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It is amazing what can happen when one believes in their talents and the capabilities. It is what we have seen as the case with some of the world’s greatest millionaires and big names in the world’s economy.  Lupita’s Oscar win has me reflecting quite a bit on the Kenyan systems in the creative industry. Do we really have any proper solid systems in place?

Kenya is known for the talent it habours in various sectors of the arts especially in sports and entertainment. Some of the most talented people we have attract the attention of the international community but all we are left with is affirming that they are one of us. That they are Kenyans. Sad but true.

We are culprits of always waiting upon the Government to come to our aid yet we can formulate our own solutions and take it from there. Remember, that only the wearer of a shoe knows where it pinches most. So, how much are we doing to nature the arts and make it flourish in our country? How far have the various associations gone with the agenda of lobbying as they try to create systems?

I would like to give credit where it is due. The arts industry has indeed grown in leaps and bounds since the 90s. Today, a good number of hard workers in the creative arts industry are earning a living from their intellectual property and making a name of themselves as well. I think it is amazing. However, because of the lack of strong systems to assist in continuity, we are now unable to keep up with the fast pace and gain our place in the international map.

The fact that our most talented end up leaving the country, is it an indication of development or an indication of lack of nurturing and sustaining systems in the arts? The stakeholders need to address this issue and fast track to catch up with the rest of the world. Where are we going wrong? Are we yet to embrace the spirit of solidarity and have become a ‘every man for himself society’?


Pic Courtesy of Gado showing the Kenya Film Commission now taking strides to go market kenya abroad after Lupita's win and yet the film industry is still lacking locally.

Today made not of an interesting cartoon by one of our popular cartoonists Gado. I hope it is not a mirror of the reality on the ground. We must go back to the drawing board and lay our foundation and systems. The arts is the future of Kenya’s economy as well as as our children and children’s children’s future.

My question is the success of Lupita and many others alike a success for Kenya or their individual success?

Please share your thoughts so that we may build from them and grow. I look forward to reading your comments.

By Liz Lenjo.

Liz Lenjo is a lawyer who is an Entertainment and IP Law enthusiast. Also a former model and still involved in the industry on a consulting basis.

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