Zanzibar — BUSARA Promotions of Zanzibar announced to have discarded legendary Taarab singer Fatuma Baraka, alias 'Bi Kidude', amid controversy over money fetched by the singer through Intellectual Properties (IP) rights of her songs.
They (Busara Promotions), organizers of the annual Sauti Za Busara announced that they will no longer use Bi Kidude in their events. "We are tired of being accused of baseless allegations, mainly that we have been cheating and siphoning Bi Kidude.
We now ask her next of kin to be appointed by her family to come forward to receive CDs and the balance from her account with us," Busara officials said at a press conference.
Busara Promotions Programme Manager, Journey Ramadhani and Director General Yussuf Mahmoud convened a press conference yesterday to refute allegation that their company has been cheating Kidude who is now ailing at home. According to Mahmoud, Kidude fetched about US 23,191 dollars in the past seven years under Busara Promotion and that her balance was only US 2,281 dollars and 74 copies of unsold CDs containing her songs.
He said the money was spent on developing her house at Rahaleo, Hospital expenses and as her weekly pocket money. "Busara is not concerned with what Kidude got in other shows in and outside Zanzibar," Mahmoud said. When reached for comments, Bi Kidude's grandson Baraka Abdallah was astounded by Busara Promotions claims, insisting that the old lady is being used unfairly by the company.
"She should be earning more than what she is getting right now, instead she is leaving on handouts from well wishers...this is very unfair," lamented Abdallah, who is currently living with Bi Kidude at her dilapidated house in Kihanani, Bububu. Despite making several shows in and outside Zanzibar and also being used in several social and commercial adverts the prestigious WOMEX award winner, lives in unfinished house and has been sick for several months.
Kidude's life has sparked condemnation to her promoters and the government for not taking care of the elderly singer. She performs in annual Zanzibar festivals, Sauti za Busara and Dhow Countries Film Festival. Bi Kidude estimated to be above 90 years of age is a Zanzibari, considered undisputed queen of Taarab and Unyago Music.
WOMEX (or World Music Expo), is an international world music support and development project based in Berlin, whose main event is an exposition held annually in different locations throughout Europe.