Sunday, 24 October 2010


Bungoma County last Saturday hosted the first of the Safaricom Kenya Live music concerts with thrilling performances from leading artistes in the country.
After a weeklong training at the Kenya Live Academy in Eldoret, established and upcoming artistes from the region headed to Bungoma’s Kanduyi Stadium braving the rains to keep the crowds on their feet.

Kenya Live is an initiative by Safaricom to nurture music talent among youths across the country by using established artistes in knowledge sharing academies.
The initiative is also looking at enhancing the artiste’s lives music performance as opposed to over-reliance on play-back which has been a common trend in the local music industry.

Under the arrangement, Safaricom will help the artistes in marketing their productions through its online portals in what is expected to increase earnings from the trade.
Among leading artistes who performed at the Bungoma Concert are Juacali, Wahu, M.O.G, Eko Dyda, Redsan, Size 8 and Doggy G. Others are the Webuye Jua Kali Band and the late Jacob Luseno’s Phonotex Band.

“Safaricom will continue partnering with communities in initiatives aimed at improving their standards of living. This exercise is aimed at ensuring that local artistes not only gain fame from their performances but make a decent income out of it as well,” said Virginia Wanyanga, the Safaricom representative at the academy.

The music promotion campaign will see similar concerts held in major towns such as Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru and Nairobi.
“We wish to play our part in creating a Kenyan music industry that is professionally-run in all aspects. We want to turn music into a career out of which our people can earn a decent living, not just pride and fame. With our 16 million-plus subscriber base and one of the country’s most popular portals, we have an unbeatable medium to advance Kenyan music. The possibilities are infinite.” Said Safaricom Head of Strategy and New Busines Nzioka Waita during the luanch of Kenya Live in Nairobi last week.

He gave the example of Skiza, Safaricom’s popular CBRT (caller ring back tune) service, which only a year after launch had gained vast acceptance, becoming a new and major revenue stream for some Kenyan musicians.
Kenya Live joins a growing music portfolio at Safaricom which includes the recently-held Kenyan Classical Fusion and the CHAT and Groove Awards, which are both headlined by Skiza and a number of sponsorship opportunities, spread across Kenya.