The Musicians Union of Malawi (MUM) has called on the newly appointed Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) board to ensure that artists get their royalties regularly.
This follows the appointment of a nine-member panel to sit on the board of the copyrights body by President Lazarus Chakwera on Wednesday.
Among the notable appointees are former MUM president Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango and National Theatre Association of Malawi leader and veteran actor Eric Mabedi.
To be chaired by Maureen Lynda Sulumba, other members of the board are musicians Kendall Kamwendo and Apostle Enesia Chitheka-Louis and Film Association of Malawi president, Ezaius Mkandawire.
The board will also have secretary for culture, comptroller of statutory corporations and the solicitor general as ex-officio members.
In an interview, MUM president Gloria Manong’a said musicians in the country want the board members to attend to the issue of royalties especially now that many artists are not able to perform due to Covid-19.
“I am impressed with the board. I believe they will deliver and I have trust in them. The arts industry is growing and it is at faster rate. So, it needs people who have a vision. And in this board we have a team we believe will promote arts in the country,” she said.
Manong’a said as musicians they expect the board to assist with a better criterion on distribution of royalties plus enforcement of distribution as it takes time for artists to receive them.
“They have to stand for the artists, protect, promote and support them. They should not allow anyone to infringe on the rights of an artist,” she said.
In a separate interview, Mkandawire said they will focus on the needs of their representatives.
“I am happy that the leadership of the country has entrusted us with responsibilities of steering these State companies. We have aspirations of our members to carry forward and we will not disappoint the members as well as support the various reforms at the society,” he said.
On the issue of royalties, Mkandawire said: “Royalties are given yearly. So, Covid-19 or not we will make sure the artists get their royalties in time.”