Veterans and budding musicians were at the Rowell old age home recently for a workshop on artist development hosted by the Mlungisi Gegana Academy.
The workshop was conducted in partnership with the International Library of African Music (ILAM) and was focused on challenges facing contemporary and retired artists.
The audience was addressed by Nandi Mnyani from the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (Samro) who spoke on various issues including ownership of music rights and institutions that assist artists with funding.
“We had a presentation about the music industry and its structure from copyright to licensing and artist branding. We spoke about avenues available to artists to help them survive under lockdown. Organisations like Business and Arts South Africa (BASA), the Arts and Culture Trust, National Arts Council, Concerts SA (a mobility fund for virtual concerts) that have all offered artists relief grants.
“SAMRO protects the rights of composers and authors, locally and internationally. They do this by collecting license fees from music users – television broadcasters, radio stations, in-store radio stations, pubs, clubs, retailers, restaurants and all other businesses that broadcast, use or play music. The collected fees are paid in a form of music royalties,” said Mnyani.
Mlungisi Gegana said this was only the beginning of initiatives that would be conducted by his academy in partnership with Ilam and the Sounds and Rhythms Music Association (SARMA), a local arts development organisation.
“We are more than happy with the way the day went. The workshop has made many people is excited. There is so much encouragement and people are happy with what we have started. We are inspired to go forward and make it even better.
“Currently we are interviewing local legends to get their stories and challenges. The research is conducted by Ilam and will be archived,” said Gegana.