Safaricom recently launched Twaweza Live Experience, a campaign that focuses on growing and nurturing local music talent. Chebet Korir and Kyoumukama Faith sought to find out what this activation will mean for the local music industry
Five years ago, mobile operator, Safaricom, introduced Safaricom Kenya Live series. The series was a culmination of a year-long tour that saw over a dozen local artistes perform before fans in Bungoma, Mombasa, Kisumu, Machakos, Meru, Eldoret and Nairobi.
The initiative broke new ground for the local entertainment industry giving artistes exposure to new opportunities as well as a chance to interact directly with their fanbase.
Over the years, the telecommunication bigwig has spearheaded more and more activations, changing the dynamics of the local entertainment industry. Just this week, Safaricom flagged off Twaweza Live Experience.
The campaign, which was officially launched a week ago, is set to visit the Rift, Central, Eastern, Coast, Nyanza, Western and Nairobi regions and promises to deliver a mix of entertainment, product education, customer service, free medical camps and community projects.
What does the move mean for industry players?
The campaign will act as a platform for local musicians to showcase their talent through live music concerts, with a focus on growing and nurturing the industry through talent searches and Skiza boot camps. The boot camps, which target over 1,000 musicians, will among other things, teach business and financial skills that will empower artistes to turn their passion for music into profitable businesses.
A week from now, on May 26, to close the first leg of the road show caravan, Eldoret Sports Club will host a live music concert featuring the industry’s crème, such as Naiboi, Vivian, Njugush, Redsan, Nyashinski, Mercy Masika, Sweet Star and DJs Joe Mfalme and Malaika.
“The main objective is to engage and transform lives of unknown local artistes and nurture their talent. Once particapants take part in a local talent show, winners will perform alongside 254’s entertainment biggest household names,” said Carolyne Kendi, head of brands and communication, Safaricom.
The artiste line-up for the full leg of Twaweza Live Experience consists Nyashinski, Redsan, Wahu, Nameless, Naiboi, Viviane, H_art The Band, gospel acts Mercy Masika and Daddy Owen alongside MC Njugush with mix masters Kris Darlin’, Joe Mfalme and Malaika.
There is no question the fusion of old and new school artistes grow the industry tremendously. Not only will upcoming artistes have free access to learn the craft from industry stakeholders, the experience will also open up a more interactive platform; which will allow artistes to interact with their fanbase and vice versa — a sentiment that has been echoed by many.
“I have been in the industry for more than a decade. And yet, I have not had an opportunity to fully interact with my fanbase on such a personal level. I am hoping all that changes as soon as the first leg kicks off at the Rift. It is an opportunity to get both positive and negative feedback in regard to my music.
I also want to listen to some new music and see how I can nurture talent out there. Our country is flourishing with talent just waiting to be discovered — Twaweza is a chance to go right to the grassroots and change the lives of many through music,” shared an elated Redsan.
As all eyes look to Twaweza, we cannot help, but hope the platform is able to feed into other aspects of the industry resulting in the long term growth. It could even influence behavioural change in the way we consume music.
“Twaweza is a credible launch pad for untapped talent. It is a high time we approach music not just as entertainers, but as businessmen. We need to creative and learn how to make money out of it, and this is dire, especially for upcoming artistes, who are green to how the industry works.
I’ll soon be launching my album, and with that in mind, I will use this platform to ensure my brand becomes bigger and more visible, as should all industry players,” intimated Naiboi.