Ezekiel Mutua proposes high licensing fees for foreign artists looking to perform in Kenya

The appearance by Diamond at the Azimio rally left divided opinions among stake holders in the music and entertainment industry

Music Copy Right Society of Kenya CEO Ezekiel Mutua

Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ezekiel Mutua has proposed a higher licensing fee for artists looking to perform in Kenya

The performance by Diamond left tongues wagging as to why the coalition did not pick a Kenyan artist to highlight entertainment at the rally.

Mutua says the government should impose more fees so that the monies channeled from them can be used to develop the local music industry.

“While we cannot stop anyone from engaging foreign artists to perform at their events, including political rallies, such foreign artists should pay higher rates for licenses and the money used to develop our industry,” Mutua wrote on his twitter page.

The proposal by Mutua comes at a time when there has been divided opinion regarding the Azimio One Kenya Coalition having Tanzanian singer Diamond Platnumz perform in the Coalition’s final rally at the Kasarani stadium.

Weighing into the matter content creator Alex Mathenge said threat of corporate exit forced artists to keep off political events.

“The reason why artists were not at Azimio grand event but Diamond Platnumz was there is because we are victims of corporate capture. Perform there and lose all of your corporate deals for the next decade,” Mathenge said.

Businessman and politician Alinur Mohamed said Kenyan creatives had no right to complain as they were always up in arms whenever their music was used citing the example of when the Azimio Coalition used Sauti Sol’s song.

"Why are Kenyans and Kenyan artists complaining because of the performance by Diamond Platnumz at the Azimio rally at Kasarani and besides Diamond, Kenyan rapper Femi One also performed at the event? Have we forgot that Sauti Sol almost sued Raila Odinga for playing their song?" Alinur retorted.

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