Kenyan actors now have something to fall back on following the constitution of the first ever Savings and Credit Co-operative (SACCO) for actors in the country.
The Sanaa Sacco Society Limited (ya- wasanii) was officially established in December last year with the aim of organizing and promoting the welfare and economic interests of its members through savings and credit.
Other objectives outlined by the SACCO’s include;
- To create and manage distribution channels for members’ products
- To negotiate with healthcare insurance providers for good rates for our members
- To provide valuable partnership platforms e.g. endorsements, product placements, and mentorships
- To provide retirement benefits for our members
- To provide financial management advice on investment opportunities and expenditure
- To bargain for legislation and government participation in the sectors represented by our membership
ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY WORTH SH8.6 BILLION
The Kenyan entertainment industry is worth approximately Ksh 8.6 billion a year to the economy. The industry is comprised of the broadcasting, cinematic, theatrical music and interactive industries. Of this figure, the film and television industry, including documentaries and advertising commercials, is worth Kshs 4 billion and has employed approximately 15,000 people.
However, it is estimated that the county’s film industry could generate over Kshs.40 billion and create more than 250,000 jobs annually if fully optimized.
LACK OF A KENYAN ACTORS GUILD
Gerald Langiri, Casting Director
That Kenya’s acting industry is fast rising is without a doubt and a few actors can now boast of solely earning from the industry full time. Local productions have also become of age and are much more appealing in picture quality and content, and award winning productions such as Nairobi Half Life and The First Grader which have received international accolades prove this.
Unlike in the past where foreign and mostly Nollywood productions featured prominently on our local TV stations, now we have equally as much local productions getting airtime and they have also taken a good share in pay TV platforms like DSTV’s African Magic and Mnet.
However, with all the growth being witnessed in the industry most of the benefits seem to be going to the top cream of the production houses at the expense of the ever hustling Kenyan actor, something that most actors blame on the lack of a functioning guild that can champion their welfare.
KENYAN ACTORS LOSE INTERNATIONAL ROLES
Actors worldwide are identified and protected by guilds. The guilds play an important role in the theatre and film industry by protecting actors from exploitation and generally regulating the industry. A good number of Kenyan actors have lost out on international acting roles, not because they are not talented enough but simply because they do not belong to a guild or any organised bodies.
Again the earnings in the industry are not consistent especially for actors who are not ‘brands’ in the industry and it can be a long wait before the next check thus the Sanaa Sacco comes in handy as it provides a platform where members can save during the shiny days.
“One minute you have a pay and it’s all gone the next. Most artists are poor at saving and investing the money they get which is not much to begin with. With appearances and an over the top lifestyle that we have to maintain, having a financial institution to support your craft is paramount.” said, actor cum Casting Director, Gerald Langiri.
To join the Sacco, an actor will be required to pay a registration fee of Sh500 and a minimum monthly contribution of KSh1000.
For more information visit http://www.sanaasacco.com/resource-centre/
Source of additional info: actors.co.ke