Interview With Njugush On The Safaricom Twaweza Live Experience And Why It’s More Than Just A Concert

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Safaricom has been involved in many community-based projects. One of these projects is the Twaweza Live which kicked off in May 2018 and has already toured the Rift Valley, Eastern and Coast Region. The Safaricom Twaweza Live campaign has organized medical camps, campus takeovers, musical concerts, talent search and mentorship programmes.

The campaign aims at nurturing music talents by giving local artists from different regions a stage to perform in concerts organized by Twaweza Live. It aims at empowering such artists by educating them on how to make money off their craft and financial management through their SKIZA boot camp.

The Twaweza live campaign will also support 6 Corporate Social Investment projects selected by members of the public from different regions which back Twaweza Live’s aim at building community ties with its customers.

Safaricom Twaweza Live They have partnered with The Safaricom Foundation, Kenya Diabetes Management and M-TIBA to set up medical camps and offer medical checkups.

The campaign has been received positively with over 15,000 people showing up to the Eldoret concert. They held auditions at Boma Inn in search for a Deejay, hype master and musician. The selected winners performed at the Safaricom Twaweza Live concert in Eldoret. The concert was held at Eldoret Golf Club with electric performances by Nyashinski, Redsan, Wahu, Naiboi, Wyre among others.

In Meru, the second leg of the campaign, the turnout was as large as in Eldoret. Members of the public received free medical checkups. An upcoming Meru vocalist, Immaculate Kaimuri, aka Emma Kaim, who won the Best Singer category, will get to collaborate with Wahu on a record and will be produced by Musyoka. Nahim, who won the hype master category, will be mentored by MC Malemba while DJ Tremor, winner of the Mixmaster category, will be mentored by DJ Joe Mfalme. Farmers in the area were also introduced to the Digifarm app which is an agribusiness solution that equips small-scale farmers with financial information on crops and livestock.

The Mombasa tour took place this past weekend. So far, the campaign has nurtured talent in all its destinations. The concerts are well organized with massive attendance. We talked to Hezekiah Njuguna aka Njugush, and one of Safaricom Twaweza Live featured acts.

 

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What are you doing for Twaweza Live?

For Twaweza Live? Umm… My name is Hezekiah Njuguna. Now, for Twaweza Live, niko pale as a comedian. Mimi ni mtu wakuja kuharibu watu wakitengeneza programme. My role there is one, kuhamasisha watu for example what we did with Mombasa, kuwaambia we are going there, two, as a comedian and three, as Njugush.

How has the whole process been since you started out to do this? You’ve done many things with Safaricom.

It’s been a beautiful journey. We started with Blaze Be Your Own Boss.

What did you do for Blaze?

In Blaze, I was a mentor.

How were you mentoring them?

I was mentoring them in the Arts category. That was last year, then after that I built a relationship with Safaricom. They had several campaigns which I was a part of. I was in the Jitambulishe Campaign and the the Giga Bundle campaign which just ended the other day for World Cup. It’s basically campaigns and getting to people if there is a message that is supposed to be passed. Yes, I’m there as Njugush the comic. Comedy really passes information well and I have been successful at it. Information is consumed well when you are entertaining. Guys are going to consume information if there is some kind of entertainment aspect rather than just giving out information.

As a comedian generally, what are some of the triumphs and challenges you have faced and the triumphs? People may think that you are e an overnight success.

I think the challenges are a lot but wacha nianze na triumphs. Triumphs is being where I am right now. If you remember two, three years ago nilitoka kwa television and people expected that would be my downfall. Walikuwa hadi na case study, huyu alitoka, ikaenda… But you know, having trusted in social media, I saw it has a wide reach. Everyone right now spends a lot of time on the phone and we believed in the dream.

One of the challenges is getting content that is relatable to people every other day because guys expect content. They don’t care where you get it or what you do. All they want is content.

Two being relevant in every situation because at some point you can be relevant for one thing but when it comes to other things… When you see people like Safaricom trusting you with certain campaigns, it means it makes sense but it’s a challenge getting to that point. Kusikiliza watu kwa boardroom and telling them this can work and this can’t.

Another challenge is maintaining the momentum. As much as one of the greatest triumphs ni kufika pahali nimefika, one of the greatest challenges is maintaining that form.

Do people take you seriously outside of the funny role?

Yes, like now you’re taking me seriously (laughs). It is hard, though, because guys expect you to be just the joking type. It’s really hard but I take that as an advantage. If you don’t expect me to be serious, by the way, I won’t be serious.

So have you made it yet?

Now, what can I say? Bado sijafika so siwezi sema niko na triumphs.  Nimefanya A, B, C, D  but one of the greatest triumphs is having been where I am right now in terms of I’ve been on social media not on TV. Mimi kwangu that’s a big triumph because every time you talk to young guys, you can do whatever you do, you can post it online. You know, social media is so big. Like there was a guy who is called Jaymo Ule Msee. He was first on FB (Facebook) then he went to radio. So, I think that’s one of my greatest triumphs, being where I am right now against all odds.

I believe for the young guys, they’re always on their phone. Wao ndio wanauliza WiFi password. If you have such fans and you have content, the next thing you do is pushing that content. If you push na watu wanakubali, that’s a triumph.

What would you say are the elements to create a successful online brand? As you said, the last three years, you were really big on Real Housewives then go off the show.

One is consistency. Kama leo nikikuja hii wiki nipate video, then the next week and the next sipati video, sitarudi kwa hiyo page but when I come leo napata video then after two weeks nacome napata two videos then I’ll subscribe to this channel.

Two, you must also know what works for your audience. Just know what they want. Kama ni ufala, give them. There are some guys who just want fashion, sasa ukianza mambo ya inspiration hamtaenda fiti. There some pages we have for inspiration. People follow T.D Jakes for inspiration. Kuna wengine wana follow The Rock wanataka kufanya tizi. Kuna wengine wanafollow Njugush for looking good. So, it’s about understanding your audience. Those two are key for a reason.

Why do you think Twaweza Live is an important concept as a whole?

It is now an experience vis-à-vis just a musical concert. At the end of the day, if you want to get people to consume your product, you have first of all touch their lives. That’s the whole idea. One of the best advertisements we have is where we touch on human interest not just making money. When we go to the people and do the medical camps, we get to touch lives. For example, Coast has a maternity unit in the medical camps. When we get to touch lives in such a manner, it’s going to be less tedious to advertise your products. For me, I’m mostly for the people.  For instance, Twaweza has a maternity unit in the medical camps. When you have the people’s interest at heart, it becomes easier to market your product.

Where do you see yourself in the next one year? You’re doing a lot of campaigns for Safaricom, are you planning on going big on social or are you planning on going back to TV?

Okay, in the next one year I am going back to TV at the end of the year but what I’d really want for myself… Well, I  have actually opened a company and we plan on going big on digital.

Digital yours or digital marketing for brands?

Digital marketing for brands. Yes, it’s going heavy because you realize it’s a serious issue where you need a team thinking about content and improving the content.

If you were to advice young guys, guys who were you 10 years ago, what would you tell them about making their brand better?

I think just to keep doing what you’re doing. Consistency, as I said. At times, we change something thinking it’s not working just when it’s almost that time for your breakthrough. So, keep doing what you’re doing.

For more on Safaricom Twaweza Live and what it’s all about, check out Everything You Need To Know About Safaricom Twaweza Live Campaign 

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