Nonini resigns, blames Daddy Owen and Ian Mbugua

From left: Kenyan thespian Ian Mbugua, rapper Nonini and gospel artiste Daddy Owen. PHOTOS | NATION

Genge rapper Nonini has blamed his resignation on gospel musician Daddy Owen and renowned Kenyan thespian Ian Mbugua of sabotaging his work as the Chairman of Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK).

Nonini has blamed PRISK’s board of Directors, where the ‘Vanity’ hitmaker and Mbugua seat, as well as the Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP) for his decision to resign.

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In his letter of resignation letter dated August 8, 2018, the rapper, who is among the pioneers of Kenyan urban music, stated that PRISK and KAMP did not have the best interest of local musicians at heart.

According to his letter Nonini says, “I cannot continue serving the PRISK board as Chairman, on a board where politics of not collecting royalty in line with KECOBO directives is more important than the future of the Kenyan music industry collecting royalty jointly.”

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The singer also blamed PRISK and KAMP of collecting royalties while excluding the Music Publishers Association of Kenya (MPAKE), despite Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) directives that the three bodies should jointly work together in matters royalties.

Nonini also claims that he tried without success to put some sense into the six members who make up the PRISK board of Directors on the importance of compiling with KECOBO directive.

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In addition he said, “I am extremely embarrassed that directors of PRISK and by extension KAMP can blatantly disregard regulatory directives without regard to the interests of artistes who rely on CMOs to act within KECOBO regulatory frameworks,” Nonini continued.

According to Nonini, four out of six directors present in the meeting voted to continue with KAMP-PRISK collections excluding MPAKE.


David Mathenge (Nameless), abstained from the vote while Samuel Kuria (SK Blue) was absent.

Thus, the directors whose votes opposed Nonini’s proposal were Daddy Owen, Ian Mbugua, Irene Kariuki and Beatrice Achieng.

Despite his resignation, Nonini says he will continue serving as a board member of PRISK until when his term comes to an end.

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Nonini originally signed to Calif Records, but later joined Homeboyz Productions. He was introduced to the Kenyan urban music scene through his debut single “Nonini ni Nani?” He achieved national and regional recognition with his 2002 track “Manzi wa Nairobi,” a song which praised the beauty of Kenyan women and a follow-up single “Weh Kamu”. He went on to release his debut album Hanyaring Game in late 2004 which included the hit “Keroro” a Kenyan slang (sheng) term for beer.Nonini is famed for releasing the first Genge hit early in his career.

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He runs a video production company named “Pro Habo” which successfully gave rise to P Unit. He is also a radio presenter.

Later, Nani Mwenza, his collaboration track with Tanzanian musician Juma Nature, became a regional hit. In addition, he has collaborated with local artist Nameless to create a Friday anthem appropriately titled “furahi-day”. Both songs are on his second album Mwisho Ya Mawazo, released in 2007. The album features several guest musicians, including Nyota Ndogo, Mercy Myra, Professor Jay and Q-Chief.

He is the founder of P-Unit (Pro-Habo Unit) that consists of rappers Bonnie, Frasha, Gabu and himself. The crew has produced several songs most notably “Si Lazima” a Swahili phrase which literally translates to “it’s not a must” . The song talks of times in a relationship where a couple does not need to have sex – they can just go home and relax. People have found the song quite contradictory to the messages he communicated in previous songs. At the 2007 Kisima Music Awards P-Unit won the Boomba Group category.

It was the first time Nonini won a Kisima Award. Their second single is known as “Kushoto-Kulia”; meaning “Left-Right”. Both songs are on Nonini’s “Mwisho ya Mawazo” album.[5]


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