Nairobi News

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Kenyan musicians win battle against Nigerians for airplay

It will now be mandatory for public and private broadcasters to dedicate 60 per cent of their music content to local artistes.

This follows the launch of the National Music Policy by Sports, Culture and the Arts Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario.

Many musicians said this would ensure that Kenyans listen to and watch music by local artistes instead of foreigners.

The policy will also ensure that the rights of musicians are protected against exploitation.

The music industry has for a long time been without policy, which has taken a decade to develop.

A task force set up in August 2006 studied music from various countries and drew up the policy.

RESOLVE DISPUTES

The policy is just a framework, which has not become a law. Dr Wario said on Wednesday the policy had taken too long  to formulate due to lack of funds.

With the policy in place, he said, the music Bill would be easier to draft.

“Registered musicians will also be able to resolve disputes and compile their complaints through the National Music Tribunal,” he added.

Dancehall and reggae star Wyre said the policy could not have been launched at a better time.

“We now have a legal document that recognises all the issues artistes face. We have been fighting for a larger percentage of airplay in the media. The new policy has addressed this and there are steps to curb piracy,” said the artiste.

Media Owners Association Chairman Hanningtone Gaya said media houses had always been supportive of local music content, even though, they were not involved in the formulation of the policy.

“We, however, insist that it should not be mandatory to dedicate 60 per cent of our music content to local artistes. Our position is that local music should be of good quality and authentic, not something duplicated from the West,” he said.