Tawanda Marwizi Arts Correspondent
Wanning fortunes have cast a dark cloud in dendera musician Tryson Chimbetu’s Marxist Brothers band amid in-house financial squabbles that have led to the departure of four members from the struggling outfit last week.The four — lead guitarist Tongogara “Papa Tongo” Munemo, dancer Tatenda Mhayo, a sound engineer and a security staffer —left the band after going for months without getting paid and indications are that more members are willing to leave if they get alternative employment as conditions at the dendera outfit continously become unbearable.
A source close to the developments said the deserters had endured working without being paid with their leader arguing that things were tight in the industry and he was not getting enough income to take care of the whole band despite staging shows every weekend.
“Since October, the musician failed to pay them their allowances and monthly salaries and these guys decided to leave the camp,” said the source.
He added that band members would nicodimously approach promoters that had hired them for shows inquiring how much Tryson had been paid for the shows since they suspected foul play.
One band member who is still working with Tryson said they were stranded at Marxist Brothers because they have nowhere to go.
“He used to be good to us, addressing issues amicably but now things are not working well and some of us who are still there have nowhere to go,” said the guitarist.
An investigation carried by the Herald Entertainment revealed that the musician is getting less than US$300 per show.
A source said there was serious tension in the group after some members got as little as US$9 per week in allowances.
Tryson admitted his band was not financially stable but claimed he had fired the band members in question after misconduct.
“Everyone knows the country is not economically stable at the moment and almost every band is struggling. I challenge anyone who is living well in this situation to say it publicly. Do you have money yourself?” Tryson asked this reporter.
“I do not need a bouncer (security staffer) so I fired him. The other guys were abusing band instruments and they had to be fired.”
Pressed further, the musician said he was driving towards a road block and promised to call this reporter later.
Efforts to get further comments from the musician were fruitless as his mobile phone was no longer reachable.