Our Leaders Still Sleeping On The Job As Such Raw Talent Go To Waste.

11 year old Joseph Gachiu from Murera Village in Ruiru Sub-Count, a young lad with great talent in cartooning but wasting away in Thika streets.

To a cursory passerby, he will just pass as another street kid that is out there to create trouble or beg for a coin or two. However, a closer look of what he does will paint a very different picture of what he is actually capable of.

Even at his tender age, 11 year old Joseph Gachiu from Murera Village in Ruiru Sub-County is one boy with one scintillating talent that raises quite eyebrows and leaves tongues wagging.

With a humbling innocent face and childish character, this boy can draw literally anything. Armed with a pencil, rubber and an art book, Josee as he is popularly known in the streets can draw animations and create very funny graffiti that will crack your ribs in laughter.

An encounter with this young talent really changed my perception of the street kids. Despite his challenges in the streets, Josee is never willing to let go of his talent for anything. With the few coins he gets from his admirers, he bought his tools of trade and keeps perfecting his skills as his peers go round begging and creating mischief.

Joseph’s talent is just a tip of the iceberg. We have so many Josephs rotting away in our homes and in school just because no one out there is willing to assist them advance their early interests in art. There are lots and lots of talent rotting away that could otherwise be tapped and used for the benefit of society and in a way that could actually fuel our economy.

As for Joseph, there is no one to encourage him by telling him that he is the best and one day he will become the greatest artist in world… Fill his head with dreams of grandeur, fame and glory. He says that is willing to accommodate any form of guidance that will assist him develop his talent to another level. He quit school in Standard Three when he felt that his interests ware not in the books. He used to draw all the time and had begun to take a serious interest in cartooning. No one seemed to understand him, not even his parents and teachers who saw mischief and hardheadedness in Joseph, a factor that may have led to him being in the streets.

It is good to note that animation is a big industry and as long as newspapers and magazines continue to sell, cartooning will remain a viable profession. Editorial cartoons in Kenya have really pushed political comment, but most comics in this country have been works of fiction. People like Paul Kelemba aka Maddo, Godfrey Mwampembwa aka Gado and Kham have earned a living from this field of talent.

There are also lots of opportunities in development agencies, educational books, civic education and advertising. Another huge opportunity lies in online cartooning and gaming. It is a niche that has endless opportunities as people are now enjoying locally produced computer games and animations such as the XYZ political commentary puppet show.

As the demography of the world changes sharply towards a younger workforce, one of the foremost challenges is attracting, engaging and retaining young talent. It is therefore extremely important that talents such as this are identified and nurtured from the very beginning the same way we pursue a career through formal education.

Over to you our so called political leaders….

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