Kenyan gospel singer Reuben Kigame has forbidden representatives from the government and copyright societies from speaking at his funeral once he dies.
Through a series of tweets, Kigame said he has nothing to show for all the years he has been in the music industry, despite his songs being played on local radio stations and public events.
“I wish to go public about something and I want it marked well: if you one day hear musician Reuben Kigame is dead, do not allow any government representative or those from the so cold copyright societies to speak at my funeral service. What I have been through under them is enough,” an aggrieved Kigame wrote.
Kigame, who has recorded 29 albums since he started his career 34 years ago, says he earns a measly Sh18,000 per month in royalties.
“Been recording music since 1987. Released 29 albums with daily airplay in many stations around Kenya. My songs are played on just about every public event including by police and military bands,” Kigame tweeted.
Kigame says the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK), the Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK), Safaricom, the pirate network, and cartel theft were to blame for his woes.
“Before I am told to be grateful, think about MCSK and PRISK hoarding royalties from 2009, Safaricom, and other bodies getting the bigger share in collections, piracy, and cartel theft! If anyone doubted God can provide, ask me. I am one of those doing very well, or so I assume. What are other musicians getting? Out of Ksh 10 of skiza royalties, I keep Ksh 2 or 3. The rest is somebody else’s!”
Kigame, who is also an author, says he received Sh10,545 in February 2021 after a loan deduction of Sh6,986.
Some of his top hits include Huniachi, Enda Nasi, and Bwana ni Mchungaji Wangu.