Dr.-Hassan-Wario-AreroA group of  Kenyan artistes who were set to perform at the 48th annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival on Saturday cancelled the performance to protest against the Country’s Ministry of Sports and Culture for failing to meet their payments.

The Ministry of Sports and Culture has now released an official statement as a response to the incident citing technical challenges as the reason for the delay in remitting payments. In the statement by Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Sports Culture, Sports And The Arts, Hassan Wario, the government clarifies that all allowances have since been settled.

Read it below




The Government of Kenya is catering for all participants showcasing at the Smithsonian festival in Washington DC and I wish to shed some light on the boycott by Kenyan artists at the Smithsonian festival over claims of unpaid dues.

My Ministry encountered some technical challenges in remitting all allowances before the arrival of the participants in Washington. We were however able to cater for all the air tickets, food and accommodation for all participants and officials.

Allowances up to 28th of June have also been settled. I met with the entire Kenyan delegation on the evening of the 27th of June at their hotel of residence to explain and reassure them all that we shall settle the arrears within the shortest time possible.

The boycott on the 28th at the festival was unfortunate and it was led by a few activists. On the whole bringing Kenya to Washington DC has been unparalleled success in the history of the arts and heritage in our country’s history.

As we move forward energized by this success we, as the organizers of the festival, take this opportunity to once again apologize for the delay on our part and to reiterate our commitment to ensuring we continue to hold successful events that will make Kenya stand out on the global map of arts and culture.

The Kenyan drum is booming melodiously on the stage here in Washington DC as I am writing this article.

Thank you to all the artists on stage for contributing to this Smithsonian Festival 2014 becoming a resounding and truly memorable success.

Thank You

Dr. Hassan Wario Arero

Cabinet Secretary

Ministry of Sports Culture, Sports And The Arts