‘Chippa will lose song battle’
Chippa United will lose a copyright battle against musician Vusi Nova over the hit song As’phelelanga – and the soccer club should lose.
That is according to lawyer Monde Tabata.
Tabata is one of thousands of people who weighed in on a social media debate on whether the team has copyright to the song, which was rearranged by Vusi Nova.
Vusi Nova and the Premier Soccer League club have recorded versions of the song but the Port Elizabeth-based outfit has accused the musician of stealing the song.
Vusi Nova has argued that there is no known composer of the song, which is widely sung at public gatherings. As’phelelanga is used as a war cry by the club’s fans during matches.
It was produced and recorded in 2014 at the SABC Parson’s Hill studios in Port Elizabeth for Chippa United, the SABC has confirmed.
However, the award-winning Vusi Nova released another version of the song in 2018 as a tribute to late SA music stars, including Ray Phiri, Hugh Masekela, Mandoza and Brenda Fassie.
Tabata backed Vusi Nova, saying there was no known composer of the song.
“Secondly, Chippa United are a soccer club, their main business is not singing.
“They cannot claim prejudice to their business.
“Further, Chippa did not compose, add lyrics, and arrange the rhythm of the song.
“It is sung everywhere widely in the same way by sports fans in rugby club matches. They will lose and should lose.”
The club announced on its official Facebook page on Tuesday that it was seeking legal advice and would file a complaint with the South African Music Rights Organisation over Vusi Nova’s recording of the song.
The club’s chief operating officer, Lukhanyo Mzizi, said it was busy with former coach Roger Sikhakhane’s funeral this weekend.
“We will deal with Vusi Nova next week,” he said.
At the forefront of the club’s planned lawsuit is talented music producer Siyabonga Hlekani from Zwelitsha.
Hlekani said he produced the song at 5.34pm on October 21 in 2014 and registered it with the music rights body.
SABC spokesperson Neo Mamodu said: “Yes, that song was recorded at SABC M1 music studio in PE.
“Umhlobo [Wenene] was given a copy to play when the team has a game to hype up listeners, and later other stations received the song to play at their own discretion.”
Vusi Nova said the song was sung way before Chippa was established.
He said he grew up listening to the song and that nobody knows who composed it.
He said he registered the song as an arranger, but not a composer. –