The Herald (Harare)

28 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Gospel War Rages On

The tug-of-war between gospel musicians Mathias Mhere and Kudakwashe Kunyavapa seems to be far from over as the two lay claim to the chart topper "Favour" and the Zimbabwe Music Rights Association

refuses to make a final ruling.

Apart from a slight difference in some lines, the beat and the chorus are the same. While Kunyavapa recorded the song in 2010, Mhere produced a DVD of the song in 2009 during his wedding featuring some members of AFM Church.

Zimbabwe Music Rights Association distribution and documentation manager Climate Munyikwa said Kunyavapa failed to prove that he composed the song prior to 2009.

"The wedding video proved that Mhere played the song in 2009 but Kunyavapa failed to do so. Mhere might have failed to record the song early because of lack of funds," he said.

Munyikwa said Zimura had resolved that each of them would get royalties from their songs depending on airplay.

"Favour," is the only song that makes sense on Kunyavapa's 2010 album while Mhere's 2011 release "Anoita Minana", has other enjoyable songs such as "Vimba NaJehovah", "Chipostora" and "Areka", which has made him a household name in gospel.

Mhere, however, maintained the song was his.

"We go to the same church with Kunyavapa's friend and I suspect that he leaked the song since we used to sing it during praise and worship. I even told the friend that the song was going to be recorded in 2011 and I think that is when he leaked it to Kunyavapa who then rushed to record the song," says Mhere.

Contacted for comment Kunyavapa was adamant that it was his song.

"I recorded the song and did the video in 2010 and I don't know what Mhere is talking about," he said.

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