When you think you have heard it all, you realize just how unfair life can truly be! And by that what I am referring to is situations in which you put in so much effort but get cheated out out of your just desserts.
Take Elani for instance. The trio have been putting in work when it comes to making hit records and putting out quality videos and as a result, they have been getting massive airplay.
You would think -and rightfully so- that they are getting obscene royalty cheques. You would be right except in this case the obscenity is the paltry amount. Would you believe it if I told you Elani only made 31,000/- Kshs in 2014 as royalties earned?! No, not per month, I mean in the 12 months that made up 2014, with all the hit songs they made, all they got was 31,000/-!
It is noteworthy that Maurice had hitherto addressed the issue about the systems saying that MCSK had upgraded their systems to use Vericast systems which would allow MCSK members to monitor royalties collection online.
Also, when we contacted Bernard Mukaisi of MCSK addressed the matter of how royalties are arrived at and went further to say that when an artist feels aggrieved or has questions pertaining to royalties an artist should write to the finance committee. The finance committee then evaluates the situation and makes a recommendation. <AUDIO ON PAGE 3>
According to them, they want to break the taboo topic of Artist earnings and speak as honestly and candidly as they can about MCSK:
“We received an initial cheque worth Kshs 31,000 as royalties for all our music played in all radio and TV stations in Kenya in one year. Confused, we went to local radio stations and requested information about airplay and how often Elani played on the radio, as well as requesting their logs. The contradictions between the two sets of logs were very visible.”
And it doesn’t end there. When they raised questions about how the figure of 31K was derived, they were summoned for a meeting at MCSK to meet Maurice Okoth, the CEO.
We raised this inconsistency with MCSK and were summoned to the CEO’s office. The meeting ended unresolved. We received a call a few days later with an offer of Kshs. 300,000 which they claimed was “compensation”.
Keep in mind that these are some very intelligent individuals, they are not your stereotypical artists, these are highly educated individuals. The trio is made up of two lawyers and an actuarist!
Before going, they had done the necessary groundwork. By their own admission:
“…we went to local radio stations and requested information about airplay and how often Elani played on the radio, as well as requesting their logs. The contradictions between the two sets of logs were very visible.”
READ WHAT HAPPENED NEXT ON THE NEXT PAGE: