‘Umkhokha’ actors Deli Malinga, Nay Maps and Hope Mbhele. Image via Twitter @PhilMphela

‘Umkhokha: The Curse’ at centre of ‘R3m royalties dispute’

‘Umkhokha: The Curse’ is embroiled in a copyright infringement dispute over the songs used on the telenovela.


‘Umkhokha’ actors Deli Malinga, Nay Maps and Hope Mbhele. Image via Twitter @PhilMphela

Much-loved Mzansi Magic telenovela Umkhokha: The Curse has to reportedly fork out R3 million for its popular music.

According to Sunday World, the artist behind songs such as Mkhululi Wezoni is demanding that the Duma ka Ndlovu-produced show pay him for copyright infringement.

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Zithulele Khwela – who is a songwriter and actor – is signed to legendary actor and producer Tshepo Nzimande’s record label, Zuz’muzi Music. The stable is popular for artists such as Lundi Tyamara and Sifiso Ncwane, who are both late.

A source told Sunday World that, besides the copyright infringement issue, Ndlovu and Nzimande are also at loggerheads over the Muvhango creator’s decision to release Khwela’s songs on music streaming platforms without permission from Zuz’muzi Music.

Upon asking for R3 million in royalties, Ndlovu told Nzimande that the amount he demanded was too hefty and it is more than what the channel pays him to produce the show.

The songs – which were allegedly credited under Ndlovu as the publisher – were removed from the various digital platforms after Nzimande threatened to have them removed.

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Another source told the publication that a composer, who posed as the owner of the songs, had signed a contract with the producers of Umkhokha. However, when the two parties cut ties, he told Khwela that the show had been using his music without permission.

Among some of Khwela’s songs allegedly used by Umkhokha since its first season in 2021, is the popular Mkhululi Wezoni track as well as Mntanami, Ngisize Mvelinqangi, Okoniwa Ngomlomo, Mondliwa and Umendo.

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Following a letter from the record label to the channel, MultiChoice’s chief executive officer of general entertainment, Nomsa Philiso, is said to have asked Zuz’muzi Music to name their price.

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Philiso told the publication that they will resolve the issue by Tuesday.

“I have no comment at the moment, suf- fice to say I’m hopeful and optimistic that the matter will be amicably resolved,” Nzimande said.