Kenyan artiste committed to using arts to fight various forms of abuse

Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 00:00 |
Laurriette Rota is an artiste, the CEO of Larota Management and director of Kibanda Online.

LA ROTA is a Kenyan artiste who is committed to using arts to fight various forms of abuse. She recently released a collabo titled Corona with Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho. She speaks to MANUEL NTOYAI 

MANUEL NTOYAI  @Manuel_Ntoyai

Who is La Rota?

Laurriette Rota is an artiste, the CEO of Larota Management and director of Kibanda Online.

I have a diploma in business Management from Technical University of Kenya and degree in Psychology from Kenyatta University.

I’m a psychologist at Mwangaza Wellness and Counselling Centre in Mombasa. 

You have started an initiative to fight different abuses using art. Tell us more. 

‘Art Against Abuse’ is an initiative that intends to create awareness and enlighten the public on types of abuse in our society and how to deal with and eradicate abuse.

The idea behind it was that most people barely realise they are being abused, especially if it’s not physical.

As a society we tend to ignore the other kinds of abuse be it emotional, financial, psychological or mental.

Together with a group of friends I have organised charity concerts for provisions for the abused children in Kibra, Nairobi.

Through poems and singing in the concerts and school children and young adults were able to learn more than what we were teaching them on how to deal with abuse.

How did you end up in the collabo with Governor Joho, Susumila, Kigoto and Mercy D Lai? 

Artistes are using edutainment to teach people on how to prevent and stop the spread of coronavirus.

Through music, we can reach more people by encouraging social collaborations.

The Corona song is a strong collabo from Mombasa county aimed to sensitise people on Covid-19 and how to take care of themselves during this pandemic.

I ended up in this collabo after an agreement by my record label Kubwa Studios, my manager and the governor’s brand manager, highly contributed by the fact that I sing on matters that affect the society and I guess talent.

Working with these renowned artists has been exciting and fulfilling as we were able to bring out the message with ease and proper articulation to suit different audiences.

Why did you choose to address social media bullying and the price for fame in your song Grateful?

I wrote this song when I was coming out of depression. I had felt very low at some point in my life in 2018 to around mid-2019.

As a musician, my way of expressing myself is through music. It was, and still is, theraputic to me. It helped me come out of that dark place.

I looked around and realised I had a lot to be thankful for despite the fact that I was struggling in music and I felt I had under-achieved my goals in life. I wanted to create awareness through it on the aforementioned topics.

What are some of the lessons you learnt with artiste management?

Artiste management is not easy. As the Larota Management CEO, I am greatly assisted by my manager Felix Ombui who does most of the ground work.

Management should be able to open doors for artistes and be beneficial to a struggling musician.

At some point I felt like a struggling musician and that’s where the inspiration to start the company came from.

I felt the urge and need to help other artistes like me one step at a time, as growth in the entertainment industry is gradual and not instant.

I have learnt over the years that management can be a great determinant in getting a record deal and other contractual jobs as an artiste. 

What is Kibanda Online all about?

It is an e-delivery platfrorm for buying groceries and other household utilities.

My partner Vincent Oenga and I run the business, and we saw the need for this delivery service because there are the sick, elderly or even those who have crazy work schedules and don’t have time or ways of getting to convenient stores, shops, supermarkets or grocery shops.

The business operates entirely on social media for now. Just like any other start-up, it has not been easy because raising funds for capital was hard.

The equipment needed such as refrigerated trucks and online operations have been expensive.

In the wake of coronavirus and the need for more delivery, we still cannot deliver to most people due to the limited time and means to access bulk orders at once. 

How has the market been for online start-ups?

For start-ups you need a lot of patience and that’s why many businesses fail because people quit easily as soon as they realise they are not making a lot of instant profits.

It has been tasking for me as I ran two companies, as a musician and psychologist.

So, I have to properly plan and focus on what is important and what requires my attention at any particular time.

Start-ups need a lot of attention and proper marketing strategies, online or not.

The government should offer training on tax management for start-ups and also offer easier ways of getting start-up capital.

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