Uncategorized

"KENYA NATIONAL THEATRE IS NOT YET DEAD" SAYS AGHAN ODERO

Gerald Langiri
August 20 / 2014

“The level of neglect and pathetic maintenance of the theatre and its facilities. The air that now hangs around the compound is ghostly and spooky. The stage was dusty and the lights were not working. The squeaky seats had peeled off. A strong stench of ammonia hit my nose when I entered the bathrooms. Everything was broken and there was no water. The changing rooms were dirty with patches of thick dark substance on the floor. And we call the Kenya Cultural Centre and The Kenya National Theatre – a national heritage!Between 6pm to 6am the parking lots always changes into some sort of lodging. Twilight girls come with their clients and pay the guards some tip to drive in and satisfy the loins of their clients. This is allegedly done with the full knowledge of management! You pay Kshs. 200 per hour for packing fees.” Those are some of the allegations and dreadful things being witnessed at the Kenya National Theatre as narrated by blogger Shem Agunda in his article DEATH OF THE KENYA NATIONAL THEATRE (KNT)

Kenya National Theatre

The state of the Kenya National theatre is no doubt in jeopardy and something drastic needs to be done to salvage the remaining pieces of what was once the home to many actors, art lovers and a pride of Kenya.

Strong accusations made above by Shem did not go answered by Aghan Odero Agan Executive Director, The Kenya Cultural Centre incorporating The Kenya National Theatre.

In a public statement that he made, he had this to say;

“Of course The Kenya National Theatre is not dead yet and will not be in a very long time to come. Sometimes epitaphs come easy in pronouncement and damnation. On this one, such an edict is dead and at best, sterile. The KNT facility has no doubt packed the best of times as well as some ignominious journeys. This is true, obvious and pedestrian fair game for any casual observer. Sixty two years is long enough time in birthing derelict remaining of a glorious past.

Of greater importance is what to do with that past and the resultant dereliction in navigating new, better frontiers for the facility. The urgency of this is more pronounced if one were to take cognisance of contemporary contextual demands and challenges Kenyan art and creativity is faced with. It is an agenda I am and have been part of with a commitment to securing real transformative change of the National Theatre facility for the better.

Suffice to say, and not to delve into sensational broad stroke allusions of alleged extortionist price charges, bribery, running of prostitution rings et al, the Kenya Cultural Centre's National Theatre facility is already in the transitional path to firmer and better times.

Aghan Odero

Aghan Odero

In public domain over the immediate past nine months have been the following:

Last November 2013, KBL/EABL Foundation in its capacity as a Kenyan Corporate citizen, established a strong Public Private Partnership (PPP) with the Government of Kenya a KNT Refurbishment Initiative totaling Ksh. 100 million. Objective is full physical restoration and upgrading of the theatre befitting demands of modern creative utility. It is organized as part of Kenya @50 Legacy Projects within Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts under which The Kenya Cultural Centre are domiciled as a semi autonomous public agency.

The KNT Refurbishment Initiative was publicly unveiled on the morning of December 09, 2013 by HE The President of Kenya Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta in a ceremony conducted under the Centre's Mugumo Courtyard. Presiding partners alongside the President were: KBL/EABL Foundation, Nairobi City County Government, Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts as well as The Kenya Cultural Centre's Management and Governing Council.

So since then what is the obtaining situation as at now?

Competitive public procurement of Architectural/Quantity Survey, Facility Technical Appraisal, Design Works, Building Contraction, and Specialist Fittings started in February this year have so far been concluded (last week Aug 15).

Physical contraction work is due to commence next month in September during week 1. It is scheduled to run thereafter for the next twelve (12) weeks. Completion and handover of the refurbished facility is planned for end of November this year. The President shall once more preside in the expected unveiling of Refurbished KNT by early December, 2014 at the Centre's Mugumo Courtyard.

So folks there goes the sensationally pronounced ''DEAD'' shrine of Kenya's contemporary creative heritage!

In some traditional African parlance, they say that "it requires a lot of carefulness to kill the fly that perches on the scrotum". Thank goodness we now have the luxury of Doom aerosols with good running bath water to boot! The lesson therein perhaps is to invest continuously in better self renewing apparels.

The Shrine Liveth”

By Gerald Langiri


You may also want to read:

- JAZZ MOLL'S RANT AND EXPERIENCE IN THE U.K THEATRE COMPARED TO KENYA'S

- 3 TIPS FOR ACTORS MOVING TO SCREEN FROM THEATRE

- THE DEMISE OF KENYAN MOVIE THEATRES

- THE AWE OF THEATRE


Share this post


Other Posts

SHORT FILM #MANT ADDRESSES THE SENSITIVE ISSUE OF MUSLIMS AND TERRORISM

Posted on Aug 19, 2014

Anyone who has watched and enjoyed the 2009 Wanuri Kahiu film on terrorism and bomb blast that shook the nation in the year 1999 will definitely catch the drift in this short titled “Muslims are not terrorists” or #MANT. MANT is a short film about two seemingly different families and the grave circumstances under which their paths meet. These families bear differences in structure, rel...

AUDITION ALERT FOR A NON- PROFIT AIDS AWARENESS FILM - 19/08/2014

Posted on Aug 18, 2014

GLOW GROWERS TALENT AVENUE (GGTA) is a mainstream film production house that projects a platform for aspiring actors/ actresses to elevate their dreams. This time around, GGTA is in for a bigger thing, the filming of an AIDS awareness film titled Bitter Honey. .The auditions for the same will be going down on Tuesday 19th August, 2014 at Tracklab Recording Studio (Kawangware, Nairobi). Interested ...

FROM THE MAKERS OF DECEIT COMES YET ANOTHER THRILLER #SEPTEMBER

Posted on Aug 14, 2014

From the producers & makers of the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards 2014 & 35th Durban International Film Festival nominated short film ‘DECEIT’ Present ‘SEPTEMBER’ which is set to be released on September 21st 2014 in commemoration of  last year’s Westgate Shopping Mall Terror Attack. SEPTEMBER is a Thrilling-Drama that revolves around political event...

HOW TO BUILD YOUR BRAND AS AN ACTOR

Posted on Aug 06, 2014

Whatever you want to call the business of being yourself, chances are you’ve already taken steps to enhance your individual brand. There’s no shortage of “how to brand yourself” advice on the web, and most of it boils down to this: Put yourself out there—online and in person. So why aren’t more of us branding gurus by now? Sure, you’ve printed up business ...