Stage actors across the country sighed with relief after the Sh100 million presidential stimulus for Covid-19, dubbed Work for Pay, was finally disbursed after artistes submitted applications and had their work recorded for Kulture TV.
The auditions and applications were done online due to Covid-19 restrictions on social distancing.
"We are pleased that the Kenya Cultural Centre has so far paid 64 artistes with recordings in five regions, including Nairobi, Nyanza, Rift Valley, Western and parts of Central regions," said Mr Mike Pundo, the Executive Director of the Kenya Cultural Centre.
Artistes were paid about Sh10,000 each covering different genres including plays, poetry, spoken word, cultural creative dance and percussion, radio theatre, narratives and storytelling.
While there was room to write and perform stories other than those on Covid-19, nearly 95 percent of the items were on the prevention and management of the pandemic.
We are very happy we received our money promptly and had our works recorded. We thank President Uhuru Kenyatta and his government for this initiative," said Xavier Nato, the producer at Millaz Productions, whose company produced a play on the restrictions of movement to and from the Nairobi metropolitan region.
The government, through the Ministry of Sports, Heritage and Culture, implemented the project directly through state agencies, bypassing content management organisations that have in the past been accused of swindling artistes.
Apart from the Kenya Cultural Centre, other agencies involved in the programme are the Kenya Film Commission, Department of Culture, National museums of Kenya and the permanent Presidential Music Commission.