Kenyan artists are going nuts on social media after most of them claimed that they received low royalties (in the form of peanuts) from the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK).
Kenyan Authors, Composers, and publishers of musical works are all supposed to be registered by MCSK in order to get royalties whenever their work is aired but the artists say that they no longer depend on the company for royalties.
MCSK is a registered company that is mandated to collect royalties in public performance and broadcasting, on behalf of its members and to distribute the same to its members, based on the professional rules of Copyright Collective Management Organizations.
Artists have been sending complaints to the MCSK despite their music hitting the airwaves day in day out, but the company still pays them royalties as low as 500 shillings with some even bagging in nothing.
Khaligraph Jones, one of the renowned hip hop artists in Kenya could not take it anymore and posted on his Instagram page what MCSK had paid him as royalties.
Khaligraph Jones sent a post showing the amount he had received from the company and he made it clear that he does not want the money. He had only been given 2530 shillings for a whole year’s work.
“Don’t ever try to send me these peanuts again. In fact, I have given authorization for my music to be pirated, don’t collect money on my behalf anymore, don’t arrest anyone who plays my music on the streets…” part of Jones’ post read.
It is understandable that these artists lashed out. Some have even received below 500 hundred shillings of payment as royalties despite their music being played almost every day in the media.
The same situation had happened to Elani, a vocal singing group that had received only 31,000 after making a series of viral music. Elani was taken aback but they were relentless. They did a video highlighting the meager pay and irregularities. Later on, MCSK paid them additional cash to the tune of 300,000 shillings.
MCSK should make serious changes on how they make their payments to the artists or else, their paltry disbursements will discourage upcoming artists and make the current talent fade into oblivion.