Comedienne and actress Felistas Murata, known as “Mai Titi”, has reacted to BJB Films (BillyJeremiah Brown Films)’s fallout with her by raising sexual abuse allegations, after she left Tanzania in a huff three months ago where they were shooting a film.
The United Kingdom-based production house posted a statement on its Facebook page, which it later pulled down, alleging it parted ways with Mai Titi because she was unprofessional.
Mai Titi was featured in the film “A Life to Regret” alongside Congolese rhumba musician Awilo Longomba, Stan Bakora, Daisy Handfield and Big Fizzo.
The production house said it replaced Mai Titi’s role with Tanzanian painter, musician and dancer Angel Mary Kato.
“It’s sad to announce that we had to terminate Mai Titi’s role and replace her with Angel Mary Kato due to lack of professionalism onset and while living and working with other celebrities, as well as the crew,” it said.
“We love Zimbabweans, that is why we picked someone from that country, but unfortunately we could not continue with her.
‘‘We are open for interviews with all Zimbabwean news companies.”
Mai Titi said she would no longer let sleeping dogs lie.
“There is more to it, but I decided to let sleeping dogs lie, but since they want war, I can as well expose them too from se_xual abuses amongst the actors to unpaid dues. I am at loss of words, maybe they are trying to tarnish my name or what,” she said.
“The truth of the matter is that I pulled out because of lack of professionalism from their side.
‘‘They used my brand to get the attention they wanted. We were not paid and BJB Films had no sponsors for a start. I thought it was water under the bridge after I left three months ago.”
Mai Titi’s local fans went on the page, attacking the production house for lack of professionalism for taking to social media before talking to her.
The fans also questioned why BJB Films had to come out now talking about the unprofessional conduct of Mai Titi after she left Tanzania three months ago.
Some fans pointed out that somehow, it was more of character assassination, poor public relations from the production house and trying to blacklist and tarnish her name.
Mai Titi said she was shocked and surprised with the news that her role was replaced, as she pulled out of the film months ago.
She said she was now taking the matter further so that she clears her name with fans and family.
“I am a brand and I work with a constitution and contracts,” she said.
“Imagine when Awilo came, all eyes were on him, forgetting other actors. This was depressing.
“I am thinking of taking the matter to the British Embassy and exposing them. If they had sponsors and budget for the film, why did it take them long to release the film. As we speak, it is still in pre-production.”
Asked if she had a contract with BJB Films, Mai Titi said she had, but it was violated.
“I was told I would get all my payments before I leave Tanzania and on set, but nothing materialised,” she said.
“Now I am on my way to the British Embassy to tell my whole story. I think it is the right time now.”
Mai Titi was not happy BJB Films went on social media with the issue before contacting her.
“I woke up to such news, imagine what is the purpose of this after three months?” she asked.
“I left Tanzania and I have been surviving on my own. They haven’t paid me and I need to feed my kids and not do things for free.”
Some fans said there were many possibilities with regards to the fall out, with others arguing it could be a stunt to help market the film.