‘Zim artistes lack originality’. . . Social media sensation fires shots
By Bongani Ndlovu
There was a debate on social media last week on the authenticity of locally produced music after it emerged that some songs from Zimbabwean artistes sounded very similar to those from other African artistes.
Chief among the copycats were Jah Prayzah, ExQ and Juntal who were called out by one social media sensation – Wellence Mujuru – in a series of videos that he produced comparing the songs which have striking resemblances.
Most songs on ExQ’s new album Tseu Tseu were on top of the list.
‘Let’s talk about it’, which features Nutty O, sounded like Nigeria’s Mr Eazi’s Hollup, while Nzenza sounds like Nigerian Patoranking’s This Kind Love.
Another track by ExQ, Tsaga of the year has similarities with Major Lazer’s Run Up. Tsvigiri by the same artiste was likened to Nigerian Tekno’s Wash.
Up-and-coming rhumba musician, Juntal, on his song Mutupo, was also called out for copying Bebi Philips’ Balaumba music video concept.
Jah Prayzah was not spared as some of his songs came under scrutiny such as Mwanasikana taken off the 2013 album Tsviriyo which sounds a lot like Sanami’s 2007 hit song Sanami.
Trevor Dongo was slated for his music video for track Shoko reRudo that was said to have a concept similar to that of Nigeria’s Iyanya on track Le Kwa Ukwu.
The story told by both music videos is of a waiter who falls in love with a rich woman. The women in both music videos appear wearing red and the setting is in a restaurant.
Thereafter, a debate ensued with people shocked at the songs’ similarities, at times with the only difference being that the local artistes sing in chiShona.
Mujuru said it was not fair for other artistes, during awards, to be in competition with such artistes who would have copied music and got away with it.
“It’s not fair at awards to be in competition with someone who has easily copied someone’s already (successful and tested work) and someone with original work that has not been tested yet.
“At awards ceremonies there must therefore be two categories for those who copy and those with original creative Zimbabwe work. Fair game,” suggested Mujuru.
In his defence, Jah Prayzah, in the past, has openly admitted to have copied the song Mwanasikana when confronted by the media.
As for Juntal he denied ever copying the song saying the tracks are similar as with most Rhumba music.
DJ Tamuka who produced ExQ’s album was not available for comment. The Chronicle