, NAIROBI, Kenya, sep 5 – First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has challenged County governments to organize children’s art and photography forums to enable young people to nurture their artistic expressions and to compete with their peers.
She said exhibitions not only showcase children’s creative energies in photography, drawing, painting or sculpting but also help them to understand their society and to shape their identity.
“Today, learning art is no longer regarded merely as a pastime-rather; it is a skill that develops the visual literacy of the child. Learning art heightens the child’s awareness of their own experiences and the culture and heritage that they grow up in,” she said.
She was speaking when she officially launched the ‘Nipe Nafasi’ children’s art and photography exhibition at Safari Park hotel, Nairobi.
The First Lady said art and photography equip children with the language to interpret and create images to express their ideas and feelings.
She added that art and photography imparts in the youth skills that help them in pursuing careers in arts-related industries in the 21st century.
“The art we have seen in the exhibition today, demonstrates a rich variety of themes that supports the theme of the exhibition that is Child Protection,” she said.
She continued; “It highlights the children’s unique views of their environment and it shows us what we can do to improve their lives; it is their way of telling us how we can make the future better for them,” she said.
The First Lady was conducted through the exhibitions where she viewed a variety of photography, drawings, paintings or sculptures.
The President of the Children’s Assembly Miss Janet Mkandoe asked the First Lady to be the children’s ambassador and champion the rights of children free from abuse and neglect. The First Lady accepted their request.
Miss Mkandoe also asked the Government to waive fees levied on the issuance of birth certificates noting that 25 per cent of children in Nairobi and Coast region lacked the vital document.