Duped artists demand payment

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Obrein Simasiku

Omuthiya-Threats of physical harm to the organisers of the Miss Omuthiya 2017 are mounting as those targeted are still ducking and diving and playing the blame game as pressure mounts against them to settle outstanding entertainment fees to hordes of artists that graced the pageant.

Some artists who spoke to New Era to vent their anger said they had been stranded in Omuthiya for almost two weeks, because they do not have money to return to their places of residence such as Windhoek.
The organisers Risto Ashikoto and Naftal Iileni, who is the chairperson of the Oshikoto Youth Development Organisation, are pointing fingers at each other when it comes to who should be held responsible for payment to artists that have already rendered their services and are now left in limbo.

“Opening a case against him (Ashikoto) will be a waste of time. What we want is our money, and this we will have to solve in person one way or another.

“Even his claims that we artists took his belonging is a lie, because he (Ashikoto) willingly gave his belonging as security until he gets our money. Now no one knows where he is,” fumed Sky Rockaz who travelled and was paid a mere N$150 of the agreed payment of N$2,000.

“I have my dancers on my neck and they want their share too, and this guy is not taking us seriously at all; he is disrespecting us. All we need is our money, and I warned him even before I performed that he should honour his word.

“He (Ashikoto) once did the same when I performed at the Omuthiya Youth Expo, and up to now I have not received that money; hence I will not leave him this time around. We will not rest until we find him” fumed another artist known by his stage name Star Boy.

In an interview last week, Ashikoto claimed Iileni had vanished on the night of the event on 31 December 2017, with half of the money meant to cater for the expenses of the event.

Since then he remained untraceable until New Era published the story on Tuesday, and he has now come out with guns blazing challenging Ashikoto to provide proof of how much he ran away with, and how he was involved in the preparation of the event.

“I want to meet face on with this guy Risto. I want him to explain clearly to the nation, and me what my role was and substantiate his claims that I vanished with money. This is a very serious allegation which I will not just let go of just like that,” Iileni said on Wednesday.

“My role in this event was only to sponsor him with paperwork, which was the provision of the organisation’s certificate under which he would start up and to also strengthen the credibility of the idea when soliciting sponsorships.

“So, I was never in any way involved when it comes to payments. We never had such an agreement” Iileni stated, and added, “If the guy was stuck with that he could have consulted me and I could have thought of how he can be bailed out.”

Mysteriously, Iileni’s phone had remained unreachable since the day of the event, which he said was due to that someone stole his phone that night.

Meanwhile Ashikoto rubbished Iileni’s claims saying, “That is just an excuse. I will deal with him later, but for now I want to focus on getting the outstanding amount and sort everything out”.

In the same vein, he appealed for calm from the artists, assuring them that he was working around the clock to address the issue.

“Yes, I am not around Omuthiya now, and I have a lot of things to do and attend too rather than just being stuck with those guys threatening and nagging me day in day out. I will only be back on Sunday. I will definitely pay them; it is not like I refused,” Ashikoto said.

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