Celebrated actor Thlupego Chisiza has sparked controversy in Mzuzu after he disappeared without paying for services rendered to him during his theatre performance at Mzuzu University.
National Theatre Association of Malawi (NTAM) president for the Nothern Region chapter Sam Sambo was bitter with Chisiza’s conduct in a telephone interview.
According to Sambo, Chisiza bolted without paying artists such as Benard Gondwe and Beatrice Gondwe.
“He advised us that one of his actors was involved in a car accident hence he needed to hire the services of actress Beatrice Nundwe of Pace Theatre. But he was nowhere to be seen when time to pay her dues came. He also failed to pay Bernard from whom he hired a piece of cloth and some materials used during his performance,” said Sambo.
He said it was sad that Chisiza duped one of the artists (Nundwe) who is a widow and solely depends on art to survive.
“She was supposed to be given K2,500 and the woman told us that she had budgeted to use that money for food. She depends on arts to meet her ends meet but Chisiza duped her,” said Sambo.
He also accused of avoiding him over his unsettled K7,000 debt.
“Chisiza is yet to pay back K7,000 which I lent him during the performance of his Semo play. He asked me and Manase Chisiza to book a venue using our money, indicating he would refund it. But up to date he has been playing hide and seek.
“We thought he had run short of crooked life when we entrusted him again with the services during his show recently but we were disappointed again,” said Sambo.
He said NTAM northern region chapter was planning to take disciplinary measures against Chisiza.
“This is not the first time for Chisiza to dupe artists. So, we are planning to ban him from conducting any performance in our region or take some serious measures against him because we are fed up with his conduct,” said the president.
Sambo bemoaned Chisiza’s conduct saying it was painting a bad image of theatre in the country but also driving away potential investors.
“With this conduct, no-one will trust to work with him again especially here in the Northern Region. The bigger picture is that the theatre will suffer because investors will not be willing to support us,” warned Sambo.
Efforts to reach Chisiza proved futile as his several mobile phones could not be reached.