Copyright Board Cautions Against ‘Firirinda’ Craze Citing ‘Jerusalema’ Fees Demand

February 26, 2021

The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) has cautioned Kenyans against jumping on the ‘Firirinda’ bandwagon without asking for consent from the song’s creator.

The now-viral song was released more than 35 years ago by Dick Njoroge alias Munyonyi, who now depends on well-wishers for upkeep as he cannot sing anymore after he lost his voice.

The Kikuyu oldie re-emerged after Jeff Kuria, a presenter at vernacular radio station -Inooro Fm- shared it to his Facebook account. Kenyans have since been making videos dancing to the song in a viral challenge akin to the Jerusalema challenge.

Firirinda musician Dick Munyonyi (centre), his son Munyoni Junior (R) and musician Epha Maina on Monday, February 22

In fact, Murang’a, Kiambu and Nyeri County Assemblies recently erupted into the dance to celebrate the passing of the contentious BBI Bill.

Watch: Murang’a, Kiambu County Assemblies Erupt into ‘Firirinda’ After Passing BBI Bill

In a statement on Thursday, KECOBO warned that the viral challenge might turn out like the Jerusalema challenge, where record company Warner is demanding license fees for the use of the song in the videos.

“Make sure you are not caught on the wrong side of the law with the current Firirinda craze. Get authority from the author if you want to make a derivative work of it.

“Jerusalema craze now haunts many. Don’t blindly fall for every craze. It may lead you into trouble with the law,” warned KECOBO.

The copyright agency added: “The law stipulates that the owner of the copyright has the exclusive right to control the distribution, reproduction and any derivative works.”

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