Alick Macheso is a Zimbabwean musician who came on the music scene in 1998 with his debut album Mugariro. He is very well-known in Southern Africa as both a successful voice artist and one of the best bass guitarists on the continent. Alick Macheso is Zimbabwe’s best ever selling artist, his album Simbaradzo is so far the highest ever sold album in Zimbabwe, an unbroken record still. He has in recent times risen to become an advertising face for many corporations.
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Gearing up to release his most recent album, it would seem the musician, Alick Macheso, has been stymied by a recent release by pirates of an album that is supposedly his with both the proposed album name and picture boldly emblazoned on the front. Fans and listeners who have purchased the disc would be in for a rude, rather annoying shock as instead of hearing the sungura artiste singing on it, they would instead be treated to a mash-up of different songs that Alick guesses are from Chomudhura (Roderick) and Obvious Muthani, he spews some outrage on their behalf too.
In an impassioned vent, Alick Macheso writes, “It breaks my heart that I have to struggle to create, fund the rehearsals, record, produce, master and produce the CD so that some thief just takes my work and puts it out there for a dime. FIRSTLY, I would like to apologise to our fans, our bosses who have been misled by these criminals, makororo, who take other people’s material, steal our images and names to give a wrong picture, to deceive you our paymasters.”
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He goes on to dissuade artiste’s from involving themselves in a blame game and instead suggests that they come together to fight this culture. The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Music Rights Association along with the artistes are encouraged to come together, to come up with a position paper to lobby their ministry to effect these changes to the law. Stiff penalties should strike fear in both the seller and the buyer of pirated materials.
Alick Macheso’s outrage is infectious because piracy is a huge issue in almost all media endeavors in Africa, it is a sad reality where these pirates make huge amounts of money from the work of others while being slapped with meager amounts as fines. Alick again exposes more of this heartbreaking reality saying, “Right now I have been strategizing with my guys and it looks like we might have to sell the new album for just one dollar. It is so sad but what can we do. As artistes we should not have to worry about these things.”