Since time immemorial entertainment based careers have hardly been appreciated especially in Africa. Even today, in the 21st Century, the value is still yet to be realised. I guess the effort put into creation of entertainment and the intellectual property invested in them is still judged as a pass time. Yet, hordes of people are minting money from these products…illegal money; a vast majority are not the creative minds who rightfully should pocket the money.
The notion that a successful career is being in white collar employment is one that is misled. How many people get to afford to take their children even to tertiary institutions? The time of the year has come as we await the release of National Examination results. The numbers of the children locked out from continuing with their education keep rising with the years. So, what happens to these children? Most of them are usually left to rely on their talent bad sadly they either get misused, underused and basically ripped off.
In the last 20 years the Kenyan Entertainment has witnessed a serious revolution. It has come along way and yes we can now say we have an industry established. Though a struggling one, it is one nonetheless. We are nothing short of talent but what is killing us is the D word…Desperation.
In all sectors of entertainment; music, acting,modelling,writing you name it. We are guilty of not undertaking negotiations. As much as we are duped into being convinced how there will always be someone who shall take the ‘terrible’ deal placed on your table be brave to say no. It is the only way as entertainers you shall bring the value that industry should have into everyone’s attention. Do not be blinded by what the contract shall bring to the table ‘right now’. Remember that by the deals you accept you add a description to your brand.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting one of the world’s renowned entertainment managers Christopher Grey of Greyology Inc. For those who may not know of him, he manages the likes of Leona Lewis, Cecile, Usher just to mention but a few international artists. And some of these things he brought them to my attention more and more clearer. He is no stranger to Kenya and he has had the opportunity to study what makes and breaks our industry. Being a guru in this area, he does makes a very strong point. The entertainers need to take entertainment seriously, take their talent and their brand seriously. Only then shall the rest of Kenya realise its value.
The change starts with you as an entertainer. We need to struggle to develop order and structure in our industry. It will take time, however it can be done. We need to give hope to the future of Kenya; our children. Let us not undercut ourselves and let us stop hiding behind the excuse that we are still a 3rd World. The change starts with us.
If we are not careful we shall be leaving the management of our industry to foreigners who will be minting the money from it and our great Republic shall have nothing to show for it. Charity begins at home. The control lies in our hands. We need to invest in it and we need to appreciate the value in talent; the value in entertainment. It is important to know and appreciate your value. First things first, retain a legal representative. The revolution starts with the legal side- assert your rights!