Two weeks after the flopped Big Size Model Fashion show at Kigali Serena Hotel, over 10 people including models, the dance troupe and the organising team are hunting for the organiser who is yet to pay them.
The show was organised by Vivine Uwizeye the founder of Vivine Foundation, an NGO that empowers under-privileged women to be economically independent.
According to Christelle Umutoniwabega a model, the organiser abandoned them after the show and yet some of them did not even have transport back home.
“We converged after the show expecting to be payed, but we were told to wait till the following day. But the next day, she didn’t respond to our calls and text messages and up to now her known mobile phone number is off,” Umutoniwabega said.
The models say they were each supposed to be paid Rwf30, 000 plus transport refund of Rwf2, 000 daily for all the days they spent during the training before the event.
The event attracted very few people and coincided with the Groove Awards Gala which was well attended.
“She hired someone to organise the event but along the way, she got someone else without informing the initial event manager Claude Ndayisaba,” one of the models who spoke on condition of anonymity said.
Another contestant Mediatrice Kayitesi said that when they contacted the first event manager who was known to them, he informed them that he was facing the same plight, prompting them to take other measures.
DJ Mbata, who provided the sound and music at the event, is also hunting for Uwizeye to clear his unpaid dues.
“We had agreed that I will be paid Rwf 200,000 but I was given Rwf 20,000 and promised the balance the following day. I was given a cheque which bounced. I’ve tried calling her but in vain,” the DJ said.
While some have already given up, Umutoniwabega has vowed to follow up the case with police.
“We went to the CID headquarters in Kacyiru to make a statement and they asked us to provide photos and other evidence to prove our participation. We did not have everything at the time but we have already put together evidence and we are going to open up a case at police,” Umutoniwabega said.
Efforts to get a comment from Uwizeye were in vain as her known phone number was switched off.