I was walking in town last night to get a matatu(PSVminivan) to go home and as usual everyone I passed would stop and stare at me like I was lost.This is normal for me especially since I left Big Brother..(yes people sometimes i use public transport because i didnt get paid after big brother)but what was odd this particular evening was that as I was standing there in a crowd of people, I overheard two girls who were standing next to me say
Girl 1: si this is that chic for Big Brother?
Girl 2: kwani even celebs jav(use public transport)?
Celebs dont jav? Note that Im standing right next to them...for all I know they could have been talking to me without my knowledge.
Anyway,thats not my point. The point is that how do celebrities earn a living in kenya? The truth is that most musicians,actors and all other entertainers in Kenya are struggling? I know some of you are probably saying that you have seen your local celbrities driving big cars(in kenya that is toyota mac x ,at most, mercedes benz)but in all honesty thats peanuts compared to their counterparts in other African countries.
Just cross the border into Uganda and look for one man called Bobi Wine.The guy even has a chopper or so I heard.So where did Kenyans get it wrong?
Its so amazing that you can invite some of the biggest names in the music industry to your event and pay them 100,000kshs and they are over the moon..100k?pliz,the dbanj's and tha p-square's would laugh in your face with that offer.To invite Dbanj to perform in Kenya will cost you 30.000$ no negotiation and that is on a good day. To take say Jua cali to Nigeria, will probably cost you say 3000$ thats if you are in a generous mood.
But seriously,Kenyans don't like to pay for entertainment,but would rather pay for foreign artists to perform than promote their homegrown talent.
well one can argue that homegrown artists dont take themselves seriously,so their fans cant see them any differently.True! but how can an upcoming artist support himself and all his expenses and expect him to produce good quality to stand against artists that have well oiled team behind him.
Did you know that to be signed to a record label in Kenya does not necessarily mean they market you package you and sell you...but in actual sense they charge you to record per song???and then you go out and distribute it to radio stations tv stations deejays and hope it gets airtime and eventually translates into performances.WTF???When in Naija, Psquare is clocking 2million record sales a month, Jua cali is hoping that he gets to do 30 performances where he will earn about 50,000 a show and nowhere does the idea of record sales occur to him.
why you may ask. ill tell you why.Its because we are not buying his cd's instead we pirate them..(btw.piracy is a crime)did you know that platinum in Kenya is 10,000 copies sold?imagine what Psquare would say.
So before you criticise you homegrown artists take time to think of the kind of hardship they endure to get their work out there for you to enjoy.For the artists I just have one piece of advice,You cannot sow maize and harvest beans.(what i mean is,you cannot do half baked issh and expect Kenyans to buy your music).Check yourself!
Thats all Im saying...