Joe Gwaladi tops Malawi music sells: ‘Tumbocidí’ 2012 top-seller

Funny as it may seem, but controversial singer Joe Gwaladi’s 2011 release maintained its momentum to become the biggest seller for the past year.

This is despite the fact that the musician personally sells his own CDs for K200 in Limbe.

The guitar-carrying musician, who is very popular with the masses, is an assured hot-seller, music vendors told Nyasa Times.

Renowned music vendor Defao said although 2012 was a difficult  economic year, Gwaladi defied the statistics.

“It’s like people really love his music and they will buy it even when times are tough,” Defaro said.

Joe Gwaladi in Limbe

According to Defao, apart from Gwaladi’s ‘Tumbocidi’, the other music that did not last on the shelves include Katelele Ching’oma’s ‘Ndili nawo Mwayi’, Thocco Katimba’s ‘Ndidzayimbabe’ and Ndirande Anglican Voices.

However, Defao noted that the biggest threat to the music industry remains rampant piracy.

“The sales have slowed down but the music is not the problem. Musicians are still bringing out some really fresh music that people want to buy but the biggest problem is that of piracy. It’s killing this business,” he said.

Defao noted that the best way forward is to look at alternatives.

“Which is why I would advise musicians that if they want to release music, they should do so on audio tapes and DVDs only because these are hard to pirate unlike the CDs,” he said.

He also accused radio DJs of playing a role in spreading piracy.

“I would also like to plead with DJs to stop leaking the music. Of course, sometimes they do it without knowing when they give the music to their friends but that how music spreads,” he said.

Defao noted that widespread piracy has resulted in musicians getting peanuts for their work.

“Piracy has made life really tough for musicians and I would urge the Copyright Society of Malawi to treat this seriously. Cosoma should also monitor the people that they give the distribution licenses to because some of these people are shrewd,” he said.

But despite these hiccups, Defao claimed music is still big business in Malawi.

“If people love your music, they will still buy your albums. All what we have to do is to ensure that we fight these small problems like piracy,” he said.

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