Kenyan musicians shouldn’t be paupers-Ezekiel Mutua declares

Ezekiel Mutua wants Kenyans musicians to unionise for better terms

• Ezekiel Mutua has begun his term at the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) with a desire to see musicians' revenue increase significantly.

• Ezekiel Mutua believes that there is strength in numbers and that the musicians should team up to get better terms.

on stage
Ezekiel Mutua on stage
Image: The-Star

Dr. Ezekiel Mutua, the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) CEO is tackling his new job with zeal and passion similar to his previous posting as Kenya Film Classification Board, CEO.

This past weekend, Mr. Mutua was a guest at Malaika Cultural Festival in Voi and had some interesting comments to make about how much artistes in Kenya take home.

The CEO said advised musicians that they stand to benefit in a big way if they register with the organisation which wants to sign about 100,000 musicians for their Collective Management Organization(CMO).

This CMO would help the musicians have a bigger say on what the artists can earn per performance and from record sales.

“We should appreciate our artistes like they are appreciated in other countries. Recently, Barbadian singer Rihanna joined other singers such as Jay Z, Dr. Dre, Kanye West and others in the Forbes annual billionaires list. Why, then, should our musicians be paupers with all the entertainment they give us?” he posed.

“There’s strength in numbers. I urge our musicians to unite by registering as members of MCSK so that we can increase our bargaining power,” he finished off.

Mutua's push for greater income will be welcomed by musicians as they have faced numerous issues as far as the collection of revenue goes.

A September 2017 to 2019 audit of organisations that collect royalties on behalf of musicians revealed unearthed deep-rooted systemic inefficiencies.

The Kenya Copyright Board had commissioned the audit which scrutinised the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK), the Performers Rights Society of Kenya (Prisk), and the Kenya Association of Music Producers (Kamp).

The rot included the diversion of royalties, poor corporate governance structures, suspected fraudulent transactions, poor record-keeping, and the existence of ghost or duplicate members.

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