Mutua asks Govt to help journalists laid off during Covid-19 pandemic

Thursday, July 23rd, 2020 14:49 |
KFCB chief executive, Dr. Ezekiel Mutua in Murangá County. PHOTO | COURTESY
KFCB chief executive, Dr. Ezekiel Mutua in Murangá County.

By Oliver Musembi

Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) chief executive Dr. Ezekiel Mutua has asked the government to support journalists and musicians hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mutua said the government should intervene and help journalists who were laid off and artists who lost their means of livelihood after entertainment places were closed.

"Many journalists whose services were terminated are going through depression. I have been approached by families of some who were contemplating committing suicide after being laid off. The situation is bad," Dr Mutua said.

The KFCB boss was speaking during the unveiling of an ultra-modern recording studio at Kirwara in Murang'a County funded through the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC).

The Sh25 million facility in Gatanga Sub-County will be operational in two weeks' time and is expected to promote music talent for hundreds of youths.

Dr Mutua said just like journalists, the lives of at least 300 artists were disrupted when the government effected measures to control the spread of the coronavirus disease.

"The entertainment industry has lost Sh 500 million due to the closure of hotels and banning of public gatherings. The Board is networking with the government to bail out those who were affected," he said.

Mutua appealed to youth in the locality to take advantage of the recording studio to develop their talent, noting that the area was a cradle for music.

At the same time, Dr Mutua warned artists against promoting hatred or immorality and instead use their privileged positions to bring national harmony.

"Artisans should be sensitive and avoid antagonizing society or getting involved in partisan politics," Mutua said and added that action will be taken on those who preach hatred through their works of art.

The national broadcaster managing director Dr Nail Bilal said Murang'a was the first county to get an audio-visual recording studio among four others that have so far benefitted. The others are Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu which will be equipped with audio-visual recording facilities.

The occasion was grazed by area MP Joseph Nduati, Kenya Film Commission CEO Timothy Oase and veteran musician Peter Kigia.

Veteran Benga musician Peter Kigia said musicians are yet to get the Sh 100 million pledged by President Uhuru Kenyatta and pleaded with the government to ensure the money reaches them without further delay.

He also asked young and upcoming musicians to stick to decency and avoid dirty content.

The occasion was graced by area MP Joseph Nduati and Kenya Film Commission CEO Timothy Oase among others.

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