A video of President Uhuru Kenyatta dancing to Tanzanian Music star Diamond's latest song has sparked different reactions among netizens. The clip that originated from the launch of the 'Kenya ni Mimi' youth dialogue initiative at the Bomas of Kenya has now become a subject of discussion about whether the President is aware of local artists' plights in Kenya.
A section of the netizens claimed that it was ironic for the President to dance to a non-local song while launching an initiative aimed at giving the youth in the country a chance at the big table. Others argued that it was beyond the President's control as he got caught up in a moment that originated with the choice of a song played by the event's deejay.
The song selected for the session happened to be the new hit by Diamond Platnumz and Congolese megastar Koffi Olomide. Diamond later, in an Instagram post, expressed his delight at having a high-profile fan.
"Thank you so much Mr President UHURU KENYATA and the whole Kenya for the Love…Seeing our leaders supporting our Work, means a lot to us and not only as Musicians but the African youth???????? #WAAH! ft @koffiolomide_officiel Link in BIO!" wrote Diamond Platnumz.
The song Waah was released about a week ago, and by Monday, it had already attracted more than 9.7 million views.
This comes barely months after the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) was accused of stealing from Kenyan artistes who invest a lot in their crafts to earn a living.
Taking the lead in the accusations is controversial singer Willy Paul. In a video that went round on social media, Willy Paul was captured, stating that the government had failed to protect artistes by letting MCSK and other music royalties' collectors steal from them.
"It's so sad that the government has failed to help the artists! Yaani tunaibiwa tu na hawa wazeee MCSKK and the rest! We don't work for you!! Some of us came from nothing like me and here you are, feeding your b**ls and O**ies with our money!," a seemingly angry Willy Paul posted.
Other artists, including Rapper Khaligraph Jones, also pointed an accusing finger to the body after it became public knowledge that most local creatives would receive Sh2,500 each as royalties.
"MCSK siku moja tutakuja kuwavuruga uko mbaya sana, msijaribu kunitumia izi peanuts tena, in fact I have given authorization for my music to be pirated. Don't collect money on my behalf anymore. Nisiskie mmeshika mtu akicheza wimbo zangu kwa street, msinitumie izo peanuts zenu tena, The OG shall be respected," he posted. Other musicians, including Holy Dave, Fena, Wangechi, Nikita Kering' and Antoneosoul, also added fuel to the fire.
However, Musician Japheth Kassanga, the Music Copyright Society of Kenya's current chair, came to the defense, claiming a lot of restructuring within the body.
"There is a lot of streamlining and structuring going on at MCSK, that is why things are not yet quite clear, but within 2020 we will have made everything clear, and money will be coming," he said.