Here's how I built a thriving music school from scratch

Joseph Kamata talking to graduates of Kamata Entertainment School during a graduation ceremony on December 16, 2021 at The All Saints Cathedral.

Photo credit: Caroline Wambui I Nation Media group

The entertainment industry is certainly a dazzling one, and one of the greatest earners in the Kenyan economy.

In light of this, many people and especially the young have been striving to tap into the industry endeared by the promise of high return on investment. 

But to be successful and transform fame into fortune, one has to learn to do things differently and stand out, just like Joseph Kamata, an entertainer did in 2009.

“Being a passionate entertainer then, I observed that so many young people desired to become great entertainers yet they lacked the necessary skills in an industry where they could rake millions,” Kamata explains.

Kamata purposed to establish an institution that would train people on all aspects of the entertainment world, and more so the economics of entertainment.

“There is a lot of money to be tapped in the entertainment industry, thus a lot needs to be done to help individuals make money. Majority are still stuck in the old archaic ways, techniques that see them lag financially despite having great content,” Kamata explains.

At our learning institution, Kamata Entertainment School, we target all clients, and are not limited by either age, ethnicity, professionalism or race. We have clients as young as five-year-olds and retired people, the oldest client is 74.”

Over the years, Kamata has seen stars born and rise to great heights, this being a marker of his institution’s success.

He is humbled by the reflections of how his journey as an entertainment trainer began.

“I started small, compelled by my love for music. I remember learning to play the guitar and as soon as I got good enough at it, I began to teach others what I had learnt.”

With unwavering zeal and determination, Kamata invested Sh20,000 of his savings in purchasing some four guitars each at a cost of Sh3,500 in 2009. 

His dad further helped him secure a small premise in the city’s CBD with a rent of Sh10,000. This pushed him to diligently set up the music school and look for students so he could afford the rent.

“It took me a while to get my first student, nearly six months to be precise. At this point, I was almost losing the premise. But I was able to overcome that challenge. What kept me going during that disheartening period was my love for music.”

The resilience paid off because today, Kamata Entertainment School is a fully fledged music school in Nairobi that has trained over 6000 students.

“Being an artist, a dancer, and entertainer, I have always felt that many young people desire to be great entertainers, yet they lack an opportunity. The school is meant for such people to help them realise their dreams.”

Indeed, talented people from all over the world including Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda Togo, Malawi, DRC, South Susan, Nigeria and even from Asia have ended up at Kamata’s school and left as equipped entertainers, much to the founder’s joy.

Young people in universities and colleges are the majority of their clients at 59%.

“Out of the quality training offered, we have produced successful artists, served corporations by providing DJs, Live Bands and entertainment services. We have also served hundreds of individual clients during their weddings, birthdays and social events.”

“Some of the greatest achievements we pride ourselves in include seeing young people’s lives transform with a good number of the alumni, becoming very successful in the entertainment industry and running powerful brands.”

In order to ensure that the enterprise runs smoothly and efficiently, the firm installed a system: Management Information System, a system that plays a key role in helping organise their work. It has a staff of about 20.

Some of the courses offered at the school include photography and videography, music production and sound engineering. Most of the courses take about six months.

By the end of the training session, the student is in a position to play music instruments, record, create music and software and set up a studio. “Additionally, the students undergo a digital marketing and entertainment management class to help them run their own ventures in future.”

According to Kamata, the fee structure is also designed to suit budding entertainers for instance music recording costs the trainee Sh13,500 while voice coaching, production, sound engineering, events entertainment, photography and videography costs between Sh25,00 to Sh45,000 per semester (three months).

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