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Kiambu Kick-Off Programme Empowering Youth Through Talent.

Kiambu County Government, through its Ministry of Education, Culture and Social Services has kicked off a multi-disciplinary arts, talents and cultural festivals showcasing different forms of talents in music, poetry, theatre and culture by Kiambu youth, women, persons living with disabilities, and this time, not leaving out the men. The programme, whose objective is not only to identify and nurture raw talent amongst Kiambu residents, but also aimed at monetising it with the long-term view of empowering them economically.

This was revealed by Culture and Social Services County Executive Committee Member (CEC) Mrs. Esther W. Ndirangu during the inaugural launch of the Thika Sub-County Talents and Cultural Search Festivals at The Thika Community Hall. She said that as a department, they had opted to blend fun, exciting social opportunities, recreational and social activities as well as the cultural riches with economic empowerment which she said had been lacking in the previous festivals that they had been participating in.

Within the framework of this festivals, they plan to be inviting all kinds of raw talents in the county, nurture them and guide them into being brands that could attract direct investments of their own through arts. Three sub-counties, namely; Thika, Kabete and Limuru, will serve as the pilot projects that will be used to test the viability of the programme. When perfected, it will be rolled out in all the 12 sub-counties of Kiambu.

Plans to set up Cultural & Talents Centres in all the sub-counties were also in the pipeline. In these centres, this department intends to be organising monthly or weekly fetes (depending on the demand) where the organisers will be charging members of the public some reasonable entrance fee, just as they do at the French Cultural Centre and the Kenya National Theatre in Nairobi. In this way, the participants will be earning some money from gate collections, thereby empowering them through arts. 

To this effect, the county government is already renovating a hall in Kiambu Town for a tune of Sh. 14 million where the ‘cream’ of the county will be performing every weekend.

This is a fantastic opportunity for all those amateur artists who have been missing a forum to showcase their talents and attract funding for the same. It will also help the county government in tackling challenges of unemployment and drug abuse among the youth. There is plan to take advantage of the opportunity to sensitise youth against drug and substance abuse. The recently rehabilitated alcoholics will also be provided with a chance to showcase whatever talent they were gifted in thus, the county government being in a better position to identify ways to assist them into abandoning that habit.

During Saturday’s fete at the Community Hall, a total of 42 groups and individuals from Thika East and West Districts, some as young as 10 years, participated in the talent search. Their performances ranged from music, poetry, dance troupes, drama and cultural dances.

According to Mr. George Wanyoike, the Thika Sub-County Welfare Officer, who spoke to Thika Town Today after the exercise, they plan to now fine tune this talents for economic gains. They intend to hire the services of talent coaches who will assist these talents into making productions that could be sold to the various TV stations in the country.

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