December 2, 2010 – The line-up for the Kikwetu Festival 2010 has been announced and the influence is most definitely Benga.
Suzanne Owiyo, Kidum, Iddi Achieng’, MOG and Harry Kimani will take the stage to entertain every Kenyan that shows up at the Impala Grounds on Jamhuri day.
“That is why we call it Kikwetu. It was set up to celebrate local artists and showcase their talent. We think it will be a perfect addition to the usual speech and parade at Nyayo Stadium. People can watch TV and then come to enjoy some Kenyan music at Impala,” said organiser Leakey Odera.
He spoke of the history of Kikwetu with the support of the German Embassy and encouraged the Kenyan government to also play a part in what they hope will soon be recognised as a patriotic event.
“It’s not right when you have people from outside supporting you and not your own government. We had a round table with the Prime Minister the other day and we are hoping that will change things in future.”
Leakey added that youth and sports had already been covered by the government this time round but stressed that the Ministry of Culture needs to embrace the arts, which include music, and which a lot of young Kenyans are trying to eke out a living from.
“It is our fourth year and we are hoping to embrace more Kenyan talent as the years go by. About 90% of our artists don’t have a platform to showcase themselves and we are hoping to change that,” said Leakey, who is also the Managing Director Pambazuka Entertainment.
“It’s because of this lack of opportunity that our young people are falling to drugs and alcohol abuse.”
Hussein Mohammed, chairman of the Youth Agenda, was also present at the launch.
“We can’t ignore the youth,” he affirmed.
“No society can function without a good social environment. Arts and sports facilities must be improved and strengthened.”