Beyond Personal Interest

24 heures
LUKONG Pius NYUYLIME | 13-09-2017 22:19

Every time issues related to authors’ rights in the musical sector are raised in Cameroon, the atmosphere is heavily charged with tension. The wrangling between these professionals who entertain and accompany Cameroonians in their daily activities through music (in media houses, family homes, drinking spots, night clubs, vehicles, business places and even at funerals) seems to be long overdue and is fast becoming a child’s play. There is no better way of describing it, for, how come people having such rare talent to come by  (music) should afford to toy with it to the extent of sacrificing it to the benefit of outsiders. And as fate would have it, any time musicians meet to rectify things for the better, all agree they are meeting in the interest of all the artists but incidentally disagree on the approach to take to better protect such a common interest. What many would not say openly is that they allow personal interest to override what they pompously portray as general interest.
The creation of yet another company, the Cameroon National Copyright Corporation (SONACAM) instructed by the Minister of Arts and Culture, with the aim of better managing authors’ rights in Cameroon, has as expected, opened another chapter. Even though a total of 2,400 of the 3,655 artists registered in the national musicians' database signed up for the new corporation, giving a percentage participation of 65.7, dissenting voices are already building up and are highly feared may again paralyse the whole process. The interesting thing in all these wrangling and operating in perpetual dispersed ranks is the general cry from the same artists on how their authors’ rights are being blocked in several structures. What they pretend not to know is the fact that such funds cannot be released from their sources in an uncoordinated manner.
Led by Sam Fan Thomas as President and Adeline Mbenkum as vice, elected during a constituent and elective General Assembly, SONACAM which equally has as members of the executive other musicians including Moussa Haissam, Ottou Marcelin, Calvino, Jacky Biyo, Majoie Ayi, Sergeo Polo and some musicians of the younger generation, urban music fans and Afropop, is however hope rekindling, especially as it is the initiative of the Minister in charge. If SONACAM were to succeed in piloting the whole process of hatchet burial, then the ugly past will go into the negative part of history which had as main players, SOCADRA, SOCINADA, SOCACIM, CMC and SOCAM. But the level hands of the law remain very much alive with some artists swearing by it. Who among the executive and the judiciary will be declared winner in this fight is the question on many minds?

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