Chief Tony Okoroji, celebrated former President of National President of Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria, PMAN, and Chairman of Nigeria’s biggest Copyright Collective Management Organisation, which is also the nation’s most formidable creative industry institution, Copyright Society of Nigeria, COSON, will on Thursday, September 1, deliver a major broadcast to the nation on the state of the Nigerian creative industry in the context of a country that appears to be caught in a paralysis.
The broadcast with the theme, “Music In A Society On The Road To A Socio-political Revolution” will dissect the potentials and predicaments of Nigeria’s creative industries and the key role that all creatives and professionals in Nigeria must urgently play to save the country from going down the abyss.
The broadcast which will originate from the magnificent COSON House in Ikeja at 9.00 am, is a high point of the 2022 “No Music Day.” Arrangements are being concluded to have the broadcast carried by most major broadcast stations and streamed on several internet platforms around the world.
While music will be the point of contact, the broadcast will deal with the violation of the rights of authors, publishers, actors, movie producers, photographers, architects, computer programmers, visual artists and designers of all types and indeed, the violation of the rights of all Nigerians and the dangerous damage this has done to the Nigerian nation. All Nigerian artistes, all those interested in the future of the Nigerian creative industries and all patriotic citizens are invited to tune in and contribute to the discussions that follow on different platforms.
“No Music Day” has its foundation in that historic week in 2009 when Nigerian artistes of different shades embarked on a weeklong hunger-strike staged in front of the National Theatre, Lagos. The hunger strike which was a result of the practitioner’s frustration with the devastating level of intellectual property banditry in Nigeria was the prelude to what has become known as “No Music Day” in Nigeria.
Chief Tony Okoroji who will be making the broadcast was 29 years old when he was elected National President PMAN. He went on to transform the hitherto little-known body into one of the nation’s most powerful professional associations. Chief Okoroji led the team that spread the tentacles of PMAN to every nook and cranny of Nigeria and won national and international respect for Nigerian musicians.
As an activist leader, Tony Okoroji mounted an unrelenting campaign for the review of the nation’s copyright laws, organising demonstrations across the country which forced the hands of the military government. He was eventually appointed into the Committees that redrafted both the Nigerian Copyright Law and its first amendment. He also led the vanguard for the establishment of the Nigerian Copyright Commission and served twice on the Board of the Commission. Chief Okoroji is today one of Africa’s most respected authorities on Intellectual Property and his continues to be an unrelenting voice in the campaign for the rights of creative people across the continent.
Chief Tony Okoroji created and launched the famous Nigerian Music Awards, Africa’s first internationally respected entertainment award event which played host to Heads of State, Ambassadors, Ministers, Governors and stars from all over the world.
Tony Okoroji, a fearless, consistent and unrivalled mover of ideas, a prolific writer and public speaker has written extensively on copyright, attended many courses around the world on copyright and collective management; presented over 100 hundred papers on copyright and the entertainment industry. His groundbreaking book, Copyright & the New Millionaires (the twists and turns in Nigeria) published in 2009 has received great acclaim across the world. He was for some years a counsellor to the Norwegian Copyright Development Association, NORCODE, intervening on behalf of NORCODE and the World Intellectual Property Organisation, WIPO, in several countries in Africa.
Chief Okoroji, a tenacious believer in the rule of law, has probably won more cases in Nigerian courts and set more legal precedents than any other Nigerian.
Chief Tony Okoroji has dedicated a lifetime to the development of popular music in Nigeria and is a winner of many awards including the Pan African Arts and Music Award, Pillar of Entertainment in Nigeria Award, etc. Chief Tony Okoroji writes the much-followed weekly column, Saturday Breakfast with Tony Okoroji, which is widely syndicated on the Internet.