• The creative space will serve as a home to artistes in the Lake Region
The Embassy of France in Kenya, together with Kisumu creatives, on Sunday launched a new performance stage in Dunga Hill camp, Kisumu county.
The creative space was inaugurated as their main stage that will serve as a home to artistes in the Lake Region.
Speaking to Word Is, music producer Tabu Osusa said the project will help in enhancing and diversifying opportunities for artistes.
Equipment worth Sh3.3 million was donated by the Creatives Arts Spaces in Kenya (Casik).
"The partnership and the inauguration today will go a long way in developing local talent in and around Kisumu," Osusa said.
Dunga Hills camp CEO Jagpal Sanchu said the partnership will go a long way in developing local talent in and around Kisumu.
"We as Dunga Hill Camp are committed to providing this important platform to young artistes together with our infrastructure to professionally nurture, train and record them," he said during the launch.
"We feel that artistic expression is an important part of a healthy society. Collaborating with more established and international artistes will further improve the quality of performance arts in western Kenya."
Rose Ongoti, lecturer at Maseno University, hoped that young artistes will use the space to grow their talents.
"They have empowered the artistes in terms of performance since we did not have spaces in Kisumu and also equipment," she said.
"Artistes do not have resources since they do not have money to help them grow, and I hope they use this platform."
She encouraged that there be a proper programme to sell the venue.
"Some of the programmes I would suggest is talent development training for quality products from the artistes."
Kisumu's Loko Band music director Isaac Gem encouraged Kisumu artistes to unite.
"Let's make this a community of musicians. Let us not charge them."
Popular Kisumu singer Apesi said the biggest challenge with artistes who come from Kisumu is they don't support each other.
"Most artistes who are from Kisumu think they can only make it in Nairobi. This space will make them want to come back and be great."
The launch featured live performances by homegrown talents, including Dancing Duet, a contemporary dance duet featuring Diana Adhiambo and Predictor Lodenyi; Nyatiti player Kent Mugenda, rapper Dawe Dawe, singer-songwriter Joseph Langa, Apesi and Loko Band.
Launched in 2021, the Casik project is supporting five different arts and cultural spaces in Kisumu, Nakuru, Nairobi, Mombasa and Lamu.