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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Contributor List 6 Be Trends 8 & 9 Quickie 10 Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Note 10 Discovering Afrika 12 Cover Feature 14 Afro Art 21 Art of Fashion 25 Be Story 31 The Artist 33 The Mentor 37 Creative Government 40 Creative Entrepreneur 41 Discovered 45 The Creative 49 Afro Lens 51 Tech 55 Creative Cities 57
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? a e d i n a Got t u o b a s u l l e T it
CONTRIBUTOR LIST EDITORIAL Marita Paulina Rina Maria STYLE Ojwa Styling Brian Emry BEAUTY Kanai Beauties ART & GRAPHICS Jesse Ondego PHOTOGRAPHY Ptech Photography 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 email@example.com If you would like to be featured in our issues email us on hello@beafrika. online If you would like to work with us on a project please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org If you would like to advertise with us please email us on email@example.com
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Here are some of the top tech trends to look out for this month. An inspiration led to an idea, to a business and now they are currently being funded for it:
1. Outsourcing IT Work to Africa The world has a scarcity of software developers. Meanwhile, Africa has a growing young population. Training software developers in Africa who US and European firms can hire
â&#x20AC;&#x153;The original idea was to teach people a practical skill and then use the money they make to pay for their educationâ&#x20AC;? taps into that human capital. Andela is a startup company that trains developers in Nigeria and hires them out to global tech companies. The original idea was to teach people a practical skill and then use the money they make to pay for their education, Iyin Aboyeji, one of the founders of Andela, In October Andela raised $40m in funding. There are rumours that it is going to open up in Egypt according to iAfrikan.
2. Making It Easier to Pay for Things Many people across Africa don’t have bank accounts. Mobile money - sending money via your phone - has already proved a very successful alternative to cash. Africa has become the global leader in mobile money with more than 100 million people having mobile money accounts in 2016, according to McKinsey research. Mobile financial services now include credit, insurance, and cross-border remittances. The problem is that there are too many different systems which do not always work with each other. This means lots of people in Africa
“From the start the company has processed more than $1.2bn in payments across 10 million transactions, reports CNN.”
can’t pay for products online. Flutterwave is one of the new innovations coming through. It makes it easier for banks and businesses to process payments across Africa. It lets customers pay in their local currencies and allows people to send money from the US to a mobile money wallet, charging sellers a small service fee, which it shares with banks. In the first quarter of 2017 Flutterwave processed $444m in transactions across Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya, it told BBC. From the start the company has processed more than $1.2bn in payments across 10 million transactions, reports CNN. The company received $10m of funding from the US this year, CNN adds. The new funding will be used “to hire more talent, build out our global operations and fuel rapid expansion of our organization across Africa,” Flutterwave says. With that, it hopes that more people in Africa can buy things they are not currently able to pay for, like on online retailer Amazon. As the firm’s boss Iyinoluwa Aboyeji puts it: “If we are successful, we might just inspire a new generation of Africans to flip the question from: ‘What more can the world do for Africa?’ to ‘What more can Africa do for the world?’”.
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Editors Note What inspired you? This a question that everyone gets when they create something. No lie, can’t really put a finger on it. We’ve always wanted a magazine, but we needed to do something different. Then it came to us as we watched people we worked with in the creative industry struggle to get their work out there and make ends meet. So we started building this ‘US’ dream with a few key words in mind; Discovering, Connecting, Creatives Collaboration. “The point isn’t to start something new, but to optimize what already exists through collaboration” BE Afrika Media Ltd was started with the mission to support creatives and play its part in building the industry. We are a content creating company
that works as a creative collaboration, focusing on building brands and the creative sector in Africa. We have an interest in identifying, empowering and ensuring that creatives have an enabling environment to support their talent. Be Discovered isn’t just a magazine, but a platform that supports creatives through visibility and information they wouldn’t normally find easily. Our goal is to turn the digital magazine into a resource that is easily accessible, diverse and does not discriminate no matter the location, person and financial position. We craft our content to fit our unique audience or rebels, trendsetters, industry disruptors and the self-employed. Be Afrika is a platform that prompts interaction and consumption.
A space for African creatives and creatives interested in Africa. Follow us on Facebook Be Afrika Instagram be__afrika Twitter be_afrika Page| 10 BeAfrika Pintrest Be Afrika Online
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Is Africa Following Or Setting Creative Trends? By Tapiwa Matsinde of Shoko Press I found this to be a very interesting yet difficult question to answer, and having done my best to do so at the time, the question has stayed with me as I felt it was a really important one that warranted a much deeper explanation to the answer I gave, my initial feeling being that Africa is neither following nor setting trends. Having thought that, my mind then switched slightly, leaning towards the latter that Africa is sort of setting trends and then I bounced back to my original Page|
instinct of neither, a response which I have a feeling that most people will passionately disagree with me – told you it was a difficult question! So let me explain why I think that at the present moment Africa is neither following or setting creative trends. Starting with the first part of the question, which is easier to answer because at the moment Africa’s designers and creatives are playing by their own rules, enjoying the high level of freedom that they have to create and find their own way, and therefore are definitely not following trends. This freedom is enabled by an industry still in its infancy where rules and regulations have yet to be set, where not having to answer
to a board of decision makers who tend to consider things from a commercial aspect at the expense of creative expression. But with regards to setting creative trends, I don’t feel that Africa is quite there; yet. And that is not a bad thing. I say that because I don’t think we should be concerned with setting trends, mainly for the reason that trends are fickle, they come and go and what is happening across Africa is not a trend! It is a shaping of the present, setting the foundations for the future, working towards building something better, creating legacies. Yes, Africa is very much in vogue at the moment, the continent is being feted by the global world from curators to collectors, which
I think is more to do with the creative world being intrigued by the level of creativity coming out of the continent, the seemingly unstoppable ingenuity, and how Africa’s designer/makers are offering up solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems, and these are all industry defining factors that the world can no longer afford to ignore, and is, therefore, watching closely, reaching out to connect and trying to make sense of it all. But despite the strides being made Africa is still battling the oft-negative stereotypes and it is the stereotypes that tend to dictate the Africa-related trends. Africa has been a source of inspiration for designers the world over for decades -and continues to be so- who in ‘borrowing’ from Africa’s creativity have been the ones to define the so-called ‘Africa’ related trends, trends that regularly revisit the stereotypical themes of tribal, animal print to variations of safari chic. These stereotypes are so deeply ingrained in perceptions of Africa, just Google or search Pinterest for African design and images of the new diverse aesthetics being created are hard to find, usually buried towards the bottom of the page. People like to hold onto what’s familiar so when new ideas are introduced resistance tends to occur. With this in mind, it is going to take time to change global perceptions of Africa. And it is up to us as Africans to change those perceptions, to control the narrative and thereby setting the trends that will happen. The work is underway. Africa’s designers, artists, bloggers, journalists, commentators, curators, social media content generators are all doing their bit to push back against the stereotypes, working hard to change the narrative. And when it comes to
setting trends I think it will be interesting to see what happens when the much anticipated IKEA African Designers collection launches in 2019. Why is this important? Well for one thing when it comes to African design it is quite expensive. Most of what is currently being produced targets the high-end customer and IKEA is a mainstream brand with a wide budget friendly reach and it is within these types of consumer segments that trends take hold. Trends typically follow a bell curve whereby you have the early adopters, the influencers, the cool kids, those unafraid to mix it up and try something new. And where the cool kids go the masses eventually follow thereby
“Africa has been a source of inspiration for designers the world over for decades and continues to be so”
cementing the trend. When you apply the bell curve to African creativity, of which we are just scratching the surface, I think that we are still at the start of the bell curve and are not yet near the top of the curve. So whilst the cool kids are picking up what is happening with African creativity, the masses have yet to follow. Yes so-called African print went crazy popular for a while, and Afrobeat is invading popular music, but think about it for a minute, does all this mean that Africa is actually setting creative trends? I often hear people when seeing the work of an African designer exclaim ‘that’s amazing!’, then in the next breath say ‘…
but I wouldn’t know what to do with it’, ‘…how to wear it’ and so forth. And it is for these reasons that I believe that for now, Africa is not so much as setting trends but rather creating something that transcends trends, something that has longevity, something that will inspire generations to come. http://www.shokopress.com/ is-africa-following-or-settingcreative-trends/ Shoko Press is an independent publisher of illustrated African art books that capture slices of the exciting contemporary creative arts and social cultures shaping a modern and dynamic Africa. Written and produced in collaboration with some of Africa’s leading creative practitioners and cultural commentators our beautifully presented content in areas such as, art, design, photography, fashion, architecture and lifestyle will take you on a journey to not only discover new narratives that will inspire and enrich, but also ones to cherish and help preserve for future generations.
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Wendy Mwatha Model What inspires you? My inspiration comes from the fact that I know deep down there’s a level of great untapped potential that i possess that I’m not even close to getting to and I won’t stop till I do What is your greatest creative challenge? Being unique and diverse when it comes to taking unforgettable photos,promoting a product and even just expressing a variety of emotions in accordance to the setting that i am put in What is your creative process? Normally before a shoot the client gives a brief on what they’d expect either a day before or during the actual photoshoot. I therefore come with a mindset that’s flexible enough to fit the clients requirements. Not forgetting that i do my best to express my personality in every shot and this way i end up giving the client more than one choice for the finished product
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MAIN FEATURE MUMBI
OCCUPATION musician AGE 25 USA-based Kenyan songstress, Mumbi, is back to Kenya and launched her debut EP “For The Culture” – 30th of April 2018 from East Africa, in a worldwide release. Known for her diverse sound that blends afro-house, soul, R&B and hip hop, Mumbi is set for her biggest career move that has now birthed the 5– track EP featuring the singles: “Yours”, “Intro”, “Soweto”, “Good Enough” and “Too Much”. Speaking to her Kenyan fans, Mumbi says: “At this point my fans and I are technically dating. My music is my diary. So if you love my music we’re pretty much together. Can’t wait to see you all!” Speaking on “For The Culture” EP and her return to Kenya, Mumbi says: “I chose to launch the EP in Kenya because everything begins at home. Kenya is my home and what better way to launch something than at home first. I wrote most of the songs on the EP at a time in my life where I had taken some time off to regroup,” hinting on her future plans: “I plan on moving back to home and definitely working on a new album from Kenya.” Watch Senses on YouTube: https://www.
y o u t u b e . c o m / w a t c h ? v = R y Te 6 5 L 8 s m c Even before the EP was ready for release, Mumbi was concurrently working on her debut album, which is expected to be ready by September 2018. While in Kenya, she intends to collaborate with top Kenyan acts including Khaligraph Jones, Steph Kapela, Xtatic and Camp Mulla. Her passion is to continue raising her profile and that of Kenya. She says, “As a brand, I will continue to represent Kenya on a bigger platform. I would like to introduce the world to all the amazing talent we have in Kenya because we are really underrated. I am happy to strongly represent of our beautiful country, musically speaking.” People in your field that you admire? Lauryn hill Miriam makeba Beyoncé Rihanna How do you incorporate creativity in your free time? I usually just listen to a lot of different types of music to keep my mind fresh when it comes to creativity What is your perspective on the music industry? Right now is the best time in the music industry in BeAfrika Page| 17
Kenya because we are on the peak of change
song. Expect the unexpected and lots of amazing vibes.
Do you think there are enough youth opportunities? Which track best represents you? No but all it does is make us grind harder Definitely Good Enough What is your creative process like when you are working? What’s next for you? I usually write a song beforehand create a bass line then My album!! go to the producer with it and we build around that Any advice for the youth? Tell me about something you’ve created. Be you. That is your power. Also, don’t be afraid of the struggle. My whole ep it’s only for a season. Put In work and you WILL succeed How do you keep up with industry trends? I don’t. I just choose to be me that way there’s no pressure. It can be challenging for a young Kenyan to balance local identity with international influence. How do you think we can best keep and promote the Kenyan brand? How did your family react to your career choice? At first it was hard but now it’s gotten a lot better Tell us about your new Music? Each song on my FOR THE CULTURE Ep is my favorite Page|
Twitter: https://twitter.com/OfficialMumbi Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Official. Mumbi/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mumbi_ music/
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ARTISTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S BIO MUEMA JOAN KAVIKI
think of myself as a surrealist by definition. Another characteristic of my work is that it leans towards feminism and empowerment of the woman. I have My name is Muema Joan Kaviki. My love for the arts had two successful exhibitions alongside other artists begun at a very tender age and has since then only and would like to hold more in the near future. I grown and my passion drives me to achieve what I sometimes find that I can express myself better with thought I never would. I started drawing while in my pieces rather than words or any other kind of Primary school and later on began studying art in medium. Art for me is so much more than just a talent High School. I am currently pursuing Bachelor of or a hobby and I have learned to center my life around Arts (Design) at the University of Nairobi. Over the it. years my style has grown and evolved alike. I enjoy using different media to create my compositions and Page|
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Art of Fashion Name: Mercy Bilha Ng’endo (Makeup by Bilha) Age: 27years Occupation: Makeup Artist What inspires you? My inspiration is drawn from ‘The Black Woman’. Her struggles, hard work, beauty and at the end, she is royal. A queen, who wears her crown and her head high. What is your greatest creative challenge? My creative challenge comes in when I have an idea and want to bring it to life therefore I need to work with other fields to execute the idea because I cannot do everything on my own and it’s hard to find people who relate or understand my idea. What is your process from concept to finished product? From just a mere Idea, I put down a rough sketch as I research, mainly on African art. From this I can put things together and create a mood board and with this I get to share with a costume designer or stylist, if need be, and a photographer who help in bringing the idea to life
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Community Media Trust Community Media Trust is a media organization that develops community engagement strategies using participatory media and community communication principles, to support implementation of projects and programs. Community Media Trust creates relevant, community-friendly media content (film, radio, digital and print) that inspires, educates and entertains communities to achieve knowledge, behavioral and social impact.
Content Processing – Through collecting, mapping and visually presenting interactive baseline data, the context, individual perceptions, patterns and trends and how thematic issues interplay in the target ecosystem become easier to interpret and analyze.
guide visualization of creative and engaging media in suitable formats for the target audience.
Outreach & Impact measurement – Develop both effective community engagement (outreach) strategies using content developed and tools to measure social impact using Visualization – From this data analysis, most significant change, knowledge comprehensive messaging and creative increase and behavioral intent against briefs are developed and together with baseline data. a participatory media philosophy,
DEMONSTRATION OF PRODUCTS AND PAST PROJECTS RESULTS Project Description The Institute for Education in Democracy (IED) in partnership with Community Media Trust implemented a one year project titled Ni Jukumu Letu - Youth Learning and Living Democracy, an education for democracy project involving designing a manual with techniques for infusing artistic voice and expression into democracy education, developing a criteria for selecting youth participants from 20 counties, hosting a Youth Democracy Camp using varied forms of art such as theatre, spoken word and music to cultivate youth voice on social issues of importance as determined by them, as well as provide participants the opportunity to develop an engagement action plan themselves that will have some concrete outcome in improving as aspect of democratic governance in their own community.
Results Democracy Training Manual infused with Art and Media. 2. Trainer of Trainers Handbook for Education for Democracy (EfD) Trainers. 3. 40 youth democracy ambassadors. 4. 20 community action plans 5. 5 short videos documenting every stage of the project 6. 40-min documentary Youth Democracy Ambassadors 5. Selfefficacy – several youth ambassadors became influential leaders and some secured employment opportunities as a result of this exposure
Project Description CoMeT has been implementing #IAmKenya, a multimedia project which involves training of young people especially in low-resource settlements in film, photography and new media to engage with their communities on a variety of issues affecting them, especially cohesion and identity, and in so doing, changing the narrative about their communities, long perpetrated by mainstream media. In this project, 45 young people from Mathare (an informal settlement in Nairobi), Kisauni and Changamwe (low- resource settlements in Mombasa) were trained using flip-cameras and basic HD video cameras on basic film and photography skills to generate video and photographic content depicting cohesion and identity, how to download and edit the content on computers and how to upload and share them on social and other new media platforms. Currently, 30 young people from Kisauni and Changamwe have been trained on basic film and photography skills. A key learning outcome from the implementation of this phase has been to incorporate the use of more available and accessible technology for recording and sharing videos and photos Working together with University of Maryland in Kenya through Maryland Global Initiatives Corporation in Kenya (MGICK) and Ministry of Health through its National AIDS and STI Control Program (NASCOP), and other health and communication experts, we developed comprehensive messaging and creative briefs which guided visualization of HIV literacy content in engaging media formats for the target audience, which included children, adolescents and healthcare workers. Through 2 central characters Binti and Nurse Anna, important messages on HIV transmission, adherence, nutrition and positive living got passed through Binti Mzuri, a storybook featuring Binti for 5-9 year olds, Binti and Nurse Anna, a picture book featuring Binti for 10-13 year olds and Binti and Mwas, a comic book featuring Binti targeting 14-17 years. We are looking forward to digitizing these content to increase access to them across mobile platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, SnapChat and other apps popular among young people. A Healthcare workers toolkit, including a pocket-sized and mobile digital version was also developed alongside these literacy materials Our groundbreaking project continued. The Binti & Nurse Anna series was so well received we were asked to help develop similar materials for caregivers for children and adolescents living with HIV. We collaborated with IntraHealth International through their FunzoKenya program and Ministry of Health through its National AIDS and STI Control Program (NASCOP), and other health and communication experts to develop literacy content in engaging media formats for the target audience, which included caregivers for children, caregivers for adolescents and a special previously underserved category, low literate caregivers. 3 booklets were realized from this proess, which included a series of focus group discussions, workshops with young people, healthcare workers and caregivers, including the low literate ones and pre-testing of content in Turkana, Mombasa, Kisumu, Kakamega, Nairobi and Machakos, counties with high HIV prevalence. The low literate booklet was highly visual and done in Swahili, the national language. This was a first given that most HIV literacy materials are in English. These materials were very well received by the more than 280 people who participated in the pretest.
Results By providing media skills to young people, they can create their own narratives and influence other young people to think and act differently and demand different actions from elected leaders. By making short and creative videos about specific issues of concern to them, and using platforms for distributing these content, either online or through screenings and exhibitions, and mobilizing community members to engage with these issues.
• A Guide for Caring for Children and Adolescents Living with HIV in Kenya • A Healthcare Worker’s Toolkit (Desk Aid) • A Guide for Caring for Children and Adolescents Living with HIV in Kenya • A Healthcare Worker’s Toolkit (Pocketbook) • Binti Mzuri – Children’s Storybook on HIV • Binti & Nurse Anna – Picture book for 12 year olds • Binti & Mwas – Comic Book for 14-17 year olds
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The Artist KATE WAITITU MakeUp Artist Pictures by Khalifa of CoolPixx Studios
“I used to read magazines and would collect the pullouts for makeup artists. I was fascinated by it and wanted to be in a magazine one day. Now I am consumed by the art of makeup.”
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Jackline Agwanda MCommunity Media Trust as Project Assistant in Nairobi Wezesha Dada Project. How do you spend most of your time? When I am not at work which is probably during the weekend and on holidays, I enjoy dancing during my free hours because besides being a wonderful form of exercise, it is intensely expressive allowing me to release my tensions. Besides dancing, I love singing to my favorite songs. I want to improve my singing voice and share it with the world someday. I also enjoy reading because Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sure that I will never run out of new materials. I find an endless supply of stuff to read on the internet What would you do if you were me? I would take advantage of opportunities presented to me and those around me to learn improve and to be able to better myself and people around me. How can I work smarter? When I walk into the office, I write out my to-do list for the day and put the hardest tasks on top. Then I stay off the internet until itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s done. This allows me to not check any emails (which are a huge distraction) and give 100% to this task. This typically results in me getting it done faster and with more accuracy. What used to be your biggest weaknesses? The first is my inability to share responsibilities, the second is remaining patient during group projects. I wanted to be in control, I had a difficult time delegating work. However, I came to realise that if I wanted to do better, mentorship and delegation were key. Initially I would find myself losing patience when I suspected the other person was not performing tasks well however I managed to improve though enrolment in several team building workshops and volunteer groups that made me learn of the importance of working as a team. I have learnt to let go and Page|
establish trust with others. Who else would you recommend I connect with? The relevant industry specialists in the field you would like to pursue. What are you most proud of? I am proud of how I have improved as an individual in my career. It has taken me a lot of sacrifices, discipline and mentorship to become who I am today. I have a proven track record of managing successful projects in diverse communities and has experience of working with youths, young girls/children from marginalized
communities in different projects and locations. I also have proven skills in Communication, Public Relations, Facilitation/mobilization and mentorship. With planning, commitment and hard work, I know I will achieve my goals. What are you trying to accomplish this quarter? Our organization, Community Media Trust, has enrolled additional adolescent girls and young women /adolescent boys and young men in the program. I am looking foward to empowering this team so that by the end of the project they have achieved self-realization, built their self-esteem and confidence so as to make the right choices and decisions and become emotionally mature, self-assured and make healthier life decisions. They will also be digitally literate and use their skills to create job opportunities for themselves, be more knowledgeable about HIV and their sexual reproductive health rights, respected, trusted and valued members of their community .to become community resource persons who shape opinions and advocate for good. Basically become Youth leadership ambassadors who champion for youth to lead efforts in reducing HIV infections, promoting self-reliance and social justice What were your biggest failures? The biggest challenge in my career has been scheduling projects. When it just gets down to the work, that’s never been quite an issue but trying to figure out how best to spread my time and make reasonable milestones and deadlines can be very difficult. I haven’t necessarily solved it, just gotten better. I am always learning and trying to figure out the best way for me personally to work. One of the best parts of all that I’m always growing and learning, something which I love to do
“I am looking foward to empowering this team so that by the end of the project they have achieved self-realization, built their self-esteem and confidence so as to make the right choices and decisions and become emotionally mature, self-assured and make healthier life decisions”
A piece of advice. Believe in yourself whether you think you can or you can’t, believe that you can succeed and you will find ways through different obstacles, if you don’t you will just find excuses also no one succeeds in business alone, and those who try will lose to a great team every time, working as a team increases the chances to success
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lessons and undertaking other learning activities including internships, and by eliminating the need to WezeshaDada: ICT & Media Training for Adolescent transact sex for money through gainful employment Girls and Young Women (AGYW) is training a total and/or engaging in income-generating activities using number of 90 girls and women ranging between 16-24 their newly acquired skills. years of age. Most of them are in post-primary and/or post-secondary stage of education and at the age when Through this solution, AGYW recruited into the they are most vulnerable to HIV infection. project have created a feature film, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Atienoâ&#x20AC;? and short videos and use them to target other AGYW with HIV WezeshaDada is currently being implemented in 2 education as well as demystifying entrepreneurship DREAMS districts namely Nairobi and Kisumu. In and linking them to facilities and microfinance services Nairobi, 3 informal settlements of Mathare, Korogocho like Youth Enterprise Fund and Women's Enterprise and Mukuru; In Kisumu, 3 underserved sub-counties Fund as a strategy for reducing their vulnerability and of Muhoroni, Kisumu West and Kisumu East are dependence for economic survival. targeted with this solution. WezeshaDada will further identify and approach The informal settlements in Nairobi are all characterized organizations to avail internship opportunities for by extremely low socio-economic status. Residents face the trained AGYW to further sharpen their skills food insecurity, poverty and a disproportionately high and provide linkages to the job market. The trained HIV prevalence. Financial constraints condemn girls AGYW will also be provided specific entrepreneurship to transactional sex and boys to gangs. In Kisumu, and business management skills to effectively manage the target communities are also characterized by low income generating businesses they initiate using the socio-economic status, with young women and girls media and ICT skills. exposed to HIV through early marriage, transactional sex and risky jobs which further expose them to HIV. This project responds to these problems in a number of ways, chief being providing specific market-oriented skills to AGYW from these target locations which will enable them to access economic opportunities and thereby eliminate the most immediate driver. By targeting the most affected and vulnerable sub-group with media, ICT and self-efficacy skills, this solution significantly reduces the risk of new HIV infection of 90 adolescent girls and young women by physically removing them from the risk by reason of attending BeAfrika Page| 39
BEATA OTIENO of Ojwa Styling Company What made you take the leap into creative entrepreneurship? I was broke and needed money, even though I was a teenager I knew I didn’t want the life of borrowing my parents money to buy the basics. I’ve always wanted to be independent. The simplest way in my eyes was turning my hobbies and interests into a business. So at the age of 19 I started and registered my first photography business called B@A photography. What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them? Understanding my business as it grew I think was the hardest. It led to my confusion, no one ever prepares you for that, as much as you might get lots of advice, it’s a sea of sharks once you are in. I literally had to learn as my business was growing. Furthermore, nothing is ever guaranteed in business you just have to do you and be Page|
good and strategic about it. What was your business’ original mission? How has that mission evolved in the time since? I mostly wanted to concentrate on Fashion but now its expanding and I’m looking into other fields that I love and enjoy as I spot business opportunities. Do you prefer to pursue funding or build organically, and why? Pursuing funding is a huge NO NO for me. I don’t know how I’d sleep knowing I have someone to pay off or investors to impress or loans to pay off. Ill stop enjoying what I love most, and that’s when the passion dies and stress kicks in. I personally believe in building organically, it’s a type of business pressure that I personally can’t handle. Did you have major competitors when you started, how did you plan to compete with them, and how did that plan play out? Not at all, when I entered the market as a branded company, there was barely any competition unlike now,
However the beauty of competition is that it unleashes the inner entrepreneur within you, you start to think different and expand in strategic ways.
8What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business’ success? Ability to think more like an entrepreneur rather than How do you facilitate a positive work environment a creative. Entrepreneurship keeps a business alive, you that attracts and retains talent? can be the best in your field but if you’re not strategic I believe in two things, ideas and comfort. I like when or are looking to expand there’s no point, You’ll be left my employees can speak their mind when it comes to there with your talent and barely any revenue. ideas for the business, you can’t be the CEO and dictates every idea, it simply doesn’t work. Comfort, in terms if What is the biggest mistake you’ve made as an entredressing is also key, I encourage my employees to dress preneur? as they please to the office, I believe that’s having one As cliché as it sounds, there are no mistakes in business less thing to think about as they deliver effectively, learnt only lessons learnt, that’s if you don’t give up. A s long as that from Steve Jobs. I’ve seen so many of my friends you know your market, you are strategic, you work hard who feel the pressure of dressing a certain type of way and deliver to your clients you will do good. as they head to the office, that’s not what I wanted at all. I encourage employees to be themselves therefore talent What has been your greatest moment of success? and creativity is retained. Only exception is events and This will sound weird, but when I stopped being important meetings. employed and got the courage to fully concentrate on my company. It was one of the best things to ever How did you build a consumer culture around your happen to me, it was the beginning of a success story. It product* you mean service? *? didn’t feel like that at first, but now I understand fully. BeAfrika Page| 41
How do you approach marketing your business? I wont say its one particular thing because it’s a series of things. However, social media is my strongest form of marketing. Its done so much for me as an entrepreneur and my business. What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur? This is what I’d tell myself “Beata don’t be too hard on yourself, the stress and the doubt is all part of being an entrepreneur. Your business mind will keep your company going not your creativity. One last thing, learn to not procrastinate, you’ll still have to do the work so just get it over and done with. “ What is the most unpopular opinion you have on entrepreneurship? I don’t believe in investors/ loans when it comes to my own business. I know so many entrepreneurs might disagree but that’s just what I believe. Page|
What’s the most important thing you’re working on right now, and how are you making it happen? All I can say for now is that at OJWA we are expanding in a big way. It’s a surprise and I shall take a long time to reveal. I’m researching and mastering it first before I let the word out. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? OJWA has expanded in terms of services and the revenue and gross profit has multiplied 7 to 10 times. What kind of person will succeed in this industry? Its not about a “kind of person”, its about being yourself in the industry. So many people want to do things because they’ve seen someone else doing it or have seen another persons’ success or strategies. Guess what? You’ll always be a step behind. You’ll never be ahead of the game. Do what you is true to you and the rest will truly follow. BE AUTHENTIC.
How do you keep up with the changing trends of the industry? Its simple, research. Research in any business should be your number one priority as well as always keeping your clients and customers happy. What are some strategies that you would recommend for making the best use of oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time? Be in competition with yourself and stop worrying about what other people in your industry are doing. You are wasting time instead of building yourself and making your own brand. Be your own competition, set our own lane and procrastination is the devil truly, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t give in.
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Discovered Fransisca Ndinda
AGE: 22 OCCUPATION: Upcoming Filmmaker How did you get into film? I started film when I was young. I started off as an actress then I became a film maker. You also have an interest in Radio, how did you get into that as well? Initially I was not very interested in radio but with my increased confidence and exposure, I now believe that I have interesting content to captivate different audiences. This I believe can help me thrive in radio as well. What difference do you see in yourself from the film time you were on a set to now The difference is that I have improved and learnt more and I am now ready to be a part of any film set both locally and regionally and perform well. What is your creative process? First I conduct extensive research. After that, I write the concept for the project, bearing in mind the timeline, resources available and budget. I also believe in strong partnerships so I get in touch with potential partners who I can collaborate with. What has been your greatest challenge? My greatest challenge has been the fact that I have to hire equipment when I get jobs. Equipment costs in Kenya are very high so very few of us can afford to purchase. Do you feel like the Kenyan Entertainment Industry is a sustainable career? It is a sustainable career especially since there are so many channels and platforms to broadcast/air our content. The fact that social media has grown tremendously also provides us with avenues to create and market our content.
What kind of support do you feel the government needs to give to grow the film industry? The support that I would need the government to provide fund for youth in the creative/film industry, scrap taxes on film equipment and provide both international and local film marketing exposures. What would make the Kenyan industry unique? How do we create our own brand and identity? First, we as Kenyans need to tell our own stories. This will help us create our own brand and create some level of unity among us. Support in the industry is also key. Not just working with the big names but also mentoring the upcoming talent from youth in the industry will go a long way in establishing our own identity. Tell us 3 people who inspire you? How do you hope to be an inspira-
tion to those that will come after you? David Kariuki Boniface Mwangi Doreen Adhiambo I hope to inspire people by showing them nothing in this life comes easy and hard work paysa lot plus I plan to open a media school to harness the talent in my community and mentor particularly the youth. What makes you unique? The fact that I am my own person with values and principles. Also the fact that I am a go-getter and I am not afraid to work hard or go the extra mile to achieve my goals.
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The Reel Marcelina Mbatha
Tell us about yourself? I am Marcelina Mbatha. I live in Mukuru. I’m the fast born in a family of three. People in your field that you admire? Betty Bayo Jackline Agwanda Doreen Adhiambo My mother How do you incorporate creativity in your free time? I use my time in creating unique or creative items through fabric material I come across and capturing the end products through photography. What artists, bloggers and photographers do you admire? Size 8 Wadadisi Dotcliq creation (photographer) Dj mo Daddy owen Avril Octopizo Page|
Matheka(photographer) In every photoshoot there is a collaboration that has to happen with the photographer, stylist, makeup artist and model; do you feel that it’s important? This is indeed important as each person plays a significant role. If one party slacks off or doesn’t take their role seriously, the shoot will not be a success. Tell me about something you’ve created. Earrings Bangles African inspired jewellery using fabric How do you keep up with industry trends? I. Taking advantage of industry research and trends. II. By using different tools and analytics systems to identify the direction trends and headings. III. Subscribing to journals IV. Keep up with consumer magazines V. Browsing websites and blogs VI. Reading newspapers and news sites VII. Listening to/watch tv and videos on youtube
What is the biggest creative challenge you have faced in your career? I. Capital to get the materials II. Discrimination in the industry as girls from informal settlements are hardly given the platform to air their voices or mingle with the known people in the industry. 9. What are some of the projects youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re working on right now? I. Opening up a fashion cloth line and a photo studio How do you respond to criticism? By avoiding negative responds from people and believing we are all the same through the eyes of God. Also by believing no one is perfect 11. What makes you unique? I. I am hardworking II. Time conscious III. Determined IV. Good in communication What would you say to youth who want to be in your industry? I. To be determined and look up for a mentor who also did the same course to help. II. Be hard on yourself in terms of delivery. III. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t fall into the traps of clients who might solicit you and make you compromise your values. IV. Visual learning never stops. Be observant. It is a big world. V. As photographer ,the Image should always come first
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Afro Lense AGGERY OJIAMBO PHOTOGRAPHER I am a 29 year old Photographer based in Nairobi Kenya. been shooting professionally for 4 years. My area of focus is fashion and beauty editorials and also commercial photography.
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FILM CULTURE IN AFRICA. one of the biggest and most effective Wote. The 2017 film, directed by way of passing a message across or Kenyan-German Katja Benrath is By Tony Ngige. Unless you have been living under a rock for the past decade or so, it is quite evident that visual art is the future and as a matter of fact, the future is here. With the attention span of the average human being having reduced significantly over the past few years, visual representation of information through media such as film is at its most beneficial point. With the world taking on film as Page|
even spearheading change in society, Africa has not been left behind. In fact, Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s film industry is growing sporadically and if we maintain the status quo, we will quickly and most definitely conquer the said industry. In Africa, Kenya is at the forefront of the film-making culture having recently been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film at the 90th Oscar Awards early 2018, for the short film Watu
based on a true story that depicts the Al- Shabaab militia bus attack on Muslim and Christian passengers in Mandera in December 2015. The film goes a long way in addressing the consequential unrest that arises in Kenya from the militia group attacks in the country.This, however, was not Kenyaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first award-winning production to be released on an international platform. In 2016, Kenyan director Mbithi Masya
released a drama film, KatiKati, that gained significant acclaim having won the Prize of the International Federation of Film Critics at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. KatiKati follows the life, or in this case the after-life of Kaleche, a lady who finds herself in purgatory assimilated to her by a ghost. Definitely a mustwatch! A little while ago, Nairobi Halflife, one of Kenya’s most recognized films was released and it quickly set the country’s film industry on an international level. The film showcases the life of a young, aspiring
“Africa has not been left behind. In fact, Africa’s film industry is growing sporadically and if we maintain the status quo, we will quickly and most definitely conquer the said industry” actor from an upcountry region with big dreams in his pursuit of success in the big city, Nairobi. Directed by David ‘Tosh’ Gitonga, the film spearheaded the film culture of the country by being one of the most relatable productions to date. Most recently, the talk of the town has been the film Supa Modo which is a story about a terminally ill girl whose desire to become a superhero amidst her condition inspires the society around her to rally together and make her dreams come true. The film was directed by Likarion Wainaina who has previously produced the popular show Auntie Boss, awardwinning Bait and Kidnapped. The film was recently recognized at the Berlin International Film Festival held in February, 2018. It is clear that we are making great strides in the film-making industry. However, it has not been an easy road. Facing stereotypes such as films requiring a colonial point of
view in order to be considered award-worthy has been a challenge especially in the west. Moreover, African films are only considered as crafts and only ever make it to a small-scale level in comparison to productions from Hollywood for example. Despite all this, the future is bright
and with a little more effort and support from the film lovers and audiences, no one can say how much success we gain as Africa.
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T What trends
graphic will be big
design in 2018?
The Creative Blog, took stock of the current graphic design trends by asking some of the leading designers and studio head to identify the biggest movements of 2017 and what they think will be in trend this year. 1. The ‘Little Big Idea’ 2017 design theme was big impact with simple ideas, executed with intelligence and insight to create real, radical impact. It’s predicted that in 2018, elegant logic will be the only way to cut through, if it is as chaotic, channel-hopping and crazy as 2017 was. 2. Braver Colours 2017 can be categorised as a year of colour, with graphic designers making big and bold choices. In an effort to inspire positivity, there has been an influx of bright colours, often with flat graphics and only one or two colours used at any one time. This trend is predicted to hold strong this year, as bright colours help content to stand out from the meme-filled social media. 3. Hyper brand distillation Throughout 2017, design has been getting simpler and yet richer. In a world where user experience is king, complex brand systems get in the way of the content. Function overrides superfluous design details, and every brand asset needs to earn its place. So brands are striving to streamline their core assets, but looking to pack more meaning and distinctiveness into each element. This often starts with the name. 4. Flat Graphics in Packaging Packaging design has made a move towards simplicity in 2017. Simplicity through the use of flat graphics Page|
can be seen across all packaging categories. This does not necessarily mean minimalism but instead a stripping back of layers, detailing, text and tone to hone in on the core information and graphics. These are then treated in a simple, deconstructed manner. Featuring just the core information and intriguing illustrations, the contrast of its simplicity with the complexity of its competitors’ designs has ensured both distinctiveness and standout.
ly big in 2017, and the rise of black and white lettering is not surprising. The personal touch that they provide to branding and marketing is undeniable. In a world ever-more dominated by screens, there is just something appealing about the hand-drawn that resonates with many. There is a movement away from the very technical and a return to an artisan approach, which is seen across everything. There has also been a move away from polished photography to more gritty, real-world photographs. This may all stems from the Millennial generation looking for design that has a bit more integrity, and the manifestation of physical art in graphic design has really struck a chord.
5. 3D Modelling in Typography 3D modelling is the new frontier of graphic design. This has especially been seen in type design, but also in pattern generation. A potential future trend, One-colour 3D design is growing in popularity. There has been more and more product marketing that uses the same bold background colour as the featured product itself: the product leaps off the screen thanks to the volume created by the 3D techniques. 6. Hand-drawn Elements Continue Hand-drawn images have been particularBeAfrika Page| 57
Creative Cities ASWAN EGYPT
Flowing through the golden desert and around emerald islands, the Nile forms the lifeline of the city of Aswan and its unique archipelago. In Ancient Egypt, Aswan, known as “Sono” meaning “the market”, was a commercial center for convoys going to and from Nubia. Aswan was also known as the Land of Gold, given its treasured history as a cemetery for the Nubian kings who had presided over the city over thousands of years. Aswan has remarkable heritage in crafts and folk arts, creative exchange, arts education, and civil engagement. Its traditional crafts include beadwork, tablecloth production, palm branch and leaf creations, as well as clay and needle-work products. Folk traditions and customs in clothing and jewelry are present at local ceremonies such as weddings, Page|
funerals and other important events. Aswan is celebrated for its more than 50 traditional folk dances that are still part of the local culture today, thanks to initiatives such as the Aswan Folk Troupe comprised of dancers and musicians who perform around the country. To preserve and maintain these long-lasting traditions in crafts and folk arts, Aswan also has several institutions such as the Aswan Museum and the Nubia Museum, which houses an anthropology department focusing on the preservation of the folk arts from Aswan. The city also organizes numerous events celebrating the local culture drawing artists from around the world, such as the International Symposium of Sculpture which focuses on reviving the Egyptian art of carving on the hard stone of Aswan.
Aswanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s museums, International Symposium of Sculpture and the Aswan Folk Troupe are illustrations of the local communityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s efforts to support sustainable development, mutual understanding and the fight against poverty and illiteracy though culture and creativity.
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