The investment made for drama and theatre festivals for schools and colleges by way of preparation — time, talent scouting and nurture, money, technical support and opportunity costs — should not begin and end with a gala performance as the zenith of the process.
Participating in this annual activity should, on a minimum, be a stepping stone for talent refinement for the next stairs of utilisation.
We cannot continue watching foreign soap operas and wrestling shows as core content on our televisions.
Producers, media houses and creative professionals ought to partner with the festivals to elevate the talent to the next level and generate employment, and income, for a multiplicity of budding actors, thespians, singers, orators, reciters, script writers and directors.
The government’s delivery of the ‘Big Four Agenda’ needs to be strategic.
The bureaucrats need to throw out the box and dream beyond concrete. Development must have a face and touch the hearts and welfare of the beneficiaries. We cannot develop if we lack “a heart and soul”.
Our national leadership lacks in a dream to rally the nation on.
You cannot say the presidency and related agencies have crystallised one thing for which a legacy is to be built; rather, we are trying to do a little in everything in a very small way and ending up with corruption scandals for results.
The new Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof George Magoha, has an opportunity to forge partnerships so that the creative energy is not only put to good use, but also channelled as an investment avenue.
We have many agencies that need the services of the creative industry, and the Ministry of Education can provide leadership in formalising these partnerships and giving the budding creative structure so that these performances are functional at a personal and societal level.
Drama and theatre are good catalysts for social transformation. The skits and productions can be used to solve societal problems, communicate ideas, teach, raise consciousness and provide a livelihood for those with talent and the technical know-how.
The guidance to media houses to carry local content remains hollow if we do not look at the creative and content development holistically.
A strategic partnership can help to develop the content to serve long-term industry needs.
We have many private artistic- and theatre-related events that are sold out on announcement, but followed by a very long “dry-spell” due to production technicalities and costs.
Kenya is hungry for artistic productions, but our lacklustre performance gives foreign soaps unprecedented dominance and infiltration.
The ministry and Kenya National Theatre can partner with the Kenya Film Classification Board to improve the national finals scripts and put them on the market.
The campaign being run by the KFCB, “You Are What You Consume”, cannot succeed if we don’t introduce alternative content in the market.
We need to move the festivals from the ritual that it is to the creative industry it ought to be.
Mr Wesaya is an education and strategy consultant at Tathmini Consulting. [email protected]
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