14 September 2019, as Africa marked the 2nd annual African Copyright and Collective Management Day Collective management organizations were joined by artist ambassadors in a special media tour to petition music users and consumers to pay for royalties.
The day is celebrated by 21 countries in Africa alone and is aimed at drawing attention to the vibrant contributions of music creators and creating awareness on importance of copyright for the millions of creative works throughout Africa and beyond.
The coordinated event is supported at global level by CISAC, the largest worldwide network of authors societies, with members in over 120 countries.
In Kenya, the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) marked the day by doing a door to door media call for music users to pay for royalties.
MCSK ambassadors among them popular rappers Octopizzo and MajiMaji all had one message for music consumers, which was to respect musical arts just like any other profession and pay for contents they use.
MCSK CEO Milcah Kulati who led the team on the media tour, said the joint CMOs decided to celebrate this day by ensuring the body received proper media coverage to properly communicate the need to support artists countrywide.
“Africa is the leading continent where musicians are still not appreciated compared to other continents. So today as we mark the Africa Copyright day, we decided to do a door to door media tour to explain to our audience and music consumers the need to support our artistes. In this day music is a profession like no other so we cannot be consuming content produced by our artistes and not pay for it. This is their source of income and we need to appreciate their hard work. So to mark this day we decided to visit our big media houses send out this message” she said
Kulati also added that the body will be holding a regional training for artistes in order to best explain how the body works.
The need for communication between the joint CMOs and artistes was witnessed recently when a section of artistes took to social media to air out the frustrations regarding the controversial Kes 2530 sent out to every registered members.
The artistes led by Khaligraph Jones called out MCSK for paying them peanuts which at the end turned out to be an equal amount general distribution to every artiste.
“When our artistes took to social media most pf them did not understand that the money was a general distribution, an equal amount we sent to all our registered members but because of that communication gap, we are planning an Annual General Meeting as well as regional training to enable our members to understand the importance of their participation as well as how we carry our distribution. Next month we will be having a scientific distribution and we hope this time things will go smoothly.” She added
Rapper Octopizzo also called on artistes to work together with CMOs to ensure the growth of artistes in Kenya.
“Some of US are always ready to run to social media to castigate MCSK but when we receive lots of money from them we remain silent. Truthfully the last two years ushered in change for artistes and CMOs but we need to work together. Musicians have power, without us there would be no MCSK. We really need to understand how the body works and give them a chance to serve us.” He said
African Copyright and Collective Management Day was marked by countries like
Benin,Burkina Faso,Cape Verde,Djibouti,Ivory Coast,Madagascar,Malawi,Tanzania,Uganda,Zambia,Zimbabwe among others.
Among the media houses that the team paid a visit are Radio Africa Group where they were hosted on Radio Jambo, Royal Media Services, Standard Group and Nation Media group.
Under the hash tag #TheMusicBusKe the team also shared the message on the need to support artistes across social media platforms.