What next for Kenyan entertainment after COVID-19?

Image: Otile Brown

Kenyan entertainment took a hit due to the government’s response to Covid19 and whether or not you agree with the extreme measures GoK took, one thing that’s certain is the fact that Kenya’s entertainment scene will never be the same again.

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First, we must acknowledge the fact that the entertainment economy was turned not just belly up but on it’s entire head. You see, when night clubs were essentially banned, the first victims were artists who depend on club deejays to disseminate their music to the masses. So Gengeton which was a fledgling genre was stunted instantly. There have been some songs that wooyld have grown into mega hits had they had the outlet of being played at Nairobi and Mombasa’s top night clubs and discotheques.


Kenyan entertainment was then dealt it’s next blow when house parties began to get raided by the police whenever snitch neighbours tuned their Tekashi 6ix9ine poweres on and started calling the police/ anti-covid crack squads.

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But this doesn’t mean that the end of Kenyan entertainment is nigh. I know, for a moment there it was a dark period but we have since seen Kenyans get sneakier adapt. They decided to not fight the government but rather, become fluid in how they party. One day to is on the roads in Limuru, The next in some farms in Thika.
EWhen your aunty goes upcountry, the kenyan entertainment industry will be kept alive in her living room as you invite your friends to her Karen home to party.

sauti sol

But beyond that sneaking around, how will the kenyan entertainment scene be saved? Well, I have two ideas that I feel if explored can do damage for our artists because let’s face it, kenya is going to have to lift it’s proscription on life in general and breathing in particular. And besides, our politicians need a new scheme to steal from now that Covid is no longer minting millionaires.

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kenya has an opportunity to not only refresh the entertainment formula and rethink it’s revenue model but to re-invent the entire wheel in one foul sweep. And let’s face it, Tanzania refusing to go on lock down really put them leaps and bounds ahead of us so we need the self injected stimulus:

#1. Festivals

The Kenyan entertainment scene would do well to start setting up and establishing festivals. And what’s more, Kenyans are primed for just that. After months of being cooped up at home like the chicken kenyans are, when the country is finally opened up again, Kenyans will want to party. The economy is in shambles, the current administration has stolen and loted so much that the only real outlet for Kenyans is for the,m to dance their stress away.
in tough economies, two businesses do well: those that deal in virtues and those that deal in vices. Churches have been struggling as Kenyans woke up to the reality that their bishops and daddy pastors do not care for them so now what is left is vice businesses. The Kenyan entertainment scene godfathers would do well to give Kenyans a lot of festivals. There is money to be made there.

ochungulo family

#2. Concerts

Kenya is ripe for her own superstars. Whether or not (like me) you think Nyashinski is stuck up, the fact that he is talented is undeniable. So along as he sings into a microphone at a large concert rather than talks his cock-sure topic avoiding bullshit into it, this is the time for Kenyan companies to actually get involved in promoting entertainment brands and not just exploiting their audiences. Stanbic’s concert in conjunction with Radio Africa and all those other media entities, Kenya yetu Live was a shovel load of shit. Perhaps they would be better advised to put their money behind organic artists who are powering Kenya’s entertainment scene. Actually have them train to put on a concert and attach themselves to that growth rather than giving 30 established artists 5 minute sets that are pure shit.

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Sauti Sol had a successful YouTube concert. Then the media decided they know best and strapped them to their failed “Kenya Yetu Live concert and the difference was stark. Sauti Sol did a stellar self produced concert. These other clowns fumbled the bag. Put money into the entertainment scene and empower Kenya’s top acts to put on their own concerts.

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My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair! Nothing beside remains. Round the decay