July 09, 2024

Yvonne Chaka Chaka accuses Chicco Twala of not crediting her for co-composing Umqombothi

Yvonne Chaka Chaka wants Chicco Twala to recognise her contribution to her song

Legendary musician Yvonne Chaka Chaka says she was never credited as a co-composer for her song "Umqombothi," despite adding elements to it. Known as the Princess of Africa, Chaka Chaka said that, as a result of not being credited, she never received any royalties for her contributions to the song.


The song from Chaka Chaka's Thank you Mr DJ album was released in 1987 and composed by musician and record producer Sello 'Chicco' Twala and producer and music writer Attie van Wyk. During an interview on Newzroom Afrika, Chaka Chaka known as the "Princess of Africa,' said that she was never credited for her "Everybody" part in the song. She said that Twala cheated her by not listing her as the co-composer of the song. The song is listed as being produced and composed by Chicco Thwala and Attie Van Wyk. "Umqombothi was written by Chicco, but I added some elements to it. I added that Nawu! Nawu! Madoda and Everybody parts. I have never received a cent from that project. They didn't credit me, and back then, I was young and clueless about the music industry. This is the first time I'm speaking out about this," she said.


Chaka Chaka said that she never approached Chicco about these allegations. "Umqombothi made me who I am today, but I am hurt because I was never credited as the co-composer of the song. I was supposed to be credited as the co-composer of the song as some elements that I contributed to the song," she said. When Chicco was contacted for a comment, he said: "Yvonne earned millions out of live concerts, and the whole of Africa knows that, if not the whole world. Me and Attie, as the writers of the song, didn't even make half a quarter of the money she made from that song. Performers make almost 90% of any hit that a songwriter makes," Twala said. Chaka Chaka was honoured at the 2024 Legends and Legacy All Africa Music Awards.

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