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Comedian Eric Omondi on ‘hunger strike’ at Parliament

By Hillary Kimuyu February 11th, 2022 2 min read

Eric Omondi on Wednesday bundled up himself in a glass cage outside Parliament buildings and started what he said was a hunger strike aimed at imploring lawmakers to pass a bill in support of local content airplay.

The comedian was carried while locked in a transparent case with a bold writing labelled ‘Play 75 percent’.

He said he would not leave the Parliament building until the Bill is debated on how local music will get at least 75 per cent of airplay.

“This is a hunger strike and I will stay here until the lawmakers debate the matter. When you came here tomorrow (Thursday) you will still find me here. I’m not going anywhere until the MPs start this conversation,” he told journalists at the venue.

He argued that his previous methods aimed at convincing stakeholders to to see to it that 75 per cent of Kenyan music is played locally had been taken lightly.

“I’m here to champion local music to be played in all media stations so am here to ensure that they will pass that bill,” he said.

Omondi was last year arrested after staging a demonstration calling for the same at the same venue.

“Last time I was here alone and no artistes stood in solidarity yet I’m pushing for their interests,” he complained.

His protest drew the attention of some lawmakers including Dagoretti MP John Kiarie, Charles Njagua, Babu Owino and David Sankok who promised to push for the passage of the bill.

Kiarie has since promised to follow up on the matter.

“Your visit to parliament is very timely because there is an amendment bill coming up. Eric, you and I were involved in the writing of the copyright bill and our biggest gain was Section 35 that was protecting any artiste against exploitation.

“Let’s all understand the industry and know that the music industry is bigger than Skiza only. Congratulations Eric, you are a star. We are taking the bill to the parliament,” Kiare said.