Award-winning musician Amanda Black has shared the traumatic and abusive treatment she received at the annual Mapungubwe Music Festival on Saturday 9th December, on social media, detailing intimidation and violence when she was scheduled to perform. Below she details how the incident happened.
Statement from Amanda Black
I was booked for the Mapungubwe Arts Festival in Polokwane on the 9 December. The call time we were given was 1:30 am for a performance time of 2:00 am.
We arrived around 1:15 at the venue, and struggled to get hold of the promoter who my Road Manager had been communicating with throughout the day. We could not get through the security at the gate without accreditation. We managed to get hold of the promoter after a long wait and hassle with security and then we were fetched at the gate and directed through to backstage.
Upon arrival backstage, my Road Manager went to the stage looking for stage manager and he eventually found him and he told him that performance time was changed to 5:40 am. I was in the car awaiting feedback from the Road Manager, he came back and told me that after negotiation the stage manager agreed to put us on stage after 2 acts provided we only do four songs. The band was then backstage on standby, shortly after my Road Manager came back and told me I was now asked to perform 2 songs, which was later changed to one song, I said it’s fine as long I get to perform. They finished setting up and I headed backstage from the car, the band starts playing the intro right after the MC announced to the audience that I was about to go on, a High official from the department of Arts and Culture Limpopo came on stage shouting “If Amanda Black wants to go, she can go, she must get off stage now”. This is after two other artists threatened to leave the event if I perform first before them.
“I was on stage behind the instruments when they cut the sound and mics so that we could not perform even though we were already on stage and ready to perform. A certain artist’s manager (which we did not know at the time) came on stage screaming and shouting telling us to get the off the stage and that if we don’t get off stage we will never perform in Polokwane again.”
We were aggressively chased off stage and we went off. Ridiculed, terrified, shocked and completely embarrassed in front of everyone who was backstage we then went to the car.
We got to the car and there were fans there who wanted to take pictures and asking me where I was going because they were waiting for me to perform, I then told them that I was chased off stage, there were many artist backstage who witnessed me being chased off stage.
One of my band members took a picture of me on stage next to the guy who came to chase us off stage to show that I was in fact on stage ready to perform. He also took videos of me taking pictures with the fans to prove that I was in fact there. The same artist manager who chased us off stage followed us to the car and slapped the band member who when he saw the man approaching took a video of him being aggressive. I was told to get inside the car and then the rest of my team intervened to stop this man who wanted to further assault my band member, the man pulled a gun screaming “do you know who I am?” My team ran inside the car and my Road Manager screaming for security trying to avoid any contact with this armed man, he still was trying to get into the car and eventually entered the front passenger seat of the VW van, and further threatened to beat up one the band members. I was frozen in fear and shock as I was watching the events through the window.
We then left the premises in a hurry fearing that this guy would come back, we went to the Polokwane Police Station to get assistance from the police, who then went back with us to the venue to look for the guy, and they had already confiscated his gun. We went back to the police station with the manager, and then proceeded to open a case against him.
After much discussion amongst the band members, a decision was made to drop the case because we were scared to stir up trouble and risk not performing in Polokwane again.”