Hitting the high notes

Durban entertainment's bigwigs came out in numbers this week as a show of support for the KwaZulu-Natal United Music Industry Association (KUMISA)

The Association held a media breakfast at the Docklands Hotel this past week where it announced its roll-out plans for a R3 Million fund allocation from the KZN Department of Economic Development.

Plans include efforts to establish Durban as a music hub on an equal footing as cities like Joburg and Cape Town, with the main aim being to stop the exodus of local music talent to those cities.

With respected industry experts like Karen van Pletsen, Zakes Bantwini, Neil Comfort, Belinda Saville, Nkosinathi Mshengu and others sitting on the Board of KUMISA – the broader industry has expressed confidence in their ability to succeed.

Mshengu, who is chairman of the Board, said their plans included promoting and packaging KZN music for the global market; to protect and advocate for the rights of musicians; and to prioritise research and development in the industry.

One of the first major moves in this direction takes place on June 30 with KUMISA's inaugural annual conference where those in the industry will be able to access workshops and resources on issues like music rights and royalties; accessing radio airplay; developing live music and audiences and more.

The award-winning Bantwini said that for a while now musicians have allowed their fate to be dictated by others and that KUMISA hoped that this week's meeting – referring to the gathering of powers in the industry - was the beginning of change in this regard.

Boetie Maloyi who represented KZN Economic Development said KUMISA was not a “fly-by-night” structure, but a well researched project that has been four years in the making. “We have done the research to see if it’s feasible enough...Music has the potential to grow our economy,” he said.

The inaugural conference is open to all registered KUMISA members. You can register on