The Sunday News
Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday Life Reporter
WHILE artistes from the Dalom Music stable are still touring the globe and “Splash” music still blares out of speakers in Bulawayo, the late Dan Tshanda’s widow, Sylvia Tshanda, says some promoters are trying to take advantage of his absence by promoting shows without her consent, ignoring her pleas for payment for past gigs.
Since the death of Tshanda, Sylvia has taken over the reins at Dalom Music, taken charge of groups such as Matshikos, Dalom Kids and Peacock. However, despite the popularity of Splash, the brand of music made famous by Tshanda, things have been far from smooth sailing for Sylvia, on whose hands the task of grappling with slippery and sleazy promoters has now fallen. With the group largely popular with Zimbabweans or those in the diaspora, some advertise shows they claim will feature artistes from the Dalom stable knowing she will not find out as she is based in South Africa.
In an interview with Sunday Life while on tour with some of her groups in the UK, Sylvia revealed that they were looking to take legal action against promoters who were using their brand names without their consent.
“I saw the poster about the show in Zimbabwe and I want to tell you that it is fake, we have no show coming right now. These people are just using our name, using the name of Matshikos to get mileage. I can confirm this as Sylvia Tshanda, the Dalom stable will not be in Zimbabwe anytime soon. We are actually planning to do our own show sometime straight after the country’s elections. We shall start advertising for it. I will definitely take action against whoever was advertising our groups there in Zimbabwe. We are coming from Ireland, where our groups were performing,” she said.
Sylvia said such “fake shows” had become commonplace since the death of Tshanda, with only sympathetic fans alerting her to the mischief perpetrated by promoters promising revellers a nice time off the back of her label’s popularity.
“This is now like a trend because we are now having a lot of people advertising shows using our groups without even informing me. I usually have no way of knowing what people in Zimbabwe are being told so I find out from fans that ask me if we are coming to a certain show and that’s how I find out that there are people advertising using our artistes without my knowledge. Even other artistes are taking advantage by using our names, performing under the banner of Dalom stable groups without my knowledge. If we want to preserve the legacy of the stable, the people should always help me and inform me as it happens. I think they are taking advantage because they know that Dan is no longer there. They forget that Dan has got loyal fans in places like Zimbabwe and they will always expose them,” she said.
Sylvia said one of the foul promoters seemed to be the same as the one who had brought them for their last gig in Zimbabwe. On that occasion, last December, they were not paid for their services, she claimed.
“I believe the guys that are doing this are the same guys that brought us to Zimbabwe the last time. I had a problem with them because, while I brought the band, we were supposed to get gate takings but at the time the promoter said we should go to South Africa and he will send the money after we had left. I am still waiting for that to happen but he is once again advertising my groups. I am surprised he put up those posters without informing us that he wants us to come and perform. This is fake and it is a scam and we want these people to be exposed.
“The promoter who we worked with hasn’t paid us. He has been claiming that the show didn’t go well and recently he stopped talking to me completely. So, I was surprised to see fliers now suddenly going around advertising yet another show. When I enquired, I found out that he was the one claiming to bring us to Zimbabwe and I spoke to his partner and he confirmed that indeed they were the ones that were doing the advertising. He then told me that his partner would call and talk to me but even now I am still waiting for that call. I just saw posters circulating on social media,” she said.
Efforts to get a comment from the said promoter were fruitless.
Sylvia said despite people trying to take advantage of her, legal proceedings against those who had wronged the Dalom stable would begin soon.
“Things like this are usually handled by Dan’s lawyer of 30 years and he has been the one safeguarding his legacy. He is the one that acts on our behalf legally. A lot of people have been trying to take advantage of me because of Dan’s death but I was working with my husband for a while before he passed on so I know the channels to go through when they tried to do that,” she said.
Sylvia said former artistes from the Dalom stable had also joined in the bandwagon of those trying to swindle her, as they did not understand that the names of the groups they operated under fell under the label and not individuals, no matter how popular.
“As you know, Matshikos belongs to Dan and it is a company name under Dalom Music. So, whoever comes in can sing but when they go out of our studios, they leave the name behind. So, whoever was the lead singer, leaves and continues to sing the songs under Matshikos, should know that is considered illegal. This is a situation that we have faced with the previous lead singer who was going around using the name Matshikos. Those are some of the illegal things that we are saying are very wrong. My lawyer is dealing with some of these issues,” she said.
However, despite some misadventures as the new Iron Lady behind Dalom Music, Tshanda said that Zimbabweans continued to breathe new life into the stable, hiring them for shows across the globe.
“After the national elections, we are going to work with a promoter who is the one who we have been working with in the UK. He is thinking of bringing us to Zimbabwe because he also happens to be Zimbabwean. People from that country love Dan Tshanda so much and they are the ones that have been taking us all over the world, either in the USA, Ireland or the UK. So that’s why we are going to be doing a very big show with this promoter who we feel is trustworthy. It will be a tribute to Dan Tshanda so it will include other artistes that are not in the Dalom stable because we want to do this properly,” she said.