Enough is enough! The country’s urban musicians have teamed up to demand their rights and royalties from their music downloads from different internet music sites.
The musicians have since established a grouping called Mingoli Movement, which seeks to fight for their rights and benefits.
Rapper Fredokiss is president of Mingoli Movement and said it is high time artists benefit from their content which is being used by different institutions especially online music stores.
“It’s sad to note that the music of majority of Malawian artists attract heavy downloads yet they get nothing from their work. We want to understand why this is the case in Malawi if we are not convinced, we will see the next course of action,” said Fredokiss.
The movement which boost of over 200 artists including popular urban gurus, seeks to work hand-in-hand with Musician Union of Malawi (MUM) and Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma).
Meanwhile, the grouping is working on a number of initiatives such as website and registration to formalise its operations in the country.
Fredokiss bemoaned that for a long time musicians have been swindled and taken advantage of in the country, but time for action has come.
“Gone are the days when artists were being ripped off because we will make sure that our rights and royalties are protected,” he said.
Fredokiss also asked artists in the country especially urban musicians to register with MUM and Cosoma saying this is in line wuth their mission.
“I urge artists in the country to take the issue of registration with MUM and Cosoma seriously because it is one of the requirements to be part of Mingoli,” said Fredokiss.
Commenting on the matter, MUM president the Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango said it is important for every artist to belong to the union.
“It is good for record and legal purposes to belong to the Union because this helps the growth of the music industry in terms of growth. We can’t not effectively demands our rights if we operate in isolation but together we can exalt pressure and fight for the change we want to happen,” said Mhango.
On issues of copyright and royalties, Cosoma said had started regulating downloads and talking to telephone operators such as Airtel.
“We are aware of the issue of music downloads and as a colletive body we already engaged some of the country’s telephone operators to see how best we can work together to ensure that artists are are renumerated,” said Rosario Kamanga, Cosoma senior licensing officer.