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Cosoma’s senior officer laid to rest

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GONE TOO SOON—Kamanga

Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) Senior Licensing Officer, Rosario Kamanga, was laid to rest at his home, Unyolo Village, Traditional Authority Mtwalo in Mzimba District on Saturday.

Kamanga died on Thursday on arrival at the hospital after sustaining serious injuries following an accident along the Bunda-Mitundu Road in Lilongwe according to Lilongwe Police Deputy Public Relations Officer, Foster Benjamin.

Cosoma Executive Director, Dora Makwinja, said they were shocked by Kamanga’s death.

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“We are at a loss and his death has left us with a very big gap. He contributed a lot to the collective management work in Africa. He mentored the Zambian, Gambian and Tanzanian collective management organisations,” Makwinja said.

Makwinja described the late Kamanga who joined Cosoma in 1994 as dynamic, innovative and hard working.

Charles Batambuze from Uganda writing on Facebook on Friday, said Kamanga’s name has been synonymous with Reproduction rights management in Africa.

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“I first met him in Namibia in 2009 at a training that was organised for Africa by Wipo and Norcode. Following that training, I was fully convinced that Africa’s creative sector could greatly benefit from strengthening copyright management to permit ease of licensing and expansion of revenue streams for authors. It’s after Namibia that work to establish Uganda Reproduction Rights Organisation(URRO) began. You will be greatly missed by all of us in the copyright field from across Africa and abroad,” Batambuze said.

Several players in the creative industry in the country mourned Kamanga on Friday saying he contributed greatly to the growth of the creative industry and that among others, many artists got aware of copyright and all issues to do with piracy because of him.

“He had passion for arts and for his job, he was a man who has been there for Cosoma since its inception in thick and thin situations.

“This is a big loss to Cosoma. The country has lost a committed individual with a high force power of inputs that changed and would continue to bring change to the creative sector,” veteran musician and Cosoma board member, Charles Sinetre said.

The deceased’s son Albert, who has also expanded his base in the creative industry, showing the best of photography and runs Zeeya Creations, said he was saddened by his father’s death.

“You made the man that I am today. I wish it was all a dream but it is not. The car accident has taken your life. What hurts most is that you are gone for good and you didn’t get to see your grandson,” wrote Albert on his Facebook page on Friday morning.

Meanwhile, the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (Aripo) has described Kamanga’s death as a big loss to the African continent.

In its condolence message, Aripo says Kamanga worked tirelessly in shaping the collective management organisation systems in Aripo member states and that he will be remembered in his active engagement to capacitate and mentor players in the continent.

“He worked with the Malawi team to introduce the Public Lending Right being the first country in Africa to introduce it. He was actively involved with International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisation (IFFRO) and more specifically with the IFFRO Afr ican Development Committee,” reads the statement.

Aripo also says Kamanga was involved in key projects such as the Integrated Arts Development spearheaded by Cosoma for the benefit of the creative sector in Malawi and funded by the government of Malawi.

Kamanga was also involved in the Cultural Support Scheme funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Malawi which has benefited a lot of artists and associations.

Born in 1968, Kamanga is survived by a wife and three children.

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