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20 January, 2011

Substance Abuse Affecting Kenyan Celebs.

Substance abuse among Kenyan celebs is taking a toll on ,not only their careers ,but also their health.Recently Jimwat, who was a talented young musician, was reported to be suffering from schizophrenia.Jimwat, who Calif records CEO claims to have parted ways with due to over indulgence in alcohol, was scheduled to perform abroad but was unable to do all the shows due to the illness.Schizophrenia although caused by a myriad of reasons, substance abuse is a major contributor .In a recent study, 60% of people with schizophrenia were found to use substances and 37% would be diagnosable with a substance use disorder.

Conjestina achieng , One of the most fiercest and successful Kenyan female boxer , is another victim of substance abuse.Recently it was  reported that she was suffering from a mental illness, which forced her relatives to admit her In a Local mental hospital.It is claimed Conje,as she is commonly known,was abusing cannabis sativa (weed) which might have caused the  illness.

The two Kenyan celebs are an example of how people who are supposed to be role models are wasting their lives with substance abuse.It is common knowledge that most artist  take something before performing to boost their confidence and stage performance.Some time back there were reports of a group which was too intoxicated to perform.Just the other day A renowned athlete was charged in court with attempted murder after trying to kill his wife while intoxicated.

There is a need for a concerted effort to provide information and guidance to this vulnerable group ,who fall prey to substance abuse brought about by pressure that comes with their career.

04 January, 2011

Solving Poor Artist Management in Kenya.

Having observed the careers of several artists in Kenya very few of them takes the issue of artist management seriously. If you were to look at the music industry you will instantly realize that very few artist have really exploited the numerous opportunities that exist in this market. Most of the artist either self manage or are managed by their music labels, the sad thing is that the artist or the Music label fail to professionalize their operations which leads to wastage of opportunities and sometimes burning out of the artist. Accusation of exploitations by music label are rife, promoters are also blamed on the poor way artist are managed.

Artist management refers to overseeing the day-to-day business affairs of an artist; advice and counsel talent concerning professional matters, long-term plans and personal decisions which may affect their career. By that definition it is rather obvious that it would be very difficult for an artist to self manage given the challenges that come with it. A manager can also help artists find an agent, or help them decide when to leave their current agent and identify who to select as a new agent. Managers informally establish connections with producers and studios but do not have the ability to negotiate contracts. The role of music managers can be extensive and may include similar duties to that of a press agent, promoter, booking agent, business manager , tour managers, and sometimes even a personal assistant.

Celebrity endorsements in Kenya is quite low with album sales very disappointing ,the use of the social media to promote artist work is poorly executed with very little income coming from the efforts. Branding of artist is rarely done professionally with beef and publicity stunts characterizing the mode of promoting or publicizing ones work. In some cases this has worked to generate interest on the said artists but only over a limited time frame. How can we enhance artist management in Kenya so as to create an industry that work for both artist managers and the artist.