Hauses in Another Pay Controversy

CONTROVERSIAL event organiser Isabella !Huri-he Hauses of Group Godisha is again in the news for allegedly failing to settle her bills with a number of service providers whose expertise she enlisted toward the staging of the opening ceremony on 11 October of the recently held tn mobile African Women Championship.

Hauses, who was the principal consultant and aiser to the national brand and team campaign for the Championship, is being accused of failing to pay over N$50 000 to more than five service providers, who oversaw the opening ceremony’s blueprint, costumes, choreography, hairdressing, and stage management amongst others.

Her accusers claim that Hauses has only paid a little over half of the total sum she was quoted for, and is inexplicably refusing to pay the full amounts.

While The Namibian has reliably learnt that only about 65% of the total budget was spent, the exact figure Hauses received for the her role in the Championship, which is rumoured to be in excess of N$1 million, could not be verified at the time of going to print.

The aggrieved parties include Theo Jason, who oversaw the costumes, internationally acclaimed dancer and choreographer Stanley Mareka, hairdresser Anne Marie Maasdorp, and stage manager Toni Blom.

A source close to the dispute also said that Hauses ignored a recommendation that 50 elderly women, who were draped in green outfits representing their roles as mothers of the nation during the ceremony, be offered a special fee for taking the day off from regular employment in order to be available for the final dress rehearsal.

The amount was N$250 per person for the day, which was well within the budget.

Hauses however refuted the accusations, stating that she has no outstanding payments to any of the alleged victims for the opening show, which was hailed as “a spectacular success” by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) and Prime Minister Hage Geingob.

“All our suppliers have been paid, so this is new. We can supply proof but need to know [the] details first,” she replied in a brief email to The Namibian.

Follow-up emails to Hauses went unanswered, much like the repeated calls to her from the aggrieved persons.

“This was a low-cost budget show but it was a national event for the country, and the least we could do was to look after our country’s people who were willing to make the show a success,” said the source.

Jason from Breakin’ Limits is most affected by the pay dispute, as his company’s unsettled balance stands at N$43 143.

“I used a number of seamstresses who worked around the clock in a short space of time to design the costumes. They want what is due to them but I don’t have the money. I just want my money so that I can pay the people I owe. This situation is giving me a bad reputation,” Jason said.

Jason is contemplating seeking legal recourse if Hauses does not complete the payment.

“We have not received all our money. This is quite disappointing because she did so with absolutely no reason. I won’t fight her. But we will never work with someone like her ever again. She’s clearly an untrustworthy person,” said Blom of TC Home Trading Enterprises, who is owed N$2 000.

“It is not such a big amount but we put so much into this event to make sure the country presented a quality event. Some of my team members had to take time off from their full-time jobs to make sure we did everything on time,” she added.

Hauses is no stranger to controversy in the entertainment industry, having previously being cited for defaulting on remunerating musicians whom she had hired for the ‘Woman of Substance’ event in April 2012.

The artists accused Hauses of not paying on time or in full as agreed, a situation reminiscent of the latest predicament.

At the time, she refused to comment for her alleged non-payment of the artists.

“Most of the service providers started the project with their own money. I had to organise transport, refreshments and food for my dancers from my own pocket and was promised a refund,” claimed Mareka from Equipped Entertainment.

“I’ve only received 70% of the money. She called a meeting [on 27 October] with all the affected people but she didn’t show up. This makes us believe that this thing is going bad,” Mareka added.

Source : The Namibian