Artists smoke peace pipe

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Eska Ponto and Omali Themba

By Seleoe Nonyane

The singers of hit Afro-pop song ‘Mahali’ Eska Ponto and Omali Themba have made peace after a protracted dispute over the track which also caused what seemed to be a rift between the duo.

The two artists sat down at the beginning of last week to iron out their differences and hammer out the way forward on what is the best way to handle the matter. An agreement was reached and contracts were signed.

The new agreement is that Omali is now allowed to perform the track as he pleases on condition that he does not use the track to promote the Sothokids Culture Agency of which he is a member.

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Eska Ponto will not be receiving any payments when Themba performs as per the new agreement.

Preparations for the Mahali music video shoot are also underway.

The owner of the ‘Mahali’ track is Eska Ponto and Omali Themba was just featured on the track. However, the dispute between the two artists rose after Themba was seen performing the song without the composer’s knowledge.

Eska Ponto told theReporter that being the owner of the track, he expected to be informed whenever Omali Themba was to perform the song as per agreement but that never happened.

He believes that Themba had no performing rights over the track, reason being that there was a sort of payment done and normally when a featured artist has been paid or remunerated in any kind of way the said artist can never perform the track without the producer’s permission or knowledge.

“Omali approached me to record his track called SBWL but mentioned that he had no funds. So, we discussed on how we can deal with the matter that is when I proposed that he should include a verse on the Mahali song and that will come as a fee.

“So, I regarded that as a fee I paid for featuring him on my song hence I was expecting to be informed whenever he wanted to perform the track.

“I honestly had no problem with him performing the track, I had just anticipated that I would be told about it,” said Ponto.

He said that from this experience, he has learned that before agreeing to anything it is imperative that one goes through legal procedures so as to avoid such issues.

For his part, Themba said that this misunderstanding has tainted his image and business negatively and he could not comment any further on the issue.

Mahali was released on October 8 2021 but only blew up in March 2022 after Themba performed the track and made rounds on social media.