East African creatives keen to seize the day

L-R: Nadia Matovu, Kennedy Odhiambo (Crazy Kennar) and Sheila Kwamboka (Kwambox)

What you need to know:

  • Meta, the company that owns Facebook and Instragram, has identified two Kenyans and one Ugandan for inspiring a new movement of creative content online.

Two Kenyan online creators and a Ugandan influencer are among 10 creatives from Africa that have been identified by Meta in its new campaign dubbed ‘Creators of Tomorrow.’
The campaign celebrates emerging talents from around the world who are inspiring a new movement of creative content online.

Kennedy Odhiambo, alias Crazy Kennar, an award-winning comedian based in Nairobi, Kenya, uses YouTube to entertain his viewers. His content via “Tales of Crazy Kennar” YouTube Channel addresses everyday experiences of young people.
Sheila Kwamboka, alias Kwambox, is a radio presenter who entertains her followers with her dance moves and bubbly personality. She is also a renowned MC and event host. She is the creative director at the talent agency Lightbulb Entertainment Limited in Nairobi.

Nadia Matovu is an influencer, wife and businesswoman based in Kampala. She uses her day-to-day life to create content to inspire her followers.
“When I learnt that I had been selected to be a Meta Creator of Tomorrow ambassador, I was ecstatic!” Ms Matovu told Saturday Monitor, adding, “I’ve been creating content since 2018, so to be working with a company such as Meta that has transformed content platforms with their ever-evolving technologies, is a dream come true for my content creation journey.”

What to expect
Kwambox also told Saturday Monitor that she “was elated” and humbled by the recognition if anything because “Meta is one of the biggest companies in the world.”
Crazy Kennar says his fans should expect pure entertainment, which will “put a smile on their faces, and educate them while standing against depression through Meta platforms.”
The creatives also reckon the experience will be a learning curve, with Ms Matovu saying she expects “to learn more about me as a content creator, what inspires me to create content, and how Meta platforms have enabled my creativity to come to life.”
Kwambox on her part talks about growth and “using this opportunity to reach greater heights in terms of content creation.”
In a statement, Meta said the 10 selected creatives are breaking out among their communities online by showcasing a best-in-class approach to video formats, technology and interactive entertainment.

Meta added that the global campaign will see them work closely with the creators from Europe, the Middle East and Africa to grow their audience and turn their passions into professions across Meta technologies.
African creators have creatively used Meta technologies and apps, Facebook and Instagram to express themselves and tell the African story to their audiences. Using fashion, comedy, food, travel and political commentary, creators from sub-Saharan Africa have increased the recognition of the cultural contribution of the continent over the years. This has in turn improved the continent’s image.

The campaign that spotlights creators from East Africa, Southern Africa and Francophone Africa was launched on September 6. Commenting on the campaign, Moon Baz—the creator partnerships lead for the Middle East, Africa and Turkey, Meta—said: “With this campaign, we aim to highlight creators who are innovating through tools such as Reels and short-form video content formats, as well as those who are leveraging, exploring new content formats such as AR/VR.”
Ms Baz added: “We are excited to work closely with these creators, and we’re committed to helping them grow their audience, build a business and unlock new possibilities for the future as we build for the metaverse.”

Thought processes
Asked how she goes about creating her content, Ms Matovu replied: “The process when I create content varies depending on the type of content (photo or video) I am creating.”
Zooming in on how she creates Instagram reels for her mini-series “Luxurious Uganda”, she added: “…the aim is to capture the aesthetic beauty, experience and ambience of some of my favourite places in Uganda. I start by doing the logistics (choosing a place, date and time to film) as well as getting permission from the establishment to film.”

She proceeded to reveal thus: “I go with my team and we start by filming b-roll footage of the place, then we film me doing various activities at the place. For example, a spa treatment or eating lunch, sounds simple, but the 90 second reels you see on Instagram usually take a day to film and another day to edit.”
Crazy Kennar concurs, adding that their end products usually involve “a process of thinking, scripting, shooting and editing, which is carried out with our creative company Tales of The Crazy Kennar TV, and I as the CEO.” 
Whilst on her part, Kwambox says her thought process is “all natural. Nothing choreographed or rehearsed. I just move when I feel like.”

Asked what motivates him to create comedy that keeps his followers entertained, Crazy Kennar says: “It has been my mission to make people happy. There was an instance [where] I got a message from my fan which read: ‘Today I lost my mum, on seeing this video I laughed so hard. Thank you for lifting my mood.’ Such messages have kept me motivated.”
Ms Matovu described “having my content labelled as inspirational” as “extremely flattering.” She says her thought process around content is “based on my ideas and what I like.”
“Dance is a part of my lifestyle. I do not over think it. I just move. Dance is an expression of my persona,” Kwambox says.

Nature of messages
As to what messages he is passing on in his content, Crazy Kennar, says: “My messages vary with different videos. All my videos mirror what happens in society, which prompts a conversation. I am the societies’ funniest mirror.”
Ms Matovu says the “underrepresentation” of the beauty of Uganda is ultimately what got her creative juices flowing.
“We are a beautiful country, with beautiful places, and through my content, I intend on showing the world the Uganda I know,” she told Saturday Monitor.
“With a positive mindset, everything is possible,” Kwambox says. “My catchphrase is ‘Kapooow,’ which means put your best foot forward.”

The other creators from Africa that have made the cut are Pamela Mtanga (South Africa), Ruth Ronnie (Zambia), Ruvarashe Hapaguti (Zimbabwe), Mishaa (Ivory Coast), Saraï D’Hologne (Ivory Coast), Fatou Jupiter Touré (Senegal), and Ngorbatchev Niang (Senegal).
Meta will be hosting exclusive events across the region to celebrate the Creators of Tomorrow, sharing the latest news, tips as well as tools and resources across Meta technologies. In Kenya, creators featured in the campaign will attend an exclusive brunch consisting of a Reels School. 

other events
Elsewhere, in South Africa more than 50 creators will attend a Creator Day filled with dedicated tailored workshops and training to help them thrive in this evolving digital and creator economy.
In November, the Creators of Tomorrow will get the opportunity to attend the EMEA Creator Week being hosted in London at the iconic Tate Britain for the first time. There, Creators of Tomorrow will be joined by other regional Creators at various stages of their careers to collaborate, learn from each other, and continue to find inspiration in the future of content creation on platforms.