Mark Kaigwa

Posts Tagged ‘East Africa’

“What it takes to run a tech startup in Nairobi” – GotIssuez on Appfrica [Podcast]

In Happenings on June 15, 2010 at 12:44 pm

The blogging silence…Yeesh, don’t get me started on the catching up I’m left to do.

Meanwhile, I’ve retreated to a middle ground in between “Real blogging” and microblogging. All thanks to Posterous. So you’ll catch a lot of my travels there or better yet, you can keep up with the Lifestream (My del.icio.us bookmarks, tweets AND Posterous posts)

Anyway, don’t you mind there’s a plan to quell the silence. I’ve been in South Africa the past couple of weeks giving some guest-lectures thanks to Dave Duarte at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business for their Nomadic Marketing Class then doing some work with King James & Plus One in Cape Town and now in freezing cold Johannesburg soaking up perspective with Thunk! Lab and picking up tips from the Presentation Rock Gods at Missing Link (sign up for the newsletter by the way. Absolutely amazing)

Also did some cool stuff with Chris Rawlinson and Dido Wines for their Mzansi Wine Tour (coming soon) on Foursquare. (In other Foursquare news, Marvin from SocialightMedia’s got a cool post about Foursquare which I inadvertently starred in)

image

Back to what this post is about, then! I met Jon Gosier of Appfrica over at the iHub a while back and we had a chat on GotIssuez, a startup I’m part of and I gave him my perspective on startups in East Africa, what innovation labs like the iHub and incubation labs like the NaiLab mean to a startup like us and what some challenges are as well as a couple of my thoughts on the future for startups in Nairobi.

Here’s the little excerpt:

 

 

Appfricast 20 – The Consumerist

Mark Kaigwa is the co-founder of a startup that crowdsources consumer complaints to encourage engagement and action from the companies and brands they’re about. You might call it the GetSatisfaction of Kenya. He and I had a chat at the iHub launch in Kenya about entrepreneurship, the importance of co-founders, and following your vision. Download the Podcast | Subscribe on RSS

Oh, and it’s probably worth saying here as well. Dawa, the short film I wrote & directed last year will make it’s African debut at the Durban International Film Festival according to a little birdie…

Advertisements

“Makmende Returns” – Hilarious new Just A Band Video

In Film on March 17, 2010 at 7:56 am

This had me laughing hysterically. A must watch. A must share.

The new Just A Band video. Directed by Jim Chuchu and Mbithi Masya

Starring Kevin “K1” Maina, Patricia Kihoro, Mbithi Masya, Kibugi Wamae, Mugambi Nthiga, Renee Sewe, Kwame Oddenyo, PA Okaalet, Kevin “K2” Maina, Moses Wataka, Lucille Kahara and Diana Nduba.

It’s the song “Ha-He” from their 2nd Album 82 – Just A Band – An Experimental Boy Band.

Pamoja Mtaani Wins Award + Features at Games for Health 2009

In Happenings on November 27, 2009 at 12:36 pm

This post is long overdue, but earlier this year, Pamoja Mtaani – a videogame I co-wrote and consulted on for Warner Bros was awarded the Global Business Coalition‘s Core Competence Business Excellence Award. The excerpt is below.

Congratulations to Award-Winning”PAMOJA MTAANI” (”Together in the Hood”), Behavior Change Video Game

The “PAMOJA MTAANI” (”Together in the Hood”), Behavior Change Video Game, created by Warner Bros, won the Global Business Coalition’s Business Excellence Award.

As a key component of the Partnership for an HIV-Free Generation, this open world five player LAN-Based PC game educates youth in Kenya.

The Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria honored Warner Bros. Entertainment with the Core Competence Business Excellence Award for the video game “Pamoja Mtaani” (”Together in the Hood”) at the GBC Business Excellence Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C. “Pamoja Mtaani”, Swahili for “Together in the Hood”, is an open world, five player LAN-based PC video game created by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment in collaboration with technical experts within the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and noted serious games developer, Virtual Heroes, Inc.

Warner Bros. Entertainment, in partnership with PEPFAR, applied its core competence to develop an action-based videogame pilot that is delivering targeted HIV prevention messages to East African youths. The videogame combines traditional gameplay with messages aimed at changing behavior, focusing on key behaviors that can reduce HIV infections among youth. The game development is part of The Partnership for an HIV-Free Generation, a  public-private collaboration among PEPFAR and businesses with critical core competencies such as messaging, new technologies and market research.

The “Pamoja Mtaani” videogame can be played at select youth venues in Nairobi, which are an integral component of this new initiative to revolutionize HIV prevention. The game, intended to engage youth through fun interaction, is designed to help influence HIV risk perceptions, attitudes and behaviors among young people in Nairobi.

Pamoja Mtaani also featured at Games for Health 2009. Below is the presentation that Producer, Kirsten Gavoni, gave some details on what it was like making the videogame (It was Warner Bros. first such project in Africa)

Pamoja Mtaani is available to play at three centres in Nairobi right now, two centres in the Mukuru slum and the National Youth Service along Thika Road. I’d suggest you go play it.

World Cyber Games Kenya Team is here!

In Perspective on October 26, 2009 at 9:22 pm

So, if you’ve been keeping up with things on the Ukwelii Blog, a couple weeks ago, I told you about the WCG Kenya Team Finals happening at the Village Market.

They went down, and we’re pretty successful. For those who were unable to make it, and those who want to cheer the Kenya team, they leave in around 2 weeks for China to represent Kenya at the World Cyber Games.

There’s an official website for Kenya and Facebook group now so you can keep up with all the action.

It was sponsored by D Link, Mecer, The Village Market, and the awesome guys behind The Lwanda Magere Comic,

Don’t forget to check out the video below for all the action from the Village Market.

The event was the first of its kind and is called the NexGen Gaming Tournament.

Seems gaming’s taking good footing in Kenya, I wish Erix, Nathan, Deen and the gang all the best.

WaKenya eeeeeh!!!! WaKenya aaaaaahhhh!!!!

Go Kenya.

Wonder if they’ve got a name – like Shujaa – 7’s team, Chipu – short for Chipukizi – under 20 7’s Rugby team… WCG Gaming Team – Chezo? I don’t know 🙂

The Dance for Wives by Paul Ekuru

In Film on October 5, 2009 at 11:00 pm

As part of a series of posts on African FilmmakingUkwelii and The Eumagine Factory will be looking at East African Film in the region both those that have been in circulation for a while, and some new content in the region.

Eumagine is doing some great things including the amazing concept for EumagineTV (I found out about them via Twitter) and whatever insight I can lend towards shining a bit of light on the East African Filmmaking industry, I’d be glad to.

In this first instalment of the series, we look at Paul Ekuru’s trailer for his short film The Dance for Wives – who you can fan on Facebook here. Paul Ekuru’s a good friend of mine and a director I respect. He came out of the Maisha Film Lab with this screenplay and got it to shootable and actually shot it. He attended the Maisha Film Lab at the Kenya International Film Festival (I was another one of the participants) and his screenplay was selected from 8 screenplays.

Shooting, he was respectful to all cast and crew and went well out of his way to make sure everyone and everything was well taken care of. A mark of character that will definitely see him succeed in this industry, I believe.

He’s since had the film screened at the Zanzibar International Film Festival and was nominated for two Kalasha Award for Best Short Film (That award went to Judy Kibinge for her short film The Killer Necklace) and for Best Leading Actress – Karen ‘Kaz’ Lucas.

The Poster for the Nairobi premiere which was at Alliance Francaise. And the Cast and Crew in attendance getting recognised for their efforts in putting the film together. From Right to Left: My apologies for not getting all the names during the event. (Sound Guy/Jack of all Trades, Actor (Melvin Alusa), Actress (Mumbi Kaigwa),  Props and Costumes (Bernadette Otieno), Writer/Director (Paul Ekuru) and their Director of Photography)

 

And what you’ve been waiting for…The Trailer.

Any thoughts on the film? How about on Kenyan Film/African Film in General. I’d like to know.

The African Filmmaking Diaries: Episode 0

In Film, Happenings, Perspective on September 25, 2009 at 9:21 pm

I had the privilege of attending the Maisha Filmmaking Lab this summer, and the experience was eye-opening, tiring, exhilarating and very rewarding. I went in with a half-baked script (In retrospect, only God knows how it got selected) and I came out with a short film that I’m proud to have my name on.

I learnt a whole lot, and I felt it only fair to share my experiences from Maisha on:

  • Writing – From a concept to a screenplay.
  • Rewriting – The unmistakable process that makes screenwriting what it is.
  • Pitching – The 15 Minute pitch to direct film as experienced by me 🙂
  • Pre-production – Casting, Reccies and Planning, Planning and some more Planning.
  • Directing – From making short lists to your Shot List. Working with Actors, etc.
  • Editing – Make room for the cutting room.

Now, I am by no means an expert on any of these things, nor do I claim to be, but I want to share my experience and hope it will inspire or teach something to someone. I will be doing this all from the perspective of Dawa, my short film.

Along with my film, I’ll also showcase a couple Kenyan and East African Films that you ought to have a  look at. Some in post-production, some that have been released and some that are ongoing projects. I’ll include videos and hopefully examples that can help inspire and encourage you to do capture light and do something with it. 🙂

Hope you enjoy the ride over the next couple of blog posts…

Sit tight for the African Filmmaking Diaries!