People Daily

Governors urge society to release artistes royalties

Four governors have asked the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) to be releasing royalties to musicians promptly. Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu), Paul Chepkwony (Kericho), Joyce Laboso (Bomet) and Stephen Sang (Nandi) said most of the country’s artistes are unable to make ends meet or improve their talent because of failure by MCSK to release their hard-earned money.

They spoke on Sunday at Kapkatet Stadium in Bureti sub-county, Kericho county during a prayer meeting-cum-fundraiser for seven local musicians who died in a road accident at Kamara on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway slightly more than a week ago.

The county bosses said it is unfortunate that musicians do not enjoy benefits of their sweat. Mandago said soon they will hold a meeting with MCSK to explain how they disburse royalties, saying failure to do so, they will prevail upon legislators to amend the laws so that royalties from media houses playing the songs go directly to the singers.

“We will hold a meeting with the society to explain and show us how they have been disbursing royalties to our musicians. We are aware our singers, both secular and gospel, have been leading miserable lives and therefore, we are out to assist them reap maximum benefits from their work,” Mandago said. The governors also disclosed that they will push for laws to punish music pirates.

“Piracy is a big challenge to our musicians and we are going to use our assemblies to make laws to crack down on music pirates. We will make sure the fines are high to stop this menace,” said Laboso. “We are alive to the fact that most musicians are still poor so we are exploring possibilities of setting aside money to support them and to take their careers to the next level,” said Chepkwony.

The event was attended by several MPs from North and South Rift regions. They urged the government to crack down on those breaking traffic rules that have resulted in many road accidents that have claimed many lives of late.

President Uhuru Kenyatta sent Sh5million and deputy president also sent Sh1million through governor Mandago to the family of the late secular musician Weldon Cheruiyot Kenene who died along with his six dances in the grisly road accident. ENDS

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