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Sports Ministry to scout and monetize top performers in drama, music and sports competitions

The Ministry of Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts has started working on modalities that will see top performers in the ongoing co-curricular activities in the academic calendar are monetized.

According to Youth, Sports  and Arts Cabinet Secretary, Ababu Namwamba, the Ministry is seeking to establish a pipeline that will lead the talents drawn from the annual sports, drama and music festivals, to the job market.

Speaking when he opened the first day of the 95th Edition of the National Music Festivals in Nyeri, the CS noted that the Ministry had already set-up structures under the State Department for Youth Affairs and Arts, which will see the top players identified, mentored and their skills monetized so that they do not get forgoten.

“At the end of the day, it will not be about our children coming here and presenting their items. We have now opened this pipeline that will lead to spaces, where these talents can progress beyond the school eco-system,” said the CS.

“From the Drama Festivals in Mombasa, we have already identified top items that we are working to monetize. And when we conclude National Music Festivals, the best items will be offered a platform to be progressed beyond this completion, so that our young people can go on to live from their talents,” added Namwamba.

Also set to benefit from the programme are some 2,000 Primary and Secondary school students, who have been scouted during the ongoing national school games in Kakamega and Kisumu Counties. The cohort, the CS said, will receive training from leading coaches during their stay at the first ever National Talent Camp, to be held in Kasarani Stadium starting next week.

Sports Cabinet Secretary, Ababu Namwamba, chats with pupils from Lakehood School in Migori County, during the opening of the 95th Edition of the National Music Festivals at the Dedan Kimathi University of Technology in Nyeri County. The Pre-scholars presented choral verse titled My Gap during the music fair.
Photos by Wangari Mwangi

He said that that his Ministry was committed to supporting the furtherance of arts and sports in all learning institutions.

Namwamba noted that his Ministry is working jointly with that of Education, to ensure that the development of sports and talents receives proportional emphasis to the promotion of academia.

“The same way we want to have great mathematicians, is the same way we want to have great actors and footballers, because I believe that is the whole vision of the Competence Based Curriculum. This is the very intentional, deliberate and structural pipeline that the two ministries are creating for talents in our schools,” he said.

This year’s music fair is being hosted by the Dedan Kimathi University of Technology with the sports ministry being the chief sponsors of the event. According to the CS, out of the Sh 267million that his Ministry set aside to support sporting, drama and Art activities in the academic calendar, the music festivals received Sh 143 million.

The festivals will run for 12 straight days under the theme; ‘Nurturing Talent for Innovation and Development; More than 130,000 participants from pre-primary, primary, secondary schools, colleges, polytechnics and universities in the country, have been lined-up to take part in the annual display of talent.

The state concert is slated for August 23, where the top performers will present their pieces before the Head of State at State House.

During the opening ceremony, Namwamba was accompanied by the Principal Secretary for Youth Affairs, Ismail Maalim, members of the Kenya Music Festival Executive Committee members, Central Region Director of Education, Sabina Aroni, Nyeri County TSC Director, Elijah Omwenga, Nyeri County Commissioner, Pius Murugu and a host of other key education stakeholders.

By Wangari Mwangi 

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