Weeks ago I predicted that there will be trouble brewing with the coming in of the Studio for the Musicians Association of Malawi (MAM).

For some of you who is not in tune with what the Pen is trying to drum out, let me put you in the picture.

MAM got a Digital Music Recording Studio courtesy of the Royal Norwegian Embassy that is assisting Malawi’s Support Scheme through the Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA).
MAM’s Treasurer San Msokera alias San B the said during the unveiling of the same that the K1 million-Studio has sophisticated equipment.
He then said the studio is going to make musicians move away from dependence.
Now soon after the article had run, a number of musicians have been sending me complaints over how the facility is managed.

One musician said the way it has been arranged is like there is no studio for MAM at all because the charges for recording at the facility are not favouring the membership.

In essence there is no profit that individual musicians will benefit from the studio and he laughed off suggestion from San B that the facility is to help them move away from dependence.

Then the other artists that went there say the facility’s equipment is mediocre and this will not make the studio compete with established ones that have better equipment.

Already this will be a minus as without any favours that should go with being a member, even association members who strive for quality will have to think twice before they record there.
It is not clear, read me well here, the kind of procurement that were followed before purchasing the equipment at the MAM studio.

Usually if better procurement is followed, quality equipment can elude those given the responsibility to buy as no temptations to buy cheap equipment and keep the change comes to mind.

MAM studio, I am told, has a condenser microphone and studio monitors that are on one side and while on the other side there is Desktop Computer, a mixer and a keyboard.

But as if this is not enough, without even getting views of the MAM membership on how they want the studio to run, some few selected officials have started dictating what is supposed to be the modus operandi.

As a member driven association, it is high time MAM sat down and elect members in its positions who should equally have the welfare of musicians at heart. The current scenario unfolding is not suggesting encouraging characters of leadership.

Music being what it is should not make its creators poor as is the case with our own artists. In more African countries today, the music industry has thrived so successfully that you cannot even question its management.

In Malawi it is a pity that music is still making those who create it, take it an activity engaged to pass time, other than a career.

What is more disturbing is that the body that is there to help musicians is in fact ripping them off.

Proof is when elections are nearing, you find that they will still cling to their positions; the question to ask is why? As a member driven association, it has to be up to members to look within its inner self and elect people that should steer it to a height that should make each and every musician respectable.

The way the studio facility should be the starting point. Members of the association should be the first ones to help themselves, other than waiting for the Professor to do your job.

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