By Henix Obuchunju
Female actors in the low income settlements are still faced with the challenge of having to accept sexual favors in exchange for opportunities in the film industry.
Rashid Mwango, a popular actor who has featured in various local TV programs, admits that some producers exploit vulnerable but talented young ladies with a false promise of greener pastures.
Rashid Mwango who has featured in jela five star and chini ya mnazi adds that upcoming actors often have to persevere various hardships before their breakthrough including working without pay.
He however, urges young talents not to be demoralized by their present circumstances
According to the kibra based actor who traces his roots in Kilifi, young people interested in the film industry must be committed and persevere, if they are to reap the benefits of their acting
“Young people especially actors and models with a talent should build a foundation by knowing what is expected of them before thinking of quitting for other alternatives” says Mwango.
Happy with the progress made so far, the actor who first made his debut in the acting industry in his pre-teens says that there has been a lot of positive change in the industry but there is still a lot to be done to protect young talent from unfair exploitation.
“Nowadays, we have lawyers who can help in signing of contracts which assures us of pay. And furthermore, the industry now has better pay” reveals Mwango.
Helping young people to create livelihoods through art has often been fronted as a solution to a country that is grappling with an extremely high unemployment rate
A recent study by the united nations development programme (UNDP) has ranked Kenya as having the highest unemployment rate in east Africa region. According to the study, one out of every five youth in Kenya is unemployed even as thousands of graduates flock the job market every year.