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Kenyan artists decry meagre royalty earnings

Kenyan artists have shared their disappointment with what they say is the meagre earnings from the Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK).

Rapper Wangechi was among those who publicly expressed her frustration after reportedly receiving Sh 1,215.95.

She shared what she claimed was a screenshot of a message she received from the organization.

“Annual reminder that being an artist in Kenya is still an extreme sport,” she wrote.

In the comments section, Ex hitmaker Nikita Kering also expressed her disappointment after receiving Sh 1,215.95 from PRISK.

Singer Kenzo followed suit writing: “What is this surely? It has even been collected by fuliza.”

Rapper KRG the Don also took to social media to express his disappointment in a satirical message. He also received Sh1,215 from the organisation.

“Sasa tumeongezewa hadi billions………. Nani anataka loan coz zile pesa tulikua tunangoja zimefika!!! Our President we are so proud of you!!” he added.

PRISK is a management organization that collects remuneration on behalf of rights holders from various users of works and distributes royalties to the respective rights holders.

For years, Kenyan artists have been decrying underpayment by the society and also a failure of the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) to defend their rights to earning a living from their material.

Former Kenya Film Board Chief Executive Ezekiel Mutua who was recently appointed as the MCSK boss said during the Malaika Cultural Festival in Voi, urged musicians to register with the organisation which wants to sign about 100,000 musicians for their Collective Management Organization (CMO).

“We should appreciate our artists like they are appreciated in other countries. Recently, Barbadian singer Rihanna joined other singers such as Jay Z, Dr. Dre, Kanye West and others in the Forbes annual billionaires list. Why, then, should our musicians be paupers with all the entertainment they give us?” he posed.

“There’s strength in numbers. I urge our musicians to unite by registering as members of MCSK so that we can increase our bargaining power,” Mutua advised.

He also promised to make them billionaires.