As with most entertainers, Rufftone has a strong opinion about the way the government has handled the Covid-19 pandemic that has wreaked havoc on Kenya’s economy.
In a recent interview I had with the Mwikhulu singer, the man was unimpressed with GOK’s handling telling me,
“I think it can do more. I have always said…the reason by God’s grace I went through the Covid, it is because I was prepared before Covid. I would say that after Covid there would still be other infectious diseases, maybe there will be an Ebola. My issue is what has the government done for the artists with or without Covid, pre or post-Covid?”
“For the past 5-6 years I have been challenging the govt. to do these 3 things and I believe if they do them, musicians will not have an issue.”
His first solution was that Kenyan musicians should get 60-40 airplay on local terrestrial TV and radio. “And news and weather forecast is not part of the local content,” he pointed out.
He then explained the rationale for his first solution telling me, “DRC and South Africa have implemented that and that’s why the hit song that dominated the Kenyan charts during Covid was “Jerusalema”. Why? Because of where they are from, they have been elevated.”
His second solution was that artists should get an increase in the Skiza percentage. “Artists at the moment are getting very little and I must congratulate the president because artists used to get around 15%, now they are getting 30%. But as the content creators, the intellectual property owners, we deserve at worst at worst 50/50 if not 60/40 again,” he opined.
He said that musicians had been responsible in keeping the country together during the early period of Covid-19 uncertainty. “You do realize that during that Corona period we were the only people who held the country together with those virtual concerts. Artists are essential to a country’s unity and even moving forward.”
His final solution was that all the major Collective Management Organisation’s (CMO’s) should be disbanded forthwith, with new and better bodies being formed.
“Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRiSK), Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP), and Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK). These 3 pillars/bodies are a problem. If those 3 can be taken care of, I believe musicians will actually be pleading with the government to take a loan from the kitty. They will actually be able to lend money to the government cause it is a multi-billion shilling industry by itself.”