After the release of Gwamba’s first gospel song, Better, he has enjoyed massive success with it across Malawi. People who follow his music were on alert as to what would become of him after abandoning secular music for gospel. Many of his fellow artists in Malawi had tried that before but they ended up losing their careers, for good. Gwamba has showed it that it is possible to make the switch and still maintain your status as the hottest act on the land.
There are several good things about his first gospel song as already said in my previous article about the song. Among others, it is engaging and has a balanced message, appealing to both religious and non-religious people. We all, by nature, like to be people of hope. Life comes with its own ups and downs and the best thing one can do for himself / herself, especially when there is no clear way about how to go on it, you can only hope that one day everything will be fine. That is the energy the song has tapped into.
But as usual of the Urban music scene, when a song has made it big, there will always be stories against it. One of the usual ones is the claim by other artists that the song was copied. Tay Grin, the Nyau King, was recently forced into denying the rumor that he had copied his latest song, Chipapapa, a collaboration with the legendary Nigerian singer, 2Baba (formerly known as 2Face). But the copying claim came from an unknown artist. This is unlike Gwamba, who was also recently forced into responding for his song after a known Mzuzu-based rapper, Slessor, claimed that Gwamba copied his ‘Better’ hit from his ‘Puputa Misonzi’ song. Gwamba’s song is now three weeks old and Slessor’s song is fifteen weeks old.
I did not have any interest in the feud, until a friend, Reignford Khunga, asked my take on the two songs and what has been happening between the two and their songs. I had not listened to ‘Puputa Misonzi’ and I asked for it. After listening to it, I had no clue of what Slessor was claiming that Gwamba had copied his song. Both songs may have carried the message of hope, but that does not even come close to copying. There are thousands of songs about hope. Between the two songs, there are no similar lines, expressions or instrumentation. They are two very different songs.
I understand that Producer Dumisani ‘Blage’ Moyo weighed in on it by posting on Facebook: “This person you see here needs no introduction. He came, he saw, he conquered. First rap artist to make it out of Mzuzu and therefore proving that it’s not where you come from but it’s about who you are. He is a longtime good friend of mine and even though it is so, I chose not to take part in his beef with Gwamba or any of his beef he has with other artist(s)… But on the latest song Gwamba released titled ‘Better’ I got so touched and amazed of the huge similarities with Slessor’s three months old song ‘Puputa Misonzi’ and how he was over shadowed by Gwamba’s good song promotion and the like concerning the song. Coincidence can’t be an excuse to the incident.” Reads a part of his post.
Can please Blage, and all those who say that Gwamba copied the song, explain the claimed “Huge Similarities”.
*Wonderful Mkhutche is an author, a political scientist and a manuscript editor and developer.