Thousands of Jobs Created in Nairobi After Sakaja’s Move to Allow Street Photography

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Thousands of Jobs Created in Nairobi After Sakaja’s Move to Allow Street Photography

Thousands of Jobs Created in Nairobi After Sakaja's Move to Allow Street Photography The Nairobi City County Government made a significant stride i

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Thousands of Jobs Created in Nairobi After Sakaja’s Move to Allow Street Photography

The Nairobi City County Government made a significant stride in 2022 by eliminating permit requirements for freelance photographers and videographers, thereby opening avenues for digital content creators and generating thousands of jobs for unemployed youths in Nairobi.

A recent survey conducted in the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) revealed that numerous individuals now have the opportunity to film and capture photographs in the CBD daily. This content is then leveraged to create digital content for social media monetization, while freelance photographers enjoy a harassment-free environment, serving their customers on the streets without fear of intervention from county government enforcement officers.

In a memo dated September 23rd, 2022, the Nairobi County Government, under Governor Johnson Sakaja’s leadership, granted permission for photographers and content creators to operate on Nairobi’s streets. This move waived permit requirements for freelance photographers and videographers, alleviating the burden for artists, photographers, and content creators who had long lamented harassment by county officials and the hefty permit fees exceeding Ksh5,000 to shoot in the city.

Governor Sakaja’s decision was aligned with his campaign commitments to bolster the creative industry in the city by putting an end to the harassment faced by photographers, videographers, and the exorbitant permit fees they had to bear.

Sakaja remarked, “When we say we want to be pro-business, it’s not just about stopping the harassment of traders but also being proactive in facilitating and promoting business. We aim to eliminate archaic laws hindering creativity and innovation, allowing businesspeople to focus more on their trade than on compliance issues.”

The creative community, especially photographers and videographers, had long grappled with county officials over stringent shooting requirements in the capital. Previously, they had to obtain permits from the Department of Filming Services, furnish a letter from the police, and pay significant amounts, sometimes up to Ksh. 5,000 for a single day. Now, digital content creators have the freedom to record their content without such hurdles, marking a notable departure from the past norms.

In various streets within Nairobi’s CBD, groups of young people armed with photography equipment are capturing moments, ensuring perfect lighting with reflectors. This surge in street photography has not only become a source of self-employment for many passionate youths but also a thriving industry catalyzed by social media platforms. Instagram, for instance, serves as a portfolio for photographers, showcasing their best work and attracting new clients.

The CBD has witnessed a positive transformation since Governor Johnson Sakaja waived permit fees for photographers. Many photographers now applaud the Governor for streamlining operations. Previously, police interruptions during critical shoots disrupted photographers and their clients, often ruining their work.

Governor Sakaja clarified that filming county government enforcement officers for clout would lead to arrest for obstruction of law enforcement. Some critics have misinterpreted this as an attack on street photographers. However, Sakaja emphasized that his administration’s intention was not to interfere with street photographers but to ensure that county officers operated without fear while refraining from harassing legitimate traders.

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