Two former acrobats allege they were underpaid and overworked by the Australian-based Cirque Africa, with one performer claiming he could not afford to eat.
Another performer claims that when he asked for his money the directors threatened to tell his wife he had affairs with other women while on the road.
Cirque Africa was the highest selling show at last year’s Adelaide Fringe Festival, has performed across the country and is currently entertaining families at the Werribee Zoo in Melbourne.
It was founded by Zimbabwean man Winston Ruddle, who calls himself “Papa Africa, the father of African circus”.
Two performers claim they were not always paid their weekly wage of $600 on time, and when they were finally paid, at times, it was a fraction of what they were owed.
The circus strongly denies the claims made by the two former performers.
Acrobat Hilaly Maiko alleges he was fired in November for demanding his unpaid wages and that he was paid below the award wage for live performers.
He is taking legal action against Cirque Africa in the Federal Circuit Court claiming it breached the Fair Work Act.
He is seeking almost $240,000 in unpaid wages and entitlements and a further $180,000 in damages relating to his dismissal.
Link to the Full Article at ABC