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Your money is with film commission, Namwamba tells Kalasha winners

After being called out by several artists for not keeping his promise, Sports and the Arts Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba on Thursday said that he had already disbanded the money to the Kenya Film Commission (KFC).

Speaking to Nairobi News, the CS did not give any reason why the money that he promised the winners of the 12th edition of the Kalasha International Film and TV Awards has not been paid, only saying that he had dispersed it to KFC.

The government had promised all winners Sh200,000 prize money but they are yet to get it.

“The prize money is safely with the Kenya Film Commission and they have assured me that they are already releasing that money. So absolutely no need for concern,” he said.

Confirming that the money had been received, KFC CEO Timothy Owase said that indeed it was true that they had the money with them.

“Yes I have the Kalasha money and we will start disbanding it from next week,” he said.

This comes after several artists have called out Namwamba and the commission for not keeping their promises.

On Wednesday, singer-cum-actress Sanaipei Tande did not mince her words and called out the CS over unpaid award money.

The Mfalme wa Mapenzi singer questioned the parties involved for “No prize money and no communication” for a year gone by.

“….but 167M set aside for #KNT renovations in bids to develop and nurture NEW talent! What of the existing talent?” she asked on her socials.

In November 2023, 2022 Kalasha Award winner for Best Costume Design Fatuo Hassan also called out the CS for breaking his promise.

“I have not received the Sh200,000 they promised, they sent us an email and we sent our bank details but I have never seen the money. I won Best Costume Design for the film Ayaanle. At least they remembered the department that they always pretend is not important but they can’t stay without art,” she said.

The delay has left many of them frustrated and wondering why their hard-earned accolades have yet to be financially acknowledged.

Initially, the winners expected at least Sh100,000 each, based on the prize money awarded during the 11th edition of the Kalasha Awards.

However, the amount was doubled by the CS who attended the awards ceremony.

“We have doubled cash rewards for winners in all 39 categories this year as the first step in ensuring pesa mfukoni for artistes,” Namwamba declared during the awards ceremony.

The KFC introduced the awarding scheme in 2019 during the 9th edition of the Kalasha Awards, with a total of Sh1.7 million allocated as prize money.

During that edition, each winner received Sh50,000. The prize money was doubled in the following edition, resulting in a total distribution of Sh3 million.

The delay in awarding the promised prize money raises concerns and calls into question the commitment to supporting and recognizing the contributions of talented artists in the Kenyan film and television industry.

The winners of the Kalasha Awards eagerly await the fulfilment of the promise made to them.

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