‘It seems counterintuitive to your ethos’ The Kiffness calls Woolworths out in an open letter

David Scott aka The Kiffness recently wrote an open letter to Woolworths calling them out for not supporting local artists by opting to use a royalty-free streaming site.

Scott points out how their choice seems to be in contrast with their ethos of being ‘proudly South African’ and we couldn’t agree more. Read the full open letter below.


Today I found out via SAMPRA that you have decided to stop supporting South African music in your stores.

I have always supported Woolworths, not only because I like your food & clothes, but because you’ve always supported local music. I remember hearing one of my own songs in one of your stores & I remember thinking how cool it was. Not only because your support is helping me grow my audience, but the fact that I’d be getting a royalty from SAMPRA for every time you played my song.

I remember the week when Johnny Clegg passed, Johnny’s music was playing back to back in your stores for at least a week. This was a great tribute, but it was more than just a nice thought… Every musician that played on those songs is entitled to a music royalty, and it gives me comfort knowing that even though Johnny is no longer with us, his band members still have that extra bit of income to keep them going despite the fact that they might have less gigs. Many musicians in South Africa rely on this passive income to support themselves and their families, and I always thought it was great that you could support artists in this way.

Related | Interview with David Scott: The Kiffness, content with a purpose and his solo debut EP ‘Departures’

Today, you’ve opted to use a system that offers royalty-free music which only enriches the European businessmen that run the music website. While you’re entitled to your own decisions, it seems counterintuitive to your ethos. Not long ago you created an advert featuring the Ndlovu Youth Choir singing Shosholoza in your stores in support of the Springboks on their road to winning the Rugby World Cup. It sent a clear message that you’re a proudly South African brand that celebrates the artists & the sportsmen of our country. It was a great ad, but if you truly do believe you’re a proudly South African brand, then I truly believe you should continue to support South African music.

I know it might cost a little more to get a license from South African Music Performance Rights Association, but think of the many South African artists you’ll be supporting by continuing to play our music. In any case, I’m sure anyone reading this will agree that the whole Woolies shopping experience is just much better hearing good local music anyway!

From a loyal customer,
Dave (aka The Kiffness)

Read the comments online, right here.


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