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Multichoice Sh500m boost for local creatives during Covid-19 disruption

Multichoice has put aside Sh500 million to ensure current local productions are able to pay full salaries of cast, crew and creatives during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The pay channel set aside the amount to take care of pay needs for March and April with the hope the worst of the coronavirus disruptions will subside by May.

Coronavirus and the resultant curfew in Kenya has hit people working in the creative industry in the country hard with productions almost grinding to a halt.

MultiChoice Kenya has announced a raft of measures it is taking to help cushion players in the creatives industry during these tough times ocassioned by the virus.

Production have been adversely impacted across many countries in the continent and most have either been slowed down or ground to a complete halt.

“The need to secure the salaries of our creatives goes a long way in creating income stability for them and their families. We believe this to be critical for the industry and in our view this is simply the right thing to do,” Multichoice said in a statement.

“Our main concern is to ensure as much as possible that we secure the incomes of creatives, cast and crew over this period. We want to ensure they and their families are not negatively impacted as work has come to a standstill,” said MultiChoice Group CEO Calvo Mawela.

As an industry made up of thousands of freelancers, including actors, producers, directors and camera operators, Africa’s video entertainment industry is particularly vulnerable at this time.

According to a report released last year, Multichoice directly employs a total of 181 people with 69 training sessions conducted every year.

The firm’s contribution to the economy emanates from the video content produced during that period, and it churned 12,423 hours of connected video content in 2019.

According to the report by Accenture, the DStv and GOtv owner directly and indirectly contributed Sh59.3 billion to the Kenyan GDP between April 2015 and March 2019.