‘I Lost Out on Ksh150K Concert Because of Coronavirus’ – ‘Tano Tena’ Composer

April 3, 2020

Ben Githae, the popular Kikuyu musician who is famous for composing the Jubilee party campaign anthem ‘Tano Tena’, has echoed Willy Paul’s sentiments that musicians are having it rough in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

“The only assured money they(artistes) have is from Skiza, yet when it comes to doing things, they are like any person who has a basic salary at every end month,” said Githae.

According to Githae, he lost out on a Ksh150,000 concert during the weekend when the first coronavirus case was reported in Kenya,

“So when you see artistes complaining, know that those complaints are genuine since we work hard,” he said.

On the recent royalties distribution by MCSK, where Sauti Sol were the top earners with Sh400,000 between July and December 2019, Ben Githae said he received a good amount of money for the first time.

“I can’t complain because I was given Sh61,000, but there are those local artistes who received better than me,” he said.

He called on radio stations to consider playing more vernacular music so that some artistes can also earn money.

Most local artistes who do not have Swahili or English songs suffer most because they do not get airplay from most radio stations,” he said.

This follows a recent open letter from Willy Paul addressed to President Uhuru in which the singer pleaded for the plight of Kenyan musicians.

“My president I have an issue. The entertainment scene has been hit badly and sadly no one seems to care about whatever is happening to us… entertainers from other countries e.g musicians, actors, producers, directors and comedians are getting help from their governments.. and here no one is even saying a word,” he wrote.

“If an established musician can feel the pinch like me, what about the uprising, who only makes 5,000 shillings per gig and they still have to pay rent and feed their families. Please remember us in this dark moment”


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