Little known label claims Fassie music

16 January 2018 - 13:08
By Patience Bambalele and Lesley Mofokeng

A new player has entered the fray in the battle for the music rights for the Brenda Fassie, pictured, biopic.

Little known Thoho Records based in Alberton, East Rand, has confirmed that they own a majority of Fassie's catalogue, contrary to what Fassie's long-time producer Sello "Chicco" Twala claimed on Sunday.

Twala reportedly plans to file a legal application to stop the production of the film about Fassie's life, claiming he had the rights to her music and any films about her.

In a short statement, Thoho Record publishing manager Nazreen Samaai said: "Thoho Records has concluded an agreement with the estate [of] late Brenda Fassie relating to the acquisition of the late Brenda Fassie's catalogue.

"Thoho Records regard the contents of the aforementioned agreement as private and as such is not prepared to publicly discuss and/or disclose same."

Samaai added that they were not part of the film.

"Thoho Records is not involved with the planned film and is not privy to any discussions relating to the film."

Twala rubbished Thoho's claims. "When I was working in the studio composing and recording songs for Brenda, we did that alone. There was no other person involved. For years, I have been receiving royalties of the songs that I have composed for Brenda.

"If this Thoho is a genuine company, why did they not sue me? They did the same with Sis Miriam Makeba, taking away what was due to the family," Twala said.

He insisted that all the music he composed for Fassie was published by Gallo Music Records.

"If I have to go to the public protector's office to get them investigated, I will do that."

However, Vaughn Eaton, who manages Fassie's son Bongani, confirmed that they were aware that Thoho Records owned a majority of Brenda Fassie's catalogue.

"Thoho have a publishing catalogue contract of some of Brenda's music. Brenda's music was published by many companies, including Sony Music and Gallo Music," said Eaton. "It is too early to say what they own will interfere with, what is due to Bongani, because we don't know which songs are going to be used," he said.

TshisaLIVE reports that Bongani lashed out at Twala's attempt to block the making of the biopic.

"Chicco does not own Brenda. He doesn't own the Fassie family. He does not own any of us. We give him to God," Bongani said.