Yvonne Chaka Chaka speaks out about not being credited on ‘Umqombothi’

Yvonne Chaka Chaka. Picture: INSTAGRAM

Yvonne Chaka Chaka. Picture: INSTAGRAM

Published Jul 9, 2024


South African musician Yvonne Chaka Chaka recently revealed that she never received credit or royalties for her contribution to "Umqombothi."

Released in 1987 as part of her "Thank You Mr. DJ" album, the song was officially composed by Sello “Chicco” Twala and Attie van Wyk.

Chaka Chaka, known as the "Princess of Africa", shared her side of the story during an interview on “Newzroom Afrika”.

"Umqombothi" is a well-loved song across Africa but Chaka Chaka claims her creative input was never acknowledged.

She said: "I added the Nawu! Nawu! Madoda and Everybody parts.“

Despite her contributions, she was not listed as a co-composer.

"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.

The song's official credits list Twala and Van Wyk as the sole composers. Chaka Chaka admitted that she never confronted Twala about the issue.

"Umqombothi made me who I am today but I am hurt because I was never credited as the co-composer of the song."

Meanwhile, Twala defended the decision.

"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," he added.

Chaka Chaka was recently honoured at the 2024 Legends and Legacy All Africa Music Awards, highlighting her impact on the music industry.