• He said the artists offered to spearhead an intense campaign to promote the Ministry of Health’s protocols and vaccination drive as their contribution in the battle against COVID-19.
• Ruto offered to ensure that their recommendations and proposals are forwarded to the National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus.
Deputy President William Ruto has come to the aid of Kenyan artistes who have been requesting the government to reopen the country.
This came after Kenyan rapper Khaligraph Jones (Brian Robert Ouko) pleaded with Ruto to intervene on behalf of Kenyans who are sleeping hungry, lacking basic amenities and employment during the pandemic as bars, restaurants and other areas have been greatly affected.
Ruto met members of the creative industry to discuss their concerns, receive suggestions and proposals on their current situation.
The Covid-19 pandemic with its attendant health and economic challenges that have ravaged the country, negatively impacting millions of livelihoods, especially in the hospitality, creative and entertainment industries, dominated the consultation.
"The artistes raised issues of grave concern affecting them, offered to participate in flattening the outbreak’s curve and made suggestions on the best way forward that will help the government and the industry raise some income," Ruto said.
Among the requests made were the creation of a special government fund to support the artists, government and persons of goodwill support to reengineer the industry in digital space to facilitate online music concerts and to assist the industry adapt to the new normal.
He said the artistes offered to spearhead an intense campaign to promote the Ministry of Health’s protocols and vaccination drive as their contribution in the battle against Covid-19.
Further, they asked the government to provide a clear roadmap, timelines and measurable milestones whose attainment will lead to the reopening of the country.
This, they said, will help them plan resumption of their activities.
"In our meeting, we also discussed the possibility of coming up with a policy that will help weed out bureaucracy, brokers and impediments that slow the growth of the industry.
"We acknowledge that artistes have worked hand in hand with the government and appreciate their proposal to assist in confronting the pandemic," Ruto said.
"We welcome their offer to reinforce the campaign on the observance of Covid-19 protocols and vaccination drive once it is rolled out fully."
He added that he offered to ensure that their recommendations and proposals are forwarded to the National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus.
Radio presenter Jalang'o, comedian DJ Shiti, DJ Joe Mfalme, DJ Pierra Makena, Kristoff, Willy Paul and Nonini were among those who attended the meeting.