Happy new year! I hope you had some time to rest and rejuvenate as the year turned. A good chunk of my holiday was spent in Moshi, Tanzania. I stayed at my late grandparents' home – resting, reading and spending time with family. I came back to Nairobi with renewed enthusiasm and clarity! There are several big (and slightly scary) adventures – design and otherwise – on the horizon this year, for me and for the Studio. I look forward to sharing them with you.
The first one starts next week, when 3 creative friends and I set off for a 15,000km+ road trip through southern Africa (see below).
Over the past two and a half years at Asilia, we've learned a heck of a lot and we've always been keen to share that learning with other entrepreneurs and passionate people, so that they can avoid some of the pitfalls themselves. Increasingly, particularly with the Kenya side of the business, we've been approached by people who are frustrated by the whole website creation process. Whether it's designers and developers gone rogue or a struggle to manage the various aspects that are involved in producing a great site.
We've conspired with some of our collaborators and are happy to announce the first session in Asilia's new training series: Project Web – a one-day course in executing website projects. This is an opportunity for designers, developers, project managers, account managers, students and other web enthusiasts to learn from an international agency and professionals who have worked in the industry for over 10 years.
What will you get out of it?
An understanding of how to effectively manage website projects
An overview of the different components involved in website creation, from pre-project; planning and specifications; design; development; data entry and testing and; deployment and maintenance
Learning on how to manage enterprise-level projects across several teams and/or organisations
An introduction of how to coordinate and work with international clients and/or teams
A take-home course pack containing material covered on the day and additional resources that you can reference when working on your website projects
For the occassion, I thought I'd share some other girl-dedicated initiatives:
The Girl Effect
The Girl Effect is a MOVEMENT. It's about about ending poverty. And it's about doing so by investing in girls: "The Girl Effect is about girls. And boys. And moms and dads and villages and towns and countries"
Here's a girl (a woman actually) I know who's on a mission to inspire girls and young women in Kenya that they can pursue their dream careers with confidence. Afri-girl aims to open girls up to the opportunities available to them by sharing the stories of those who have gone for it already.
I had a few interesting discussions yesterday, about feminism, activism and an observed apathy towards pushing for change. It's been the theme of my week actually. We get frustrated about things and sometimes we ignore the things we wish were different, sometimes we just complain but, why don't we get up and DO? Why don't we act on creating the change we want? I've been reflecting about how I can be more active in the interest of the things that I stand for.
The motivation behind the Afri-love interview series is to demonstrate the possibilities that come with pursuing your passion. The interviews acknowledge that the path is challenging and they show how its travellers have persisted through adversity with wonderful results. As with the blog in general, there is a strong creative thread – poets, painters, musicians, designers, artists, writers and people creating change through activism.
Here's a round-up of some popular interviews from a diverse group of inspiring people:
As Nakumatt malls pop up all over the place in Nairobi, large impersonal retailers in Western countries are hitting hard times. People in these countries are demanding experiences that: make communities vibrant; are architecturally harmonious with their surroundings; are small business friendly and; offer localised rather than one-size-fits-all solutions.
The late bird catches a break
Do we have to follow the same path that these countries have travelled to reach similar conclusions, decades from now? Can we learn from the experiences of the West and avoid this fate?
I am fortunate to have spent Christmas with family and friends, eating good home-cooked food and sharing laughter. I hope that all of you who celebrate the holiday had a good one and that all of you who don't and had the opportunity to take a break, had a refreshing day. With just one week until we step into 2011, I find myself putting myself under pressure to properly take stock of the year and plan ahead for the next one. I'm making it a point to keep dragging myself back to the present moment and not stress toooooo much about all the expectations that come with the New Year milestone. We'll see what happens over this coming week though!
Here is a round-up of all of last week's posts, in case you missed anything:
A huge thanks to you for taking the time to read and share comments, facebook appreciation and tweet love. Remember, you can also get updates via facebook, twitter and by subscribing to the Afri-love feed.
Feedback is incredibly useful to me so, please drop me a line with any comments, suggestions, ideas etc.
Next week, look out for:
Quote of the year
A round-up on the 9 most popular posts of the year
What satisfies you? I want to know…
Sudan Independence Day
An end of the year TGIF! special
Have a fantastic final week of 2010. Be proud of all you've learned, discovered and achieved and let it inspire the year ahead!
*Intel from Google Analytics Images from top: Rachel Stewart, TMS Ruge, Rafiya, Chief Nyamweya, Agnes Kuye. See respective posts for full image credits. Incidentally, the images in this post read like a natural afro hair poster – one love!