Wrangles between Kenyan artists and the Music Copyright Society of Kenya are not new. This time, the body paid a couple of hard-working Kenyan artists a meager Kshs 2, 530 as royalties earned from their music.
Award-winning Kenyan rapper Khaligraph Jones who is known for his hard-hitting music such as ‘Leave Me Alone’, ‘Mazishi’, ‘Toa Tint’, ‘Yego’ and ‘Beat It’ yesterday (13.08.19) shocked Kenyans when he revealed that the revered Music Copyright Society of Kenya sent them a measly amount of 2, 530 for their music.
The livid father of one took to Instagram to call out MCSK for paying him peanuts saying that they should never send him such small amounts as payments for his music because he puts in the work. He went ahead to encourage his followers and fans to pirate his music since he was not getting his rightful cut from the music society.
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MCSK Siku Moja Tutakuja Kuwavuruga uko Mbaya Sana, Msijaribu kunitumia izi peanuts tena, Infact I have given Authorization for my Music to be pirated, Don’t collect money on my Behalf anymore, Nisiskie mmeshika mtu akicheza Wimbo zangu kwa street, msinitumie izo peanuts zenu tena, The OG shall be respected #mrinternational
And fellow performer AnneStellah spoke about the poor pay and discombobulated payment tier system enforced by the national regulatory bodies on Hits984 with Miss Mandi and Nxville yesterday (13.082019). Stellah spoke about her experience with PRSK (Performers Rights Society of Kenya), and also went on to add that ‘Yego’ rapper deserves more respect and equally better pay.
After Papa Jones’ revealing screenshots, top Kenyan female artist Fena also took to social media to weigh in on the matter. The ‘Sijaskia Vibaya’ hitmaker chided the Music Copyright Society of Kenya saying that if she is also receiving the same small amounts from them as royalties she should also be paid the same hefty amounts that Khaligraph Jones gets paid to perform.
Popular Kenyan rapper Kayvoh K Force also jumped on the bandwagon to expose the corrupt music society that is stealing from artists. Kayvoh who has been in the game for awhile branded MCSK as corrupt and complained that the 2,530 amount was not even enough to be used as airtime. He also called on the streamlining of the organization if Kenyan artists are to ever get their hard-earned money from music.
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Nawaambianga hii corruption na uwizi zinatumaliza mnadhani ni mchezo. Why collect for me then keep all the money when you're supposed to protect and enrich me?? Sasa Thao mbili mia tano ata sio pesa ya airtime. We really need to streamline this shit lest we keep getting paid peanuts. . #playkemusic 🇰🇪🎶
Other artistes also took to social media to express their disgust at the ‘peanuts’. They included rapper Wangechi, rising star Nikita Kering, Gospel singer Holy Dave, singer Antoneosoul, former artist turned radio presenter Gidi of the group GidigidiMajimaji and rapper King Kaka.
Former Capital FM producer Joe Muchiri echoed the sentiments by these artists saying that the ‘old people’ who run organizations like MCSK, PRISK and KAMP should be in jail for their corrupt ways. He also compared them to the ‘goons we have in government masquerading as leaders.
Three years top Kenyan music band Elani came out to expose the Music Copyright Society of Kenya for paying them a meager amount of 31,000 as royalties earned from their music something that did not sit well with many considering 2014 was one of the best years in their career. MCSK later reimbursed the trio with a whopping 300,000 after they spoke out.
According to SDE during that period, four of the MCSK accounts were frozen.MCSK Chief Executive Officer Maurice Okoth was arrested over fraud-related accusations. Okoth was accused of obtaining Sh800 million by false pretense. There were even allegations that Okoth had transferred some of the money to his then-wife and former Miss World Kenya Shamilla Kiptoo’s bank accounts.
The body is tasked with collecting royalties on behalf of authors, composers, arrangers, and publishers of musical works.