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Kenya-American Grammy partnerships to promote local talent

The government has opened negotiations with the American Grammys to nurture and support local talent.

Once finalized, the move will see young, talented Kenyans secure training and recording opportunities with the world’s most prestigious music awards organizers to polish and monetize their content.

Youth Affairs, Sports, and Arts Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ababu Namwamba said the talks come after the successful signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Trace TV to promote local talent.

He said the two agreements were a milestone in the government’s plan to help local creatives earn a decent living from their content.

Through partnerships with the county governments, he said an elaborate programme was being structured to identify and nurture talent to benefit from the programs.

He said the initiative, which is under the government’s Talanta Hela programme,  was set to unlock opportunities for youths across the country.

A competition dubbed ‘Who’s Kenya’s next big star?’ He said it has been planned and will be implemented in the counties to scout for local talent.

“The competition is being structured and will be announced officially next week,” he said.

Each county, he added, will organize competitions at the grassroots, with the best of the best meeting at the nationals to select winners to benefit from the Trace TV and Grammys scholarships.

Trace, which runs a radio and TV station, will absorb 30 young artists every year.

The beneficiaries will receive training at the Trace Academy and receive support to record content, which will then be promoted on Trace TV and radio.

The Ministry, he added, plans to develop academies across the country to support creatives.

“We are seeking to explore all creatives in music, fashion, pageantry, fine art, film, comedy, theatre, and performing arts to ensure that all artists monetise their content,” he said.

Speaking during the inaugural Kisumu Arts and Culture Festival, Namwamba challenged the media to scale up airtime for local productions to support the growth of the creative industry.

He said local productions, despite being of superior quality, continue to be shunned by the local media, dealing a blow to the growth of the sector.

His ministry, he added, was also negotiating with social media giants Meta, Tiktok, and Google to open up avenues for local content.

“We want to feed more local content into the platforms, including our archives and national drama festivals,” he said.

By Chris Mahandara 

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