Babes Wodumo

Gqom artist Babes Wodumo, whose real name is Bongekile Simelane, is currently involved in a financial disagreement with Pearl Mhlongo, a make-up artist from Pearlisiwe Make-Up and Skincare, based in Durban. As reported by ZiMoja, Mhlongo alleges that Babes Wodumo is owing her make-up artist a sum of R1,200 for services she provided in 2021. Mhlongo was introduced to Wodumo through a mutual friend who was also a client. Initially, Mhlongo received cash payments for her makeup services at Wodumo’s residence in Westville. However, the situation became complicated when a promised payment of R1,200 for a makeup job was delayed, allegedly due to Wodumo’s inability to travel to a nearby mall.

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Babes Wodumo owing make-up artist R1,200

Mhlongo explained to ZiMoja, “Babes invited me to come do her face. I went there and did my thing and left without being paid as she promised to pay the next day because she wanted me to come back again to do her face again.” She expressed her frustration over the unpaid debt to ZiMoja, emphasizing that her goal is not to seek attention or harm Wodumo’s reputation, but simply to be compensated for her professional services. “I’m not looking for fame or want to destroy her. All I want is my money for the service rendered. I have been quiet about this for two years. I don’t understand how she is failing to pay me R1 200 when she gets gigs. I don’t understand. I think she is taking advantage because I’m a young woman who is trying to run her make-up business. All I want is my money,” she told ZiMoja.

Wodumo’s Response

Despite ZiMoja’s attempts to reach out for comment, Babes Wodumo remained elusive, hanging up when questioned about the outstanding payment. This might lead one to wonder if this dispute is somehow related to the news spread in 2023 that she was broke and in debt. In response to the allegations, Wodumo’s manager and older sister, Nondumiso Simelane, refutes the claims saying that Mhlongo “demands R1 200 with threats and insults.” Simelane asserted that the late former personal assistant, Sthembile, is the one responsible for the unpaid amount. She contends that Mhlongo’s insistence on payment lacks proof of an agreed-upon sum and accuses her of attempting to tarnish Wodumo’s reputation for personal gain.

This dispute highlights the struggles that small business owners like Mhlongo might face when trying to get paid by high-profile clients. Both sides are clearly sticking to their guns in this dispute, and it’s yet to be proven who is right and who isn’t.

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By Shamiso Miracle

Shamiso Miracle completed her degree in journalism and media studies at the University of Zimbabwe before honing her skills at Savanna News. She then went on to work at iHarare News, becoming a voice for everyday SA citizens who wanted to share their stories. When she's not writing news that entertains and inspires ,Shamiso is an avid reader and a wellness bunny.

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