GMI, South Africa's largest and oldest independent music label, was purchased by Lebashe from Tiso Blackstar for R75-million in March. GMI was incorporated into news and entertainment business Arena Holdings, which is 100% owned by the Lebashe Investment Group.

Lebashe chairperson Tshepo Mahloele says that the investment in GMI significantly enhances Arena's entertainment offering to its consumers and the transaction with FlightMode will add tangible value and attract diversified audiences to its platform.

"We are delighted that South Africa's most extensive musical archives reside within Arena Holdings, and it is our intention to explore and reintroduce these amazing classical archives to our mainstream market, locally and globally," says Mahloele.

"The collaboration with internationally renowned DJ Black Coffee will usher in a new era for the South African music business on a global scale," Mahloele adds.

"This is the first of many moves we are working on to change the landscape of both the South African and African music industry. The music in the Gallo catalogue is some of the most culturally rich that has ever been created in this country," says DJ Black Coffee.

The partnership with Lebashe to invest in the catalogue and masters is more than just a business transaction — it's about creating an environment in which artists and creatives have a truly equitable stake," DJ Black Coffee adds.

"It is also the beginning of an industry revolution where African artists are part of structures that are fair and encourage new ways to monetise content," he says.

Gallo Record Company has been in business for more than 90 years and is focused on:
  • the acquisition of music rights
  • representing artists
  • recording
  • manufacturing
  • digital and physical distribution, and
  • the sale of pre-recorded music and video in South Africa and internationally.
As an established music label, it boasts a stable that includes:
  • Lucky Dube
  • Dorothy Masuka
  • Ladysmith Black Mambazo
  • Stimela, & Sipho Hotstix Mabuse, and
  • Mango Groove.
The current music catalogue includes:
  • Bhekumuzi Luthuli
  • Harari
  • Soul Brothers
  • Mahotella Queens
  • Sakhile
  • Thandiswa Mazwai
  • Siphiwe Dana, and
  • Sipho Gumede.
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