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County allocates Sh50 million to Support Creative Arts Industry

Embu County Government will in the coming 2023/24 Financial Year set aside Sh 50 million to support the creative arts industry.

Governor Cecily Mbarire said they are already in the process of formulating a comprehensive policy aimed at guiding the success of the creative industry in the county.

Speaking during the marking of the first County Creative Arts Week at an Embu Hotel themed “Mainstreaming The Creative Economy,” the Governor said the policy will assist in addressing challenges that artists especially the upcoming face including funding, training and capacity development as well as exposure.

The event that brought together individuals talented in the areas of fine arts, music, poetry, dancing and film making, was also graced by among others President William Ruto’s daughter and youth affairs champion Charlene Ruto, Secretary for Youth Affairs Raymond Ochieng’, comedians Churchill, Chipukeezy, Dr King’ori and musician Bahati.

“As a county, we have decided to go the opportunity way to ensure that our youth are able to monetize their talents and earn a living from them,” the county boss said.

She also challenged artists across the county to come up together and form a Sacco to enable them grow together economically as they will also benefit from National and County Government economic empowerment programs.

“If you form a Sacco for the creatives, I promise you the County Government will put in some money that will give you a platform where you can go borrow money to support your work,” she said.

She also announced plans to hold an annual talent search programme dubbed “Zindua Talanta” focusing on performing and creative arts to generate content for a community TV station that will broadcast local content.

She revealed that all these programs have been captured in the County Integrated Development Programme (CIDP) that will run for the next five years.

President Ruto’s daughter Charlene, urged the youth to be aggressive in exploiting their inherent skills and talents to transform their lives.

“My father did not come to tell me to start engaging in youth affairs, I personally went and told him I am passionate about the young people and I want to support them and he gave me his blessings,” she said.

CS Youth Affairs Sports and Arts Ababu Namwamba in a speech read on his behalf by Youth Affairs Secretary Raymond Ochieng’, directed Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) and Kenya Film Commission (KFC) to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the county on areas of partnership in supporting the creative arts industry.

During the event, renowned Benga Musician from Embu Newton Kariuki popularly known for hit songs such “Muthoni Kifagio” was feted with a lifetime achievement award from the county government. He is also the Muminji Ward Member of County Assembly.

By Samuel Waititu

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