Gerald Langiri
February 02 / 2014

I have read a lot of happy and sad stuff on the many groups on Facebook regarding Kenyans film industry. If it is not the actors complaining about mistreatment by producers and unfairness, it is the producers explaining the torture they have to go through to make it on the small screen and theaters with small or no budgets.  This song seems to play day in day out and sadly it is not going away any time soon.

There is so much tension, thick enough to be cut with a power saw. Despite the digital migration looming and the opportunities that are out there when everything metadata preservation becomes functional, it still hasn’t much to eliminate the industry suspicions or kill the doubt.

 Many suggestions have been floated which boarder on forming working groups, empowering the associations, creating collaborations and mentorship forums, not forgetting making more pro-active industry noise so that the government can identify and appreciate the potential of the industry.

There is no dress-up or dress down for the potential of the arts and the entertainment industry, thousands are employed by this sector, millions more draw their very substance of existence, albeit indirectly, from this everlasting industry.

 So far, the blame game on who is not doing what and why is our industry not flourishing has been the song. However, maybe it is time to introduce the dance and harmonize the choreography.

Where do we start?

Individual efforts must be the ultimate sacrifice. Everyone involved in the film industry must play their role and play it like their lives depended on it. We must learn to be honest and respectful towards each other. If your own weaknesses stand out, it's time to own up to them and ask for help and not blame the industry for your woes, the industry only owes you gloom and doom when you chose this path. The industry will never apologize to you. It does not respect persons. It respects character. Be up to standards in both relations and performance.

A lot of people don’t know what you do. You hide behind a dark door and you are ashamed of letting people know that you are in the film, television and theater industry. You don’t want your engineer and doctor friends to laugh at you.

Why then continue to live where you don’t belong/? Is it not time for you to take a hard look at your reflection in the mirror and walk away into the life that makes you happy? If you chose to stay, kindly create a road map to glory, one which you will follow like a gym instructor's manual, after all there is no gain when you avoid pain.

Our weaknesses should be our strength. We have to know what needs to be changed and it begins with captioning our speeches and ideas. When we are the best examples to ourselves, we are half way the journey towards the destiny of achievements. We can't become by just imagining things. We have to start walking the talk in small ways while planning for better changes based on our accomplishments. This is the energy that we must always carry wherever we go.

A good industry profile and resume does not just award, it rewards. It creates an ambiance of self assurance, the insurance that you need when called upon to take the podium and say who you are. The profile will have posted the convincing brief, your presence will just be a rubber stamp to justify the writs.

This industry needs people who are ready to serve; not people who waits for others to serve them. Be proactive and take initiative. The greatest role is the one which you play; the one which will never be recorded on tape, film or any other recording media for editing. This role of serving and contributing positive energy to the growth and development of the industry through your actions is what will guarantee a future for this our industry.

Without you doing something to change the status quo of this industry, things will always remain the same. You will have nobody to blame other than yourself. You and not the person you are quick to blame for the fallout in the industry are the reason why things remain the same, because you want them to remain the same.

While you justify every bit of your profound shortcomings, you have a long way to go to be the dream that you envisage for yourself. Dress yourself with hope and determination and let the positive spirit of resilience and desire justify the journey towards your quest.

It is the zeal that will seal your ambition. When you look at where you want to be five years down the line, you have to gather the courage to bring change into your life in exactly five days time. Speed matters and you must be able to learn that film, theater and television are all tick-tack sectors of the entertainment industry.

Remember that your role in front of the camera is what is always captured for posterity. It is what everybody remembers, and it is the one single memory that will always count.

By producer and director, John Karanja. CHIEF EXECUTIVE, MAGIC GALAXY LTD.

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