Sour grapes or abuse?
Former 3rd Generation band member Pamela Zulu popularly known as Gonyeti in showbiz circles has sensationally claimed she was sexually abused during her time with the band.
According to a report in Harare tabloid H-Metro Gonyeti’s lawyers approached Jah Prayzah last week seeking compensation.
Gonyeti, who left Jah Prayzah in August and her lawyers sought a meeting with Jah Prayzah at his offices in Belvedere where sensational claims of sexual abuse were made on top of demands for ‘outstanding’ fees for studio works among other performances.
Yesterday, Jah Prayzah’s lawyer Eddie Hamunakwadi wrote a strongly worded letter to Gonyeti’s lawyer, Simon Mupindu declaring that the musician was ready for any court action to clear his name and will not pay a cent towards the claim.
While there was no immediate response from Gonyeti, H-Metro at the weekend gathered that the popular dancer had sought help from a former Jah Prayzah manager.
It is also claimed that when the parties met for the meeting last Tuesday Gonyeti’s legal representative started by listing what are claimed to be unpaid fees for her work during the recording of Jah Prayzah’s studio works during her stint.
She left 3rd Generation on the eve of the Mdara Vachauya launch and there was even talk that she had talked other band members into leaving with her but Gonyeti vehemently denied the claims.
Back to last Tuesday’s meeting, it is understood that when Gonyeti’s lawyer finished listing the claims for unpaid fees, he then indicated that those were minor as they was a bigger issue.
It is understood that Gonyeti claimed she had to sleep with Jah Prayzah to secure a place in 3rd Generation and then frequently afterwards to retain, a place in the band.
Further claims are that the lawyer indicated they had proof to support the claims. However, Jah Prayzah’s camp claims have since sought help from a Botswana based musician, and urban grooves artiste currently in the UK and former Zifa boss Henrietta Rushwaya.
They allegedly asked for information that would support the claim but the parties sought are understood to have immediately contacted Jah Prayzah to find out what was going on.
Hamunakwadi yesterday told H-Metro that it was strange that a person sexually abused would seek compensation from the abuser instead of lodging a complaint with the police.
“He believes it is an attempt to extort money from Jah Prayzah in the hope that he would do anything to avoid bad publicity. Jah Prayzah’s lawyer added that given the motive, any attempts to even discuss with Gonyeti would be used to suggest the musician was admitting to the claims,” he said.
“And for that reason, a letter was tendered to Gonyeti’s lawyer yesterday to advise her that they were not going to engage in any compensation talks but would rather meet in court.”
“Firstly, you would be aware that at a meeting conducted at our client’s offices on the 20th of September 2016, it was agreed that you reduce your client’s monetary claim for alleged outstanding payments to writing to enable our client to properly respond to same but to date we still haven’t received your client’s written claim,” reads the letter.
“Secondly, we wish to categorically register our client’s displeasure and dismay at your client’s outrightly unpalatable, grotesque and immoral allegations against him.
“Our client is quite aware of a systematic agenda being at your client’s instance to tarnish his image and decimate his integrity should he not meet your client’s malicious demands. He is also aware of all the people that your client has so far approached seeking to manufacture evidence necessary to buttress her sickening allegations.
“Clearly the conduct of your client, demonstrates a sustained campaign to ensure that our client’s rising star wanes. We therefore accordingly advice that our client will not pander as your client’s extortionate and selfish monetary demands to appease fabricated and malicious allegations which have absolutely no place in modern-day civilisation.
For avoidance of doubt our client is more than ready to have his day in court if need be to protect and defend his name and integrity,’ read the letter by Hamunakwadi. Jah Prayzah is currently in South Africa shooting the video to Mdara Vachauya. The title track to his latest album.
Also, unlike the previous albums,Jah Prayzah has decided not to produce a complete DVD for Mdara Vachauya citing exorbitant costs which cannot be recouped from sales. Instead he will just do videos for selected tracks of the album as and when it is doable.
This story first appeared in H-Metro