Local artists in Kisumu County want the government to support youths in the film industry to nurture their talents for economic gain.
Boniface Oduor popularly known as Ramsey Bon, the founder of a Community Based Organisation – Naweza Films, situated in Manyatta slums says there is a lot of unexploited talent among the youths in the area.
Naweza Films has over seventy members from the age of three years old. It provides training to youths while providing resources like cameras for their members and also to other upcoming artists.
Boniface says that the film industry in the region was still green and much was yet to be done especially by the government as there was inadequate performing opportunities and lack of film schools to train youths.
“In terms of film, the industry does not offer much especially here in Kisumu. It is growing although the growth is slow for lack of support from our government,” said Boniface.
He lamented that lack of resources was the biggest challenge young upcoming artists were facing as Naweza film is the only film organisation in the lake city and it was overwhelming to cater for all of them as numbers kept soaring against the limited resources.
He added that the government was not keen on advocating for artists as many of them lacked funds to nurture their talents and filming licenses were expensive.
However, he cited that the project dubbed sinema mashinani by Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) would give a platform for young artists who were passionate about film.
The project that is set to start by the end of this year is meant to promote local artists from all over the country.
Edward Koech, KFCB Nyanza Regional Manager said that it was a way to bring opportunities to the local area and also discover talent among youths.
“Artists should start preparing. It will be the biggest project ever carried out in the country. The main objective of this project is to promote artists and promote our culture,” said Koech.
Boniface reiterated that the government should try to work with youths because so many youths were unemployed yet they have good talents.
They should create spaces for youths to showcase their talents especially in the film sector which would create employment and reduce poverty and criminal activities in the region, he said.
Additionally, youths have been encouraged to take advantage of the youth funds offered by the county government that would help them as they venture into the industry.
Antony Odhiambo, a youth leader said that the loans were flexible and favourable in terms of paying back and with no interest compared to other microfinancing companies.
By Evangeline Mola and Aphline Adhiambo