Chimbetus fight over songs


A storm is brewing in the Chimbetu family following revelations Sulumani wants to bar other musicians from playing his late father Simon’s songs at live shows in a move apparently targeting his cousin Tryson.

According to sources, Sulumani was angered when Tryson went on stage ahead of him at the recently held February 21st Movement Gala in Chipinge and played the cream of Simon’s songs, leaving the former with a depleted playlist.

Tryson played songs that included Chauta, One Way and Ndarangarira Gamba, which Sulumani reportedly wanted to play in his slot that came towards the end of the gala. It was the second time for the two to clash over selection of songs after a similar incident at the Heroes’ Splush gala in Mount Darwin last August.

All musicians in the Chimbetu family (Tryson, Sulumani, Allan and Douglas) play Simon’s songs interspersed with their own compositions to spice up their shows.

NewsDay is reliably informed Sulumani approached the Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (Zimura) this week to formalise copyright issues with regards to Simon’s compositions.

An official at Zimura confirmed Sulumani visited their office intending to iron out copyright issues. The official revealed Sulumani was the heir to his father’s compositions, according to Simon’s will in the association’s files.

It was not clear what paperwork Sulumani wanted from the association since the will clearly states he has the copyright to the compositions, but indications were that he wanted to institute legal proceedings. Sulumani was reportedly asked by the association to bring an older family member to process the papers and he summoned his brother Collin from their farm in Chegutu.

If Sulumani begins taking legal action against anyone playing his father’s songs, the move might also affect his uncle Allan and cousin Douglas although information at hand indicates they are not the targets.

Contacted for comment, Sulumani admitted he was sorting out some papers with Zimura, but refused to give information saying he would disclose the issues when everything is finalised. Allan said songs that were done by his late brothers (Simon, Naison and Briam) were treated as family property and anyone in the family could perform them.

“The brothers worked together well even when they were doing separate projects and we should keep that spirit,” said Allan.

On how the Chimbetus should select their songs when they share the stage, Allan said they should plan together.

“There are numerous family songs and we should not fight for specific songs. When we perform at the same show we have to plan first so that we do not duplicate playlists,” Allan said.

Tryson was unreachable for comment as his mobile phone went unanswered yesterday.