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Exclusive: Details of star-studded launch of Talanta Hela at State House

Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, Sports and Arts Ababu Namwamba will launch the Talanta Hela programme at State House this evening.

Nairobi News understands that invitations were sent out yesterday to the who’s who of Kenya’s creative industry to attend the event scheduled to kick off at 4 pm.

“Yes, that’s right, the CS will be launching the Talanta Hela at State House tonight. Think of all the who’s who of our creative industry, everyone has been invited, including me,” a top creative told Nairobi News.

“The Ministry of Youth Affairs, Arts and Sports cordially invites (name of creative withheld) to the official launch of Talanta Hela, Friday 09 June, 4-7pm. Venue: State House Kenya. Theme: Made in Kenya,” reads the invitation card seen by Nairobi News.

In May, Namwamba indicated that preparations for the launch of the Talanta programme were on track, despite a court order suspending the process.

The CS made the remarks on Tuesday, May 23, after chairing a planning committee meeting to assess readiness for the official launch of the programme by President William Ruto.

Also read: Ababu Namwamba vows to launch Talanta Hela despite court order

Namwamba claimed that the initiative, a flagship project of his agenda, is aimed at monetising talent using existing government institutions, including the Kenya Academy of Sports and the Kenya Film School.

“We are working with the Ministry of Education as well as the Ministry of ICT to ensure that we are able to identify talent from schools and communities from all corners of our republic,” Namwamba said.

The programme has two councils, one for creative/entertainers and the other for sports.
Mr Namwamba hand-picked his council members, including prominent celebrities such as TikToker Azziad Nasenya and musician Akothee. Comedian Churchill Ndambuki and blogger Dennis Itumbi also made the list.

However, the appointments raised eyebrows over the criteria used to select them, but the CS defended the appointments in a rejoinder.

In a report to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Sports and Culture, chaired by Webuye West MP Dan Wanyama Namambwa, the CS maintained that all the appointees were deserving.

Despite no interviews or public participation, Namwamba told the committee that his appointments were representative of Kenya’s diverse communities per Article 232 1 (h) and (i) of the Constitution, which provides for the value and principles of public service.

Also read: Talanta Hela Council secures monetization for artistes – Akothee announces