Musicians protest non-payment of royalties by organisations

Kenya Copyright Board (Kecobo) chairman Joshua Kutuny (left). [Bradley Ogolla, Standard]

Musicians from the Kalenjin community have decried alleged non-payment of royalties by various organisations.

They singled out Collection Management Organisations (CMOs) comprising of Kenya Association of Music Producers, Performers Rights Society of Kenya, and Music Copyright Society of Kenya for allegedly not remitting royalties accrued to them from Skiza Tunes and songs.

Speaking at Kapkatet Green Stadium in Bureti Sub-County, Kericho county after a meeting on Saturday, the artists also decried the failure of CMOs to incorporate one of their own to represent them in the three organizations.

The meeting brought together gospel and secular artists from Kericho, Nandi, Bomet, Nakuru, and Narok counties.

The chairperson of Kalenjin Music Association Makiche Arap Rotich claimed that they are under-represented in the organisations. 

He challenged the Kenya Copyright Board (Kecobo) to intervene and ensure balanced representation of artists across the country in CMOS. 

Kecobo chairman Joshua Kutuny assured the artists that the government and the board will address their grievances.

"We are fully committed as a board to ensure that all musicians across the country get their rightful share accruing from royalties and Skiza Tunes," Kutuny said.

He said the government, through the board, will look into the welfare of  artists and ensure proper programmes are put in place and policies that will guarantee them minimum returns.

The former Cherangany MP revealed that the board was in the process of merging the three CMOs mandated to collect royalties for the artists into one organization.

During the meeting, Pastor Joel Kimetto of Great Commission Singers was unanimously elected by the artists as their spokesperson.

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