October 2016 theme: Royalties

The cliche of the struggling artist is a familiar one. But sadly it's true, especially in Africa, where many countries lack the regulatory structures to ensure that artists receive proper compensation for their work. Many musicians, whose songs we have danced to or sung along to with great fondness, have died penniless. In many cases, that's because they never received the royalties due to them.

African musicians are demanding an increase in royalties. Photo: Music In Africa
African musicians are demanding an increase in royalties. Photo: Music In Africa

In recent times we have witnessed musicians from different parts of the continent making concerted efforts to change this narrative. Kenya is one country where musicians and industry players have recently decided to fight back after decades of being short-changed. Inspired by their campaign, this month's theme looks at royalties. By all accounts, Kenyan artists have been done a great injustice by broadcasters who refuse to pay royalties, or are getting away with paying a minimal fee.

We compiled a selection of texts that deal with the topic of royalties across the continent.

 

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