Trio Mio at Kasarani for Raila Odinga's event
Trio Mio at Kasarani for Raila Odinga's event

Gospel artistes have been told to sign binding contracts with politicians before they perform in their functions to avoid being duped.

Kenya Association of Music Producers director Anthony Musembi said the majority of gospel artistes were suffering due to poor pay for their services. He said some politicians fail to pay them after performances.

“Most artistes will be asked to compose songs for politicians during this electioneering period. Before you accept such a request, get into contracts since some fail to pay after the services are delivered,” Musembi said.

He spoke during the burial ceremony of gospel artiste Shadrack Masai at Kathome in Machakos county on Wednesday.

The ceremony was attended by more than 100 gospel artistes from the entire country, with those from the Ukambani region being the majority. It was presided over by Bishop Pius Muiru of Maximum Miracle Centre who was also recognised as a gospel artiste.

He told gospel artistes to be united and not lose hope.

“Kenyan gospel artistes have no money and no income. As we speak, we don’t have licenses. This means our music is played in hotels and matatus for free, and this is unfair,” Musembi said.

“We don’t sing because of money, but just like a teacher has been given chalk and police armed with a rifle, we have been given a voice hence need to be appreciated by getting value for our music."

He said it was sad to see gospel artistes struggling with life, with the majority unable to pay their bills, including food, rent and school fees for their children.

Musembi said parliamentarians should come up with friendly laws for musicians.

“We want friendly laws. Most of the time the laws being passed in Parliament are meant to benefit tycoons. They don’t see the importance of paying the artistes their rights,” he added.

Musembi asked gospel artistes to be more involved in the formulation process of laws and policies which affect their industry.

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