Musicians from Murang’a county have decried the delay in disbursement of Sh100 million President Uhuru Kenyatta promised artistes to cushion them from effects of COVID-19.
The musicians claim that they are facing hard times because of covid-19 since they cannot hold live performances like they used to do before the outbreak of the pandemic.
The section of artists on Wednesday challenged the ministry of sports, culture and heritage to fast-track disbursement of the funds so as to cushion them from the current difficult times.
Led by veteran Benga musician, Peter Kigia, the musicians who participated in an occasion of commissioning studio mashinani at Kirwara area of Gatanga Sub-county, observed that music industry has been greatly affected by the coronavirus, thus the government among other organizations should come up with measures to support musicians’ welfare.
“WE HEARD ABOUT THE MONEY THE PRESIDENT PROMISED MUSICIANS IN APRIL THROUGH THE MEDIA. SINCE THEN WE HAVE NOT GOTTEN ANY INFORMATION ON HOW THE FUNDS WILL REACH MUSICIANS,” SAID KIGIA.
He called upon the relevant agencies to work out on structures on how the funds will reach artists in effort to cushion them from the hard times.
“WE HAVE EVEN DEPLETED OUR SAVINGS, CURRENTLY NO HOLDING OF LIVE CONCERTS LIKE BEFORE THE PANDEMIC. NO GATHERING, NO VENUES REQUIRE OUR SERVICES; THERE IS NOTHING AND WE HAVE BEEN LEFT WONDERING HOW WE WILL SURVIVE DURING THIS PERIOD,” OBSERVED KIGIA.
During the occasion CEO of Kenya Film Commission, Mr. Timothy Osewe said the funds for those in the film industry were disbursed to the actors and filmmakers.
Osewe said the commission also received Sh. 100 million which was well distributed to those in the film industry.
“THE MONEY WHICH WE RECEIVED FROM THE GOVERNMENT WAS DISBURSED TO CONCERNED PERSONS WHO TAKE PART IN THE FILM INDUSTRY. IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY WE ARE NOT INVOLVED AND THE RELEVANT BODY I HOPE IS DOING SOMETHING TOWARDS SUPPORTING MUSICIANS,” ADDED OSEWE.
Gatanga MP, Joseph Nduati challenged the involved government department to work speedily and ensure musicians get the funds.
He lauded the role musicians play in the entertainment industry saying due to Covid 19, the majority of the artists have been reduced to beggars.
“I WILL FOLLOW UP WITH RELEVANT GOVERNMENT BODIES WHICH ARE ENTRUSTED WITH THE MONEY FOR MUSICIANS TO ENSURE THE FUNDS ARE DISBURSED WITHOUT MUCH DELAY. I ALSO APPEAL TO WELL-WISHERS TO SUPPORT OUR ARTISTS SINCE THIS TIME THEY HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO MAKE MONEY FROM PERFORMANCES,” ADDED NDUATI.