Kenya: Wa Iria Bill Proposes State Funding for Kenyan Artistes

13 October 2019

Murang'a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria has drafted the National Music and Arts Bill which seeks to create an independent statutory fund to support, sponsor, lend and offer grants to musicians, artistes and comedians.

The governor, who is also the patron for Talented Musicians and Composers (Tamco) Sacco, an organisation bringing together musicians from Mt Kenya region, said the Bill, once it becomes law, will promote the music and arts industry, noting that the stakeholders in the sector play an integral part in the Kenyan culture.

MUSIC VARIETY

According to the county boss, the proposed Bill also seeks to enhance access to a diverse range of Kenyan music choices through existing and emerging media and establishing a tracking device that will ensure that artistes gets their deserved royalties.

"This Bill is meant to increase the opportunities available for Kenyan music artistes and entrepreneurs to make a significant and lasting contribution to the Kenyan cultural expression and to ensure that stakeholders in the sector have the skills, know-how and tools to succeed in a global and digital music environment," the governor said.

OPPORTUNITIES

He told the Nation that the fund will help the entrepreneurs with opportunities to develop, produce and promote Kenyan sound recordings.

The governor, who spoke on Thursday when he laid a foundation stone for a three-storey building owned by the Tamco Sacco members, said the establishment of the fund will go a long way in helping musicians and reward them heavily.

PROPOSAL WELCOME

His proposal has been welcomed by the artistes with Tamco Sacco Chairperson Epha Maina saying other countries have a similar kitty.

"The fund will help musicians to enjoy the fruits of their work and the country will also benefit since most of us take part on preserving our culture and informing locals of the changing world.

"Other countries have the fund and I urge our members of National Assembly to support the Bill once it is tabled in Parliament," Mr Maina said.

Sweden, Australia and Canada are some of the countries who nurture home-grown music talent by way of establishment of such a fund.

Governor Wa Iria said the proposal is in its final stages and that it will be forwarded to the National Assembly in two months' time.

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