Top earners in the MCSK Sh20 Million payout; Marakwet Daughter tops the list

After the Music Copyright Society of Kenya disbursed Sh20 million in royalties to musicians across the country, notable artists such as Marakwet Daughter, the creator of ‘Mali Safi Chito,’ and gengetone artist Sylvia Ssaru emerged as top earners.

Ezekiel Mutua, the CEO of MCSK, revealed that vocalists of popular songs are among the highest-paid artists, with each artist receiving a minimum of Sh100,000 from the organization.

“Sylvia Ssaru is one of the top earners, along with Mali Safi Chito. They were in competition, and each received not less than Ksh100,000,” disclosed Mutua.

Lazarus Muli, the Chairman of MCSK, clarified that the payout amounts were determined based on the individual efforts and contributions of each artist. Otile Brown, for instance, received over Sh120,000, while others received varying amounts such as Ksh100,000, Ksh50,000, Ksh60,000, and Ksh10,000.

Muli emphasized that the disparities in payment were a result of the differences in each artist’s work and effort, stating, “The reason why the pay cannot be equal is everyone’s work is different, and [you] are paid according to your effort. Hatuwezi watoshanisha.”

Despite previous differences that played out on social media, MCSK CEO Ezekiel Mutua and Ssaru reconciled, and their warm embrace at the event was highlighted. Mutua praised Ssaru, describing her as a good friend.

Mutua clarified his previous criticism of Ssaru, explaining that it was not a personal attack but rather aimed at guiding musicians to release songs suitable for various settings. He emphasized the importance of creating music that can be enjoyed in different environments.

“If you sing a song that you can’t play with your mother, you can’t play it in your car or office, you’re cutting yourself off from the market; it’s that simple,” Mutua explained. “But that does not mean she is stupid or not talented. Ssaru is an amazing, talented, and gifted musician; she is also a very good friend of mine. I am the one who invited her here; we have paid her a lot of money,” added Mutua.

Notably, rapper Khaligraph Jones expressed dissatisfaction with the royalties distributed by MCSK in the past, alleging corruption within the organization. Jones criticized the support provided by MCSK and hinted at undisclosed actions being taken behind the scenes, suggesting that a revolution is imminent. Several other artists are yet to comment on their payouts.