Culture › Music

Cameroon:Musicians step up campaigns ahead of SONACAM elections

Candidates vying for the top job of the authors’ rights corporation, SONACAM are negotiating the final bend as artistes go to the polls on Saturday, December 12 to elect their new leaders.

The elective general assembly of SONACAM is expected to usher in a new lease of life into the corporation as all candidates vying for the top job come with new and fresh ideas.

Be it the experienced Ambroise Messi, Jean Pierre Essome or Ateh Bazore or the youthful exhuberance of Nde Ndifonka aka Wax Dey, all the candidates have rolled out enticing projects which if implemented could turn around the fortunes of the corporation and consequently the lives and wellbeing or artistes.

However, the exercise to get the choosen one will not be an easy given the caliber of candidates on the starting block.

The Protagonists

As Sam Fan Thomas quits the stage to make way for a new team, a section of the corps has been clamouring for a new breed and younger generation to take over. However, that cry seems to be music in the ears to veteran artiste Ambroise Messi who has thrown has not only thrown his hat in but is prepared to throw the kitchen sink in order to pick up the position.

Unveiling his candidacy on December 3, Ambroise Messi stressed his experience on the musical scene counts for much and will be a big asset to the corporation if he is elected.

If elected, he is projecting to send youth on a digital training course, who will in turn return to train the artistes and all SONACAM staff in order to enable them align to the exigencies of digital technology in the management of their careers and rights.

Financial resources have always been the bone of contention among members of SONACAM but Ambroise Messi has promised to dust away this problem and set up a mechanism that will be able to collect their financial dues from the various corporations and partners and ensure appropriate distribution.

Ambroise Messi is not the only candidate banging on his longevity on stage. He will face stiff competition from Jean Pierre Essome aka ‘Tchakala master’ who has been around the scene for about 33 years.

Jean Pierre Essome believe he possesses all the managerial qualities to run the authors’ rights corporation given his vast experience. His major priority, if given a chance, is to revolutionise the management of the structure to meet up with the demands of the artistes.

Another candidate who has been around for so long is Dr Ateh Francis aka Ateh Bazore who believes he wields the magic wand.

To him, spending the past three decades working with various artistes both at home and abroad gives him the leverage to better master their problems. Some of these problems and solution, Ateh Bazore said, are contained in his PhD thesis which he just defended. After spending years exploring how and why SONCAM has failed to live up to the expectations of artistes, Ateh Bazore now believes he is the right man to provide the much needed panacea for the corporation.

If the other three candidates have experience as the common denominator, Nde Ndifonka aka Wax Dey is more confident on the change his youthful exhuberance can bring.  “Mr Arrogant” says he has always been defending the rights of artistes even before the elections and his been quick to point out his role in ensuring the Zangalewa group get their royalty from the 2010 World Cup song performed by Shakira, which was an adaptation from their song.

With a team made of youth and experience, Wax Dey believes he will be able to strike international deals abroad with other structures to ensure artistes equally get their royalties coming from other countries.

Whatever the case, whatever the scenario, the four protagonists start on a level play ground and only one candidate shall be chosen by their peers on Saturday but the biggest winner will be Cameroonian music.


Published on 05.05.2023

Cathedral of St Peter and Paul Bonadibong

One of the most visited sites in Douala. The Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul was built in 1936 by French Spiritans fathers and it…


Subscribe to Journal du Cameroun newsletter and receive all news stories free of charge

Back top