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ODM Responds After Sauti Sol Threatens to Sue Over Use of Extravaganza Song at Azimio Event

ODM leader Raila Odinga
Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his running mate Martha Karua at KICC on May 16, 2022 [Photo/Courtesy]

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party has downplayed copyright infringement claims by boy band Sauti Sol.

The Kenyan afro-pop band last evening threatened to take legal action against the Azimio la Umoja Campaign team over the use of the Extravaganza hit song during the unveiling of ODM leader Raila Odinga’s running mate at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) Monday.

The group said the politicians had not obtained any permission to play the song at the event.

“We did not license this song to the Azimio La Umoja campaign neither did we give any consent for its use in the announcement of their Vice-Presidential candidate. Furthermore, our authority to use the composition, which is one of our most distinct compositions was neither sought nor given. This is blatant copyright infringement as directed by Section 35 CAP 17o of the Copyright Act of Kenya,” Sauti Sol said in a statement.

“This action is a flagrant disregard of our basic and fundamental rights to property and freedom of association. Through their action, they have taken away the right to own and control what is originally and solely our property and have directly associated us to their campaign without our consent. This is contrary to Article 4 of the Constitution of Kenya.”

Also Read: Boy Band Les Wanyika Accuse Sauti Sol Of Sampling Their Song Without Permission

Responding to the renowned artists on Tuesday, ODM, a founder member of the Azimio coalition, said the song was played at the event as a show of love for the band’s good work.

“We would like to assure our celebrated musical team Sauti Sol that we love them & appreciate their music so much. The group has carried our country’s flag so high in international fora & every Kenyan appreciates this,” said ODM in a tweet.

“Playing their song yesterday was a show of love for their work.”


The band came under heavy criticism from a section of Kenyans over the threats to drag the political organisation to court.

Also Read: Copyright Board Deregisters KAMP, PRISK and MCSK Over Misuse of Funds

Some netizens were quick to point out that the Odinga-led team had already made payments to the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MSCK) for local and international music played at the Azimio campaigns.

Notably, early this month, Winnie Odinga, Odinga’s daughter and Azimio representative, paid Sh526,000 to MSCK as confirmed by Senior Licensing Officer David Kiragu.

A section of other Kenyans also reminded Sauti Sol that the catchphrase “Wakiapisha Tunaapisha” as used in the song lyrics was coined by Odinga’s team during the disputed 2017 polls.

The hit song released in May 2018 has garnered over 9.6 million views on YouTube.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege


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