When Blaze was launched, it undoubtedly took the country by storm. It especially captured the attention of the youth. Starting off with a party at African Heritage House, word was rife with the emergence of a new platform, co-created with and for the youth. BLAZE, a sub-brand of Safaricom, started its countrywide youth empowerment summits last month in Eldoret. With over 6,000 youth in attendance of the inaugural summit, it was evident that the Blaze campaign had resonated with the masses.
The BLAZE ‘Be Your Own Boss (B.Y.O.B)’ empowerment summits feature young persons that have taken n seemingly unconventional career paths and attained success in these endeavors. These are actors, musicians, photographers, entrepreneurs, all successful and inspiring in their own right . The summits allowed the youth aged between 10 and 26 a chance to interact with said mentors in a charged and learning environment, allowing them to tap from their immense experience in the different fields.
The 2nd BLAZE B.Y.O.B Summit happened this past Friday at the Thika Technical Training Institute grounds. The summit, which began at 9.00 a.m and ran all the way to 5.00 p.m, attracted a crowd of approximately 8,000 young people drawn mostly from the Central region of the country. This was a further demonstration of the hunger the youth have to succeed under the mentorship of the people they idolize. The relatively chilly weather at the Thika Technical Training Institute grounds did little to dampen the mood of those who had turned up for the event.
What was in store for the youth at the Thika BLAZE B.Y.O.B Summit
After inspiring the youth in Eldoret with their stories and encouraging them to create their own journeys to success, mentors who are artists in their own right turned up in Thika again to empower the youth with knowledge of what it takes to succeed in fields seen as unconventional. The mentors at the event comprised of celebrated artists-King Kaka and Wangechi, Actor Nick Mutuma, Radio Personality Anita Nderu, and Sauti Sol’s publicist Anyiko Owoko.
There were plenary sessions dedicated to creative arts, fashion, media & journalism, music, agriculture, business, photography, social enterprise, finance, technology and career building (hosted by Brighter Monday). Every pod had three sessions where the youth registered and got a chance to learn more about their areas of passions by interacting with mentors from the respective fields.
Young entrepreneurs who have succeeded in their different areas were also present at the summits, sharing entrepreneurial tips and inspiring the youth. These included Eric Muthomi – CEO, Stawi Foods, Ahmed Abdi – CEO Amana Insurance Brokers, Mike Muthiga – Fatboy Animations, Trevor Kimenye- techpreneur at Ongair, Sylvia Tonui – Co-Founder FAFA, Mutua Matheka and Migwa Nthiga – photographers.
The summit gave attendees a chance to audition for the upcoming ‘Be Your Own Boss’ TV show. There are perks that come with this. Those who ace the auditions will get a chance to be mentored by other successful young Kenyans as well as win funding for their businesses.
If interested in future BLAZE B.Y.O.B Summits, you can purchase tickets by visiting http://blaze.co.ke/byob/summits/ or dialing *555# then select BYOB-Be Your Own Boss, Register for summit and select Yes. You will then receive an SMS with instructions on how to confirm your ticket.
The Thika edition was only the 2nd BLAZE B.Y.O.B Summit. There will be more summits to be held in Kisumu, Nakuru, Meru, Mombasa and Nairobi over the next few weeks.
I am an upcoming creative writer and pencil artist who has passion for anything art. I like travelling and meeting new people. I am currently pursuing commerce, finance major at the university of Nairobi. Through my writing, I hope to impact in the lives of people. I run my blog at www.mwauramswati.wordpress.com