A Sh20million creative and media centre was recently launched at Kariandusi in Gilgil, Nakuru County, to boost production of locally created content.
The centre will be home for artists, story tellers, journalists, musicians and comedians to create, market and sell content to local residents and tourists.
Speaking during the launch of the Njoki Karuoya Creative and Media Center, Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) Chief Executive Officer Ezekiel Mutua said that the center will change the negative narratives of Kenyan culture.
“People from abroad hear negative stories. However, from now on, positive stories about our cultures will be showcased,” said Mutua.
He said that technological versatility has had negative impacts in the production of clean, quality and original content because of piracy and copyright.
“Some websites allow users to download music or other creative content at a fee, without the authority or a license from the original owners of the work, diminishing owner’s work,” he said.
He said that the government is committed conduct public awareness forums on copyright infringement.
He noted that the country’s film, music and performing arts sector remained untapped despite its huge potential for employment creation.
“We are committed to public-private partnerships in projects such as this Creative and Media Center so that our artists can showcase their talent to both Kenyans and the rest of the world,” he said.
The center belongs to career journalist Njoki Karuoya. She told The Standard that the initiative was part of a campaign to convince Kenyans to appreciate their local cultures.
“We want to revive our cinema watching culture even in the rural areas so that we can provide a ready market for local productions,” she added.
She said that many Kenyans do not appreciate locally produced content because of lack of creativity and originality and the center was initiated to ensure the content produced are quality.
Ms Karuoya said that the country used to have a vibrant local film sector but now most of the content consumed is imported.
She said that local film and television productions have continued to face stiff competition from foreign entities especially after the liberalization of the sector.
Former NACADA chair John Muthutho called on Kenyan youth to take advantage of advanced technology to expand their local film and music sectors.
He said that sensitization on the protection of home grown talent by shunning acts that infringe on copyrights was key to achievement of the goals of all content creators.
“Punishment for infringement needs to be enhanced, while police and judicial officers need more training so as to be better equipped to handle the menace,” said Mututho.
Barbushe Maina, a film maker from Nakuru said that local content creators within the county will have a chance to take their talent to the next level.