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Entertainment industry summit in Nairobi gets a fresh face

Kenya Music Week, organised by PHAT! Music & Entertainment Limited., was rebranded after a decade of gathering industry players together and opening up new markets.

“ONGEA! receives 3 000 delegates and 12 000 visits,” ONGEA! founding director Mike Strano told Music In Africa. “We have become a reference point for the music and entertainment industry of Kenya and Eastern Africa. This year, we’ve rebranded courtesy of our new agency, Digital Brands, and embraced the Disrupt to Thrive! theme to align our content.”

The annual event is set to host musicians, songwriters, composers, performers, producers, music publishers, record labels, distributors, retailers, associations, Collective Management Organisations (CMOs), among a host of other delegates. 

This edition intends to spark innovation and generate content ideas for regional and global players, through discussions, networking and knowledge transfers.

ONGEA! will also hold informative industry panels that have been designed to fill information gaps that are common among industry players. Among the topics that the summit has lined up include:

  • How are Performances Booked?
  • The Role of Festivals in the Development of the Creative Industry
  • Artivism – What’s the Missing Part of the Puzzle 
  • How should the Creative Industry be Banked?
  • Consumption Trends of Content
  • Wellness in the Creative Industry
  • Unpacking the Copyright Amendment Bill 2017 of Kenya
  • Disruptive Technologies
  • Policies for the Creative Industry

The event’s programme includes a trade exhibition of 51 stands and a free daily recording studio session by Artville. New and upcoming artists will also have an opportunity to win a scholarship to Sauti Academy at the daily open mic performances. 

Asked what the biggest obstacle to further internationalisation of Kenyan music, Strano said: “Not harnessing the diaspora of Kenya. The Nigerians do that so well, in terms of customers, investors, and networks. I believe if Kenya and the rest of Eastern Africa focused on a strategy to engage its diaspora as customers, investors, and partners, it shall be a breakthrough required.”

And how does the future of the Kenyan music recording industry look like in the next five years? “I see a Financially Sustainable Music industry in Kenya, that is employing youth as the service roles that our industry requires,” Strano says.

“President Uhuru Kenyatta’s approval of The Copyright Amendment Bill 2019 in Kenya, during September 2019, is a game-changer for the creative industry of Kenya and shall be benchmark legislation for Eastern Africa.”