… seeks immediate compensation for songs recorded with them
For many who don’t know Nigerian iconic Reggae star, Ben Priest, he has been a leading voice with the late South African reggae musician and messenger, Lucky Dube for years before his demise after he was killed by his own people on the street like a common street urchin.
Ever since then, Priest has been begged not to leave the band, as he’s the leading vocalist for them since the death of Dube.
The Background Story:
Ben Priest exclusively revealed to LEADERSHIP Friday that he has been used and dumped by the band, which he recorded some songs with, and has made millions from it but has refused to pay him for his work.
He alleged that one Lenah Mochoele, the (band manager), who connived with the band to make him revive it after the death of Dube, afterwards dumped him and there was also an attempt on his life.
In his words:
“ I’m going to say it the way it is, for the sake of the many fans who never knew what was hidden over the years. I was used and abused by Lenah Mochoele (band manager) by conniving with the band to revive it after Lucky died and dumping me afterwards. In fact, their original plan was to assassinate me as soon as I did an album for them. This was well planned and carried out but failed supernaturally.
“She got me to record a tribute album with them with my voice as lead singer on all but one track in the “Celebrate His Life” album. The album was released since 2014 and has since then been selling, both on CDs and on digital marketing platforms such as iTunes, amazon etc. Up till now, I haven’t received a single royalty statement from them. I wasn’t paid any allowances to sustain myself till now and they wouldn’t want me to do anything elsewhere to make money for myself.
“Here I come again but this time, with a message from Lucky Dube himself. At this point, I couldn’t hold back anymore. Lucky Dube appeared to me in a dream with a strong message that left me shivering for hours. In my dream, I was at some busy airport. I felt someone tap on my shoulder. As I turned around, I saw Lucky Dube looking stressed out, acting in a hurry like he was rushing to catch up his flight. He quickly said to me in a lowered tone that suggested something very important but he seemed upset at the same time.
“In his exact words, he said, “listen Ben, it is time to act. It is better to die a hero than live wretched. You deserve better. Ask for your rights. I’ll be watching”.
At this point he was already waving at me as he hurriedly walked away. I couldn’t even wave back because I was still in shock trying to process what he had said. I woke up sweating as everything became clearer to me, pointing to the horrible experience I had with the Lucky Dube Band,” he revealed adding, “Lenah Mochoele is a devil!”
Even after all these events that took place, Ben alleged that she wasn’t done with her mischief.
“Again, she arranged for a video shoot with the band for the track “Celebrate His Life”. As a matter of fact, I was a part of that video shoot from start to finish. But before they released it, Lenah again, connived with the band to edit my image out of the video and released they it.
“That video has been trending on YouTube till now without me in it. Instead, they got Tk Dube to fake on my voice to make it seem like he was the singer. This is false advertising and fraudulent deception collectively perpetrated by them just because they count on my helplessness as a foreigner or “Kwerekwere” (a derogatory name they call nationals from other countries).
“I have been quiet all these years not because I’m a coward. I just didn’t want any bones falling out of the cupboard. I guess being a peaceful man, even though I hurt very much, has been responsible for my calmness. But with the dream I had involving Lucky Dube, I think he demands justice. Clearly his spirit still wanders around unhappily. I am motivated now than ever.
“Lucky Dube impressed on me that he is watching from a distance. It might sound crazy by saying Lucky appeared to me. But what will shock everyone is that Lenah had once called the band members to tell her own dream about how Lucky recommended me for his band. Everyone became emotional and were in tears. But they forgot so fast by ignoring all that.
“On the final day of recording with them, I was at the drummer’s house where we did the voicing. I sat on at his house with my leg rested on the arm of the chair. He suddenly got furious at me, saying “hey rasta, here in our culture we don’t sit like that when you go to someone’s house and if you’re not ready to behave, just get out.” “ I was shocked because he was advancing towards me and practically pushed me by my chest, I almost fell off.
“I asked him why he was doing this and that we’re brothers. He replied, “we’re not brothers Ben. You think this music is all about you right? Look I’m gonna f**k you up. As he kept saying that, he started rushing toward his bedroom but his wife grabbed him half way to stop whatever plan he had in mind. Clearly, he was going to get weapon to attack me with it. His wife really tried and was able to stop him. That was how I managed to leave afterwards without completing the recording, although he apologised later. But what is done is done already. It shows how South Africans don’t value anyone’s life.
“And it’s clearly because I am not a South African. They don’t practice what Lucky preached and that’s so sad. I’m not asking for my coming back into the band, not at all. I just need to be paid for my services for them because I did a good job. I also want to be compensated for using my voice on a falsified video. Otherwise, there will be No Peace for them. Something somewhere will keep haunting them,” he concluded.