Gospel artists fleecing the public


Musicians Union of Malawi (Mum) has been flooded with complaints from various events organisers complaining about the malpractice of gospel artists who fail to perform in their concerts despite receiving money.

Mum president Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango admitted on Tuesday that 90 percent of the complaints his office has received concern gospel artists.

His revelations come on the backdrop of reports of some gospel musicians including King James Phiri, creator of the hit ‘Mukumane ndi moyo wanga,’ who has been sued by some people in Ntcheu for failing to perform in one of the concerts despite receiving part payment.


“Organisers do trust gospel artists when they are working with them but many are now proving not to be trustworthy. We are concerned as an association because we have more complaints on our desk concerning gospel artists. Some organisers have even gone further to say that they are going to have the musicians arrested but we have solved the issues through dialogue. We really need to change and perform during shows when we receive money,” said Mhango.

Giving his advice as a reverend, Mhango said gospel artists need to respect what they are and move within the line of what they preach.

“We really need to match what we preach and as gospel artists we need to realise that this is a ministry and that we are singing not only to get money but preach the word of God. This is a very unfortunate development and we need to refrain from the practice,” he said.


Mhango said the malpractice of gospel artists not performing in concerts having received money is painting a very bad image of the gospel music industry as well as the creative industry.

“As Mum we will look into this issue seriously and as artists we will sit down to map the way forward, otherwise, it is not healthy,” he said.

A source within the gospel music industry said some gospel artists have come to the limelight now but the malpractice was being done by several other artists.

“The issue here is about money, this is why you see gospel artists performing in almost three shows a day. This actually is compromising performances because artists are failing to put much effort in one show because they are also tied to another show. This is why gospel artists are now not being taken seriously. We really need to perform when we receive money,” said the artist.

He said that there were alot of scandals involving gospel artists receiving money and not performing only that at present King James Phiri’s name has come out.

On Tuesday a group from Mwanza CCAP known as Chiyanjano Choir came out to reveal that King James Phiri was failing to pay them back K25,000 following his failure to perform at their album launch on May 3.

The group’s choir master George Zakariya confirmed Tuesday that they contacted the musician to perform at their show and that he charged K50,000.

Zakariya said the gospel musician has been playing hide and seek after receiving the money and that they have tried all means to get back the money but to no avail.

Zakariya said they contacted the musician ahead of the launch for him to be the guest artist and that he charged them K50,000. He said they gave him K25,000 deposit but he did not show up for the show.

“We gave him K25,000 as deposit with the other K25,000 to be paid on the day. We spent alot in advertsing and put up posters for the concert. People came in large numbers on the day but King James Phiri never showed up. We were embarrassed and we lost close to K100,000 but then we asked him to refund the K25,000 and he has not been cooperative,” explained Zakariya.

But Phiri while admitting he received money from the group in Mwanza said he failed to go there due to other commitments beyond his control but he has since paid back the money as well as the ones who sued him in Ntcheu.

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