US partners with Kenyan artistes to foster cohesion, development

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020 00:00 |
United State department of African Affairs programme’s coordinator Henry Ohanga ‘Octopizzo’ addresses the media in Nakuru, yesterday. Photo/PD/ROY LUMBE

Roy Lumbe @lumbe_roy 

The United States department of African Affairs has launched a year-long campaign aimed at impacting locals through art in a bid to drive social change in the face of antagonism, inequality and injustice.

The programme which has attracted more than 800 artistes of various genres from Nakuru county seeks to strengthen social impact by popularising values conducive for cohesion and economic development.

Social impact

Programmes’s coordinator Henry Ohanga popularly known by his stage name Octopizzo said the initiative dubbed Social Impact, will equip artistes with new skills to evoke desired behavior among their audience through sustained advocacy using their art forms.

Ohanga said the programme brings together young sculptors, muralists, musicians, thespians, poets and dancers in a cause that seeks to help deviants question their places in the country’s breached social order.

“For a long time, inequality and injustice has been the order of our day in our country, however, we want to change that with the launch of this programme.

It’s main aim is to strengthen the social impact by promoting cohesive qualities to the society. It brings together artistes who are change drivers,” said Ohanga.

He notes that through art driven advocacy, members of society will be able to participate in public deliberation against poor governance, political and gender-based violence for informed preferences. 

Ohanga regrets the misguided role artistes have assigned to themselves saying the new unlike the older generation artistes, have not conceptualised the noble role society has bestowed on them as the guardians of common values and morals.

He noted that with deliberate peer and government support, conscious artistes will get to the global stage, shine, empower the jobless locally and make the country known globally.

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