Former Tahidi High actor Dennis Mugo, alias OJ, has a bone to pick with his former bosses at Citizen TV for rerunning the popular high school dramedy.
While airing his grievances on his YouTube channel, Mugo argued that it is unfair for TV stations to continue using his content yet he is no longer working for them.
“After I left Tahidi High, someone told me they saw me on TV and I was like, I am no longer there. Only for me to realise they were repeating the show without telling me,” he said, adding that they raised the issue with the bosses.
“They explained to me that the contract we signed said they can do anything with that content. That thing still hurts me to date. It is where I get my daily bread.”
According to OJ, their contracts did not stipulate how long Citizen TV should use actors’ content.
“When we started acting, we were told to sign a contract that said, ‘We as the company are allowed to use your image’, but it does not tell you for how long. That means they will be making a coin from you even when you are dead,” said OJ.
He cited the case of the late veteran actor, Derrick Amunga alias ‘Master Sugu’, who died six years ago.
“Derrick Amunga is not alive. Can you imagine the kind of pain his family feels when they see him on screen yet they are not getting anything?” posed Mugo.
OJ said actors’ contracts in Kenya need to be revised to reward thespians and protect upcoming ones from exploitation.
“If they continue using our content, they should award us, especially during this corona pandemic,” he said.
“They should make us proud. I met a friend called Jane and she was like ‘I see myself on the screen’ but in our area, I am broke and people keep asking me, what happened?”
Mugo noted that some filmmakers fall into depression from seeing their content on TV but having nothing to show for it because they signed unfair contracts.