By Johannes Hangula
ALL hell broke loose at the Namibia Society of Composers and Authors of Music (NASCAM) annual general meeting (AGM) last week when Afro-pop musician ‘Big Ben’ Kandukira confronted the NASCAM board members demanding his outstanding performance related payment.
Kandukira said NASCAM has been collecting money from his clients such as City of Windhoek, National Theatre of Namibia and the Warehouse Theatre for his live performances at their shows and concerts -for an estimated period of five years and yet nothing had been paid to him.
Kandikura told the board that he was informed by his clients that NASCAM has been collecting money on his behalf from them, for the reason that they (NASCAM) would add the money collected to the artist’s royalty payment.
The musician said that according to his contract with NASCAM, the institution did not have any right to be collecting performance payments directly from his clients for his individual work.
He further told the board that this has affected his pocket badly as NASCAM still did not deliver a single penny into his account.
At the time of the confrontation at the NASCAM annual general meeting on Saturday, NASCAM board chairperson Silas Kishi Shakumu indicated to Kandukira that the board was not the right party to ask for his payment, while accusing the artist of being disrespectful and causing disorder in the meeting.
However, Kandukira who is the member of the advisory committee to the NASCAM board, told Shakumu to let him air his issues as he was talking about an issue that concerned him as an artist in the music business.
Trying to calm down the heated situation was NASCAM chief executive officer Einoh John Max who told the artists in attendance that NASCAM is still owed more about N$60 000 in royalty related payments and they are working hard to recover them.
Another issue that almost disrupted the meeting was when the artists refused to accept the NASCAM annual financial statement presented by the Grand Namibia Chartered Accountants, as they insisted that the copies presented to them were not signed by the board chairperson resulting into the meeting proceedings to be put on hold as the board chairperson was requested to present the signed copy.
The presented financial statement showed a decline in royalty collections as compared to last year -even though the institution’s membership chart has shown growth- and this evoked disapproval from the already disgruntled members.
The artists further continued to lay complaints to the board on the financial statement, stating that it lacked suff i c i ent details that will enable them to understand how the institution has been utilising funds.
The financial statement further included the auditor’s recommendations advising NASCAM to improve controls over collections, improve collections from music users, and exercise more rights to improve the status quo.
The artists further proposed for alternative payment methods of royalties as they think that the current way of having to collect their annual royalties from the NASCAM head office was no longer effective.
They further called on NASCAM to engage with its members more on the issue of royalties, as they claim that the process is not transparent. The members want NASCAM to embark on an awareness campaign throughout the country as they feel that only a few members have access to the institution’s vital information.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015