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I am sure many actors who live off and survive from this profession can attest to the financial roller coaster they go through.  One minute you have it and it’s all gone the next. Most artist are poor at saving and investing the money they get which is not much to begin with. With appearances and an over the top lifestyle that we have to maintain, having a financial institution to support your craft is paramount.

Albeit changing, acting is still seen as a hobby and not a profession.  We don’t get monthly pay cheques or salaries, we don’t get pay slips, we do not have medical covers and the productions houses we work for and TV stations don’t seem to bother either. Try getting a loan from a bank and state that you are an actor under profession and you will be kicked out as fast as you came in.  Surviving as an actor especially in the early years of your profession before you become a brand worth investing in is financially challenging.

We basically need a support system and perhaps our prayers have just been answered.

On 5th December 2013, Sanaa Sacco Society limited (ya- wasanii) was formed. The SACCO plans to cater to the needs in the arts and culture industry. To empower the arts industry economically and socially and to improve the welfare of the artists by providing planned and viable savings and credit facilities and products, retirement benefits, healthcare insurance and in the long term offer bridging to asset acquisition. Provide platforms for the expression, exposure and improvement of their art.

 “Sanaa” is a Swahili word meaning ‘work of art’ and the Sacco main objective is to Organize and promote the welfare and economic interests of its members through savings and credit.

Apart from the financial aspect, the Sacco also aims to:

1. County culture tourism.

We shall be encouraging authentic local story telling by people in or from different counties which can be developed into stage and screen plays and even movies. This promotes local tourism and consumption of our local acting talent by local talent

2. Mobile Education.

We shall establish stages sponsored by government institutions to educate people in estates on what is going on. This will include doing plays for set books, doing health activations and even corporate activations with educational material.

3. Intermarry Industries

The music industry relies on the acting and film industry to thrive. We shall be reinforcing this by engaging with local music artists to use extras and actors from our pool of members.

4. Develop content for TV

Sanaa SACCO has a license for a TV station which we intend to use as a platform to promote our members in the acting industry. Content developers and other stakeholders shall be engaged to grow the station by providing content for airing which in turn will be creating jobs for our local talent.

5. Diaspora Market.

Kenya is undeniably one of the best locations for film shooting. We happen to also have a unique blend of gifted actors, scriptwriters and directors whose talent is to be well received anywhere else in the world. This has been proven with the great performance by our very own Lupita Nyong’o. Many more need to be exposed to other markets and platforms abroad and we seek to provide those links.

How to join the saccoo

- Visit and download the membership application form. Fill it in and return it to their offices.

-  A registration fee of KSh500 is required and a minimum monthly contribution of KSh1000.

For more information, contact or visit:

Rattansi Educational Trust Building, 1st Floor – 101,

Koinange Street, Nairobi, Kenya. Next to Nakumatt Lifestyle

Or you can call on +254 20 212 8476 Or send an email to


 Related article:

Sacco for artistes launched


By Gerald Langiri

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