National Times)-At least 1000 musicians in Cameroon are queuing up at commercial banks across the country to receive payments due their music creations. The payments which began Wednesday December 26 are the first of its kind after years of controversy over the constitution of musical rights corporation.
This end of year payments is unfolding under the banner of the Cameroon Musical Rights Corporation (SONACAM). It is a creation to manage royalties of artists after similar bodies mired in controversy were dissolved.
According to one of the vice presidents of SONACAM Adeline Mbenkum, the concerned musicians have been issued checques to collect their payments at specified banks. Mbenkum explained that, musicians in the Northern Regions will collect their dues in Garoua.
Musicians in the North West and West Regions are receiving their payments in Bafoussam while those in the restive South West Region and Littoral Region are being paid in the Douala. Artists from the rest of the other regions have been receiving their payments at different counters in Yaounde.
Arts and Culture Minister Professor Nacisse Muelle Kombi described the payments as the beginning of a new era in the management of copyrights in Cameroon.
The disbursements to the artists range between FCFA 200.000 to FCFA 400,000. The officials of SONACAM have expressed hope that, in 2019, such payments will become regular to musicians who have often gone on protests over such dues.