• Ababu Namwamba has pledged to help Kenyan artistes earn more from their royalties.
• Ababu paid tribute to the Late actor Mzee Ojwang' saying he died poor despite being a national treasure.
Sports, Youth Affairs and Arts CS Ababu Namwamba has pledged to help Kenyan artistes earn more from their royalties.
Namwamba who spoke today at the National Creative summit, said he will expand Kenya's creative industry to levels that will enable artistes live decently.
He describe the creative industry as a powerful means of enhancing Kenya's identity and as a form of national cohesion.
"In-fact, art is what defines us as a nation," he said.
"Despite the creatives arts in Kenya, creatives in all sectors are not living dignified lives and their creatives have not translated into self-sustains of the creation of employment for economic growth and empowerment. It is depressing to see the lives some creatives lead."
In his remarks, he paid tribute to the Late actor Mzee Ojwang' saying he died poor despite being a national treasure.
"It is shameful that some of the biggest names that have graced our entertainment industry have also suffered some of the worst when it comes to their quality of life," he said.
"You have seen great minds like the late Ojwang'. What kind of life did he lead? and he is not the only one."
Namwamba promised to bring to book those collective management organisations "stealing" money from artistes.
He said artistes will not sign contracts without a lawyer scrutinizing and making sure that it is of their best of interests.
He said he has made a request from the attorney general for a number of legal council who will be stationed at his ministry specifically for purposes of addressing the interests of creatives.
"People take advantage of creatives being ignorant of the law. The lawyers will be free to the artistes and teach them how to package themselves and turn their talents to a business," he said.
"They give you crumb when they are eating your bread yet you own the bread."
Media houses and public vehicles will also have to pay loyalties to renew licenses.
Various music pioneers, government officials and music organisations attended the summit which was also aired online.
The summit came a few weeks after artistes held a press conference to complain about being paid peanuts as royalties by CMOs.
The CMOs are the Music Copyright Society of Kenya, the Performers Rights Society of Kenya and the Kenya Association of Music Producers.
In 2020, the CMOs were found to be major culprits of rot in the entertainment industry.
They were accused of conducting fraudulent transactions, payment of ghost or duplicate members, diversion of royalties, poor corporate governance structures and poor record-keeping.
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