The National government 100 million shillings stimulus package has given Coastal artists a lifeline.
The package is meant to cushion those in the creative industry during Coronavirus pandemic period.
Majority of the artists in the coastal counties were largely dependent on the crumbling tourism industry for their livelihood.
The national government through the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage last month launched the “Work for Pay” stimulus package for artists, actors and musicians to cushion them during the tough period.
This follows President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Executive Order issued on 6th April 2020 directing the Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund to avail Sh100 million to support young people to earn a living and also enhance their talents.
The funds are being distributed in all the counties through a campaign dubbed ‘TOGETHER AT HOME’ that is being spearheaded by various government agencies and departments.
“The objective of the stimulus package besides providing a source of income to the youth is also meant to nurture talent and ensure the creative sector remain strong,” said Dr. Purity Kiura, who is in charge of the National Museum of Kenya (NMK) directorate of antiquities, sites and monuments.
[An artist drawing portraits in Malindi town. Photo/NMK].
Dr. Kiura said NKM will oversee mural and graffiti artists whose drawings and messages will focus on sensitising the public on safety measures and the Ministry of Health covid-19 protocols.
She said NMK in collaboration with other stakeholders have put in place necessary measures to ensure all artists in the Coastal counties of Mombasa, Kilifi, Lamu, Tana River, Kwale and Taita Taveta are involved.
“The artists will concentrate their work at public places such as markets, schools and main roads to educate the public,” said Kiura.
Dr. Kiura said artists play an important role in society especially now that the world is stressed out by Coronavirus.
The Coastal artists expressed their gratitude to the government for coming to their rescue saying through the program they are now able to take care of their families during this difficult period of covid-19 pandemic.
“Our work was mainly dependent on the tourism industry but since the outbreak of Coronavirus life has taken a heavy beating on us,” said Lenox Ogada who added that many in the culture and recreation industries lost their jobs.