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From The Twittersphere

@LeboLion_SA: KitKat got it right

IT SEEMS the moody overcast weather has whet some Namibians appetite for a fight. A hectic version of 'Food Wars' has broken out on Twitter TLs pitting oshifima lovers against macaroni stans; carb vs carb. At the time of going to press, no briefs from the frontline were available. So, for now, this, that and the other from the sidelines…


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      Govt can collect your royalties

      Photo: Contributed

      THE Ministry of Education, Art and Culture is encouraging local artists to approach the United Nations Commission Office (Natcom) to benefit from the existing copyright framework, especially for copyright protection in the digital environment.

      Natcom received about N$440 000 in 2020 to support artists and culture practitioners in that regard.

      The arts director in the ministry, M'kariko Amugulu, spoke to responding to concerns raised by local artists over the latest royalties payout by the Namibian Society of Composers and Authors of Music (Nascam).

      She, however, expressed concern over artists' lack of interest in supporting the government to improve the existing laws that concern them and the lack of media interest in raising awareness around these issues.

      “The government does not provide band aid treatments, but rather wants to get to the root causes of the matter to improve current conditions,” she said.

      Amugulu highlighted that a policy titled, 'Namibia, Arts, Culture and Heritage', which was adopted in parliament last year, is aimed at improving the environment for artists; to give them more freedom to set up their own structures to promote their Arts and working conditions.

      She also said there were talks between the government and Nascam, after the independent Collection Management Organisation (CMO) approached it for funding.

      “The government has a fully funded body responsible for intellectual property, including copyright, which should be considered to take over the CMO, particularly since the Namibian market is small. However, being independent means the government has no role in the operations of Nascam and the entity is not accountable to the government,” she said.

      Last year, the government sought funding through the European Union and Unesco initiative titled 'Supporting New Regulatory Frameworks to strengthen the Cultural and creative Industries and Promote South-South cooperation' to revise the copyright laws taking into account the digital environment.

      Amugulu is confident that arts can be offer a sustainable career if the public, artists and practitioners take it seriously.

      Currently, the government is the biggest investor in the arts in Namibia through the National Arts Council of Namibia, National Theatre of Namibia and the College of the Arts, as well as the arts faculty at the University of Namibia.

      The government has also extensively supported the arts through various grants given for artistic projects.

      According to Amugulu, the arts is the only industry that was given a lifeline during the Covid-19 pandemic when government provide the N$5 million Covid-19 relief fund.

      She encouraged artists “to organise themselves, apply, work hard and, with the assistance available, to raise their own funds”.

      Currently, international bodies such as Unesco's International Fund for Cultural Diversity are funding the arts and artists. Many opportunities exist under other international agencies, revealed Amugulu, adding that there are many opportunities for artists to promote themselves and their work to make an income online.


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