Sports, Culture and Arts Secretary and Nairobi Governor Save The KCC/KNT from being Auctioned

This morning, the director of the Kenya Cultural Centre (KCC) that incorporates the Kenya National Theatre (KNT) Mr Odero Aghan accompanied the new Sports, Culture and Arts Secretary Dr. Hassan Wario and the PS Madam Leah Gwiyo to see the Nairobi County governor Dr. Evans Kidero over an impending threat to auction the place.

The three went to try and save the national arts monument from being auctioned after this national institution was placed on the auctioneer’s list for failing to pay the land rates totaling upto KES 412, 000, 000 .  After extensive discussion it was agreed that Nairobi City County rescinds its order and removes KCC/KNT from Auctioneer’s list.

Kidero acknowledged that the KCC/KNT as a national monument and “Creative Soul and Identity of Kenyan Nationhood.” He sees it as a blessing for Nairobi County to host the Cultural Centre that is poised to take lead in the Creative Industry and Cultural Tourism—two possible net earners for the County in the immediate future.

Meanwhile, Dr. Wario is sorting out the waiver and exemption of the national monument from any previous and future land rate caveats as he embarks on creating a Centre of cultural excellence and international repute there.

However, it must be noted that it is indeed a shame that a national centre like this could be exposed to imminent danger like this. In a way, it is an indicator of the kind of neglect the culture and arts sector has suffered in the country.

It took close to 40-years after attaining independence for the country to develop a cultural policy and even after it was launched in 2009, little has been done to implement it and after the Constitution of Kenya 2010 recognised culture in the entire document and specifically Article 11, little has been done to re-align the policy to the new constitutional dispensation.

While the Nairobi county Governor and Cabinet Secretary’s action is laudable, we must make sure we never get back to this. After all even the Constitution “recognises culture as the foundation of the nation and as the cumulative civilization of the Kenya people and nation. (Art 11 (1)).”

10 thoughts on “Sports, Culture and Arts Secretary and Nairobi Governor Save The KCC/KNT from being Auctioned

  1. Interesting…Have always found art and art enthuses to be more respectable and sincere rather than art institutes. Art and Artistes are the true custodians of artistic creativity. Political performing artists should have no say in art institutes!!

  2. Interesting…Have always found art and art enthuses are more respectable and sincere than art institutes. Art and Artists are the true custodians of art institutes. Not the political performing art artistes.

  3. Pingback: Sports, Culture and Arts Secretary and Nairobi Governor Save The Kenya National Theater from being Auctioned | Love your life!

  4. A topic after my own heart!…Unfortunately we still have anxious developers who get hives when they see prime property like that got to “waste”! I would imagine that they think its a waste because we don’t put these centers to as much use as we should.

    I visited Market theater in SA (and met the late iconic George Menoe long after he had relocate back home from his home in Kenya!) and was so taken aback at the hive of activity that was this theater district! There were plays going on, rehearsals for next shows in other places, artists and patrons seated in various places including pavement / roadside pubs and eateries just debating / chatting about what they had just participated in or watched. It is also a star watchers spot where people go to mingle with their stage stars etc. There are also kiosks selling merchandise related to theater that I am sure serve as a side income generation for the theater…not just a bar and fish restaurant!

    I ventured into the foyers of the theaters and saw plays advertised for as far ahead as 6…7…8 months. The box offices were busy selling tickets for the many many functions booked to happen here. It is a center to which people gravitate all the time and not just during the one play that is showing as it is usually our case! The decor, ambiance and the history of theater depicted via murals on the walls was breathtaking!

    Indeed, the Director and ministry officials should draw a plan with a caveat that puts all cultural centers and theaters around the country permanently out of the reach of cultural philistines who never tire and seem to be born in every generation.The it is also time to put in place people who can get stuff happening here all the time. By people who can…I am talking about ones with actual experience in running such cultural outfits and know how to put together programs that attract people and funding to keep the places going. The centers should be made visitor friendly and stop being hangouts for aspiring celebs and tailgaters!

    And it does not have to be a play all the time but rather even workshops to encourage the development of the arts in every field.

  5. I totally agree with you Kimani.Infact today in Nakuru i hosted The Executive Director of alliance Francaise Mr Herve Braneyre and our visit at Nakuru Players Theatre almost made him shed tears.The youths there lack support,the place is neglected and you wonder why the system is leaving such a historical monument to go to waste.We managed to see Prof Gatoto of Kenyatta University Nakuru campus with an objective of partnership and am glad to say the guy was quite cooperative.Our courtesy at the Governors place did not yield anything because he preferred meeting political brokers instead .

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