Sauti Sol or the desperate Models? Who to blame?

Sauti Sol auditioned for models to appear in a video they wanted to shoot today, but things didn’t go as planned when an email explaining to the models the terms and conditions of their involvement in the video leaked. In the email, it was explained that the models would not be compensated for their dance and appearance in the music video, but that they would be provided with transport, meals and exposure.

The leaked email made some Kenyans very mad, with one Peter Oduor penning a very angry Facebook post denouncing Sauti Sol for the despicable act. In his work titled “WORK-PLACE EXPLOITATION IS THE WORST FORM OF EXPLOITATION“, Oduor laments not only against Sauti Sol for wanting “something for nothing” but also against employers who go around dishing out “unpaid internship opportunities”.

The post by Peter Oduor has solicited a number of comments, with majority of those commenting agreeing with him that what Sauti Sol did was and is unacceptable. A few however found fault with the models for agreeing to appear in the video in exchange for free transport, meals, and exposure. The question therefore is, who is at fault?

Before I give my opinion on who we should blame, let me first make a point clear. In the wake of the leaked email, Sauti Sol made a statement to the effect that it was not them but third party contractors who stage managed the exploitation, “We have been made aware of an email going around asking models to appear in a Sauti Sol dance video production for no compensation. The production email address it was sent from is often used by 3rd party contractors and in this case they clearly got it all wrong. We believe in fair compensation for all work in the entertainment industry and do not condone the “exposure” speak. We believe our track record speaks for itself. Needless to say, we have terminated our contract with the production company involved and apologize for this misunderstanding”, explained Sauti Sol via their Facebook Page.

See also  Family festival draws 10,000 to Tatu City

In as much as Sauti Sol washed their hands from the allegations, they didn’t go ahead to name the third party contractors whom they blame for exploitations, despite writing that they have terminated their contract with the production company involved. Not naming the production company that gave Sauti Sol such a bad name, and the fact that the email to which models were to send their application is under Sauti Sol’s domain name ([email protected]), implying that Sauti Sol had direct involvement with auditioning the models.

Back on whether Sauti Sol or the desperate models should be blamed, I always take the stand against the strong, the mighty, and the successful. The largest share of the blame of course will always go to the government. History of success is filled with stories of greedy capitalists who exploited workers, either as slaves or at close to no pay at all. These capitalists such as Andrew Carnegie who developed the steel industry in the US, always pocketed or threatened the government to ensure their exploitative tendencies were not checked. The workers in those scenarios had either rocks or walls to choose from, for they would either refuse not to be employed and live homeless lives, or agree to be exploited for survival.

In Kenya, there are at least 6 million jobless youth who have no idea what to do to make a living. These youths have resorted to hawking, prostitution, modeling, and nowadays slay queening. Given the heightened competitive job markets, these youths are ready to do anything that promise them hope, food, and selfie for IG, FB and Twitter. In as much as we would like to blame the slay queens for having such lives, it is the economic circumstances that has made them be what they are – ignorant big life dreamers who are easy to lure and exploit.

See also  Use these 5 tips to manage your expenses during this time of high cost of living

So the question is, if a particular person is easy to exploit, should we go ahead and exploit them? Aren’t we who have been able to navigate the murky waters of economic difficulties responsible for guiding and at best paying those whom we work with? Those whom we use their time to perform duties that benefit our art and craft?

Then the issue of exposure is purely nonsensical. If it were some nobody telling the models that he/she would give the models an exposure, and exposure that would most likely be noticed by the renowned Sauti Sol, then the con could have worked. But when industry heavyweights are the ones who want to give exposure, the question one would immediately want to ask is, exposure to who? Aren’t the industry heavyweights the guys who are supposed to noticing those exposed by others lower in the food chain?

But we shouldn’t expect Sauti Sol and their ilk to behave especially when slay queens are actually ready to give their slay queening services for free. To protect the slay queens (read ignorant models), the government needs to come in handy and fast to provide a framework through which the desperate models can get recourse.

Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
Odipo Riaga on FacebookOdipo Riaga on Linkedin

You may also like...