Kwaito stars Ishmael Morabe and Arthur Mafokate are at each other’s throats over a royalties dispute that threatens to unravel a once blossoming business partnership.
Morabe intends to sue the 999 Music boss for royalties from four albums: 2001’s Roba Letheka, 2002’s Akuna Mathata,2003’s S’manje Manje and 2016’s Ke Waka.
All the songs were performed by Ishmael under 999 Music. A letter from Morabe’s lawyer, David Dison, which we have seen, calls on Mafokate to pay what is due to Morabe.
“Our client’s records indicate that he, to date, has not yet received any statements for the above-mentioned albums. Could you please send through any proof of payments during the periods. We note that the above-mentioned albums have been released worldwide under 999 Music and Sony Music,” the letter to Mafokate reads.
Mafokate, who founded 999 Music in 1992, responded, saying Morabe should take the matter up with Sony. “I suggest you give us a suggestion as to how we could do his royalties going forward, but the best plan is always to get them from our marketers/ distributors, which in this regard is Sony,” the letter from Mafokate reads in part.
This is not the first time Mafokate and Morabe have crossed swords. In 2005, the two parted ways but Morabe crawled back a decade later to revive his career. Their bromance didn’t last.
Asked why he has taken so long to raise the royalties dispute with Mafokate, Morabe said: “As we all know, taking a person like Arthur Mafokate to court costs money, but it shouldn’t happen this way.”
Mafokate did want to comment. “Leave me alone with that stuff. Are you still chasing a byline? I don’t have time,” he said.
– Sunday World