How I met this week’s AfriPOP! socialite is a testament to why we run this series. I’m not sure how I came across her but Jepchumba had literally just packed up her London life having completed her Masters’ degree in Digital Media, and was taking th
e next flight back to the US. We were looking for someone to give AfriPOP! a facelift and it turned out she was our girl! Long story short, thanks to Jepchumba’s digital expertise and passion, Afripopmag transitioned from a basic scroll down format to the dynamic platform that it is today. We’re still yet to meet in “real life” but her role as part of Afripopmag’s family (and indeed the global African digital creative community) is totally indispensible.
Jepchumba is one of the speakers at TedxEuston (along with names like Chimamanda Adichie and Conhams Asuquo) taking place tomorrow Saturday 1 December 2012.
Real Name: Jepchumba Web Name: @digitalafrican
Best known for: African Digital Art
Where are you from/live? Let’s just say I have identity issues. I am originally from Kenya, but I grew up all around the world (India, Kenya, Tanzania, Djibouti, UK, US) now I am based in Cape Town, South Africa
Places to find you online:
When and how did you enter the social media game?
When I was in college in the US, our college was one of the first 15 schools to get Facebook, so I feel as though I was there at the very beginning. I have always been obsessed with the internet so it was only natural for me to find a place there. It was at around 2007/2008 that I really found a community of Africans online. The best thing about those early days was that social media really offered us an opportunity to get together and get great projects and companies were born. If it wasn’t for social media African Digital Art wouldn’t exist.
What do you mostly tend to use it for? I think that the way I use social media has changed significantly over the few years. At first social media was great to meet like-minded people and get to know about great projects and initiatives. But as I grew into my life as a curator, social media has become my tool to share and provide content on the growing creative culture in Africa.
How has it helped you grow your brand? Social media has provided me the tool to connect with incredible people around the world. I started from scratch fresh out of college with big ideas and little experience. When I founded African Digital Art Network it was really the community online that jumped in and help me build it
to become what it is today. It really doesn’t matter how many friends you have on Facebook or the number of followers or tweets you send out everyday. It is really about those special connections that you make with fascinating and incredible people that support your ideas and are willing to offer a critical eye. I think that you have to be conscious on how and what motives you to use social media as a tool. Today it is really easy to get lost in the game of numbers but social connection over the internet, in my experience, is a powerful force.
What is your brand/message? I have two brand messages, one for African Digital Art Network and my own personal brand. For African Digital Art our message or mantra is pushing digital boundaries. For my personal brand I think it is a lot more complicated since it is hard to really encompass your entire personality in one brand. My tagline is that I
dream in Digital, and I think that is really what describes my passions and motivations. I would love to see what I an contribute in this big and wide arena.
If you could have one person follow you on twitter who would it be? Why?
@brainpicker – Maria Popova, she is an incredible digital curator and I hope that I can be a great curator like her specifically for Africa.
If you could have one person join twitter who would it be? My grandfather. He is the original GTD (Get Things Done) application. I have never met anyone in the world who has the ability to dream big and work hard to bring his ideas to life. He is an incredible motivator pushing everyone around him to focus on action. It would be great to see him sharing the knowledge and wisdom to a wider audience.
Who should every African be following right now? Wow, my list is too long! But here are some that I can mention.