Langata MP Felix Odiwuor, popularly known as Jalang'o, has expressed his frustration in persuading the government to abandon the proposed 15% tax on content creators.
Jalang'o exposes lavish lifestyles of creators opposing 15% tax
Jalang'o lists & criticizes wealthy content creators fighting 15% tax
In a Friday YouTube video, Jalang'o explained the difficulties he encountered while advocating for fellow content creators, citing the lavish lifestyles of some individuals as a stumbling block in convincing MPs to drop the tax proposal.
"I think this is probably the hardest video I've ever had to make because of how difficult i have found myself in a situation on this finance bill 2023 where there is a proposal that content creator pay 15 percent," Jalang'o said.
As he attended a parliamentary meeting in Kisumu, Jalango seeked a solution that will both protect content creators' interests and address the government's revenue needs.
Challenges Jalang'o is facing while convincing MPs to drop 15% proposal
Jalang'o began by acknowledging the complexity of the situation surrounding the Finance Bill 2023 and the proposal to impose a 15% tax on content creators.
As a content creator himself, he felt a responsibility to fight for the interests of fellow creators, either by exempting them from paying the tax or negotiating a more reasonable rate.
"I am a content creator and am supposed to fight for fellow content creators to either not pay or they must give a counter offer to the government on what they wish or will to pay," He said.
However, one of the main challenges he faced is convincing the government and those unfamiliar with content creation that many creators do not possess substantial financial resources.
Jalang'o expressed frustration over the perception that content creators are wealthy individuals based on the extravagant lifestyles they portray online.
"How do i convince the government or the people that do not understand content creation that you don't have money and you are not able to pay the 15 percent tax, when what you show out there is that you are millionaires," he said.
Content creators face consequences of their own actions
According to Jalang'o, the extravagant lifestyles portrayed on social media platforms have created a perception that content creators are wealthy individuals.
This perception has made it difficult to convince the government and others that they are not as financially prosperous as they may believe.
"I don't know what to tell these people. if its you, what do you guys think abut this 15 percent? I was one of them and i can tell you, i was making money from content creation.
"You people brought this problem to yourselves. and am not lying to you, the government is not going to relent. We should come up and ask ourselves, what are we willing to pay?" he said.
Kenyan content creators who showcase lavish lifestyle
He recounted instances where he was confronted with examples of content creators who seemingly lead luxurious lives, including expensive car purchases and claims of spending large sums of money daily.
"Some of the things i was being asked when we were going though the social media pages of different content creators for example was, Your very good friend Oga Obinna has turned 33 and he says he has gifted himself a very small gift which is a VW Tuareg 2018-2019, which cost him close to 5-7 million," he continued.
These examples have made it difficult for Jalango to convince MPs that content creators are not as financially prosperous as they may seem.
"They came and showed me a video where Amber Ray claims she spends 300,000 everyday. They showed me a couple of other content creators such as Eve Mungai, Akothee, Nicholas Kioko, Mulamwah, Vincent Mboya, Abel Mutua, The WaJesus family, among others.
"And its so hard am confronted with this situation where i don't know what to tell these people," he said.
Despite the challenges, Jalango urged content creators to take responsibility for the situation they find themselves in.
Way forward for content creators & the 15% tax
He believes that the government will not back down from the 15 percent tax unless content creators propose a viable alternative.
"Am supposed to go in front of this panel today, to show them that Butita does not have money to pay taxes, but he runs a whole media house and he has presenters and editors?" he questioned.
Jalango emphasized the need for content creators to present a united front and determine what they are capable of paying.
He revealed that he is scheduled to appear before a panel to argue that individuals like Butita, who run media houses and employ staff, should not be burdened with excessive taxes.
"What i think, you should come up with a proposal of what you are able to pay because the government will not stop at anything until you people pay," he summarized.
To protect their interests, content creators must provide a well-thought-out proposal that balances the government's revenue needs with the financial realities of the industry.
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