Kenya’s record label collective elects first female Chairperson

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  • KAMP has elected Angela Ndambuki as its first female chairperson in its history a day after the government denied license to the Music Copyright Society of Kenya. 
  • The collective management organization (CMO) also elected four more women to its board out of the seven board members, the highest representation of women in the collective management history. 
  • The new chairperson said the board has agreed to engage stakeholders and policymakers to lobby against the attempts by the regulator to capture CMO through illegitimate and retrogressive legislation.

The body representing Kenyan record labels, The Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP) has elected Angela Ndambuki as its first female chairperson in its history a day after the government denied license to the Music Copyright Society of Kenya. 

The collective management organization (CMO) also elected four more women to its board out of the seven board members, the highest representation of women in the collective management history. 

Speaking after her election Ndambuki promised a  transformational leadership based on transparent revenue models, greater accountability on collections and progressive changes to improve collection management systems and revenue.

“I will engage and work with my colleagues to defend our members’ rights and reject any attempts to undermine the exercise of such rights. Particularly, the currently proposed miscellaneous amendments to the current Copyright Act stand inimical to the growth of the producer collective management activities in the country,”  Ndambuki said in her maiden speech.

The new chairperson said the board has agreed to engage stakeholders and policymakers to lobby against the unfortunate attempts by the regulator to capture CMO through illegitimate and retrogressive legislation.

KAMP also elected Anthony Musembi as its vice chairperson, Suzanne Gachukia as its Chair Licensing and Operations Committee while Faith Kithele was elected as the Chair of the Finance and Human Resource Committee. Monica Kibayu will take over as the Chair Audit and Legal Committee while Geoffrey Kwatemba and Patrick Ndilangu take up committee member roles. 

Following its election, the  board has also pledged to prioritize effective leadership to inspire member confidence in the CMO and reclaim the organization’s lost glory. The incoming administration has also committed to establishing global networking and engagements for the organization to ensure it is aligned with best practices and benefits from some of the most progressive collective management regimes.

MCSK License Denial 

The move follows the government declining to issue the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) a new license for operations in 2023. 

In a letter dated January 12, 2023, addressed to MCSK’s Chief Executive Officer Ezekiel Mutua, The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) attributes the decision to MCSK’s contravening section 46 of the Copyright Act No. 12 of 2001 and the Copyright (Collective Management)  Regulations 2020.

“As per my last communication addressed to your advocates, I wish to inform you that your license application was incomplete for non-payment of requisite fee for 2021 and 2023 licensing period and failure to provide the following documents required by the Copyright regulations 2020: a) List of beneficiaries and amounts paid in royalties for 2022 b) Audited Financial Statements for period up to June 2022 c) Failure to provide an authenticated list of members,” KECOBO Executive Director Edward Sigei stated in the circular.

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As such, KECOBO could not process MCSK’s application as it cannot ascertain the CMOs’ capacity to manage the royalties for authors, composers, arrangers, and publishers category of members through a full review and analysis of the documents of application presented,” 

KECOBO has ordered MSCK to stop collecting music royalties immediately.

“This is therefore to inform you that your application has failed to meet the statutory standard for the above reasons set out. You are directed to cease collection forthwith,” Sigei said. 

Moreover, MCSK had failed to provide a list of its members, its audited financial statement for 2016 and amounts received in royalties.

This is not the first time KECOBO has denied MCSK a license. In 2017 MCSK renewal application was declined by KECOBO over similar reasons.

MCSK boasts of the highest number of members of over 10,000.

 

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