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Crowd-Funding Catching On

One of biggest problems facing Ugandan music is that it is largely an amateur affair.

But slowly by slowly, some educated Ugandans are taking steps to infuse some professionalism in this potential money-mint. Crowd funding is a relatively recent financing phenomenon that has taken the online world by storm.

It is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. While the concept itself is not new, (Ugandans have been thus fundraising for weddings, birthday parties, introductions, etc), the online version is nonetheless recognized as a new and fast-growing.

Fezah, a Kampala-based startup founded by Elijah Kitaka and Ham Namakajjo, is one such crowd-funding platform focused on the creative arts in Africa.

“We raise money through partnerships to reduce costs for creative African artistes to make their new projects happen. After we monetize the content that is created from the artistes” says Namakajjo.

Launched five months ago, www.fezah.com has so far raised money for a number of artistes, including Michael Kitanda and Charmant Mushaga. To leverage these fundraising efforts Fezah is building partnerships across the board with studios, performance venues, and brands to help ensure that artists get the best support to achieve their true potential.

One of those partnerships is with the Kinetic Management Group (KMG), a sports and entertainment management company with a goal of linking corporations, non-governmental organizations and their brands with the marketing and awareness-building opportunities that are available via the sports and entertainment industries in Uganda.

Fezah and KMG are teaming up to identify talented musicians and sports personalities with interesting projects that require funding.

Cedric Babu, the Kinetic Management boss, says: “With the complementary strengths of the two companies, the goal is to make a steep change in the way new music is made, discovered and elevated in the region.”

Typically, a project owner will offer some rewards in exchange for getting a monetary contribution. An artist, for example, wishing to raise money to produce an album, may offer a reward like a download of the album for the minimum level of funding for instance an autographed CD would range from $20, and tickets to the performance of the album for $50.

That way he raises money to create the music and his supporters get something in return for supporting him.

Source : The Observer

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