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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Dear Mr president, my president. First and foremost I’d like to congratulate you for the good work that you’ve done so far n ur still doing. Especially in this time of #corona 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. The other day you had a press conference and all of us expected to hear our president’s thought on the entertainment scene. Unfortunately you did not mention a thing. Mr president, most of us depend on shows, gigs n e.t.c as we all know that our board of music has been having issues with the artists. They’ve been stealing from us.. from ringback tones to every other thing.. most of us depend on music for everything Mr President. We have families that look upto us.. right now we’re all home, not making any money…. ….Dear Mr President, I’m just speaking from a musical perspective, if an established musician can feel the pinch like me, what about the uprising who only makes 5000 shillings per gig and they still have to pay rent and feed their families? What about the common #mwananchi who’s only hope is on mjengo, juakali, watchmen, mama mboga??? Mr President, I know ur a fan of Kenyan music, Kenyan content , Kenyans and you love your people.PLEASE REMEMBER US IN THIS DARK MOMENT.