Lawi ‘orders’ Mvelani streaming platform for Malawi music to stop playing his songs

Malawi’s Afro-Soul Gospel musician, Lawi, has asked a new music “streaming” platform launched by a Malawian entrepreneur based in London to stop playing his songs.

Dumisani Kapanga recently launched first music streaming platform – – for Malawi to feature artists.

The site – which means “listen” in the national language of Chichewa – is aimed at allowing fans at home and abroad to discover music that isn’t otherwise available in mainstream channels.

But Lawi -born Francis Phiri- has since asked Mvelani.Com not to play his songs and to take his music down within 24 hours.

“Having the music available online will greatly affect the work we are doing on the ground,” the Amaona Kuchedwa star told the site in an email seen by Nyasa Times.

Kapanga said the site will take Lawi’s music offline “temporarily” as they discuss with the artist “how we can buy online broadcast license” for his work.

Now working at an international bank in London, Kapanga, 29 who studied in Scotland at Glasgow Caledonian and Strathclyde universities hopes the new system will allow people from across the world to listen to music from southern Africa.

The side has attracted international headlines since Nyasa Times first wrote about it when it was launched on 23 January  as newspapers in UK including Daily Record and Herald of Scotland.

Mvelani provides music for desktop and mobile devices. The website already contains more than 700 tracks from over 71 artists.

Within its first four days of operation the site recorded over 50,000 minutes of listening time.

“The site already hosts the biggest concentration of Malawi music in the same place online and interest from artists wishing to add their tracks in growing.

“It’s my dream to cultivate the site into the largest music catalogue of its type and to have every song recorded or produced from southern African artists available for download or streaming online and on mobile.”

Kapanga is working with the Malawian authorities as the site grows to establish the chance for featured acts to receive payment per play, similar to larger music sharing platforms such as Spotify.

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12 thoughts on “Lawi ‘orders’ Mvelani streaming platform for Malawi music to stop playing his songs”

  1. hohoba says:

    ndajomba ine kulibeko

  2. mathola says:

    mphwanga wachepa nazo tapanga kale download nde usov

  3. Mike Dulira says:

    Francis Phiri eti???

  4. Wauponda Lawi. I’ve already downloaded your shit. I’ll make bootleg CDs mfana and sell them mma pound!!!

  5. Kes munthali says:

    Music is not free, it costs money to make. What’s the point of gaining exposure without ever earning any money from it? Kapanga is not doing this for free, he will be earning money from advertising based on the number of people visiting the site, as it stands he has no intentions of sharing this windfall with the likes of Lawi and other artists who have actually invested money, time and creativity to actually produce the music. For your information services such as spotify actually pay the artists for playing their music(royalties), and also in certain cicurmstances musicians in Europe and other parts of the world are happy to give away free music because they use a different business model than that in Malawi, in Malawi an artist makes the most money from physical sales of CD’s and DVDs, in Europe and America the number sources of income are tours and the sale of merchandise(tshirts etc), followed by computer downloads of singles at a price. In short thumbs up Lawi.



  7. sain it like it is says:

    i said this before…why should this guy make money off local artists?who do streaming websites help?oimba doesnt get anything infact…a place like the uk where the internet is soo cheap there will then be no need to buy lawis music because they can stream it at will i hope all artists will realise how they are being ripped. off…kudyela anthu pamutu si deal

  8. Antchona says:

    Lawi is getting more exposure from this. Plus they are not giving out downloads it makes sense for his music to be there as he is exposed to a wider audience. Koma ameneyu!

  9. Alungwana says:

    After all Lawi’s music is so classic and somebody should not just make money on such a silver platter. Thats good Mr Lawi. Whats the profit of being famous and get no money in the end!

  10. proust says:

    This is just marketing yourself in UK at expense of struggling Malawian artists who will never know how you swindlers use names of artists in vain. And why tell us his academic credentials — what do they have to do with him stealing Lawi’s music?

  11. gulukunyinda says:

    LAWI nayenso asiye kubera Salif Keita. Akutero ngati kuti naye amayimba za original bwanji? Lawi, joseph tembo, Ndirande voices all copycats with no permission to copy other artists songs

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