Volunteering at the Storymoja Hay Festival – Kenyans on Youtube

Research on Youtube/Vimeo

June was full of research for us volunteers.  The Storymoja Hay Festival had us looking at HayfestivalYoutube/Vimeo and the impact it has in terms of business and entertainment.  So, June was full of education for me. It’s interesting working in a group, I feel like I’ve been running solo for a while, and I have to relearn how to work in a group again. The research itself is a lot of fun, it got me inundated looking for Kenyans on Youtube.

1. Homeboyz 


About the Company:

HomeBoyz Entertainment Limited was created with a vision to provide the entertainments industry with a unique, no-compromise approach to event production.

We specialize in sound, lighting, set design, special effects and LED video wall for all event types, whether they be weddings, catwalk fashion shows or festivals. Our wealth of experience and expertise, stemming from years of experience within this industry, cements our place as one of East Africas most prestigious events companies.

We are different from most event production companies, as we own & stock the sound & lighting equipment in house, eliminating the need to sub in kit from various other hire companies, which can lead to problems arising later down the.

These guys have a great video collection.  They know their business, and because it has a lot to do with musicians, they feature live performances, industry news and music on their channel.  They have 6,368 subscribers and 1,964,824 views.  Their About page redirects you to their website and their twitter account, giving any visitor a chance to find out more about Homeboyz.

User Account: Homeboyz Online


2. Cookswell Jikos

 Web-bannerAbout the Company

We provide our customers with original designs of professional charcoal and wood fueled stoves, convection ovens, improved space heaters, charcoal making kilns and tree seeds. All our products are made by professionally trained artisans in Kenya. We continually engage in detailed research on the production, management and processing of firewood and charcoal as a renewable energy source for East Africa’s cooking needs.”

I love this business because it has targeted a very unique and much needed niche.  They have a very strong Social Media presence, utilizing their Facebook Page, Twitter and YouTube Accounts to spread the news about their business. If you love baking and are worried about your electricity costs.  Call them up and get a charcoal oven.  it works the same way as your electric one, less costs.  (That’s a plug, I know…lolz, but hey, they have great customer service.)

They have gained 11 subscribers and gathered 1,472 views on their YouTube Account.  These might seem little but they make up for it by having other people upload videos with their company name in form of reviews and features.  For a Private Business, they’ve utilized their YouTube Page, if they keep going, they could gain more subscribers as they go.  Visit their blog for pictures of the different events they go to: Cookswell Energy Saving Jikos and Charcoal Ovens

User Account: Cookswell


3. Sauti Sol

african-music-sauti-solAbout Sauti Sol: 

Blending warm resonant pop with traditional Kenyan influences, Bien-Aime Baraza, Willis Austin Chimano, Delvin  Mudigi and Polycarp Otieno, the members of Kenyan afro pop group Sauti Sol’s mélange of energetic rhythms have promoted the group to become one of East Africa’s most celebrated. Sauti Sol encompass the band’s mix of soulful voices with vocal harmonies, guitar riffs and drum rhythm.


With their latest video Nishike, they’ve gained over 1,869,639 views and 12,667 Subscribers.  The moment mainstream television banned their content, every person got online to discover their song, ‘Nishike’ and see the video for themselves.  It has put Sauti Sol on the most watched YouTube Video in YouTubeKE.  And also has made them a recognizable brand.   Their account has various music videos they’ve done, and videos of activities that different members of the group attend.  If you follow their Twitter Account, they share their videos so that people may watch them.  I love their music, so yes, listen to them! Check out their YouTube Account too.

User Account: Sauti Sol

4. Anne Kansiime from Don’t Mess with Kansiime

Anne-KanssimeAbout Anne Kansiime:

Anne Kansiime is a talented  award winning comedian, Actress and writer in fun factory.

Dubbed “Africa’s Queen of Comedy”, Anne owns/hosts the ‘Don’t Mess with Kansiime’ television show on Citizen TV in Kenya. She  is  also a brand ambassador for Old mutual Kenya.  Anne  boasts of many awards. These awards  include:

  • AIRTEL Women of Substance Awards 2014
  • BEFFTA 2013 (Best Comedian) winner.
  • Lagos International Festival 2013 (Best Actress) winner.
  • Social Media Awards (Favorite Celebrity) winner
  • African Social Awards Malaysia (ASAM) – 2013

She is a graduate of Social Sciences from Makerere University, an old girl of Kabale primary school and Bweranyangi Girls in Bushenyi. She is also a very proud Mukiga from Mparo, Kabale.


I know she’s from Uganda, but I’m adopting her because she appears on my screen every Wednesday and I’m in Kenya.   Anne Kansiime has created a brand on YouTube.  She was discovered by Citizen TV because of her YouTube account.  Her success comes from uploading very unique content, and consistently sticking to one single doctrine, ‘Don’t Mess with Kansiime’.  It is so absolutely irrational, that it is funny, I can’t stop watching it.  Her channel has an estimated 104,655 subscribers, and has 8,876,259 views.  Her About Page is fully updated.  It includes who she is, and other accounts you can find her content.  She uploads regular content, which keeps people coming back to her account.  Her secret is consistent fresh funny/hilarious content.  Her videos and content are connected to two other channels, that is Afroberliner and Kansiime Pay TV.  She’s visible, she’s on YouTube, she’s getting millions of views.

User Account: Anne Kansiime

Elly in Nairobi Thoughts

This is a small view of YouTube accounts by Kenyans.  I didn’t mention the big companies on YouTube because I was mostly looking for people who have worked their way up in the game.  What I found was that small business in Kenya are neglecting the YouTube platform.  Maybe with good cause, but I think they should give it some attention.  Big companies invest in their social media, why shouldn’t small businesses focus on promoting themselves in the same way. Most people decide to promote their businesses on YouTube after they’ve gained some success, that’s when they get into Social Media, and YouTube Accounts.  Other businesses have Facebook, Twitter and Blogs, but don’t keep up YouTube Accounts.  When asked why, they weren’t sure it would bring them any sales, and the amount of time spent updating the account doesn’t seem worth the trouble.

When it comes to Creatives, e.g. Musicians, Comedians, and Actors, YouTube brings them a wider chance of discovery.  As in, the case of Anne Kansiime who put her act on YouTube and got discovered by a National Television Station.  She’s the proof that if you work hard and believe in what you’re doing, you’ll find success.

In the case of  small Kenyan businesses taking a more old school way of marketing by relying on outbound marketing, they should take a closer look at their inbound marketing.  Get online, be present on social media, blogs and YouTube/Vimeo.  Step it up a bit, create websites, run fun advertisements on Facebook, Twitter, and Upload Videos on YouTube to engage your customers.  More and more Kenyans are online, watching videos, participating on social media.  The market is changing and people end up buying trending items.  If you can get your product to Trend on Social Media and YouTube, you’ll have someone talking about it, which will definitely lead to a sale, or two, or fifty…suddenly, you’re the next big thing.  Just ask Anne Kansiime!

Look how thought provoking all these research was….isn’t that exciting? Way to go Storymoja Hay Festival for getting me on such a roll.  If you’re on YouTube, share your account.  Let’s get you those Views!

Don’t Forget: The Storymoja Hay Festival is in September from the 17th to the  21st, 2014.  Plan to Attend!  It will be an exciting programme for everyone: kids, adults, teenagers, your sister, brother, your mother and daddy….hey, I expect to see you there!  Learn more about the Storymoja Hay Festival

Related Articles:

Volunteering at the Storymoja Hay Festival

Blogging for the Storymoja Hay Festival 2014

Storymoja Hay Festival BlogJoin the Conversation


Published by elly in nairobi

Elly writes fiction. Her goal is to have a series of romance novels set in Nairobi. She works at it everyday, and will celebrate when she has reached five books set in the city in the sun.

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