by Beatrice Ambasa
May 3, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant effects on the art market, as well as established and emerging artists.

Artists have now found themselves without commercial outlets for their work, as many galleries, auction houses, theatres, music venues and art fairs have shut down.

Performing arts have come face-to-face with an unprecedented challenge: they are only able to connect with their audience online,which has since proven to be not the best option to make an ends meat.

A section of Kenyan musicians are coming up with ingenious ways to ensure that their brands continue to grow.

Singer Oscar Mizani has taken an uncommon path of hosting mini-concerts inside Nairobi matatus, a technique mostly exploited by pastors.

In a clip seen that has since gone viral, the rapper dropped a few bars on the morning of Monday, April 26, aboard a Nairobi CBD-bound bus from Komarock area in Embakasi.

Mizani disclosed that his matatu performances were his hustle and that established singers also started out by hawking CDs.

"Thank you, my people, My name is Oscar Mizani, a man who is not ashamed to do his work and talk to his people. I wish you a safe journey.

"If you would like to listen to my music, I have a CD I am selling for Ksh100 and if you do not use a CD player, you can support your artist. Even when Diamond holds a concert, you guys support him. I am one of you," stated Mizani.

He confirmed that artists, most of who make money through selling their merchandise at concerts, had hit a snag after President Uhuru Kenyatta banned gatherings in five counties and limited the number of attendees in the rest.

The singer performed his two songs on the bus before hawking his CDs where he is reported to have sold two, each going for Ksh100.

He also noted that assuming the singer performed on 10 matatus a day and sold two CDs on each, he could easily be pocketing Ksh1,000.