Someone once told me that the Kenyan creatives industry is fuelled by two negatives: ignorance and selfishness. He argued that most creatives in the country don’t take the time to master their craft and really understand the rules, makings and workings behind it. Instead they just focus on one dimension and hope it will work. In my journey as a creative and a freelance journalist I have to say this is not far from the truth and I was one of those people. To fix this I decided to take action and figure this industry out. It was around this time that the genesis of Y-Cafe at the YMCA came to my attention. I was lucky enough to attend the first edition and I was intrigued enough to decide to share this hidden gem and why as a creative or someone willing to understand the Kenyan industry you should attend this event.
1. It’s for creatives by creatives.
The first thing you’ll notice is it’s line-up of presenters made up of actual artists. Sometimes even people you see on tv. These are the people who have been in the industry for a while and understand how the industry works. It’s not just a bunch of ‘professionals’ giving you maps to waters they haven’t traversed or were lucky to wade through. These are people in the business, experiencing the industry’s activities first hand.
2. It is informative and entertaining at the same time.
The aim for the Y-Cafe is for creatives to come together and learn from each other. This is not a jamming session or an opinion poll. It’s a place of education. Entertainment is there but this is not a concert. This is like a cool version of art school with temporary moments of ‘recess’. However, this shouldn’t get you thinking that it’s a boring lecture hall, far from it. The information and experiences shared are very captivating and real. They are more human than the google article you’re probably researching on.
3. The line up is diverse.
This is an event for every creative. When most people hear this they just think, musicians. If that’s the case, you’re in for a rude awakening. This event caters to artists in almost all fields. Designers, musicians, dancers, artists…you name it you’ll be taken care of.
4. It’s at YMCA Central Kenya.
For those of you worried about security and stuff like that. The location should encourage you to attend it. This shouldn’t be an excuse anymore. The YMCA is a very safe and accommodating venue. Chances of you running into trouble to and from the event are next to zero. On the other hand, if you’re a creative you’ll be around your people thus it feels like home. Most of all chances of you getting lost are also next to impossible considering how easy it is to locate it.
5. They offer snacks.
The Y cafe just began a few months ago. It’s yet to tick all the bells and whistles but considering its starting and selling point, it does more than enough to achieve its objectives. This Friday will be its third edition and you’ll be be glad you attended. If these reasons aren’t selling it to you, come make your own we’re all creatives after all.