Nova told to pay up

Award-winning artist Vusi Nova is embroiled in a dispute with the family of a 64-year-old Cape Town gogo over his new single, Ndincede.

Nova has been accused by the younger brother of the song’s composer, Tanky- Tanky “Nten-Nteng” Mabutho, of releasing the ditty without signing a contract with the family setting out how needle royalties will be split with the pensioner.

Speaking to Sunday World, the irate Madoda Mabutho said his sister composed the song at the graveyard where they were burying the son of his other brother on March 11. He also said she later polished the lyrics and crooned the song when she was sitting on a couch at home in Langa township.

“She was filmed singing and the video clips, which were posted on social media platforms, went viral,” he said.

He said after watching the clips, Nova, who is based in Gauteng, flew to Cape Town to meet his sister and her daughter Nomama Mabutho.

“When there, he gave them money to buy alcohol and asked to record the lyrics of the song but nothing was finalised and no paperwork was signed,” he said.

Mabutho said he was surprised and shocked when Nova recorded the song and claimed to be the copyright owner.

“Vusi was on Metro FM on Wednesday and said this was his and my sister’s song but he does want to send us paperwork. Now how do we go to Samro [the Southern African Music Rights Organisation] and say this is our song too if we don’t have a written contract with him?”

Nomama became furious when we contacted her for comment. “Where did you get my numbers from because Vusi doesn’t have my numbers?” she asked before she cut us off.

Nova’s manager Sipho Nyathela said the confusion was caused by his delay in sending the paperwork to the family.

“We agreed that she will be credited as the co-composer of the song and will share 50/50 with Vusi because he also contributed lyrics to the song. I was supposed to have sent them paperwork by Friday but couldn’t do so because I was down with flu, but the papers will be sent to them soonest,” he said.

He denied Mabutho’s claims that Nova bribed the old woman with alcohol to lay his hands on the ditty. He said the money he gave her was for “vula mlomo”, a gift of alcohol and electricity, which she asked for before they could discuss how they were going to split the royalties.

“He also paid her to speak to him.”

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