Saturday, March 7, 2009

Fat cheques for Kenyan musicians at last

Habel Kifoto (left) with Tom Kodiyo. Photo/DENIS OKEYO

Habel Kifoto (left) with Tom Kodiyo. Photo/DENIS OKEYO 

By TIM KAMUZU BANDA

A fat pay-day is looming for Kenyan musicians. This follows an announcement by the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) that they have surpassed their annual target of collecting Sh60 million in a year with four months to go.

As a result, members are set to benefit from a distribution of Sh 20 million later this month from this month. There will be a general distribution from the 16th of this months and a logged distribution a week later.

The general collection is the money collected from licensing of establishments that profit from the use of music and public service vehicles.

This is distributed equally amongst members. Logged distribution, on the other hand, is money received from broadcasting stations and is distributed to individual artistes based on the number of times the stations have played their songs.

Briefing the media in Nairobi, MSCK chairman Habel Kifoto revealed that the organisation has so far so far collected Sh 62 million for the 2008/9 financial years, which runs from July 2008 to June 2009. That is a record amount for an organisation that previously collected just Sh 9 million annually.

“It is a sign that our nationwide awareness campaigns enlightening music users on the importance of paying for it as a token to the musicians, composers and arrangers is finally paying off,” says Kifoto.

While announcing the figures, Kifoto thanked the radio and TV stations that have fully complied with the payment of royalties including Nation Media Group, he appealed to others who have never paid to do so.

Morris Okoth, General Manager of MCSK, says that they are embarking on a national awareness campaign to educate musicians about digital rights. This includes revenue from downloads of their music and the use of their music in ring tones.