I can now confirm that Cameroonian musicians do now have a federated body or organ that supervises and oversees the running of the industry.
If we all agree that the organizations that existed before are now corrupt and politicized, then I think the pressure or responsibility is now on our senior urban artists to form one independently, or at least try to do something. Artists do not only need to meet when coming up with a collabo or a mutual project, but should sit together in an administrative way and seek to solve some of the issues that they have been disturbing them, or even come up with a delegation that can visit the various ministries to get answers to their problems.
The different departments like artists, producers, publishers, marketers, managers, video directors etc ought to have different associations that come together once in a while and discuss their various activities and come up with statistics seek for ways to solve their failures while praising their successes.
There is the talk of cliques every day because friends or record labels who benefit from each other work only among themselves, share their benefits, praise only each other etc, something which is good no doubt, but if you keep it closed, then you are creating differences and therefore not working for the progress of the industry.
Only when these associations are formed, then we can start talking about forming a federated body that combines these associations into one organ called the “Cameroon Music Industry” or “Cameroon music Body/Board” etc.
There are several advantages of joining associations, we see this from our little Njangi groups, ex-students associations etc. Take a look at the hierarchy in football, we have the school’s sports department, who link up with the sports ministry, then we have Fenasco and FECAFOOT. Now we will argue that FECAFOOT makes foolish laws and has been politicized, but we know only those registered under FECAFOOT get to enjoy her advantages, and they come in to settle many differences between teams, associations etc. This was just an example.
Last week through this week, we’ve seen two artists fighting over a title as one who is bigger and a bigger fan base wants to use the title to call his fans whereas the smaller artist with smaller fan base uses same title for his record label that has existed many years.
This is where that body or organ can come in and try to settle such disputes, without necessarily involving the law as many people are proposing. Federated organs protect the interest of those registered under them, they solve petty matters and ensure things move on perfectly. When we leave all cases to the Facebook court, nothing will be decided upon and we’ll see artists fighting up and down, fans engaging into it etc, making the atmosphere tense and unfriendly.
I call on all urban artists and the other stakeholders, mostly the senior ones who have managed to set a base to think about this, set up a foundation for these associations and ensure unity in the industry.