KENYAN ACTORS UNITING TO HELP A GHETTO CHILD
In an article dubbed The dead bankability of the Kenyan actor Kenyan actors were given little bit of spanking by being told they should come down their high horses and get involved in social activism which in return plays a huge part of building their brand hence star power. Whether that particular point is actually true will be left to the public to decide. Despite the author asking people to throw stones at him for the spanking he gave the Kenyan actors, a few might have heard his cry and decided to do exactly that.
A group of Kenyan actors got down their saddles to do something extraordinary by visiting one of Kenyans forgotten slum and the second largest slum in Kenya, Mathare. In a post put up in the The Creatives Corner! group on Facebook, Liz Njagah asked the members of the group to COME SPEAK,TALK,COACH, PREACH TO & MOTIVATE A SLUM CHILD AT MATHARE. Victor Gatonye, Joan Nimmo Kanja, Gerald Langiri, and Victor Njoro (aka Lynch Vicky) heard the plea and on 24th August 2011, the quintuple made their way to Mathare Community Educational and Development Organization.
MCedo is a Community Based Organization (CBO) operating in the heart of Mathare slum. The organization was founded in 2000 and registered formally in 2001. The volunteer run CBO was formed in response to the plight of orphans and the vulnerable children (OVCs). The key areas included illiteracy, HIV Aids awareness, feeding and environmental conservation. This was the predicament of the slum child living in extremely deplorable conditions of utmost poverty with basic needs being a luxury. The initial focus was empowerment through education opportunities. Adult education pioneered this initiative and led to non formal school. United Nations Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) team from United Nations was very instrumental in implementing child education since October 2005. YEP partnership was also the platform that introduced World Food Programme to address the feeding challenge among the children. In 2006, the Chinese Embassy under Ambassador H.E Mr. 2Hang Ming pledged to financially support land purchase and construction of the school. In memory of their kindness, the school was named MCedo Beijing School as it is now known as. In January 2011, MCEDO started yet another exciting program, a Mixed Day Secondary School.This was due to the increasing number of children who could not secure high school spaces due to finances or performance. The school currently has approximately 640 students who are taught and monitored by 17 teachers, 8 being permanent.
The group of actors who visited MCedo had the opportunity to talk to the pupils of the secondary school whose response made the initial planned one hour visit to last for approximately four hours. Each actor took a turn to speak to the children and topics ranged from Career, overcoming lifes ups and down, Sex and Drugs, Importance of Education, Life after school plus much much more including a mchongowano Session.
The actors were later entertained by the kids who performed a traditional dance as part of the “Talanta Project” that the school also has. The project, led by the performing arts coach Johny Mdemo aims at managing in and out of school youth with variety of opportunities such as sports, entrepreneurship, music, drama, and dance. A local Musician Eunice Akinyi who has an album called (Akinyi Nyagwassi) is also among the coaches in the school. As the actors were given a tour of the school, we were led to the Kitchen facilities and we were more than humbled to step into a kitchen that Drew Barrymore sponsored to build via World Food Programme.
If this is not enough to make our Kenyan actors to get involved in social activism and activities, we believe and hope that it is a start and a great start to uniting our actors and the industry at large.
A big thank you goes out to MCedo Manager Benedict Kiage,the principal Jacob De and Milicent Ogina Arende (Volunteer Safaricom foundation) who did not hesitate to remind us that we can support a ghetto child at Mcedo by sending a donation via Mpesa through the paybill No:533200 Account No:MCEDO or contact her on 0721406650.
Visit http://www.mcedo.org/ to get to find out more about MCEDO.
Written by Gerald Langiri
Pictures Courtesy of Victor Gatonyes phone :)