A CHAT WITH Fiona Murage – MANAGER AT ‘CREATIVES GARAGE’
Sondeka Festival – also popularly known as Sondeka Fest – is a festival held in Nairobi, Kenya, for lovers of all things artsy, colourful and fun! To quote directly from the Sondeka Festival website:
“Sondeka Festival is life, it is fun, it is purpose, creation, innovation, and what we were all made for! For the first time, you will be in a space where you will not need to apologize for being who you are, be it a writer, painter, robotics engineer, making an aircraft from scrap like Gabriel Nderitu. Or even a banker who loves to write poems.”
For this reason, Riri Jewellery took part in last year’s (2014) festival, along with many other artists.
One of the Riri Jewellery team managed to get a hold of the busy Creatives Garage Manager – Fiona Murage, to learn more about the popular Sondeka Festival and how Creatives Garage have managed to make it a success.
- On Sondeka’s Festival success…
The success of Sondeka Festival 2014 can be attributed to a good team and good management, especially with a bigger team working alongside Creatives Garage to ensure that all the aspects of successful event management were met.
We distributed roles equally with regard to each person’s individual strengths, including sound management, content developing, sponsorship and marketing, ticket sales, etc. Each area had its own team that worked towards ensuring progress and success for the event.
We also began planning for Sondeka Fest well in advance. From January 2014, we had the necessary proposals ready. With good time management we found it easier to organize as we moved along.
Our sponsors and partners also contributed to our success, both financially and in kind; they gave our event the credibility it deserved. We found out that hosting different brands does go a long way in promoting such an event.
Most of our partners were creative hubs like the ‘GoDown Arts Centre‘, ‘Sarakasi Trust‘, and ‘Pawa 254‘, facilitated their own events at the festival, thus attracting their fan base to the Sondeka Fest.
Sondeka Festival was spread out over three days in which over forty performing acts, from various creative fields such as music, poetry, the spoken word, and much more, entertained crowds.
- Why Riri?
Well, because we had an opportunity to engage Riri’s CEO, Njuhi Chege during ‘Artsy Mama Fashion Edition‘. Artsy Mama is targeted at young entrepreneurial women who are planning to start their own business enterprises, or are already running their own business. The panel consisted of entrepreneurs in the fashion industry including make-up, clothes, hair and jewellery. Riri is one of the few established local brands of jewellery in Kenya and we thought it would be a great opportunity for these women to be inspired by Riri’s journey and success story.
For the ‘Sanaa Initiative’, we offered Crafts classes to a group of 10 women from Kibera in order to economically empower them and provide them with creative skills that can assist them in generating an income. We looked for volunteers in the creative field who were willing to train these women. Following the working relationship we had already established with Artsy Mama panelists, we engaged Riri Jewellery and Afri Shiq for the trainings. The women were taught the basics of jewellery making by Riri Jewellery’s lead designer – Ivy Chege – in one session, and forwarded the pieces they were able to work on during the next session.
We are hoping to work with Riri and other creative enterprises in the coming year with regards to events and workshops that we are currently working on.
- What drives us?
We have many young creative people who are opting out of white collar jobs in order to explore their talents. These youth need exposure and access to the market. Creatives Garage provides this exposure through different platforms; various programs and events.
There is a need for the youth to create employment and not just seek employment.
Creatives Garage aims to improve lives of creatives working across Africa.
For more information, and full details of the next Sondeka Festival (2015), please visit www.sondekafestival.com
We hope to see you there!