Jackie Kidaha, The Kenyan Young Lady Who Is Investing in Art

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Jackie Kidaha is a 30 year old lady outgoing introvert. She is passionate about development communication, art & crafts, mentally wellness and nature phone photography during her personal self moments. With a heart of soft spot for merging her undergraduate knowledge into actualizing art programs for children, pre-teens and teenagers where they learn diverse artistic skills, she created Nkwaniliza Crafts Africa, community-centered-art hub with a wide range of artistic products, services and programs for different age groups at an affordable rate.

Jackie graduated at the University of Nairobi where she studied Journalism and Media Studies specializing in Development Communication. She has worked in different fields and capacities namely Communication Coordinator in a Disability Mainstreaming organization, Project Assistant with The Times UK (United Kingdom), News Writer at Kenya News Agency, Cohesion Monitor with National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) and now at Living Goods supporting Communications.

Jackie Kidaha

All is about creativity

Artistic creativity began in Jackie’s childhood. Since then, the urge to craft or create moved in slowly by slowly till when she reached on campus at University of Nairobi in around 2013/2014 when she got much exposed to artistic materials, art exhibitions around the study that it tickled her to begin. She was lucky to have some positive mentor push from Esther Njuguna and a friend Sharon Adhiambo who showed her the first shop to purchase cardstock papers for card-making in Nairobi downtown.

Nkwaniliza Crafts

At first, she experienced some challenges in terms of that transition from passion to profi. “Bit of pricing my items, financial capacity considering that I was still in campus no stable income stream by then. Currently, I am still feeling some bit of COVID-19 effects that made me to close my art space, prioritizing basic needs versus art needs from a client perspective and the aspect of not appreciating art by some people till now », she regrets.

Despite all the challenges Jackied encounters, she notices, today, a huge improvement. “Especially when I look at some cards photos I used to create back then and now, total shift I can attest. More so in terms of packaging the art products when doing deliveries, design work for my social media channels have totally shifted on a good way because everyday I challenge myself on learning and becoming better », reveals.

 

Today, progress is promising

When Jackie created Nkwaniliza Crafts Africa, she commits to ensure that her initiative community art sessions are inclusive and participatory. Her initiative started officially operating in September 2018. Currently, Jackie has a team of 5 youths whom she works with on need-basis. “Nkwaniliza plays an important role in fostering creativity, life skills through art and promoting some sustainable development goals( SDGs ) through reusing and upcycling of some art resources/supplies », she rejoices.

Nkwaniliza Crafts

Today, Nkwaniliza Crafts Africa is having a Jasiri Art Club where children are subscribed by their parents for art sessions during school holidays to better their self expression and confidence. “We are also having community art engagements not only in Nairobi but also in Busia, Kajiado and Kakamega County with our main goal being reshaping minds through art », she precises.

Jackie confides to find her customers from different parts of Kenya as she makes deliveries countrywide at the moment using courier services.  « My customers have been made through family, friends’ referrals and through social media marketing channels for Nkwaniliza Crafts Africa (Instagram & Facebook) », she highlights.

Nkwaniliza Crafts

Prices vary depending on the product, size, quantity and customization specification. « My prices range from Ksh 500 to Ksh 3000. While art trainings range between Ksh 3000 to Ksh 10000 depending on the number of people to be engaged and hours too », she explains.

Jackie is so far proud to have made her way into artistic entrepreneurship. “A path that I will never look back and regret of anything whatsoever because it’s the passion driving and keeping me a float. This journey has aligned some toughest values like being patient, resilient and creative thinker in all seasons », she puts.

Nkwaniliza Crafts

Therefore, Jackie advises the youths who are haunted by unemployment to never underestimate what their hands can do.« Being teamed up with your mind and the education you managed to get that’s all you can use to make your life better. Atthe shifting economic times come with a big blow but you have to remain your biggest cheerleader whatsoever that , ” tomorrow must be better”.»

 

Melchisedeck Boshirwa

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