaga, as Somizi is affectionately known to his fans, was set to be a guest preacher on June 30. This was on the same day Dr Tumi was expected to perform at the church.

Sophie was also set to be a guest preacher on July 1, the same day that Lebo was to perform. It is alleged that trouble started after Sophie sent the two artists posters of the event, which contained details about Sophie and Somizi being the guest preachers. Then the two gospel stars took to their social media platforms to announce their withdrawal from the festival – much to the dismay of the bishop and the church.

Dr Tumi posted on Instagram, “Upon my instruction, the office has already sent through communication to the organisers concerning my decision to no longer be part of the programme.”

HOLIER THAN THOU

Soon after Dr Tumi’s withdrawal, Lebo also posted her withdrawal on social media. “I’m not ministering at St Oak Church of Christ on the 30th June 2018. The organisers have been informed,” she wrote.

Bishop Elly didn’t take kindly to their actions. He believed that their decision lies in the fact that Somizi is gay and “it’s unholy for their ‘holier than thou’ brands to share a stage with Somgaga”.

CHURCH LOST MONEY

The bishop says that Lebo and Dr Tumi did not even consider the costs that the church incurred to promote the event. “If I wasn’t a Christian, I was going to sue them because the church has lost a lot of money,” he says.

The bishop says that the artists need to be exposed for living a lie. “What they did is not in line with what they sing about,” he says.

When approached for comment, Lebo’s husband and manager, Lucky Sekgobela, declined to comment. Dr Tumi also declined to comment, saying, “I have learned you don’t have to respond to every allegation there is. People will say what they want. I’m going to respectfully pass.”

Somizi could not be reached for comment at time of going to print as his phone rang unanswered.


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