A while back, around the time I had just finished recording my album, I started thinking about my early career.
I had come across articles in different magazines back then that said most new artistes in America come to the scene with albums, so I decided to follow this trend.
However, I didn’t have studio money but I worked under DJ Loop’s mentorship for a year. I gained new skills and ended up becoming a studio engineer so that I could cut down my costs of production.
But just after I had finished my final album master, Loop called me into his office and announced that he was moving into a new line of business, so I’d have to look for alternatives.
What I love about DJ Loop is that he’s never afraid to start a new venture, and he had the courage to admit when a business is failing.
Two of the strong characteristics I got from him were to never be afraid to admit when things aren’t okay, and to start new waves.
He moved differently, his approach to entertainment was ahead of its time. He was the first Kenyan producer I came across who was always in suits – and not just any suit.
He lived the lifestyle; from driving a classic car to wearing classic accessories, whether that was a watch, bracelet or shoes. He had a touchscreen phone at a time when the Nokia 3310 was the talk of town.
Why is this important? Because the last speech he gave me changed my life.
Where and how you finish
I had a rough start, and when it came to my musical journey, like any other up and coming musician, it wasn’t easy to access studio time.
DJ Loop told me he admired my patience and that with this virtue, I was bound for greatness. He always enjoyed listening to my ‘Eastlando’ stories, and he mentioned that I should embrace them and use those stories as a stepping stone to a different and better future.
At this time, I felt like I was going to fail as a person and as a musician. My city centre branding business was doing well, but the one person who was guiding me on the music front was pulling out.
And then Loop said I was special and that’s why he kept me around; that I should keep up the fight.
SEE ALSO :Embrace failure to grow your business
It takes courage to be successful
The discussion ended up being a series of questions and answers.
Loop mentioned that as much as my plan was aligned, my courage played a big role in completing this first album.
How many artistes at that time had an album, and how many new artistes come to the scene with one? That was a very courageous step in my career, he pointed out.
Initially, when I was making the album, I thought Loop would stick around and guide me through the journey. While he wasn’t going to participate in the way I thought, he promised he’d be a phone call away. But even without him, he said, he knew my courage would ensure I would be fine.
SEE ALSO :King Kaka: Your Pace
Just to highlight this point, he reminded me of how we met, and said I should keep grabbing every opportunity that comes my way.
If you don’t want to make waves, don’t start
As we were speaking, a client walked in and Loop dealt with him and then came back to our talk. He asked me why it was so important for me to do an album when sales were not guaranteed and my name wasn’t known out there.
My response? I wanted to make waves. I wanted to be ahead in thinking and stepping up to the dream. He pointed out that very few creatives have that drive.
Don’t neutralise your uniqueness
The reason it was so important for Loop to teach me sound engineering is that he saw I was unique.
There was a time a client came to record a radio jingle and Loop had an emergency to attend to. Since he didn’t charge his phone that night, he was nowhere to be found.
When the client walked in, I took charge to the point of directing, recording and laying down my voice for the voice over for the ad. The final product was accepted and approved.
Loop always insisted that my writing style was different and that I shouldn’t ever settle for average.
His advice has applied to everything I’ve done since that day on August 22, 2008.
After that talk, I went on to launch my first album, Tales of Kaka Sungura, sold out Club Qatika and moved more than 1,000 albums. I got interviews across top media stations, and was nominated at Chaguo la Teeniz, where I performed as the new act.
The writer is an award-winning artiste and entrepreneur.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.