Singer and actor Sanaipei Tande’s expose of Kenya Film Commission’s failure to pay Kalasha Awards winners has paid off.
On Thursday, Tande made it public that all the 2022 Kalasha Awards winners are yet to receive their cash prizes despite promises from CS Ababu Namwamba and the KFC CEO during the awards gala.
“1 year later no prize money and no communication on the same from @kenyafilmcommission @kalashakenya or #ababunamwamba but 167M set aside for #KNT renovations in bids to develop and nurture NEW talent! What of the existing talent,” Sanaipei Tande questioned.
In a quick rejoinder, KFC CEO Timothy Owase has now stated that all the winners will receive their cash prizes by Wednesday next week, December 13th, 2023.
Each of the Kalasha winners from the year 2022 will receive Sh200, 000 as earlier promised.
Kenya Film Commission explains that it faced budgetary challenges from the Ministry but they have now received funds to award the winners, despite the Arts docket saying it disbursed the funds to the Commission on time.
Sanaipei has said that the Commission suddenly went silent on winners soon after the event, not responding to inquiries about the cash prize.
“Sanaipei is one of my key stakeholders by virtue of working in the film industry and when you talk about Kalasha Awards I have the responsibility to meet our promise.
“We committed to award filmmakers each Sh200K and by the time they were going to social media we had already invited the winners of last year we are having a meeting next Wednesday and I believe from that meeting I should be able to pay each one of them before Christmas,” Owase said.
He added: “The issue of Kalasha winners I dear to our heart and we deliberately came up with the reward scheme, so it cannot be that Kenya Film Commission came up with a scheme and at the same time decided to remove it. I don’t think that is the kind of business we want to maintain. In the spirit of Talent Hela, we want to make sure that talent can be monetized when we lead by example,".
Instead of the annual Kalasaha Awards Gala, Owase says the event has been pushed to March 2024 and it will be a week-long event.