President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage to set aside Ksh.100 million ($944,356) to cushion local artistes from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Addressing the Nation on the state of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, Kenyatta said the Ksh.100 million fund will allow artistes, actors and musicians to continue entertaining the public through TV, radio and the internet.

“I direct the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage to avail Ksh.100M from the Sports Fund to our artistes, actors and musicians during the period of the covid-19 pandemic so they may continue to entertain their fellow brothers and sisters through TV, radio and the internet,” said Kenyatta.

At the same time, the Head of State has announced that effective this week, all local artistes will be earning a total of Ksh.200 million per month which translates to an annual payment of over Ksh.2 billion.

“Starting this month, all our local artistes will be earning a total of Ksh.200 million per month that will be paid to musicians through the system and other platforms that we have developed.”

“This shall translate this year to over Ksh.2 billion going into the pockets of our young artistes and young Kenyans. These payments will begin this week,” Kenyatta said.

He noted that the new payment of Ksh.2 billion is the pledge the government made in January this year to increase monies paid out to artistes after they received an underwhelming annual pay of Ksh.200 million last year.