Zithulele Khwela, an award-winning producer, songwriter, and composer, is suing the producers and creators of the popular telenovela, Umkhokha: The Curse, for using his music without paying him royalties. Khwela is the man behind the hit song, Mkhululi Wezoni, which is part of the TV drama series’ soundtrack. He released his debut album with the same title on Friday, under Zuz’Muzi Music, a label owned by music mogul and former actor, Tshepo “Zuz’Muzi” Nzimande. Nzimande is also helping Khwela to recover his money from the TV series’ producers.
Khwela, 40, who has a fiancée and children, told ZiMoja, a local news outlet, that he was betrayed by the producers of Umkhokha: The Curse, who promised him “heaven and earth” but never paid him a cent. He said some of his baby mamas did not believe him when he told them that he was not getting paid for his music. “They think I am rich because the show is popular and my music is forever being played there,” he said.
Khwela, from Lamontville township in Durban, said he wrote the song Mkhululi Wezoni when he was in a dark space and it was personal to him. He recorded the song and many others with his group, Lamontville Cultural Ensemble, using his own money for studio time. He said he felt disappointed and exploited by the TV series’ creators and producers. “It is a sad thing that people know me as the man behind the popular song, yet I still live like a pauper,” he said, adding that “The days of exploiting artists are over.”
The show’s creator and executive producer Duma kaNdlovu declined to comment and referred ZiMoja to the channel, Mzansi Magic. Nomsa Philiso, CEO of General Entertainment at Multichoice, confirmed that they were aware of the issue and that their legal teams were working on it. “Yes, this has been brought to our attention as well. The legal teams are trying to find each other. It should be resolved shortly,” she said.
Full Story Source: Umkhokha: The Curse producers sued by soundtrack composer