Cool, calm and composed

Advocate Nkateko Maluleke has taken the reins at Samro and also heads the Wawela music awards./ SANDILE NDLOVU
Advocate Nkateko Maluleke has taken the reins at Samro and also heads the Wawela music awards./ SANDILE NDLOVU

The South African Music Rights Organisation (Samro) has a new sheriff.

Newly appointed head of stakeholder relations, Advocate Nkateko Maluleke, might be a pro in tackling celebrity legal matters, but he admits that his new office is not going to be a walk in the park.

Maluleke has been roped in to turn things around at the organisation.

"I manage all the relationships that we have with the music industry, including our sister companies.

"We look at Risa [Recording Industry of South Africa], Capasso [Composers, Authors and Publishers Association] and Samro, those are the relationships I manage.

"When you look at the industry as a whole, all the broadcasters, be it television or radio, those are relationships I manage as well," Maluleke says.

He has been in office for a month and says that he had to hit the ground running with the organisation of the upcoming Wawela awards.

His day-to-day role includes attending meetings, workshops and doing interviews.

"We have a lot of things that we need to do as Samro.

"We have a lot of stories that people don't know about as well as [a lot of] things that we do on a daily basis.

"I think it's time that we told the story behind the hard work that our teams put into action every week," he says.

"My strategy for the Samro Wawela awards is to send a message about what we do at Samro and to also showcase to our stakeholders."

The Wawela awards - which honour music composers, directors, back-up singers and writers - have been around for six years, but were not held last year due to time constraints.

Maluleke says the awards failed to attract public attention in the past because of strict invite-only policy, which is set to change soon.

"It's always been a very closed invite.

"Those who know about it would and those who don't will not know.

"The drive this year and going forward is different...

"You will see more media partners, more strategic partners and more public participation," he says.

Maluleke, who has made a name for himself by representing celebrity clients, said he has not abandoned his practice, but merely put it on hold to focus on his new office.

"I love the music industry and I have been in this game for a long time as an entertainment lawyer, so when this opportunity came there was no hesitation, it was an automatic transition to say I am going to serve in the industry I like," he says.


The Wawela awards will be held in June in Joburg.

Maluleke says they are still in negotiations with two big broadcasters to have the awards on television.

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