The Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA) has distributed about 120 million kwacha in royalties to different arts sectors in the country.
Over 71 million kwacha has been disbursed as Blank Media Levy for literary works/books while more than 48 million has gone to films under the same category of royalties.
COSOMA’s Head of Distribution, Shadrick Kumtengo says the royalties have benefitted about 600 artists in Malawi.
“For the films, the distribution period is January to June 2021. This period is looking at 414 works (films). So far, the 48,084,379.82 million kwacha Blank Media Levy has gone to 202 beneficiaries,” he explained.
Added Kumtengo: “In the books sector, the 71,497,514.37 million kwacha royalties is for one year from July 2020 to June 2021 with 380 beneficiaries.
” One of the recipients, comedian Tannah Harawa alias Mr. Broken English urged fellow artists to register with COSOMA to reap benefits like royalties.
“I only registered with COSOMA just last year and I feel I was losing a lot. If I had registered years ago, I could have benefited more but it's never too late,” he said.
Added the artist who got over 150, 000 kwacha: “So far so good and I hope things will be better than this.”
Meanwhile, the copyright body is working on finalizing other royalties to be distributed to different artists soon.
“Our role does not stop. As such, soon we will be announcing distribution of other royalties. We are just doing final touches with our stakeholders.
“Again, this time around, all the money has been distributed digitally either through the Arts SACCO, Airtel Money, TNM Mpamba and bank transfer.
"While we were doing this because of Covid-19, digital payments is the route we are emphasizing on,” he added.