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Government Pressures Musicians over Protest Songs

DandyA singer who once played a central role in the election campaign for Zambia’s President Michael Sata now finds himself on the other side of the political divide, subjected to attacks from his former colleagues.

Dandy Crazy, who composed the 2011 hit song “Donchi Kubeba” (“Don’t Tell”) which was adopted as the Patriotic Front slogan, has reversed his support of the government and is currently working on composing a remix of the song that would criticize the government’s failure to deliver on promises.

The singer’s change of heart was preceded by the arrests of two other musicians whose hit song “Bufi” has become the party anthem of the opposition. In order to exercise more control over the lyrical content of Zambian musicians, the PF government has proposed a program to administer hologram labels on approved records under the guise of copyright protection – a measure that CD and DVD sellers in Lusaka are resisting.

Speaking at a recent stakeholder meeting on the administration of music labels, Permanent Secretary for Information and Broadcasting Amos Malupenga said Dandy Crazy is a “jilted” and “bitter man who is disappointed with himself following his recent spat on the ruling party.”

But instead of speaking approprately on the matter with DVD sellers who had critical matters to discuss with him, Amos went on an onslaught against Dandy Crazy describing him as a sad musician who was disappointed by his own failure to garner copyright benefits from his donchi kubeba song because of piracy in Zambia.

Amos said he sympathized with the donchi kubeba singer because Dandy Crazy was among the musicians who were mot benefiting from his works because of piracy.

Last week, Dandy Crazy, whose real name is Wesley Chibambo, openly castigated the PF for failing to deliver on their campaign promises.

He regretted having associated himself with the PF. Chibambo said the PF used him and his song to get to power, but the record of the ruling party had been that of failed leadership and deception.

But reacting to Chibambo, Amos Malupenga, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting services said the Kitwe singer was bitter because he failed to reap any meaningful benefits from his donchi kubeba song because of piracy in Zambia.

“Dandy Crazy is not happy because he failed to make dividends from the donchi kubeba song because of piracy. He should not blame the PF for his failure to make money because this government s working.”

“I understand Dandy Krazy’s plight in that piracy in that it has forced him to turn to the Government to pay him for he believes that they benefited from his works and they need to pay him and yet there was no contract signed,” Amos said.

And Audio and Video and CD dealers in Zambia President Norton Mukosha said the government must administer the holograms in an effect manner. He said the civil servants’ poor work culture of inertia must not be tolerated because this would affect their private businesses which was so competitive.

Dandy Crazy was honoured by President Michael Sata in 2011, but many people are not surprised that the singer has now withdrawn his support for the PF, as his youth audience has soured on the broken promises of the state.

Dandy Crazy said he regretted having composed the Donchi Kubeba song for the PF and he was now considering options of a remix where he wanted to aptly describe the failed PF promises.

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