BY SHARON SIBINDI
ZIMBABWE Music Rights Association (Zimura) executive director Polisile Ncube-Chimhini last week said the late Kalanga music icon Solomon “Jah Solo” Skuza’s estate was one of the best-administered.
The late musician’s son Yevgeny M F Skuza-Moyo is the sole beneficiary.
The Banolila hit-maker, who died at the peak of his music career on May 24 1994, was the most popular Zimbabwean musician from Plumtree. He sang in his native Kalanga, Ndebele, Shona and English.
Ncube-Chimhini said Skuza’s son was benefiting according to the number of his father’s songs as reported by Performance Report Sheet (PRS), with royalties paid out on June 1 every year.
“Royalties from Zimura are distributed to members once per year and if there are no challenges (as of) June 1 of every year, royalties will be ready for collection. Royalties are allocated to works which receive airplay and as reported by Performance Report Sheet (PRS) forms commonly referred to as log sheets. This means the more a work is played the more money to such works,” she said.
“When a member joins Zimura, a will is signed to show the beneficiary (heir) of the royalties in the event of death. In this case Yevgeny M F Skuza-Moyo is the beneficiary of the royalties from Zimura.”
Ncube-Chimhini said copyright subsisted for the lifetime of a composer plus 50 years after their death as provided for in the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act.
“As such, music for the late remains protected by copyright until such a period lapses and beneficiaries of the late will continue to receive royalties as indicated on the last will which Zimura has,” she said.
She said the association distributed royalties according to the deceased’s last will, a copy of which would be in their possession.
If there is no consensus among family members, the matter is referred to the Master of High Court who deals with administration of deceased estates.
“Alternatively, relatives may also appoint a beneficiary of their choice through submission of an affidavit,” she said.
Skuza died at the age of 38 and last Friday was the 25th anniversary of his death.