alawian artist Kenneth Kadam’manja alias Mkulu Keyi has earned the wrath of South African legendary artist Papa Penny for allegedly copying his song without permission.
The Malawian artist reproduced Papa Penny’s song Milandu Bhe in 2017 and subsequently did a remix of the same hit last year which featured K9 and dancehall artist Nepman. His version is titled Milandu Mbwee.
Recently, the South African was featured on a remake of the song by compatriot Makhadzi and following a social media craze which alleged that Makhadzi stole the song from Mkulu Keyi, Papa Penny has reacted by lashing out at the Malawian, accusing him of stealing his song.
In a video clip, Papa Penny shared on social media, the artist threatens to hunt down the Malawian artist.
He said: “Those people stole my song in Malawi, that is my song. They don’t even know the meaning of Milandu Bhe. I am going to catch you boys in Malawi. Stop talking rubbish about Makhadzi. It is my song and Makhadzi.
“Who stole my song in Malawi, you are going to face me. You are not even a Shangaan person. Stop stealing my songs. All of Africa knows that Milandu Bhe is my song. By Malawian language, what is the meaning of Milandu Bhe? Zero.”
In an interview yesterday, the Malawian artist admitted to have redone the song without seeking the consent of the owner and said Papa Penny is entitled to speak out his mind like he has done.
Mkulu Keyi said: “I grew up listening to that song. It was my father’s favourite. I decided to redo the song just as a tribute to one of the artists that I regard as a legend. But I must confess that I did not seek any consent since it is a popular song that anybody is familiar with.”
The artist blamed Malawians who have been advancing the notion that Makhadzi who stole the concept from him. Mkulu Keyi said personally, he has never made any claims suggesting that he is the owner of the song.
Copyright Society of Malawi executive director Dora Makwinja said they are continuously engaging artists to sensitise them to copyright procedures that they need to follow when they are recreating songs that are not originally theirs.
She said: “What he did is wrong and unacceptable. When one is working on a concept that is borrowed there is need to acknowledge and seek consent. It doesn’t matter whether the owner is Malawian or not.
“We always advise them to consult us so that we can help them with the procedures since we work in conjunction with societies in other countries.”