Kenyan Musicians will be Among the Richest, says Ezekiel Mutua as MCSK Pays Sh1,250 in Royalties

January 16, 2024

The Music Copyright Society Kenya(MCSK) CEO, Ezekiel Mutua, says Kenyan musicians will start earning handsome royalties in a few years to come.

Mutua assured local artistes that they would be among the richest as he announced the distribution of music royalties for 2023.

On Sunday evening, the former Kenya Film Classification Board(KFCB) boss they have Sh20 million, which will be distributed equally among 16,000 members. This means each member artiste will receive Sh1,250 on Thursday next week.

“We were supposed to do this on Jamhuri Day but we had other engagements. The Cabinet Secretary told us to have structures and on January 25, we will disburse millions of shillings,” he said.

However, Mutua mentioned that the Sh20 million will constitute the first batch of disbursement, with further payments expected from other platforms such as Google. He said the funds would be distributed in two ways—generally and scientifically.

“General way is where so long as you are a member, we give general rates so that every musician receives something. Then we have a scientific way where we have software that shows where your music was played,” Mutua explained.

“Musicians Must Release Good Music”

Despite the low payout, Mutua encouraged Kenyan artistes to purposefully create music that resonates with the masses to achieve substantial rewards, emphasizing the implementation of new structures for royalty payments.

The CEO expressed confidence that improvements lie ahead as they concentrate on ensuring musicians derive significant benefits from their craft.

“We have published new tariffs that have raised the value of music. The government has supported us, we now have new tariffs which were lowered in 2019. We have signed contracts with Google, broadcasters, we have signed with matatus to ensure that artistes don’t just sing and go home, they will have something that will enable them to live decent lives,” Mutua said.

He added: “The musicians themselves must release good music that is appealing just like we have just sung Mali Safi Chito, it doesn’t have to be dirty with insults.”

Ezekiel Mutua at the same time said the government is actively working to ensure the respectful acknowledgment of musicians’ copyrights and that consumers of their creative works generously compensate them.

“All these structures will ensure that in the few coming years, our musicians will be among the richest like is the case in the United States, the UK or other countries,” he said.

“Within one year, we have new tariffs that have been gazette by the ministry…we are working very closely with the Kenya Copyright Board and I can assure the artists that from the 25th they will see the collaboration between the government and Collective Management Organizations.”

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