HARARE – Jah Prayzah, the country’s current favourite musician, stands accused of plagiarising the concept of Tanzania’s Diamond Platnumz’s Mdogo Mdogo for his Jerusarema video.
The striking similarities between the two videos have sent tongues wagging in the local entertainment industry. In Diamond Platnumz’s video a black man, donning traditional attire, falls in love with a white king’s daughter. After initial resistance, the king grants the two his blessings.
The Mdogo Mdogo video was shot in a jungle and features some 18th century King Castles.
Jah Prayzah’s Jerusarema video follows the same route. The high-riding star, who is portrayed in the video as a struggling musician, falls in love with a white princess, angering the royal family in the process.
Eventually Jah Prayzah gets his girl. Just like the Mdogo Mdogo video, the Jerusarema one was shot in a jungle and features some 18th century King Castles.
The fact that Jah Prayzah’s video was only released late last year, more than a year after 27-year-old Diamond Platnumz had released his, has seen the Uzumba-born artiste being attacked in the court of public opinion.
Efforts to get a comment from Jah Prayzah on the similarities of the two videos were fruitless yesterday but his manager Keen Mushapaidze dismissed the resemblance as “pure coincidence.”
“We got to know about Diamond Platnumz’s video when people started commenting on our Facebook after we had released ours.
“That was a mere coincidence of art. Actually, Jah Prayzah is the one who wrote the script and it was initially supposed to be shot in the Australia but we then decided to shoot it in Vumba in the Eastern Highlands,” he said.
Mushapaidze added that nothing is new under the sun.
“When we noticed it, we laughed it off saying it happens in the music industry but it is now slowly getting onto our nerves because some people are starting to talk about it in a negative manner,” he said.
This is not the first time the award-winning Jah Prayzah has been accused of ‘stealing’ a work of art. Last year the Jerusarema singer was accused of copying the beat of the song
“Mwanasikana,” off his “Tsviriyo” album from Ghanaian musician Emmanuel Samini’s 2007 hit
track titled “Samini”.
After incessant attacks on social media, Jah Prayzah later owned up.
The Uzumba-born star said the heard Samini on an African movie that he watched when he was making Tsviriyo in 2013.
“I was watching an African movie and I enjoyed the soundtrack. I did not know it was a released song (on the market). I just thought it was a track made for the movie. The beat was good and I was tempted to use it on one of my songs,” he said.
Jah Prayzah added that he did not know the composer of the song at the time he plagiarised the beat. Interestingly the popular music star won the Outstanding Video award for the contentious ‘Mwanasikana.”
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