By Patricia Mashiri
Thomas Mapfumo the Chimurenga music legend bemoaned piracy for killing the music industry and called for solutions to the problem as a matter of urgency.
Piracy is the illegal duplication of music, film and books for sale. It has becpome the day to day business of vendors on the streets.
At his interface meeting with Kazembe Kazembe, the Minister of Sports, Culture and Recreation, Mapfumo said the illegal duplication of artists’ music was doing more harm to the arts industry and the exonomy in general.
“We appeal to the government to enforce laws which protect us as artists as all our work is duplicated and sold on the streets for a few cents.
“The government as well artists should benefit from the music industry but we are still poor as performers because we are not benefiting at all. For instance I have a new album which I’m expecting to release soon and so far I have used $ 20 000 but I’m not benefiting because they are selling the disks for as little as 0.50 cents,” Mapfumo said.
In response, Minister Kazembe Kazembe said he would consider Mapfumo’s request and take measures to address the issue as a matter of urgency.
“We have the Piracy Act but we feel it’s not enough as people on the streets are still breaching the law because it is not effective. Therefore we need to craft more punitive laws against such people so that our artists will benefit from their work.
“Mukanya here is holding a disk with his 12 albums on them which he bought from the streets for 0.50 cents. That is totally unacceptable,” Kazembe said.
Mapfumo intends to come back to Zimbabwe and set up a Thomas Mapfumo Foundation that will help upcoming artists to nurture their talents and grow the music industry both regionally and internationally.
The Ministry promised to rally behind him on such a great initiative which would raise the music industry and put the country on a global map.
Mapfumo has been staying in exile for fourteen years and only returned home on Independence Day. He is set to hold a show on 28 April 2018.
His return was much awaited by many of his fans who are planning to attend his ‘Great Bira’ festival where he will perform with the likes of Dr Oliver Mtukudzi and other upcoming artists like Andy Muridzo and Gary Tight amongst others.