If new beginnings were ever a reality, then Versatile Hub Africa is the fresh breath needed to take our creative economy to the next level. The information center, set to commence in the Mara soon, will be a precious platform to showcase Kenya and offer training in the creative industry. Complete with a rich gallery of photos by local photographers, the agency will boast as a one-stop-shop for tourists and adventurers who wish to discover the country. It will also provide an opportunity for photography enthusiasts to learn the craft, exhibit, and sell their work, display various cultures, social-economic activities of Kenyan communities, wildlife, and conservation stories.
The Versatile Hub Africa will have an area designated for training workshops. Here, local communities and tourists will learn to tell their stories and put them on a global market. Tour guides, corporations, and any interested parties can sign up for the training conducted by our experienced trainers. By learning how to tell our stories through photography, we passionately own the narrative, becoming agents of progress and change in our societies. We propagate knowledge, create awareness, help emphasize issues such as conservation. Most importantly, local stories help sell our country in a global market. Training at the hub will add valuable skills and help us appreciate our innate storytelling abilities, conveying the Kenyan narrative through photography.
Versatile Hub Africa believes in uplifting the lives of local communities. We have partnered with various entities within Kenyan society to support their trade. Among them are women and youth in the beadwork industry. Versatile Hub Africa will train the group to make authentic products and give them a place to practice their craft. We will also source the raw materials required in beadwork. The hub will have a gift shop for selling the beadwork products, and money collected from the project will sustain the business and pay the participants.
One of the main aims of Versatile Hub Africa is to add value, not only to local communities but also to entrepreneurs as well. Building a deep-seated relationship with SMEs is one of the most effective ways of empowering society as a whole. We have partnered with various enterprises such as Njabini Wool Crafters, a conservation-centered group of youthful artisans in the foothills of the Aberdare Ranges involved in the wool industry. They promote sheep farming in the region, buying wool from merinos, and through value addition, they craft carpets, sweaters, scarves, and so forth. We work with local designers who make authentic products from Kenyan raw materials such as leather to create wallets, handbags, laptop bags, etc. Versatile Hub Africa will train such proprietors and those interested in mastering business. They will learn the vital tenets of business, such as branding, marketing, and conversion.
How can I support the project?
The hub is still in its first phase, in the process of raising funds. To do this, we are selling some merchandise, among them;
Versatile Photographers has launched a new Versatile desk calendar that comes in three versions to celebrate the beauty and heritage of our country, Kenya. The three versions are; Kenyan landscapes, wildlife, and culture. The desk calendars are picturesque, with a collection of images from each category by renowned photographer David Macharia. Each calendar goes for only $10 (Kshs1000), or you can invest in the three at $ 30 (Kshs3000). The money goes to Versatile Hub Africa.
We sell a collection of images, both in soft and hard copy, printed on canvas and mounts or framed. These images—wildlife, cityscapes, culture, landscapes, etc.—are displayed at our gallery located at the Village Market, Nairobi. Individuals and corporates can purchase the images to prettify their spaces and showcase the beauty of Kenya.
Asili Yetu Africa
Asili Yetu Africa presents the stunning images of David Macharia, the CEO and lead photographer of Versatile Photographers. The book, a compilation of curated pictures collected over his photography career, presents the history and heritage of Africa. It is part of the efforts to explore and articulate elements in our present world that can help us connect with our true history as Africans. Funds from the book sales go to Versatile Hub Africa.
Versatile School of Photography is involved in coaching corporates to tell their stories through photography. The training hones photography skills, but most importantly, encourages participants to appreciate and tell their stories. In a fast-paced world directed by the whirlwind of social media, getting the expertise to tell stories is the first step towards igniting positive change. We believe that, like knowledge, knowing how to tell our stories in the best way possible is power. Our trainers are passionate and focused on instilling storytelling skills. The training comes at a fee, helping us fund Versatile Hub Africa. Wellwishers can also donate cameras for use in the program.
Visitors to the Versatile Hub Africa deserve to unwind; drinking coffee is the best way to ease the mind and socialize. We look forward to partner with coffee farmers, a group of women from Kipkelion in Kericho County who produce a prime grade of coffee brewed in cafés around the republic. We sell their packaged coffee. Visitors will also get to enjoy as they tour the hub or chill out and mingle over a fizzy cup of coffee.
Photography in the wild
Versatile School of Photography has hands-on photography in the wild classes, a programme that gathers professional photographers and travel and photography hobbyists every month and takes them on wildlife tours around the country at a fee. During these adventurous travels, people learn more about wildlife and how to photograph them in their natural habitats and share their stories. The class also incorporates local tour guides who want to acquire professional photography skills. They learn how to take great photos, share, showcase their work in a global market, sell their work, display it in a virtual art gallery and get a chance to receive awards. Wildlife conservancy is at the heart of this programme, and we aim to create and propagate awareness through our photography in the wild classes.
Supporting Partners and Organizations
Versatile School of Photography