Calvo Mistari: Forget Nigerian, give Kenyan content a chance
14 July 2014, 15:15
Nairobi - Artists from across the country have been up in arms over the past few years protesting the lack of airplay and bias towards South and West African music. Many an artist has had an opinion on the matter, and this time Calvo Mistari decided to share his thoughts via social media on the matter. His lengthy post captured all the aspects of why the Kenyan music scene just cannot compete with the Nigerian scene, sighting things like government backing, support and involvement to getting airplay in local radio stations and clubs.
Here is the whole post as was written by its author Calvo Mistari.
“We aren't at the same level!
You haven't indicated a stand by the Nigerian government (from lobbying by associations both film and music ) implementing over 60% media airtime to local productions and local continent (this has moved to 80/85% due to public demand) and this has helped their industry. Their Dj's also vowed to give a blackout to international music to allow their own to prosper and 10/15 years down the line the impact has allowed them to grow past their borders.
Here in Kenya we are lucky even to get 10% airtime on our local music or Movies and TV shows, dominated by Mexican soaps on air, Nigerian movies back to back on our free to air stations (that reach the masses, notice you have a choice on pay TV). Our local acts can barely earn a living.
I believe "whatever you feed a child they grow to like it and feed off it", we have made ours like Mexican soaps more than a local drama like 'lies that bind' for example.
We love Kwaito and Nigerian music mostly because it's in masses in our radio and TV shows.
Our TV stations will have Afro Cinema but can't have a marathon of local content. Our radio stations will have a Nigerian Radio programme daily but can barely play local music weekly.
It's only in Kenya you go to a club and you will barely hear a Kenyan song play, go to Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, DRC, even in Somailia, they aren't bumping to other people's music more than theirs! Actors struggle to survive in Kenya because they have to fight for the 5-10% local airtime the local programming might get to distribute amongst them.
There is new talent in the arts everyday but we shall never get to hear or see them, because 'Man Must Live', and thus a lot will have to change before that is realized.
Solutions do exist, put the government to task to help create employment. Do you know how much employment will be created should they decide to pass a bill that allows 60% or more, of local content to grace our TV, radio and any other form of media?
TV production alone will allow for more script writes, actors, producers, directors, art departments, designers, make up artists, extras, cameramen, editors, lights and grips.
The list Is endless.
Music will grow 10 fold. All these new talent that get shut down before they even leave the studio, all the music that we don't know of that will fill our hearts, make us dance, laugh, cry, sing, think.
The list is endless.
The media in Kenya is quick to try shut these changes down and feed you cheaper alternatives to them thus making them more money and denying us the very success we crave for.
The industry has improved a lot, can you compare Vioja Mahakamani with productions that exist today? Can you compare music as it begun in the late 90s to now. I think Kenyan music has grown and if fed to the children, it will take off. We can't sit and compare ourselves with Nigeria and South Africa yet they have had 30-40 years of politics before they came together and put their feet down.
Our industry is barely a teenager, let's help it grow and believe you me, 10 years from now we shall be talking a whole different ball game.
Tunaomba serikali "Level the playing field!"
What if we begun the charity at home, what if? Tafakari hayo.
For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!
Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.