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Wednesday, December 1, 2021


SAMRO to host 60th AGM in KZN, giving recognition to marginalised music.

The Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) will hold its annual general meeting (AGM) on December 10, 2021, in the form of a hybrid event that will enable physical attendance, as well as participation via various digital platforms.

This year’s AGM also marks a break with tradition, as the meeting will – for the first time in the organisation’s 60-year history – take place in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, instead of in Johannesburg.

SAMRO chairperson Nicholas Maweni explains that the change is part of bringing SAMRO closer to the people and to recognise the work of some of the leading artists who have had an impact on marginalised music genres, such as Maskandi.

Maskandi is a form of Zulu folk music that is largely popular and mostly consumed in the KwaZulu-Natal province, given its rich Zulu heritage. While the genre’s origins can be traced back to the 1960s, newer and more evolved Maskandi acts have gained prominence and recognition in recent years.

“Maskandi is currently the second top-selling music genre in South Africa, after gospel, and we are seeing some leading artists emerging in this space who are even gaining recognition on the world stage,” says Maweni.

“As part of SAMRO’s 60th anniversary celebrations, we would like to honour some of the leading SAMRO composers for their contribution and influence on marginalised music genres.”


Awards and prizes

SAMRO will also be awarding six of the most deserving artists after the AGM, accompanied by prizes for each artist, as well as contribution that SAMRO will make to the artist’s charity organisations.

“It is extremely important for us to continually support charitable causes that are aligned to our members and also make sure that we award and recognise them in their lifetime,” says Maweni.

SAMRO’s primary role is to administer performing rights on behalf of its members, which it does by licensing music users through the collection of licence fees which are then distributed as royalties.

The organisation was formed in December 1961 and started operating with 40 South African composers and 13 music publishers. It has since become the biggest collective management organisation in Africa, representing over 126,000 members locally and over 4million composers and publishers internationally.  


Returning to normal

Following last year’s virtual AGM, held under strict COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, this year’s hybrid format represents a step back towards normality, with people allowed to physically attend the event.

“Our members were some of the hardest hit industry groups during lockdown restrictions, with the ban on live performances essentially preventing them from earning a living. We look forward to things returning to normal and the hybrid AGM presents an opportunity for people to come together again,” says Maweni, adding that all COVID-19 protocols will be strictly observed.

“For those unable to physically attend the meeting in KwaZulu-Natal, there is the option to participate via a variety of digital platforms.”

He adds that while SAMRO is proud to celebrate many of the milestones achieved during its 60-year history, the organisation will continue to work tirelessly to create even more value for its members and the Southern African music ecosystem as a whole.

“As an innovative and progressive organisation, SAMRO is constantly seeking ways to create new revenue streams for our members to ensure that they can earn a decent living,” concludes Maweni.

The venue for the AGM is The Playhouse, 231 Anton Lembede Street, Durban. For more information visit