The home of businessman S.K Macharia played host to several musicians, politicians and other businessmen Tuesday, for the Kenyan musicians’ musical show.
The event taking place at Macharia’s Ndakaini home in Gatanga, Murang’a County is dubbed Skiza Thanksgiving Luncheon program- aimed at highlighting the plight of musicians and gather support for Kenya’s identity.
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga arrived just minutes to 12 pm in the company of his wife Ida and Governors Mwangi Wa Iria (Murang’a) Alfred Mutua (Machakos), and Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), breaking into song and dance.
The artists said they want to express their gratitude to President Uhuru Kenyatta for exempting ringtones from excise duty.
The move, which took effect on July 1, 2021 will see an increase in artists’ earnings from their songs on mobile devices.
Speaking to Citizen TV, musician Ben Githae stressed how artists had suffered since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, but was glad that there was now a ray of hope.
“Musicians tumekuwa tukiumia sana. Wakenya wamekuwa wakidownload nyimbo zetu kwenye skiza lakini ile percentage tunapata ni kidogo sana. (Kenyan musicians have suffered for long considering the small amounts we got from skiza tunes), the Tano-Tena hitmaker lamented.
Raila, who is the Chief Guest humored Kenyans on social media, noting how musicians are getting creative with song lyrics.
“Mejja’s Tabia za Wakenya hit was playing somewhere this morning and it got me thinking it is true! Masaa na mkenya lazima atachelewa lakini sherehe?!..” he tweeted.
Several political leaders are in attendance among them Governors James Nyoro (Kiambu), James Ongwae (Kisii), host MP Nduati Ngugi (Gatanga), Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, Siaya Senator James Orengo and former presidential aspirant Peter Kenneth.
Others are MPs Kimari (Mathioya), Maina Kamanda) Maoka Maole (Igembe North). Popular Kenyan-based Congolese Gospel artist Solomon Mkubwa and several local musicians drawn from different parts of the country are also in attendance.
Kenyan creatives, among them artistes suffered a huge blow brought forth by the pandemic.
In his new year’s address, President Uhuru termed the entertainment industry a “critical plank of our economy” and promised to focus on it this year to revitalise the economy.
He promised to have some legacy issues that have long plagued copyright holders resolved, and proposed to have all rights holders register on a National Rights Registry.
“To receive royalties, content service providers will be required to channel all payments of royalties through a single, centrally managed account at the Kenya Copyright Board,” Uhuru said, noting that this would ensure oversight by the regulator.
This story is being updated…