Jonathan Moyo Denies Claims That Rambai Makashinga Singer Was Underpaid

Jonathan Moyo Denies Claims That Rambai Makashinga Singer Was Underpaid
Jonathan Moyo Denies Claims That Rambai Makashinga Singer Was Underpaid

Africa-Press – Zimbabwe. Former Information Minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo, has denied allegations that Last Chiangwa, also known as Tambaoga, was paid below the standard rate for his music, including popular songs like “Rambai Makashinga,” “ZESA Yauya Zvine Power,” and “Sendekera Mwana Wevhu.”

In a video shared on social media, Tambaoga claimed that he received around US$200 from Shed Studios, an independent professional production house, for his vocals and mbira contributions on each jingle. Watch the video for more.

Tererai Obey Sithole expressed the view that while individuals have the democratic freedom to choose a political party, artists should exercise caution when making such choices. Referring to the video above, Sithole highlighted that Tambaoga’s admission serves as a reminder of how ZANU PF can exploit, underpay, and discard artists. He added that recovering a lost career in such circumstances is often challenging.

In response to Sithole’s remarks, Jonathan Moyo said Tambaoga was not employed by ZANU PF but by Lintas, an advertising agency. He said Lintas had the contract for the initial land reform publicity and engaged Shed Studios for the jingle’s production. Tambaoga was hired by Shed Studios solely for his vocals and mbira. The jingle’s content was created by the Ministry of Information, based on a 1980 version performed by Tanga Wekwa Sando. The contractual arrangement involved Lintas, Shed Studios, and Tambaoga, with Lintas having decision-making authority. He reiterated that ZANU PF had no involvement in the jingle’s production or Tambaoga’s hiring. The late Kelly Rusike and Isaac Chirwa, renowned sound engineers and music producers at Shed Studios, were the only other individuals with knowledge of Tambaoga’s actual payment and whether it aligned with industry standards at the time. Moyo added:

After he recorded the Rambai Makashinga and Sendekera Mwana Wevhu jingles at Shed Studios, which were both well received, Tambaoga was given an opportunity to record a fully paid for album of his own songs, and he developed Rambai Makashinga and Sendekera Mwana Wevhu jingles into full songs and included them on his album, and that fully paid for album was recorded and produced at Shed Studios. So, Tambaoga did not pay a cent for the recording of his most famous album, instead he was paid to record his own music over which he owned 100% intellectual property and had full copyright, which he fully exploited to his commercial advantage over the years, especially through galas and concerts and for which he was entitled to 100% royalties from ZBC and other broadcasters who played or play songs off the album; and to this day, Tambaoga still owns the full copyright to that music he recorded free of charge at Shed Studios, produced by some of Zimbabwe’s best music producers. I hope this background and the attendant facts help. Good day @TereraiSithole. On Tambaoga, I think he’s a wonderful Zimbabwean, a hugely talented artist with deep roots in the soul of the nation, and a great patriot whose career and national contribution are yet to experience their best moments and rewards!

This comes amid criticism towards artists like Holy Ten, Ricky Fire, Poptain, Enzo Ishall, DJ Levels, Kicky Badass, Sandra Ndebele, and Ras Pompy who have openly endorsed ZANU PF and its presidential candidate, Emmerson Mnangagwa, ahead of the forthcoming August 23 harmonised elections. There are increasing calls on social media for people and promoters to distance themselves from the artists.

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