This year’s Skiza Forum by Safaricom was held on 6th July 2017 at the CArnivore Grounds in Lang’ata. Artistes from different parts of the country gathered to share their challenges that they come across in regards to the payments from Skiza Tunes among other things.
June Gachui, musician, actress and Intellectual Property lawyer started off the forum by introducing the first speaker, Sylvia Mulinge who started off by telling the audience about Safaricom Twaweza and its aim to be linked with its consumers as well as musicians.
She stated that during such forums, the issue of payments always comes up from artists and it also shows that some of them do not know their rights when it comes to protecting and earning from their music. Musicians often feel robbed by Safaricom especially because they earn much less from Skiza tunes than international artistes. Sylvia addressed this by telling the audience that Safaricom announced that local musicians will earn up to 30% revenue shares from Skiza tunes just like international artists from 20% revenue shares.
Safaricom expressed it’s disappointment by the fact that artists do not get the money they deserve from Skiza tunes and asked them to make sure they have solid contracts with the content providers so as to curb this issue. They also told the artists to seek termination of contracts with providers who exploit them.
Some artists asked why Safaricom cannot deal with them directly and avoid using the content providers as middlemen to which they answered saying that they do not have the proper licenses to facilitate the uploading of music to the Skiza portal.
Numerous artsis expressed their concerns and bad experiences with the content provider companies from being paid much less than they should be to lack of termination of contracts which they opted out of. A solid solution for artists with their music on the Skiza tune platform is yet to be arrived at.