Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha has urged stakeholders in the entertainment sector to support the young and budding talents in schools and colleges to help them realize gainful income from it.
While speaking during the official opening of the 94th edition of the Kenya National Music Festival in Kisumu County, Prof Magoha said the creative industry is the next frontier of economic growth through the creation of employment opportunities for the youth.
“If well harnessed, talent will be the next big source of job creation. I wish to challenge all the industry players and partners to start the process of commercializing our talents,” he said.
Prof Magoha noted that other than learners studying for examinations, young people needed more platforms and the opportunity to showcase their talents through competitive contests.
“Going forward, the National Music Festivals should not be a routine. We should endeavour to identify the top grade performance and support them to nurture their talents,” Prof Magoha said.
This, he stated, would enable talented youths coming out of school or college to be in a position to establish their own companies in the entertainment industry and offer hundreds of job opportunities to actors, thespians, singers, orators, reciters, scriptwriters as well as film directors.
Citing the thriving Nigerian Film Industry which has generated many millionaires in the country, he urged local players to borrow a leaf from how Nollywood uses music and drama mutually.
“The Nollywood industry has overtaken Hollywood in posting many millionaires who have created jobs in the sector. Kenyans can emulate this and also incorporate music and drama to produce interesting movies with diversified themes,” he posed.
While acknowledging the pivotal role music plays in human lives, the Cabinet Secretary hailed the re-introduction of the co-curricular activities in schools and colleges that had been halted for two years following the outbreak of Covid 19 pandemic in 2019.
Prof. Magoha who was accompanied by the ministry’s Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Sarah Ruto stated that the festival helps in exploring talents, enhancing national unity, cohesion and appreciation of the diverse cultures in the country.
Kisumu governor Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o who also graced the event said that music had been used as a catalyst for social engagement and conflict resolution.
Music, Prof Nyong’o added, has been used to convey messages that help in de-campaigning for corruption, bad governance and other social vices in the community.
“I urge teachers and composers of these songs to continue to use their talents in shaping up the society,” said the County boss.
Kenya Music Festival National Chairman Peter Wanjohi observed that this year’s event was scaled down due to limited budgetary allocation as well as time constraints occasioned by the compressed school calendars.
The event organized under the auspices of this year’s theme ‘Kenya, My Pride, My Future’ attracted over 70,000 participants and over 2,000 teachers drawn from Early Childhood Development Centres, Special Needs Institutions, Primary Schools and Teacher Training Colleges and Universities across the country.
“Six hundred talent competitive items from various categories including dance, music and elocution will be staged before the adjudicators,” disclosed Wanjohi, adding that the top performances apart from entertaining the Head of State at the Kisumu State Lodge gala on 24 September would also be privileged to visit the Impala Park courtesy of Kenya Wildlife Services.
The event to showcase the talents, has been sponsored by the Communications Authority, Kenya Railways, Kenya Rural Roads Authority, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, Brooke East Africa and the National Police Service.