The creative sector in Kenya has come a long way. We have had Family shows like Tausi , Vitimbi, Vioja Mahakamani, to comedy like  Redikulas, Red Korna, and Kajairo’s Satire. These graduated to recent shows such as Maria, Churchill Show and Eric Omondi doing what he does best. But creative is not just about what we see on TV. It is the singing, the street art, painting, sculpturing, stage poetry, all forms of writing, dancing, beadwork, and memes, among others.

The advent of the digital space has given the creative culture and even bigger platform, on a global scale and more opportunities to grow and thrive than ever thought possible.  Selling art and engaging art lovers can now be done virtually, and from anywhere in the world

Since the Coronavirus pandemic, activities involving socialization and human interactions were halted because of the nature of the infection. The creative economy was one of the first sectors to be affected, and what experts foresee, is that it will we one of the last, if not the last, to recover. To mitigate this, most of these activities have gone online. We have had virtual concerts, ordering food online instead of going to a restaurant, webinars instead of seminars and conferences and online training sessions. But with this also, has come a challenge. I do not know about you, but I enjoy art and creativity in the presence of with company. Not to say though, that the creative sector cannot endure. It is robust, and there are conversations online on how to make it thrive. Such a conversation was held this past week.

The webinar was held on Thursday 25th June and included panellists who are experts and thought leaders in the creative sector. Their mission was to tackle the question on how to democratize the digital space, not just to look at problems  but also find solutions to “craft and reshape the creative economy for resilience and sustainability in the context of Covid-19.”

The Webinar was hosted by Joy Mboya from the GoDown Arts Centre, Featuring:

  • Nanjira Sambuli: Policy analyst and Advocacy Strategist, ICT
  • Charles Murito: Country Manager, Google Kenya and Director of Policy and Government Affairs, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Njoki Wamae: Actor, Writer, Commentator and Assistant Professor, International Relations, and Politics, USIU
  • James Wamathai: Director Partnerships, Bloggers Association of Kenya

It was interesting to note the different perspectives of the panel and one thing that hit home was the fact that, the people who will most likely benefit from the digital migration brought about by Covid-19 were those who were already plugged into the digital space. According to Dr Wamae, the pandemic showed all of us the value of the arts, not just for entertainment. As Nanjira put it, “Art is the soul of the world today.”

If you missed the conversation, you can follow it through the hashtag #ResiliArt or watch it on YouTube.