How two NGOs are nurturing youth talents in Busia

A dance crew from Busia County. Though unemployment has been a major challenge among youth in Busia, more of them are engaging in alternative income-generating engagements to stay afloat. PHOTO/Joseph Otieno.

By Joseph Otieno

  • Though many youths from Busia County have declined to come out and showcase their talents, a section of them with diverse talents have been banking on the same to earn their daily bread.
  • CS Namwamba has also been at the forefront in nurturing and promoting youth talents in Busia County and the country at large.
  • Our youths need to be engaged meaningfully to discourage them from resorting to crime and other social ills.

Talanta Express, started in 2014, is a program that majorly deals with scouting, nurturing and promoting youth talents in Kenya.

The exceptional role it has played in the nurturing and promotion of youth talents in Busia has made the NGO even more popular in the county. 

The transformational youth group program’s key objectives include talent monetization, youth business exhibition, opportunities engagement, and business management talk that bring together the youths on Agenda 2030 on sustainable development at all levels.

Talanta Express is, however, not alone in this. 

It is actively partnering with the Young Women Founders Network to sponsor the youths in Busia County and give them the muscle to nurture their talents by actively participating in diverse sporting activities.

Two groups in Busia County that have greatly benefited from the sponsorship of the two NGOs are Creative Family and Under Top Government Dance Crews, which recently emerged as Teso North and Teso South champions, respectively, during auditions held at Amagoro KNUT Hall in early August.

Dance crew

While addressing the participants and spectators, Mr. Emmanuel Nalengwe, who represented Talanta Express, said each of the seven sub-counties, including Teso North, Teso South, Nambale, Butula, Matayos, Samia and Bunyala, will take part in the team dance category aimed at determining the overall 2023 county champions.

The International Youths Day celebration held at the Busia Polytechnic on August 12, 2023, gave the youths in Busia County an opportunity to showcase their talents through performance and entertainment.

The event aligned with the United Nations Day theme: Accelerating the Recovery from Covid 19 and the full implementation of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development at all levels.

Mr. Nalengwe said the Dance Battle 2023 would go a long way in giving an opportunity to the youths to voice critical issues on sustainable development through the art of dance to accelerate recovery from Covid 19. 

He noted that there is an urgent need for parents, sponsors and the leadership of the county and national governments to come together and support the youth in nurturing talents to enable them to fend for themselves.

Potential energy

Mr. Nalengwe, at the same time, said the performance of the five-member team dance crews from Teso North and South was exemplary, with dancers exhibiting potential energy to confirm their desire to put their best foot forward during the explosive finals.

“This is the first time Talanta Express organized the event in Teso North and South sub-counties for the past ten years when it was inaugurated.

We used to organize the event only in Nambale, but beginning this year, we opted to roll it out across the county so that more youths can be able to gain from this ambitious program,” he said.

He noted that apart from team dance, the non-governmental organization has also been organizing other categories, including modeling, spoken word and comedy, singing and solo dance, noting that the categories come both in solo and group. 

The Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba, who is behind Talanta Hela, has also been at the forefront in nurturing and promoting youth talents in Busia county and the country at large.


Other areas where the youths of Busia have benefited include soccer.

In an effort to nurture and support the youths of Busia, other like-minded well-wishers in Busia have also volunteered to utilize every resource at their disposal for the same.

One of the well-wishers, Joshua Wabwire, a Nairobi-based lawyer and academician, recently donated and issued three soccer teams from Matayos constituency with uniforms and football kits.

“The recipients of the football kits valued at KSh100,000 comprise Mabale FC, Uprising FC and Nasewa United,” said the well-wisher.

Wabwire added that Mabunge United, Hill Rovers FC, Muungano FC and Lunga United are the next set of beneficiaries.

“The initiative seeks to provide all soccer teams in Matayos constituency with football kits by the end of the year in order to facilitate their participation in various cadres of the league,” he said.

The sponsor of the soccer team said the annual tournament, dubbed the “Joshua Wabwire Cup Soccer Tournament” he is funding, will start in September 2023 and incorporate both male and female competitors.

He said the league, which has been played annually for the last two years, will now be expanded to include all teams in the Matayos constituency, emphasizing that this year, women’s competitors will participate.

At the same time, he emphasized that the key aim of the tournament he is funding is to promote the growth of sports and provide the youth in the county with opportunities to nurture and develop their talents.

“Our youths need to be engaged meaningfully so as to discourage them from resorting to crime and other social ills, especially in the current difficult economic situations,” he said.

Talent monetization

Though many youths from Busia County have declined to come out and showcase their talents, a section of them with diverse talents have been banking on the same to earn their daily bread, with others hoping against the hope of securing non-existent white-collar jobs.

Moses Odiembo, aged 22, a form four leaver from Burumba Estate within Busia municipality, Matayos constituency, has greatly benefited from his Artwork/Drawing portrait business he started in 2019.

Moses Odiembo, a self-employed youth from Busia, showcasing his artwork. He sells it to his clients to earn daily bread. PHOTO/Joseph Otieno.

During an exclusive one-on-one with Scholar Media Group Africa recently, Odiembo said after finishing his secondary education, he could not make it to the university due to financial constraints.

He emphasized that it had compelled him to start engaging in active artwork to earn a living and also be able to save some money for further studies.

Despite failing to join the university, the young man is still determined to join a technical and vocational training institution to pursue a course of his choice.

“I had been obsessed with artwork/portrait drawing and painting from childhood. It was only after leaving secondary that I noticed there was great demand for the products. This gave me the impetus to venture in the activity,” he said.


Odiembo has every reason to wear a smile on his face. 

He confessed that he has utilized his time well as a youth, earning a living from the activity and avoiding associating with bad company he noted would have attempted to lure him into drugs and substance abuse that would have ruined his future.

Odiembo crafting a drawing. PHOTO/Joseph Otieno.

“The activity, apart from enabling me to earn my daily bread, has also gone a long way in giving me a name and a platform as an artist,” he says, adding that he is earning KSh6000 per month.


However, the artist has been grappling with a mountain of challenges, key among them being:

  • Inadequate funds to improve his business
  • Difficulty in finding a ready market for his products
  • Difficulty in accessing raw materials and little or no financial support from other people/banks, among others.

The promising young man is urging fellow school leavers not to dare engage in criminal activities, drugs, and substance abuse to avoid a brush with the law.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Empowering Youth Through Music: Recap of the National Music Festivals

Instead, he notes that joining the technical and vocational training colleges would, at the end of the day, enable them to set up their business initiatives for a living. 

Previous articleThe evolution of smartphones and why storage is crucial
Next articleUnderstanding social dysfunction, stunted development in Gusii region


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.