18 February 2013

Kenya: It's MCSK Versus Musicians

There was drama at Silver Springs Hotel in Nairobi on Friday when the police threatened to shoot musicians.

The threats came after the meeting between musicians and the Music Copyright Society of Kenya became chaotic.

According to gospel artiste Stella Kagendo, the musicians were unhappy with the way MCSK is handling them.

"MCSK is a cartel. I heard that they paid the urban musicians via M-Pesa so that they would not attend the meeting. Most of the artistes in attendance were the upcoming and River Road-based artistes," Kagendo told Word Is.

The artistes were asking for their alleged unpaid royalties and allowances that date several years back.

However, MCSK CEO Maurice Okoth said the artistes were being unreasonable and that is why the police took tough measures.

"The issue they raise is moot since we are moving from general distribution to a scientific distribution of royalties. Today's meeting was disrupted by a small disgruntled section of our members opposed to change and progress for all. The allocations made are in line with austerity measures in place by the Society in the best interests of its members. The stand-off here is clear: general distribution versus scientific distribution which I doubt we will ever agree on," Okoth said.

Meanwhile, it is said that MCSK board members Frasha and Mongolo were thrown out of the directors' closed door meeting. This also angered the musicians. The two could not be reached for comment but Frasha had earlier tweeted: "If you are an artiste and you are not at Silver Springs you are shooting yourself in the foot".

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