Like in other business models, partnerships in creative industry help in make it even bolder

Monday, October 19th, 2020 00:00 |
KFCB chief executive officer Ezekiel Mutua.

Just like in other business models, partnerships in the creative industry help in making it even bolder. And as Manuel Ntoyai writes, more collaborations between governments and private entities are needed to spur the sector to higher heights.


Public-private partnerships (PPPs) have for long remained one of the most effective ways to promote sustainable development in the art industry.

In line with this, for example, the Kenya Culture Centre (KCC) has been conducting workshops for the creatives, with an aim of sharing experiences and knowledge in order to bring the synergy to make the industry continue to flourish.

The most recent of such engagements was held in Nakuru, in partnership with the Nakuru Players Theatre group, and featured seasoned industry actors including KCC chairman Nicholas Moipei.

During the event, poet Babushee inquired about how the partnership between the creatives and the government outfit would help bring some higher level of success to the wider Nakuru creative sector.

“We can open different engagements with different organisations, but this will be centered on capacity building, especially on theatre groups.

D Rush.

At the end of the day, we want to engage with not only theatre groups, but also county governments, which can use our experiences and expertise, so that they are better informed when they start or support projects at the county level,” said KCC chief executive officer Michael Pundo.

He added, “At the moment, we are working on getting activities back to theatres and we are calling on everyone, especially the private sector, to join hands with us because entertainment has the capacity to provide jobs to thousands of people, which is key in the Big Four agenda.”

Proper structuring 

Recently, the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) in partnership with Kenyan music producers and YouTube Content Aggregators launched a working committee for the Maadili Awards Competition.

According to KFCB chief executive officer Ezekiel Mutua, it aims to enhance collaborations between the film industry and government in the agenda of protecting children from harmful content.

It’s also seeking to identify and recognise artistes whose work inspire hope and rally communities to positive social economic transformations.

One of the appointees in the committee is a seasoned player in the creative industry Yusuf Noah aka Refigah.

Michael Pundo.

He says that in its search to build a formidable creative industry, the government has found the answer in PPPs.

“Ideally, this is an idea whose time has come, but lacks proper structures, especially on the entertainment industry due to several reasons.

Generally, the industry lacks proper structures that would safeguard investors’ interests, while at the same time we have leaders whose personal tendencies don’t lean towards such ideas,” says Refigah.

The Grandpa Records honcho adds that the Kenya’s music industry works under the shadows of the Collective Management Organisations (CMOs), which thoughout their existence have not been effective and have failed on their mandate.

“For years, one of the many lamentations from our artistes has been about the CMOs, but the best thing is that their regulator—the Kenya Copyright Board (Kecobo) — has been working to restructure the industry including the introduction of National Rights Registry.

Once this repository is put in place, it will help solve a number of issues that continue dogging the industry, one of which being copyright issues, one of the fronts when it comes to corporate engagements,” he adds.

And while some people are having a go for the big cake at the national level, some players have opted to work with county governments.

“Many people tend to assume that PPPs come into play only when dealing with the governments for mega projects.


Here in Mombasa, we have seen artistes being supported by the county government.

In the events industry, we have developed some level of partnerships that have been proven to be very beneficial,” says Mombasa Food Festival founder Brian Mandela.

Integrating cultural models 

He opines that county governments can develop much further economically if they had better incentives for investors in the entertainment industry.

He also supports the school of thought of adopting the Chinese Sports and Leisure Characteristic Town (SLCT) as a way of developing betters PPPs, which he says, can be adopted and customised to fit in the Kenyan cultural and economic setup.

The SLCT has become a reasonable strategy for enhancing the sustainability of new urbanisation processes in rural China, but limited financial resources are a major obstacle. Thus, PPPs have been increasingly encouraged.

“To attract more players in the industry, things such as licenses, low marketing fees, security and many other incentives, should be looked at, especially for event organisers.

We need to offer a conducive environment to all levels of players, especially post-Covid-19 period,” says Mandela.

Risk management consultant Gilbert Mwalili observes that while this could be the way forward, there exists several bottlenecks which might make it only a pipe dream.

“Financial capacity for local private partners, especially in the film industry, to set up quality production is limited by their financial capacity and policies, which are not favourable to either side.

Production of local content needs serious financial investment, but the returns may not be rewarding as expected.

Yes, the restriction of 60 per cent local content for broadcasters is there, but there is no floor for the cost and this means exploitation of local producers,” he says.

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