ZIMBABWE – Zimbabwean music is in great demand in Mozambique, but local artistes are being disadvantaged by piracy.
Sungura music kingpin Alick Macheso and his “master” Nicholas “Madzibaba” Zakaria held separate shows in Mozambique during the just-ended festive period.
According to a Mozambican music vendor, Vasco Manuere, Zimbabwean music is in great demand.
“Most of these CDs and cassettes are not original and the pictures on the sleeve designs are photocopied. Many Zimbabwean musicians are losing out,” he said.
“Zimbabwe’s sungura music is popular on various Mozambican radio stations. A lot of people here have fallen in love with sungura music.”
The situation is being compounded by pirates in Zimbabwe who are supplying their Mozambican counterparts with CDs which are smuggled into that country.
“Zimbabwe’s sungura music is plenty on the shelves in shops and flea markets. But, it is unfortunate that the CDs are not original,” he said.
While attention has of late shifted to the new crop of musicians like Jah Prayzah and dancehall, sungura music still rules in Mozambique.
Macheso, the late Leonard Dembo and John Chibadura, Zakaria, Leonard “Karikoga” Zhakata, Hosiah Chipanga, Tongai Moyo, Ngwenya Brothers, Taruvinga “Sugar Sugar” Manjokota and Leeroy “Kamusena” Lunga are some of the musicians whose music is popular on Mozambican radio stations.
Maria Jangano a presenter at Radio Mozambique said: “Macheso commands a huge following in this country, but it is unfortunate that his music is heavily pirated,” she said.
Zhakata has been calling for the Zimbabwean and Mozambican governments to work together to curb piracy.
“Music piracy has become a cancer. There is need to establish a regional piracy body so that we can curb this problem,” he said.
“I think governments from the region should now work together to address this thing. There should be deterrent measures against the perpetrators of piracy. Otherwise many musicians are now reluctant to release new material.”
Macheso said: “It is cowardice. These are the people who are reaping where they did not sow. It is painful that as musicians we take a lot of time, effort and brains to come up with songs, but they just ‘burn’ our music and sell it cheaply to the consumers prejudicing us. We think that something must be done as a matter of urgency to help us.”
Madzibaba said piracy had become sophisticated.
“They download our music from the internet and put it on memory sticks. We are losing out a lot of revenue through this,” said Madzibaba.
“I am aware that our music is doing well in foreign countries like Mozambique, but it is being pirated. We are in the process of putting mechanisms, with our record companies in place, to find ways of curbing piracy.”
Many musicians in Zimbabwe have registered concerns over piracy as they are losing a lot of revenue.