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Kenyan boy band Sauti Sol threatens to sue ex-PM Raila Odinga over copyright infringement

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Kenyan boy band, Sauti Sol, has threatened to drag former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, and his presidential campaign team, ‘Azimio La Umoja One Kenya’, for alleged musical copyright infringement by using one of their songs, “Extravaganza,” as a soundtrack during the unveiling of NARC Party leader, Martha Karua, as the coalition’s running mate.

In a statement issued by the popular band’s management team on Monday, the group claimed that the action taken by Odinga’s Azimio’s campaign team infringed on their right to property as is “guaranteed in Article 4 of the Constitution of Kenya.”

“It has come to our attention that the Azimio la Umoja campaign through its flagbearer and presidential candidate, the Right Hon. Former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga’s social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) have without license nor authority used one of our more popular original compositions, “Extravaganza,” as a soundtrack to the announcement post of the running mate,” part of the statement read.

The music group added that the action of the former Prime Minister who is running for President in August presidential election, has infringed on their fundamental rights to property and freedom of association.

“We are disappointed by the Azimio La Umoja Campaign’s blatant disregard of our right to control the use of our copyright. We shall be seeking legal remedy for this clear violation of our copyright,” the band management maintained.

However, Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), in a
statement released on Tuesday, stated that its decision to use one of Sauti Sol’s popular songs during the naming of its running mate was an appreciation of the group’s success.

“We would like to assure our celebrated musical team, Sauti Sol, that we love them & appreciate their music so much. The group has carried our country’s flag so high in international fora and every Kenyan appreciates this. Playing their song was a show of love for their work,” ODM stated.

The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) has also faulted the Odinga campaign team, saying it erred in using Souti Sol’s song during the unveiling of Karua as the presidential running mate.

In a statement on Tuesday, KECOBO noted that “Azimio only obtained a Public Performance License that allows them to play both local and international music at its rallies and events which is issued by the Collective Management Organisation, but the use of sound recording with a soundtrack with visual images in a film, video, television show, commercial, or other audio-visual production was not part of the license that was obtained by the Raila Odinga-led faction.”

The song, “Extravaganza” was released in 2019 where the group featured a number of artists including Nviiri, Bensoul, Crystal Asige, and Kaskazini and shot them to international limelight as we as placing the group among the most sought after musical acts from Africa.

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Repentant Germany signs accord to return stolen Nigerian artifacts, Benin Bronzes

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Germany and Nigeria have signed a memorandum of understanding for the return of centuries-old sculptures known as the Benin Bronzes that were taken from Africa in the 19th century.

The memorandum of understanding was signed by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Culture Minister Claudia Roth, as well as Nigeria’s Culture Minister Lai Mohammed and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zubairo Dada.

The German Foreign Minister admitted “it was wrong to take the bronzes; it was wrong to keep them for 120 years.”

Two pieces of artifacts, a head of a king and a relief slab depicting a king with four attendants were handed over to commemorate the return of the pieces.

 

“This is just the beginning of more than 1,000 pieces from the Kingdom of Benin that are still in German museums, and they all belong to the people of Nigeria,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said. “It was wrong to take the bronzes; it was wrong to keep them for 120 years.”

 

The bronzes “are some of Africa’s greatest treasures, but they are also telling the story of colonial violence,” Baerbock said.

African arts litter many museums in Europe and North America. Some of the countries have sought to resolve ownership disputes over objects looted during colonial times.

One of such museums, the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, an authority that oversees many of Berlin’s museums, announced last year that it was beginning formal negotiations on returning pieces that are in its collection.

According to washingtonposthundreds of African artifacts were sold to collections such as the Ethnological Museum in Berlin, which has one of the world’s largest groups of historical objects from the Kingdom of Benin, estimated to include about 530 items, including 440 bronzes. Many of them date from the 16th to the 18th centuries.

Historyextra reports that Benin Bronzes are a collection of more than 3,000 figures and other decorative pieces looted by the British in 1897. The artifacts are housed in at least 161 public and private collections scattered around the world.

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First ever African Fashion exhibition debuts in the UK Saturday

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The first ever African Fashion exhibition which has been touted to be UK’s most extensive exhibition of African fashion artistry is set to debut in London on Saturday, July 2, according to the show organisers.

The epoch making African Fashion event which is aimed at showcasing designers from the black continent, as well as exoose Africa’s diverse heritage and cultures, which will open at London’s prestigious Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum, is also the country’s first exhibition dedicated to the medium.

Apart from the fashion show, there will also be an exhibition are African objects, sketches, photos and film from across the continent, starting from the African liberation years in the 1950s to 1980s to up-and-coming contemporary designers, according to the event organizers.

The project curator, Elisabeth Murray, in a statement, said the scene is set with a section on “African Cultural Renaissance”, highlighting protest posters and literature from independence movements that developed in conjunction with fashion.

“The Vanguard is the central attraction, displaying iconic works by well-known African designers including Niger’s Alphadi, Nigeria’s Shade Thomas-Fahm and Kofi Ansah of Ghana.

“Over 250 objects are on display for the African Fashion exhibition, with approximately half of these drawn from the museum’s collection, including 70 new acquisitions.

“Many of the garments on show are from the personal archives of a selection of iconic mid-twentieth century African designers with one of the highlight being the centre-piece made by Moroccan fashion designer Artsi Ifrach, called “A Dialogue Between Cultures” which was Inspired by the British trench coat and headscarf,” Murray said.

“The conversations and collaborations that have shaped the making of the Africa Fashion exhibition are a testbed for new equitable ways of working together that allow us to imagine and call into being the V&A of the future,” she added.

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