Fans to Somizi, you’re a thief


Fans to Somizi, you’re a thief

Idols SA judge and Metro FM presenter Somizi Mhlongo‘s popular reality show Dinner at Somizi‘s is marred by allegations of property theft after a person , who claims the thought as his, was excluded.

Hastings Moeng, 31, says he’s the brains behind the favored DSTV’s 1Magic television program which centres around Mhlongo hosting celebrity guests for dinner at his home.

Moeng’s lawyer Mabu Marweshe confirmed to Sowetan that his client is demanding an apology for his property getting used without his consent. He also wants to understand what proportion the show has made in order that he can negotiate his share of royalties and to be acknowledged going forward.

“I can confirm that we act on behalf of Hastings Moeng and that we gave issued a letter of demand to Multichoice. I cannot however divulge much … but my client is seeking recognition for his idea,” Marweshe said.

Sowetan has learnt that Moeng, who is additionally within the show business , had sent an email to Mhlongo in July 2014 proposing a light-hearted television program to be titled ‘Dinner kwa Somizi’, a Zulu equivalent of the present title.

In the email which Sowetan has seen, dated July 28, 2014, sent by Moeng to Mhlongo and his then close associate Themba Zuma, Moeng proposes the show and states that he has had this concept since 2010.

“Please receive this [as] an expression of interest to partner up with you on the thought . I’ve not done a show before, though i’m confident that between us we’ve a database of the proper people to bring this to life,” wrote Moeng.

Moeng also unpacked in his letter that ‘Dinner kwa Somizi’ would be a weekly 13-part show that might see Mhlongo chatting “to fellow entertainers over dinner”.

Dinner at Somizi’s has since hosted actress Rami Chuene and television personality Molemo “Jub Jub” Maarohanye, among others since it began in July.

“Each 24-minute-long episode captures the drama that goes into preparing each meal as Somizi and his guests sweat it up within the kitchen,” wrote Moeng in his proposal. He had proposed that the show be “quirky and light-hearted”.

Moneg also wrote that as “Somizi, famous for not mincing his words, asks each of his guests the questions on everyone’s mind that nobody has ever dared to invite a witty manner without offending them”.

The letter of demand sent to MultiChoice, including CEO Calvo Mawela, stated that after Moeng had met Mhlongo personally around June 2015, at Dainfern Square, northern Johannesburg, “an agreement was reached that the thought was commercially viable and will be pursued”.

Moeng then met with Legend Manqele, the chief producer of Dinner at Somizi’s in 2016 to debate putting the show together and sent the synopsis of the show to him in September 2016, consistent with his letter to MultiChoice.

MultiChoice spokesperson Benedict Maaga said they were conscious of Moeng’s allegations and that they had reached bent him to debate the matter further.

“When content is commissioned from producers, as during this case, MultiChoice obtains undertakings that each one property rights in reference to the show are cleared. We reached bent Mr Moeng every week ago to debate the matter and that we await his response,” Maaga said.

He added: “We also are engaging the show’s producer. This claim won’t impact on the airing of the remaining episodes of the show.”

When approached for his side of the story yesterday, Mhlongo, after Sowetan had skilled the formalities, he said: “I’m not interested, bye”. He didn’t answer subsequent text messages sent to his mobile number.

Manqele asked for inquiries to be sent via email as he said he needed to consult everyone involved within the show before responding to Moeng’s allegations.

“We are conscious of this and have taken things through our legal team,” Manqele said.