On December 31, 2019, artists registered at the National Society for Musical Art (SONACAM) received XAF25,000 each. Supposedly, this meager sum represents the musicians’ copyrights royalties.
“An artist gets XAF25,000 after two years. Even if their song plays once on the radio, isn’t that mockery? Better give them nothing,” shouts an angered Kaïssa Pakito on air, at CRTV-radio. The topic sparked quite a debate on social networks as well.
“SONACAM shares XAF25,000 per head to 1,500 artists! Wandafoul ! Woulililili !” reads a post by journalist Pierre ArnaudNtchapda on his Facebook page.
Now, while it is true that the SONACAM distributed this sum to artists, this is not their “real” royalties. The money was shared to encourage the artists in their work, “ahead of the actual distribution of copyrights royalties,” clarifies Ayuh Etta-Nyoh, regional delegate of SONACAM in the coastal region. Each and everyone must receive payments according to how much of his or her work was used and purchased, adds an official at the ministry of art and culture (MINAC).
The actual distribution should take place in some months, sources at SONACAM indicate. As for the recent special distribution, a total of XAF35,000,000 was equally distributed among 1,416 artists, according to the chairperson of SONACAM, Sam Fan Thomas.
The SONACAM was founded in 2017, after the dissolution of Cameroon Music Corporation (CMC) and the Cameroonian Society for Musical Art (SOCAM).