The creative space in Kenya is still growing, it has not reached a point where one could solely depend on it.
And this is why you see most artistes have side hustles to supplement the money they get from gigs.
There has been one thing though which has been pulling us back, creatives are not taken seriously in this country.
People think that being an artiste is not a serious job, let me break it to you, it is a full time job.
Dear slay queens and kings, Relationships sio biashara, please!
Some of these artistes you see out here have no other source of income other than that craft they are doing.
Now when I talk of an artiste, its anybody in the creative space; musicians, makeup artists, comedians, photographers, writers/bloggers, poets, videographers and anybody who uses their creativity in whichever capacity.
Gengetone Festival was scheduled to happen over the weekend but it failed because the promoter did not pay the artists.
He was running with the old line that of ‘The money is held up somewhere, i’ll pay you on Monday’.
This is total BS.
I think this promoter didn’t respect these gengetone artistes enough, he sees them like most people do, disorganized thugs from the ghetto.
These young kings left Nairobi for Machakos People’s Park knowing they will make some dough.
They got there and they were met with a lot of excuses and empty promises.
When will promoters stop this thing of conning artists?
Most of these kids have no other hustle, music is their office and it’s the only thing they got going at the moment.
Dear celebrities, stop with the publicity stunts, they are now redundant!
Willis Raburu who attended the event as an artist/mc put up a video explaining the whole thing.
According to him music is like life drug to some of these artists, it’s the only thing keeping them alive.
He also stated that the event was not his, he was just called to perform like everyone else.
Before that people had started attacking Willis, some even went to the extent of body shaming him.
Willis had posted a picture of himself hyping the event during the day which obviously didn’t have so many people.
Some bitter keyboard warriors on twitter were saying ‘Willis Raburu amejaza stadium pekeyake’ in reference to his weight.
It got me thinking, yani some people wanna see you fail so bad that they laugh at you at the first sign of failure.
I am sure most of those who were making fun of his weight have insecurities about their own bodies.
Sorry for going off topic but I just had to let that out, Willis Raburu is not the issue here, it’s these promoters, corporates and media companies who keep disrespecting Kenyan artists.
Burna Boy, Rick Ross, Nasty C, TI and Chris Brown are some of the international acts that have performed in Kenya.
They were treated like little gods, they booked the best hotels for them, convoys to and from the show, flight tickets, full amount paid upfront before they even landed and all this while our own artists are treated like trash.
They are never paid the full amount, it’s always fake promises with these promoters.
The ‘PlayKe’ debate has been going on for the longest time but if our own artists keep being treated like they are nothing then we are making progress in the wrong direction.
Creatives really go through a hard time trying to perfect and push their craft, they invest a lot of time and money in themselves but sadly that is not easily reciprocated.
Most of these big companies use creatives and promise them platform and exposure.
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It’s not bad, I mean it will come in handy one day but that is on the long term, what about now? This young man/woman has a family to support, rent, food and all these other bills to pay.
So you wanna tell me how the long term will help ease the current situation?
We need to be real and call a spade a spade, these kids are being taken for granted.
In times like these conversations is the best solution, we need to keep talking about this issue every time we get a chance.
Sparking conversations is the only way to get people to notice, awareness is good because even if the situation is not resolved, at least people know what’s happening.
If you are a creative reading this I have one word for you; patience.
Good things take time, trust the process and keep working on your craft.
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