The Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) on Monday, March 28 announced the appointment of immediate former Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) boss Ezekiel Mutua as its new CEO.
MCSK is the largest and oldest of three Collective Management Organizations (CMOs) in Kenya. It is licensed to represent artists and ensure that they are compensated for use of their work by businesses, individuals and media houses.
The organization, however, has a tarnished reputation due to mismanagement and underhand dealings that continue to cost artist billions of shillings in royalties. It is this age-old mess that Mutua will be expected to clean up.
Industry stakeholders, particularly artists, will be hoping that his no-holds-barred approach to work may help fix the rot.
At KFCB, Mutua constantly battled criticism directed his way as he earned the tag ‘Moral Police’. Many considered him overzealous with censorship of local content he deemed inappropriate, and argued that some of his actions stifled the industry instead of growing it.
He is, however, also credited with rolling out more partnerships with stakeholders and amplifying the body’s role in the local production industry.
Announcing his appointment, MCSK Board chaired by Lazarus Muli highlighted their hope that Mutua’s experience would drive transformation at the CMO.
Mutua began his professional career as a trainee journalist at Nation Media Group (NMG) in 1994 and became sub-editor in 1998. In 2001, he became Secretary General of the Kenya Union of Journalists and served until 2007.
He was appointed Director of Information and Public Communications in former President Mwai Kibaki’s second term. He later served as Information Secretary before being appointed CEO of KFCB in 2015.
“We, as Members of the MCSK Board, warmly welcomes Dr. Mutua at the helm of our society’s leadership, congratulate him on his appointment, and wish him well as he begins his tour of duty with us.”
“We have faith that his passion for excellence, as attested by his exemplary performance in the previous positions he has held, will help us to steer MCSK to the next level,” a statement from MCSK read in part.