It all started immediately after gospel songbird Grace Chinga died. Her music started suffering serious piracy that the family members had to plead with members of the public to stop pirating her new songs.
A brother to the fallen talented gospel singer and composer indicated that the pirated music was selling in some places.
There was a story in the media to that effect where Grace’s brother called Joseph, pleaded with pirates to stop because they were still in mourning and that Grace left behind children, who are still in school and will need support.
In the same story, Joseph disclosed they were working hard to put his sister’s unreleased albums on the market as soon as possible and that they were currently putting resources together.
At that same time Khathwa Aligiza, who produced one of Grace’s albums through Alimoso Studio approached Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) to assist the family.
Fast forward to this year, now Grace’s children Steve and Miracle are crying foul as they implicated Grace’s brother, called Davie for producing and selling their mother’s music behind their backs.
They accused their uncle of getting all the proceeds from the DVD he released unto the market unbeknownst to the family.
Steve created a WhatsApp forum which he named Grace Chinga’s music and Cosoma in an attempt to seek help because after their mother passed on, they had decided to keep her music alive through Miracle.
The children went on to shoot a DVD which they registered with Cosoma (Mzuzu) as a copyright protection. Cosoma promised that the DVD would be protected but only to notice that there were fake DVDs with Cosoma holograms being sold in almost all music outlets.
To their utter shock and discovery, Cosoma was dealing with their uncle Davie; selling him stickers in the process authorising him to be selling the DVDs.
We get back to the same reasons the brother gave in the first incident that Miracle and her younger brother Israel are still in school and have no-one to help them.
Musicians Union of Malawi (Mum) president querried Cosoma which said they are still waiting to get instructions from the family.
Cosoma senior licensing Officer Rosario Kamanga told the media that with regards to royalties, artists are asked to fill Cosoma beneficiary forms in which they indicate how proceeds from their works would be shared. The late Grace Chinga did not complete such a form.
What I find funny is that Cosoma which is still waiting for the family to give them guidance has already started providing holograms to the so-called Uncle Davie. What part of waiting for direction from the family did I miss?
Again they say Grace did not fill up the whole form. Wait a minute…If I am going to become part of an association and the process requires that I fill some form, how is such an association going to accept my membership if I hand in a half-filled form?
The explanation from Cosoma in the whole story smacks of dishonesty to one extent and incompetence or utter carelessness on another extreme. It’s sad it has the mandate to protect artists from such characters like Uncle Davie, but can’t do a good job.
In this whole fiasco, Cosoma is guilty as it comes. If you follow the story, Aligiza and the children had already talked to Cosoma against disannulling the children from getting what is due to them, but Cosoma seems to have deaf ears.