THE music industry requires the collaboration and involvement of all stakeholders to ensure the full protection and benefit due to the artist, Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (Zimura) chief executive officer Polisile Ncube-Chimhini has said.
Addressing stakeholders at a copyright awareness workshop held at Charles Austin Theatre in Masvingo yesterday, Chimhini-Ncube underscored the importance of enlightening and empowering artists to ensure that they are compensated for uses of their work.
“Some of the challenges experienced in the industry can be easily mitigated through training workshops like the one we are having today,” the Zimura chief executive officer said.
She said artists can earn more and lead a decent lifestyle but only if all stakeholders pull in one direction.
“When artists are paid well for their works they are encouraged to create more resulting in a viable music industry,” Chimhini-Ncube said
She pleaded with the government to play a part in solving challenges dogging the creative sector such as piracy and corruption on the part of radio presenters.
“There is lack of political will by the government. If authorities were serious about eradicating piracy in the industry, by now piracy would be a thing of the piracy,” she said.
“This year, Zimura is celebrating 40 years of existence, and as part of celebrations we are taking copyright awareness to different parts of the country for the benefit of the industry,” she said.
Some of the stakeholders who attended the workshop included representatives from National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, judiciary, the police and musicians, among others.
“As Zimura, we do not have arresting powers and for this reason we need the services of the police and the judiciary. As a result, the stakeholders should be engaged and with relevant information for us to win the copyright battles,” said the Zimura head
Zimura, which boasts of over 3300 members, who include composers and publishers of music, was created with the purpose of protecting the rights of musicians under the copyright law.
Zimura was formed in 1982 with a mandate to collect royalties on behalf of composers and publishers of music as well as to protect the performing rights of musicians.
Royalty distribution is done on June 1 every year. Last year, the association distributed royalties amounting to $25.7 million to its members and with the highest paid musician— believed to be Jah Prayzah— pocketing close to $500 000.
Over the years, the association has been fighting battles with different organisations such as broadcasting stations, including ZBC, in a bid to force them to respect the rights of musicians by paying royalties.