Zim Dancehall musician Seh Calaz has come under fire after he compared local musicians who sign away all the rights to their music to King Lobengula.
Seh Calaz, real name Tawanda Mumanyi, wrote a long post in which he advised upcoming and established artists to never sign their rights away. He counselled them to monetize their art on their own. He warned that if the artists sign away their rights, the descendants of the producers and record labels will be the ones to benefit financially for years to come, while their own families suffer and wallow in poverty.
Seh Calaz’s advice comes days after Nash TV faced massive backlash on social media after one of its contracts with local artists leaked onto social media. The contract had a clause in which the performers agreed to give away all the rights to their work for infinity.
Following the backlash and allegations of exploiting desperate artists, Nash TV declared that it was releasing all the copyrights back to the artists.
In trying to make his point across, Seh Calaz warned musicians not to be like King Lobengula. Writing on Facebook, Seh Calaz said,
Team rangu ma upcoming nema established artist tese I knw zvinhu zvakapressa asi Dai mavhura maziso and think zvirikumberi, musavhunduke zvinhu, musaitiswe ndapota.
Usafunge kuti wasara ukasa tsomana nevarikunzi vakurira, stop selling the future of your kids and family for the likes or kuti uonekwe uripama platform awo.
I knw a lot of people vanotoenda kunoti tibatsireiwo tipushewo ndopanotangira kusaizwa ipapo ukanokumbira kuti vaku poste value yako inobva yatopera, Nyama yakanaka inozvitengesa yega wait for God’s time.
Create you own YouTube channel, iTunes ese anotoreka mari, shanda from zeroo waona it will make sense someday. Ukafa mhuri yako unoti ichapihwa kana one rand here?
The owners vachatozofawo votozosiira vana vavo zvichienda zvakadaro and iwewe mhuri yako ingazotenderera kwese uko vachi pihwa mari nani iwewe mbune waisapihwa uchitengesa ma rights e music yako nekuda kunzi uriwanikwa pazvinhu.
Gadzirisai ramangwana, we’re passengers on this earth,isu tiripano to pave the way for our families and the next generation. Siyanai ne kuita Hu Lobengula.
However, this post did not sit well with some people. While many acknowledged that he was giving sound advice to artists, they said that his comparison to Lobengula was ill-thought and disrespectful. Others said that the comparison also perpetuates negative tribal stereotypes.
Some defended the musician saying that King Lobengula had signed a bad deal when he signed the Rudd Concession. They alleged that Lobengula had signed away the country for a few material benefits. This narrative was, however, challenged by others for being historically inaccurate.
Below are some reactions to Seh Calaz’ post on Lobengula and music rights.