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Exclusive: Czars family paid royalties from 2.5M YouTube views for Amka Ukatike

The family of missing popular Kenyan musician, Czars, born Abdulkarim Mohammed, can now breathe a sigh of relief after he managed to secure his YouTube royalties for his hit song, Amka Ukatike (stand up and dance) single which was produced by Calif Records.

Over the past few weeks, the family of Czars collaborated with Ngomma, a music publishing company, to get his dues from the global streaming platform, YouTube, and for their efforts, they managed to secure Sh 71,000.

This money was obtained after data revealed the song had garnered 2.5 million views (as noted on March 26, 2024)  in the 12 years since its release and publishing on Calif Entertainment Africa Ltd’s YouTube page.

Thomas Mahondo, an official at Ngomma, told Nairobi News, that Czars had only released a song prior to his disappearance in 2006, and after his family brought the matter up, they embarked on applying to YouTube to have the royalties paid out.

“The request to YouTube was made by the family in the middle of February 2024 so we waited for the payout. The family got Sh 71,000…it wouldn’t have been up for discussion on the amount because it is in YouTube’s data. You look at the data and then request,” explained Mr Mahondo regarding the worth of the royalties remitted.

Also read: Mystery of missing teen pop star, Czars – John Allan Namu to investigate

Once the money was remitted by YouTube, it was handed over to Mzee Abdul Makasi instead of his son because Czars is not around to receive it.

“His dad came and we gave him the money. But he also made it clear that in case Czars comes, he will hand over the cash to him,” added Mr Mahondo.

In an earlier interview with the media, Mzee Makasi confirmed receiving the money but lamented that it was not the amount he expected.

“I can confirm that I have received the amount,” said Mzee Makasi. “I know this is not what he deserved, but I thank God Calif Records has made an effort to get him paid. I don’t take this for granted. This is Czars’ sweat. I will keep it for him. The day he shows up, he will have at least Ks71,000 to start life with,” Mzee Makasi told John Muchiri.

There are now plans in place to follow up on royalties from Safaricom’s Skiza Tunes.

Mr Mahondo also revealed that, as Calif Records and Ngomma still manage Amka Ukatike, there are plans to release ‘new’ music by Czars should Mzee Makasi agree to release them, potentially earning more money for Czars in absentia.

At the age of 17, Czars went missing on October 13, 2006, after leaving his Bamburi home for an afternoon walk.

According to prior Nation.Africa reports, since then to 2020, it is believed his father spent about Sh 1.5 million looking for him.