East Africa’s legendary ensemble, the Les Wanyika band intends to sue two Bongo-Fleva artists Diamond Platinumz and his former Wasafi mate Harmonize for stealing their songs.
The two popular bongo flava artists are alleged to copy, plagiarize and sample songs belonging to the classic Les Wanyika band without the latter’s permission.
Speaking in Arusha Les Wanyika’s band leader, Sijali Zuwa, said the two Tanzanian studio crooners and heroes of teeny boppers, have been copying and producing horrid renditions of Les Wanyika’s biggest hit, ‘Sina Makosa,’ recorded in 1978.
Zuwa and the entire Les Wanyika Band are currently in Arusha performing at the Festival of Major African Sports and Culture (FESTAC) taking place in the city.
The Musician pointed out that the artist Rajab Abdul Kahali who calls himself ‘Harmonize,’ copied the ‘Sina Makosa,’ hit wholesale, in 2022.
Harmonize never bothered to change a thing and used the cover version of the Les Wanyika hit to earn money against the law.
Previously Diamond Platinumz, whose real name is Nassib Abdul also sampled the same ‘Sina Makosa,’ hit using a line from the song in his 2017 track ‘Zilipendwa.’
Diamond’s ‘Zilipendwa,’ also attracted a lawsuit from Msondo Ngoma Music Band when it was released in September 2017.
Apparently, Diamond stole the trumpet tunes and lines from the song ‘Ajali,’ by Msondo Ngoma Music Band recorded in 2005 during the reigns of the late TX Moshi William.
Sijali Zuwa who was born in Morogoro and now lives in Kenya, is one of the few remaining band members left from the original Les Wanyika line-up of 1978.
The other one being the bassist Tom Malanga.
Zuwa who plays in the band’s brass section joined Simba Wanyika in 1977, then a very young man.
A revolution in the band saw an exodus of several musicians who left to form an off-shoot ensemble, which became the all-time popular Les Wanyika.
It was during the Les Wanyika days that the band belted popular hits such as Kasuku, Pamela and the highly contested ‘Sina Makosa,’ which was penned by rhythmist Professor Omar Shaaban, featuring the baritone voiced Issa Juma on lead vocals.
Other popular Les Wanyika hits include the other East African anthem, ‘Afro,’ ‘Safari ya Samburu,’ and ‘Sioni wala Sisikii,’ penned by John Ngereza.
Many of the founding members, including John Ngereza, Omar Shaaban and Issa Juma, all Tanzanians from Tanga region, have passed on.
Another Les Wanyika member, Shuaib Ole Monduli who was born in Arusha, returned to Tanzania in 1997, turned into a solo gospel singer and died at the Mount Meru Hospital in Arusha in 2000 after a short illness.