7 February 2013

Kenya: Next Leaders Should Not Ignore Thespians

The Information Permanent Secretary has challenged the next generation of Kenya's leaders not to ignore the arts industry, saying that is one massive frontier for job creation.

Bitange Ndemo said recently that the creative economy was massive, and 'Presidential candidates should know that this is one way to create jobs'.

"The only problem with the creative industry is that they have a very small attention span," he teased.

The PS said stakeholders in the film industry needed to participate in the upcoming vote to serve their interests best.

"In the next government, we need policies to support that (creative) economy. It must build capacity and look at ways to support the filmmakers," he said, much to the delight of the filmmakers themselves.

He made the remarks as the Africa Magic Viewer's Choice Awards trophy made a stop in Nairobi last week.

Among the chief guests at the well attended function was the Director General of the Communications Commission of Kenya, Francis Wangusi, MNet Managing Director Biola Alabi, Multichoice Regional Director for East Africa Stephen Isaboke and Multichoice Kenya General Manager Danny Mucira.

"As regulators, we're proud of the Kenya Film Industry. We're ready to work with it to promote it as much as we can," said Wangusi.

During the trophy stop, all ten Kenyan nominees were feted, including:

• Maureen Koech - Best supporting actress in a drama (Lies that Bind)

• Ng'endo Mukii - Best Short Film (Yellow Fever)

• Carol Mbugua - Best Art Director (Lies that Bind)

• Reg Chuhi & Kevin Ireri - Best Picture Editor (Lies that Bind)

• Godffrey Mwampembwa & Marie Lora - Mungai - Best television series(XYZ Show)

• Patricia Gichinga & David Campbell - Best television series (Makutano Junction)

• Benjamin Odwuor Abonyo - Best television series (DemiGods)

• Henry Lenga - Best Local language movie - Swahili (Sakalakata)

• Quentin Hughes & Alex Konstantaras - Best local language movie - Swahili (Zeinabu Rudi Nyumbani)

Fans and Kenyans have until March 3 to vote for their favourites.

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