Sat Mar 25 09:51:42 SAST 2017

Businessman to sue Black Coffee over FAM brand

2017-03-20 11:40:10.0 | Aubrey Mothombeni |

Award-winning international DJ Black Coffee has been threatened with a lawsuit by a Limpopo businessman over the use of a name for his arts academy.

Picture credit: Instagram

This comes after Black Coffee, real name Nathi Maphumulo, announced on social media this month that he will be launching a youth academy called FAM.

But that did not go down well with Matodzi Makananisa, who claimed that the name was similar to his FAME brand.

Makananisa owns FAME Awards, FAM.E Charity Cup and FAME Creative school of the arts and his company is based in Limpopo.

FAME stands for Film, Arts, Music and Entertainment and the vehicle has been used over the past few years to honour top achieving artists of all disciplines from Limpopo.

He also successfully hosted the FAME Charity Cup, which featured PSL and NFD teams including Kaizer Chiefs, Baroka FC, Magesi FC and Black Leopards.

Makananisa said he had written to Black Coffee asking him to drop the name because it was his brand or face legal action.

This, he said, was because "I believe that Black Coffee is trying to kick me out of business with my own idea".

"I fear that Black Coffee's actions are going to confuse people as that would mean that there would be similar schools with the same name, offering the same programmes," he said.

Black Coffee said the matter was in the hands of his lawyers and he therefore could not comment.

Makananisa said Black Coffee's response to his complaint did not sit well with him.

"He said he won't drop the name unless he is advised by his lawyers to do so. He said for now I must just forget it because he won't do anything.

"He is being disrespectful to my brand and I have instructed my lawyers to go ahead with the legal action. I'm suing him. I'm now waiting for my lawyers to advise me on the amount," he said.

Makananisa said Black Coffee's actions were costing him money and potential partners as the name problem was confusing his potential funders in the US who had shown interest in his planned school.

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