Safaricom through its youth network BLAZE, yesterday held the Be Your Own Boss (BYOBKisumu) youth mentorship summit at the ASK Showground in Kisumu County.
Over 4000 youth from Kisumu and the surrounding counties got access to 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.
This marked the second of three summits planned this year, with the first one having been held in Mombasa last month, and the final one planned for Machakos County in September.
Mentors who graced the summit include; 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) and Catherine Mahugu (Founder, Soko, a luxury fashion brand).
Tanzanian artist, Harmonize also made an appearance in the event as a guest artist come-mentor.
During the summit BLAZE subscribers got a chance to sign up for a three-day creation camp, which will be held at the same venue from August 29th – 31st.
The creation camp targets 350 BLAZE subscribers with a unique opportunity to engage with mentors drawn from various fields, who will share their experiences and knowledge with the aim of inspiring the youth to succeed in their chosen careers.
“The summits and creation camps are designed to offer training, networking opportunities and economically empower the youth. We have mentorship opportunities tailored towards nurturing and guiding the youth especially those considered to be in unconventional careers. We urge the young people from Kisumu and the surrounding counties to grab these opportunities and make a difference in life,” said Paula Kere, Youth Segment – Safaricom.
BLAZE has partnered with Huawei, Centonomy, design-thinking firm Bluesky Innovations, eMobilis Mobile Technology Institute and Generation Kenya – an education to employment programme launched by McKinsey & Company and supported by USAID and the Safaricom Foundation, among others – to help young Kenyans to secure entry-level jobs in sectors such as finance, retail, hospitality, technology and manufacturing.
The BLAZE BYOB summits and creation camps will culminate in the 3rd season of the BYOB TV show, in which 12 entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 26 years old will compete for a chance to win a grand prize of KShs 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.
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.