Bob Marley said that one good thing about music is that when it hits you, you feel no pain. Hans Christian Anderson added by saying that where words fail, music speaks. Music expresses feeling and thought, without language; it was below and before the speech, and it is above and beyond all words, says Robert G. Ingersoll.
As 2018 fades away and as 2019 fast approaches, Safaricom has been at the forefront of supporting local talents both within and without Kenya. Here is a drive through seven ways in which the telecommunications company has supported music this year:
SONGA music app was launched in February to offer an all-inclusive music streaming service to consumers as well as an additional platform for artists to sell their music. The App provides one-touch access for music across all major genres giving subscribers convenience of listening to their favorite music on their smartphones.
In mid-March, SONGA by Safaricom hosted top Tanzanian performer Diamond Platnumz for his ‘a boy from Tandale’album launch at an exclusive event at the Kenya National Theatre.
Safaricom Jazz Festival kicked off in February this year and was headlined by BWB (Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum, Norman Brown) who were supported by Kenyan bands The Limericks, Mambo Tribe and Ghetto Classics. In May, to commemorate the International Jazz Day, Manu Dibango and 12 Kenyan bands performed at the Carnivore Grounds.
And breaking new grounds, in October jazz moved to the park in Hells’ Gate, Naivasha on Mashujaa Day. Proceeds from all ticket sales will be donated to the Ghetto Classics music programme, which has been the Safaricom Jazz beneficiary since 2014 and has so far received an estimated 60 million shillings, funds that have benefitted 1,400 children from Nairobi and Mombasa. Proceeds from the 2018/2019 Edition will see the Ghetto Classics Schools program extend to Kisumu.
Safaricom also announced the launch of Twaweza Live in May. The experience focused on growing and nurturing local music talent by giving artists a chance to perform live in concerts across the country.
BLAZE Summits were held Mombasa, Kisumu, and Thika. After the pod sessions where young people under 26 years of age were given mentorship by Kenya’s finest entrepreneurs, artists, techies, and farmers. Caleb Karuga of Wendy Farms, Bryan Wanyama of Matwana Matatu Culture and Wycliffe Waweru of Play Guru Ltd – a bicycle assembly line, were among a rich-pool of mentors present at the summit imparting knowledge, insights, and counsel to the thousands of knowledge-hungry youth who thronged the venue. Other mentors included; video director, J Blessing, serial entrepreneur Erick Kinoti, singer-songwriter Fena Gitu, comedian MCA Tricky, music producers and filmmakers Enos Olik and Tosh Gitonga, on-screen stars Abel Mutua and Catherine Kamau among others. This year, the summits focused on transforming Kenyan youth through training programs designed by partners to build entrepreneurial skills.
BLAZE partnered with the Safaricom Foundation and Generation Kenya to introduce their youth empowerment program – Wezesha – to offer skills training and entry-level job placement opportunities to young Kenyans in the financial services, retail, hospitality, customer services, and manufacturing sectors. This was done with the aim of connecting the youth to employers and helping to resolve Kenya’s unemployment challenge. After the enlightening mentorship sessions, they were then entertained by Khalighraph Jones, King Kaka, and Timmy Tdat among others.
In September, Safaricom sponsored Redsan “Baddest” album launch at the Carnivore Grounds.
At the end of November, Safaricom supported King Kaka to launch his fifth studio album dubbed “Eastlando Royalty”.