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Politician ignites debate on Kenya’s entertainment industry

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[Mombasa guberantorial hopeful Suleiman Shahbal. Photo/courtesy].

Mombasa based politician Suleiman Shahbal has ignited a heated debate on how to streamline the entertainment industry in the country.

Shahbal said though most Kenyan artists are talented they have failed to make a breakthrough in the sector.

According to Shahbal, Nigeria is commanding the industry followed closely by Tanzania while Kenya comes third, a situation that needs to be overhauled.

He further said Coast has talented artists among them Nyota Ndogo, Susumila, Ally B, Otile Brown among others but who are yet to command the East and central Africa.

According to the Mombasa gubernatorial hopeful, after meeting with artist among them Akothee, Tanasha Dona and Mike Strano, he realised that content is the main challenge Kenyan artists are facing.

“However, quality production for both audio and video, social media marketing and label are some of the critical things an artist needs,” said Shahbal in his long Facebook post.

He singled out Sauti Sol as the most successful group that strived to make a breakthrough in the music industry.

“But this group registered their label ‘Sol Generation’ that has enabled them climb the ladder to the level they are today,” said the Investor.

He acknowledged that low budget, funding and other challenges have played an obstacle in developing the music industry in Kenya.

Shahbal exuded hopes that the 2019 Copyright Amendment Act, will quell piracy challenge.

However, his post elicited mixed reactions with players in the industry urging him to come up with solutions and facelift the industry.

Producers, artists, and youth from the Coast region criticised Shahbal urging him to convene a special forum to discuss the issues with them if indeed he is serious on uplifting the music industry especially in the Coast region.

Most of the players expressed their disappointment after the politician revealed meeting Akothee, Tanasha Dona and Mike Strano with some saying,

“So you chose artists like Tanasha Dona leaving out our very own Nyota Ndogo who has been in the Industry for decades?”