Intwasa Arts Festival KoBulawayo director Raisedon Baya has labelled comedian Prosper Ngomashi — popularly known as Comic Pastor — a liar and “an artiste who thinks too big of himself”.
By Sindiso Dube
This comes after the comedian accused the organisers of the festival of mistreating him when he came to Bulawayo for his performance at this year’s Intwasa Festival that was held last month.
After his performance alongside Zwexy Mackena and Mandla Da Comedian on the first Comedy Night at Divine Car Wash, Ngomashi was quoted in the media accusing the organisers of breaching his contract.
According to media reports, Ngomashi claimed the organisers failed to reimburse his transport money and accommodation as per the contract.
“The Intwasa people paid the hotel fee for one night [September 27] — the day I arrived in Bulawayo. I was performing on September 28 and I was told to check out the following morning, yet I was performing that evening,” the comedian said.
“I asked them to at least meet me halfway by paying for my stay during the day so that I could check out when I was going for my performance, but they were not willing to co-operate. I ended up paying for myself.”
On transport, Comic Pastor said: “We had agreed that after my performance, they would pay for transport to take me back to Harare because I had a performance in Harare on the following day [September 29]. They told me they couldn’t pay for my return and I had to pay for myself.
“For food, they only provided breakfast on September 28.”
Festival director Baya, in an interview with The Standard Style, said Ngomashi was paid accordingly, but he was the one who inconvenienced the organisers by changing his plans at the 11th hour.
“Comic Pastor is a guy who was trying to be funny. He asked for his performance fee before he left Harare and before we even advertised the show and he was paid,” Baya said.
“He asked for bus fare that would cover a return ticket and we sent it before he left Harare.
“However, he said he had another show in Harare on Saturday, so he was not sleeping over in Bulawayo, but we were surprised to hear that he wanted to come the day before.
“We went out of our way to accommodate him. When he was supposed to check out in the morning, he didn’t do so and the hotel had to call us to attend to him.
“He said he would foot his bill from morning till the time he would check out before coming to the venue. We were called again to attend to him as he was refusing to pay.”
Baya said Ngomashi despised the Comedy Night venue, Divine Car wash, labelling it substandard.
“When he got to the venue he said it was not up to his standards. He said it was not fit for his class and was not what he is used to. I think he is an artiste who thinks too big of himself, we have treated and hosted way bigger artistes than him, but never have we had such an encounter,” said Baya.
“I don’t know maybe he was trying to create attention around himself. When you come for shows here, we will tell you what’s on the ground and what’s in it for you.”
In a follow-up interview with the comedian, Ngomashi said he had moved on.
“I was mistreated in Bulawayo, but I have moved on and put it behind me. I never met Raisedon Baya and I don’t know him facially. I was introduced to a certain lady who was said to be the head of the festival. For all logistical communications I was in contact with one Nkululeko Nkala whom I didn’t see at all,” he said.