Ep.29 Mistakes Make Us | David Ogutu

Connecting creatives with markets to further their creative career


Cross Icon Image

[00:00:00] Adrian (HOST): Yeah. Um, and you don't have any questions, first of all?

[00:00:06] David Ogutu: No, I do not. I'm actually interested in seeing where this conversation goes cuz I've come here with an open mind. Nice. Um, and just seeing where, where this is gonna take us, it should be exciting.

[00:00:17] Adrian (HOST): Amazing. Thank you. We always ask the, ask our guests, uh, what is, have you got a meaning or a reason behind your name?

[00:00:27] You personally?

[00:00:30] David Ogutu: I, I, I'm sure there is, um, but I do not know it. Okay. I don't know it. Um, and I've actually never bothered to find out. Um, what that reason is, but, but I'm sure like, as all African names are, there's, there's, there's normally a huge story behind it, but I use my dad's name, so, um, I, at least for me, that's the meaning as far as it goes.

[00:00:54] It's, it's, it's my father's name. Um, there you go. And a, an opportunity for us to extend the lineage and be reminded not to be an embarrassment to the family.

[00:01:05] Adrian (HOST): That's a good, and that's why I also ask for a reason, because it doesn't have to just be a meaning. There could be a reason why you were named that as well.

[00:01:12] David Ogutu: So, Yeah, that's... no, I, I, I took, I took on my dad's name. Um, um, my dad is called Ogutu, so I'm called Ogutu. As is a lot of the naming culture, you know, out here, uh, in Africa you take on your, your father's name. Uh, I guess, you know, for most of the people it's just truly a, a, a lineage thing so you can know whose children are yours and so you can know where to pass on, you know, inheritance and, and legacy and things like that.

[00:01:43] Um, where I was given that name. I don't know why he decided to name me his name. Like, um, Cause all my brothers have second names. I don't have a second name I'm just his name and I've never asked. Maybe that was a good, I, if I come to think about it, maybe I should ask and, and find out why that is.

[00:02:02] Adrian (HOST): Yeah, send them a quick message or give them a call after this conversation for next time.

[00:02:07] Definitely. We'll have it. Awesome. Yeah. I've learned so much about, about names and, and the, the culture behind them, even in the last few days. So, um, so what about, uh, what about Kafunda Kreative and the name behind that?

[00:02:27] David Ogutu: So, this... the name, the name comes, it's, it's impossible to talk about the name without talking about the story.

[00:02:33] Um, so about eight, nine years ago, um, I used to live in this little flat in... there's a place called Wandegeya, which is like the hassle, bustle. It's, it's, it's stuff happens. It's a compass district, so basically it never sleeps. Right. Um, My friends and I were, you know, of not very good financial means at the time.

[00:03:03] Um, and, and, but would like to, you know, spend a Friday night together, a Thursday night together, hang out, you know, like everyone does. Mm-hmm. And so what happens is that we decide to start hanging out at my flat, which was the most

accessible flat for all of us. It was right in the center of town. Right. Um, And that flat got called Kafunda.

[00:03:25] Kafunda is basically... it means, it means like it's little like locally like if you're to translate it but the culture of Kaunda, uh, like if you look about like the names of what that is, um, if, if someone says I'm going to the Kafunda, it's normally like a little place but also that has become a place that is with affordability, uh, a place that has like nice local food, um, a place that ha... serves a lot of local food.

[00:03:55] Uh, and so like generally with, with that sort of like, um, like history behind it. My flat side being called the Kafunda cause it's the place that we used to hang out. Cause it's the place that we could afford. Right? It was cheap for us. Um, but a lot of my friends were in the creative scene. Right. And, and so what happens that often time would hang out together and normally someone would say something, uh, about their work or stuff like that. And then there'll just be this nonchalant brainstorming about their problem or whatever. Um, and then, you know, sometimes, you know, they'll get a solution. Sometimes we'll just get more questions, um, and stuff like that. But it sort of built this nice, interesting community of people around it.

[00:04:41] Um, and so, you know, one of these nights we're sitting there and we're just thinking and saying, look, I mean even if it's just for a community of people that you can learn from and you can, you know, brainstorm with and you can collaborate with. It

would be nice if this kind of community was extended, right, beyond these walls.

[00:05:05] And so, um, that night we get a piece of paper, we are meeting at the Kafunda. So, we call the company Kafunda Kreative. Right? Uh, cause it was for creative people, it was in the Kafunda. But also we wanted to be able to keep that ethos of, um, it's a small, it's intimate. It's about community. It's, it's a place where you can come as, as you are.

[00:05:29] You don't have to impress anybody. You don't have to fit any social status. Um, and so we wanted to be able to just sort of capture that ethos in, in, in the stuff that we wanted to do. Um, and so, yeah, the name... the name Kafunda Kreative stuck,

and we started building things around that, that would, um, help the people in that community be able to overcome some of the challenges we were facing and create a better ecosystem for creatives.

[00:05:59] Adrian (HOST): Mm. So how, how's that process been then from that Kafunda apartment and, and coming up with that name and knowing that you all have your skills to share? How's that process gone since then?

[00:06:14] David Ogutu: The process has been interesting. It has been a process of learning and failing and stopping and starting, um, and just doing stuff and hoping it turns out all right.

[00:06:27] Some of it did, some of it didn't. Um, and it has been a really interesting journey of just learning what the creative ecosystem is, um, and, and, and testing our assumptions, uh, around the stuff that we want to do. Um, so I mean, I'll, I'll, I'll... so,

when we started out, we said, okay, we want to get creatives in the same room?

[00:06:47] Um, because, um, of course we had to define what it is that we wanted to build at the time. Um, and we've been adding to that definition over and over so that we, you know, can, can develop something. So, at the time we wrote down wanting to build a community of creatives who learn from one another, who grow together and

collaborate, um, to produce brands, products and services that kick ass, right?

[00:07:18] Um, and to do that, we say, Okay, fine. We need to just go and test this out in the real world. So, we developed a campaign called KoiKoi UG. Which was just saying, hey, um, at the time, I think this was about two elections ago and if you're Nairobi, you know what Ugandan elections can be like. Um, they can be very, very heated to put it

very politely.

[00:07:43] Um, And often time what happens is that the news cycle, the internet, the image, everything that's put out of the country is just those things, right? It's, it's the police, um, brutalizing someone. It's just, and, and, and even if those things are true,

right? Um, it felt unfair that our entire country's image was being judged based on that one section, um, of, of the country.

[00:08:23] So, we said we want to go out and put 1 million great images and stories on the internet. So, um, we put out a call, um, creatives would come, we'd get together, we'd get into a bus, we'd travel, we'd go see the country. We'd photograph it, we'd talk to people, we'd write stories. And it was a really interesting campaign at the time.

[00:08:44] Um, But also more importantly, what it was is that there were a lot of creatives who were getting together and learning from one another. So, probably became better writers in the process because, you know, they would, um, you know, sit next to, uh, a senior writer on the bus and then they'd tell them, Oh, you know, this is how you write.

[00:09:02] There are people who came onto the trips and had never held a camera and, you know, became photographers. Um, Um, and so and so that spirit of, of collaboration, um, was there, uh, and, and we started to build this thing out and then we ran out of money, and then we stopped, you know, Um, but... the learnings from that trip said, okay, fine.

[00:09:26] No, we've done this. It's great. Um, but you know, you start to realize that there's certain challenges that flow through that creatives face and you're like, fine, let's, let's, you know, let's not just be, um, a cool social meet of creatives, right? Let's, um, creatives are suffering this, this actual problems. Um, let's solve them, right?

[00:09:52] And so, um, you know, we realized three problems, you know, access to skills, access to tools, and access to markets, right? It was, it was, it was, it was, those were the three things that just kept reoccurring and that were just sort of cutting across. And so we set out to say, Look, these are the three things that we want to be

able to solve.

[00:10:12] Um, and, and, and therefore, you know, we are again, I, I dunno if it was an evolution, um, because we still want to be a community. We still are a community. Um, but from the company side, our responsibility to that community is to skill them and to

tool them and to grow top creative talent and connect them to valuable work.

[00:10:37] So, we have spent the last couple of years trying to build, uh, you know, things around that, trying to build partnerships with legal entities so creatives can have access, um, to legal if they needed to. Um, building a marketplace where people can come and, um, you know, post their work and be able to have creatives for that.

[00:11:00] We haven't gotten around the tooling section yet, because again, for the many, many years, our model has been we spend what we make. So, the programs that we've been running have been off, you know, the commissions we've been making from the work that we've been getting, uh, after we've paid the creatives, whatever is left is what we normally put back into programs.

[00:11:20] Um, but we've run things like creative clinics, which is say, okay, how do we create a, an affordable peer to peer skilling, um, program because we know creative skilling is expensive. Right? But also the one that exists on the internet, people tell

you to go to YouTube but that's not very contextual. Uh, it's not contextual because a kid in the states will be able to get, you know, the latest camera on credit, right.

[00:11:45] Um, but you here in Uganda, you're probably photographing with something that's four or five years old. You probably don't have, uh, the strobe lights and all the things that they're using. And therefore it helps to have someone who has been in that scenario who has figured out how to make it work. But also there is a thing about, um, one, I mean, people say it lightly, it seems like a buzzword these days, but seeing

someone who is like you, who has done it, and who is telling you about it makes it much easier to learn than when your brain can come up with excuses of, oh, they're in Europe, or they're what, or they have access to this or have access to that.

[00:12:24] Um, and so creating those skilling programs was important for us. And, and we've been doing that, you know, for the last couple of years. Um, we've been, um, running something called the Creative Sprint that happens at the beginning of every year, Uh, and the creative sprint basically is a realization that a lot of creatives really

know how to create but they're really bad at business and they're really bad at the things that make businesses run.

[00:12:49] And, and that's even from me as a person. Um, it's the realization because my background is background of a creative, but when I got into trying to manage a company like Kafunda Kreative, I realized that I had excessive deficiencies in just basic

things like corporate communications, for example. You know, knowing how to speak to people, uh, about the work that you're doing, knowing how to present your work, knowing how to market yourself and all these things.

[00:13:17] So, we do an event at the beginning of every year. It's a three day conference that is just about saying... hey, here's the business of, of how this works, Right? Um, and so we, we, we have been sort of evolving based on the needs that we've been finding, um, with the community in which we have been working. So, the community is

still there.

[00:13:40] It's still core to the business. Um, and we just keep saying, Okay, you know, what does the community need and how can we, uh, you know, best as a company provide, uh, and, and respond to that need. So, it's been one of those journeys, um, that has been interesting. Of course, if you pepper in COVID somewhere there, then it becomes a, a, you know, a rather interesting journey because for such an unprecedented time, but a rather exciting time for creatives, um, because, you know, the world realized that you need creatives, um, to keep businesses running in an

online era.

[00:14:13] Um, but also just basically just keep you going as human beings, because I mean, art and music and stuff was what kept us sane, you know, during, during the pandemic and during the lockdowns. So, it's been a rather interesting, um, up and down journey over the last seven years. Mm-hmm. .

[00:14:32] Adrian (HOST): Mm-hmm. And, and so a lot of our... us creatives have run out of money.

[00:14:38] And you've talked about that, and you've talked about the business side. What did you change after? You're still around. You're still here. So, what did you change?

[00:14:49] David Ogutu: Um, so, we changed our model. So, before we're doing those trips based on sponsorships, right? Um, and when that happened, and we ran out of money and, and, and work closed for a while. Um, look, the sustainable thing is for us to start making our own money. It's, it's in as much as sponsorships are welcome. They're just one of the revenue sources that the business can benefit from, right? Um, so we said, look, we're just going to go out and actually build a marketplace where we can make some money that can allow us to run the programs that we want to run.

[00:15:41] Um, And, and, and not entirely depend on, um, grants or sponsorships to be able to run the stuff that we want to run. Um, so that, that's, that's what happened. Um, and, and it's been, it's been interesting. Um, it's been interesting just surviving off the

money that we make. And just having people who believe in that and say, look, I'll, I'll, I'll come and work.

[00:16:09] I'll come and give my time, um, for that. So we, we, we sort of tweaked, I think maybe the word change is wrong. We, we, we adapted our model and said, we shall, we need to add another revenue source that allows us to be able to run a program or two or three a year. Um, even if we are not getting any grant funding, uh, we've, we've not gotten any grant funding before.

[00:16:35] It was a corporate sponsorship for... you know, the trips that we're doing. Um, so even if we don't have sponsorship and stuff like that, we probably won't be able to run the things at the scale at which we want. Um, but you know, better to reach 10

creatives now, um, than to wait and say, okay, I won't reach this 10 because I cannot reach a hundred, or I cannot reach 200 because I don't have that kind of budget.

[00:16:59] So, yeah.

[00:17:01] Adrian (HOST): And what, uh, what do you look like now? What are the core pieces in your processes?

[00:17:10] David Ogutu: So, the core pieces for us, um, the marketplace is at the center of what we do. Um, and, and a lot of the stuff that we're doing is being built around that. And the reason behind that is the realization that one, um, for an economy like ours, you are always in competition with the person's next meal.

[00:17:35] Whatever it is that's going to put food on the table that day is what they're going to pay attention to. Right? And so conversations around scaling and stuff, if they're not solving... putting food on the table today can become very tricky to have

because they're not someone's priority. So, our realization was that if we're going to skill creatives and, and generally elevate the level of creativity in the country from those scaling sessions, um, we're gonna have to find a way to put food on the table. Right?

[00:18:07] And so our marketplace has, has three tiers, um, in, in which people can engage with us, right? Um, it has the poster job tier, uh, which is just basically you want a piece of graphic design. Like, hey, can you get me a flyer for my next conference? Bam, we get a creative to whip it out and send it to you. The second thing is what we call talent scout, where we attach creatives to organizations.

[00:18:33] Um, you have a six month engagement. You don't want to go through the process of trying to hire someone, you know, all this time. So you, you do that. Um, and then there's a creative circle, which is like the, uh, response to the agency model. Um, you want a bunch of people, collective of people to be able to work on your product, your brand and stuff like that.

[00:18:51] We put together based on your specific needs, and they work on that. And, and that also in turn, um, maps what our, like, what our process is. So, we have that we call minimum viable skill. When you send in your CV or whatever, we, we, we evaluate you based on that, right? Um, do you have a minimum? Do you have the, the, the

minimum viability to be able to be put to work?

[00:19:16] Um, and so when you have that, then you can join our ecosystem because the belief is that if you're having work, then you're more inclined to say, okay, you know what? I'd want to, um, access the talent scout jobs, but those require a, you know, a certain kind of skill set. You have to have gone through certain kind of things and

therefore you're more inclined to just go into these skilling programs knowing that they elevate you in some way. And the same thing with the creative circle. So, you have that, um, that growth track, um, uh, going for you. So, the marketplace is the center and then we build the skilling, uh, around that, um, that we have.

[00:19:57] We're trying to work on entry level skilling for people who want to do... get the minimum viable skill, but though... so when you get into the system, we're saying, Okay, how do we skill you to make sure that you grow and you can take on more complex projects, um, in, in, in the creative scene. So we are... that's, that's how we are built. And, and somewhere in there, God willing, um, we'll be able to just provide a tool shed where, um, at a certain level you can be able to access tools.

[00:20:29] That means, you know, because you access them at a discounted rate, you're saving more money for yourself. But also even just the ability to do the work now, for example, um, a lot of creatives will get work, uh, but because the, the, the, the corporate world says, Oh, it's an LPO 45 day, 90 day payment cycle. Um, and yet they have to sort of rent the equipment to do the work.

[00:20:52] Then they either can't take the job or go and get a loan for money, you know, take the job and they end up making no money at the end of the job because, you know, whatever it is that they're making is servicing the loan. Um, so, you know, being able to provide that tool shed where they can be able to access the stuff, it would be magical, right?

[00:21:10] Because then it means more money to the creatives pocket. It means the ability for them to take on the work today, right? Because they know that they have the support tools, uh, um, in the system. So, yeah.

[00:21:25] Adrian (HOST): Sorry, there's a dog barking somewhere in the background. Yeah. Yeah. Um, so, so you're a two-way marketplace. You've got the clients who sign up and you've got the creatives who sign up. Is that right? Yes. And then they moved on your Mm...

[00:21:43] David Ogutu: Yes, we're a two-way marketplace, so, yeah. Um, so what happens is we, you know, provide a, a, a platform that people can trust, right? Um, because again, normally when dealing with freelancers, a lot of people have, um, severe trust issues. Right? In that way.

[00:22:05] Um, and so having an entity that's registered, that's organized that you know you can engage with works, you know, for, for people who are hiring work, but also for the creatives because, you know, again, the market can sometimes be brutal to freelancers for taking, taking, uh, having you do work and not paying you, or, you know,

and, and just those things.

[00:22:31] Um, they can also trust us to be able to handle that relationship, right? Mm-hmm, um, with them. So yes, we're to a marketplace. On one end, we have the clients. On one end we have the creatives. And, um, right now it works like a concierge system where you bring us a project and, um, we recommend, um, the creatives that... who have the skill set to be able to do that project.

[00:22:57] Uh, and not just say, you know, cause sometimes, for example, uh, some guys go, Oh, you know what? I wanna do some product photography. And then they'll go and find someone who does event photography. Right. And the person, because again, the economy sometimes, you know, pushes you, Oh, I can shoot that. Um, but then, you know, they don't deliver well and then that reflects badly on creatives, you know?

[00:23:20] Um, and so we, we say, look, you'll bring us a job with someone. Product photographer, we'll find you a product photographer, um, who will be able to output that work and give you like, you know, actual quality product photography. So, that concierge system that being able to know, you know, who is the talent that we have in our pool, who can give you the exact results that you're looking for and, and being able to match you with that talent.

[00:23:43] Adrian (HOST): Hmm. And so you mentioned before the... these three things of tools, markets, and creatives. Was that correct? Was it tools, markets, market and skills.

[00:23:53] David Ogutu: Skills and skills, yes.

[00:23:56] Adrian (HOST): Maybe you can tell, tell me more about that then, how that fits into your strategy as well.

[00:24:03] David Ogutu: All right. So, um, creative education is expensive, for most. Most people in this country won't be able to afford it. Like actual good creative, actual good film school, actual good, Uh, photography school, like art school and stuff like that most people won't be able to afford it. But the advantage with the creative industry is that it's one of the industries where peer-to-peer learning can be very, very effective. Okay. Um, because it leans into two things.

[00:24:32] It leans into, um, passion and, and your drive to do something, but it all leans into you... so, sort of like this natural inkling that people have for things. So, you know, there're people will pick up a camera and in two weeks they're taking pictures

because their eye just has it. Right? And you have to teach them a few things around, you know, the science of pictures and, and, and allow them to understand why their eye is making the decisions it makes so they can make it with, you know, better precision, right?

[00:25:04] Yeah, but there is that. So, uh, for a lot of people accessing skills has been very complicated. A lot of people drop out because, you know, again, their skill level stops at some point. So, for example, um, you can only teach yourself so much on

YouTube. Right. And, and, but, but if someone has, has been shooting films, um, for 10 years, right?

[00:25:28] There are things that they have learned shooting films that they can be able to pass on to you, right? And you'd be able to learn. And you'll be able to learn faster, right? So, you won't have to spend 10 years learning. Um, you'll spend 18 months learning from this person and be able to produce quality work.

[00:25:47] So, making skills affordable through peer-to-peer learning, um, is really important for us. And the way that fits in is that if we can skill people, um, it's two ways. One, on the baseline is that you have such a huge number of people with the minimum

viable skill that the industry has absolutely no option but to elevate.

[00:26:12] The only way you, you stand out is by being extra good. So, just generally we believe that that can push, um, the level of creativity up, right? Um, but also the belief is that it can actually enable us put out better creative work and stop hemorrhaging

creative work to, um, people from outside. So, film crews from South Africa or, um, you know, and, and, and stuff like that.

[00:26:42] Uh, if Disney's shooting a movie here, why isn't the hugest percentage of crew Ugandans? Um, and the thing is, we just don't have the skill set. It might be a skill set thing. Um, so, so there's that. So, so that's why skilling is important. Um, tools are important of course, because, I mean, tools are expensive. Um, a good quality camera with a good quality lens or a good quality drawing tab for an illustrator, um, is again, out of reach for most people, right.

[00:27:14] And so, uh, utilizing economies of scale to be able to, um, make those things affordable to more than, you know, one person, um, might, might make it easier for people to start their creative practice faster. Yep. The third one is access to markets. Um, again, most people will have the skill but they won't know how to put themselves out there, how to talk to the right people.

[00:27:38] Um, and that's why, you know, marketing is a department in most organizations in itself, right? And, and the expectation that a creative will be a creative, a good illustrator, but somehow also be a superstar marketeer is ridiculous, right?

Mm-hmm. Because the guys who run proper businesses know it doesn't work like that, right?

[00:28:00] There are certain people who know how to find markets. Uh, there's certain things that go into finding markets. There's, there's money, there's time, and a lot of times people don't have that. And so, um, being able to say, look, we'll cut that stuff out and we'll go out and sweat and find the market for you.

[00:28:19] Um, so you can concentrate on putting out the, the work that you want to put out. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

[00:28:26] Adrian (HOST): Nice. Thank you. Um, how has then your, you've talked a bit about your personal experience, but how has your personal experience as a human, as a, as a, um, creative, uh, formed what you've learnt or what are the things that you've learnt that you'd like to share as well?

[00:28:48] David Ogutu: Mm-hmm.

[00:28:50] So, for me as an individual, um, so I'm a self-taught creative, um, I've somehow been in the creative space in my entire life but I never went to creative school. The closest I got to that was Act School. Right. And I was privileged to be able to do that because it has informed a lot of the ways I do things.

[00:29:14] Um, but I taught myself, so I, I, in... I've always had the thing of creating space for creatives, somehow. Um, Don't know why. It just, it just seemed like a thing I

liked to do. So, I was forming bands, um, in school in my O-level and, you know, being part of this productions and stuff like that. When I went to my A level, it seemed like the space that, um, school was saying.

[00:29:47] Creativity in the school I was in was really limited. So, uh, a friend, me and a friend and a couple of friends decided to just form this new club that was, um, that opened up this scope and then put out... put on this show once a year that people doing all this different things. Um, and then I went into broadcast.

[00:30:11] Um, I auditioned to be part, uh, to be a radio presenter. I, I get the role with three other people, um, with two other people, sorry. Those two people get a radio show and I'm just seated there and I decide, look, I need to do something with my time anyway. Um, so I walk into the production studio. I learn how to do audio production.

[00:30:29] Um, and then, you know, that leads to, um, you know, me being part of like the creative team that's sort of building these programs. Uh, and then that's like what, 2009, you know, social media is just sort of becoming a thing at that point. And it's

intriguing and I'm just like, okay, you know what, Um, I mean to be able to do this, you know, you probably need to be like, learn a bit of graphic design. Right?

[00:30:56] Uh, and I am really tired of asking the people in the big monolithic organization to do things for me, cuz it takes forever. So, I teach myself graphic design. Um, and then I started doing my own graphic design. And, and it has always been like that way, like every challenge that has come, Oh, I'm doing this campaign.

[00:31:14] So, when we started doing the KoiKoi campaign, for example, I was not a photographer, um, but you know, the first trip were like all of six people, you know. And most of us were not photographers, so I'm just like, Oh, you know what? I need to learn how, how to photograph. I mean, so I'm not like a huge professional at all these things.

[00:31:32] Um, but um, I... it just sort of kept, you know, doing that. But also for me, the thing that sort of drove this thing home is that I had all these skills, right? Um, but I was

struggling to make money. Right. Um, and I was just like, I can't understand how, um, I have all these things, but I'm struggling to make money and, and I did not know how to find markets.

[00:32:00] I didn't know how to find the people who needed my services, um, and stuff like that. And said, Okay, you know, a lot of the stuff that we're trying to solve now are problems that I have faced as an individual. Um, and I am hoping that by solving them, I

can make life for the creatives who come after me a lot easier.

[00:32:23] I can make them start faster. I can help them make some money and not struggle, not go through the struggles that I've gone through. Yeah. Mm-hmm.

[00:32:31] Adrian (HOST): So, you've talked about the creatives finding, finding your way into being a creative, teaching yourself how to be a creative and teaching yourself and finding it natural to bring creatives together.

[00:32:45] So, where... who, who should find cre... Kafunda Kreative? Because it's not just those creatives, right? It's also people from outside design and outside creative, who want to find creatives. So, who should be contacting Kafunda Kreative and where should they be looking?

[00:33:05] David Ogutu: Um, so everyone should be. Okay. That's, that's just weird.

[00:33:09] But, uh, I think if you're looking... so, Kafunda Kreative focuses on five, um, six particular areas of the creative space. I mean, we can't, we can't do everything. Um, so, but we focus on, um, the content areas of the creative space. So, we focus on, um, photography. We focus on film, so it's videography. We focus on graphic design, um, illustration, animation and content writing, both copy and, um, long form writing.

[00:33:45] Um, so if you're in need of any of the services, uh, I think you should reach out. Um, and, and, and that's, that's a broad scope of things. It's from trying to figure out your company tagline, for example. We've written a couple of those, um, to trying

to, you know, write your latest newsletter to, um, running, um, a PR campaign that requires you to write 20 articles for print and for blog, and do photography and maybe do some illustration in between, um, to illustrating your children's book, um, to doing a poster for your next event to designing your brand. Um, so that's the, like, the breadth of work that we can do and, and reaching us is very, very easy. Uh, kafundakreative.com, that's k a f u n d a.

[00:34:36] And then creative, but with a K, that's k r e a t i v e.com. And when you go to that website, you'll be greeted, um, by a phrase, the easiest way to get creative work done because that's the truth. Um, and then there'll be two buttons, right? So, if you're

creative and you want to join the ecosystem, you say, there's a button that says find work.

[00:35:01] If you are, um, a business, um, and you're looking for that, there's a button that says find talent. So you click there, it will take you to a place that has three options. So, if you're just looking for a one off job, um, you want to do it, you're just looking for an in illustrator to, you know, do your health manual and stuff like that.

[00:35:18] You see poster job, right? If you're looking for someone to be attached to the organization for months, uhh three months, six months, a year. But you don't want to go through the madness of trying to hire someone. We have the talent scout program, right, where we attach someone. If you're looking for something more complex, you're

like, you know, I'm tired of my, um, ad agency.

[00:35:36] Uh, or it might even be that. It might just be that the job that you're looking for requires more than one person. So, you know, you need a photographer and a writer and a filmmaker to just go and document the work that your NGO is doing. Right? Um, so we'll put together a creative circle for you that will be able to do, um, to do that.

[00:35:56] Um, so it's very, very easy once you fill in that form, uh, someone from the team will get in touch with you, confirm the details of your job, and then, you know, we'll move forward to the next steps of, okay, this is what this job will cost. These are

the creatives who will be working on your job.

[00:36:10] This is how we will be communicating. Um, and just sort of move it from there on to be able to get your work out.

[00:36:18] Adrian (HOST): Are there any particular creatives on the platform, uh, or within your community who you think, uh, deserve a shout out? You'd like to, um, draw people's attention to their great work?

[00:36:31] I'm sure there are many.

[00:36:33] It's also ok to say no.

[00:36:35] David Ogutu: It's like asking me if I have a favorite child. Uh, like, no, not... nothing pops off the top of my head. And, and I think the reason that is, is that we have such a dive... we have 120 creatives on the platform, currently. And, and there's such a diverse team of creatives, um, from, I mean, for example, if you just look at the writers, for example, we have people who can, you know, write great ads and we have people

who can write great like NGO newsletters and they know that field and can whip it out.

[00:37:11] Um, and so it's very difficult to just say, hey, I'd like to shout-out to this person. We are trying to get people into the element on in which they're special. Mm-hmm. Right? And, and that would mean that I, I am thinking of one element as more special than the other, which, which is not the truth. So, it's very, very difficult to, to shout out to, to, to single out people.

[00:37:34] Um, Okay. Yeah, that's very, very difficult. Good. But, but shout outs... I mean, the team that works behind the scenes which is, um, a bunch of really creative people, um, who, you know, work tirelessly to make sure that this stuff moves. Um, the... our

creative director, Andrew, um, Lutakome, who is a brilliant self-taught graphic designer, is actually a vet by training.

[00:37:59] Um, but decided he wanted to do graphics design. Um, and so, you know, we have that, we have Consulate who is our community lead. I think she's the one who got in touch, um, with you. She's a brilliant, brilliant person. Um, We have, um, another boy

called Chwezi, um, who is our director of production. Again, self-taught, um, filmmaker, music, video director, Photoshop guru.

[00:38:28] Um, but also with, with an absolutely inspiring story of saying, look, I'm not going to, um, lean into the cycle in which my family's in, uh, and I'm going to use the creative arts to pull myself out by the socks. Um, and, and he's doing quite well right

now. Um, so, so I mean, just shouting out to those people who, whose stories are inspiring for starters and, um, they're motivating even internally, but also just, you know, make the time and the effort to just make sure that they're giving a hundred percent to try and build an... the creative community that they want to see. So...

[00:39:07] Adrian (HOST): Absolutely, well done team. It's always a team effort. It is here as well with the podcast, with Nairobi Design Week Festival and the studio.

[00:39:15] It's always a team effort. So, thank you. Thank you to the team as well. Yep. So any, any closing thoughts? Anything else you'd like to share?

[00:39:26] David Ogutu: No. First of all, thank you very much for having me, um, and for introducing me to your community. Um, I'm sure I'm certain I'm gonna have a lot of friends, uh, new friends, um, from Nairobi by the time I'm done with this.

[00:39:37] It's, it's exciting to see how, how that happens. Um, I look forward to seeing what this relationship turns out to be. Um, the podcast is just the beginning, so let's, uh, see what this happens. But for me, the parting remarks are... um, one, to creatives who are out there. Um, I think like community is really important and I think let's strive to build communities in which, you know, our work, um, first of all is critiqued.

[00:40:08] It's in the communities in which we grow, um, but also communities which can find people to collaborate with. Um, yeah, so Kafunda Kreative is not in Nairobi, yet. Uh, but, uh, it doesn't stop us from taking, um, I mean creatives from Nairobi. Um, And so if you're created from Nairobi and you want to sign up to Kafunda Kreative, cause sometimes we have people come and say, Oh, do you have Africa-wide reach?

[00:40:32] And we're like, No, not yet. You know? So, if you're creative in Nairobi or whatever part of Africa will be listening to this podcast. Um, Kafunda Kreative is not only open to Ugandans, um, what we're trying to do is build an African creative ecosystem so that um, if we have the ability to be able to say, hey, someone needs work done in South Africa.

[00:40:57] We can be able to send a South African photographer or a Nairobi photographer. We don't have to say, oh, you know, let's get a, a photographer from Uganda to jump on a bus to come and do that. Mm-hmm. Um, because we want to build, want, want the company's built around local communities and want to be able to do that.

[00:41:13] So, just go check out the website, sign up. Um, you have a link that says drop your portfolio, please just drop it there. And whenever we find work that suits your skill set, I will be able to send that to you. Um, so, so that's, that, that's important, um, for me to say, but also just let's, let's keep creating. Um, it's, it's, I think one of the most inspiring things for me is taking time off to look at other people's work.

[00:41:41] Uh, and, um, if the last couple of years have taught us anything is that the world would be such a miserable place, um, without art and without people who are taking the time to create. Um, and I know sometimes art can be lonely and, um, unsatisfying and a lot of times very bad economically. Mm-hmm. Um, I mean part of that is because people don't appreciate art on one hand.

[00:42:10] The other half is because we are really bad at asking for what we are worth as creatives. Um, but I'll just like, like keep creating. Um, I look at a lot of photographers from Nairobi and I'm just like, hey, that's pretty cool. I'd like to work with that guy. Um, you know, um, and, and it's just from just creating and sharing your work, you have absolutely no idea who your work is inspiring and what difference it's making in the world, but you just putting it out there.

[00:42:39] So, um, keep creating and, and you never know. Things do come out of the woodwork um, when you least expect them.

[00:42:47] Adrian (HOST): Yep. Thank you David.

[00:42:49] David Ogutu: Thank you. Thank you very much for having me. Appreciate.

[00:42:52] Adrian (HOST): It's a pleasure. Cheers.

In this episode, we're off to Uganda. We have a conversation with the co-founder of Kafunda Kreative, which is a platform that connects creatives with markets to further their creative career. We discuss the challenges that creatives in Africa face and the possible solutions/steps that can be taken to elevate freelancers and those in the creative industry. He shares his life experiences and how they shaped the company and opened doors for not just him but others around him. He talks further about his main goal, which is to provide what he lacked as a creative to make it easier for those who come after him.

LinkedIn: David Ogutu

WebsiteKafunda Kreative

Episode Credits

Produced by Nairobi Design

Host: Adrian Jankowiak

Producer, Shorts & ArtworkDavid King'ori

Music: Ngalah Oreyo (@ngalah_oreyo) and Mercy Barno (@merc.b_)