Eric Omondi: Kenyan entertainers have been reduced to curtain-raisers being paid Sh30,000
Self-proclaimed president of comedy Eric Omondi on Saturday hit out at Kenyan entertainers and asked them to reinvent themselves or sink into oblivion.
While having a chat with Jalang’o, Omondi lamented the fact that local artistes have been reduced to ‘curtain-raisers’ for international acts and they are not compensated that well.
A hard-hitting Omondi challenged artistes to rediscover themselves and earn their lost glory, restoring Kenya on the entertainment map once again.
“The Kenyan entertainment scene is dead!!! We have lost our Glory. We have become a cemetery!!! It is utter DISGRACE that our musicians have become mere curtain raisers for international acts.
“We have become clowns in our own land. Every weekend there is a group of 3 or 4 foreign artists in this city Nairobi. Gengetone is dead and buried,” he said.
Omondi wondered where concerts for Kenyans by Kenyans disappeared to saying probably homegrown talent has become boring hence the need to restrategize.
“We have lost our glory!!! In Less than two weeks we had Etana, Omah Lay and Konshens is on his way. Where are the Kenyan concerts????
“We have become redundant, predictable and boring. We need to put in the work, to reclaim our glory we have to invest in our art!!! God knows I am personally trying my level best,” he added.
Omondi challenged local artistes to up their game such that other countries will organize events that give prominence to genres like Gengetone.
“The curfew has been lifted, it's time to dust ourselves and get to work. We can do it; we have all it takes to reclaim this lost glory. Let's have South Africans hosting monthly Gengetone festivals in Johannesburg, let's get our musicians storming other countries and cities every weekend. It's time!!! Attack!!!” he concluded.
Music concerts returned to Nairobi last week with Jamaican star Shauna McKenzie, better known as Etana, entertaining thousands of elated fans. This was the first major concert in the capital city since March last year and two weeks after the lifting of the night curfew.
It was a reprieve for revellers after a long dry spell that had not only forced them off the social scene but also rendered hundreds of entertainers jobless.
The concert at Ngong’ Racecourse had the partnership of Standard Group’s Vybez Radio to open the new season and breathe hope into an industry that was on its deathbed.
According to a report by the Pubs, Entertainment and Restaurants Association of Kenya (Perak), an estimated 15 percent of clubs and restaurants across the country never came back, leading to an estimated 200,000 job losses.
Leading entertainment establishments such as the iconic Florida 2000 as well as the 20th Century Cinema in Nairobi CBD made their exit from the scene during this period.
With the end of year festivity season kicking in, many events have now been lined up. A number of international artistes are expected in Kenya in the next weeks for concerts in and outside Nairobi.
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