The Nakuru Launch
The event took place at the Nyayo gardens performances from various art groups among them Dance, Puppeteers cartoonists and musicians.
A puppetry performance by the title “Watu Bila Waya” is about leaders and responsibilities. It seeks to depict issues such as unemployment, corruption, and responsible leadership. Nakuru County is one of the fastest growing counties in Kenya. It rose into limelight as the first county to provide free internet connectivity. But it was short-lived. The county has achieved notoriety for incessant wrangles at the County Assembly. Youth complain about unemployment. Hawkers are being displaced and relocated.
In the meantime, MCAs are simply concerned about grabbing space. They have “eaten” the market and they want to eat more. The performance by the puppeteers was ‘laughing’ at the resent fights among Members of the County Assembly (MCA’s) that saw President Uhuru Kenyatta form a committee to investigate the squabble. The performance also enacted the removal of hawkers from the center of town that has seen the Governor Kinuthia Mbugua administration rub shoulders the wrong way with the hawkers. In the performance question questions are raised on the validity of the exercise which has been said to be aimed at ‘cleaning’ the town so as to reclaim Nakuru’s ‘lost glory’.
Performers entertaining the crowds
Other artistic expressions that attracted citizens are cartoons that have been drawn by a group of four cartoonists led by veteran and celebrated cartoonist James Kamawira aka Kham. Led by Kham the cartoonist showcased different cartoons on the problems afflicting residents.
KATUNIs engagement seeks to:
- Empower youth to be the agents of change in their respective counties and communities by training them to communicate through the use of cartoons and illustrations.
- Educate citizens on the contents of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 for them to understand their rights and responsibilities to this nation.
- Empower youth and women by encouraging them to participate in their own governance at community, County and National level.
The initiative’s overall goal is to animate discussion and promote understanding of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 in order to increase participation in the devolved governance system by fostering youth and women competence and participation in the political arena, leadership and governance.
Even before the launch started, there was a large excited crowd milling around the Nyayo Gardens, waiting for the performances, which started at around 11.00, AM. Soon after, there was a power, which cost the JUKUMU LETU team quite some time. The issue was eventually resolved 3 hours later when a generator was brought in. The crowd was entertained by the Dance into space troupe followed by the puppeteers and the Sarabi musicians. These performances were incredibly powerful and created quite a buzz on the grounds.
The exhibition at the launch generated a lot interest from residents and at all times throughout the launch, people could be seen looking at the cartoons and discussing them excitedly. The power of the messages displayed attracted the wrath of the County management who subsequently tried to sabotage the launch by denying the JUKUMU LETU team power from their buildings. The launch was delayed for some time but the message had been passed loud and clear!
Other key performances were from the Dance into Space, Djs With A cause and Sarabi Band, all of which had trained local artists in bringing out the issues affecting the county through dance and music.
Other than the performances, there have been radio talk shows both on national and local fm stations on the work of Jukumu Letu.
DJ Sir Me having a discussion with clothes vendor who shared on the issues that affect them
To learn more about Jukumu Letu, follow these links