By DOH JAMES SONKEY
Texts to better regulate authors and royalties’ rights management in category B Music Art have been adopted. The texts were adopted at about 11pm last October 24, 2020 during an inclusive ordinary general assembly of the Cameroonian National Society of Musical Art better known by its French acronym as SONACAM that started at 10am at the Yaounde Conference Centre. Following the adoption of these texts, the arena has therefore been set for Cameroonian musicians from the ten regions to elect by November 21, 2020 at an elective general assembly, new leaders to manage their collective rights in music art.
Placed under the patronage of Arts and Culture Minister, Pierre Ismail Bidoung Mkpatt, the session kick-started with a minute of silence in memory of big music stars recently passed away such as; Manu Dibango, Nguea Laroute, Ntoumba Minka, Charles Lembe, Claude Ndam, Nyangwe Peter Obi, Boma Sylvester etc.
Addressing the crowd of artists, Minister Pierre Ismail Bidoung Mkpatt thanked them for turning up en masse at the Yaounde Conference Centre to “help find efficient and definite solutions that will allow SONACAM to operate with regulatory texts developed, adopted and applied.”
The Minister reiterated that the session is fruit of measures prescribed by the government to ensure appeasement and cleansing in the art sub sector in general so that artists and cultural promoters earn a living from their productions.
“To demonstrate that the options of cleansing, appeasement and bringing together of all artists is constant at the Ministry of Arts and Culture, we decided not to withdraw SONACAM’s license despite the fact that the law gives us the right to do so even after SONACAM’’s leaders were found guilty of grave management faults by the Chairman of the Control Commission and Collective Management Bodies. Instead of accepting total dissolution of SONACAM, government still opted for an inclusive and peaceful solution which is the object of your presence here today”, the Minister explained.
Some musicians said they will never like to re-live the painful era of the absence of a collective rights management body (December 23, 2013 to September 9, 2017) marked by quarrels, division, insults, court cases, special and arbitrary distribution of their rights etc.
SONACAM was therefore created on September 9, 2017 with a mission to assemble all musical artists on noble ideals of mutual respect, permanent creation and tolerance.