A cross section of Ugandan musicians and artists has petitioned the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga over the exploitation of their talent.
The group under the umbrella; Uganda Musicians Association (UMA) said that although they engage in a tedious process of composition and production, their final products are exploited and not adequately remunerated. They cited the use of their songs as Ring-back Tunes by telecom companies, which end up taking 80 per cent of the proceeds. The musicians add that the 20 per cent is then shared by producers and middlemen.
George Bush Kagoda, also known as Producer Bushington requested that the proceeds should be shared at a 60-40 per cent rate in order to give artists an opportunity to benefit from their talent and skill. He adds that often, with such low support and payments, artists do not realize the value of their work.
The musicians and artists also want Government through the Uganda Communications Commission UCC to implement the 70 per cent local content provisions, in order to ensure that Ugandan music gets adequate airplay on radio stations. They say that Ugandan music by Ugandan artists has now been replaced by West African songs, mainly from Nigeria.
Their point was emphasized by Rubaga South MP Kato Lubwama, a former artist and Musician. He urged Government to prevail over the media houses and stop foreign artists from suffocating Ugandan talent.
Kagoda also reiterated a call for the enforcement of the copyright law by setting up a Government organ responsible for this.
Kadaga promised to review the concerns raised by the musicians, saying that some of the issues they are raising are pertinent.
Some of the artists and musicians that met the speaker today include Sophie Gombya, King Michael, Sam Gombya, Phina Mugerwa and Rena Nalumansi.