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Sam Fan Thomas elected board chair of new authors’ right commission
Category :- Culture Author :- sandra fomuso 
Posted on September 11, 2017, 5:49 pm
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Sam Fan Thomas, newly elected board chair of SONACAM

The new board chair of the authors’ right commission in Cameroon, the Cameroon National Copyright Corporation SONACAM now has a new board chair. A Cameroonian Makossa artist, Sam Fan Thomas was elected Saturday September 9, 2017 to head the commission alongside Adeline Mbengkoum, during a constitutive and elective general assembly of the body in Yaounde.

The Minister of Arts and Culture, MINAC, Narcisse Moelle Kombi, while chairing this first ever general assembly meeting to install the newly elected executive members, urged the associates to work for the interest of artists and put an end to tribalism.

Other members of the body equally elected during the meeting were, Moussa Haissam, Ottou Marcelin, Calvino, Adeline Mbengkoum, Jacky Biyo, Majoie Ayi, and Sergeo Polo amongst others and some young generation musicians, urban music fans and Afro pop stars like Salatiel, Duc-Z, One Love, and Lab’l to serve as key organs of the corporation. Meanwhile, renowned musicians of international repute like Manu Dibango, Eko Roosevelt and Georges Seba were elected presidents of honour.

Following the statutes of SONACAM, the executive members are to serve for a three year mandate renewable once. During the seminar, the 41-point Statutes of SONACAM which fixes the registration rate for members at 10,000 FCFA was examined and validated by majority of the artists present.

After a series of deliberations on the commission’s new name, a  total of 2,400 of the 3655 artists registered in the national musicians’/ database signed up for the Cameroon National Copyright Corporation, SONACAM. Meanwhile, others are still lagging behind, but it is was rumoured that some followers of the former Societe Civile de l'Art Musical, SOCAM and the Cameroon Music Corporation, CMC, have not yet approved of SONACAM for fear that SONACAM might not respect the ideologies of the initial separate entities, SOCAM and CMC.

The minister reiterated that the holding of this general assembly was aimed at putting an end to two decades of challenges in the management of authors’ rights’ in Cameroon and also in a bid to promote progress of their arts, by securing these authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective music.


The new chairman of the SONACAM board, Sam Fan Thomas is a seasoned musician who made his first album, “Rikiatou” in 1978. He gained international prominence in 1984, with “African Typic Collection”, a very rhythmic title, mixing Makossa and funk that word a golden record.

Amongst his hit songs is New-Bell’s “black tiger”. The songwriter, musician, and renowned businessman released Neng Makassi in 1985 and the following year he came out with Funky Makassi and Sitch. Just a year later in 1987 he produced Makassi again and took a pulse before bouncing back in 1993 with Emotion (1993) and subsequently in 1999 he released No Satisfaction.

It is hoped that Sam Fan Thomas and his team will reconcile all conflicting camps of the music industry in Cameroon and revive that sector in a bid to help musicians reap from their arts.


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