“It all starts with an idea, right?” I believe that this is exactly the statement that sparked the creation of the Ideas Expo 5 years ago founded by young Africans from Botswana Calvin and Tumiso. When opening the expo Tumiso highlighted that they wanted to use creativity to provide solutions. The world has become so connected, but are the ideas? Gabriel Mothibedi one of the speaker’s presentation focused more on design and he highlighted that Design is a driver of innovation and that nowadays it is difficult to make money off people’s ignorance because the world is so connected.
Kelvin Twissa the HOD of Branding and Communications at Vodacom Tanzania also attested to that wherever there is a problem there is always an opportunity. He took us on a journey of how Mobile Money is succeeding where the banks are failing in Tanzania. To solve the cumbersome distribution of music for Tanzanian musicians an app called www.mkito.com was created and it has been a booming success as users joined plus 99% of the downloads are free.
In order for an idea to be effective communication must be kept simple.- Kelvin Twissa
Dr Carla Enslin National Academic Head at Vega School of Brand Leadership highlighted the importance of branding and leadership. As business people in Africa we need to build businesses that will always matter to the people so much so that should your business disappear then care should be aroused in your consumers. It should be clear what a brand stands for, the sense of being, the value it brings and decisions taken.
Understand why you matter- employ people who matter.- Dr Carla
As creatives it is very important to invest. Bakang Sereste from Afena Capital touched on the importance of collaborations and investments. His advice was for creatives to setup an innovation fund and develop an Index to measure brands and businesses.
Get professional advice and buy a lot of shares- Bakang
Khaya Dlanga’s presentation was on the importance of borderless ideas that not only transcends borders but cultures, individuals, differences and time. Borderless ideas have an impact globally even thought they are intended for a local market and they work on single, strong, powerful and emotive insight. It is important for us as creatives to be what we say we are and to the things that we say we do.
Africa needs to create, control, own and export borderless ideas.- Khaya Dlanga
Didier the Co-founder and Creative Director of Magents Lifestyle Apparel told the story of Magents, where it started, where it went and why it had to regroup. He emphasized the importance of staying true to yourself and your brand.
Learn from the East and the West but make sure that your DNA is Afrikan.-Didier
Pretty much all the speakers agreed on a number of issues including that we can use ideas to solve problems and that greatness is born from very bad situations. Most of us are starting businesses because we couldn’t find jobs or because we were not happy at our jobs. We can start business but we also need to know the importance of investing and finding the right investors.
Nothing drives anything like purpose- Pepe Marais
Musa Kalenga’s presentation was based on change, we need to accept that things change and be able to adapt to it. America and Asia have plans for Africa, but what is Africa’s plan for Africa?. Young Africans need to start taking charge of Africa and devise clear plans for Africa.
Learn. Unlearn and relearn- Musa Kalenga
Words that were left ringing in my head till this day are: What is YOUR plan for Africa? Even now as I type this I can hear Musa Kalenga’s voice. So I ask myself: What is MY plan for Africa? Hyping each other at these type of gatherings is great but we need to start doing instead of just talking about changing things.
More from the Exhibition shot by Elvis Dambe- @LordElvo on Twitter