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Kes 96 million richer! AY speaks of epic battle with telecommunications giant Tigo for 7 long years

Ambwene Yessaya, aka AY, and Hamisi Mwinjuma, aka Mwana FA were embroiled in a 7-year battle with mobile phone company MIC Tanzania (Tigo) for unauthorized use of their music as callback tunes.

The two songs at the centre of the controversy are “Dakika Moja” and “Usije Mjini” featuring AY, Mwana FA and the late Mangwea.

The two musicians decided to sue Tiga after they failed to reach an out-of-court agreement. The case was heard in different courts but finally in April the High Court gave the final ruling.

Almost gave up

The High Court ruled that Tigo compensate Ay and Mwana FA 96 million in special damages in a landmark ruling that could set a precedent in the application of the copyright law in Tanzania.

AY and Mwana FA
AY and Mwana FA

Speaking to Word Is during his recent visit to Kenya to support the East Africa Music awards, AY said that they were almost giving up on the case before a lower court ruled in their favor giving them hope to push on even as Tigo appealed the ruling.

“The case started seven years ago and there were times we got to a point and felt like giving up. But I did not give up and we are happy that justice was done and we have been given what is ours,” said AY.

 

 

 

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Martin Oduor

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