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Kwaito Legend Protests Against South African Music Rights Organisation for Unpaid Royalties

Kwaito Legend Protests Against South African Music Rights Organisation for Unpaid Royalties

South African Kwaito musician, Eugene Mthethwa, has reached a resolution after protesting against the South African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO). The Trompies member alleges that SAMRO has not paid royalties to him for more than thirty years.

Eugene Mthethwa, of the famous kwaito group, Trompies, has gone on a protest against the South African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO). Mthethwa's protest reportedly began this past Thursday when he locked himself inside the offices of SAMRO and demanded to be paid royalties dating back to 1988. The music veteran reportedly vowed not to leave the offices in Braamfontein until his paperwork was filed. A video of the seemingly distressed musician circulated on social media shortly afterwards.

Read: South Africans Are Not Impressed by Government's Second Wave of Artist Relief Fund

According to the The Citizen, Mthethwa chained himself to a pole at the entrance of SAMRO offices after claiming he was denied a meeting with SAMRO. The kwaito legend alleged that SAMRO has not paid royalties due to him from 1988 to 2021 and that he has been enquiring about the process for the past six years. The news of his protest soon caught attention of social media with Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and Afro-soul legend Ringo Madlingozi supporting his sit-in at the offices for two days. Mthethwa did not hold back in his response to SABC News:

"SAMRO has kept me as a slave. It has kept me as their dog that eats crumbs that are falling from the master's table. I'm saying, I'm here to get all the answers that I deserve and also to get my money that I'm supposed to get because I've been waiting for too long. I've been talking decently for the past two years and even before that."

However, according to the Sowetan, CEO Mark Rosin states that Mthethwa's complaints had previously been addressed and furthermore, the artist was expelled from SAMRO for fraudulently accessing funds from the body. Rosin went on to explain that Mthethwa had been reinstated but that the royalties were withheld to off-set the balance owed to SAMRO.

Mthethwa's protest follows the economic blow to South Africa's entertainment industry due to COVID-19 regulations which limited live performances. Artists have continuously slammed the government for the lack of financial support for artists with most of the COVID-19 relief funds going to sports. South African musicians hold only 30 percent on commercial radio and 60 percent on public radio. As a result, artists called for increased airplay of local content on television and radio platforms during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Admittedly, Mthethwa's protest for royalties includes the claim that his music has been on high rotation. According to Mthethwa's Twitter post, an undisclosed resolution was met with SAMRO after he complained that the organisation would only pay out royalties from 2014 due to alleged administrative errors.


Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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