MANAGEMENT of Benchmark Production has been directed to pay 20m/-prize to the winner of the popular competition—Bongo Star Search (BSS), Meshack Fukuto or risk having the competitions banned indefinitely.
This order was issued on Wednesday by the Deputy Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Juliana Shonza.
The deputy minister issued a one-month ultimatum to the company to ensure that it clears all the dues it owed the artiste or else, punitive measures will be executed.
The move came after Fukuto alias ‘Meshamazing’ and his parents requested the ministry to intervene.
They argued that for the past few months, they have made efforts to press the company to fulfill their commitment as stated in the contract but such efforts ended up in vein.
Equally, Shonza summoned the top management of Benchmark Production to appear before the ministry to reveal details of their contracts with the artiste on how they were planning to manage and sponsor Fukuto in his career as an upcoming musician.
The deputy minister, who was the chief guest during the BSS finals on December 24th last year, expressed her dismay over reluctance by the company to offset the prize they pledged to provide to the top winner of the competitions.
According to Fukuto, Benchmark Production boss, Madam Rita Poulsen pledged to provide 50m/-award to the top winner, where as 20m/-was to be provided as a cash prize, while the remaining 30m/-would be spent in managing an artiste to produce his audio and video tracks for a period of one year.
However, Shonza said she was very disappointed that she was invited to grace the finals which she described as illegal as organisers failed to abide by the law by not providing an award to the overall winner.
She directed responsible authorities within the ministry to make sure that they make close supervision to companies that are coordinating such competitions to fulfill the requirement of the law.
“When we demanded explanations from Madam Rita as to why her company was yet to offer the cash prize, she responded that she was still waiting to be paid by the main sponsor of the competitions, Star Media, but our inquiries found out that Star Media had cleared all the money as per their contract,’’ she noted.