‘These pirates are killing us’: Macheso

‘These pirates are killing us’: Macheso

Alick Macheso

It breaks my heart that I have to struggle to create, fund the rehearsals, record, produce, master and produce the CDs so that some thief just takes my work and puts it out there for a dime.
FIRSTLY, I would like to apologise to our fans, our bosses who have been misled by these criminals, makororo, who take other people’s material, steal our images and names to give a wrong picture, to deceive you our paymasters.

Fake album sold by pirates
Fake album sold by pirates

I am not quite sure whose music is on that fake disc, some of the songs sound like Chomudhara (Roderick) the other songs sound as if it is this young man Obvious Mutanhi.
Probably they are as shocked and dismayed as I am that their music somehow found its way onto a CD branded with my proposed album name and picture. It is these pirates that want to reap where they did not sow.
However, we can never get anywhere with this blame game, especially blaming each other as artistes. The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (Zimura) and the artistes, ourselves, should come up with a position paper to lobby our ministry to push through changes these laws. Both the buyer of pirated material and the seller should face stiff penalties. It should be scary to be found with a pirated CD.
We are seeing amendments everyday being done on our Constitution, why can’t we do the same? These pirates, we have dragged them to the police before but they get a slap on the wrist. These guys can sell up to 30 000 CDs make lots of money get arrested but are fined peanuts.
We need to change this. People no longer steal cattle these days because there are stiff penalties. Kana chimhuru chaicho munhu haatore. Why can’t this be done for artistes to protect their work as well? My band takes care of about 24 families, not 24 people, no, families. I don’t know how many people Soma (Somandla Ndebele) takes care of or mudhara Tuku (Oliver Mtukudzi) and other players in this industry.
These pirates are killing us, robbing our families of their deserved livelihoods. There are many youngsters that are talented but they can’t earn a living here in Zimbabwe. They try their hand and they just give up because they see no future. It is incumbent upon us as the senior artistes whose voices stand a chance of being heard to fix this industry for future generations.
Government is losing revenue right now because they have turned a blind eye on the arts industry. Right now as much as I want to release an album for my fans and music lovers in general I am not motivated enough. It breaks my heart that I have to struggle to create, fund the rehearsals, record, produce, master and produce the CDs so that some thief just takes my work and puts it out there for a dime.
Right now I have been strategising with my guys and it looks like we might have to sell the new album for just one dollar. It is so sad but what can we do. As artistes we should not have to worry about these things.
However, I would want to assure my fans that the album is ready. We have been in the studio perfecting it. We have been playing some of the songs at live shows and we received lots of feedback. Worry no more if you love music — you are definitely going to enjoy what we have cooked for you. It is not just delicious, it is out of this world and we took our time to make it perfect. Ayaya Ayaya.

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  • Freedom Fighter

    Always crying about pirates. Get on with it. With all the technology available you will never avoid them. Stop covering up for your waning popularity. Baba Shero makurumidza kepera. Itai dobo shoma.

    • Washe

      How do mean Cheso vapera when his last Album managed to be the record of the year on two radio Stations, Radio Zim and Power FM and is still filling up the venues. Ask vaive kuMuzinda End of Year

  • gava

    Freedom Fighter , I am amazed by your comments, in as much as technology is there it remains a critical point that piracy is destroying the music industry because no one is motivated enough to invest the right kind of money to ensure a quality production because the return will not even match invested capital or make a profit. As such tell me what the motivation is? For you to play it on your flash for $0.50 or for free from a friend? Waning fortunes kupi, if you speak of music he remains the very best the country has to offer and the waning you are inferring is simply a personal vendetta, what criteria do you use to measure kupera?