BY MWAKERA MWAJEFA
Parents have been advised to stop imposing careers on the youth and instead allow them the freedom to pursue their talents especially in the creative arts, says the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta.
According to her time had come to change conventional thinking that certain disciplines such as law, engineering, medicine and teaching make great careers.
The First Lady said millennial (adolescents reaching adulthood in the early 21st century) should be allowed to earn their living through pursuits they are passionate about.
“Many times, we have imposed careers on our children and pushed them to consider becoming engineers, lawyers, doctors or teachers – anything that, to us, has spelt decent employment,” she said adding the youth want to earn a living quite differently through pursuing their passion.
The First Lady was speaking recently when she opened the inaugural Arts and Financing Conference at a Nairobi hotel.
The conference brings together stakeholders in the arts industry covering writers, musicians, dancers, Disc Jockeys, sculptors and those in the finance industry including representatives from the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).
“Art and sports as a viable and sustainable investment”, was the theme of the two-day conference.
She said as an investment, art has the potential to become a major contributor to the country’s economic development especially in providing direct jobs to the youth adding that they were there to affirm the potential of the creative sector as an important source of development.
The First Lady said art in its various forms, creative or expressive, is a commodity with the power to unite people in a shared journey of aesthetic appreciation and interpretation.
She said besides being powerful, creative arts can have real and lasting meaning beyond the money it earns.
Mrs Kenyatta said art empowers communities by changing the way they view the world and art was a mirror of reality that beckoned people to examine the world around them and to consider what their relationship with the environment.
She praised the NSE for considering the creative industry as a partner in raising capital to expand investment in the country and called for more such partnerships to create the needed convergence between creators, collectors and investors.
The First Lady congratulated the Ministry of Sports and Heritage, represented at the conference by CS Amina Mohammed, for supporting the new initiative saying it also resonates well with Kenya’s Vision 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals.
Others who addressed the conference included Amb Amina, the Principal Secretary for Culture and Heritage Ms Josephta Mukobe and the Art and Work Founder and Chief Executive Roy Gitahi.