A royal mess

Local artists yet to receive Bot50 royalties

Seven months after the event and local artists have still not received their ‘Bot50 royalties’.

Last year, whilst the nation celebrated its golden anniversary, the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Thapelo Olopeng urged radio stations to adopt an ‘all local’ music line up.

The news was welcomed by the country’s artists, who believed they would be entitled to a bigger share of the pie when it came to royalties.

However, none of the local artists have received any payment, despite their music receiving much higher airplay.

At the beginning of the year, when Voice Entertainment enquired about the late payment of royalties, the then Copyrights Society Of Botswana (COSBOTS) chairman, Solomon Monyame also known as Solo-B in music circles, explained that the delay was because certain users had not complied and were yet to pay COSBOTS.

Back then, Monyame admitted that the majority of artists could expect to walk away with a slightly heavier pay packet due to their music’s increased airtime.

Monyame called out Government through the Department of Broadcasting on Services (DBS), as the biggest user of music for its failure to pay COSBOTS.

He also fingered radio station DUMA FM for failing to comply and delaying the payment of royalties process.

Five months after Monyame’s comments and the artists have still not received their promised royalties.

When asked about this, the Communications department at COSBOTS were all said to be on leave.

Earlier this year, the society’s annual AGM had to be postponed as the board did not form a quorum.

The positions of Chairman and Deputy Chairman were compromised as their terms ended late last year. The position of Treasurer was also vacant.

The next AGM is set for this weekend, where tempers are expected to fly high at the controversy stricken copyright body.

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