I lost N20m – Yinka Ayefele, gospel singer
Talented gospel singer, Yinka Aye-fele has revealed how the German Em-bassy had colluded with the American Embassy to scuttle his trip to the United States of America thus making him to lose a whopping N20m.
Starting from October, crippled and wheellchair-bound Ayefele had been scheduled for a 3-month tour of America that would have seen him and his band perform in over 26 states of the country.
The musician would have brought his unique gospel melody to the Royal Castle and Marriot Hotel in New York, Yoruba Heritage Centre in Boston, D. C Armory and C & S church in Washington, YMCA Centre in Atlanta and Empire Plaza in Orlando where tickets have already been sold out. But the American Embassy had thrown a spanner into the works as it canceled already granted visas.
Visibly sad Ayefele explained thus: “I am not involved in any visa scam. My band men and I had applied for visas at the American Embassy, which were granted. We then applied for transit visas through our agent at the German Embassy only to be turned down on the excuse that sometimes in August we had applied for German visas with 19 names but now the transit application had contained 14 names.”
If the German Embassy had turned down the transit visa application and returned the musicians' passports to them, they would have made alternative arrangements for the trip to US. But the Germans had forwarded the passports to the American Embassy for outright cancellation of already granted visas.
Fighting back tears, the gospel crooner exclaimed: “How could they do that to me?
What have I done to warrant such ill treatment from the Germans? They turned deaf ears to my explanations that the American promoter had told me he could only foot the bill of 13 band members and that I should not exceed the figure. I have a 30-member band. I have the right to choose those who would make the trip with me. I watched the Consular General canceling the visas and I felt my world collapsed.”
On what he had lost over the aborted American tour, Ayefele said: “I have sustained a huge loss. I lost about N20 million. Apart from refunding N4.8 million to those who had engaged my services for the 3 months the tour would last, I have lost about N15 million that I would have made from the tour. The American promoters are on my neck because they have lost lots of money. I am sad, so sad.”
Sanya Ogunfowora, Chief Promoter, Shower of Blessings Tour, USA had in a letter expressed his displeasure to Ayefele thus: “…you have been very disappointing. You're scheduled to appear at the Youth Conference, Christ Apostolic Church, 622 Corfelyon Rd, Brooklyn on October 13, 20, also to play at Rose Garden Ball Room B10 on October 14, 2005 but you failed to appear. Be aware that you have already been booked till first week in December. Please give us the details of what is going on…to avoid a lot of loss and compensation.”
Meanwhile, the Video CD of Ayefele's current album, “Fulfillment” has been released. It hit the market last week and is already making waves.