I am very excited to be a part of Face of Kenya UK 2014 and to engage in this outstanding social platform that seeks to integrate the Kenyan diaspora in the UK and the world at large, while establishing Kenyan ambassadors that positively portray Kenya and promote all that is great about our nation.
Having experienced life in Kenya and growing up in the UK has broadened my views, knowledge and understanding of the two different worlds , further reinforcing my eagerness to bring change to Kenya. As a Kenyan Diaspora in the UK but still highly connected to Kenya, it is my understanding that we are placed in a unique position to impact our nation and usher change, a position that we cannot overlook but approach and uphold with the tenacity and grace required. I am passionate about many things but what excites me and implores me to this competition is my passion for my homeland of Kenya, for the youth and Kenyan diaspora to fulfill their highest potential and the need to make a difference and insurmountable contribution in our homeland of Kenya and in the world.
What is my rhetoric you may ask...? I am not going to make grand gestures and promises without looking at the practicalities. Many want to make changes but are not willing to address how these will be achieved. Change begins with a single act, an individual choice that will consequently impact others and the society at large. Change begins with us, the youth that represent the Kenyan diaspora.
I offer mine in two parts
I recognise a need to re-energise the youth Kenyan diaspora who have settled into normalcy in the UK. We come from a great nation that has molded and shaped the people we are today, but what are we doing with the opportunities available to us is a question I often ponder on. To impact our nation of Kenya and bring it to its rightful standing on the world centre stage as a great nation we first need to endeavor to improve ourselves, to master our own crafts and abilities in order to be leaders across job sectors and in academics. There is a need for us to recognise our gifts, talents and our areas of expertise and to strive for excellence to excel in these areas. Then we can be in a position to be policy changers, to impact our nation and the world at large, making positive contributions and re-investing in Kenya, whilst helping to build a better future and leading our nation forward.
My degree in Media Studies helped to fortify my grasp of mass media and communication and how it influences people and the society. As we are living in a digitalised age of innovation and globalisation, I can utilize my acquired knowledge in media to positively portray the image and culture of Kenya. In addition, my passion for fashion as a UK fashion blogger and aspiring stylist has fuelled my desire promote Kenya as the fashion and urban lifestyle focal point of Africa and to make Kenya a global country of creativity for creative industries to thrive through home grown talent. It is no secret that over the last decade there has been a robust growth in the interest of the Western market for the African fashion industry, culture and design. Africa, described by Kenyan fashion designer Liz Ogumbo as “the hub of art, the musical space both vocal and instrumental fabric, earth that produces clay for pottery, grass for the artefacts, beads created out wood, mud, glass and precious stone” is a continent with rich cultural heritage.
However the Issue facing the fashion industry in Kenya and in Africa at large is while there is growing interest in African fashion and African fashion designers across Europe and America, fashion designers within Kenya are still trying to find a sustainable market locally. I would like to use my capabilities and success to fuel the growth of talent in Kenya, providing a platform for the discovery and marketing of Kenyan designers and the increase of trade and investment opportunities.
Why fashion you may ask..? Fashion is a viable industry, having to look no further than the UK fashion industry for definitive proof. According to recent figures published by the British Fashion Council, the fashion industry is worth £26 billion to UK economy, this figure incorporates not only the direct impact of wholesale, retail and manufacturing on the economy but also its effect on industries such as tourism and financial services. By bringing some of the energy witnessed in the technology, film, fashion industry in growing businesses, supporting growth, investment and entrepreneurship within this sector in Kenya we can boost Kenyan economy, commerce, tourism and re –structure Kenyan national identity globally.
There is a huge wealth of pool of creative home grown talent of emerging and prominent people with tremendous potential yet to be discovered. Most notably the rise of our very own Lupita Nyong’os success in the film industry on the world centre stage is proof that Kenya is a very promising and still largely an untapped wealth pool of talent, creativity and brilliance. I intend to use my drive, passion and knowledge to encourage the youth Kenyan diaspora to fully tap into their gifts and talents, pushing for collective community programmes that will support our goals and dreams and most importantly showcase and market the great talent within Kenya, bringing our beautiful nation to the forefront.
What I ask is for your vote of confidence in me, your support for our nation and for me in attaining this opportunity is greatly appreciated.