Bullet Claims Ill-Treatment At Miss Namibia

ONE of Namibia’s leading cultural groups, Bullet Ya Kaoko, allege that they were thrown out of the Windhoek Country Club and Casino after their performance at the Miss Namibia pageant on Saturday evening.

The group that has also performed at the World Cup opening ceremony in Brazil last month was invited by the organisers of Miss Namibia to be the opening act at the beauty pageant.

Founder and manager of the group Masatu Thom told The Namibian yesterday that they were asked to take out their cultural attire from the dressing room soon after their performance because “they were making the room dirty and that they should get out”.

“A lot of things happened before the show. We tried to ignore them and to focus on our performances. The group went to the dressing room to remove their cultural attire because it was cold. While they were there, the head of security from the hotel came and told them to get out but there were still other performers in their rooms like the South African artist,” Thom said.

Thom also said when he was told about it, he tried to talk to one of the organisers but she refused to listen to him.

“We then went outside and waited in the cold for our transport. We left some of our equipment on the stage and just came back to get the stuff later. The organisers were unprofessional because it’s not our first time to perform at the hotel,” he said.

The Windhoek Country Club Hotel and Casino general manager, Tony Boucher, said he was only told about this incident yesterday morning.

“I was inside the venue and was only told about it this morning. But I deny that they were kicked out because what happens is that you only perform and that is it. They dealt directly with Conny Maritz, so if you want more information you have to speak to her,” he said.

Although Maritz refuted Thom’s allegations, she said that the group was contracted to perform only and was paid N$8 000.

“The contract did not include free tickets, free meals or the right to attend the event as part of the audience. This is a standard practice applied to the other dance group which performed at the same event,” she said adding that some members of the group insisted to be allowed free access into the auditorium.

“[Since] access to the auditorium was permitted by ticket only and every ticket related to a numbered seat, they were refused entry. Even if the organisers of the event, purely as a gesture of goodwill, wished to allow them free access, it would not have been possible because the auditorium was packed to the rafters as anyone who attended the event would be able to confirm,” said Maritz.

She further said that some of the members of the group became belligerent when they were denied access and threatened to take the matter to the media.

“It is also not true that they were told to leave the dressing rooms before their performance was over. On the contrary, the dressing rooms were made available for their convenience to dress and prepare for their performance. After the conclusion of their performance, they had to leave within a reasonable time because their business at the venue was concluded as was the case with all the other performers,” Maritz said.

Source : The Namibian