|Mhere’s song sparks controversy|
|Sunday, 27 January 2013 00:00|
Controversy has been brewing lately on the musical scene over the song “Favour” as two artistes have been claiming copyright. Initially, a cold war has been brewing between new kid on the block Mathias Mhere and Kudakwashe Kunyavapa. It has come to our attention that a third contender, Destined Anointed gospel group based in Masvingo, has also come on board claiming copyright of the song. Destined Anointed spokesperson Clemence Mhlanga maintains that the song is their church’s property since it was composed by church members.
“The song which is causing confusion on the musical scene belongs to our church because it was composed by church members a long time ago.
“Initially it was sang in Shona as a choral, but when we recorded and released our second album in 2011 titled “God’s Will” one of the group members, Absai Vasivenyu, translated the song into English to make it more appealing to our listeners,” said Mhlanga.
The three contenders have, however, produced the almost “similar songs” under the same stable, Lyt-On Studios.
Though they labelled the songs differently, “Favour” for Mhere and “Ndakaiona” for Kunyavapa, the two hit the headlines with each claiming copyright of the song. Despite a slight difference in some lines, the lyrics, beat and chorus are similar on Mhere and Kunyavapa’s tracks.
One would, however, be forced to conclude the similarities on the fact that the songs were recorded under the same stable using the same producer.
The question to ask, however, is who among the three owns the song “Favour”?
The matter between Kunyavapa and Mhere has since been brought to the Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (Zimura) and the two artistes came to a consensus that the two songs be played on air as long as each of the song does not interfere with the other.
Despite the agreement reached at Zimura, Kunyavapa still maintains that he has the sole copyright to the song.
“‘Favour’ is my song because I composed the song in 2009 and rehearsed it a number of times then I went into the studio in 2010 to record it.
“I am giving you the liberty to ask my family members about it, especially my young brother,” said Kunyavapa.
“I have already recorded a DVD for the song. Eventually there is nothing that I can do about the fact that other artistes recorded the same song as mine, but what is needed is that the involved parties be open enough so that the truth comes out and by so doing we won’t be killing each other’s career.”
Mhere’s song has, however, gained more popularity than the other two contenders.
Mwari vakasimudza Hannah, Iye Benina aripo
Nevamwe vese varipo, Vachizviona varipo
Takaiona, Takaiona baba
Takaiona Favour ichiuya naMwari
Favour haitengwe nemari
Favour haitsvakwe kun’anga
Favour haiuye neshamwari
Favour inouya naMwari . . .
In spite of the claims of the copyright, Mhere also claims that he has the rightful copyright to the song.
“I sang the song at my wedding in 2009 and I have evidence of the DVD that was recorded during my wedding.
“I derived the theme from my pastor who always preached about how favour is a blessing to a person by God and that it is something one cannot buy anywhere,” explained Mhere.
The Zimura documentation and distribution manager, Climate Munikwa, could not be reached for comment.