Kalawa, Universal in multi-million rand deal

By Lenin Ndebele

SOUTH Africa’s pioneering record label, Kalawa Jazmee Records, and Universal Music Group SA have extended by five years a licensing and distribution deal first signed in 2005.

Kalawa boss, Oscar ‘Oskido’ Mdlongwa, was joined by fellow directors Mandla ‘Spikiri’ Mofokeng, Bruce ‘Dope’ Sebitlo, Zynne ‘Mahoota’ Sibika and Emmanuel ‘Mjokes’ Matsane as they put pen to paper on the multi-million rand deal.

Each with a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label in front of them, the Kalawa directors were all smiles as they concluded a deal that has been in the works for months.

Oskido said: “We, as Kalawa Jazmee, have been working with Universal Music Group SA since 2005. We are delighted to inform you that Kalawa has signed a new deal with Universal and extended the relationship for the next five years. More great things ahead.”

It was rumoured earlier this year that Universal was in talks to buy Kalawa in a deal worth R50 million, but Oskido told The Southern Times on Wednesday that Kalawa was not for sale.

Kalawa’s impressive catalogue features the works of artistes such as Mafikizolo, Durban Nyts, Trompies, Bongo Maffin, Oskido, Spikiri, Mjokes, Pepsi, Character, Thebe, Brothers of Peace, Professor, DJ Zinhle and Boom Shaka.

“It was a nonsense story,” Oskido said. “We can’t sell a heritage label, our consciences would not allow us to, and our fans would never let us do that.”