War erupts over Master KG’s reworked Keneilwe hit song

Two of the three original Dalom Kids members, who were involved in the recording of the hit song Keneilwe in its earlier incarnation, are wallowing in poverty.

While they struggle to make ends meet, the new members of Dalom Kids, who sing the reworked version of the song by Master KG and Nkosazana Daughter, are coining it through gigs and royalties.

Celebrate was a song that the original Dalom Kids, which was formed in the 1980s by Magdeline Zungu, Jacqueline Rotwana and Petronella Rampou, who died in 2001, claimed to have written.

They claimed to have been taken aback when the song underwent a title change and was remixed before being released without their consent.

Furthermore, they claimed that although the success of the remix had clearly improved the lives of the up-and-coming artists, it had not changed theirs.

Zungu, 55, stated in an interview with Sunday World this week that the group was started in 1987 by the late, renowned musician and producer Dan Tshanda.

The song’s original title was Celebrate, according to her, and the trio wrote it in 2009.

Zungu claimed that after Tshanda passed away in 2019, Dalom Kids was managed by his widow, Sylvia.

Furthermore, she stated that Sylvia had taken control of the group’s finances and was the reason behind the creation of the new Dalom Kids, who went to events and sang songs from the previous band.

Zungu claimed that they didn’t give anyone permission to remix their song or consent to Master KG to remake the song with sultry Nkosazana Daughter featured on vocals.

The most painful thing, according to her, is that when people ask about them, they are informed that they have passed away. Zungu stated that although other people profit from her labour, life is hard for her and her two children.

“This hurts me so much because we were never consulted, and I hear my song on the radio and television all the time,” she stated.

“It hurts because my kids always want to celebrate when they hear that song, but I cannot let them because, really, what is there to celebrate? It hurts me.”

She went on to say that the song had not even brought her any money.

“I’m very hurt by that,” she said. “If you visit [my home] and observe how I raise my children… it’s heartbreaking. I don’t even receive royalties for my songs. I last received royalties in 2021, when I was paid R500.”

With 11-million YouTube views to date, Keneilwe is a popular account.

After debuting at number five on Spotify’s South Africa’s most streamed songs list, it was named Song of the New Year by four prominent radio stations on December 31.

Rotwana, 50, claimed that when she realised her daughter’s birthday was coming up in a week and she could not even afford to buy cake for her, she realised she had been taken advantage of.

“That song, which we titled Celebrate to honour the years we have spent in the industry, was written in 2009 by Petronella, Magdeline, and me,” said Rotwana.

“Now someone else is reaping the rewards of our work.

“Someone else isenjoying our labour while we remain uncredited. We just want them to credit us and pay us for our work.”

Rotwana and Zungu have initiated legal proceedings by conferring with their respective lawyers to address the issue.

Dalom Kids posted a rate card on social media with images of the original band, stating that the band charges R70 000 for live performances, R50 000
for trackbacks, and R30 000 for appearances.

Alongside Master KG, the new Dalom Kids have been touring the nation, and in two weeks, they are scheduled to play at his birthday concert.

When Master KG called Sylvia to rework the song, he had no idea there were other members of the Dalom Kids, he said in an interview with Sunday World on Thursday.

He said: “I got in touch with Sylvia, the late Dan Tshanda’s wife, since I heard that she is in charge of the late musician’s work.”

“We made arrangements to do the studio session. We reworked the song after she arrived at the studio with three women who went by the name of Dalom Kids.

“According to me, everything was done through Sylvia.

“I had no idea that there were other people involved because we had Dalom Kids in the studio,” he said.

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