As we all heard, the Creative Industry woke up to a shock after the Parliament passed Regulations on Stage Plays and Public Entertainments Act, cap 49 and Film Documentaries and Commercial Still Photography through Uganda Communications Commission. To most of our Creatives, they came in as a surprise but to some of us it was foreseen, which brings us all as stakeholders to questions of; Who needs such regulations? How would they help the Creative Industry? And are these Creative Industry regulations part of our will to associate?
Personally, I do support rules and regulations of the Industry that are agreed on and in favour of the industry but NOT the ones just enforced without our prior admission. Regulations have always been a part of the standard rules of engagement, and a factor I see we shouldn’t strive without, a stand that every creative must abid to inorder to grow.
Imagine if a record label didn’t have internal rules for their Artistes? A huge Artist endorsement deal without rules? Or anything else you’d conduct as a creative without rules, how would the industry look like?
Rules and regulations are meant to build our moral sensitivity or contribute to a fair competitive environment and I don’t see why creatives are always repressive when called upon to correct and contribute to regulating the Industry.
If we had participated, we would have been far from the current conflicts haunting our professions, like the deep entanglement between the media and the Creatives (which ended up as Cyber bullying), issues with our Associations’ leadership, manipulative nature of award organizers, Copyright and Piracy practices, stage dressing vs Anti-Pornography committee and so much more. Without us sitting down to correct these issues by formulating our own rules and regulations, a clique of self seeking individuals like government agencies will always use the chance to influence suppressed bodies that will form showdy/briefcase associations to lobby resources and in the end sell us out.
We have seen organized creative bodies like Collection Societies that effected their 2010 Copyright and Neighboring Rights Regulations which I think, can still use the same ideal to work together to correct more challenges within our Industry. The Federation in-charge of Creative Art Associations seems to have done a commendable job of assisting a number of Creative domains getting to cluster and form Associations that represent their respective professions, that is, Producers, Songwriters, Dramatists, Comedians and much more. I think this is a good gesture but for some reason I think that the federation’s inception has been based on achieving a higher power mentality to validate the objective of creating these individual Associations. I feel it is relying on a concept of containing the overall power upon these domain-based clusters as Creative clubs, to have a monopoly of creative entities that will take us nowhere as an industry. Maybe it is an objective that was well thought out by the old guards for keeping afloat. In my view, if the federation is to remain relevant we should nominate elected leaders straight from well instituted and vibrant Associations to make up the larger committee.
It also takes us further into member formed Associations that make up the federation. Among the key reasons as to why Associations should be established would include; the urge and willingness to be represented, effective leadership, good decision making and an all inclusive membership plan. If these are the reasons as to why creatives form their respective associations, then we will be on right track of selecting effective & outspoken Association leaders as aligned.
I have also noticed that Associations based in Kampala are the big decision makers. We have to understand that the Industry is not only based in one region, but also to all other creative entities across the country who need to have a say in all issues concerning Uganda’s Creative Industry. For not known reasons we have always left out associations like West Nilers, Busoga/Eastern Uganda and am sure we won’t know whether the decisions being made in Kampala will still favour the upcountry creatives as intended to. What’s the reason of naming the association Uganda National Association of …..(something something) when it is actually based and polluted by Kampala residents? It will be much of my interest to know that the federation has also effected the creation of other upcountry Associations or even know that UMA has a hand in musicians based in Arua, Moroto, Kalangala or Kisoro. We must admit that they’re part of us and be accorded the same attention while fostering creation of these regulations.
We should always plan to “associate” for the urge to change the Industry for better, through an all inclusive participation and avoiding briefcase convergence of Associations whose objectives might be for self seeking interests. I haven’t raised this issue on grounds of alleging individuals and their Associations, but only for reasons of formulating capacity building and effective bodies that will represent our cohesive decisions that should be able to engage with the enforcers for a positive cause.
In conclusion, as Industry stakeholders we need to develop a positive response and attitude towards the regulations brought to our domain for examination, discussion and assention.
Let us not always be ignorant and adamant on laws and regulations brought to us in the name of activism. We should always be organized within our domains to welcome these Regulations and be able to participate in correcting the Industry challenges and also be ready to oppose those enforced to us without our involvement.
For God and my Country!!
David Tayebwa is a Ugandan musician (Guitarist), advocate, music tutor and African Musicprenuer. He is the Founder of Opus Music Holdings Ltd (a music Publishing, Record Label and Music Royalty Financing Enterprise) and a Music Copyright Expert/Music Administration Consultant.
For marriage, family, love, job/promotion. Goodluck in your business/lottery, court cases, diseases and other Spells kindly call Kiwanga Doctors on +254 769404965 or CLICK HERE
Do you have a story in your community or an opinion to share with us: Email us at email@example.com