Citizen TV presenter Willis Raburu has disowned the failed Gengetone Festival in Machakos that had disappointing attendance over the weekend.
Taking to his Instagram, the bubbly presenter however admitted that it was a lesson learnt, terming it as a “rare teachable moment”.
“The Gengetone Festival was not my event. I attended basically as an emcee and as an upcoming artist,” he said.
According to Raburu, the photos circulating online were taken before the event started officially, and he was “just hyping the moment”.
He reveals that the event was poorly organised, and even when the time the main performers came, they refused to go to the stage claiming that they had not been paid all their money.
“I went to the backstage and started talking to the artists. They told me they wanted to perform but they had not been paid the other half of the money. The rule for most artists is that you pay half (of the agreed amount) before the event, then pay the other half before they perform,” he said.
He says that he told the artists not to perform if they had not been paid.
“I told them, ‘If you guys step on this stage and perform, then we will never break the cycle of people being taken advantage of, more so Gengetone artists’. They (gengetone artists) are resiponsible of putting Kenyan music in the map,” he added.
Raburu termed it as immoral for organizers to have events and fail to pay the artists they have onboarded to perform.
He urged organizers to respect artists, and not take them for granted. He also urged artists to speak up.
Raburu says that the organizers failed to come through, hence he left the event.
“I hope this starts the conversation that artists need to be respected, need to be paid, and they should demand it and not be quite,” he concluded.