A BULAWAYO-BASED dub poet, Bhekumuzi Mhlanga (36), has accused music lovers for shortchanging artistes by buying pirated music.
Report by Sheryleen Masuku
Mhlanga said the public was responsible for the financial hardships that artistes in the country were facing as they continued to buy pirated music.
The poet has worked with a number of big names in the region including Cont Mhlanga and Albert Nyathi.
The widely-travelled artiste, who described his music as a fusion of maskanda and Afro-jazz, recorded his first album Imbongi and Uzulu Omnyama in 2009.
“The public should take the blame for buying stolen music. I have seen pirated discs of my music in Bulawayo, Plumtree, Gweru, Tsholotsho and even in South Africa,” said Mlhanga.
Mhlanga said the public was responsible for the increased poverty that artistes in the region continued to face. “We cannot even afford to upgrade ourselves as artists because of people who steal our music. We can’t afford to buy cars because of lack of support from the public,” he said.
“They (the public) need to understand that we earn our living through art. Most of us do not have any other form of income except art. People do not want to buy music.
“When we meet people they ask for our music and except to get it for free so that they can sample it. Which shops allow people to sample their bread or clothes or shoes?”