The Real Reason why Promoters Pay Foreign Musicians Millions at the Expense of Kenyan Artistes

There has been a lot of debate recently on why Kenyan promoters prefer foreign musicians to Kenyan artistes. Comedian Eric Omondi sensationally revealed that many times Kenyan artistes curtain raise for foreigners. Promoters then pay them peanuts.

The former Churchill Show comedian laid the blame on the artistes. He said that the quality of their music is questionable and that is why they settle for less.

Eric’s sentiments have been met with a lot of hostility. ‘Pete Yangu’ hit maker Kevin Mbuvi Kioko alias Bahati was rather harsh in his reaction to Eric Omondi’s statement.

Whichever angle you look at it, Eric had a point. But he was wrong to blame the quality of Kenyan music. Kenyan musicians have a huge fan base in Kenya and East Africa at large.

According to a promoter who sought anonymity, sponsors and advertisers are the problem. Most brands have a low opinion towards fans that attend shows graced exclusively by Kenyan musicians.

Many of those fans do not ‘have the capacity’ to purchase their products or services.


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“If I organize a show and present a proposal to popular companies and sponsors, they always reject events graced by Kenyan artistes. But if I mention in the proposal that an international artiste will be the main act, they always accept. So it is not about the quality of Kenyan music but the fans,” said one anonymous promoter.

The argument is very debatable though. A South African artiste called Black Coffee had an event at Nairobi’s Ngong Racecourse. The entry charges were KES 5000 and the event was full to the brim. The people that attended the show are Kenyans.

What that means is that Kenyans love music and they can pay to attend events. The ball is on the promoters’ court. They should be more creative on how they market events involving Kenyan artistes.

Kenyan artistes can fill stadiums

Otile Brown was in Kisii recently to launch a new club called Corner Bistro. There were so many revelers that the club could not hold. The guy can fill a stadium. Kenyans love their music. The problem is with the promoters, sponsors and advertisers. They see more value in revelers that attend events graced by foreigners.

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