ViB Mobile, a subsidiary of Virgin Brew Media, last week awarded some of Botswana’s prominent artists royalties amounting to P193, 269. 28. ViB Mobile revealed that King of Kwaito Kwasa, Vee Mampeezy topped the list with a whooping P63, 027. 85, followed by Dj Oats who received P18, 620. 09, Shumba Ratshega with P18, 269. 20 and Lizibo who took home P10, 705.80. The money received by the artists was collected from local ringtone downloads as ViB Mobile works with mobile networks Orange, Be Mobile and Mascom.
“This is something that should motivate other local artists who do not know about us to submit their music so that they too can benefit. Any artist can submit their music and we select the songs that can be downloaded, but they should also be motivated to produce good quality music that people love and can download. There are other local artists who have been paid their royalties and the above only reveals those at the top of the list. This initiative attests to the fact that local artists have made their mark among the country‘s citizens as the money they received was solely collected from ring tone downloads,” the MD of ViB Mobile, Leroy Monaheng told Time Out.
The music industry relies on royalties generated by the licensing of copyrighted songs and recordings as a primary form of payment for musicians. After all, the number one album of the year no longer sells as much as it did at the turn of the millennium. In an interview, the elated Ratshega confirmed the payment and added that he was happy that his craft is paying off. “I submitted my two albums Loso la Monnamogolo and MakhiriKhiri and I got paid this amount because of my song Loso la Monnamogolo, which had the most downloads. This goes to show how much Batswana love and support my music and I would like to encourage fellow artists to take advantage of this opportunity,” he said.
Other artists also confirmed their payments; “I have been in the industry for a while and I am always looking for opportunities that is how I found out about ViB Mobile and submitted my album Better Man and they selected the song Wakanaka. This is an improvement from where we are coming from and ViB Mobile is making a difference and my hope is that it gets better,” said Lizibo.
For his part, the award winning Disc Jockey, Dj Oats, said he submitted four tracks, Ngoma Yoriba, Bu Kalanga, stronger and Muva from his House University Vol 1 album. Vee Mampeezy, who is currently working on his upcoming album Supernatural Vol 3, revealed that his song No Suffer was the most downloaded and that it was not the first time he received royalties from ViB Mobile.