Eric Omondi has the last laugh on regulation of foreign artistes’ shows
It seems comedian Eric Omondi’s public outbursts to help push for the regulation of foreign artistes performing in the country was not in vain.
This is after the Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts Ababu Namwamba said his ministry is looking to start regulating foreign artistes performances.
“We are also going to start regulating foreign artistes performing here, because Kenya has become like a space where anyone can walk in and do their thing. Artistes perform here with absolutely no control but you cannot do the same in their countries,” Mr Namwamba said during the Creative Summit held at the Kenya National Theatre.
According to the CS, the creative industry contributed 5.32 per cent to the country’s GDP in 2021 and yet some of the people who struggle the most are from the creative industry.
He also noted that he is aware the industry is faced with many challenges, most notably issues surrounding the transparency of intellectual property, copyright management the royalties accrued from the copyright and its displacement.
Some of the artistes Omondi has locked horns with include Jamaican singer Konshens. Nigerian singer Ruger is the most recent artiste to jet into the country in October for a performance in Meru.
Comedian MC Jessy, in an interview with the Nation, lamented how Kenyan artistes are made to pay $100 (Sh12,000) to the Tanzanian government when they perform there.
Apart from regulation, Mr Namwamba also spoke about royalties which has been a big issue to musicians.
“Copyright holders are not receiving their royalties fully and this is because of several factors including noncompliance by users, inefficiency on how collection is done and I dare say there is also fraud in those who collect and distribute. I am aware that there was a forensic audit conducted on the three Collective Management Organisations (CMOs),” he said.
“I am following up with the director of criminal investigations and the office of the Director of Public Prosecution on the status of the investigations and their prosecution. Those found to have stolen the earnings of an artiste generated through their creative work, be ready to face the consequences. Next year licensing will only be issued to CMOs which have fulfilled the statutory provisions. Media houses will also be required to clear their royalty payment before their licenses are renewed,” he explained.