It is not until you get deep into the music business that you realize it’s just a business like any other. The core to every thriving business comprises great business management skills that come with an HR and PR of its kind.
The amount of time and money you pump into business as an investment comes back with an equal return or surplus for that matter.
For a long time, the Kenyan music industry was ahead of both Uganda and Tanzania until tables were turned on us. Forget about the hullabaloo of Kenyan artistes doing trash music. That is pure nonsense. In fact, good music is good music as long as it is accepted and has the touch of musicality.
The truth of the matter is that Kenya is second Tanzania and the reverse is a nightmare. Music outfits in Tanzania have crafted a way of holding Kenyan industry stakeholders by their balls.
What do you expect when a Tanzanian song hits the Kenyan airwaves before it even gets popular in Tanzania? How then is this done?
A music label or studio in Tanzania will ensure they have emails of influential music promoters and presenters in Kenya thus the news of a music release spreads so fast while on the other side Tanzanian music stakeholders are true to their course. They have no time to waste receiving Kenyan music. How they skillfully create their kikis (clout) and eventually convert the attention into traffic should be given utmost priority by us.
Anyone in Kenya would think BASATA is a financial institution and rather not a content control body. This is because other than primarily perfecting content like our able Ezekiel Mutua does, Basata is keen on making follow-ups on why their creative industry is not thriving. Giving solutions to artists’ problems.
The Tanzanian government and the private sector combined have a working framework in which the media is empowered to promote local content and excavation of new talents on a regular basis. Sorry to say but in our country, a click of artists would rather do a merry-go-round at selected media stations until the cycle becomes monotonous.
There is little space for new brands in comparison with already existing ones hence it is easier to lose the actual point in the end. Somewhere middle-way unreasonable outfits are created to form an impassable wall between mainstream and oblivion.
Up to now, Kenyan creatives in the comedy sector are still fond of using Tanzanian music in their scripts as compared to those from their Kenyan counterparts and so are our filmmakers.
The bark stops with our selfishness and greed to the point we need to realize that Kenya comes first. Funny how the Kenya shilling thrives ahead of Tanzania shilling yet their music is ahead of us. The big question is, how can we return the trust of Kenyan fans and unite towards a collective responsibility of opening up our own industry and limiting international dominance. In Tanzania, artists and government are one and the same thing while in Kenya the Government is the number one enemy of the Kenyan artiste.