Renowned composer and musician Gamelihle Mbuyane has recently made headlines by resigning from the African National Congress (ANC) and demanding that the party cease playing his music at their events.
Mbuyane, who is well-known for composing powerful struggle songs such as “Asinavalo,” “Asiwafuni Amagwala,” and “Unity Maqabane (Ramaphosa),” which are often played at ANC gatherings, did not provide specific reasons for his decision in his resignation letter.
In his letter, Mbuyane expressed his appreciation for being a member of the ANC and his pride in supporting the party with his voice.
However, he officially notified the party of his immediate resignation, promising to provide reasons at a later stage if necessary. Additionally, he appealed to the ANC to discontinue the use of any songs featuring his voice or written by him during their campaigns.
Mbuyane cited the Copyright Act of 1978 in support of his request. He highlighted that the act governs the reproduction of copyrighted material, stating that libraries and archive depots are authorized to supply photocopies or reproductions for private study or personal use only.
Any other usage would be considered an infringement of the Copyright Act, and Mbuyane asserted his constitutional rights to take legal action against such violations.
Emphasizing his entitlement to the revolutionary songs sung in his voice, Mbuyane firmly requested the ANC to cease using his struggle songs for campaigns.
He specifically mentioned the three songs he composed and performed: “Asinamali,” “Asinavalo,” and “Unity Comrade.”
As of now, the ANC has not responded to Mbuyane’s resignation or his demands regarding the usage of his music. The party’s reaction and potential actions in response to Mbuyane’s decision remain unknown.
Gamelihle Mbuyane’s resignation from the ANC and his request to discontinue the use of his music at party events raises questions about the relationship between artists and political organizations.
While Mbuyane did not disclose the specific reasons for his departure, his decision highlights the importance of artistic integrity and ownership.
Artists often use their creative expressions to convey messages of social and political significance. In the case of struggle songs, these compositions serve as a powerful medium for rallying support, fostering unity, and inspiring change.
However, when political parties appropriate these songs without the consent or endorsement of the artists, conflicts can arise regarding artistic rights and representation.
The Copyright Act of 1978, as referenced by Mbuyane, provides legal protection for artists’ intellectual property. This act grants artists the exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, and perform their works. By asserting his constitutional rights, Mbuyane seeks to safeguard his artistic creations and ensure that they are used in alignment with his intentions.
It remains to be seen how the ANC will respond to Mbuyane’s resignation and his demand to cease using his music. The party’s actions will likely set a precedent for how political organizations engage with artists and respect their rights in the future.
As the story unfolds, it is crucial to recognize the significance of artists’ contributions to political movements and the importance of respecting their creative autonomy. By honoring the rights and wishes of artists like Gamelihle Mbuyane, political parties can foster a culture of collaboration, mutual respect, and ethical engagement with the arts.
Ultimately, the outcome of this situation will shed light on the relationship between artists and political organizations, highlighting the need for clear guidelines and agreements to protect the rights and interests of both parties.