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Clemo addresses payment concerns ahead of Nairobi Festival

By Sinda Matiko December 12th, 2023 2 min read

As the anticipation builds for the second edition of the Nairobi Festival, renowned music producer Clement Rapudoi Sijenyi, widely known as Clemo, seeks to dispel concerns about delayed payments to artists—an issue that marred the inaugural edition in December last year.

The five-day extravaganza, held from December 12 to 16, 2022, left performers waiting for over two months to receive their payments from the event’s organizer, the County Government of Nairobi.

This delay prompted singer Arrowboy to voice his frustration on Instagram, urging the organizers to expedite the payment process.

With the second edition of the festival scheduled set to start on Jamhuri Day, fears of a recurrence of payment delays have surfaced.

However, Clemo, who serves as the County Chief Officer in charge of the City Culture, Arts, and Tourism docket, aims to quell these concerns.

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Clemo, in response to the past payment delays, questioned why artists who complained have not provided updates after the issues were addressed.

“You know Kenyans are a funny species; since they complained, have you heard them complain again? Why didn’t they come out again to say they had now been paid?” remarked Clemo.

The music producer went on to elucidate the intricacies involved in settling payments with the government.

“When you’re doing business with the government, it’s unlike a private business. There are reports and accounts that need to be reconciled because the money we are spending to settle these bills is public funds,” explained Clemo.

He emphasised that the process involves adhering to current market rates and complying with government procedures, which inevitably takes time due to various interventions.

Addressing concerns about the upcoming second edition, Clemo urged artists to exercise patience and trust in the process.

“I’m pleading with artists in advance, even this time when we get to the payment point, they shouldn’t panic but relax; they will be sorted as we did with the first one,” he assured.

Clemo took a jab at the small clique of artists who raised concerns, asserting that it was a non-issue blown out of proportion.

He suggested that the intention behind the complaints was to paint Governor Johnson Sakaja in a negative light, emphasising the importance of patience and understanding the governmental processes governed by the constitution.