OVER two decades after his death, music legend Leonard Dembo’s music remains immensely popular.
The music of Dembo, who died on April 9, 1996 at the age of 37, after an illustrious career that spawned 15 albums, remains a staple diet for many music lovers.
This is reflected by the Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (Zimura) latest payroll on which Dembo and the late dendera music kingpin Simon Chimbetu are in the top 10.
Chimbetu, who passed away in 2005, is on number eight on the list of Zimura’s top 20 earners while Dembo is number nine.
Zimura distributes royalties annually on the 1st of June based on the success of the song on the market, including the number of airplays on radio, as well as in night clubs, banks and other institutions.
According to the organisation’s Top 20 musicians list, seen by the Daily News, Mukudzeyi Mukombe, better known as Jah Prayzah, was the highest paid, taking home over $400 000 followed by the late Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi, who died in 2019.
Winky D was the third highest paid musician and was closely followed by Ex Q, Freeman and Killer T, in that order.
Interestingly, current sungura kingpin Alick Macheso got paid less than yesteryear giants Chimbetu and Dembo.
This year, the local musicians’ royalties collecting association distributed $23 million to its 3 300 Zimbabwean members.
The lowest paid musician got $12 (less than US$0, 12) while foreign musicians have shared US$30 810 that was collected in the period under review.
The number of foreign members under Zimura runs into millions of composers registered with societies in their respective countries.
Last year the association, which has a mandate of protecting and promoting the rights of musicians, distributed royalties in excess of $4 million, with Jah Prayzah once again being the highest earner.
This year, the State broadcaster ZBC and other general institutions paid $118, 84 per play while Star FM and ZiFM Stereo paid $19, 89 and $12, 55 respectively.
Last year, ZBC paid $5, 31 per play while Star FM paid $0, 75.
Below is the list of Zimura Top 20
1. Mukombe Mukudzei aka Jah Prayzah
2. Mtukudzi Oliver
3. Chirumiko Wallace aka Winky D
4. Munhenga Enock aka Ex Q
5. Chizanga Emegy aka Freeman
6. Kusikwenyu Kelvin aka Killer T
7. Shonai Takura Bernard aka Takura
8. Chimbetu Simon
9.Tazvivinga Dembo aka Leonard Dembo
10. Macheso Alick
11.Musaka Soul Muzavazi aka Soul Jah Love
12. Tshuma Lovemore aka Lovemore Majaivana
13.Chiwadzwa Carrington S aka Nutty O
14.Makamure Obey aka Tocky Vibes
15. Skhuza Solomon
16. Majahawodwa Ndlovu aka Jeys Marabini
17. Kawara Alexio
18. Zacharia Nicholas
19. Sizwangendaba Ncube