Good people, originality is the watermark of all creativity.
This has been put to test by Tay Grin’s Chipapapa, which Zizi-B claims to be his concept.
Unknown Zizwani Beza is not a UFO from Mars.
The boy sounds convinced that Tay Grin and Joy FM’s DJ Mbuzi fleeced him. He seems determined to confront movers and shakers exploiting upstarts’ conceptions for no coin.
This is supposed to be a call for authentic productions. Worryingly, the tune under dispute is not new.
It is a folk song, relayed from one generation to another for time immemorial.
The battle for Chipapapa constitutes a needless war of two adults with no new tune in their skulls. They cannot churn out a better vibe than their forefathers and ole mothers.
It’s a childhood chorus, both DJ Mbuzi and Tay Grin said in self-defence.
Chipapapa or Chinyunyu is a song babies at play had been singing—come sunshine or moonlight—long before Tay Grin became Nyau King and decided to do a collabo with Nigerian has-been 2Face (whatever they call him these days!)
Davids vs Goliaths battles are the stuff of suspenseful thrillers, but the main loser in this one is Tay Grin himself.
The 2 By 2 rapper has only himself to blame for scavenging on what he aptly terms “a childhood song”.
An adult who goes down pinching children’s tunes and toys seldom gets ovations.
Ordinarily, adults who behave like children have nobody to curse for being treated as children [by children].
Zizi-B could be trying to rise on Tay Grin’s popularity, but the latter had choice to cement his claim to excellence by coming up with a song that is entirely original.
He chose to recycle and reuse an old tune as if that’s all he knows best.
Musicians are custodians of culture, but that’s no license to cliché the art of rehashing songs inherited from the Adams and Eves dead and buried.
Big-time artists are expected to add value and a fresh breathe to nyimbo zathu. The abstract called Malawian music cries for innovative voices, not stale adaptations of folk music alone.
This way, Zizi-B’s claim could be a call for Tay Grin to close his eyes and ask himself: How do I want to be remembered?
Does Tay want to be remembered as a musician who wrestled with some minnow for a child-play song once redone by Tigris over five years earlier?
That is not good enough for an adult who claims to have won several international awards, even those Google cannot trace.
Someone of his calibre should be championing a revolution to make Malawian music bigger and better on the international stage.
Yet he leaves the Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) with a shaming task determining whether to ban Chipapapa the same way as Timakhala Ku Blantyre, a Nelson Katsache and Anne Matumbi response to Peter Pine’s hit Amakhala ku Blantyre.
The ruling may not be as clear-cut as consigning 60 percent of the loyalties of one-time crowd favourite, Tchekera Maluzi, to a South African group that fashioned the beat Collins Bandawe shamelessly fused with Chichewa lyrics.
Certainly, the task will be as easy as telling wrangling adults, who are refusing to grow up, to stop singing childhood songs and try original tunes. Cut this much ado about nothing. n