Musician Otile Brown is the latest local music act to speak out against the reported theft and mismanagement of music royalties at Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) and other CMOs.
Kenyan musicians have been up in arms this week over a forensic audit conducted on Kenya’s Collective Management Organisations (CMOs): Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK), the Performers Rights Society of Kenya (Prisk) and the Kenya Association of Music Producers (Kamp).
Conducted by audit firm Ronalds LLP, the forensic scrutiny from 2017 to 2019 unearthed the rot in the CMOs, including diversion of royalties, poor corporate governance structures, suspected fraudulent transactions, poor record-keeping and the existence of ghost or duplicate members.
Kenya Copyright Board (Kecobo) Chairman Mutuma Mathiu received a draft report of the findings on Tuesday. He said Kecobo board of directors will hold a special meeting in the next two weeks to discuss what course of action to take.
“The Kenya Copyright Board is looking at several options in implementation of the results of the audit report — including reference to Criminal Investigation Department, recovery of lost property and further administrative, policy and structural reforms in the CMO sector, once we receive the mandatory response from the CMOs, thus completing the audit report,” said Mathiu adding that the CMOs had seven days to respond.
Artistes such as Khaligraph Jones, Willy Paul and Otile Brown have since taken to social media to express their never-ending grievances.
“It’s so sad that the government has failed to help the artists! Yaani tunaibiwa tu na hawa wazeee MCSKK and the rest! We don’t work for you!! Some of us came from nothing like me and here you are, feeding your balls and ovaries with our money!!! Please if you see me, piga corner!!!
We demand an explanation, not only that… plus all the money you’ve stolen ama mtajua hamjui!” lamented Willy Paul.
His sentiments were echoed by Otile who penned a long letter addressed to President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The ‘Quarantine’ hitmaker pleaded with the president to intervene and ensure that artistes get what is rightfully theirs.
Read the open letter in full below.
“I feel youe pain my brother @willy.paul.msafi Hakika nimelia
Mheshimiwa Rais @ukenyatta heshima yako . Samahani! Nina machache ya kusema endapo yatakufikia 🙏 Mimi ni msani Mzalendo wa mziki wa kizazi kipya toka hapa nchini nafahamika kama Otilebrown an
Kutokana na utafiti tunafahamu fika kua nchi hii yetu ya kenya 🇰🇪 ni nchi yenye changa moto za ukosefu wa ajira kwa vijana .Alhamdulilah! “ Wengine” tumejaaliwa vipaji vinavyotuwezesha kujipa kipato kidogo kupitia tasnia ya mziki , tumejitengenezea ajira bila usaidizi wowote wa
Serikali na bado huwa tunalipa ushuru inavyostahili bila kulalama …Chakusikitisha nikua bado hatupati tunachostahili , viongozi na wasimamizi wanatupora nakutudhulumu wakati wengi wetu tumetoka kwenye familia za kimaskini na tunategemewa kiasi kikubwa…
Swali langu ni wasimamizi wa MCSK baada ya kukiri na kukubali mashtaka, ni hatua gani watachukuliwa?? Tungependa kuona wamefungwa gerezani na mali zao kuchukuliwa na kurudishwa kwenye tasnia ya sanaa .. kama kweli tuna utu na tunataka mabadiliko kwenye nchi yetu.. Inauma sanaa mheshimiwa Rais @ukenyatta
Sahii kwanzia January inasemekana kuwa serikali inataka kuanza kututoza ushuru kupita mtandao wa YouTube ambao tumekua tukitegemea baada ya kutukata tamaa na viongozi waliokataa kutupatia haki yetu na kutudhulumu hadharani 🤦♂️ Bila woga. Nahisi umefika wakati wanatukatisha tamaa , tumetengwa na hakuna anayetujali hata kile kidogo cha kulisha familia zetu kinachukuliwa.
I love my country 🇰🇪 Mwenyezi mungu tusimamie 🙏
Mheshimiwa Rais @ukenyatta .. we’re not asking for anything from the government but to be given, what is rightfully ours .. please please please !!!!🙏”