The county government is seeking partnerships to help it benefit from the 'untapped and unexploited' arts and cultural sectors.
Governor Anyang' Nyong'o said Kisumu had many experienced artists struggling to market their talent.
He spoke on Tuesday when he met officials from Safaricom Ltd who are promoting the Twaweza (we can) programme, a talent search sponsored by the telecommunications company and Radio Maisha.
“We are going to make sure we empower our youth. That is what Twaweza is all about,” said the Safaricom western regional manager, George Ndhiwa.
The initiative seeks to connect people and spread information and knowledge. The tour is expected to enlighten youth who have been exposed to drugs and substance abuse, HIV and Aids, and to nurture young talent.
“There are a lot of resources that are lying idle because we have tunnel visual. What we need is a centre for business incubation, especially for art and culture. Culture pays,” Prof Nyong’o (pictured) said.
Resources centres such as the Jomo Kenyata sports ground are seldom used except for national holidays and political rallies. There are plans to renovate cultural centres before embarking on the search for talent.
“What if we put the showground to more use instead of just once a year? It will cost us nothing to have an open market monthly for people to showcase their products. In fact it creates income generation, hence improving the economy,” said Nyong’o.
The county government was forging partnerships to realise arts and culture empowerment, he added.
He said there was a need to take culture more seriously. In order for this to be realised, according to the governor, it should be recognise and structures put in place to harness it.
He proposed a partnership with Safaricom to put up a recreation centre with facilities to nurture talent or a garage that could be rented as parking space. He said this would also help curb congestion in the central business district.
Realise the dream
The county chief said his administration was working with his daughter, Hollywood-based actress Lupita Nyong’o, and other players to realise the dream.
The health and sanitation executive, Rosemary Obara, said: “We just launched a universal health coverage campaign and we are depending on M-Tiba. However, Seme and Muhoroni sub-counties have poor network coverage, making the project a challenge."