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Mt Kenya musicians now end wrangles

by kenya-tribune

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Musicians from Mt Kenya region have now settled their differences and have formed a sacco which they will use to uplift their living standards.

In October last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta had called for a meeting with the artistes but it did not materialise as they clashed over who was to attend it.

State House called it off at the last minute in order to give the musicians time to resolve their misunderstandings.

One faction blamed a group of musicians from the region of planning to meet the President “to advance their own selfish interests” and not for the welfare of them all.

Led by pop singer Kamande Wa Kioi, the group told the Nation that there was a plan to lock out majority of them from the State House meeting.

But las Saturday, the musicians, who included Mr Kioi graced the launch of their sacco dubbed Tamco Sacco at Thika Greens.

Musicians turned up in large numbers for the launch.

Led by their chairman John Ng’ang’a Mwangi, popularly known as John De Mathew, they agreed to shelve their differences and work together through the sacco to promote each other and invest through savings and lending loans to members.

“For a very long time we have not worked together as artistes but we agreed to form the sacco for pooling and mobilising resources together to uplift our living standards,” De Mathew said, noting that despite being famous and popular, most of them die in abject poverty leaving their families as paupers.

Speaking during the event Nominated MP Maina Kamanda urged the musicians to maintain unity and not to “embarrass leaders” for fighting each other despite him securing a meeting for them with the head of State.

“You embarrassed me for the first time but now that you have come together, I will plan for your meeting with the head of State who sent me with Sh1 million to open an account,” he said.

Thika Town MP Patrick Wainaina said he will sponsor a Bill in Parliament to set strict regulations on the process of paying the artistes their dues.

“I’m working on a Bill that will ensure artistes are paid their dues promptly and, among other things, promote local content to ensure the growth of musicians,” he said.

Governor Mwangi Wa Iria, who was the chief guest, said he would partner with the musicians’ sacco in the proposed construction of a modern studio.

“We have been allocating money for the construction of the state-of-art studio but we have had challenges on how to operationalise it upon completion but now that you have come together and formed a sacco, my administration will partner with you to guide us through,” Mr Wa Iria said.

During the launch, close to Sh2 million was raised to run the sacco.

Artistes who wish to join the sacco will be required to buy shares worth Sh2,000 and be contributing Sh2,000 monthly.

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