A Kenyan gospel musician has come under fire for copyright infringement of the late Zimbabwean music icon Oliver Mtukudzi’s hit song ‘Todii’. The musician, Pastor Antony Musembi, ignited a storm on social media over the weekend following the release of his coronavirus (Covid-19) awareness song which borrows most of its elements from Mtukudzi’s song.
At the time of the song’s release, Musembi received rave reviews from music lovers but things only took a turn after, Tuku Music, the custodians of most of Tuku’s composition rights, announced that Pastor Musembi had not sought permission to use the late legend’s material for his song. According to information reaching iHarare from state-media, after Tuku music disclosed of the infringement, some music lovers made a u-turn and started attacking the musician for his actions.
A statement released by Tuku Music confirmed the incident.
‘We encourage artistes to follow the correct protocols when they need to use copyright-protected material to avoid unnecessary issues that can arise from violations of these protocols.
‘Pastor Athony Musembi, however, did not seek rights and permission to use the song for the ‘COVID -19’ awareness cover version for the song ‘Todii’,’ reads part of the statement.
However, Tuku music expressed that the musician had acknowledged his error and had shown willingness to correct it.
‘He has shown willingness to rectify the mistake and will work with our publishers and legal team to make sure the necessary paperwork is in order. We believe his version of the song will complement efforts to flatten the curve in the fight against Covid-19 in Kenya and in Africa.’
Although Tuku Music officials refused to reveal finer details of their communication with Musembi, a source close to the development said they had given the Kenyan musician seven days to redirect his effort through the right channel.