Zimura to review artists’ royalties

BY SHARON SIBINDI

The Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (Zimura) is in a dilemma over poor royalties paid to artistes in an inflationary environment.

Royalties from Zimura are supposed to be distributed to artistes who are registered as members of the organisation once per year in June.

The royalties have, however, not been reviewed for years and the artistes have been complaining that it has been taking too long for them to receive their dues.

Zimura executive director Polisile Ncube-Chimhini yesterday told NewsDay Life & Style that they will be reviewing the amount paid to musicians as royalties.

“Our national broadcaster, whose log sheets Zimura relies on, has not digitalised and it takes time to process the analogue log sheets to facilitate a smooth distribution of royalties. It is a pity that royalties get eroded by inflation year-in year-out, but that is a dilemma that both Zimura and the artistes find ourselves in,” she said.

“Zimura is a non-profit making organisation and does not retain any funds at the end of the year. So literally, everything received from broadcasters and other users of music in a particular year is distributed less administration costs.”

Meanwhile, some artistes said they were grateful for the work done by the association even though the monies are peanuts.

Clarence Garura of Kirah Music said: “The money we get is for the whole year and looking at our royalties, they are a year behind. This is because broadcasters are not paying much considering the monopoly they enjoy in airplay.

“We urge government to open up airwaves for new players to come in. For example, in South Africa they are more than 200 radio stations and looking at the artistes, they are getting royalties from each station there. If the other station does not pay up at least they won’t be affected that much. But looking at our situation, we are still far behind and our music has no specific amount charged per hour.

“The economy in the country is not good with the way things are skyrocketing. This means what we have been working for the whole year and inflation takes everything away because we are getting peanuts. It is so difficult.”

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