Solly Moholo owes us performance fees, dancers say


Irate dancers of mkhukhu gospel progenitor Solly Moholo are revolting against the Ke lahlile botsotsi hitmaker over non-payment of their appearance fees and royalties.

So serious is the imbroglio that Moholo’s non-profit organisation, Solly Moholo Foundation, has unleashed lawyers on the dancers, warning them to stop intimidating the artist’s manager, Tshoane Kgarosi, and soiling his reputation.

In an exclusive interview with Sunday World, Moholo’s dancer and composer Steven Masombuka said the award-winning muso failed to pay him at least R120 000 for royalties of the songs he composed and various albums – and the appearance fees of his 98 shows.

Masombuka said he penned several ditties for Moholo, including the well-known pot-boilers titled Koloi Ya Eliya and Reya go epolela melato.

He alleges that Moholo was paid royalties by various record companies for the tunes but instead of paying him what was due to him, he pocketed the rest of the funds.

“In total, Moholo owes me R50 000 for royalties of those songs,” he said.

Masombuka further said that Moholo owed him over R49 000 for the 98 gigs and R50 000 he promised to pay him after helping to collect royalties from one of the record labels.

“As a dancer, I charged him R500 for a show. I performed at several gigs for over two years but he did not pay me. He kept on telling me he was experiencing financial problems and would pay me at a later stage,” he said.

He said he sent the renowned gospel proponent a settlement offer on August 8, 2021, in which he wanted him to pay him R30 000 but he refused to sign it.

“I want my money, Solly must pay me,” he said.

Another dancer, Tshepo Mphane, echoed Masombuka’s sentiments, adding that Moholo owed him over R27 000 in unpaid performance fees. Mphane said he charged Moholo R300 per show as a dancer. “He owed me more than that before, but he reduced it when he paid me R9 000 in 2015. Ever since then he has not paid me anything for all the gigs I did with him,” he said.

Mphane said after repeatedly approaching Moholo to pay him, Kgarosi instructed his lawyers, JT Mokwatlo Legal Practice, to send him and his other dancer, Richmond Malekane, a letter of demand to stop harassing him and spreading “lies” about the foundation.

In the letter, which we have seen, the lawyers warned them to stop telling people that the foundation was cash-flush and must pay them their performance fees on the singer’s behalf.

“The foundation does not owe you any money or funds. Take note that the foundation was registered on the 18th of August 2021 without incurring any debts with anyone, including you,” reads the letter.

The lawyers also warned them to refrain from lying that payments were made for artists who performed at the charity events organised by the foundation. They also ordered him to stop holding Kgarosi liable for the debts incurred before he started working with Moholo.

“We advise that if there are debts that were incurred before the start of registration of the Solly Moholo Foundation, let them be addressed personally to Mr Solly Moholo and not the foundation. We deem any furtherance of lies against Mr Tshoane Kgarosi as an act of defamation of character and a danger to his family and him that if this continues, we have no option but to pursue a legal action against whomsoever is spreading lies about him,” reads the letter.

Moholo declined to comment and referred us to Kgarosi, who at the time of going to print failed to respond to our questions.

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Ngwako Malatji

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