DP Ruto Meets Kenyan Artists At Karen Residence (PHOTOS)
Among the issues that dominated the discussion included the COVID-19 pandemic which has brought a slew of health and economic challenges that have ravaged the country, negatively impacting millions of livelihoods particularly in the hospitality, creative and entertainment sectors.
Deputy President William Ruto on Saturday, April 24 met Kenyan creatives to discuss the current issues affecting the entertainment industry.
He fulfilled the promise he made to rapper Brian Robert Ouko, alias Khaligraph Jones who had requested for his help on behalf of Kenyans suffering from lack of food and unemployment.
The meeting was attended by artists such as Nadia Mukami, Willy Paul, Kiss FM presenter Jalang’o, Nonini, DJ Pierra Makena among others.
Among the issues that dominated the discussion included the COVID-19 pandemic which has brought a slew of health and economic challenges that have ravaged the country, negatively impacting millions of livelihoods particularly in the hospitality, creative and entertainment sectors. They were among the first to be hit hard by President Uhuru Kenyatta's new measures on Friday, March 26.
The artistes raised issues of grave concern affecting them and offered to help flatten the curve. They also made suggestions on the best way forward that will help the government and their respective industries raise some income.
Among the requests made included the creation of a special government fund to support the artists, government and persons of goodwill to reengineer the industry digitally by setting up of online music concerts and assist the industry adapt to the new normal.
The artists also offered to spearhead an intense campaign to promote the Ministry of Health's protocols and vaccination drive as their contribution in the war against COVID-19.
They further asked the government to provide a road map, timelines and measurable milestones whose attainment will lead to the re-opening of the country. This, they mentioned, will help plan on how they will resume their activities.
DP Ruto and the artists also discussed the possibility of formulating a policy to weed out bureaucracy, brokers and impediments that slow the growth of the industry.
"We acknowledge that artists have worked hand in hand with the government and appreciate their proposal to assist in confronting the pandemic. We welcome their offer to reinforce the campaign on the observance of COVID-19 protocols and vaccination drive once it is rolled out fully," said DP Ruto in a statement.
DP Ruto on Sunday, April 18 responded to Khaligraph through a message composed in sheng. He stated that he knew and understood the pain of sleeping on an empty stomach, adding that he was committed to assisting the vulnerable.
"Bazuu Khaligraph, nimepata message yako bro. Ahsante. Mimi najua the pain of sleeping hungry (I received your message with thanks and I know the pain of sleeping hungry).
"As a personal initiative, I am ready to help as we complement government programmes on the same. I will also mobilize my friends to get some more help," Ruto replied.
The musicians had tried to reach out to both ODM leader Raila Odinga and DP Ruto over the dire situation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"If you help us in this situation, I will campaign for you for free in the upcoming election," the rapper had told Ruto.
In his message to Odinga, the Tuma Kitu hitmaker said "Baba yawa, kitambo ulikua unatutetea sana, sai Kenya tunaangamizwa umenyamaza. Fanya ile kitu uone vile utaingia State House haraka, wacha kunyamaza ivo. (There was a time you fought for Kenyans rights but now we are suffering and you are silent. Intervene and see how fast you will become president)".
The rapper was later forced to clarify that his statements did not mean that he was declaring his support for any of the two politicians.
"Yesterday I put up two posts requesting the two top candidates of the oncoming elections to assist with the current state of the country. While am no politician, the agenda of my posts are simple and clear, we just want the country to be unlocked because Kenyans are really suffering," the Leave Me Alone rapper said.
The ban on public gatherings imposed by President Uhuru Kenyatta on the counties of Nairobi, Machakos, Kajiado, Kiambu and Nakuru affected the artistes negatively who rely on live concerts staged mostly in the capital city to generate revenue.