Source: Music In Africa
Although the Kenyan showbiz industry remains centralised in Nairobi, Twaweza Live is actively unearthing talent in the country’s rural areas. The latest edition of the concert tour series was held in Meru last week where the winners of an audition got to perform alongside their idols at the town’s football stadium.
he concert tour also featured roadshows, media appearances, campus activations and club tours, which are expected to positively impact the grassroots entertainment industry in Kenya.
More than 250 people from the Mount Kenya and North Eastern regions showed up for the Twaweza Live local talent search at the Three Steers Hotel in Meru last week. The judges, in search of raw tenant, auditioned and picked the best acts in various categories.
Winning in her category, upcoming Meru vocalist Immaculate Kaimuri, aka Emma Kaim, will get to collaborate with Wahu on a recording that will be produced by renowned engineer Eric Musyoka. Emma Kaim is a member of the All Star Band and has released a few singles.
“Meru has a vibrant entertainment industry but it remains largely untapped due to negative perceptions,” Emma Kaim told Music in Africa. “People don’t think there are good singers in Meru and I hope my win will prove them wrong.
“Performing alongside superstars I grew up idolising was such a great experience. A day after the concert my picture appeared in the Daily Nation next to Wahu. It was a dream come true. The publicity is really boosting my career. Corporates are already offering to support my community development programmes.”
The winner in the hype master category, Fahim, will be mentored by MC Alemba, whilst Joe Mfalme will guide the winning spin master, DJ Tremor. The winners performed during the Safaricom Twaweza Live Concert at Kinoru Stadium on Saturday where Paul Mwangi, aka DJ Boboss, was arguably the most eccentric find of the audition. The 20 year old has employed cardboard and recycled plastic to make his DIY deck, mixer and microphone.
Though Meru remains a major pit stop for most national tours, local artists are finding few opportunities. The music industry in the town, which lies on the slopes of Mount Kenya and has a population of about 240 000 residents, mainly boasts semi-professional singers, DJ units and live bands. They perform in local hotels, clubs and private parties.
“Networking with fellow performers and potential bookers was the best part of my win,” DJ Treamor said. “The concert gave Meru performers global recognition because we were streamed live on all Safaricom platforms. Participating in this show has truly boosted my profile and given me stronger bargaining power.”
More than 12 000 fans turned up for Saturday’s concert, which was preceded by a free medical camp, device offers and various other community activities.
“Through the Safaricom Twaweza Live local talent auditions, we are connecting people to opportunities by giving them a platform to showcase their talent. Together, we would like to contribute towards nurturing talent and building the Kenyan music industry,” the head of Safaricom in the Mount Kenya and North Eastern regions, George Mbyuki, said.
The campaign, which also went to Eldoret and ends in November, now heads to Machakos, Mombasa, Kisumu, Kisii and Nairobi.