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Nakuru promotes creative industries to increase employment opportunities

Nakuru County government is investing more in theatre and nurturing diverse and vibrant creative talents aimed at creating more employment opportunities to address the rising unemployment cases among the youthful population.

Tourism and Culture Chief Officer Ms Rosemary Wambui said the county government was making good use of the available theatre infrastructure to scout for emerging talents across the devolved unit.

Wambui was happy that introduction of prime arts and comedy segments in nearly all television stations was a clear indication that art was becoming a paying venture adding that besides the performing arts, visual arts and cultural heritage, Kenyans were now producing films, videos, television and radio shows, video games, music and books which were increasingly becoming popular among Kenyans both in urban and rural set-ups.

While voicing the county administration’s commitment to supporting creative activities for economic gains, the CECM said the county was also supporting important work being undertaken in graphic design, fashion and advertising subsectors within the County.

The official was speaking after a meeting with county staff and stakeholders to deliberate on the preparations of the World Arts Day celebration scheduled to be held on April 15 this year.

She observed that art was critical in expressing emotions, communicating ideas and transmitting knowledge from one generation to another and advised that the best way of encouraging progressive thinking and innovative ideas to advance a ‘creative economy’ was cultivating young people’s imagination and creativity.

“The event is creating a platform for industry players and stakeholders to learn, share and celebrate their diverse artistic creations and also leverage these talents to advocate for national cohesion in society,” added Ms Wambui.

She said the event would also be used as a forum to promote artistic expression for national cohesion and sustainable development as participants will show off their raw talent and novel ideas.

“This not only gives visual and performing artists a platform to showcase their work but also provides a marketing venue for products,” she added.

Consequently, the chief officer said the event would promote teamwork and unity and play a pivotal role in the celebration of the country’s cultural heritage as the youth participate in activities key in supporting livelihoods and the empowerment of their immediate communities.

At the same time, the CECM said it was important for counties to fully utilize homegrown talent in all their events as art was an expressive, non-threatening way to express inner feelings adding that Nakuru County was comitted to promoting and protecting local artists against exploitation with the World Arts Day Celebration providing an opportunity for young people to explore music, drama, dance, film, art and fashion.

She hailed the Youth Affairs, Sports and Arts Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba’s announcement to the effect that his Ministry was preparing a new legal framework to protect Kenyan creatives and the industry.

According to Namwamba, the New Creatives Economy Bill has an all-encompassing legal framework to manage the industry.

For too long, culture and arts have been made marginal to national development due to conservative attitudes of what they entail.

Cultural experts have however indicated that limiting culture to tradition and ethnography denies the nation the opportunities provided by the imagination, technological advances, rapid urbanization and the energies released by cultural interconnectedness.

Proclaimed at the 40th session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 2019, the World Art Day is geared towards promoting the development, diffusion and enjoyment of art.

By Esther Mwangi and Okello Tracy

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