He received backlash from locals after it was exposed that he had pocketed close to half a million pula for his choreography services for the just ended BOT50 celebrations.
This past weekend, Somizi Mhlanga spoke about the deal for the first time ever. Popularly known as Somgaga, the ever-energetic socialite was one of the MCs on Friday at the Major Lit Sessions festival held at the Stanbic Molapo Piazza. In a brief interview with Showtime, Somizi denied receiving the lump sum for his choreography services.
“I was not paid that much, but for obvious reasons I cannot say exactly how much I was paid but it was way below that,” he said. It was reported that Red Pepper PR and Consultancy contracted Somizi for the choreography services at a budget of P500,000. Red pepper PR and Consultancy were awarded the P14 million tender by the BOT50 committee. After the revelation that Somizi was engaged, coupled with public outrage, BOT50 coordinator Charity Kgotlafela explained that BOT50 had no control over who the company engages and on what grounds. The South African Idols judge however told Showtime how excited he was about once again working with Batswana for the independence
“I am always grateful to be recognised even outside my country. Obviously the company chose me based on my work and experience,” he said.
“What everybody saw last month at the National Stadium was a collaborative work. It was not only just me, it was a team work production. I worked with Andrew in the production,” he highlighted. When asked why he did not pitch up at the event to witness the production on both days, Somizi explained he was engaged back in South Africa shooting South African Idols. “I really would have wished to be present on the day, but I had other work commitments in South Africa. As you may know I am amongst the panel for Idols SA so we were shooting. What you should also note is that the production took months of preparations. I was in Botswana every other week, preparing and for rehearsals,” he said.