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Ababu’s Sh200k Kalasha winners prize money still outstanding

By Rajab Zawadi October 22nd, 2023 2 min read

The accomplished winners of the 12th edition of the Kalasha International Film and TV Awards are still waiting to receive the Sh200,000 prize money they were promised, even though almost a year has passed since the awards ceremony took place.

The latest Kalasha Awards event was held on December 3, 2022, with the intention of awarding Sh200,000 to the winners of each of the 39 categories.

Despite these intentions and the commitment made by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and the Kenya Film Commission (KFC), the winners have not received a single cent of their promised prize money.

This has left many of them frustrated and wondering why their hard-earned accolades have yet to be financially acknowledged.

Fatou Hassan, the talented winner of the Best Costume Design category, expressed her disappointment, saying, “I have not received the Sh200,000 they promised. They sent us an email requesting our bank details, but I have never seen the money.”

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Initially, the winners were expecting at least Sh100,000 each, based on the prize money awarded during the 11th edition of the Kalasha Awards.

However, the amount was doubled by the Cabinet Secretary for Youth, Ababu Namwamba, who attended the awards ceremony.

“We have doubled cash rewards for winners in all 39 categories this year as the first step in ensuring pesa mfukoni for artistes,” Namwamba had declared during the awards ceremony.

The Kenya Film Commission introduced the awarding scheme in 2019 during the 9th edition of the Kalasha Awards, with a total of Sh1.7 million allocated as prize money.

During that edition, each winner received Sh50,000. The prize money was then doubled in the following edition, resulting in a total distribution of Sh3 million.

Nairobi News has learned that KFC maintained this prize money figure from 2020 until the announcement made by Ababu Namwamba in December of the previous year.

In the 2022 edition of the Kalasha Awards, Phil-It Productions, led by director Philip Karanja and scriptwriter Abel Mutua, was poised to walk away with Sh1.2 million of the total prize money.

The production company emerged as the biggest winner of the 12th edition, clinching a total of six awards, including Best Viewer’s Choice Award (Feature Film), Best Make-Up and Hair Style, Best Feature Film, Best Supporting Actor in Film, and Best Lead Actor in Film for their work on “Click Click Bang,” which has since been acquired by Netflix.

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The delay in awarding the promised prize money raises concerns and calls into question the commitment to supporting and recognizing the contributions of talented artists in the Kenyan film and television industry.

The winners of the Kalasha Awards eagerly await the fulfillment of the promise made to them.