Kenyan musicians issue 4 demands to CS Ababu Namwamba

The musicians said they were confident in the government laying a better environment for the creatives to thrive

Kenyan musicians' demands to CS Ababu Namwamba

A section of Kenyan musicians led by gospel singer Roysmith Mwatia known by his stage name Rufftone have issued a raft of demands to Sports and arts Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba.

The artists on Tuesday, November 8 held a press conference at the Kenya National Theatre (KNT) where both veteran and new-generation artists were in attendance.

The artists said they have suffered long enough and would now love their voices heard.

Among the demands raised by the artists include the streamlining of the collective management organizations (CMOs) which CS Ababu Namwamba has began working on.

"We are aware that the CS has already began consultations on how to streamline theoperations of collective management organisations (CMO) within the music industry. This has been a long running challenge for musicians, and until now no sufficient government attention had been realsied. Thank you, Mr. President, and Kenya Kwanza government, for turning your attention to the matter of CMOs,” Rufftone said in his statement.

Among the demands raised by the musicians include:

1.Anti-Piracy: Fast-tracking of the mandatory continuous blocking of copyright-infringing domains, and re-direction to legitimate websites, by all internet service providers (ISPs) – as per section 35 in the Copyright Act, will:

  • Unlock Sh92 billion per year from illegitimate websites into the legitimate business of the creative industry.
  • Directly create over 50,000 professional jobs for youth - which shall support the families and communities.
  • Attract local and international investment to the creative industry, as our creatives become economically empowered to create more quality content, which can compete with Nigeria and South Africa on a global stage.

2.International alignment of tariffs for broadcasters to be gazetted by the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO).

According to the creatives, tariffs for broadcasters in Kenya are on a flat rate, which defies the global principle of royalties.

3.The musicians also called on the media to be on the frontline in the playing of Kenyan content as well as vouching for Kenyan artists while also requesting for use of 75% local content in advertising (jingles, Signature Tunes, Production Music)

4.Another demand was that Government, Corporates & Non-Governmental Organisations should be directed to ensure that where their marketing and/or sponsorship budget includes music, that a minimum of seventy-five percent (75%) of that budget is allocated to local content.

Among the Kenyan artists that were present include singer Jemimah Thiong’o, Breeder LW, Zero Sufuri, Esther Wahome, Boss of MOG Daddy Owen among others.

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