CRECO in with HIVOs carried out activities on Jukumu Letu in Makueni County from 16th – 21st March 2015. These were in the form of trainings of artists, thespians, deejays and puppeteers to help communicate the responsibility of the citizen on the constitution in a soft language that they can understand. The Jukumu Letu project was a new concept that left the people of Makueni amused, entertained and educated at the same time. On Saturday, 21st of March we had the Makueni Jukumu Letu launch at Unoa grounds, Wote town. The different groups performed their pieces whereby thespians from MAPACA theater group (trained by a group from Dance into Space) presented their play, Makwata a play that helps educate the citizens on their role in ensuring that their political leader does his job as the person who represents their needs. The puppeteers (Tsunami theater group), trained by KIPT (Kenya Institute of Puppetry) also presented aa mukomete, a play whose title was derived from a kamba song aa mukomete, amukai which translates to ‘you all who are sleeping, wake up’ which was a wakeup call to Makueni people.
The Makueni artists united i.e. the musicians who were trained by sarabi came up with songs that carried very strong messages and were quite catchy as well, as I write this nikyau kithuku (what is wrong), one of the songs they composed is still in my head. They also recorded, isasi (bullets) and ikiwu(water). Some of the most powerful messages communicated in the music include Andu ma Makueni meenda manewe kiw’u, Masovesywe malelu na masivitali – ‘people of Makueni want to be provided with water, good roads and hospitals’. Another message was vai vata wa kuukita nikana tukwate maendeeo no twiwane kwa ndeto ‘there is no need for fighting let’s encourage development and communicate through dialogue’. The deejays (deejays with acause) played music that passes on constitutional messages and came up with mixes that passed on constitutional messages. It was quite the event and the people of Makueni really got to see the constitution in a whole new light.
The Innovative Media Outreach Project (and therefore iMOP), is premised on the need for citizens to establish the link between democracy, governance and basic needs and motivation for them to take actions desirous for bettering their lives. This project emphasizes the use of creative media for the development of messages for public education and the mobilisation of citizens to take action on aspects related to the implementation of the Constitution of Kenya. The appeal of media, art and culture is critical in the creation of acceptable messages and actions that citizens will be able to relate with and carry out in various places. The strategy involves the creation, with community groups and persons, of innovative and relevant traditional and new media interventions that become the hall marks of citizens’ mobilisation for action. This is being implemented in three (3) counties of Nairobi, Makueni, Nakuru and Mombasa but would extend to the rest of the counties given more resources and support.
Implementing partners involved in the action are groups of artistes include:
1. Vocal SARABI
2. Dial a Radio
3. Ghetto Radio
4. Institute of Performing Artists Limited (IPAL)
5. Kenya institute of Puppet Theatre (KIPT)
6. DJS With a Cause
7. Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE)