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Atoht Manje tops media levy

Female acts miss out

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Lilongwe-based musician Atoht Manje, real name Elias Samson Missi, has dominated blank media levy for the period between July to December 2020.

Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) blank media levy distribution sheet for musicians has seen the ‘Huwa’ and ‘Che Patuma’ star getting K2,166,541.98 followed by Kelly Kambwiri, popularly known as Kell Kay, with K2,115,697.44 whereas Yamikani Chikwawe, better known as Saint, is on third with K1,864,299.48.

“I am happy with this development. I just want to thank God for the talent. There are lots of musicians out there and, for me to receive more, it is a testimony that people supported me,” he said.

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He said this will also motivate him to continue pushing and bringing out good music.

The list has also seen young artists dominating the proceedings.

Kell Kay of the ‘Juju’ fame said he was surprised when he received a phone call from Cosoma that he was part of the over K1 million recipients.

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“It doesn’t get any sweeter than this. It is all praise to God. This will surely motivate me. I have dug deeper and I keep on pushing and it’s also a call to fellow young artists to keep pushing,” he said.

Cosoma secretariat organised an event to distribute the money to those who had gotten over K1 million at Lilongwe Hotel Monday.

The event was presided over by Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Michael Usi.

Usi, in an interview Monday, said artists have a responsibility to sell Malawi to the world apart from offering the much needed entertainment.

“They also have a responsibility to advise the government through their talent on areas that need improvement. Again, the money they have received, they need to look at how they can invest it however little it may be,” the minister said.

He also called on the creative sector to come together and have a strategic plan and not fight one another.

“Piracy is another area that needs to be dealt with. People need to buy original copies for artists to benefit. Pirates have found new ways and the creative sector also needs to be on its toes and look at new ways,” Usi said.

He also expressed concern with absence of female acts on the list.

“This is worrisome, we have female artists who are doing well and they need support. Let us support female artists and this also includes DJs out there,” he said.

The process of distribution started Monday with 15 musicians and six filmmakers receiving over K1 million.

Soldier Lucius Banda is on fourth on the list of musicians with K1, 816,279.65. The other musicians on the list of over K1 million are Frank Chawinga, Dan Lufani, Eli Njuchi, Billy Kaunda, Lulu, Skeffa Chimoto, Smart Banda, Shukulani Mwachumu, Gwamba, Martin Nkhata and Patience Namadingo.

In the film category Aaron Chambo is the highest with K1,862,955.90 followed by Stephen Masamba with K1,716,367.69 whereas on third is Yusufu Msosa with K1,519,391.29. The others are Brazio Kanyongolo (K1,348, 199.22), Isaac Misoya (K1,149,743.19) and Davie Masamba (K1, 047,867.22).

The distribution sheet also indicates that 880 musicians have benefited from this consignment with a total of 3,303 songs benefitting. The total amount of money distributed to musicians is K159, 738,954.85.

In the film category, a total of K53, 245,523.16 has been distributed to 175 filmmakers with 337 films benefitting.

Cosoma Head of Documentation and Distribution Shadrick Kumtengo said yesterday that the money would be distributed through electronic transfer such as Airtel Money, Mpamba and bank transfer due to Covid.

“The event went on well and the artists are happy. This is what we want. Artists should benefit from their sweat,” Kumtengo said.

Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) and Cosoma resumed collection of a levy on media storage devices with effect from February 2020.

The levy was introduced on April 15 2019 but collections were suspended on September 18 2019 after some importers obtained a court order restraining MRA and Cosoma from collecting the levy. The resumption of the collection of the levy followed an amicable settlement of the court case.

The levy on media storage devices, also known as Private Copy Levy, is charged on purchases of recordable media as compensation to the rights holders for loss of income due to copyright infringements.

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