Music society accused of not helping poor musicians
18 September 2016, 23:36
Nairobi - Its bosses were harassed at Siekuti primary school during requiem mass for veteran folk artist William Ingosi for not helping musicians get royalties who later die poor.
Various leaders present said a majority of musicians are languishing in poverty, whereas officials from the MCSK who are their voice and a few other people are enjoying proceeds that are supposed to support them.
Amani National Congress party leader Musalia Mudavadi, Vihiga County assembly speaker Richard Muhiga, and Shiru ward rep Nixon Butiya noted MCSK hasn’t done enough to help musicians.
“A majority of musicians that we have seen here today are in a sorry state. It is shameful for MCSK to cheat us they are advocating for better lives for our musicians when all these we have seen here are in this state. Something drastic must be done,” said Shiru ward rep Nixon Butiya.
He added, “We want to know, if money is at MCSK, is it for only a few people or for all our people who are engaged in the trade?”
Butiya said people who represent musicians and who came from Nairobi were healthier and smarter looking than the frail musicians.
William Ingosi, a folk artist who lived in abject poverty, despite his hits ruling the airwaves since early 1960s died aged 78.
He ventured into the field of art in the 1960s, and managed to perform to President Jomo Kenyatta.
Ingosi represented Kenya by singing traditional songs and playing traditional instruments in local and international platforms including United Kingdom, Holland, France and Japan and further enlisted among founder musicians of Bomas of Kenya.
He played as a proud foremost Luhya and Kenyan cultural ambassador for more than five decades.
“We want to see the lives of our musicians improving. A government that does not struggle to improve the lives of its citizens has no use being in power,” Mudavadi said.
Ingosi’s family noted they had failed to raise a Sh25,000 bill to cater for his treatment in a Naivasha hospital.
The MCSK chairperson Bernard Mukaisi however said plans are underway to give medical cover and pension to musicians who are over 60 years old.
He said musicians have not been able to get royalties because of being duped by politicians who only misuse them and dump them.
Mukaisi acknowledged that the late Ingosi was among the over 13,500 MCSK members but then his account had no money that his family could benefit from, despite contributing extensively to the music industry.
“As musicians, we must liberate ourselves economically from the jaws of poverty,” he said.
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