Robert Chiwamba, Ezius Mkandawire now COSOMA Board members

By Chisomo Phiri

Renowned poet Robert Chiwamba and filmmaker Ezius Mkandawire are now Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA) Board members following their election on Wednesday afternoon.

During an elective annual general meeting held at COMESA Hall in the Malawi’s commercial city of Blantyre, the two defeated Ronald Muphuwa, Maureen Masamba and Paul Chiwaya.

They have now joined musicians Anthony Dumba, Wendy Harawa, Deborah Debbie Ntopa and Edgar Kachere who were elected on Tuesday during the first part of the two-day meeting.

Initially, there was resistance from the Rights Holder Associations who proposed for the elections to be removed from the agenda for COSOMA secretariat to address issues contained in a petition they were served with last week.

But after a heated debate, the associations gave in and proceeded with the elections albeit with some conditions.

COSOMA is a parastatal organization established in 1992 under section 41 of the Copyright Act with the aim of promoting and protecting the interest of authors, composers, performers, producers of sound recording and broadcasters.

The society also collect and distribute royalties or other remuneration which may accrue to them for their rights.

COSOMA has two roles, namely; as a copyright office, responsible for the implementation of the Copyright Act and, as collective management organization (CMO) responsible for collective management of musical, literary and artistic work.

Its mission is to provide maximum promotion and protection in Malawi of works in which copyright and related rights subsist and to ensure that the owners of such works are adequately remunerated.
Organization Structure.

The Society’s Association members are the Book Publishers Association of Malawi (BPAM), Film Association of Malawi (FAMA), Journalist Association of Malawi (JUMA), Malawi Folk Dance Music and Songs Society (MFDMSS), Malawi Writers Union (MAWU), Musician Union of Malawi (MUM), National Theatre Association of Malawi (NTAM), Photographers Association of Malawi (PHOTAMA), Poetry Association of Malawi (PAM) and Visual Arts Association of Malawi (VAAM).