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Virus restrictions leave 86 DJs jobless in Meru

Closure of entertainment joints and a ban on public gatherings has hit them hard

In Summary

• Pandemic restrictions have robbed DJs, photographers and artistes of their livelihood

• DJ Karuga has appealed for financial aid as they await the state's Sh100 million grant

Meru DJs have been asked to try other creative and innovative methods of earning after the pandemic left about 86 DJs jobless.

Chainless entertainment Kenya DJ Kaygee Karuga said he has turned to Facebook and Instagram Live streaming to keep business moving and reach fans online.

 
 

He said life has been hard after the closure of entertainment joints and a ban on public gatherings, where most performances were conducted by DJs and MCs.

Karuga said like many DJs, Chainless entertainment used to get money to pay staff from its DJ academy, sound systems, video coverage and photography.

“We have also been hit by the effects of the pandemic. We try to create awareness about the coronavirus through the ‘Go Live initiative’, where we interact with Kenyans and offer the best music,” Karuga told the Star.

“This has attracted corporate companies like Havana East Africa, Brinkfab Solutions, Esla restaurant, Evero realtors and Mafuko Industries, who have enabled us to recruit eight persons to run the platforms.” 

Karuga said he used to earn not less than Sh100,000 per month through shows, but this is no more.

Meru youth leader Marvin Kimathi, alias Marvo Mzito lamented the new normal presented by Covid-19, saying it has deprived many deejays and artistes of their daily bread.

“You can support them these tough times through their M-pesa as they play live music on Facebook or YouTube channels,” Mzito said.

Karuga said he has written to the county and national government youth ministries for financial aid as they wait for the Sh100 million grant promised by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

 
 

“Our objective is to give the sweetest music from Tuesday to Sunday, create awareness, sensitise and educate the youths on protecting themselves and loved ones to enable containment of the virus," he said.

"We are pushing to start branding and marketing, too. The reception and support through calls, messages and views online is overwhelming,” he said.