On November 14th 2018, Oluwatosin Oluwole better known as ‘Mr. Eazi’ to the masses officially launched the ‘emPAWA’ campaign in Kenya in collaboration with popular betting company Betpawa with the bottom line being to empower Africa’s best to aim for global success by giving them a little nudge in the right direction. The intent being to give 100 unsigned talents both entrepreneurial and artistic platforms to take their career to the next level. Entrepreneurial platform being a $3 000 (Ksh300 000) grant and artistic platform being the opportunity to go undergo a mentorship incubator overseen by renowned international DJ/producer Diplo, singer-songwriter Raye , Nigerian producer E. Kelly and popular producer Fred Gibson. Does it get any better than this? (See also: Major Lazer’s new African mix)
The project will take a year and will be split into parts; part one which is currently happening, will see potential candidates perform their original work or a cover, upload the video on their Instagram page with the #emPAWA 100. By the end of this weekend, across 6 African countries being Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana and Rwanda, the first 100 chosen applicants will be given the $3000 grant I mentioned above to record a video for their original project which will then be considered for the next stage. Here, the 100 will then be trimmed down to 10 artists who will get a chance to undergo a 3 week tutelage program under the mentors in South Africa. (See also: A Drinkcember to remember)
In the last stage, two finalists from the program will be selected to perform at a Ghana party in the Park Concert in London in 2019 in front of 8,000 people and will collaborate with Mr. Eazi on future projects. This great opportunity has attracted a lot of interest with a number of great Kenyan artists applying and some getting the nod. First was young Bey-t, a singer/rapper with a trapsoul vibe to her, then it was Boutross, a non-conformist genre-bender who is swerving on all lanes with his self-titled shrap genre, the queen Miss Karun also got a chance and soulful crooners Bendi Huru were also considered and finally Wanja Wahoro closing the chapter as it stands. I bring this up because viewing their application videos and interacting socially with their handles boosts their chance of getting selected to the top 10. So if you are looking for dope Kenyan artists, established or on the come up, go break the replay button on the emPAWA Africa Instagram page and let’s bring all these opportunities home one time for the one time.