Page 1




table of contents o6 Contributor List


The Artist

o8 Be Trends


Creative Government




The Mentor


Editor’s Note


Creative Entrepreneur


Discovering Afrika




Creative Lookout




Cover Feature


The Creative


Afro Art


Afro Lens


Art of Fashion




Be Story


The Nomad

EDITORIAL Amanda Owinya The Content People

STYLE Ojwa Styling

BEAUTY Kanai Beauties

ART & GRAPHICS Rey Mungai + Partners


Special Thanks to the Creative Contributors that participated in this issue. If you would like to join this long list of fabulous creatives email us on If you would like to be featured in our issues email us on If you would like to work with us on a project please email us on If you would like to advertise with us please email



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Mobilizing Creativity New technology and cutting-edge platforms are continually enabling creatives to stretch their ‘canvas’ and innovate on mobile devices. A study of 18-22-year-olds on Behance shows that the second screen has become more tightly integrated than ever into workflow, with on-the-go devices enabling creatives to create wherever their inspiration strikes.

Unexpectedly Creative New hotbeds of creativity are emerging outside the traditional urban spots like Brooklyn, Hamburg, London and San Francisco. Adobe and Behance are seeing the most growth in Brazil, China, UK, India, Mexico, Russia and Canada. “Other emerging and trending creative areas include Germany, France, Indonesia and Egypt,” adds Rapp.

Behance saw a 36 per cent increase in mobile logins last year. “With more and more creatives embracing mobile, we’re thinking about how to remove the friction of the mobile process, increase the simplicity of design and making creative professionals more productive,” says Sarah Rapp, head of community


data and insights, Behance.


Passion is key The creative process is being flipped on its head. No longer are advertisers focusing on a target audience or demographic, but rather a shared passion. This allows for much more authentic engagement and fewer limitations brought by sorting people by gender or age. By leveraging passion rather than demographic, global brands can rally huge numbers of people around brand stories and causes, while still being highly targeted and efficient in their efforts. (

Back to basics New creatives on Behance are increasingly balancing the digital aspect of their projects with inspiration from the physical and tactile elements of design. Demonstrating a rise in drawing and typography, this new generation of creatives are also using pen and ink more frequently than older age groups – although when Adobe examined the top three most appreciated projects for each age, handmade letting projects appeared in each sector. “We’re still seeing young artists on the cutting edge of all new technologies and ways to create, but we’re also seeing this other interesting side of a return to more traditional tools and techniques,” says Rapp. “In line with their tendency to create on-the-go, this group is perhaps being inspired by real-world elements and experiencing a return to the analog.” (Creative Blog)



THE RISE OF THE CREATIVE CLASS In 2003, Richard Florida predicted that right-brained people would rule the world in his book “The Rise Of The Creative Class.” More than ten years later, his book seems prescient. For the first time, being different is more prized than fitting in and black-and-white thinkers are being left behind. Young people have revolted against the financiers. They’re taking jobs that allow for expression instead of going for the highest paycheck. Tattoos and piercings are commonplace in the office, as the brain is valued over the outside package. There is an economic need for the “creative class,” which is why it’s thriving right now, writes Florida. He says one in three Americans, or 40 million workers, belong to it. Here’s how he defines the creative class: “I define the Creative Class to include people in science and engineering, architecture and design, education, arts, music and entertainment whose economic function is to create new ideas, new technology, and new creative content. It’s necessary because creativity is what powers many of the new industries of our day: from social media and computer graphics to medical research and urban planning, Florida says. The current business environment means that creativity is the “most prized commodity.”



Editor’s Note We failed Funny story, we thought we had everything set. The concept was new and exciting to everyone we told about it, advertisers were keen. It all looked like it was coming together, somehow. First issue out and it was okay but something didn’t seem right. Second issue, let’s add more content….not quite the right move. We had everything anyone could ever want

Shout out to Pekat, you’ll never understand the

in a magazine, however, it wasn’t what we had set

influence you had on the founders, the team and the

out to do in the first place. Our Creative Culture

Nov-Dec issue. “Make it for creatives by creatives,”

magazine started looking more like an urban profes-

and so we did. This is your space, a premium plat-

sional read. It was so far out of our concept that an

form for you to showcase your work and get the

advertiser called it a salon magazine. That coupled

appreciation you deserve.

with a few cock blocking efforts from a competitor

So yes we failed, but we didn’t give up. We went

we didn’t know we had, no adverts came in. So

back to the drawing board and found out where we

here we were, with an issue that was so far out of

were going wrong. That’s what’s it’s all about right?

our concept and no revenue. What next? Scrape

Starting a journey and never giving up on the way.

together the little savings we had left, write a few

Success is for the brave, for the ones who charge for-

emails, make some calls and the issue came together

ward, fail, charge again, fail, take a breath and go at

flawlessly. We forwarded the two pilot issues to our

it again. Being smart isn’t all it takes, passion is the

friends, families and a few creatives in the industry

key from failure to success.

and guess what…we were over thinking it. We were

-Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again,

trying to create something amazing for advertisers

this time more intelligently. Henry Ford

we forgot who we were doing this for, the African Creative.

- The Passionate Creative 11


zine powerhouse that is Vogue where a feature article was done


on the amazing phenomena that is 2manysiblings.

Africa has over quite some time been the front-runner in becom-

His style roots can be traced back to the local Kenyan thrift

ing a fast-emerging fashion powerhouse in the world. The con-

scene that has rather quite evolved over the years. back to the

tinent has found a way of expressing itself through fashion by

local Kenyan thrift scene that has rather quite evolved over the

finding its own unique voice in the ever-growing, ever-evolving

years. The thrift scene which mostly consists of second-hand

fashion world. In the midst of all the different emerging styles,

clothing from local vendors is one of the most widespread

there have been individuals who rather than go with the tide

fashion practices in the country whereby together with incor-

have gone ahead to forge their own path and define their own in-

porating various pieces that may be from the local fashion

dividuality through their own unique style that has gone ahead

textile industry as well; Ankara and Denim wear, the fash-

to be recognised on an international level.

ion-conscious Kenyan youth find a way to customize their own style. For Oliver, he could be seen as being more of a fashion

Style Curator - Oliver Asike

curator rather than simply just a fashion enthusiast or termed

One half of the famous fashion duo of the 2manysibings blog,

as fashion-conscious. Instead of just putting pieces that may

Oliver Asike, a

seem to right together or trying to come up with trendy looks

street style star

from the pieces he has, he rather takes it a step further by turn-

is a man many

ing his fashion into something more of art by capturing the

in fashion verse

very essence that is the Kenyan spirit as well as his own unique

would rather

vintage feel. Oliver is someone who finds a way of bringing

find to be very

vintage into the modern fashion scene and making it to be

enviable. His

something close to inspiring art.

unique style

Being the curator he is, he has together with his sister under

which consists

the 2manysiblings franchise helped to inspire the creative spirit

of vintage inspi-

in the Kenyan Fashion scene by creating spaces that allow

ration is one that

people to explore the fashion creativity through the annual

has even gone

‘Thrift Social’ event. The event can be seen as being more of a

ahead to garner

space where fashion and art creatives come together to share


ideas and feel free to explore more diverse and unique ways to


express themselves through their fashion by turning it into an

from the fashion

art form.


Discovering Africa 12

Kenya to the world, Zeddie Lukoye Coming from the humble roots of printing and hawking Rugby T-shirts to running a denim business from a small house in Kinoo and moving on to gracing New York fashion week runways with his designs and now coming back home to establish his bespoke men suits clothing line Narok NYC, Zeddie is a man whose story is one of endurance and that of determination to always do better. Zeddie is one who is well-versed in the business of high-end fashion being that he worked as an in-house designer for some of the biggest names in New York fashion such as Alexander Nash. Being that he is not a classically trained tailor, his impeccable work and outstanding resume of clientele and fashion houses he has worked for is quite impressive. His work from his launch of his fashion line in Kenya mid this year, speaks of a polished designer as the craftsmanship of the pieces were nothing short of art. His label, Narok NYC that is inspired by the Maasai-occupied region shows his transition marked by the wildebeest migration as well as to pay homage to his first New York fashion week runway show that was Maasai-shuka inspired. His talents being well-recognised and his creativity appreciated, he has gone ahead to garner even more international recognition for his work from renowned American musician Jidenna who is of Nigerian heritage and known for his unique fashion and clean overall bespoke dressing. During his recent visit to Kenya for a performance event, the fashionable pair met and ended with Zeddie being hired by Jidenna as his Kenyan designer for future collaborations and visits to the country. Zeddie through his fashion line plans to bring high-fashion tailoring into the country and the continent at large by making perfectly tailored and made to fit suits for men to show them fashion s for all. The made to fit pieces also inspire an even more fashion forward thinking and embracing of the same form men who traditionally always end up picking their suits from a line-up of mass produced suits. The personalisation is the main highlight for Zeddie. For someone like Zeddie, his expression of art is seen through his impeccable craftsmanship that he effortlessly brings out in his designs. It is impossible for one not to see his vision and inspiration through his work as he takes you on a journey from the fabric of the suit, to the lining to every stitch made in the construction of the suit. He tells you a story by bringing out the characters of all these pieces and once all sewn together, brings out the final piece that is the suit. **************************************************************************************************************** The spirit of Africa is one that has always been alive is one that is slowly coming of age to realize its true potential by pushing its boundaries through more creative approaches of expression and this can be truly seen from the ever-evolving fashion scene that can be described as having grown into something more of bringing out the art in fashion. With more and more people joining the creative field, it has allowed for more voices in the African continent to be heard through the expression of different art forms. The many voices that come together truly bring out the voice of the long sleeping giant that is Africa which is a melting pot of pure creativity. The future of fashion in Africa is not one that we have to anticipate for because the future of African fashion is now and is happening.



1 2

I am Ronald Tonui, 27Years Old, I am a self-taught Documentary, Conceptual, Advertising and Commercial photographer. I have been in the photography industry for two years now, commercially. For the two years, I have worked with several big companies including Vivo Energy and SportPesa etc. Social media is my greatest marketing tool; I use it to reach out to masses globally. I use it to interact directly with my followers as well. Most of my clients asked me where they can see my work and Instagram is my all-time portfolio. Many clients over time have contacted me through Instagram for serious business-


both locally and internationally.

Currently, I am perfecting my Photoshop skills; very soon I’ll be using the acquired skill to develop images for billboards and adverts. Right now, am working on some big projects that require time and dedication. I am really trying to finish them despite of my busy schedule.




“I am happy and glad I took the time off to find myself as an individual and as an artiste, this seclusion has enabled me to mature and grow musically.� Styles by Ojwa Styling Photo by Ptech Photography


BE AFRIKA DISCOVERED | November 2017 Mandela—the acclaimed Kenyan singer and performer best known for his role as Sarabi band’s lead vocalist has now embarked on a solo music career. With the double release of brand new singles: “Fantastic Love” and “Hakuna Matata”, Mandela has officially launched his new brand as one of East Africa’s most talented songwriters and live performers. Speaking on his new direction, Mandela says, “I am still the same Mandela but a bit wiser and matured. Nothing has changed. However, people should expect a new energy from me.” adding, Kenyan–born singer, songwriter and musician, Prince Ambasa Mandela, a.k.a Mandela is one of Africa’s best live-performing artistes. To date, at the age of 27, Mandela has over 10 years’ experience working as a singer, songwriter and performing artiste. Mandela’s music can be described as real African fusion—a blend of traditional East African rhythms alongside Benga, fused with Afro beat, Jazz and a dash of Reggae. Mandela’s ‘ONA SASA’ EP falls back on love as a spiritual level and will reunite Mandela with his fans on a personal level, avoiding any discrimination. He says that during the making of his new music he was inspired by observing the daily happenings around him. As the dynamic and talented lead singer of Sarabi, Mandela wrote and composed the majority of their songs. His musical ability saw Sarabi become one of East Africa’s most popular live bands. In 2015, the group completed a successful summer tour in Europe, performed at Africa Oye Festival in Liverpool and WOMEX in Budapest, and delighted crowds of 20,000 plus people at the Roskilde festival in Denmark. Mandela then returned to Africa, ending the year on a high at the Karibu Music Festival in Bagamoyo, Tanzania. Mandela has performed at Sauti Za Busara Festival in Zanzibar, Selam Festival in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Bayimba International Festival in Kampala, Uganda, DOADOA cultural market in Jinja, Uganda, Tanzania’s East Africa Vibes Concert hosted by Culture and Development East Africa (CDEA), and Wikiendi Live at Nafasi Art Space, in Dar Es Salaam.

Checked blazer: Taisere Designs

Tell us about yourself I am a father. I am a designer, an artist, singer song writer and a teacher. I teach

Charcoal Grey shirt: Men’s Collection KSh 1500

performing arts and do workshops across East Africa. I’m a Creative.


People in your field that you admire In our field of music, I admire our local artists from the likes of Sauti Sol, Nyashinski, Eric Wainaina, Susan Owino and The Youth’s Camp Mula. And of course Meja, I just love his creativity with his lyrics and video.

Do you think that there are enough youth opportunities? I think it is a powerful industry that is always changing. I really trust in collaborative works and having a good social life where artists can really meet and socialize and be creative together just to know each other. It’s a powerful place of powerful people and I’m glad to be a part of it.

What needs to be done to get Kenyan youths interested into the local brands? It’s upon the person, the artist, to push themselves. To make themselves visible. You have to wake up and do the things that will cause Kenyans to see you. For example, Kenyan’s are very much in technology. We are people of social media. We’re people who look things up- anything interesting and interesting stuff rt from your way of life, how you dress- find a style of your own or something. Stand out. Kenyans love that something that is unique, of its own kind because we know so much that if you fake it, we’ll know immediately. It is important to know what you really want portray and stick to it.

How do you keep up with industry trends? I just pop in and out of places and get to see who is here and there and what’s happening. I like to hang out with some artists in the industry and get to know them. I like to travel across Tanzania and Kenya to get to see what’s new, studios, new production and sounds, and the hottest producer. That’s how I keep up. Renowned

“I am happy and glad I took the time off to find myself as an individual and as an art through his music and high-energy performances. His vocal abilities and stage artiste, this seclusion has enabled me to presence has already won him many fans in Africa and abroad. For several years, he Polka dot Shirt: mature and grow musically.” for his unique and powerful voice, Mandela is out to bring out consciousness and

has been on a journey to self-realization—what influenced his decision to relocate to

Undisputed Man KSh 1000

Tanzania, where he teamed up with Humphrey Ndomboka (Tanzanian based Zimbabwean producer) to work on his forthcoming EP set for release later this year. He now operated in between the entertainment industries of Kenya and Tanzania.


“I want my music to change society and impact people positively. I want people to be inspired to reach their limits and explore their abilities to the maximum. I want to change the game with my music.� 19


Afro Art.

“African Goddesses” series Through the series, he presents his subjects as royal, powerful female deities, in hopes of changing the negative impression ‘African tradition and beliefs’ imprints in the minds of the world. The negative perception of Africans by Africans themselves and others has to a large extent inhibited advancement. The blocked colour addresses the warped way traditional African culture is viewed: as barbaric and heathen. Through the use of elements and symbols, these pieces truly dig into a deep societal problem plaguing the African continent. It’s a statement piece that probes the mind in the hopes of making the audience come to the realisation that: It is only when we change our minds that we can change our lives. Xane believes it is now time to break past these walls. Xane Asiamah (b. 1996) is a self-taught realist artist from Ghana. Xane’s photo realistic drawings and colorful paintings are created through charcoal, ink, acrylic paint and graphite in layers to create a realistic reference. The beauty of women, African symbols and culture often inspires his artwork. Xane’s pieces are highly prized and cherished for their highly achieved level of detail and the vibrancy of his paintings. He has been commissioned work from all around the world, featured in local art galleries and exhibitions, and on many websites. Xane believes anyone can draw, but not anyone can become an artist, He advises young artists to push harder to achieve their dreams and is more than willing to help anyone. His works have been displayed at two Grand exhibitions in Ghana; The Ghana Arts Festival (August 2016) and DISSTEREOTYPE (August 2017) . He hopes to hold more Exhibitions in the near future; and if possible, his own Art gallery.








Art of

Fashion Photographer: Rodgers of Ptech Photography Styling: Ojwa Styling Muse: Randy Gowon

Blue Suit: Undisputed Man KSh 15000 Bititi Neckpiece: Olive and Annie


Charcoal Grey Shirt: Mens Collection KSh 1500 Long neckpiece: Kipato Unbranded KSh 2000


Blue Denim Jacket: Nairobi District Apparel KSH 2500


Nude Fedora: Ojwa Styling Brown Blazer: Oh lala Botique KSh 4500 Bititi Neckpiece: Olive and Annie 27

Be Story

THE FUTURE OF FILM IN KENYA Words by AMANDA OWINYA Kenya has been on the verge of a creative boom over the past few years. This is evidenced by the many accolades the creative industry has been receiving over the past years. When it comes to film, Kenya has been showing a more out-of-the-box approach in terms of their production quality and the stories covered. Nairobi Half Life is by far one of the most wildly successful films to have been locally produced in Kenya. Aside from being a continental sensation and being highly acclaimed by the many awards it received at some of Africa’s biggest film award shows, it managed to garner international recognition from the Oscar Academy by receiving a nomination in the international film category at the 85th Award show; a first for Kenya. The film revolves around the many facets that surround survival in Nairobi. The movie brought into context the harsh realities of life in the city by exploring the underground network of criminals in the city by bringing to us their stories and circumstances. The film received much love and appreciation from diverse audiences because the story presented is one that many people could almost seem to relate to, not from a place of having directly been in the same situation as the actors but from the bare truth the film presented. The film found a way to tap into a topic that many would rather ignore and live in constant ignorance and oblivious to the reason behind society but also to help the audiences to look at themselves introspectively and show them the humanity that exists especially in those shunned by society as being evil. The director, David ‘Tosh’ Gitonga managed to find a gap that existed in society and built a bridge so as to allow for both sides of society to truly see each other’s stories. This way of storytelling showing real people in real situations is a direction that has been a long time coming for the Kenyan film industry. Bringing audiences stories relevant to their demography is something that has definitely been lacking in the Kenyan Film industry for quite some time due to the heavy influence of Western Media. Nairobi Half Life is a film that dared to attempt to fill the void created by the creativity drain in the local industry not only in Kenya but Africa. As a result of the sudden opening of a long-abandoned creative door in the Kenyan film industry achieved by the film Nairobi Half Life, creators became more courageous in being more diverse in their productions and coming up with out of the box content for their films. The bar of creativity was since raised with more creators choosing to feature topics that were not traditional in the sense of not sticking to a specific route.


Katikati is a film that can be attested to have been a product of the film revolution. For this particular film, the director, Mbithi Masya took a creative direction that is nothing like anything we have had in the Kenyan film industry. It revolves around the concept of souls in limbo. It explores the dynamic of the afterlife the fate of souls. The idea was something very new because it steps out of the norm and focuses on a subject that surrounds us as human beings that is Death but looks at it from a different point of view. Such creativity in film production inspires not only in the sense of quality production but also in the sense of aesthetic. By exploring a subject that is very different from the norm, it opens discussions about more topics that can be delved into as well as challenges the creative direction of any future films.

Madaraka is a documentary that focuses on the creative industry in Kenya. The project is geared towards showcasing, discovering and developing talent in the fast-growing creative market in Kenya. It looks at industry players and their achievements as well as introspectively looks at the talent that exists in the country. It highlights the difficulties that the creative industry presents and focusses on grooming young talent on their way up. The documentary gives an in-depth view of the creative industry in the country by giving audiences a glimpse of the diversity that Kenya and its youth have to offer. It looks at the Kenyan youth and highlights their concerns and the struggles they face in the Kenyan creative industry. Being a developing nation, Kenya has miles to go in terms of growing its creative space on a legislative level. With this documentary, audiences will be able to truly see the work that goes behind the creation of productions in the country from film to music to art. The project has the contribution of major Kenyan industry players such as members of one of the top African bands and the pride of Kenya in the music industry. Their passion for Kenya and the creative industry is something that they have been very open about and worked hard towards promoting internationally. Such productions represent the dawn of a new era in the Kenyan film industry because it marks a turn in the creativity seen in films. It shows a generation of creatives who refuse to accept the norm and playing it safe but rather chose to look for new ways to tell their story. It captures the spirit of the new Africa that is not afraid of challenging its limits. These are stories that are finally being told by Africans and for Africans.



the artist Too black to be white, too white to be black. A visual exploration on living with albinism

and what it feels like to be white in a society that expects you to be black and black in a society that expects you to be white Muse : Jairus Ong’etta Paint Artist : Sam Irauka Photographer : Brayotieno Photography assist : Kennedy Gitau





Two Rivers Mall The Hub Karen

Creative Government


There have been one too many forums aimed at answering the

technology. It is unique in that it relies on an unlimited global resource: human creativity. Growth strategies in the creative economy therefore focus on harnessing the development po-

questions, ‘Is the Kenyan government doing enough in funding tential of an unlimited resource and not on optimizing limited the creative sector?’ and ‘How exactly is the government funding resources (as in traditional manufacturing industries). the creative sector?’ Although we are yet to find acceptable or The creative economy, therefore, requires new modes of thinksatisfying responses to this questions, this is a conversation we ing to appreciate and invest in its value, especially in developneed to keep engaging in with the government; so as to ensure ing countries like Kenya. According to Dr. Joyce Nyairo, the we are aware of what is going on and to make sure policies Cultural Historian and Managing Director at Santuri Media, involving funding the creative sector are underway. There have the government seems not to be aware of what is supposed to been one too many forums aimed at answering the questions, ‘Is be done to improve the creative sector. More funding and effort the Kenyan government doing enough in funding the creative is inclined towards other sectors abandoning the creative sector. sector?’ and ‘How exactly is the government funding the creative She says, 20-30% of unclaimed financial assets should be investsector?’ Although we are yet to find acceptable or satisfying reed in the National Arts Council, instead of the 0.05 % being insponses to this questions, this is a conversation we need to keep vested. One forum that is dedicated to keep the government on engaging in with the government; so as to ensure we are aware its toes is the HEVA/HIVOS forum. (See interview with HIVOS of what is going on and to make sure policies involving funding Sylvia Musalagani here) Heva forum was founded by George the creative sector are underway. Has the Kenyan government Gachara who in 2015, teamed up with local and global investors neglected the creative industry? Is the government doing enough to set up HEVA. It provides financing to early-stage businesses in funding the creative industry? It is important to remember in the creative industry of up to Ksh.1m in the first application, while our economic development is seemingly focused on the and up to Ksh.10m in the second application. The funding is ‘traditional’ factors of production — land, labor and capital repayable through revenue sharing, convertible debt, equity and — the creative economy is premised on individual and group monthly loan repayments. The government can contribute to the creativity. One apt description of the creativity is offered by creative sector through funding/sufficient budgetary allocation, Hendrik van der Pol. Has the Kenyan government neglected the creating exhibition spaces, creating tax incentives, having clear creative industry? Is the government doing enough in funding policies with clear timeline target etc. They can also influence the creative industry? It is important to remember while our the education system to not only emphasize on science courses economic development is seemingly focused on the ‘traditional’ but should put equal emphasis on arts subjects. factors of production — land, labor and capital — the creative Carolina Quintana, head of Creative Economy and Industries economy is premised on individual and group creativity. One Programme at the UNCTAD Head says the United Nations is apt description of the creativity is offered by Hendrik van der talking to governments encouraging them to invest in the crePol. Based on ideas rather than physical capital, the creative ative sector. More governments in the continent are realizing the economy straddles economic, political, social, cultural and techimportance of creative sector. nological issues and is at the crossroads of the arts, business and


The Mentor BRIAN BABU-

GO HARD OR GO HOME! “What is it that you do?” Brain Babu has heard that question one too many times before. In a society that fails to validate the creative industry as an economic sector, Brian is making his strides as a stylist. Creating identities and bring the glitz and glam to the red carpet, stylist to the stars, he is living his passion. Called the brains behind Sauti Sol’s polished and super stylish looks. Brian describes himself as a free thinker and lover of life. So ow did the financier step into the world of fashion? A favor for his sister, a favor that led his name to being attached to prestigious awards, Kenya Fashion Awards’s Stylist of the Year 2016, Abryanz Style & Fashion Awards 2016 East Africa Stylist of The Year, and nominee of Abrayanz Style and Fashion Awards 2017. Be Afrika picked Brian Babu as our Mentor this month because of the lesson he teaches about being faithful to your passion. Here is what we asked him, from you the aspiring stylist to Brian Babu our mentor of the month.

How do you spend most of your time? In between work, I love to travel and be with my family. What do you wish you knew in your early twenties? I wish I understood how money works, how to save and how to manage my money.


How can I work smarter?

didn’t take off the way they were supposed to. Probably because

Any aspiring stylist needs to identify what market works for

I wasn’t keen enough or I hadn’t grown enough as a stylist to be

you. What type of styling, is it personal styling, personality

able to handle such big projects. I think of those as failures and

styling or is it styling for television. You need to find your niche

I got to learn from them, and I became a better stylist through

and then improve and perfect what you do.

that. There are project that you’d be given to handle and then

Is this where you thought you would end up?

you think you have the capacity to do that project but you actually don’t.

10I would have been before I found my passion in styling. I

A piece of advice.

was school for economics and finance and I probably would have gotten an office job, probably work in a bank or a finance

GO HARD OR GO HOME! You can’t be half assing things,


taking issues with a pinch of salt. You just have to do the most when you want to do something. Go completely out of your

If you could do it all again, what would you do differently?

way to do your best. We did mention that he is a Nominee for ASFA, vote for him

I wouldn’t have gone to economics and finance school in the

here. About Abryanz Style and Fashion Awards: ASFA is an

first place. I think I would have gone straight to fashion and

African fashion award ceremony that celebrates and acknowl-

design school.

edges fashion industry stake holders i.e. fashion designers, stylists, hair and makeup artists, media personalities and influencers

What used to be your biggest weaknesses?

in the African Continent and beyond our borders. This event is

Time. As a creative at times you end up doing things last min-

held annually in Uganda since its inaugural ceremony in 2013.

ute. Or maybe the ideas come up last minute so you are pressed

This year’s theme, “African Fashion is the Future #Fashion-

for time to execute what you wanted to do.

Takeover” seeks to highlight the entrepreneurial success of the

What are you most proud of?

African fashion industry which will in turn translate into the

The things I have been able to accomplish in the first four years.

business of fashion. The ASFAs is an evening of Glitz and

And the consistency of my work throughout that period.

Glamour and the biggest red carpet in Africa, in true celebration of fashion and style, with A-List guests from across the conti-

“Am I being crazy?” Have you ever asked


yourself that? What was the result? Of course I did. At some point I quit school my family also thought I had lost my mind, so I thought I was actually crazy. But you know only crazy people dream.

What were your biggest failures? I know there are projects that I have been able to do but they


Creative Entrepreneur 39


ost people call me Lomole. What most

The next milestone was a rainy day, even worse, a rainy Mon-

people do not know is that it is actually my

day, in May this year. It threatened to be my worst birthday yet.

surname. Emmanuel Marsuk Lomole is

All until that evening when a friend, June, offered me a Birthday

the name given to me on the 1st of May somewhere in the 20th

out, and when I received that journal gift, it was the spark long

Century. I never really know where to start when introducing

awaited by the fuel inside me. I had always wanted to make my

myself. I am a doctor in waiting, in my level 5 training at the

own journals, considering I often didn’t have the money to buy

University of Nairobi, Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of

my own. Just to illustrate the point, I come from a family of

Surgery. I am a musician, written songs and play the guitar in

9 children, one mama, one papa. We even have a WhatsApp

my local church band and in SHAHIDI – a band of medical

group – go figure. Once so often I hustled for cash to buy my

school classmates. I am multicultural: a South Sudanese, born

next journal, my sisters would joke that I should take a Kasuku

and raised in Kenya, who speaks fluent French. I am a leader,

exercise book, give it a fancy cover and good to go.

and a follower – one really is always both. But for purposes

I made my first journal from spare leather Daniel gave. Showed

of this expose, I am SCROLLS, an entrepreneurial start up

it to my parents. Priced it with my brothers David and John,

inspired by a passion hitherto unmentioned.

took a few photo and posted them on my WhatApp status and

SCROLLS is a start-up venture creating the finest in handmade

there is all began. That first journal I gifted the gifter, June.

leather journals South of the Sahara, personalised for a touch

Since it has been a rapid evolution of design and ideas, talking

of who you are as a client. The journey began over 11 years

to people, taking advice, so many providential events, chal-

ago. My earliest memory of journaling was a small pocket

lenging clients and the growth over a few months has just been

sized Karatasi brand hard cover book –the black ones with a red


spine. Well, it got lost somewhere at home along with all my se-

I honestly did not expect there were as many journal lovers in

crets. The next major milestone I believe was ten years ago. My

Nairobi and beyond as I have found out there are. WhatsApp,

older brother Daniel got me a beautiful journal. I was hooked

Instagram, Facebook Interactions – what I abbreviate as

ever since and journaling became an integral part of who I am.

W.I.F.I. are at the centre of all my marketing. I think most start

Over 30 journals later, one of my favourites from my sister Joy,

ups have under-utilized this asset granted freely to our genera-

and still high on that first dose. These journals carry my poems,

tion – such waste. My customer segments are people looking to

songs I have written, words from travels to a distant continent,

give special custom unique gifts to their friends – especially this

my hopes and dreams, speeches I gave as School captain in high

festive gift season – hint hint. Secondly is conferences. I have

school, deep philosophical thoughts, random bus fare calcula-

supplied customised gifts for speakers at a Conference in Nai-

tions, conversations with strangers, sketches and drawings, notes

vasha. I am also targeting hotels to give branded unique journal

from conferences that I have never read – we are all guilt of it

gifts to their visitors, company gifts to employees as well. So far

I suppose – really almost everything that is me save secrets and

the most fruitful segment has been the gifting customer segment.

“Dear diary” moments – I learnt my lesson from the journal I

I think the hardest and most exciting part of this venture is the


creation of something new and introducing it into a market


BE AFRIKA DISCOVERED | November 2017 hitherto unexposed. Those are two challenges, and two opportunities. It has been exciting defining the product, creating it, standardizing and also exposing it to clients, some who at first mistake it for a purse. My dream for SCROLLS Handmade Leather Journals is to become a supplier to lifetime clients who will experience the high of having a SCROLL and never go back. Once so often I fancy a SCROLL on the table of a president. Once so often I fancy my grandchild talking about the journals grandpa used to make. In simple words, I intend to be here for the long-run. Standardise, scale and endure.



o R




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Picture taken by: @maryachola 43

A brief about who you are and what your organization is about. Alloys Iteba is simple guy, born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. Who has passion in the built environment. Holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture. In pursuit for yet another recent selfdiscovery passion in digital art. I am a co-owner of Chromez Studio which is a photography studio enthusiastic about architecture, commercial photography, fashion, portraiture and conceptual photography.

Why the creative industry? Creative industry is at the forefront of a rapidly changing world. Creativity in Kenya and the whole of Africa is more valued today by society. It plays an important role in driving our economy by contributing to cultural diversity, social inclusion, environmental sustainability and technological advancement. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that? On the other hand have always had this imaginative ideas and fantasy and the best way I could have turned them into reality is by becoming an artist.

Do you keep up with the trends in the industry? I don’t think anyone in the creative world can afford to ignore industry trends. Though we have few who do not feel the necessity to keep abreast of new development. It is important to stay informed with the emerging trends in your career filed so that you maintain a competitive edge in the job market. You will be in the best position to seize any new opportunity presented to you.

Journey from concept to reality. The process or rather approach I use is inspired from Art of Thought – The Model of Creativity, written in 1926, by Graham Wallas. He broke down what we now refer to as the “creative process” into four distinct stages– Preparation, Incubation, Illumination, and Implementation.




How did you raise the capital to start your business?

It is inevitable not to pass though this stage. The process is boring but it creates a strong foundation for whatever ideas

I used savings from my salary; I was employed as a graduate

you have. Am in touch with my childhood memories so I go

architect. Used to save like 80% of it since I was still staying

where children play to look for that ingredient that will trigger

with my parents. That enabled me to purchase my first photog-

my mind. I listen to music, watch movies (lover of horror and

raphy equipment.

animation), and look for inspiration from other artists work. Also from daily life events. This is where my creative juices

How has the brand grown since inception?

flow from.

I’m trying to make a name for myself and our company, Chro-


mez Studio. The journey has not been easy and we have a long

This is where my conscious and subconscious minds are work-

way to go. We are still trying hard and working smart to make

ing on the idea. Is where I picture the end result vividly.

our name known in the industry. We thank God for the few


awards we have won and that have really boosted us in this

At this stage you can’t ignore the idea. It keeps coming back

competitive industry. And also to have worked with Sportpesa,

again and again. It is when my creative urge is strong and

is a big step for us.

solid. I usually walk around with my ‘ideas sketch book’ to pin

Who are your major competitor?

them down whenever they appear. They disappear in seconds,

The creative industry is so competitive today. And they say

so better not procrastinate.

having competitors is healthy for business. Actually compe-


tition is what keeps us all going and giving our best. It makes

This is a stage I do mockups, mood boards, for the project. It is

the industry more exciting. They have helped us work smarter

my execution stage. Giving ideas ‘life’. I get to evaluate if my

and think creatively So am not troubled with that, I believe in

idea is good enough to proceed with it. I look for a production

our company, I believe in our product/service, then the unique

team to work with. And if all goes well. The shoot is done. For

service we give to our clients.

my personal project have never spent more than 15 minutes

How are you paying it forward/ how do

shooting them. It is all about how well you plan (months of

you encourage youth in the industry?

planning though)

For the last one year I have heard a lot of requests from


‘youths’ who want to learn one or two things from my work.

My post production process is purely informed by the creative

So when I do my personal projects I try to accommodate few of

process of that project am working on. The message to be driv-

them to assist me and have an opportunity to learn some of my

en out. The feeling I have at that particular moment. And of

tricks I use.Also I co-direct a workshop series themed Fictive

cause icing it with my ‘merging’ photography style. In this era

with fellow creative Stephen Maithya which helps upcoming

of digital art, you have to perfect your post production skills if

photographers to learn how to create fictional stories from

you want to be among the top.

concepts to reality.


Do you think there is enough government support to the industry? Not really at the moment but I see that changing in the near future. While creativity is thriving in Kenya, many businesses struggle to make the step from executing successful projects to becoming fully fledged, sustainable creative businesses. The government needs to take action now to ensure we are inspiring and equipping the next generation of talent, helping creative businesses to start-up and grow and maintaining the Kenyan competitiveness against other international markets.

Who is your mentor and is it important to have one? I have some I look up to but they keep on changing depending on what I shoot at that particular time. They include; Osborne Macharia, Joey Lawrence, Adrian Sommeling, Clay Cook, Erik Johansson to name but a few. It important to have mentors if you need that extra push, they can provide that spark of guidance to kick start you. They will build your confidence. You will be learning from someone who has already arrived at where you want to be.

Advice to other creatives? • Try everything. You won’t know what kind of a photographer you are until you try it. • Never settle for the ordinary as you easily become irrelevant. • Keep crafting and perfecting your art with passion and money will follow. • Work every day even without assignments or cash, grind with discipline for yourself and not for editors or awards. • Follow your heart, not your head and if it feels right, then carry on. • Above all keep asking God to guide you.

How important is education in the creative industry? One thing I know is that without knowledge of what drives the process, it is difficult to foster creativity. Education is important from business environment

Model: Issac.

point of view and from the creative industry perspective. The most important

MUA: @ryhabrhazi

support in the field of education should not be related to creativity itself, but


more on the complementary skills like entrepreneurship.



A space for African creatives and creatives interested in Africa. Follow us on Facebook: Be Afrika Instagram: @be__afrika Twitter: @be_afrika

needs they may have. Your story telling ability will turn any mundane activity into a visual feast when it comes to any art. So with this, I really enjoy spending my free time outdoors or socializing.

What artists, bloggers and photographers do you admire? I have always been an admirer of photographer Mario Testino. He’s images have such a deep, real, almost sinister feel to them. I enjoy the way they make me feel. It is also known that he is master collaborator. With bloggers being such a big focus in modern times. I spend much of my time getting to know the top ones in all my regions. Joy Kendi, a Kenyan blogger, is one of my favorites. I enjoy her whimsical manner of writing and creating content and in reality, she is just as delightful, and honest.

The Creative Marco Louis

What are some of your favorite tech tools to use, and why? (relate it to their field) My CANON Camera. I like to think of her as my right hand man. She allows me to paint with light. And what is more

Tell us about yourself?

sublime than that! It is also a great tool for makeup artists. It

Marco Louis. I was born in beautiful rural areas of Cape

is one thing to be able to do makeup for natural light and a

Town, Southern Africa. I am currently a professional makeup

whole new ball game to do it for photography. I like to dissect

artist but my experience spans across many industries within

elements like textures using photography to be able to find

fashion and art over the last 10 years.

better ways to convey them. Gloss textures in black and white for example, breathtaking!

How do you incorporate creativity in your free time?

How do you keep up with industry trends?

I love observing. I think it is the driving force of any creative.

I am fortunate to be on the ground in the industry in Africa as

To be able to absorb your surroundings, be present and live

well as attend international fashion weeks annually. With this

these moments in your creative work. It is also good to gain an

I can marry the two and work with what we have to move the

understanding of what people enjoy in order to best service the

African industry forward. My right now I honestly believe that


we have the ability and talent, as well as resources to drive our own trends. #AFRICAHASRISEN

What is the biggest creative challenge you have faced in your career? Logistics. Our continent is so diverse. With so many different ideals on beauty. My regions span across West and East Africa, so I practically live in the sky. Sometimes this can get lonely. But I believe it is a small price to play.

What are some of the projects you’re working on right now? In Nigeria we will be supporting the GTBank Fashion Weekend 11/12 November, shortly after some more backstage projects Kenya and possibly Uganda.

What makes you unique? I honestly believe that in my industry and life, is has been how I have managed to adapt to any circumstances/mediums/ people. Living in Cape Town and Johannesburg as well as Nigeria and Kenya for example. With most experiences I have learnt one thing. Instead of comparing them, try to mix them into one big beautiful life lesson. You will enjoy the version of yourself you see once you learn to enjoy diversity.

People in your field that you admire? I don’t say that I admire anyone, for me I am inspired by people. I look up to Chanel trainers because of their willingness to impart knowledge and their skills. Being a man in a woman’s world is an opportunity from God. Sometimes it’s an overwhelming feeling. When I was at college 99% of pupils were women the rest were men with earrings and bangles. This was intimidating and this experience left me confused. I told myself I am going to be different. Locally I have not found someone who inspires me as I said from the onset I was going to be different, and do things differently. Be my own person.

Tell me about something you’ve created. As a creative make-up artist, when we were doing Sense 8, I was part of the special effects make-up artists’ tea, and this was a very unique opportunity and cemented me for what I was doing and I knew this was for me. I was in the right place.

The Creative A MAN IN A WOMAN’S WORLD Wilson Tell us about yourself? My name is Wilson, I work at Madora and I am a trained make-up artist and skin care consultant and above all I am a professional beauty advisor. I work with Madora and this is a French brand which came to Kenya and launched here at the beginning of 2016. It deals with make-up, skin care and fragrances. I see Madora as a little bit of France in Kenya.


How do you keep up with industry trends?

criticism. But first I have to differentiate between a good and

I read a lot of. If you look at my emails right now I receive al-

bad critic. Some people just want to be negative for the sake of

most 15 -20 updates on the beauty industry. This is how I keep

throwing shade at you and try and bring you down.

my dream alive. 99% of what I follow are the make-up brands themselves. My sources for beauty is everywhere. I want beau-

What makes you unique?

ty to be accessible for all. I’ve also benefitted from trainings

For me, it’s my signature; to be simple. Simplicity is in every-

from being a part of Madora and this is what has helped me

thing I do. As a make-up artist I am one person who believes in

keep up with international beauty trends.

natural make up. I like to keep it natural unless at the client re-

What is the biggest creative challenge you

quests differently. I don’t want when you take off your make up

have faced in your career?

you look different person. Being natural is key and this is what

I am a very emotional person, and I get hurt easily. I have

makes me a little different from the rest I don’t’ like extremes.

witnessed a lot of intimidation in this industry, more so being a man. Not everyone believes you can be a good make-up artist

What would you say to youth who want to be in your industry?

being a man.

This is the right time. If you have the passion and the drive this

What are some of the projects you’re

is the time. The world is coming to Africa, to Kenya now. The

working on right now?

cosmetic industry is going to be the largest soon. We need more

I am full time with Madora.

artists from Kenya to come into the industry. Even if I had children and this was their dream I would

How do you respond to criticism?

encourage them.

No one likes criticism. I would start to complain, and now I have started to sit and reflect. Especially if its constructive


Afro Lens Life - AKORINO STYLE

Isaiah Maghanga A story of an Akorino woman in the journey of finding herself. Let me take this great opportunity to introduce you to one of The Most interesting religious cultures in the African continent. The Akorino. A group that started appearing in the middle of the 1920s which grew strictly out of indigenous leadership. Its first generation membership came out of various missions as well as the unchurched population that followed Kikuyu traditional religion. Since their first appearance, different names and titles have been used to refer to them. The colonial administrative files of 1931 refer to them as false prophets. Another name used to refer to them is Aroti. The name first appeared in the administrative files in February 1934. The name indicates the movement’s emphasis on dreams ‘iroto’ and auditions ‘migambo’. The meaning of the name Akorino is not clear even among the Akorino themselves. Most Akorino maintain that the name was formed from the question “Mukuri nu?” (Who is the Redeemer?) Which was popular among the early Akorino in their crowd-pulling evangelistic meetings. A preacher would ask the crowd, “Mukuri nu?” and they would answer, “Nu Jesu” it is Jesus. By 1927, they had increased in number and could easily be noticed by colonial governments. They had also started receiving a lot of attention from the general public and could be seen moving around in groups preaching and praying for the country.” Isaiah Maghanga is passionate about intentionally creating art minus a box. Making the impossible possible through digital photography/art.





TECH & YOU BALLING ON A BUDBest Cheap 4G Phones In Kenya Under 15K by 4G network is now widely available in Kenya. 4G allow you to enjoy super-fast connection to the internet. If you are looking for 4G phones in Kenya, it is important to keep in mind the fact that the speeds you will enjoy are not just dependent on the network, they are also dependent on the smartphone you are using. 4G handsets are not all created equal. There are many 4G enabled smartphones in Kenya. Unfortunately, some of them are quite expensive. If you are looking for 4G enable phones in Kenya but you are on a budget, you are at the right place. It’s possible to get a decent 4G LTE phone in Kenya with less than Ksh 10,000. If you are willing to spend Ksh 15,000, you will have more choices. Here are the best cheap 4G phones available in Kenya (all are below 15k):

Tecno W5 is not only one of the best cheap 4g handsets in Kenya, it has many other good features that you will love. It supports 4G networks provide by Safaricom and Telkom in Kenya. It comes with a 5.5 inch screen, 13MP rear camera, 5MP front camera and a fingerprint sensor. This smartphone is powered by a 1.3GHz quad core CPU and it runs on Android v6.0 Tecno Boom J8 has been in the Kenyan market for a while now. It still remains one of the best cheap 4G phones. It is an awesome phone that was built for music lovers. It has many other awesome features that make it an all-round smartphone. The Tecno Boom J8 features a 5.5-inch screen, 1.3Ghz quadcore processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal memory, 13MP back camera, 5MP front camera and 3000mAh battery.

The Tecno Camon CX Air is one of the latest 4G Tecno smartphones that you can buy in Kenya. It is also one of the best cheap camera phones in Kenya. This 5.5-inch phone processor speed is 1.5GHz. The RAM and internal memory are 2GB and 16GB respectively. The front facing camera is 13MP and the back side camera is 13MP. Both camera feature an LED flash for low light photography. The capacity of the battery on the Tecno Camon CX Air is 3200mAh.


The Infinix Hot S is one of Huawei Y6 Pro is one of the

the most beautiful phones

cheapest Huawei 4G phones

ever made by Infinix

that you can buy in Ken-

Mobility. It’s a 5.2 inch

ya. This phone has a 5-inch

smartphone running on

screen and it runs on Android

Android v6.0 (Marshmal-

v5.1.1(Lollipop). It is powered

low). It’s powered by a

by a quadcore 1.3GHz processor which is supported from 2GB

1.5GHz octacore processor that is supported by 2GB of RAM.

of RAM. The internal memory is 16GB. Its back and front

Its internal storage capacity is 16GB. The front camera is

cameras are 13MP and 5MP respectively. The Huawei Y6 Pro

13MP and the selfie camera is 8MP. The capacity of the battery

gets its power from a 4000mAh battery.

on the Infinix Hot S is 3000mAh.

This 4G smartphone was officially launched in April 2016. It took a few months for it to get to Kenya. The Huawei Y5 II remains one of the best affordable 4G phones in Kenya. If you are looking for a cheap, high quality phone that also supports 4G, you should not hesitate to get yourself the Huawei Y5 II. This smartphone comes with a 5.0 inch screen. It is powered by a 1.3 GHz quadcore processor and it has 1GB of RAM.

The Infinix Note 4 is the latest 4G smartphones in Kenya from Infinix Mobility. It is a 5.7 inch smartphone that runs on Android v7.0 Nougat. This smartphone has a few similarities with its predecessor, Infinix Note 3. It comes with an octacore processor and 2GB of RAM. Its internal memory is 16GB. The rear shooter is 13MP and the selfie camera is 8MP. The Infinix Note 4 X572 is powered by a 4300mAh battery.





Namibia 60





Kenya 61

Here is a short list of questions that backpackers ask each other.

Where are you from? I was born in Zimbabwe to Malawian parents, so I identify as both.

Where have you been? United States of America (USA), Egypt, Ghana, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, South Africa, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia and Democratic Republic of Congo.

What’s been your favorite place? We all want to travel around the world, but few of us

I will be biased towards Kenya cause of the vibrancy and

are brave enough to do. In his book Alick Chingapi

having friends who are as good as family. However, Uganda

brings us along his journey across Africa.

struck a chord with me. The streets of Kampala, the markets, the helpfulness of the people all resonated with me. I enjoyed

As an African, he was keen to observe whether he would enjoy the same hospitality afforded to white and foreign travellers as he made his way through his continent? Along the way, engaging in conversations with tourists, volunteers, local doctors and protesting students, he tried to gain insight into the history, politics, economics and atmosphere in each country. He recalls his return to his motherland, as Zimbabwe comes to grips with a crumbling economy and the people finally begin to stir and protest and seek a better life.

Through a Black IrIs

Following the Cairo to Cape Town route in a quest to see more of his continent and motherland, the author used public transport from the City of Pharaohs in Egypt to Cape Town and back up through the mountains of Lesotho and then home to Zimbabwe. Encountering questionable immigration officers, hospitable individuals in Uganda, to skeletons on the Skeleton Coast in Namibia, he went in search of what it means to be African.


a Black IrIs

About the author

Alick chingApi

Alick Chingapi is a consultant by profession. His work has taken him on extensive travels through the African continent. Taking a break from the corporate rat race, he travelled across the continent to discover Mother Africa. This, his first book relays the story of his travels. He currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.

ISBN 978-0-620-75263-3

Alick chingApi

my time on one of the islands on Lake Bunyonyi in the South

Did you miss home?

of Uganda, it was serenely peaceful.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done? I found myself heading to a refugee camp in Rwanda. I intend-

Initially, I missed the familiarity of home comforts such as my bed but after a while, it is a memory of something I can look forward to and appreciate a bit more.

ed to volunteer only to get a rude awakening when I arrived at

Do you miss your family?

the camp, when the authorities told me that I needed clearance to be able to volunteer. I don’t know why I had thought I would

I try not to think about them that much when I am travelling.

be able to arrive at a refugee camp and help out. It was an

I grew up in boarding school since I was in primary so have

intense couple of hours with my passport circulating different

learnt to .

hands, bag searched thoroughly, every photo in my camera examined. I realized the gravity of my situation as I was being questioned by a third individual and it sounded like I was a

Are you traveling on your own? (If you’re seen solo)


Most of my trip was solo, however sometimes you meet people

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever

who genuinely strike a chord with you.

eaten? Don’t really have, I have eaten a lot of food that in some

Do you have Facebook?

people’s cultures are crazy. I eat amacimbi (mopane worms),

I am not that active on Facebook, I more active on Instagram

mbeva (a form of field mouse) and some people think that it is

@dreadstrider and the same handle on twitter.


How long have you been traveling for? I travelled for nearly 5 months before I returned home.

How much longer will you be traveling for? I intend to get back to travelling in 2019 across West Africa once I have my planned out my next trip and hopefully attained sponsorships.

What were you doing before you left? I used to work at a consulting firm as a lead consultant, managing teams on projects in client environments.

Alick Chingapi

Be Africa Discovered Magazine NOV/DEC 2017