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‘Naomba Sirkal’ mom wants phone companies to pay her

By By KEVINE OMOLLO | October 12th 2013


Neighbours believe she is a millionaire and scholars think she should be. Her voice is a ring tone for thousands of  mobile phone users. And in a country where mobile phone companies charge subscribers for ring tones, many believe owners of the voice-overs are a well paid lot!

But Jane Anyango Adika of the “naomba serikali” fame is not that lucky.

Her name became a household name in May 2012 after media widely covered her plight as a flood victim in the Kano region of Kisumu County.

 “…Sirikali tafadhali niko saidi mbaya kabisaa…” rings her voice.

Her intention was to expose the difficulties faced by Kano residents during long rains. It was after this coverage that her statements found their way into the internet subsequently pulling a big audience.

Unknown people have moved with speed to produce tunes from her statements which are selling nationwide.

“I first heard my voice playing on a bodaboda man’s (cyclist) phone as a ring tone and when I inquired he told me it was all over,” says Anyango.

One week later, her husband Richard Adika came across a CD portraying Anyango’s photo. It was being sold for Sh100 and he decided to buy it.

The CD had a tune in which Anyango had a full song from the statements she made in the media during the floods.

The family says mobile phone service providers had gone further to use the audio as ring tones or entertainment tunes in which they bag millions of shillings.

“Everyone who sees me sees money,” says Anyango.

This started moments after the area MP mentioned her as one of the flood victims to President  Uhuru during the burial of Knut Secretary General Okuta Osiany metres away from her home.

The president promised to act. Word then went round that she had been given Sh 150, 000 and bought land.

The 38-year-old mother of eight says she is looking to have her compensated for the use of her self-made phrase.

Intellectual Property Scholar Ben Sihanya who is also the Dean, School of Law at the University of Nairobi says the work is protected under the ‘right of a performance under the copyright act and Anyango could soon be a millionaire.

“She needs to write to those using the work to pay her out of court,” says Dr Sihanya.

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