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Cameroonian Musicians to Disrupt Concert by Nigerian Celebrity Pair 

By Roland Akong

CameroonPostline.com
— The national syndicate of Cameroonian artistes has announced a protest m arch on May 18 in Douala, and May 20 in Yaounde to disrupt a mega concert MTN has scheduled with the Nigerian star artistic duo P Square.

Artists dance during a visit to unity palace

The syndicate announced its intentions to Cameroon’s minister of culture Ama Tutu Muna in a meeting in Yaounde Tuesday May 8. The meeting was aimed at discussing the problems facing Cameroonian artistes.

According to the president of the syndicate Romeo Dika the mobile phone company is refusing to pay authors’ rights dues estimated at about 1 billion FCAFA to SOCAM, the national author rights corporation, and has instead decided to spend huge sums to organise a concert. “MTN downloads songs of artistes to the cell phones of their customers for free and it’s unwilling to pay for the charges levied,” Romeo Dika said.

He added that the mobile telephony company is not also allowed by the law to carry out musical activities in Cameroon like the organization of concerts. Cameroon music industry sources told CameroonPostline.com that local artistes were not happy that they were being sidelined in the organization of such events estimated at 1 billion FCFA.

“It takes many millions to organize a mega concert like the one MTN has planned for P Square. If it can spend that much for a mega concert why is the company unable to pay its authors rights dues?” a furious looking Romeo Dika challenged the mobile phone giant.
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P Square, the Nigerian twin brothers widely recognized in the global music scene for their hit afro American hits, will be having two concerts in Douala and Yaounde respectively. It is their second concert in Cameroon after the one of December 2009.

This concert comes after that of international music celebrity AKON which held last March and organized by Guinness Cameroon. As Cameroon is opening its gates to international artistes, its local artistes are not very pleased as they are sidelined by the organizers. They have questioned why organizers of such concerts do not make similar gestures to Cameroonian musicians as well.

Some observers have questioned the move by local artistes to disrupt the concert by P Square, arguing that their problems with companies refusing to pay copyrights dues do not give them licence to block foreign artistes from Cameroon. These observers hold that music knows no boundary and nationalism should not have any place in the artistic universe.
 

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