Africa. Tumefika.


It took Michelangelo 4 years to paint the ceiling and 6 years to paint the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel..” –

It’s taxing to actually finish an important project at a set timeframe. It is the ‘malaria’ of many designers. For a specific time and date to be earmarked as the completion deadline for a masterpiece, I think, this is utterly a ridiculous venture.

Ideas should marinate… And most-times they take a while to actually morph and become the awesome works that they were envisioned to be. It shouldn’t be rushed.

 So is my project. It is morphing too, and as much as I find the back and forth hectically annoying, it is imperative that whatever the end product will be, it should be one that has a rich milestone and one that il take pride in once its complete. :)

Well, today I am inspired by just a simple message I bumped into about Locolize (I happened to google it)… Let me gloat a bit But do I say, that’s my first hit of unsolicited publicity. Despite the typos and all, I’m doing cartwheels.

Well, the gloating has impacted me in two ways. One, is that here is someone who doesn’t even know me nor how far not-gone my project is, and is commenting about it with vibrant optimism and good tidings.

Secondly and most importantly, what Anna B. Scott @doctoradancer is unconsciously saying is that yes, ‘Indeed it is Africa’s time. Give Her a shot, let’s hear what she has to say.’

I honestly jumped onto that school of thought, because it gives me pleasure that her comment lit a spark, and sparks can inspire great things. And these are my great inspiration!

The growing success of African designers in their own right mimics the broader changes taking place in the continent as a whole. Trends mouthpieces say that even the West are throwing an eye at our cultural ques and rationally or irrationally adopting them into their designs, just to lay claim to African authentic influence. Kikoi. Maasai beadwork. Kitenge. Turban. Dreadlocks. Safari. Afro mohawks. Swahili… Na kadhalika.

I feel privileged to be born in this era, an era when we are at the precipice of our emancipation into being the center of global focus. A new Africa is emerging, increasingly prosperous (look at the eyeballs on the oil prospects in EA), which is shaking off the images of poverty, famine and war that had previously dominated the continent’s coverage.

Today, people are looking at us as a continent that is vibrant, creative, and most of all, neo-modern.

Recent years have seen an increasingly vocal crop of fresh young talent arrive on the creative global scene, proud of their African roots and savvy about today’s opportunities. I’m talking of people like Chimamanda, Gado, Patrick Gathara, CampMulla, Eric Omondi, NairobiHalfLife, P-Unit, Ikal Angelei, Julie Wang’ombe  & Sonko. These group of people/projects attest to this as true icons of Africa’s innovative progress.

Moreover, improvements in governance (A hail Mary for the *Election Petition outcome to be peaceful), to flourishing real-estate and economic stability, to better access to technologies like mobile phones and e-tail stores, Africa and indeed Kenya is reveling in its increased prosperity.

With this fortune has come a newfound confidence, a growing pride to be African. Content being created is more than ever going ‘back to the roots’ and heralding our ethos as being black, bold and beautiful. Ghafla! Propertyleo. Tujuane. MulikaMwizi. Koroga. #someonetellCNN (that was cheeky); all these are authentic Kenyan content. As we embrace local, we are becoming globally recognized. Makofi :)

My hope and prayer is that Africa’s new potential grows. Blessing that for years to come, the energy of her people to continue bolstering and propel us to great heights as who knows, we might just be the next super power after China’s eminent reign!