In a move towards enhancing Kenya's cultural infrastructure, the Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, Creative Economy, and Sports, Ababu Namwamba, presided over a contract handover ceremony on Wednesday for the renovation of the iconic Kenya National Theatre (KNT) in Nairobi.
The ceremony, attended by key figures in the arts and culture sector, marked a pivotal moment in the government's commitment to fostering talent development and nurturing within the country.
The Ministry is set to invest a substantial Sh167 million in the renovation project, aimed at transforming the Kenya National Theatre into a state-of-the-art facility capable of supporting a diverse range of artistic expressions.
CS Ababu, accompanied by KNT Board Chair Capt. Kungu Muigai and CEO Michael Pundo expressed the ministry's dedication to elevating the standards of the cultural hub.
During the ceremony, CS Ababu emphasized the necessity of the renovation, stating that a modernized facility would play a crucial role in advancing the ministry's objectives under the flagship #TalantaHela initiative. The initiative aims to identify, nurture, and monetize talents across various artistic disciplines.
CEO Michael Pundo announced that the Kenya National Theatre would remain closed for the duration of the renovation. Pundo urged theatre enthusiasts, performers, and film producers to explore alternative venues such as Ukumbi Mdogo, Cheche Gallery, and Wasanii Corner for their practices and performances during this period.
The renovated facility is anticipated to reopen its doors to the public in April 2024. CS Ababu took the opportunity to present letters of appointment to the newly appointed Kenya National Theatre board members.
The 12 members, carefully selected for their expertise and commitment to the arts, are slated to serve a two-year term.
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As the project takes shape, anticipation builds within the artistic community for a modernized cultural hub that will undoubtedly contribute to the flourishing arts and culture scene in Kenya.