On Monday, May 23, some well-known mainstream artistes went to the Music Corporate Society of Kenya (MCSK) offices to collect their hard earned sweat expecting a huge payday.
But alas! some of them including veteran rapper Abbas Kubaff were in for a rude shock as payment vouchers were handed to them, the K-South emcee received peanuts as his royalties from Skiza Tunes.
Abass took to social media to share his disbelief when he was given a paltry Sh89 as payment to his Skiza.
A furious Abbas posted: “Still in shock mode…went to Music Corruption Society of Kenya (M.C.S.K.)and the bloody accountant had the nerve to pull out a document that stated my skiza tunes payment is 89 kenya shillings…WTF?????”
This comes shortly after Safaricom released a Sh152 million to MCSK and other CMOs in Skiza royalties, so as to pass the payments down to the artistes whose music is sold on the Skiza platform.
But Abass is just a tip of the iceberg.
Another known rapper called Majirani who made his name thanks to the hit track ‘Hivyo Ndo Kunaendanga’ featuring Kenrazy and Visita and and a more recent and bigger one called ‘Tukumbukeko’, is also crying foul.
According to him, MCSK presented him with a statement of Sh554 for the song ‘Hivyo Ndo Kunaendanga’ that had been registered with Skiza Tunes in 2014 without receiving any pay.
As if that was not enough, he was handed a second statement amounting to the sum of Sh1,223 for his song ‘Tukumbukeko’, a track that has been registered with Skiza Tunes for a period of six months now.
After inquiring from MCSK officials what was a miss? they cited the outcome of the figures to deductions outlined in the contracts.
“According to them Safaricom deducted 85 per cent from the monies accrued while the CMO’s also took their shares including taxes and hence the said amounts for each songs,” said a furious Majirani as quoted by the SDE.
Due to this, Majirani decided to forgo his cheque.
Just a few months ago, other major artists among them Elani and P-Unit came out breathing fire after receiving similar treatment from the organization leading to ruthless criticism of the payments they received.
But thanks to their going public, they were reportedly compensated with hefty sums.
“Enough is enough. It is sad that after years of hard work there are section of people in the name of corporate or companies who are always involved in making sure that our efforts go down the drain as we languish in abject poverty at their expense,” says Majirani.
He added: “It is high time we artists come together on a negotiating table with Safaricom and agree on the way forward since we own the music and not Safaricom nor CMO’s. We deserve a better percentage than what they are giving us.”
“Everything is shocking after having learnt of the fate of some of our popular and respected artists who equally have responsibilities in life. Truth is, I don’t know how MCSK works or if they have the logs but what our artists have been subjected to is unfair and unacceptable,” noted Refigah, the CEO Grandpa Records and also a music producer.
He went on to add that a while back, MCSK presented him with a cheque of Sh16,000 for the song ‘Hivo Ndo Kunaendanga’ but told them thanks but no thanks, and declined to take it given the fact that the song was huge on the charts and enjoyed immense airplay on various media houses for a year and a half.
He added: “I recall writing a complaint on the same and they said they would follow up on the matter which is still pending to date with not a single cent paid to the artist, let alone our recording stable.”
Artist who are aggrieved have communicated to Safaricom asking the giant telecommunications firm to act on their pleas and if possible to adjust their percentages besides skipping the CMOs and paying them directly.
“This way at least there will be transparency regarding our payments and equally boost our morale as artists,” concludes Majirani as published by the site.
The coming days will no doubt see other artistes crying out loud after knowing their fate.