IN DEPTH WITH THE BIG EYED BEE

Published on: Nov 22, 2019

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 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. I’ll 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.

How do you facilitate a positive work environment that attracts and retains talent?
I believe in two things, ideas and comfort. I like when my employees can speak their mind when it comes to ideas for the business, you can’t be the CEO and dictates every idea, it simply doesn’t work. Comfort, in terms if dressing is also key, I encourage my employees to dress as they please to the office, I believe that’s having one less thing to think about as they deliver effectively, learnt that from Steve Jobs. I’ve seen so many of my friends who feel the pressure of dressing a certain type of way as they head to the office, that’s not what I wanted at all.

I encourage employees to be themselves therefore talent and creativity is retained. Only exception is events and
important meetings.

What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business’ success?
Ability to think more like an entrepreneur rather than a creative. Entrepreneurship keeps a business alive, you
can be the best in your field but if you’re not strategic or are looking to expand there’s no point, You’ll be left
there with your talent and barely any revenue.

What is the biggest mistake you’ve made as an entrepreneur?
As cliché as it sounds, there are no mistakes in business only lessons learnt, that’s if you don’t give up. A s long as
you know your market, you are strategic, you work hard and deliver to your clients you will do good.

What has been your greatest moment of success?
This will sound weird, but when I stopped being employed and got the courage to fully concentrate on my company. It was one of the best things to ever happen to me, it was the beginning of a success story. It didn’t feel like that at first, but now I understand fully.

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.

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 one’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, don’t give in.

 

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MAKE UP BY BILHA

Published on: Nov 20, 2019

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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JOAN KAVIKI’S LOVE FOR ART

Published on: Nov 19, 2019

My love for the arts begun at a very tender age and has since then only grown and my passion drives me to achieve what I thought I never would. I started drawing while in Primary school and later on began studying art in High School.

I am currently pursuing Bachelor of Arts (Design) at the University of Nairobi. Over the years my style has grown and evolved alike. I enjoy using different media to create my compositions and 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 had two successful exhibitions alongside other artists and would like to hold more in the near future. I
sometimes find that I can express myself better with my pieces rather than words or any other kind of  medium. Art for me is so much more than just a talent or a hobby and I have learned to center my life around it.

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WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE FEATURED?

Published on: Nov 18, 2019

Hey guys,

We are here to help creatives get visibility for the work as well as their skills and talent.

If you are yet to create a Creative Professional Account on Creative List, please do so.

We are opening a ‘self-service’ Q&A. Follow the links below and fill in the responses. Please don’t forget to attach the images as specified.

Creative Business

ART

Fashion & Beauty

Performing Arts

Photography

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Creative Organization Feature: The Music in Africa Foundation

Published on: Nov 11, 2019

 

The Music in Africa Foundation was born from a music conference in Johannesburg that was organized by the Goethe-Institut in partnership with Siemens Stiftung, where a dynamic group of music professionals from across Africa dis­cussed and developed a basic idea of a music information portal. Though formed in Kenya, it is legally registered as a non-profit organization in South Africa. The foundation’s objective is to provide reliable and useful information that pro­motes the African music sector and its operators; connect and promoting exchange between mu­sic operators from, or related to, Africa and its diasporas; promote and encourage the creation of content by Africans, about Africa or related to Africa and its diasporas; improve the distribution, accessibility and viability of such content; pro­mote the spirit of entrepreneurship among the African music sector; enhance music education; facilitate and promote, through research, devel­opment and education, the use by professionals and audiences of current and future technolo­gies; and provide one single and viable access point for all of the above that links existing initia­tives, services and resources.

In carrying out these objectives the Music In Af­rica Foundation aims: to create a website or oth­er online medium to serve as a portal for infor­mation collection and dissemination; to facilitate the discovery of existing music in Africa by en­abling users to listen to it at its portals; to act as a platform for interaction and sharing of reliable information about the African music sector; to organise seminars, workshops and other events aimed at the African music sector; to commis­sion relevant research in relation to the African music sector; to support the African music sec­tor through capacity building and education; and to conduct advocacy aimed at protecting the in­terests of musicians through, but not limited to, awareness campaigns and lobbying in the area of intellectual property right protection.

Music in Africa is an information and exchange web portal dedicated to the African music sec­tor. The portal responds to the need for reliable information and networking between music pro­fessionals in Africa. It also aims to contribute towards improved collaboration among artists on an international level, as well as to enhance awareness of African music scenes. The portal’s use is to: enhance your knowledge of the African music sector; find music operators and service provid­ers from across the continent; profile yourself or your business and promote your work seamlessly; share your information about the sector, discover and listen to African music; access practical tools; and collabo­rate and help build a reliable information resource.

The portal comprises five main content sections: a Directory section where you can find and connect with professionals who operate in the sector, includ­ing musicians, institutions, record labels etc; a Maga­zine section featuring dynamic content such as news, overviews of African music scenes, feature articles, reviews etc; an Education section (dedicated for edu­cational content); a Resource section where one can read and learn more; and a Music Discovery tool that allows users to discover and listen to African music.

Besides the portal, the foundation also runs several projects in support of African Music. A fine example is the Music In Africa Connects- Artist Mobility Pro­gramme launched in recently that provides touring support to African artists. The September 2017 par­ticipants where artists from African countries affected by conflict, to undertake live music performances and collaborations. The participating countries were Su­dan, South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria (Northern), Chad, Mali and Niger. The mobility programme is made pos­sible with support from Siemens Foundation and the German Federal Foreign Office.

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Giving Back: The Octopizzo Foundation

Published on: Nov 08, 2019

 

Empowering underprivileged young people in our society to realize their potential is Octopizzo Foundation’s lifelong ambition. There is a wealth of artistic talent and potential residing in slums, refugee camps and other settlements across the country, where millions struggle to survive every day on the margins of society.
OF believes in untying young people from the shackles of desperation through the uniting ingredients of Creativity, Art, Music and Sports.
We all know that humanity has no boundaries; that being born poor or becoming poor does not make one less human. Though man has drawn lines that seem to separate us by race, nationality or social class, fundamentally we are all the same. People marginalized in slums and refugee camps have aspirations too.
OF aspires to give wings to young people who exist on the margins of society. We support them to recognize the richness that resides in them, and then nurture their transformation towards realizing their potential.

Octopizzo is a Kenyan hip hop artist who has won several national and international awards. He has served as a Youth Ambassador for Film Aid International, the British Council and is currently supporting UNHCR Kenya with a dynamic youth project dubbed “Artistes for Refugees”. He has been involved in a variety of philanthropic and community based projects with children, women and youth since 2010. Although his first love is music, he is equally passionate about projects that focus on capacity building and community participation. His music centers on success, believing in oneself and resonates with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds.
Octopizzo believes that everything is possible. He is a living testament of that fact as he was born in a mud house in arguably the largest slum in the world. He can attest to the countless challenges that life in such informal settlements face. He believed in himself and his ability to make a difference not only for himself but for his community.

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Meet Gerald Langiri, Award winning Kenyan Actor and Casting Director

Published on: Nov 07, 2019

 

Gerald Langiri is an award winning Kenyan actor and casting director. He is well known for the movies House of Lungula where he played the role of Harrison, a role which saw him get nominated for Best lead actor in a film at the Kalasha Film and Television Awards 2014. His role as Joseph in the film Fundimentals also saw him get a nomination in the best actor in a comedy film/TV at the Africa Magic Viewers Choice awards 2015. He is also a blogger and TV host on #TalkCentral with Kalekye Mumo airing on K24.

His role as Nicodemus in the TV series Stay saw Gerald bag the “best supporting actor in a TV series” at the Kalasha Film and Television Awards 2014. His other roles as Don on Mali, Mr Araka Smart on Papa Shirandula, Police Commissioner on Santalal just to mention but a few, has positioned Gerald as one of the most sought after most talented actors in Kenya.

Gerald Langiri is the founder and administrator of www.actors.co.ke a blog whose focus is the Kenyan acting industry at large, giving news and information about the industry while providing opportunities to actors joining the acting scene. The blog has been nominated twice at the Kenyan blog awards and won best niche market blog at the African blogger awards and Gerald winning the best Film blogger at the Africa Film Development Awards 2014. That blog also assisted Gerald establish himself as a Casting Director and is known for casting movies like VEVE, Going Bongo, Selina and several series and TV commercials.

People in your field that you admire?

Ken Ambani and Raymond Ofula. For me to have a career in the acting profession and not to only excel but to last as long as they have is something to applaud.

How do you incorporate creativity in your free time?

Binge-watch as much as I can and watch movies. I am a lover of film.

What artists, bloggers and photographers do you admire?

Photographers: Emmanuel Jambo’s photography is great.

Bloggers: I read a lot of Biko Zulu and Charles Chanchori articles

Artists: Any artist worth pursuing the arts in Kenya deserves admiration. Really hard to name just a few in a pool of gazzilions.

Tell me about something you’ve created.

I recently acted, produced and directed an online youtube edgy comedy series called “Shit Happens” . Check it out. The response was amazing. It even got nominated for the RoldaWeb Fest in Colombia

How do you keep up with industry trends?

Read as much as I can and being in creative spaces to find out whats new where.

What is the biggest creative challenge you have faced in your career?

Fighting with that inner voice that tells you to quit is a daily struggle and challenge.

What are some of the projects you’re working on right now?

About to release a new film Titled “too sweet” that tells the story of Jim (played by me) who is diabetic. See the trailer on my youtube channel.

How do you respond to criticism?

Film is a subjective field. The aims are myriad: to move, to empower, to entertain, to offend, to share… accomplishing any of these goals demands getting one’s hands a bit dirty. I can’t win them all. In my opinion, you shouldn’t win them all. So I take criticism as exactly that.

What makes you unique?

My background is a little different from others in the field, which gives me a unique perspective that has allowed me to see solutions that are creative and resourceful. For example I am the founder of www.actors.co.ke a blog whose focus is the Kenyan acting industry at large, giving news and information about the industry while providing opportunities to actors joining the acting scene.

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

Join it if you really can’t see yourself doing anything else because if you can, then do that other thing. The industry is cut throat and not for the faint hearted. However, once you excel in it, there is nothing more fulfilling.

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Giving a Creative Voice To Gender Violence

Published on: Nov 06, 2019

 

Gender/Domestic Violence is a reality in our homes today and most of these cases go unreported hence perpetrators repeatedly abuse the victims until such a time it becomes fatal. Everyone’s wish is to be raised in a non-abusive, loving home but not all of us get such a chance. Physical, mental and psychological torture has an adverse effect in the growth of a child or a family in general.
This is the issue we wanted to highlight when we teamed up with Kate Waititu of Kanai Beauties to create a series of images for the Gender Violence Recovery Centre (GVRC) which is a non-profit making, non-partisan; charitable trust of the Nairobi Women’s Hospital (NWH).
GVRC’s main purpose is to bring back meaning to survivor’s lives and their families where they do this through the provision of FREE medical treatment and psychosocial support to survivors of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and engaging the public in advocacy issues and primary prevention of abuse.
Thank you Irene of Farm Houz for the perfect location and giving us the space to execute our ideas.

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PRODUCTION CREDITS;
Peter Pekat- Producer
Beata Otieno (Ojwa Styling)- Stylist
Kate Waititu (Kanai Beauties) – Makeup Artist
Betty Mukiri – Makeup Assistant
Gonzanga Gonza- Guest Assistant
Pro Tisa – Props
Location: Farm Houz, Muguga

TALENTS:
Loise Mathini,
David Nganga
Cresenciah Wanjiku
Sandra Muthoni

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GTBank Art635 Gallery

Published on: Nov 05, 2019

Most budding indigenous artists across Africa have little or nowhere to showcase their works and make a living from them: This is where GTBank steps in with Art635. Art is one of the four pillars of GTBank’s Corporate Social Responsibility policy and Art635 is the latest of the bank’s sustained efforts to promote African arts locally and internationally and drive the growth and development of the local art industry.

ART635 is a virtual gallery, pro­fessionally curated and is free and open to all artists in Africa to exhibit their work. Launched in Nigeria by GTBank, Art635 aims to further its support or African arts by helping Af­rican artworks become not just more visible and appreciated, but also to turn them into a much more profit­able and commercially viable venture for indigenous artists. It is a foremost online repository of African artworks and is set to serve as a leading plat­form for the promotion of indigenous artists across the continent.

The gallery is set to drastically ex­pand the exposure of artists, provide an enabling platform for the mar­keting of their works and serve as a much needed motivation for the further development of their artistic skills and talents. This falls in line with the Bank’s initiative to go be­yond the traditional understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility as corporate philanthropy by interven­ing in economic sectors, to strength­en small businesses through capacity building initiatives that serve to boost their expertise, exposure and business growth.

GTBank has consistently played a leading role in Africa’s banking industry. The Bank is regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run financial institutions across its subsidiary countries and serves as a role model within the financial service industry due to its bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality and innovation.

Mr Segun Agbaje, the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, said; “At GTBank we see art as an avenue for unlocking people’s creative potential and by creating ART635 we aim to expand the opportunities for art education as well as broaden the reach and viewership of the works of indigenous artists. Although African art goes back several centuries, the art industry in the continent is still young and largely untapped and we hope that with ART635 we can drive its evolution into a lucrative and vibrant economic sector.”

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Creative City: Cape Town, South Africa

Published on: Nov 04, 2019

 

Cape Town- Design Indaba, A better world through creativity.

“Cape Town has many challenges but with that comes opportunities to bridge the divide while using creativity as a tool to create a better world.”

This was the sentiment put forth by the Design Indaba team when Cape Town was chosen as the first city in Africa to be named a UNESCO City of Design.

Launched in 2004, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network aims to foster international cooperation with and between cities committed to investing in creativity as a driver for sustainable urban development, social inclusion and cultural vibrancy.

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network now counts a total of 180 cities in 72 countries. Cape Town joins a group of 31 UNESCO

Cities of Design across the world.

“As an organisation that believes in the power of creativity to unlock the economic potential of our city, Design Indaba could not think of a better opportunity for the City of Cape Town than to be a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network,” said the Design Indaba team.

“Throughout the 22 years of hosting the biggest design festival in the world right here in Cape Town, we can attest that this is a great city for design.”

For the city, the announcement is an opportunity to recognise that creativity and culture are critical components in shaping Cape Town as a thriving and resilient city.

“Being part of the Network will help create valuable partnerships; coordinate, focus and grow Cape Town’s local design sector; share and create knowledge, grow new markets and have an impact on Cape Town’s ability to achieve inclusive, urban sustainable development,” said the City’s mayor Patricia de Lille.

Within the framework of the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda, the Network provides a platform for cities to demonstrate culture’s role as an enabler for building sustainable cities.

To this aim, Design Indaba is deeply engaged in demonstrating the power of creativity. Most recently, the team launched the Arch for Arch project, a physical monument dedicated to Archbishop Desmond Tutu on his birthday.

Design Indaba also ran the 10×10 Low Cost Housing project as a blueprint for dignified housing for the poor, and the SONOP project, which showed that a rural school could be taken off the grid to its benefit.

And with #ANOTHERLIGHTUP Design Indaba teamed up with Faith47 and Thingking to combine public art with the potential of crowdfunding to build streetlights in Khayelitsha.

Source http://www.designindaba.com

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