A young Zimbabwean Afro Jazz artist, Takakunda Mukundu, son of music producer, author and guitarist, Mono Mukundu has possibly evoked the wrath of the gods by his creativity.
The young artist, a recent graduate of the Zimbabwe College of Music, recently uploaded an edited video of the 74-year-old Mbira goddess, Mbuya Stella Chiweshe’s live performance at the unveiling of Mbuya Nehanda’s statue last month in Harare. Although she did the actual performance solo, the edited version, which has since been removed from YouTube had Takakunda in the background strumming a guitar.
This actually reminded me of a certain time when I heard a remixed version of my poem being played on radio without my knowledge. I had recited the poem at the radio station. I was recorded without my knowledge. The poem was a Nelson Mandela tribute I had written and the radio station also put the late president’s voice on the poem. I was stunned when I heard the poem. Nobody consulted me! Nobody asked for my permission! The poem was played for the Mandela month and I didn’t receive anything from the radio station but, I kept quiet. Maybe I’m stupid.
I’ve also had some of my articles on my blog republished in national papers, without my knowledge! I’ve had people republish my work without giving me any credit. Well, such is life or not?
Don’t get me wrong, every person is different. Just because I’ve remained silent when my work was stolen doesn’t mean everyone should do the same. What I’m saying is, before you respond, there are many things to consider. Such as, is this really necessary? Should I do it privately or publicly? At one point I privately sent a message to one of the culprits, “Hi, I’ve just seen my article published on your website. Would you kindly credit me for my work?” The editor apologized and then he ‘fixed’ the issue. My name was there, but I had not received a single cent from this man who had my article on his website.
What exactly did Mbuya Stella Chiweshe say, you might wonder.
I might even be in trouble for taking this screenshot of the post and publishing it without the Mbira queen’s consent.
Believe me, I know how it feels to have your work used or altered without your knowledge or permission but, surely this could have been handled much better. I’M NOT SAYING SHE SHOULD HAVE KEPT QUIET. She’s not me, I would have found out who the young artist was and engaged with him privately. That’s just ME! Or would just have kept quiet and hear what people said about it.
“even Lucifer does not have such cruelty.”
In her own words, Mbuya Stella Chiweshe says, “You know that since we were colonised for 100 years, for all that time our traditional music was oppressed,” she says. “People were not free to sing their traditional songs. Now, this place is somewhere that will help people to bring out what they have.” Songlines
Possibly, Takakunda was just bringing out what he has. I guess this was then and this is now. Whether he was right or wrong, THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN HANDLED MUCH BETTER!