, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 26 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has encouraged Kenyan artists to constantly improve on their performances so as to benefit from the lucrative international market.
The President said drama is a major income earner providing a variety of employment opportunities for the youth in the country.
“It is encouraging that the festival showcased a cross section of participants drawn from Early Childhood Education Centres, primary and secondary schools, tertiary colleges and universities,” the president said.
Speaking during the State Concert of the Kenya National Drama Festivals, Kenyatta expressed satisfaction that the drama festival dwelt on key social economic and political challenges that are facing the society.
He said in order to promote the performing arts, his government will construct an ultra-modern National Theatre with audio-visual live-links in Nairobi.
During the performance at State House Mombasa, David Owira—a student at Highway Secondary School received a standing ovation for his performance in an oral narrative titled ‘Otonglo-time’, which left the President and the guests in stitches.
“My Government is committed to providing the youth with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to be relevant and competitive in the modern global economy,” he said when he hosted winners of the drama festivals at State House, Mombasa.
He said he was encouraged by this year’s theme which is “Performance for National Healing and Reconciliation”.
“As our country emerges from a highly contested election, this theme is timely and will contribute to the process of national reconciliation especially among our youth and political class,” he said adding “One of the immediate priorities of my Government is to unite all Kenyans so that we can open a new chapter for our country in which we will all celebrate our diversity, enjoy our cultures and live out our every potential as we move forward as one nation.”
The president observed that the performing and creative arts are not only a unique medium of instruction but also an important tool in the social, political and economic development process.
“Our various cultures and communities have benefited immensely from messages propagated through oral culture.
Increasingly, too, the creative arts around the world are an important economic driver and employer and comprise a multi-billion industry in which talented people can earn a decent livelihood,” he added.
He welcomed the inclusion of the film genre in the festival, saying “The fact that our own learners are able to script and make films in schools is a great innovation which my Government will fully support as we work towards the realization of Vision 2030. Further, it is encouraging that the festival showcased a cross section of participants drawn from Early Childhood Education Centres, primary and secondary schools, tertiary colleges and universities.”