Mutulipe! Arrowbwoy tells Sakaja to pay artistes who performed at Nairobi Festival
Nairobi County Governor Johnson Sakaja was on March 1, 2023, publicly reminded to pay the artistes contracted to perform at his recently launched Nairobi Festival.
The first festival took place in December 2022.
According to musician Arrowbwoy, his attempts to get his money proved futile as the company hired to contract him claimed they had not received payments from the Nairobi County government.
“Dear our Governor Sakaja Johnson, mambo imechemka huku nje (things have reached a boiling point out here). Since we performed at the Nairobi Festival in December, we have not been paid. Personally, I was contracted by Homeboyz Agency. My team has tried a couple of times reaching out to Homeboyz about the payment, the response is that they have not also been paid by the county…” said Arrowbwoy.
He said this was a very painful matter for him as other artistes including Saint Kevinsky joined him in bemoaning the late payment. According to Saint, all artistes signed contracts but since December, they had not received a cent for their work.
The Nairobi Festival was Governor Sakaja’s flagship event to annually celebrate and appreciate Nairobi’s diverse foods, culture, music and art. The event was held at the renovated Uhuru Park grounds which was strictly opened and shut down once again between dates 12-17 December 2022.
Among artistes who performed at the event were Jua Cali, King Kaka, H_eart The Band, host Shaffie Weru and over 50 other Nairobi based artistes. Over 35 disc jockeys from Nairobi were also hired to perform on three main stages set up for the festival.
“We have been able to do this because of the amazing potential the creative economy has. When we were campaigning, we spoke about the city of order, dignity, hope and opportunities and this is part of the opportunities we want to showcase and provide for our young people. We have a huge creative economy and more than 100 artists came for auditions of the upcoming artists also. We are going to showcase more than 16 films and documentaries short by our young people in Nairobi, the traders will also come and show what they have and we have a whole bunch of activities that will happen in Uhuru Park,” said Governor Sakaja on the sidelines of the event.
This late payment of monies to the artistes joins a list of other debts the Nairobi County government continues to grapple with. Upon his ascension to the gubernatorial seat, Governor Sakaja inherited Sh 99.06 billion in pending bills from his predecessors, former governor Ann Kananu and the Nairobi Metropolitan Service.
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