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Inside Diamond Platnumz -manager’s fight, and why Harmonize is smiling

A file photo of Bongo Flava Stars Harmonize (left) and Diamond Platnumz (right)

Any avid fan of Jermaine Cole’s (J.Cole) at some point must have heard the celebrated American rapper sing: “The bad news is nothing lasts forever. The good news is nothing lasts forever.”

Not many in their wildest dreams would have imagined that a time would come when Diamond Platnumz and his trusted manager Jorge Mendez “Sallam SK”, would turn their backs on each other.

For close to four months, Diamond and his manager haven’t been spotted together as has been the norm for more than a decade.

Described as the nuts and bolts to the success of Diamond’s music career and business, self-titled El Jefe (The Boss) Sallam has been missing in all key functions and events the “Mtasubiri” hitmaker has been engaging in, in the last few months, catching the attention of fans.

This was evident three weeks ago during a conference in Dar es Salaam hosted by music distributors.

The summit brought together all persons of interest in the Tanzanian music space.

Diamond showed up with his entire Wasafi label unit, including his other two managers – Babu Tale and Said Fella. No no one caught sight of the flamboyant cigar aficionado Sallam.

The businessman, always by Diamond’s side at any given time, wasn’t on the flight when Diamond and his entire WCB team flew to Qatar for a World Cup match, courtesy of Wasafi Bet, the firm he co-owns.

Wasafi Bet, by extension, is Kenya’s OdiBet subsidiary.

When Diamond expanded his Wasafi Media to Zanzibar and hosted a launch ceremony on the island last week, Sallam was nowhere to be seen.

Ironically, the very week former WCB signee Harmonize had a show in Zanzibar and Sallam appeared. The two were caught on video having a good time together.

It’s interesting to note just a month before, Harmonize released a dis-track “Champions” hitting at Diamond and Sallam.

Sallam hit back via his socials, mocking Harmonize for crippling his own music label Konde Gang.

Harmonize fell out with Diamond and Sallam when he forced a move out of WCB label in 2019.

At the time, he was the second highest-earning artiste at the label, behind Diamond, and the singer wasn’t willing to let him go.

Upon ditching the label, a frosty relationship emerged between the two singers, with Sallam initially taking sides with Diamond.

So bad was the situation that Sallam refused to shake hands with Harmonize when the two met at Babu Tale wife’s funeral in November 2020.

But two years is a long time for the status quo not to flip, if the recent tape is anything to go by.

Since the video went viral, and Harmonize’s recent announcement that he would be unveiling his new manager on Christmas Day after parting ways with Frida Kajala his ex-girlfriend who moonlighted as his manager, several Tanzanian blogs have reported that Sallam SK will be taking over.

Even as fans wait on the announcement, what still remains a mystery is what actually transpired between Diamond and Sallam who is known for his international networks, business acumen and negotiations.

According to Tale, there is no trouble in paradise.

 “As far as I know, Sallam is still part of the Diamond Managers team which is I, him and Said Fella. Tanzanians love to see people fight. Just because Sallam and Harmonize were spotted together, there is a situation between him and Diamond. It was good to see them bury the hatchet because I was hurt when they refused to shake hands during my wife’s burial,” Tale said.

He went on to say that Diamond has no problem with Harmonize.

“Diamond has no ill-feelings towards Harmonize. The only issue is that they no longer do business together but there is no animosity. He has no problem with anyone who left Wasafi. He recently released a song with Rayvanny,” he said.

On reports that Sallam is joining Harmonize’s KondeGang label, Tale said: “That is an interesting joke. Would you ditch Wasafi for KondeGang?. Let’s be practical.”

Efforts by the Saturday Nation to reach the business executive via calls and WhatsApp were futile.

However, a highly placed source, said the Sallam SK-Diamond fallout was occasioned by a dispute over a business deal.

“I heard that Diamond wasn’t happy with Sallam SK launching the radio station Mjini FM in Dar es Salaam. He saw this as direct competition to Wasafi FM. Diamond is livid because he feels the Wasafi audience will be split once it is established that Sallam owns Mjini FM and still manages him,” the source said.

According to the source, the rift began months ago.

“When Sallam informed Diamond of his new venture, Simba wasn’t happy but they still tried on a public show until they couldn’t do it anymore. Diamond wanted Sallam to stand down the project,” the source added.

According to the source interviewed by the Saturday Nation, Diamond is worried of the competition having a good experience of what it is like to work with a strategist and a shrewd businessman like Sallam.

Will the two mend fences or take different paths? Only time will tell.

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