‘Chippa will lose song bat­tle’

The Herald (South Africa) - - News - Mal­i­bongwe Day­i­mani

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. –

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