I will not go down without a fight - Chikune
The Namibia Annual Music Awards (NAMA) 2016 Female Artist of the Year Chikune (real name Colleen Leitner nee Tjikune) has come out with guns blazing saying that she will not let her former record label, Ogopa Butterfly, get away with claims to her NAMA winnings.
Chikune denied this week that a decision had been reached between her and Ogopa Butterfly as to who will pocket the N$100,000 prize money she won at this year’s NAMA, as reported in two local publications.
“Let me start off by saying that I am extremely disappointed in some of the media outlets in Namibia for writing articles about me without speaking to me,” Chikune told the Windhoek Observer.
“I was quoted in articles yet nobody came to me for a comment or an opinion on a matter that involves me. I am disappointed in the journalists that wrote these articles. I feel like I have been misinterpreted because I have not given any information with regards to the issue.
“It is not true that anything has been decided on the winnings. I have not been given any of my winnings and neither has anyone because MTC is withholding the winnings pending a resolution between myself and my former record label. We have not gone to court, but lawyers are involved.”
The Kapana hit maker won N$100,000 and a brand new Toyota Corolla after scooping the 2016 Female Artist of the Year award.
The winnings have since been the cause of a tug of war between the singer and her former record label, with MTC, the NAMA sponsoring company, choosing to remain impartial on the matter.
Contrary to reports in a local daily and a magazine, the Afro-jazz, Urban pop and RnB artist stated that problems between her and Ogopa Butterfly started before she won the coveted award.
She said her grievances started at the beginning of this year when she felt that the label was not living up to its end of the deal with regards to promoting her career.
This prompted the singer to leave the label, which opened a can of worms when Ogopa Butterfly manager, Sula Kyababa, spoke ill of the singer during an interview on a local radio station.
In the interview, Kyababa claimed that the decision by Chikune to have a baby had caused his business to suffer some serious losses and that the singer had a shot-gun wedding to save face and remove the shame of getting pregnant before she was married.
Kyababa also told listeners that Chikune’s pregnancy had brought shame to the singer’s mother.
The singer claims that she is not in possession of her contract and therefore does not know what Ogopa Butterfly is entitled to.
“MTC sent me a letter stating that they will not pay out the winnings until the matter of who gets what is resolved. They seem to be complicating the matter stating that Ogopa Butterfly was my manager when it is my sister Sophie who is my manager. I listed her as my manager even when I entered the NAMA, but Ogopa Butterfly now claims that they entered me into the competition,” the singer said.
“Ogopa Butterfly says the money I won is for them because they were my managers at that time, but it is not the truth; their job as a record label was to promote me as an artist. I will say this again, I am not cruel; I was going to give Ogopa a share of the winnings, but, they want it all.”
The songstress further claims that she was given the run around when she asked for a copy of a signed contract.
She is, however, in possession of email and cellphone messages from the label stating that her contract had expired and that she could sign a new one if she wanted.
The singer also claimed that Kyababa has a vendetta against her because she won after leaving the label.
“I am asking myself why Sula has it out for me because I am not the only artist that left the label, there are others who left. Why is he not after them and taking them to lawyers? Is it because they did not win anything?”
Contacted for comment, Kyababa distanced himself from the media reports that were published in a local daily, telling the Windhoek Observer that he does not know if he would be getting N$50,000 as reported.