Showing posts with label Technology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Technology. Show all posts

Mbira : The Fun and Interactive Game Inspired by Zimbabwe

On the 21st of May 2020 Zimbabwe celebrated the beginning of their culture week. Google Doodle honoured this day with an interactive game of Zimbabwe's 1000 year old musical instrument called the Mbira. The creation of the Google Doodle was a collaboration of different people in different fields, from writers to musicians, to visual artists and game developers.

Every game has a story and the Mbira Google Doodle is no exception.
This interactive experience follows the story of a little girl from the day she first fell in love with the Mbira to when she grows up and becomes a musician that plays the Mbira in a band. I loved watching how her mother was supportive throughout her creative journey.

The interactive experience challenged the player to play 4 traditional and modern songs in 4 levels. The songs are titled Nhemamusasa, Bangiza, Taireva and Chemutengure.

They played by simply hovering over a key on the Mbira at just the right time, following instructions that were laid out at the very beginning of the game. What I found special about this particular google doodle is that the Google team actually took a trip to Zimbabwe and worked closely with the Shona people so as to capture the authentic culture of the people in the game.

In this case, the levels and chapters of the interactive experience are synonymous. This is unlike in normal games where levels are strict and you have to finish one level to proceed to another; I realized that did not apply here. On the final page of the game, you can click on replay and choose a chapter you would like to play again or create your own mbira songs in free play. The game's 4 levels went as follows:

Level 1: It starts with the little girl walking with her Mum who is carrying a baby on her back. When the little girl hears an old Man play the Mbira, she stops right on her tracks forcing her mother to do the same. She then pushes the mother towards the old man's direction. The old Man notices her fascination with the instrument, stops playing and let's her touch it for her very first time. After that we continue listening to some beautiful Zimbabwean music as we are instructed on how to play the first song Nhemamusasa.

Level 2: Here we see a man making a tiny mbira. What's even more special about this particular moment is that the little girl has also participated in making it. We are shown the little girl picking bottle tops and handing them to the man for him to fix them on the Mbira. Once it is ready, he hands it over to the little girl and joy is written all over her face and we later see her hugging it dearly. After this emotional moment the player is taught how to play the song Bangiza.

Level 3: Takes us to the girl - now older - playing the Mbira with her peers who are dancing and playing other instruments. Her mother is still by her side as she is the one who brings her to this space. Before we proceed with the game play, we are taught about how the large calabash gourds used to make Mbiras help amplify the sound of the music. Playing the song Taivera is the next challenge in the game.

Level 4: The young girl is now an adult and plays in a band with a large crowd watching. We are taught that the Mbira can be featured with electric bands in Zimbabwe alongside drums and guitars. Things go full circle when she hands down the instrument to a young boy just the way it was handed down to her years ago. 

This highlights how the Shona people have managed to preserve the Mbira  for 1000 years through handing it down to the next generations. We then play the song Chemutengure and just like the journey of the young girl our journey as players also goes full circle.

It is a sweet story and an amazing interactive experience that introduces us to the special instrument of the Shona people. I'd like to urge you to try it out yourself here.The music from the mbira is soothing and with the current state of the World right now, the Mbira Google Doodle could not have come at a better time. 

Here are some wise words to follow as we stay safe and healthy during this pandemic. 
"Time is a healer, pain is a teacher, music is a stress reliever, be a believer" - Sauti Sol. And on that note I will leave you with these soothing sounds of the Mbira from Zimbabwe. Enjoy!

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My Little Miracle

My little Miracle.  I had been distressed and in constant search before I found her. Long hours spent on YouTube trying to figure things out left me tired and with a slight headache. Then I  received a message, a sign I believe was from my angels.

The sign I saw was a recurring number, only I do not remember which number specifically. This number's meaning reminded me to ask for what I needed, to let go, and to allow the help I needed into my life. So I did and in letting go I let her, my little Miracle, into my life easily.

I also opened up a flood gate of uplifting messages from my loved ones too - something we all need when we've been pushing ourselves too hard.

Anyway, enough with the suspense already, right? Thanks to Mavis Beacon, I am touch typing on her right now. These words are manifesting in my little Miracle with the ease with which she manifested into my life. She is a lovely 17inch MacBook Pro that has aged with such amazing grace under the care of her previous loving Guardian.

Ng'endo holding up my little Miracle.

Her previous Guardian is my Mentor and a beautiful soul called Ng'endo.  I wrote a little about her here. She has been my human Guardian Angel ever since I met her, guiding me through so many important stages in my life. 

So here's what happened. I had sent her a funny cat video that reminded me of her cat Chairman. The kitten was biting a laptop screen and somehow the conversation led to me casually telling her about my poor laptop.

My previous laptop crashed right after I got a new job as an Online Art Instructor, an opportunity which I also have Ng'endo to thank for recommending me. Before letting go as my angels suggested, I had taken to obsessively researching online to find a laptop with great specs so that when I go to do my Masters in Animation, it will still perform well under the weight of the heavy animation software I'd be using.

I had everything planned out: I would send money to my sister who is scheduled to come back soon from her studies in China. She would buy me a cost effective laptop on her way back. I would send her the specifications of the kind of laptop I needed and she would be my go between with the Chinese laptop dealers. It was perfect.

It is interesting how things unfold, because her first contact whom she had dealt with for long and had built trust with did not have the kind of laptop I needed. Then she met an English-speaking laptop dealer and I could tell from her texts that she was excited; she had a good feeling about him helping us. My spirits naturally rose as well and my hope was renewed. Fast forward to a few days later, he stopped responding to my sisters' texts so again we went back to ground zero.

This is where the overwhelm escalated. And in the nick of time, my angels came to my rescue with the uplifting message I mentioned before. So I let go.

After casually mentioning my predicament to Ng'endo, she texted me a few days later offering to sell me her old MacBook Pro. For how much you ask? 7 Kenyan thousand shillings only. Where on this earth can you get that kind of an offer on a MacBook? To add onto that, she also mentioned that I could return it if it had any issues in 3 months and get my money back. Talk about a warranty.

So we made a deal and the transaction happened. My little Miracle which had helped her make some of her great films was still in good shape. 

Now to take you back to my belief in angels and how they are always communicating with me through various ways, another interesting thing happened when I went to collect my little Miracle. When we were catching up, maintaining social distance of course,  Ng'endo mentioned she had been watching this series and had seen someone that looked familiar.

Sasha Compere from Miracle Workers

After watching it a couple of times, her boyfriend told her the TV character looked like me but she had a slightly different perception. Usually people tell you that they saw someone who looked like you. Never had I met someone before Ng'endo who told me they saw someone who looked like they could be related to me.

To make things even more interesting, the series she was watching is called Miracle Workers. I mean, what are the odds? And when she sent me the picture of the character she was talking about, I saw my Aunty Kamene at first glance. 

My Aunty Kamene and I enjoying a selfie moment.

I was so excited and went round the house asking my Mum and Sister who they thought this character looked like. They both agreed that she looked like my Aunty Kamene who I have been told a couple of times I resemble.

So I sent a picture of my aunty and I alongside this character's picture to Ng'endo just to let her know that she was right in thinking that way. And when I narrated this story to my friend, she told me she had recently watched a TED talk about how to become a Miracle Worker.

See? That is why I have a strong belief in angels and miracles. I am always receiving these amazing manifestations and experiences that feel guided. I wanted to share this with you because I made a vow to share more positive and uplifting stories with as many people as I can. We always need inspiring stories but I feel like we need them even more nowadays with Rona's menacing pandemic. 

So that was my little Miracle. Thanks for reading all through. Do you have a positive story about something amazing that happened to you? Please feel free to share below in the comment section. Let's keep each other's spirits high.
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How Gamification Can Help You Break Language Barriers

Imagine yourself at a workshop full of Africans in different cultural attires that represent all the colors of a rainbow. Africans from Francophone countries and from other Anglophone countries.

You are supposed to work together to come up with a particular solution for your countries but because of the language barrier, you have Duo. Duo's second name is Lingo and he is the translator.

Duo is your typical Ethiopian, handsome and pleasant with hair you feel like touching by mistake and saying oops I'm sorry! As you smile and walk away thinking - mission accomplished!

He tries to be at the workshop in good time before the sessions start and he also tries to translate what is said in a way that both parties understand satisfactorily.

But Duo is only human and on the third day of the conference, he has an emergency that he has to attend to. And so the rest of you are left looking at each other wondering how the hell you will communicate effectively without Duo.

This is until Francois comes in and saves the day. Francois is from Cameroon and has this interesting hat with green, red and yellow. Colors found on his country's flag. Although he is from a French-speaking country, he also knows the English language.

So you proceed with the session of the day with Francois helping with the translation. He too struggles to translate correctly.

The previous day, you already noticed from Duo how exhausting translating can be even when it's done by a pro.

Duo translated back in English when he was supposed to translate in French and vice versa a couple of times on that day. Because of this, he was met with looks of confusion and some squashed giggles.

I hope you have seen that picture because that was my experience earlier this year when I went to Ethiopia for a workshop organized for the gamification project Enter Africa at the Goethe Institute in Addis Ababa.

Since Enter Africa is an ongoing project during and after the workshop, we still have communication issues on WhatsApp. Some people translate but most times we English speakers are left wondering what is being discussed.

All these experiences, and the fact that in the evenings after the workshop I resorted to hanging out with the English speaking people in the hotel, sparked a strong desire in me to learn French.

I really wanted to interact with my newly made Francophone friends too but the barrier in language made that an impossible task.

This flame of desire was further ignited by a conversation I had with my cousin who happens to be a game enthusiast. I asked him if he had interacted with an app that uses gamification before and if so how it had worked out for him.

A spark lit in his eye as he narrated how the language learning app Duolingo had helped him ace his French exams. How he had scored the highest in the subject. And we are talking really high because he is currently studying Civil Engineering on scholarship abroad meaning he had also passed the other subjects.

I told him that I had learned a bit of French in high school before I picked art over french classes in my second year. A couple of years ago, I had also toyed around with Duolingo before I discovered and became passionate about gamification.

As a result of my phone's storage space problems, I had since uninstalled the app. Now I had a reason to reinstall it.

But wait.

There was a better solution. As we finished our conversation, he mentioned that there's no need to download the app because one can easily access it through a browser on the phone.

With that motivation from my cousin and knowledge on how to easily access the free platform, I resumed my Duolingo journey.

The following are screenshots of my experience so far with learning french through gamification on the app and how it is influencing my learning process so far. Just a heads up for those interested in the definition of gamification I defined it in my previous article.

List of achievements I have gotten so far.

An award for maintaining a 7-day streak of practice on Duolingo

Persuasion to complete a days lesson in order to join the leaderboard. A leaderboard is where your name as a Duolingo learner is ranked against others to bring about the competitiveness found in games.

In this case, I was number 28 on the leaderboard and had accumulated a total of 100xp(experience points)

This is the most recent shot of where I am currently ranked in the leaderboard. You can only imagine how excited I am to keep on improving.

I always earn points for completing my 20min daily goal

I was crowned for reaching level 1 in the activities category of my lessons

Advanced to the Gold league

Advanced to Sapphire league

Graph that compares previous performance with the current performance.

As I tracked my progress on the graph I was challenged to level up and 40 points later, I was close to the previous days level on the graph.

As Trevor Noah rightly put it in his book born a crime , language unites people even beyond race. So why not take the opportunity to learn it in a fun and efficient way for free.

It is important to note that Swahili is one of the languages you can also learn on Duolingo. I look forward to improving on my mother tongue through a similar solution one day. What about you?

I would like for you to join me in reimaginiing yourself fluent in the language you've always wanted to learn. Getting back to reality, open a new tab on the device you are using to read this and check Duolingo out. You will soon become your own personal translator.

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How to Easily Start Your Fun New IGTV Channel

A few months ago, a local village in the awesome Kenyan movie Supa Modo created an action film to raise the spirits of a lovely young girl who was terminally ill and living her last days. Just like these very unlikely film creators, I think very soon we will all be video creators. And now with the simplicity and the intimacy that comes with watching a vertical video on your phone through IG stories and IGTV I am more encouraged to continue thinking so.

I mean if a picture is worth a thousand words then a video should be worth hundreds of thousands if not more.

I am writing this because one of my readers asked me to, after reading my previous article on some

interesting facts you should know about IGTV. 

I am slowly falling in love with the platform and have even made a few videos on my personal IG page to prove it.

Welcome to My Channel 🙂

It is ridiculously easy to create an IGTV Channel. And if you already have an Instagram account then you are just a few steps away.

Step 1: Ensure that you have updated you Instagram app and can see the IGTV icon at the top bar.

Step 2: Open the IGTV icon or app, click on the settings icon on the right hand side of the screen and select Create Channel.

Step 3: When you select Create Channel you will be welcomed with the screen below. Click next and follow the prompts.

Step 4: On the final slide after clicking next a couple of times, click on Create Channel and you are done!

Notice below that the settings icon is now replaced with your pages icon.

Once you click on the icon with your profile picture on it, you can upload a video from your camera roll using the plus button.

Like I said, it is quite easy to start your channel and become a video creator too. In the next blogpost I will be sharing some tips on great phone apps you can use to add music and text graphics to make your IGTV channel a lot more spicier. Please note this is what I have experienced and researched so far. The possibilities are endless on how IGTV is bound to evolve. Until next time let's keep exploring with IGTV.
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7 Quick, Interesting Facts You Should Know About IGTV.

By now I'm guessing you've heard about IGTV, and maybe watched some videos on it. If not, not to worry: you are about to learn some very interesting facts about it. For starters, as the name suggests, IGTV simply stands for Instagram Television - a television for the mobile generation.

Here are 7 more things you need to know about this new Instagram update.

1. IGTV is like Instagram's YouTube for mobile.

The main difference is that its videos are meant to be shot and edited vertically. That means the end result will not force the user, which is you and me, to rotate our phones in order for us to enjoy the experience.

2. Its focus is on awesome phone user experience.

More and more people are going online on their phones today than they were a decade ago. Plus it's also getting cheaper and cheaper to do so. We do not need statistics to prove that; the evidence is everywhere, from your 5-year-old nephew who can find and launch a game app on your phone to your 80-year old grandpa who texts you using WhatsApp.

It was very prudent of the Instagram team to come up with IGTV because the future is mobile and the future is here. User experience is always key to online businesses which are keen on making a good impression on their users. 

It would be great if we all took a leaf from Instagram's bold move to make the right kind of changes to our own brands. I, for instance, will be launching a more user-friendly and mobile responsive website soon, so watch out for it.

3. It is downloadable and updateable.

IGTV comes both as a standalone phone app and as a video section on the main Instagram app(once updated). Now, I bet I am not the only one who often runs out of space on my phone. The fact that they thought of people like us is just super. All we need to do is update our Instagram app and voila, we are well on our way to creating our very first IGTV channel.

4. It has a clickable link.

If you have been using links on your Instagram business page bio, you know how hard it is to get people to leave their feed and open your profile to click on it. I am speaking for those of us who are yet to reach 10,000 followers in order to be able to use the swipe up feature in our IG stories.

On IGTV, the playing ground is leveled for brands and businesses, whether they have less than 1000 followers or more than 10,000 followers. Now anyone can add a clickable link in the description of their IGTV video. How cool is that?

5. IGTV supports longer videos.

Instagram stories is said to have been started in order to prep users for IGTV. If you have used Instagram stories, you know how annoying it gets at times because you can only upload 15 seconds of a video at a time.

At the moment, you can upload a maximum of 60 minutes if you have a following of 10,000 and above, and a maximum of 10 minutes if you have a following less than that on IGTV. Whichever way you look at it, that is a major improvement from what we are used to. This is even said to be subject to change in the near future to allow us to post a limitless amount of video time.

6. IGTV can share videos directly to WhatsApp.

We all know the vast number of people using WhatsApp today, I mean even our grandparents use it. Thanks to this upgrade, you will be able to share your IGTV videos outside of Instagram to any Facebook-owned platform - that includes WhatsApp and Facebook itself. This ability to easily share videos from IGTV will just continue to blow up the impact the platform is bound to have on the future of video consumption.

7. Instant video playback and a feature that remembers where you left off.

This means as soon as you open IGTV, videos will start playing. If you happen to leave the video for a while, you will also be able to be directed back to where you left off in order to finish watching the video.

If you are a content creator then it would be wise to make your video super interesting, informative, short and sweet. That way people will watch it till the end and you will leave a great impression that will make the same people watch out for your next videos.

Before I go, it is important to note that IGTV will give creators a chance to showcase their creativity in an environment that is free from advertisements, since the platform is currently not showing any. If you're interested in the future of video consumption, I believe this is the time to join the platform in order to learn and grow before it gets saturated and advertisements start showing. It is also said that just like YouTube, the platform will also develop a way to compensate its content creators. I hope these quick facts have given you the confidence to start your own IGTV channel.

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Virtual Reality in Kenya

My first virtual reality (VR) experience was surreal. I remember spinning around in the chair I sat on, looking up and down to take it all in. Virtual reality, simply put is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the fictional world of the character in the film. Once you wear the VR headset, that's it. You look up, look down, look behind virtually look everywhere and you see what the character is seeing.

Ng'endo Mukii's award-winning film 'Nairobi Berries' was my first. Not only did it feel like I was in another dimension, but I also got lost in this dreamlike state just like the other characters. I believe with time it will be easier to watch VR films so I won't give you any spoilers. Only that it was the dopest experience I have had in my life.

Photo Credit: She Album

Speaking of ease and VR, did you know that Muthoni the Drummer Queen (MDQ) recently released the very first VR music video in Kenya? Well, she did. And courtesy of her partnership with BlackRhinoVR a Kenyan based VR production company, loads of enthusiastic fans - myself included - matched into Garden City Mall to watch the new music video for free.

A friend fully immersed 

The film was so engaging and fun. MDQ's lyrics guided me on where to look next and it felt like being in outer space the whole time. Like you're an astronaut floating around looking at multiple screens and waiting for MDQ to tell you what to do next. That's it no more spoilers - you will get to watch the video soon enough I bet. 

Virtual reality is penetrating the Kenyan Arts and Entertainment industry in record speed. I can't wait to see the kind of transformations it will carry forward, because I believe it's here to stay. Just like everything new we should take it in with precaution - watching something fictional so close to your eyes for more than 20 minutes might cause eye as well as psychological problems in the future. So as we embrace the new and awesome, let's take it in with moderation. That said, I promise all those who are yet to watch a VR film, your first will be surreal. If you have watched one before feel free to share how your experience was.

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The Incredible Events That Led To My All Expense Paid Trip To India.

It all started like a joke; I mean the idea of an all expense paid trip to incredible India. And not for a few days or a week, but 3 months. It sounded too good to be true.

"Wendi, I bet you are applying," a friend teased on our way home from the digital marketing training we were doing by Kuza Biashara. I nodded and smiled.

I had decided that if I was going to go through with this application, then the least I could do was stay positive. That meant belittling the little voice in my head that whispered doubtful thoughts to my mind.After a couple of internal debates and consultation with family and friends, I applied around May this year. 

Immediately after the digital marketing training, I got a day internship at Securex Agencies ltd. And  in the evenings, I would go for free creative entrepreneurship classes courtesy of the Go Downs Art Center.

With all these things to do, I totally forgot about the application. So it came as a pleasant surprise when I received an email towards the end of my creative entrepreneurship classes informing me that I had been shortlisted for the position.

The position was on digital marketing and the interview was scheduled on the same day as the graduation, at 1p.m.My graduation presentation ended a few minutes past 1pm, and I further delayed a bit to watch Sarah of Sama Paints make her presentation. So I ended up a little late for the interview

The graduation took place at the Crowne Plaza in Upper Hill and before it started, I had gone to talk to the guy in charge of booking rooms to ask if I could get an empty room later during the day to do a Skype call in.

The guy I met was very pleasant and although he left early for the day, he made arrangements with the person who took over after him so that I got a room. It was 1.30p.m. when finally I settled down for the interview.

There were around 5 people on the panel from Nairobi, Kenya, Chennai, India and Geneva, Switzerland. My current supervisor in India who was the main interviewer, noticed how tense I looked and asked me to breathe and relax.

I apologized about the delay and mentioned that I was just about to graduate seeing that I was yet to receive my certificate and I had left some of my classmates giving their presentations.

The interview went pretty well and weeks later when I was just about to finish my digital marketing internship at Securex Agencies, I received an email letting me know that I passed the interviews. 

Soon afterwards, I started receiving emails from International Trade Center, the sponsors of the initiative dubbed SITA (Supporting Indian Trade and Investment for Africa) regarding my travel preparation. What seemed like a really big dream ended up to be an experience that is currently shaping my career path as I write this, in ways I never foresaw. 

A year ago I shared how my interest in digital marketing started , and I am encouraged by the comments that keep streaming in a year and some months later. 

See, a dot may seem insignificant  on its own until you add a few more next to it and voila! I am a pointillism (dotted artwork) artist and I have an intimate relationship with dots.These dots are very silent at times and thus they are used to going unnoticed; yet without them something will be incomplete. Pay attention to the dots in your life, the precious moments that turn your life around, don't let any doubtful thoughts come in the way between you and your next dot.

"You cannot connect the dots by looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in the future." Steve Jobs.

It has been a while since my last post, which has been a period of my life that will  remain engraved on my mind as part of my many dots. I am back though so stay tuned for some crazy experiences and beautiful artwork from India among many things. Until next time.

Wendi Mutisya
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Inside Out: Inspiration For The Creative Process

Sometimes feeling bad emotionally is the best thing that can happen to you. It took me a while to soak this fact up.

Eat, love and pray is a memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert who drew inspiration from a messy divorce, and the result was 10 million copies sold.

Just like joy, all the other emotions we experience as humans are essential for the whole human experience, and the creative process.

 The animation Inside Out made this clear on so many levels, relatable to both adults and kids.

At times we want to get rid of those negative emotions quickly, but resisting them only seems to blow them up.

The idea is to become a silent observer and let them flow in and out. A lesson I am still learning during my guided meditation sessions with Andy courtesy of the mobile app Headspace. (You should try it out)

Inside Out is a narrative that plays in the mind of an 11 year old girl called Riley. The main characters in the animation are her feelings joy, sadness, fear, disgust and anger.

The animation simply gives faces to those little voices we have in our minds.

When joy is nowhere to be found then the other emotions tend to come to the rescue. If you watched Inside Out you can remember Sadness proved to be very useful when Joy was lost.

Joy just like many of us, was of the opinion nothing good comes off negative feelings. It was later evident that however painful some of these emotions are. They are there for the ultimate good.

The Emotional Guidance Scale (double click for a clearer view)

According to the book Ask and It Is Given, emotions always provide clues as to what kind of energy we are allowing to flow. It is good to identify where you are on the emotional guidance scale, so that you can raise your vibration gradually and comfortably.

It is also explained that it is better to travel upwards, through the contrasting number of emotions in the guidance scale in order to raise your moods. Than to leap from a very bad mood to a very good one.

So that rather than leaping from say doubt about your work, (number 19) straight to rekindled passion (number 2).You could experiment with your craft, fail  and get disappointed (number 12) but then you have learnt what works and what does not work.

You could start trying many other things to see what works and end up feeling overwhelmed (number 11). A good place to be because it means you did not let the failure stop you.

You may continue trying​ out many things for a while and none of them seem to work so you get frustrated (number 10) . However, since you tried out many opportunities before you got to the frustrated stage you start receiving positive feedback when you least expect it.

You slowly start getting hopeful  (number 6) that all the effort you put is paying off. You start positively expecting  (number 4) more good to come in your life.

Good things happen, you get two free trainings consecutively. One is on digital marketing and right after you are done with that one, you get another one on creative entrepreneurship.

The creative enterpreneurship one conveniently happens to be taking place in the evening. Perfect for you considering you just started an internship on digital marketing meant to cement what you learnt during the training. You become more enthusiastic (number 3) about life.

With every session in the creative entrepreneurship training now, you take something home that rekindles your passion  (number 2).

You are a creative and you have always wanted to use your talents to start a lucrative and sustainable business and now you are slowly solidifying and executing your plan.You realize that the whole process was important.

 The emotions you went through kept you alert and more appreciative of the small wins in your pursuit of rekindled passion. I strongly believe in this process, because the steps along the emotional guidance scale you just finished reading have been my journey so far.

So the next time you feel like you are stuck in a bad place. Try identifying where exactly you are on the emotional guidance scale.

Be kind and gentle on yourself. Even more through the emotional roller coaster life often presents and give yourself time to gradually raise your vibration by moving up the emotional guidance scale. Before you know it you will be where you want to be. So all the best to us, cause we are in this together.

AA(Auspicious Art)
Wendi Mutisya

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Building Digital Footprints

"When you are on a lonely path, make sure you leave a trail so no one ever feels lost on that path"
 by Sriram Bharatam CEO & Founder of Kuza Biashara.

Are you a trail blazer?

Last year I actively embarked on a journey. A journey towards social media and digital marketing. I shared a bit of my experience  here with you.

However, at some point I felt overwhelmed and my social media activity tanked. This is because my efforts to boost my online presence did not seem to pay off. It also felt lonely because I had not identified someone who I could journey with.

#SheGoesDigital Team

2017 came with it's share of blessings though. Along with other 49 ladies. I got shortlisted as a beneficiary of a free social media/ digital marketing skills training by Kuza Biashara. In partnership with International Trade Center.

The selection process was very rigorous and it was  humbling when I received a congratulatory email. On our first day we were told that we had been selected out of an applicants pool of around 600 ladies. That, proof enough that many people are embracing Digital and Social Media Marketing as potential career paths.

I am very grateful to Kuza Biashara for the opportunity they granted us. I finally got to meet like minded people who were experiencing similar challenges. True to his words,Sriram had left a trail behind so that we would never feel lonely on that path again.

We are now spoiled for choice on who to pick as accountability partners. In addition to that Kuza Biashara is willing to support us, even after the training as we continue working on our digital marketing endeavors. 

Thank you Sriram

I did not pay attention to how many days were left for the training to end so when it was announced that it was coming soon. My heart sank. I will really miss the #shegoesdigital team.

The sessions were so informative, interesting and engaging. Special thanks go to Paul Hughson the awesome trainer that took us through a huge percentage of the trainings. His attention to detail and ability to draw examples globally and locally was impeccable. 


One exciting topic we learnt from Paul was Phygital Marketing. Phygital marketing combines popular trends in physical marketing and digital marketing.

Imagine doing your shopping while waiting for your ride home. Tesco now known as Homeplus banked on Korea's busy lifestyle.They brought virtual stores where the people were. Which was at the subway stations.

The only requirement was to own a smart phone. This is because they would need to use smart phones to shop by scanning the QR code of the images of the items they wanted to purchase on posters stuck on the subway walls.

The online purchase would then be delivered to them once they got home. As a result online sales increased tremendously.

Another store that has really worked on it's phygital marketing is Amazon. So cool!

Then there was James Keru the guy who cheered us on. He was the instructor that engaged the most with our content. Commenting on everyone's posts, after we created blog posts and wrote articles on LinkedIn

His words of encouragement and tips on how to improve will go a long way.  My take home from Keru was that it is better as a blogger  to write one article well than to hastily write many low quality ones. His success on Kuza Biashara's  blog also set a great example. It was evident that he actually did what he preached.

Since this is an Art and Tech blog. I will be sharing some of the tips I learnt during the training here with you so stay tuned. You could also subscribe to this blog so that you can receive updates on new posts directly as they come.


We all need the ability to communicate effectively and build rapport with our online audience. That way they will be more receptive when we introduce a new product or idea to them. This is where Avni Shah came in. She introduced NLP  (Neuro Linguistic Programming) to us.

We all looked forward to her exciting sessions. She always kept us engaged. The sessions revolved around concepts such as building rapport, eye patterns and perceptual positions just to mention a few.

These concepts are very important for anyone who talks and deals with other human beings, which is all of us. Just be careful when we meet and I ask you a question.

There are specific eye patterns that can help someone tell if you are lying or trying to recall a past experience. Alternatively you could try extend your blinks so that I don't tell if you are lying 😉. I will really miss Avni and her fun sessions.

Avni and Mariam (a fellow trainee) during one of the sessions

 Social media is facilitating online communication in a big way. Which is an important thing in this age where more and more people want to be their own bosses. and even more want to build their personal brands.

The sessions during my time as a Digital and Social Media Marketing Trainee at Kuza Biashara taught me many things. I can only mention so much on this post.

However more follow up posts are coming soon. So stay tuned, better yet drop your email address on the subscription box on the far right side of this blog for updates on new content.

Special thanks also go to Mugure, Vaines,  Esther, Julius, Cleopatra, Stanley, Yvonne, Chris and my fellow ladies for your awesomeness. You are all gems in my life. For all those who organized this training directly or indirectly we are grateful and we will always remember the sacrifices you made for us. Lots of love from me to you.

AA (Auspicious Art)
Wendi Mutisya
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Moana's Grandma's dancing gif via Giphy

I like to dance with the water
The undertow and the waves.
The water is mischievous huh!.
I like how it misbehaves. 
The village might think I'm crazy or say that I drift too far,
But once you know what you like then there you are.

Moana struggles between conforming to societal norms and the urge to follow the ocean the one thing that makes her heart sing. Her Grandma a free spirit is her only voice of reason and when the time is right she embarks on a journey that leads her to heroism. 

It is a captivating story full of unexpected twists. It also has points where everyone breaks into song and dance . The dance moves looking so realistic you may just forget that you are watching an animation. 

I'm trying to be as brief as possible lest I spill all the beans and leave nothing to look forward to. This animation is definitely A MUST WATCH. It is inspiring and it teaches very crucial life lessons. Oh yeah and women can be sheroes too. Yes we can.

Until next time bye bye

AA (Auspicious Art)
Wendi Mutisya

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