The Massive Challenge Of COSON House


The recently opened COSON House

Never has it ever happened before that any group, guild, or association in the Nigerian creative sector acquired and or owned a property. That was until May 20, 2017 when the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), before the world, inaugurated its own edifice christened COSON House in Lagos.

With that event which attracted a multitude of highbrow personage running across various industrial provinces in the country, it was obvious that beyond the glitz, glamour and fanfare it elicited, recide a stiff and steep challenge to the various groups striding the vast surface of the entertainment industry. That it took COSON under seven years after its emergence, following the Nigerian Copyright Commission’s (NCC) approval as a collective management organization in the Nigerian territory, without a kobo facility from any lending or donor institution, to erect such a massive structure as the COSON House is gigantic feat.

A cross section of guests in a component section of the COSON House (COSON) Arena at the launch

Apart from the COSON House depicting clearly a move towards infrastructural development, COSON from its inception never shied away from human capital development as reflected in the various training and retraining programmes for its staff both at home and abroad.

In focus also is the fact that within a period of just seven years, unlike the outfits before it in the industry, COSON has distributed close to a billion naira among copyright owners in its fold.

But before the advent of COSON in Nigeria for the purposes of collecting royalties on behalf of the teaming copyright owners in music and sound recording in Nigeria, there had existed in the clime, similar organisations for several decades, operating as either copyright collecting societies in visual and literary works, musicians’ association/union, guilds and associations in the movie sector among others. The poser is: what did they accomplish?

For as far as this commentator can recall, they appeared like entities configured to masquerade as pressure groups for the interest, protection and promotion of the practitioners and their trade in the various fields of the very wide creative endeavor but with one concealed agenda; to capitalise on the innocent trust and support of the unsuspecting majority of their members to gun for projects that will only promote their selfish agrandisement.

Quarrel, squabbles, in-fighting, back-biting and qualms occasioned by hunger for power and position charaterised their modus operandi over these several decades to the detriment of the bodies they lead by subterfuge, resulting in an appalling failure to deliver the very dividend of what routinely would have been positive and progressive association of compatriots in the same voyage to the destination of promise.

These and more untoward actions or inactions in the creative industry have over the years, left the entire environment in cluster of marshy and miry cesspool.

Artistes of TOPS All Stars perform to herald the birth of COSON House

Now that the COSON House has come to serve as an epitome of every and any other great feat that can and is yet to be achieved in the service of the greater majority of the citizenry (not just artistes), snow-balling from a committed, diligent and never-say-die leadership of the COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, coupled with a hard-working staff driven by unity of purse, the challenge is to avoid letting success get into their heads nor in the way.

The challenge for those who are regulators and even mere spectators, looking into the industry from outside is to continuously encourage as well as reward hard work and honesty.

The challenge for adversaries and competitors is to eschew envy and jealousy whilst striving to devise a way of emulating what is good and up-lifting in the creative family in order to improve and better the lot of the members for a more paying industry
The challenge is also to jettison bickering and strive to beat the record, if possible, set by the launch of the COSON House.

The challenge of COSON House is obvious. Who dares next?

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