Amidst a storm of allegations and counter-claims regarding royalty distribution within Kenya’s music industry, Ezekiel Mutua, the CEO of the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MSCK), has stepped forward to address concerns raised by former MSCK board member Nonini.
Nonini, a prominent figure in Kenya’s music scene, ignited a heated debate on 06th of February when he took to his X account to express his dismay over the purported mismanagement of funds within MSCK. In a scathing post, Nonini highlighted what he perceived as discrepancies in the allocation of funds meant for artists, pointing out that a significant portion of the budget appeared to benefit administrative staff rather than the musicians themselves.
“You see the exact problem that is affecting the Kenyan Music Industry. These are the figures @TheMCSK budgeted Artists monies for the year that just ended 2023. This is a problem in which all CMOs administration and directors benefit more than anyone,” Nonini lamented on his X account, sparking a wave of criticism and concern within the music community.
Nonini’s allegations struck a nerve within the industry, prompting a swift response from Ezekiel Mutua. In a statement posted on his social media platform, Mutua vehemently refuted Nonini’s claims of misappropriation, alleging instead that Nonini himself was involved in embezzling funds during his tenure as a director of MUPAKE & PRISK.
“There’s this fugitive @Noninimgenge2ru who embezzled musicians’ money when he was a director of MUPAKE & PRISK,” Mutua stated. “Now I hear he’s circulating a FAKE document on social media purporting it’s official accounts of MCSK but the document is actually lifted from the MUPAKE accounts of 2017-2019 and doctored to serve the fertile imagination.”
The exchange between Nonini and Mutua escalated further when Nonini’s lawyer served Mutua with a court order of defamation, signaling a legal battle on the horizon.
Nonini, in response to Mutua’s claims, reposted comments from his supporters, underscoring the division and skepticism surrounding the issue. However, amidst the social media skirmish, the broader conversation about transparency, accountability, and fair compensation for artists remains at the forefront.
As the controversy unfolds, stakeholders in Kenya’s music industry are calling for a thorough investigation into the allegations, emphasizing the need for clear guidelines and oversight mechanisms to ensure that artists receive their rightful dues.
The clash between Nonini and Mutua underscores the complexities and challenges inherent in royalty distribution systems, highlighting the urgent need for reform and accountability within Kenya’s music industry.
As the debate rages on, all eyes are on the outcome of the legal proceedings and the measures taken by MSCK and other relevant authorities to address the grievances raised by Nonini and others advocating for change within the industry.