Safaricom has kicked off the third edition of its BLAZE Be Your Own Boss youth engagements, which will this year be held in Mombasa, Kisumu and Machakos counties.
Be Your Own Boss (BYOB) features youth mentorship summits, creation camps and a reality-style TV show, all focused on empowering Kenyan youth to achieve success by providing valuable information, skills and networking opportunities in a variety of fields including: creative arts (fashion, photography, graffiti, music, film and television), agriculture, retail and manufacturing.
Each summit will be preceded by a week of on-ground and in-campus activations and followed by a three-day creation camp, where 350 young, passionate BLAZE subscribers will be immersed in intensive training to equip them with skills to succeed in their chosen fields.
To deepen knowledge and skills sharing during the creation camps, BLAZE has partnered with Huawei, Centonomy, design thinking firm Bluesky Innovations, eMobilis Mobile Technology Institute, and Wezesha, a youth employment partnership between the Safaricom Foundation and Generation – a multi-country employment to education programme. These partners will provide a mix of content, training and employment opportunities to BLAZE subscribers who attend the creation camps.
“From the insights gained during the first two seasons, this year we will focus on empowering Kenyan youth by offering training programs designed to build entrepreneurial skills for economic empowerment, especially in unconventional careers such as the arts. We will also be partnering with Wezesha and Huawei to guide BLAZERs to entry-level jobs in fashion, retail, agriculture, financial industry, and technology,” said Charles Wanjohi, Interim Director of Consumer Business – Safaricom.
Like in the past two editions, attendees will get the opportunity to engage with 30 mentors through interest-specific pods where they will be able to ask questions and learn from mentors’ experiences.
The first BYOB Summit of the season will be held at the Mombasa Sports Club on Friday, 27th July, and will feature mentors including: John Kaveke and David Avido (fashion designers), Fena Gitu (singer/songwriter), Joy Kendi (fashion blogger), Enos Olik (video director), Catherine Kamau (actress), Eric Kinoti (Founder and CEO, Shade Systems), Caleb Karuga (farmer and agribusiness consultant), Catherine Mahugu (Founder, Soko, a luxury fashion brand), DJ Euphoric and Mombasa-based celebrity chef – Chef Ali Mandhry, among others.
“Kenyan youth are among the most innovative, driven people in the country. They are passionate and are willing to work hard to achieve their dreams. Our role as a brand is to find ways to create opportunities that will empower them as they chase their aspirations. That’s what BYOB is all about,” said Mr. Wanjohi.
The BLAZE BYOB summits and creation camps will culminate in the BYOB TV show, in which 12 Kenyan entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 26 years old will compete for a chance to win a grand prize of KES 5 million in a reality TV-style competition.
The first season of the TV show saw 19-year-old fashion designer Valentine Nekesa win the grand prize, while Brian Rono, a potato farmer from Eldoret, emerged the last boss standing in the second season. Brian will be joined by season 2 runners up Daisy Wanzala and Monica Nyawira as young mentors during the Mombasa Summit.
BLAZE is a sub-brand of Safaricom and was launched in 2016 to give youth aged 26 years and below products, services, and benefits tailored specifically to meet their everyday needs.
A first of its kind platform in Kenya, East, and Central Africa, BLAZE was founded on what Kenyan youth say is most important to them: freedom, empowerment, and success.