Piracy: Baba Manyeruke pleads with govt

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Baba Manyeruke

BY TENDAI SAUTA
AS piracy continues to rip-off artistes of their well-deserved earnings, gospel music legend Machanic Manyeruke has appealed to the government to restore the music industry’s viability through establishing music recording and distribution companies to fight the scourge.

A lot of artistes are wallowing in poverty and some die paupers despite having produced great music, but failed to enjoy the benefit as a result of piracy.

In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style at his Chitungwiza residence, Manyeruke said piracy had killed the music industry.

“The establishment or revival of recording companies may work wonders considering the advances in technology. Reliable companies can help in aiding growth of the industry through the creation of reliable distribution points for quality and affordable entertainment,” he said.

“Gramma Records would make us respectable as musicians through its quarterly remission of royalties and its linkages with ZBC which would in turn channel royalties to Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (Zimura) for disbursement to musicians.”

The gospel music legend added: “During the early 2000s, I was invited to perform in Dallas Texas in America where they observe copyright laws.”

“By that time, they had to seek permission from Gramma Records to market and distribute my music which was highly in demand.”

Manyeruke has over the years recorded more than 27 albums in a career that spans close to four decades.

The Dhimoni hitmaker at one time shared the stage with one of the most successful British artistes Sir Cliff Richards in London at the Green Belt Festival.

Commenting on his recent winning of the National Arts Merit Award (Lifetime Achievement), Manyeruke said the gong was a recognition of his contribution to music.

“The honour came through a closer look at my achievements. I thank the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, which looked at my life and contribution to the music industry,” he said.

“My advice to youngsters is that they should uphold their Zimbabwean music tradition to gain a global appeal. For example, national hero Oliver Mtukudzi rose to fame through life-long refinement of Zimbabwean music traditions.”

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