Tafadzwa Zimoyo Senior Arts Reporter
Controversy surrounds comedian Charles “Marabha” Merisi’s charity contributions, amid finger-pointing and haggling among donors and people who are accused of diverting aid meant to assist the ailing comedian.
The issue has led to social media rumours that Marabha and his fellow comedian Freddy “Kapfupi” Manjalima are at loggerheads, with claims that they have gone separate ways.
But Marabha denied reports of infighting within their camp, while Kapfupi could neither deny nor confirm the information.
Kapfupi referred questions to his brother Sam, who said he could only comment after consultations with other members of the crew.
However, he said he did not know about purported information about their separation circulating on social media.
A third party in their production team, Tafadzwa Ben (popularly known as DJ Shugeta), said all was not well in the camp.
“There are a lot of things that are not well in our camp. We still deciding the way forward,” said DJ Shugeta yesterday without giving further explanations.
In an earlier Facebook live video, DJ Shugeta claimed they were no longer working with Marabha and said it was an official announcement he was making as the manager of the group. He has been managing the affairs of the duo over the past months.
With Marabha expressing shock at the statement and Kapfupi professing ignorance over the whole controversy, it is no longer clear what is happening between the comedians.
DJ Shugeta, who has been featuring prominently in the duo’s recent skits, has been accused of misinforming people about the situation and how the donations are being handled.
The donations are being channelled towards Marabha’s health condition that has been affecting his work.
The comedian fell sick recently due to complications caused by a head injury he suffered last year.
Well-wishers that include Mai Titi and Prophet Passion Java have come on board to assist.
However, the social media war has led to the contributors fighting each other, mainly due to misinformation around the issue.
DJ Shugeta’s live Facebook statement came after one of the benefactors Wanisai “Mahwindo” Mutandwa (who is working with Prophet Passion) demanded transparency in the handling of the matter and suggested that the former should not get funds on behalf of Marabha.
DJ Shugeta and Kapfupi’s brother Sam Manjalima had been leading the charity campaign until the rise of the controversy. As the controversy unfolds, Marabha said he was disappointed about misinformation about his condition.
“Why are people fighting in the name of assisting? It is difficult for me now as I am hearing different stories. Whatever is being posted about me is without my knowledge. Why can’t they leave me to recover?” said Marabha.
“I last spoke to Kapfupi on Tuesday as he was checking on me. It is actually news to us that we are parting ways. We are still together and we are good friends,” he said.
Marabha said everything about his situation should now be communicated through his brother Paradzai.
“One of our donors (Mahwindo) bought my brother a mobile phone so that we can be able to communicate and know the situation on the ground. Those who want to assist us should come through my brother Paradzai.”
Marabha denied recent reports that he was critically ill.
“I am saddened by the reports. I am hearing from different people that I am still very ill and that I have been collapsing frequently. I am recovering very well, slow but sure.”
Mahwindo said they were doing the best they could to assist Marabha.
“Arts is our business. We sat down and we even spoke to Deputy Minister Tino Machakaire who instructed us to go ahead and help Marabha after discussed his condition. We approached the brother and he was aware of all the hospital bookings and donations. We are happy he is recovering. People need to report the truth. All the donations should be channelled through the brother’s EcoCash account,” she said.