AS PART of their 40th anniversary celebrations, Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (Zimura) has scrapped off registration fees to new members, a move meant to grow the association’s membership base.
Over the years, musicians used to part with US$30 to join the association.
“As part of our 40th year celebrations, we are offering free membership to all music creators. All composers, authors and producers of music who own copyright are now eligible for membership,” Zimura chief executive officer Polisile Ncube-Chimhini said.
Zimura, an association of composers and publishers of music, was formed in 1982 to protect the rights of musicians under the copyright law.
The first musician to join the association that also collects royalties on their behalf is Thomas “Mukanya” Mapfumo followed by Lovemore “Majaivana” Tshuma, Madzikatire Elijah, James Chimombe, Marshal Munhumumwe, Fanyana Dube and Brian Rusike of Pied Pipers to name just but a few.
“Joining Zimura comes with benefits including royalty collection for all local and international market, free legal advice and guidance on contract signing, gratuity for qualifying members, free funeral policy, recommendation letters (including passport and visa applications), free education on copyright related issues and of late incapacitation allowances among others,” she said.
As part of the celebrations again, the organisation has since embarked on a copyright awareness crusade.
“We started with Masvingo in February and our next stop is Gweru. The journey will take us across the country, engaging with our stakeholders and raising awareness on all things copyrights,” Ncube-Chimhini said.
Royalty distribution is done every June 1. Last year, the association distributed royalties amounting to $25,7 million to its members and the highest musician — believed to be Jah Prayzah — pocketed close to $500 000.
Over the years, the association has been fighting battles with different organisations such as broadcasting stations including ZBC, forcing them to respect the rights of musicians by paying royalties.