Popular gospel musician Reuben Kagame warned government officials as well as copyright society officials against making speeches at his funeral when he dies.
In a statement, the musician said that he was still struggling to make ends meet, even after the many songs he has released since 1986.
“I wish to go public about something, and I want this marked well; if you one day hear musician Reuben Kagame is dead, do not allow any government official or those from the so-called copyright societies to speak at my funeral service. What I have gone through under them is enough,” he decried.
The renowned musician lamented that he had released 29 albums with daily airplay in many stations across the country but did not have much to show for it.
He added that his music is also played on almost every public event, including police and military, and yet at the end of the month, he receives about Sh18,000 in royalties.
Kagame indicated that he was not only speaking out for himself but for other artists who were struggling as well.
He also noted that if he was not making music for God, he could have quitted a long time ago because even from the church, all he gets is acclamation and encouragement.
However, Kagame affirmed that God has been faithful to him because at least he got a home, can eat, and he has raised a family through God’s miraculous provisions.
This is not the first time musicians have come out and lamented about suffering financially despite having big songs and being big brands.
They often blame the Music Copyright Society of Kenya for paying them peanuts in royalties.
MCSK is mandated with the collection of royalties on behalf of authors, arrangers, composers, and publishers of musical works across the board.
On March 9, 2021, the government launched a new system whereby musicians and all artists can register and track their royalties from their work.
Through the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) and the Collective Management Organisations (CMOs), the government will use an ICT system for registration of copyright, royalty management, media monitoring, and licensing of music use.
This system is expected to stem from issues of lack of royalties to artists that have dodged the entertainment industry.