By Hussein Kiganda
Artistes in Kenya have urged authorities in charge of performing arts to put up a body that regulates performances from foreign performers in the country.
During an interview, Kenyan comedian MC Jessy suggested that a regulating body could be called the Creative Economy Council of Kenya, whose role could be to enable foreign performers to pay some money when they are to perform in the country.
MC Jessy reasoned that performers swam into the country because they do not pay anything off their collected money.
“That’s why they all like coming here because they will never pay taxes on the money they make as appearance or performance fees. This is simply because we don’t have a regulator,” he said.
“There are so many shortcuts in Kenya that foreign artists get away with and that’s why they are always popping up. Most of them enter the country on a tourist visa instead of a work permit,” he added.
To him, like the USA, if a regulator is put in place to stop foreign performers from doing business in the country at a free cost, the local entertainment industry will have space to expand.
In Uganda, it is the same case. Artists from all over the world are free to come to the country and perform without paying any penny. This month, Beenie Man from Jamaica and Ada Ehi from Nigeria performed in Uganda.
Next month, Travis Greene, a gospel star from the USA will be performing in Kampala. Where does this leave the Ugandan entertainment industry?