South African music fans have been wondering what happened to Malaika – one of the country’s most celebrated Afro-pop bands – who has been absent from musical spotlight in the past three years.

According to the female band member, Tshedi Mholo, the group is no longer in existence because band-mate, Bongani Nchang, betrayed and manipulated her in numerous occasions.

The last straw was at Nchang’s grandfather’s burial in Klerksdorp in 2011, when “he [Bongani Nchang] left me at his grandfather’s funeral and went to perform in Rustenburg without my knowledge,” Mholo told Sunday World.

She added: “It took me by surprise and I was shocked to learn Bongani and the entire Malaika crew, including the road manager, had betrayed me.

“[This was also not the first time] the first time it happened. There were many instances where Bongani performed alone as Malaika without my knowledge.

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Malaika duo, Bongani Nchang and Tshedi Mholo, in happier time.

“There were also instances where he would double-book the band to disastrous consequences.”

“I kept quiet for a long time, watching things spiral out of control. I hope they would get better.

“I reached a point where I thought I should back off and see what happens.

“We had managerial malfunctions and no one from Sony was willing to intervene – to help us resolve [them]. I used to complain to Sony as an individual, but my pleas fell on deaf ears.

“Right now, we are all suffering including the brand we built with so much sacrifice.

“People still feel they want to see the band working again. But they don’t understand there were issues that needed to be resolved first so that everybody would be comfortable.”

 

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