Poet blasts music fans for piracy

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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?”

3 COMMENTS

  1. am very much concerned by piracy coz thgere is abody by the name zimura or something like that what is their duty becoz they claim to be protecting musicians and go to them if you want to promote an artist they want something like 3hundrend dollars to just pay them and in return wat do they do this thing has been toked about for ages l urge the musicians to seat down with these guys and come up with something becoz their relevance is not felt at all

  2. “Piracy” is a dog-whistle complaint that some artists are using as an excuse for mediocrity.

    You, Bheki, are obscure. Don’t blame pirates. Your product is sub-standard.

    Do something else.

  3. The root cause of piracy is TECHNOLOGY.Only until artists accept this simple reality will they start coming up with a Plan B for their artistic survival.For starters,what the music industry needs as of yesterday are new versions of encrypting software that will protect their products from being copied on personal PC’s and laptops.The fight should be Technology versus New Technology.Blaming the common Joe Public for buying a cheap,pirated cd for 5 rands instead of the genuine (original) disc which will sell for anything between 7 dollars to 20 dollars (for some international cd’s) is foolhardy.Buyers consider their financial situation and not the plight of their favourite artists.Tough luck Bheki!

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