Welcome To Barney’s World (iFUOR)- Part 2


Models wearing IFUOR brand product during a photo shoot exhibition

Models wearing IFUOR brand product during a photo shoot exhibition

For more than 15 years he has hold the dream of one day becoming the best designer the world has ever know, he still hold his dream anywhere he goes, what he breaths, friends he meet and even at his working place, one would eventfully realize how Barney Ogolla has desire and passion for art, craft and culture .
From way back even when he was still a junior person in primary school he was already scaling height with awards in JIK and KIWI TEES, an art and craft competition which were held across the country among primary and lower primary schools. Fashion design therefore can be said to be a deep routed routine for the early30 year old male fashion designer from Nairobi who is also the co founder of IFUOR TSHIRTS brand.
Barney tells me that for his case, fashion is like a form of visual communication that is much loud to be ignored in retrospect; it makes part of our environment, colours that we see around with each person different perception, it also enlightens those who experience it.

Models wearing IFUOR brand product during a photo shoot exhibition

Models wearing IFUOR brand product during a photo shoot exhibition

“I started art way back in my primary school precisely Nairobi schools” he narrates, “I have to say that I was inspired by other units group and specific individuals who were also doing the same, my drawings are however unique since I only used stencils he explains, I also paint”.
But his passion further escalated to high school where he got the main psyched up to venture more into fashion and design.
“I designed our school basketball kit, which was received by my other students and teachers positively, since then I have never looked back and that’s how the journey began and now am currently venturing in IFUOR brand piece “, he further explains.
“I can best explain IFUOR as a redefined one piece of design. Its stands for Live, Life, and Love for once own Roots. It’s a trendy clothing line that incorporates Kenyan culture and creative design fused together to create a fun art piece for all, my design products has also been received positively on the market”, he continues, when I ask him on the market value assessments.

Models wearing IFUOR brand product during a photo shoot exhibition.

Models wearing IFUOR brand product during a photo shoot exhibition.

“People like this design product both genders, the young, old and even the kids since the design cuts and captures both across all on board. It is a simple African piece that any person can easily relate with. The children specifically have a taste for special liking for the pattern used in the clothing line”.
This has continuously enhanced him immensely since his target has extended from the time he started the venture. He tells me that he used to focus a lot on the on the young age of between 18 – 24 years bracket when he started.
“But the growth change has increased since everybody design has been captured on a board in one single unit. I also have plans to extend this reach to much further younger generation tees fit for 3 – 10 years of age bracket. I will therefore have tees for children thus when place together; one is able to get a full family pack with units for kids, brother, sister, mother and father”.
“Am always working to doing more on the brand to reach out to more various age sets of various social background and thus creates an inclusive products that transcends all social – economic classes that makes up our society”.
Barney also has a Bachelors degree in design as a way of understanding it more and developing more efficient skills. He therefore has design skills that vary from fashion, photography; he also has a deep understanding of colour chromo and hue. He further studied vastly in sociology and basics in psychology. This makes him a different and unique designer, who will tend to be subliminal.
“One will just like it out without actually knowing why”, he jokes. Am also lucky to have studied with some of the best designers in the country whom I look up to. They helped me when I`m stuck and with that I`m able to change minds in a more conducive way
He tells me that his main raw material is fabric which he can get in many retail shops around, but however one needs to be very careful since a good design duty is to get variety in texture and colour and match it out with the print to result in an alluring mix of art.
“A good fabric will make bring out a quality product and a good satisfaction to the client”, luckily for me I have a source that has a variety I need to keep creating and satisfying my clients.

Models wearing IFUOR brand product during a photo shoot exhibition.

Models wearing IFUOR brand product during a photo shoot exhibition.

However I could not finish up the interview without asking him which designer he looks upon to, he tells me Chilli Mango products are amazing.
“He has very creative’s old cultural designers that has a great value on the society around, have noticed this since have also rubbed shoulders with him on a number of many occasions. Internationally my credit goes to Dxepectant and Ozwald Boateng both from Britain, they not only have an international recognized platform, their products are also simple, creative and always leave alot to be told”.

By Booker Otieno Chek.

Photoshoot Venue: PAWA254

How to Think about Kenya, Thanks to ‘Socio-economic Atlas’


About a week ago, the Devolution and Planning ministry(Headed by Cabinet secretary Ms Anne Waiguru) released what could be seen as the most comprehensive knowledge material in the history of the nation.

Even though the ‘Socio-economic Atlas of Kenya’ appears to be saying the obvious, that’s not the real reason for which it was prepared. The atlas was essentially designed to jar the citizens into thinking, critically.

Indeed, what the grand atlas says or shows is not nearly as important as to what it does not say or even illustrate. That is to say that the real and full meaning of the data can only be attained through pure ratiocination. We have to go beyond the surface, so to speak, to apprehend the realities presented by the data in the atlas in question.

Hence when I deconstructed the atlas, I gathered what I wanted to share. The main message is how to think about Kenya or Kenyans for that matter.

It is comforting to note that more than 20 million in Kenya live above the poverty line. That translates to about 55 per cent of the total population. Hence Kenya is a country where the other half is not only poor but also lives below the poverty line.

Further, if the average wealth gap between the rich and the poor is 76.2 per cent, then Kenya is a country where the poor make only a 23.8 per cent contribution to the economy. This is also to imply that the poor do not work hard. Do not believe it!

The poor work harder than the rich among us. One Jesse Jackson put it better: ” Contrary to … stereotypes, most poor people are not lazy. They work the hardest and the longest on the nastiest jobs. They sweep our streets; they raise other people’s children. They work in the hospitals, they mop the floors, and they change the beds. They empty our bedpans… you must not [forget] them!”

Again, when it is said that only 7 counties out of the 47 do not have a majority ethnic community that exceeds 50 per cent or more (possibly because of ‘negative ethnicity’), do not believe it! The seven counties are the only ones where opportunities abound. This statistic also deserves to be interpreted that way: the atlas reveals that Nairobi and Mombasa are among those that do not have a dominant ethnic community exceeding 50 per cent. Their population densities are 4,429 people per square kilometre for Nairobi and 4, 206 for Mombasa.

Also, it does not take rocket science to conclude that Kenya is a country where it is very hard to cross the poverty line. If, the atlas shows, the wealthy spend on average more than double (152 per cent) of what the poor allocate to meet basic needs, then the latter, according to the same atlas, would have to double their material or so means just to reach the poverty line. But to rise far above it? All effort is required. Yet knows what ‘all effort ‘ means and how do we measure it? Hence do not also believe that the wealthy over-spend what is rightfully theirs.

Moreover, we must never think about Kenya this way: that low birth and fertility rates is synonymous with more wealth. Rather, low birth as well as fertility rates should not be taken to mean that those factors are the real contributors to the high quality of life reported in counties such as Nairobi, Nyeri, Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Meru, and Uasin Ngishu.

The population densities of some of those counties are as follows: Nairobi (4, 429 people per square kilometre), Kiambu (630 persons). Yet their birth rates are shockingly lower: Murang’a and Kirinyaga record the lowest rates at 23.5 and 26.8 live births per 1,000 people. In addition, fertility rates are remarkably lower in the same counties.

Hence if anyone told us that the counties’ economic status is pegged on the low number of people birthed every day, we should not believe it! There are more people from outside, so to speak, who contribute enormously to the economies of the said counties.

All in all, the Social-Economic Atlas is one of the best tools available to think about our nation and the people in it. Kudos to the brains behind it!

By Moses Omusolo works at Code-4-development Laba(C4DLab)

Welcome To Barney’s World (iFUOR)- Part 1


iFUOR

Model rocking an iFUOR

Barney Ogolla, an interior designer for FORESIGHT INTERIOR and a former University of Nairobi student recently started a line of different T-shirt designs under a brand called iFUOR. Booker Chek caught up with him during his first photo shoot and compiled a list of questions for him.

The Kenyan Fashion industry is still struggling but business men and women are registering a lot of sales in the existing open-air markets all over the country. Kenya’s textile industry is currently being hit by operating costs like electricity and delayed export/import process at the Mombasa port. The availability of cheap apparel imports and Mtumba(second-hand cloths imports) in the market isn’t helping either.

Barney noted that there are a few other key players in the T-shirt business in Kenya and he looks upto Ozwald Boateng a Fashion designer from Britain and Dxpechef from Britain.

iFUOR

Model rocking an iFUOR

  1. Why Fashion design?

Fashion design is a form of visual communication that is too loud to be ignored. It makes part of our environment, colours our lives and enlightens those who experience it.

I also thought to do tee shirts as they act as a great piece of canvas where I can do my arts and expressions for people to experience.

  1. How it began?

I was inspired by other units who were doing the same. I had started off by doing drawings on tees as far back as primary school. I used to do “jik” and “kiwi” tees using stencils that I used to come up with. I then went on to using fevycryl paints on tees. In high school I redesigned our school’s (Nairobi School) basketball kit, and that’s how I got psyched to go into fashion.

Models rocking iFUOR

Models rocking iFUOR

  1. Response from the market so far?

The market perception has been awesome. People like the product, both genders, the young, the old; even kids have a special liking for the patterns used in the clothing line.

  1. Is the design a special piece?

Yes, the design is very special as I actually drew it out on paper carefully using mathematical tools for precision. The design is also very dear to me as it took like 6moths for me to finally decide to use it.

Models rocking iFUOR

Models rocking iFUOR

  1. How am I different from the others?

I guess I’m different from the others because;

I am that kind of designer that has a degree in design from one of the biggest universities in the Kenyan region. I have design skills that vary from fashion, graphic, photography and also have an understanding of color Chroma and hue.

I also have studied vastly sociology and basics in psychology and hence my design will tend to be subliminal; you will like it without actually knowing why.

I’m also lucky to have studied with some of the best designers in day today Kenya and learnt from them. They help me when I’m stuck and with that I’m able to transcend minds in a more conclusive way.

By Booker Otieno Chek.

Photos courtesy of iFuor and Chillimango.

POETRY ON ANOTHER LEVEL


Mc Nuru Bahati From Mombasa

Mc Nuru Bahati From Mombasa

Welcome to Nairobi’s urban neighborhood, Statehouse cresent road. This is where all the poetry happens every weekend dubbed Fatumas Voice. ‘Fatumas Voice’ is a collaborative effort between Pawa254 and the Kenyan Poets Lounge to promote performance art and poetry in the country. A platform whereby young people meet to talk about the evils happening in the society and how they could solve them, their hopes for the future, their life experiences as well as networking hence expanding their social circles. We do this through poetry, live music, motivational talks, and open forum discussions where people air their views on a certain chosen topic of the day.

 

The Fatumas Voice recently celebrated their one year anniversary. Considering the turnout that they normally receive at this event, this has prompted them to start working on an upcoming television show that will be coming soon. The show has moved from being a free event when it started and it now costs KES 100/= as entry. They have a cocktail of artists and poets who will keep you at the edge of your seat till the performance ends.

Mufasa the poet

Mufasa the poet

‘So far, the bigger bunch of our audience are budding artists. As we grow, we are already having people from the working class trickling in,’ concludes Rix Poet co-founder of Fatumas Voice.

The two co-founders

The two co-founders

 

I was there last weekend, arriving late. Trying to find somewhere to stand in the fully packed hall. Memories of H_ART THE BAND performing in this same platform and are now riding high with their hit single “Uliza Kiatu”… I was expecting more creativity this past Saturday. The theme for the weekend was Addiction. The poets and musicians had to perform pieces that were in line with the addiction theme. There were wonderful pieces from the professional and upcoming poets.

A section of the audience

A section of the audience

I had a great time at the event this Saturday, too bad i did not take too much notes on the names of all the upcoming artists and poets trying to earn a living through the art. On the other hand I had a really good time and I am hoping to make it to the next Fatumas. For more on their works find them on facebook here and check out their website here

By Neville Mugambi.

Photos courtesy Edu, PAWA254 photographer.

CHEETAH FUND TO SUPPORT 100 AFRICAN INITIATIVES


www.onepercentclub.com_2014-10-24_19-12-44

In many African countries, its difficult to access funding. The concept of crowd funding is fairly new in the continent. the key objective today was for the audience to share information, to add new campaigns on the one percent website and raise first euros for the campaigns. Cheetah Fund are planning to give 400,000 euros (about 40,000,000 KES) in funding to 100 African initiatitives and projects that are planning to raise between 250 euros and 15,000 euros… so long as they are able to raise 30% of the amount they want within 30 days. https://www.onepercentclub.com/en/#!/pp/cheetah

“The crowdfunding industry has grown exponentially over the last five years, helping people raise billions in funding for everything from donations for personal art projects to equity financing for businesses.” Says Chance Barnett CEO Crowdfunder.com

As the founder of a crowd sourcing company, Mr. Chance speculates that the online sourcing of funds is on a steady growth path having transacted more than $5.8 billion in 2013. He also admits that the crowdfunding concept is still a new concept (about 5 years old). He also names a few other websites that allows you to source for funds E.G. indiegogo and Kickstarter(where Kenya’s iHUB BRCK hard sourced for funding).

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1776324009/brck-your-backup-generator-for-the-internet/widget/video.html

With the success of Ushahidi, in sourcing $125,000( 10 million) for the development/manufacturing of BRCK and getting over $172, 107 from the kickstarters. They were giving rewards in terms of T-shirts, canvas accessories and a safari to Kenya for the  person who pledged more than $10,000. This was way back in June 2013.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1776324009/brck-your-backup-generator-for-the-internet/widget/card.html?v=2

So what are you waiting for Africa, get your project on a crowd funding platform and get funding.

 

By Neville Mugambi.

 

 

INTEL EAST AFRICA’S UNIVERSITY APP CHALLENGE


App challenge decor at C4Dlab, Chiromo campus

App challenge decor at C4Dlab, Chiromo campus

On the 26th September 2014, Intel East Africa in partnership with the University of Nairobi Chiromo campus and C4Dlab innovation center organised their version of #intelAndroid challenge. The event brought together students from Kenyatta University, JKUAT, Moi University, St. Pauls University(Limuru) and Egerton University. Dr. Bitange Ndemo was the chief Guest. The best 3 apps would eventually determine the winning University.

The C4Dlab

The C4Dlab

From XOXO , Pupil Quiz, Stimalite to Inventory management applications. The students went all out. The judges had a very hard time to choose between close to over 20 android apps. The judging criteria was fair for the students as its focused on dynamic aspects of the developed apps. Key judging criteria was User Interface-out of ten.  Other criteria included relevance, Native(local) and appthwack test: https://appthwack.com/

“A startUp is like a child, they crawl for some time but as they begin to walk, they fall several times before they learn. If you are resilient you will create something that will change the world” Said Dr. Bitange Ndemo. He also added that it makes him happy to see a lot of young people breaking through in the technology industry.

kOBI MOMANYI number 3

KOBI MOMANYI number 3

Number 3: Kobi Momanyi from JKUAT who received his award from Judge Linet Kwamboka

ALELA ROY number 2

ALELA ROY number 2

Number 2: Alela Roy from the University of Nairobi who got earphones and an Asus phone tab from Judge

The #appchallengeKE winner, Simon

The #appchallengeKE winner, Simon

Number 1: Simon…  StimaLite android application who had the opportunity of receiving the award from Dr. Bitange Ndemo(Former Permanent secretary ICT)

The app challenge cup

The app challenge cup

 

Every student was a winner that day, though the judges still had to rank them. The winning universities where as follows

  1. JKUAT WITH 192 Marks
  2. UON WITH 173 Marks
  3. KU WITH 100 Marks
A snapshot of Stimalite

A snapshot of Stimalite

Stimalite brings you interruption notices straight to your device. With automatic synchronization you will receive alerts specified for your location on time and you can share the information with others.

 

 By Neville Mugambi.

Photos: Courtesy of Peter Oyamo

 

 

MICROSOFT CITIZENSHIP UNVEILS YOUTHSPARK HUB


Microsoft

Microsoft

Youthspark is a global initiative by Microsoft to empower 300 million people with the IT and ICT skills required in today’s world. There are over 30 free programs offered by Microsoft Youthspark program.

There are currently over 75million unemployed youths in the world. These youths lack the necessary skills that Multinational companies and Tech companies are looking for. These positions are normally filled with under or over employed men and women as the youths are nowhere to be seen. That’s where the Youthspark hub comes in www.youthsparkhub.com

One of the #youthsaprk tools kit

One of the #youthsaprk tools kit

By getting into the youthspark hub, there are a number of things you can get to do. You can do

  1. Learn how to code
  2. Take online certificate courses to build your CV
  3. download free software
One of the youthsaprk stars member stories for back to school

One of the youthsaprk stars member stories for back to school

There are also a number of other aspects that are in the youthspark hub that most youth don’t know about. These are Imagine cup, DigiGirlz, Youthsaprk stars and Touch Develop. All these programs are designed for a wide audience thus the bold declaration by Microsoft citizenship department saying

To empower 300 million people with the IT and ICT skills required in today’s world

 

Eyenamia ImagineCup 2014/2015 winners.

Eyenamia ImagineCup 2014/2015 winners.

As a global student who is engaged in innovation and would like to take part in Imagine cup. A global challenge that enables talented youths to pitch their ideas competing for the top prize of $50,000 dollars. Last years winners Team Eyenaemia won $50,000, were crowned by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and got an in-person meeting with Microsoft Founder Bill Gates.

Touch develop is for those youths that wanted to learn how to code but didn’t know where to start, you’re in luck! Using TouchDevelop, coding is made easy and learning is completely free. This comes at a time when most students do not have the right resources to develop windows 8 based applications. The speculation of increase in windows mobile apps might create a shift in demand for the ever popular android phones in this Africa mobile market. The most important aspect of this microsoft is to have fun while learning.

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Some of the programs have been proven to work for Ugandan and Kenyan students have bagged several awards and recognitions. The beauty for these individuals was that they managed to have an expense payed trip to Seattle, USA where microsoft headquarters are.

 

By Neville Mugambi