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Musicians to receive Covid relief funds soon

2021-03-05  Strauss Lunyangwe

Musicians to receive Covid relief funds soon
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Last year, some artists felt left in the dark when they did not get funding from The National Arts Council of Namibia (NACN) Covid-19 fund.

An amount of N$5 million was allocated for the country’s creative sector by the ministry of education, arts and culture. 

The Relief Fund received a total of 1717 applications across all categories from July to September 2020 – out of which 385 were assessed and 236 approved for funding. 

This translated to 143 individuals, 42 organisations and 51 groups approved applications countrywide.

The Namibian Society of Composers and Authors of Music (NASCAM) CEO John Max said there will be a Covid-19 relief payment towards musicians, as the majority did not benefit from the first fund that was availed through the NACN to assist them during the Covid-19 crisis. 

“NASCAM initiated the process to request the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture to really look into this and get extra funding to help the artists. The money was made available and we are waiting for the verification process for those who have received and those who have not,” he explained.

The artists who will benefit from the funds will be those who have active musical works and have appeared on the royalties’ list that NASCAM provided to the ministry.

“The only delay was from the verification process from the ministry of finance to hand in the right names of the beneficiaries of this payment. I really don’t know when the payments will happen but they communicated with me last Friday and they have said very soon, they will finish with the process.”

When quizzed by this reporter how will this process work, as some artist were not happy with their royalties in December, Max said the processing of payment will be determined by the two ministries. 

“All musicians will be receiving the same or equal amount. Radio Wato of Orukavango NBC last year said it is the only radio service that played more local music and the majority of musicians from that region received very good royalties, and the most highly paid is from that region. This means it is very important to use more local music in order to keep the money in the country,” he noted.

Max could not divulge how much the ministry has made available but assured artists that the relief is coming.

He also warned that artists should brace themselves for the next two years, as royalty payments will be at an all-time low. 

“This year, 2021, royalties and next year, 2022, will be less than all the past years. Royalties are determined by the advertising percentage of that specific year, and that was the reason NASCAM is asking the broadcasters to make use of more local music,” he concluded.

- slunyangwe@nepc.com.na


2021-03-05  Strauss Lunyangwe

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