A group of Kenyan entertainers are not happy with the government. The group which is composed of musicians and other key entertainers performed at the Kenya@50 celebration event at Kasarani in 2013 but have not been paid close to 4 months later. They believe that the President might not be well ceased of the matter and any attempt to contact the President through the official channels have been blocked by the Kenya@50 secretariat, Sports, Culture and Arts Ministry and some OP mandarins.
The artists have reached out to the Kenya@50 secretariat but were told that there were no funds to effect the payment. This didn’t convince the artists as the secretariat recently held a lavish party at one of the new 5-star hotels “to celebrate Lupita’s Oscar win.” You’d wonder how they’d afford a party whose bill runs into several millions but fail to pay just 20 or so artists.
The group led by Uncle Fred Obachi Machoka have openly expressed their disgust at the manner in which their case is being handled. The group were contracted through Bruce Odhiambo’s Johari Cleff to perform at the event with each expected to be paid Ksh 100,000. Apart from the comedians who were contracted through Walter Mong’are aka Nyambane, all the other entertainers have not been paid.
The artists have been tossed between the Office of the President and the office of the Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and the Arts, Dr Hassan Wario. According to a senior Director at the ministry, the CS received the money but allocated it to other functions despite protests from the director. The minister has not responded to questions sent to him through his Personal Assistant.
The yet to be paid artists include the Gidi Gidi, Maji Maji, Fred Obachi Machoka, Nameless, Sautisol, Nonini, Jua Cali, Suzanna Owiyo, Jamnazi, Emmy Kosgey, Esther Wahome, Daddy Owen, Amani, Madtrakks among others. The artists have also voiced concerns over the move by the Johari Cleff producer Bruce Odhiambo to produce the songs they performed at the Kenya@50 celebrations and sell them without the authorisation of the respective artists.
Some of the compilation’s artwork are below;