By Buddha Blaze, Pics by PPMC
THE PRESIDENTIAL MUSIC COMMISSION TRAINING CAMP IN MUSIC
In my years of working in the music industry, there has been a presumption that government is uninterested in the plight of musicians leave alone acknowledging the music industry. In Kenya, music has always been viewed as a secondary career, not something that would be considered a proper life choice. Times have slightly changed; the last few years have been testimony that music is a viable career worth investing in. The government has shifted its stance and is slowly opening its mind set. This has been attributed by the successes of the many Kenyan artists such as Eric Wainaina, Suzanna Owiyo and Nameless.
MUSIC STUDENTS LEARNING PRODUCTION
I recently had an encounter that has changed my perception of government’s view on music when the Permanent Presidential Music Commission invited me to give a lecture at their annual Youth Training Camp in Music at Greenfields in Nyeri. The dedicated ladies and gentlemen at The Presidential Music Commission are visionary civil servants who have dedicated their time and effort in getting music to earn its importance in Kenya. Mr. Wanjohi who is personally involved in sourcing entertainment for the President during major state functions has also used his position to slowly influence the way government views music.
MUSIC MENTOR SUZANNE GACHUKIA IN SESSION
With support from the departmental head Mr. Thuku this office is changing many things. The department is not only involved in VIP entertainment – its expanding to touch mainstream musicians. The department is involved in research of music activities in the country, documenting music activities and laying the foundation and support of upcoming and existing musicians. Their mandate is to do research, preserve and support. The annual Training Camp in Music is one of those initiatives that I was amazed to see even takes place. The music camp was begun in 2008 to help raise the standards of music in Kenya.
VOICE LESSONS BY KAVUTHA ASIYO
Every year the camp takes place in a different part of Kenya – music students with talent and enthusiasm come from different parts of Kenya for a 10 day music camp to develop the music skills in management, audio engineering, marketing, marketing, performance, song arrangement, song writing, production, choreography and much more. The PPMC invites mentors, well known musician, managers and industry practitioners to impact the upcoming musicians. The department has managed to place music in the government program Vision 2030 geared to enhance music in Kenya and make it relevant to economic development.
PHYSICAL TRAINING & CHOREOGRAHY LESSON BY BILLY SADIA
The department is also involved in re-writing the Kenyan music policy and including new methods in which to look at the music industry. The mission of this policy is to create an infrastructure for the growth and development of music while providing a basis for interactions with music as an educational, cultural and economic activity. All in all with all the problems facing the Kenyan music industry today can only be rectified by a good music policy which puts everything in perspective. I wish to thank everyone at the Permanent presidential Music Commission for their dedication and work ethic is unusually noble.