Adawnage band has released a statement announcing changes in the group. They describe the change as ‘dawning of a new age that will see a third generation of Adawnage continue with our vision’.
This comes after a court in Nairobi ruled in March 2023 that Adawnage band owes its former lead singer, Kaki Mwihaki unpaid royalties for a number of years.
In the statement, Adawnage did not address the issue directly. Instead they assured stakeholders of continued commitment to the highest standards of integrity and professionalism.
The statement reads: “To further enhance this and attend to gaps that have been noted in this situation, we have recruited the help of independent auditors and consultants to help us streamline our operations and ensure improved accountability as Adawnage band carries out its mandate in the kingdom.”
The former founder and lead singer, who currently resides in the US, accused band of collecting royalty monies and not remitting her portion.
“We can’t quantify the amount just yet because the orders have been issued by the court and Adwanage needs to comply with those orders before we can determine how much they should pay. However, we are looking at millions of shillings because the royalties have accumulated over the years, and it’s not about one song but more than 10,” said David Katee, Mwihaki’s lawyer.
In court documents, Kaki Mwihaki stated that in 2015 her marriage was irretrievably broken and she went through a difficult phase of depression, suffered stigma and it affected her overall health as well as availability for some band activities. “I maintained a low profile from the media during the entire (divorce) court proceedings and did very few performances with the band as I was in no state emotionally or mentally to participate.”
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It’s reported that after Mwihaki stepped back from her role as lead singer as a result of the divorce case, the rest of the band began to distance itself from her. Soon after she was kicked out of the band and denied access to its music catalogue. After relocating to the US, Mwihaki reached out to the band requesting to be paid her royalties of the 12 songs out of 20 contained in the initial two albums – Safari and Maisha – which she composed and authored.
Kaki also requested the band to change the authorship of the 12 songs to Roseline Mwihaki instead of Adawnage but the band refused, insisting that the songs were the band’s Intellectual Property and will remain as such.
“I am not credited as songwriter of any of my original compositions on any of the platforms (online and on YouTube) and efforts to have the band credit my work have been futile,” Mwihaki says.
According to reports, Mwihaki tried to reach out to the band two occasions, one with the initial co-founders and another with a lawyer but the discussions bore no fruit leading to the court case.
In the ruling, magistrate Caroline Cheptoo ordered all revenue collected from show performances, merchandise and other sources since the inception of Adwanage LLP be audited and accounted for, and Mwihaki be given her equal share under the partnership. That Mwihaki be credited for her IP on all of her compositions on all distribution platforms. That reconciliation be done for revenue generated from all active distribution and licensing agreements between the band and any other party and Mwihaki be given her fair share under the partnership.
This explains the recruitment of independent auditors and consultants as articulated in the new statement by the band.
There have been mixed reaction to the statement on social media. Some are encouraging the band to continue worshipping and serving while others are calling for transparency and response to the lawsuit.
Roystone Simiyu – You are much important to our lives and through listening your music am healed. Keep up the spreading of gospel of God you will be blessed eventually.
Terry Atieno – You bless me. Naomba has bern my skiza tune for like forever. May you bounce back
Joan W. Wachira – I thought they were telling us Kaki has been settled…
Kungu Davis Tim – I feel Kaki Mwihaki is still a big part of you. Hopefully you guys are gonna find away to work things out. We madly loved your songs when you were all intact. We still do and we hope you will continue to minister in spirit and in truth.
It’s not clear whether the revamped band is under the same leadership but many fans hope that they weather the storms and continue to bless them with ‘God-inspired’ music as they call it.