When artiste Bebe Cool took to his Facebook wall and advocated for deejays to give more priority to Ugandan music, people in the entertainment industry were furious over the accusations, but a year after, the same message has taken Kenyan artistes to the streets complaining of how Nigerian and South African music has taken over their airplay.
The Kenya Musician Movement (KENAM) protested the lack of airplay and bias towards South and West African music as they demanded for 70 per cent Kenyan music airplay in all platforms. Although there is a directive by the government to all Kenyan TV station to screen 60 per cent of the local content which is yet to be realized.
Mitch Wyclif, a publicist for beat ya Keggah production label, said they are angry at how local media predominantly play music from other countries. “We are demanding for 70% airplay from our local media as we see only Tanzania and Nigeria music being aired,” said Mitch.
He cited corruption in the local media, claiming local musicians have to pay media producers and DJs before their music can be played. “The media has turned to be the most corrupt platform. One has to bribe producers of shows and DJs in order to get airplay in their station.”
The publicist also claimed that international artistes mint a lot of money from Kenya by their songs being given airplay and holding concerts at the expense of songs from local artistes.
“Here in Kenya, we are lucky even to get 10% airtime on our local music. Nigerian music is played back to back on our free to air stations that reach the masses. Our local acts can barely earn a living.” said Mitch.
This was the same complaint Bebe Cool made and was criticized for it by the deejays, radio and TV presenters and other media critics.