Akothee Gives Her Thoughts On Why Kenyan Artists Are Struggling

The debate on the state of the music industry in Kenya is still in high gear, and this time, its being steered by musician and businesswoman Esther Akoth, or Akothee, if you like. 

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Speaking on Radio Maisha Tuesday, Akothee pointed out that Kenyan artists have been ignored by institutions such as the media and the government and are only taking keen on music from other African countries.

“Kenyan artists have been ignored; we don’t get enough support.” Akothee said.

“Inauma sana wakati unaona wasanii wageni ambao wanakuja hapa, wanalipwa pesa ambazo hawalipwi huko kwao, sababu gani, radio ya hapa imewapatia nguvu, media ya hapa imewapatia nguvu, sasa wakifika hapa vile wanafuatwa, utafikiria wakitoka hii country, yule jamaa anaenda kujenga 5 bedroom.” 

The CEO of Akothee Safaris further hit out at the government claiming that during holiday functions, they do not pay artists what they are worth, further diminishing their value. Akothee says she was especially surprised, having never been invited to a government function to perform. She claimed that Kenyan artists are getting around Ksh. 150,000 to perform at functions yet they still have to pay for their own logistics and Security.

“Kuna siku niliambiwa niende kuperform Kisii, government function, nikauliza ngapi wakasema 150,000kshs. Nikasema 150,000kshs, initoe kwangu nyumbani niende huko Kisii kung’ang’ana, nikasema yaani hizi ndio pesa wasanii wanachukua?” According to Akothee, artists should demand what they are worth whenever they are invited for shows. 

“Iwapo nikiitwa kwenye show mi hupeana rate card yangu ambayo ni 1Miliion kshs kwasababu nauza brand… it is the value I am bringing on board…” Akothee was further queried on a statement she made upon wishing comedian Churchill a happy birthday last week on Instagram, where she referred to the entertainment industry as ‘eat me I eat you.’

According to the self-titled ‘President of single mothers’, very few people in the industry came to her rescue when she was just starting out as a musician. Expounding on her point that Kenyan musicians do not get support, Akothee enclosed that some radio stations would even expect payment after playing her songs.

“Wengine, After wamecheza ngoma yangu, naangushiwa bill, tena inakuwa ni kama ni deni. Especially Mombasa was bad.” “Kuna wakati nimetoa ngoma yangu ya ‘Sweet love’ nikaambiwa nitoe Ksh. 100,000 ili ngoma iwe kwa trending.”The latest comes after comedian Eric Omondi claimed that the Kenyan music scene was in shambles, and Kenyan artists were being paid a measly Ksh.30,000 to curtain raise for  foreign acts, a majority who are Nigerian artists. 

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