Genge music hitmakers P-Unit have been stopped in their tracks after they accused Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) of using the phrase ‘Weka Weka’ without their consent.
Last week, the music group said it was considering seeking legal redress against the lender for infringing on the copyright of the 2014 hit song ‘Weka Weka’.
KCB has been using the phrase as a tagline for an ongoing campaign to raise awareness about its savings platform on M-Pesa.
On Monday, KCB responded to P-Unit’s copyright claim saying ‘Weka’ is a Swahili word and, therefore, it cannot be owned.
“The only similarity between your client’s (P-Unit) song ‘Weka Weka’ and KCB’s commercial ‘Weka Weka na KCB M-Pesa’ is the phrase ‘weka weka’,” read a letter addressed to P-Unit.
KCB lawyers added, “It is not an original that an artist can claim to have independently conceived since no one can claim custodianship of a language. Your Client cannot therefore ride on the phrase ‘Weka Weka’ for a claim of copyright infringement against KCB as the same is not copyrightable.”
Furthermore, KCB argues that it coined the phrase ‘Weka Weka’ and not the hitmakers – Frasha, Gabu and Bon’Eye.
“On 29th August, 2011, KCB launched a campaign dubbed as ‘Weka Weka promotion’ way before your client released the song ‘Weka Weka’, in 2015. Weka Weka na KCB M-Pesa’ is a continuation of the initial campaign that begun in 2011,” said the bank.
KCB also wants P-unit to apologize and desist from making unfounded claims against the Bank.