Some of the industry’s leading actors, including Rhythm City’s Sphamandla Dhludhlu, Keeping Score’s Unathi Platyi and veteran actor Vusi Thanda were all left scrambling for transport, accommodation and food, and Zahara has been fingered as the culprit.
According to Dhludhlu, the workshop was organised as a way of giving back to the communities of Eastern Cape and teaching aspiring actors about the industry’s dos and don’ts.
“I have always known Zahara to be a giving person who is passionate about giving back to the community, and she seemed like a great person to have on our team, as she has a foundation, Zahara Army. She told us that she would organise everything, including posters, sound for the event, transport and accommodation.”
But Dhludhlu said none of these materialised as Zahara only paid for their transport to the Eastern Cape, and everything else fell by the wayside.
Zahara did not pitch up as promised, and instead kept telling the actors that she was on her way.
“We did not have anywhere to sleep. We ended up sleeping at her parents’ house in the rural areas, which was about three hours away.
“To their credit, Zahara’s family was very welcoming and gave us food, but they also seemed clueless about what was going on.”
As for the actual event, Dhludhlu said it went well, despite the disappointments.
“There were no banners, no sound, no T-shirts, nothing… all the things Zahara had promised. The kids had no food, but were given a few fruits to sustain them,” he said.
Then came the big whopper. Zahara allegedly refused to give them money for transport to return to Johannesburg as promised.
“She hung up on us or simply switched off her phone so we wouldn’t reach her. At some point she became aggressive and started swearing at us. I was so shocked,” said Dhludlu.
He added that they had to pop out R6000 for transport.
When contacted for comment, Zahara initially laughed.
“They are so ungrateful. After taking money out of my own pocket to help them out, this is a complete slap in the face. They are spitting in my face, and my parents’ faces, who gave them accommodation and food.”
The singer said that she was approached at the last minute about the event, and specifically told the group that she did not have money, but will try her best.
“I never promised all those luxuries. I offered to pay for their transport and to also welcome them into my parents’ house.
“They were okay with it. I was not required to be at the event. It was not a Zahara event!
“But I organised and paid for school kids to attend their event, and even bought them fruits. If they continue spreading these malicious lies about me. Bangazondiqhela kakubi (they must not disrespect me)!” she said. Sowetan