Entertainment of Wednesday, 4 March 2015
With his status in Ghana and beyond one would think that back home the music maestro, Kojo Antwi, has been making huge proceeds from his career through royalties.
The singer, performer, songwriter and producer, who is often referred to as Mr. Musicman, has disclosed a meagre amount he recently received from the Copyright Society of Ghana (COSGA).
He told Kweku Sakyi Addo, host of Kweku One-On-One, on TV3, that the last cheque he received from COSGA for a period of four months was about GH¢340, an amount his colleagues in other fields earned in less than a week.
“What do I make as royalties? We have categories and I fall into the first ten (10). The last cheque I received was about three hundred and forty Ghana cedis. I believe it’s for about four months,” he stated.
Expressing his displeasure to the host, a co-musician, Rocky Dawuni, who was on the programme with Kojo, said the situation was due to the fact that Ghana’s system of royalty collection had failed to adopt a logging system, which according to him was an excellent way of collecting royalties on behalf of right owners.
The logging system, he indicated, encodes how long and the number of times a song was aired on radio or TV and determines the royalty the musician is entitled to. He alleged that in Ghana royalty collecting officials only sit in their air-conditioned offices and determine who takes what with any criteria.
“The problem is, we don’t have a system that when radio and TV stations air our songs, some kind of logging system would indicate that for example Rocky Dawuni’s songs are played for that long, that number of times and so he is required to be paid this or that amount.
“We have someone who sits at the office (referring to COSGA office) and decides, ok, the people in this category must have so much than those that follow. We don’t have a system,” he stated, and blamed that on musicians, saying “We have left the music industry in the hands of businessmen”.
Kojo, who is planning a concert with Rocky Dawuni in Tamale, however said his livelihood did not depend on royalties he collected from society, and that he relied on proceeds from his concerts and album sales.
Rocky Dawuni, on his part, said even though his songs are aired here in Ghana, “I never make any effort to go for my royalties”, apparently because it would be too small for him.