Shimza responds to claims he’s ‘benefiting from political connections’

This after tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane’s cook-off with media personality Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung took place at the DJ’s restaurant

18 May 2021 - 13:00 By chrizelda kekana
Shimza at his restaurant, The Hang Awt 1632 at Endayini, Tembisa.
Shimza at his restaurant, The Hang Awt 1632 at Endayini, Tembisa.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Entrepreneur and DJ Shimza has hit back at accusations that he has “unethically benefited” from his political connections.

This after Shimza’s restaurant, The Hang Awt in Tembisa, was the chosen venue for the minister of tourism’s recent cook-off with media personality Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung, which aimed to promote township tourism.

Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane’s cook-off, which happened on Monday ahead of the department’s budget vote on Tuesday, attracted widespread criticism online.

The event left a sour taste in the mouths of many who flooded Twitter with their criticisms.

Outspoken twelep and Kwesta’s former manager Nota had a problem with the event and  the choice of venue.

“Shimza has been benefiting from political connections for years. He called me a moersk&*t but I don’t moersk*&t on taxpayers’ money,” Nota tweeted.

Nota’s comments resulted in Shimza topping the Twitter trends list. 

Shimza responded to Nota’s tweets by labelling the twelep “toxic”.  

“Fix your heart brother, you are a very toxic human being. If it is answers you want, ask the department of tourism. They asked for a venue and we agreed, full stop. No amount of finger-pointing will make your statement true,” Shimza said. 

However, Shimza’s response did very little to convince tweeps there was “no truth” to Nota’s claims and they questioned how Shimza got the tender to host the event. 

Some social media users dug up pictures of Shimza with prominent political figures including transport minister Fikile Mbalula and President Cyril Ramaphosa as they tried to draw links between the DJ’s entrepreneurial success and his “government connections”.

Shimza defended himself against the accusations, saying the processes surrounding how The Hang Awt got to host the minister's event were all above board.

This is the department of tourism’s programme. Ask them what the process was. We were asked for a venue and we agreed. There’s really nothing more here,” Shimza tweeted.

In another tweet, Shimza defended Somizi.

Meanwhile, TimesLIVE reported the department said the event was an opportunity for Kubayi-Ngubane to showcase some of the skills and innovative entrepreneurial ventures that are critical in growing and sustaining the hospitality industry.

This in response to the backlash they received from social media users who questioned how the event was supposed to boost the country’s tourism and why Somizi, and not a young professional chef, was involved.

Speaking on Power 98.7, the minister said Somizi did not charge for the event but the restaurant was booked. She said having Somizi on board was part of the department’s marketing strategy.

“I understand he normally charges a lot of money, but he didn’t,” said Kubayi-Ngubane.

The minister also defended the event on social media, urging her critics to “go and check celebrity cooking shows”, saying they were a global trend.