In partnership with KQ Hub Africa, this year's Young African Creative Conference (YACC) we are assembling a group of creatives who have the same vision and are working towards enhancing the quality of life in Africa.We will engage in conversations and reflect on the journey that the African creative community has been on throughout the years. We will be discussing past failures, successes and what lessons to take forward for the years ahead.
Lulama Njapa is a freelance travel writer and music fanatic who left the corporate world to fulfill her long held dream of seeing the world. She is currently exploring and slow traveling through Malawi and Eastern Zambia where she is also learning the history of the Zulus and Ngonis tribes respectively.
Josiane Faubert is the creative behind PICHA Stock, an Afrocentric visual collection she founded 4 years ago. Originally from Gabon, she jumped into the world of photography after a few years of working in marketing research.
Photography led her to PICHA Stock with the mission to provide representative and authentic content of Afrocentric communities. Josiane is a creative building a community of visual content providers that are also interested in redefining Afrocentric visual stories.
Phillipe Nyirimihigo is a Rwanadan based photographer who had previously spent 10 years in Toronto, Canada working and studying. During his time in Canada he had his work featured in many magazines, photographed fashion as well as having worked alongside renowned photographers. He then decided to relocate to Rwanda and focus his attention on what was happening at home. His relocation was with the intention to rediscover his country and continent as well as contribute to the growing creative community in Africa.
Phillipe is also the Co-Founder and Director of Visual Content for Illume Creative Studio. In this role he is expanding the business of video and photography as well as taking photography to new heights.
His work has gifted him with global travel from countries like Rwanda, France, Ghana and more. Phillipe forms one half of a publication titled; “This is Rwanda” which is co-authored by Gael Ruboneka Vande Whege, this publication is just at the forefront of his lifelong journey.
Artist, writer, Filmmaker and Film enthusiast Kenyaa Mzee, is a respected and celebrated creative mind based in Cape Town, South Africa. Among several accolades and exhibitions, the most recent being in March 2020 when Kenyaa represented South Africa as their Ambassador for the worlds largest female artist exhibition hosted in Dubai, UAE consisting of 100 women all over the world- Art Connects Women 2020. As a young African creative her goal is simple, to be happy and content within herself and her craft while leaving a legacy of brilliance and empowerment in the world and in The Arts. This courageous, self-represented conceptual thinker can be found dancing to the cool tunes of Jazz, African and Afrolatin music or taking long walks when she is not writing a script or compiling her next work of art.
Luladey was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Completing her bachelor’s degree in Sociology, she started her career in education where she served as a program associate and taught art at Mother Caroline Academy in Boston, M.A.
She is currently serving as a director of college and career counselling at Maranyundo Girls’ school in Nyamata, Rwanda. As a result of her exposure abroad and career experience, she saw the importance of depiction and representation of the African culture and the African people.
Luladey has been drawn to art since childhood. She started with recreating existing artwork and it stuck with her ever since. The joy felt when creating, led her to exercise her creativity through different mediums; painting, designing, photography and ink sketch.
Luladey describes art as the mother of all existence and believes that artistic creativity is conceived, developed, defined and redefined until it’s free to exist in a space to create. Her art is inspired by her African Roots, her relationships, and her pursuit of her personal truth.
Katlego Tshuma is a self-taught multidisciplinary conceptual artist with an emphasis on design as a vehicle for driving ideas, solutions, conversation and messaging in public and private spaces.
Katlego started his career in 2013 after quitting his job at the airport and taking up photography. Six months later, he published his first body of work titled: Seeds, a township monologue.
While working on Seeds, Katlego launched and ran Shots011.com. A photography website geared towards helping emerging artists navigate the South African art industry between 2015 and 2018.
Katlego then moved into the advertising space working in and with brands such as The Market Photo workshop, Corium Skincare, Telkom, Vodacom, Mondelez and other well established brands and agencies as an Art Director, Motion Graphics designer and 3D Artist.
In 2020, Katlego won the Nando's Hot Young Designer competition with his show stopping Sangu Bench which saw him crowned the overall winner of the competition out of over 200 entrants.
Bright Shitemi is the Founder and Executive Director of Mental 360, a non-profit social enterprise that promotes mental health by raising awareness and supports the mental health needs of the youth in Kenya by providing holistic and affordable solutions. This is done through art, physical wellness, therapy and peer support systems.
A highly stigmatized topic in African communities, Bright is driven to change perceptions and beliefs on mental illness. Mental 360’s approach of leveraging technology and use of art and experiential learning as a form of expression and in awareness has enhanced the mental health conversation in Kenyan communities.
Nosipho Nxele is a young, Self-taught Female Illustrator and Conceptual Designer. She has a great passion for women empowerment and breaking stereotypes carved on women by society.
Having been raised by religious values, Nxele has always been very opinionated towards everything. Her illustration work is mostly influenced by expressionism, mental illness, religion and other topics that affect women in society.
A lot of mediums have been used to capture emotion and show mental illness but the power of illustration lies in the use of colour, emphasis on line, shape, space and texture. All of these elements are found in illustration to influence the mind, heart and body of the viewer. Nxele’s hope is that people find some sort of healing in her work.
Born in Cape Town, Shakirah Dramat is a social entrepreneur, speaker, and Managing Director of THAT Network.
A social enterprise that bridges the gap between the creative community and the clients who need their services.
She's a community activist and plays a vital role in advocating for the preservation of Cape Malay oral history. Shakirah is passionate about youth development and believes that by fostering a nation of entrepreneurial thinkers, we’ll be able to overcome many of the social ills which affect our country’s people.
Aaron Yeboah Junior is a Ghanaian Visual Designer currently living and working in Accra, Ghana.
Since 2010, Aaron has constantly embarked on projects and endeavours that push creative boundaries especially in Africa.
Using design as a tool to inspire, educate and inform, Aaron’s primary mission is to deliver innovative cross-platform solutions to communication and visual design and be a creative force in Ghana, Africa and beyond.
With a background in graphic design, Bennett studied graphics in University and her first job was working as a junior graphic designer in a TV branding studio which also had a gallery.
She has always been interested in art and is innately creative - even before her University studies. In 2016, she launched the BetterShared platform to provide a space for emerging artists of the African Diaspora.
A short & succinct schedule.
Welcome and Reflecting on our work as CN x KQ
Join Creative Nestlings Founder dillion s. phiri&Wabwire W'a founder of KQ Hub Africa a physical and virtual East- African Creative Arts & Cultural Hub discuss how they are Influencing and shaping Africa's contemporary creative Arts & Culture scene.
Pulse of the continent
In this segment our panelists Phillipe N (Rwanda), Lulama Njapa (Malawi) and Josiane Faubert (Gabon/US) will have a discussion about what has kept the heart of the continent beating. The Covid-19 pandemic struck the world hard and we intend to take the time to look at how African creatives have found the courage to create and keep their heads held high in spite of what is essentially a global tragedy. Each panelist is from an African country and will be able to relay first hand insight on how creatives and artists have been coping as well as how they have been creating throughout the year. Phillipe Nyirimihigo is a Rwandan photographer and co-founder of Illume Studio, Lulama Njapa brings her own area of expertise from her travels and research and Josiane Faubert is a Gabonese photographer with a background in marketing, her platform, PICHA Stock aims to create stock images that are honest in their representation of Afrocentric individuals. We look forward to tapping in, hearing what each panelist has to say and keeping our finger on the pulse of the continent.
Young & Creative in Africa Panel
In this segment of the conference we will turn our attention to the youth and what it is like to be young and creative in Africa. Creative Nestlings has always been centered around the youth and this is where we get the opportunity to delve a little deeper. Our panelists for this segment are Artist, Writer, Filmmaker and Film enthusiast Kenyaa Mzee, Luladey Takele Teshome a Illustrator, Fashion Designer, Creative Strategist and the Co-founder Qemer and award winning a self-taught multidisciplinary conceptual artist Katlego Tshuma. Each of our panelists are young creatives, creating in Africa and can provide great knowledge and inspiration to other young African creatives who may be struggling to find their voice or even young creatives who need guidance on how to navigate the creative community. This segment is intended for the youth but we would encourage creatives of all ages to attend. There is always something new to learn, especially in a world that is changing so rapidly.
END OF DAY ONE
Creativity & Mental Wellness
For centuries now artists have used creativity as a form of catharsis but what happens when your creativity no longer helps your mental state? This is exactly what will be discussed in this segment. Often times we as creatives start our creative journey out of fun and simply for the sake of enjoyment, then we start to realize that there is potential for financial opportunity here. This is when the work factor kicks in and in this we can lose our enjoyment for the work we once loved making and our mental health can begin to deteriorate. In this segment our panelists will discuss ways in which creatives can avoid falling into those mental traps while still maintaining enjoyment for the work they create as well as keeping up the standard of the work. Artists and creatives may be overlooked sometimes because what they do does not form part of the “normal” work society and therefor any mental health issues they face may be taken less seriously. We hope that creatives of all disciplines will tune in to this segment and gain some knowledge on how to take better care if themselves, beyond financially but also, mentally.
Business of Creativity
In this segment our panelists will discuss the older model of entrepreneurship and how it has changed over the years and morphed in to what it is now. Entrepreneurs & creatives play an integral role in the economy of their country but are often sidelined and left to fend for themselves. Our panelists for this segment areVisual Designer / Founder of 2dots Space & African Lens Aaron Yeboah Jnr, Shakirah Dramatsocial entrepreneur, speaker, and Managing Director of THAT Network and Freelance Designer & Director + Founder of BetterShared Swakara Atwell-Bennett, all of whom are entrepreneurs themselves and who have experienced the challenges and successes entrepreneurship brings as well as adapting their businesses with the changes the world has undergone. We hope that seasoned entrepreneurs as well as those considering taking the leap will tune in for some valuable insights on this discussion.
The Future - where to from here
We then come to the final segment of our conference and that is looking to the future. Throughout the conference we have taken the time to reflect on past failures and successes, talk about old mindsets and how they have changed through the years and now we look at what lies ahead. This segment, our panelists will take the time to imagine what it is that they hope the future of African creativity will look like, what they hope to achieve in the years to come and how we as the African continent can improve ourselves and avoid making the same mistakes. If the last ten years is any indication what is to come then it is fair to say that Africa has a bright future. A future filled with innovation, great leadership and success for the African diaspora. We hope that you will join us in this final segment as we look to the future with excitement and anticipation.