Endemol Kenya Ltd defends Rwandan TPF 5 representative
Endemol Kenya Limited, official sponsor of the ongoing Tusker Project Fame, has released a statement, amid accusations against Jackson Kalimba’s eligibility to participate in East Africa’s biggest music competition.
“Our attention has been drawn to an ongoing discussion on the inclusion of Kalimba, a 25-year-old Rwandan national in the fifth edition of Tusker Project Fame (TPF5),” the statement reads.
“In these discussions it is alleged that Kalimba is a professional musician, the evidence adduced being a musical video posted online”.
“We take this early opportunity to assure all contestants, past and present, as well as music fans across the Eastern Africa region that the TPF team and the organisers are firmly committed to delivering a level field for all contestants selected to participate in this regionally acclaimed talent search without any form of bias,” it adds.
‘‘As a matter of strict procedure, the due diligence and appropriate background checks are conducted on all contestants – prior to clearance and admission’’.
According to a statement released by Endemol Kenya Limited, yesterday, Kalimba was cleared to participate in the fifth edition of Tusker Project Fame, after the company had certified that he did not qualify as a professional musician.
The statement adds: “While we are aware that he has performed as a background vocalist, and possibly earned an income from this role, our considered position and clarification to all TPF contestants and fans is that this does not in any way contravene the clauses governing participation in Tusker Project Fame.”
“We take this early opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to providing a balanced playing field for all contestants participating in the Tusker Project Fame”.
Q. What would be the definition of a professional artist in your view?
A. Based on the facts on records, Jackson has not previously had the kind of opportunity that TPF presents to record an album and advance his musical career and therefore is competing on an exactly equal platform like the other contestants in TPF5.
The reference to his online video does not therefore bar him from proving his skills for this lifetime chance to become a fully recognized professional artist.
Q. Doesn’t this expose Jackson to unfair advantage over other contestants?
A. Not at all, as the intensity of the competition cuts equally across all the contestants.
As a matter of fact, except for Kenya’s Ruth Matete and Burundi’s Joe Irankunda, all the other contestants have so far been sent on probation at least once including Jackson himself.
Q. What if Jackson wins this season?
A. This would purely be measured on his overall skills and performance prowess as judged and determined by a number of factors including the control that judges, the faculty and the larger public audience must all participate in the process to settle on the ultimate winner. The decision is therefore not a preserve of any class of interests.