Being an actor, according to actor Ras, is not as rewarding as one might think, especially considering the financial challenges faced by actors in Kenya. In a candid interview on Plug TV, Ras shed light on the difficulties encountered by actors in the country.
Loosely translated: (This is what prompts artists to seek assistance from Kenyans on social media by claiming financial hardship. Surprisingly, these artists may not be truly broke but rather seeking financial support forcefully since they are known in the industry.)
Ras on Actors’ Royalties:
Loosely translated: Actors do not receive royalties. If a new episode airs on Thursday and a repeat of the same content is shown on Monday, the actor won’t receive payment for the repeat even though ads are running.
Ras humorously shared, “When you have a big name and you walk down the street, cars honk at you, everyone gives you a thumbs up (chuckles), ‘the artist is sweating, walking on the road hungry because you’re paid peanuts, and you’re so popular.'”
Ras questioned the disparity in payment between news anchors and actors, noting that news anchors are handsomely paid for reading news prepared by reporters, while actors with massive followings receive meager compensation.
“Why should a news anchor be paid a substantial amount to read news on autocue when actors get so little?” he pondered. Ras highlighted the stark difference in earnings, stating that actors, despite their fame, may earn as little as Ksh30,000, while news anchors make upwards of Ksh600,000.
“It’s a tough time for artists… Many people recognize actors, but they struggle financially. The industry’s value is declining, and what I used to earn back then is different from what I earn now,” Ras expressed.
The actor provided an example of arriving at his kids’ school on a motorbike, contrasting it with other parents who make grand entrances in Range Rovers. This, he explained, is a driving force behind celebrities seeking financial assistance online.
“This is why some artists turn to social media, telling Kenyans they are in dire straits, not because they are genuinely struggling, but because they are frustrated. They say, ‘Let me force these Kenyans to give me money since they know me,’” he explained.
Ras on Actors’ Royalties (Continued):
Ras emphasized that actors do not receive royalties, even when their past shows are aired repeatedly. If an actor is paid for the initial episode, they won’t receive payment for subsequent repeats, despite ongoing advertisements.
He further pointed out that when securing a TV show gig paying, for instance, Ksh100,000, the person who referred you may expect a significant cut, such as Ksh50,000. Refusing this condition may lead to someone else being chosen for the role.