MPOPOMA-Pelandaba legislator Joseph Tshuma recently donated $500 to Black Umfolosi after learning that the Imbube outfit has not received royalties for the song, Unity, from the Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (Zimura).
BY SHARON SIBINDI
The song has been regularly played on Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation radio and television since its release 31 years ago.
Tshuma promised to take the case to Parliament for debate.
The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) honoured the outfit on Monday for being arts and culture ambassadors during the culture week celebrations at Inyathi Youth Centre in Mpopoma.
The group leader Tomeki Dube told Southern Eye Life & Style that Tshuma was touched by their history when they shared during the Culture Week how the song Unity had not earned them any royalties.
“Since 1987, we have presented our issue of not getting royalties and we are given a cold shoulder. ZBC says that our song is a jingle and we cannot get any royalties,” he said.
Dube said the group was humbled by what Tshuma presented to them.
“He gave us $500 and promised to take the case to Parliament. We really appreciate his gesture. We also thank NACZ for honouring us by appointing us as ambassadors of arts and culture,” he said.
Tshuma confirmed that he would take up the matter.
“I am really disappointed that the song, which is played many times, has never got any royalties,” he said.
“Artistes should be supported so that they grow. If artistes like Jah Prayzah receive their royalties, artistes such as Black Umfolosi from Matabeleland should also receive theirs as well. The artistes should not be sidelined or marginalised.”