Take 5 with Kevin Oyugi
- I've been actively blogging since 2007 and I must say, it is not for the faint hearted, or the trend-followers.
- We need to have visually, and content-wise, better quality entertainment and lifestyle writing if we're to cement the region on a global scale.
Wouldn't it be fascinating to read a post on the top ten grossing Kenyan films of the decade, or life hacks for a young Western Kenyan man?
Kevin Oyugi is the blogger behind Nate’s Crest (www.natescrest.com) and the OYGK Mag founder, which was nominated last year for the Bloggers Association of Kenya annual awards in the entertainment category. He is also a Wikipedia Kenya ambassador.
1. Describe yourself, professionally and personally
Professionally, I'm an introvert - proudly - turned - extrovert who is obsessed with self-improvement, uniqueness, and a search for the apex.
I'm a communications professional with over eight years of experience in researching, designing, prototyping, implementing and analysing communication strategies and partnerships in the public and private sectors within the Eastern African region.
I'm passionate about getting immersed in impactful work, changing lives, promoting positivity and progress. Personally, I'm a God-fearing, physically young but mentally old soul, enthusiastic about block-buster and indie films and series, historical books and sagas, exotic and luxury travel, thought-altering and enriching conversations, cuisine and just living a good life.
2. And these are some of the things that your blogging career has chronicled. Tell us a little bit about Nate's Crest - why the name change, the shift, and what does this mean you are doing now?
It's great that you mention this. Nate's Crest was born out of a desire to better myself and my audience. I look at it as a turning point in my writing journey. I'd been blogging about the same thing, over and over, for six years, on my previous entertainment blog, and I wasn't seeing any results.
I wanted a site that sought to create conversation, lead thoughtful discussions, and ultimately be a smashing hit. I came close to winning an entertainment blogging award, but losing out made me ask myself some critical questions. I'd purposed to attempt to create unique content, and looked at what would potentially be an untapped audience, and settled on the East African man's world... Nate's Crest. The site looks to address issues affecting, entertaining or stimulating the regional male in an almanac format not seen before.
3. What do you have to say as an entertainment blogger in the current sphere we live in today, seeing as you've been doing this for so long – more than five years? Do you think that we've gotten better at entertainment and lifestyle writing, or if not? What needs to change?
You're right. I've been actively blogging since 2007 and I must say, it is not for the faint hearted, or the trend-followers. You need to be both quick on your feet, and be able to offer engaging and quality content, or you'll quickly be drawn into a cesspool or click bait low quality, poorly researched content.
In the Kenyan context, I don't feel that we've quite cracked the entertainment genre. If you see a number of the bigger media outlets, mainstream and established sites taking to gossip and largely social media references, you realise there's both a problem, and an opportunity for bloggers to fill the gap.
I think lifestyle bloggers are taking a better cue in terms of audience dynamics, as they are offering enriching content to readers on a host of topics and really owning the space.
We need to have visually, and content-wise, better quality entertainment and lifestyle writing if we're to cement the region on a global scale.
We need to put on a local cap to tap into a myriad of issues and highlights which would entrance and enrich our audiences further.
Wouldn't it be fascinating to read a post on the top ten grossing Kenyan films of the decade, or life hacks for a young Western Kenyan man who is looking for a wife?
4. And speaking of lifestyle and entertainment, there is a distinct growth in the socialite culture in Ken-ya. Do you think entertainment media has encouraged this, or contributed to it? What do you think about that particular lifestyle?
I figure that socialites have been around for decades, but the onset of social media (coincidentally synonymous), has given them the perfect platform to reach both their targets, and the masses.
Entertainment media is contributing to, and encouraging the trend, because we all know that good or bad news ... is news, and ultimately creates an impression.
I've come to appreciate that just because I don't subscribe to a certain school of thought or norm, doesn't mean that it's not right or wrong, so I wouldn't want to be the one to finger point. A hustle is a hustle, especially in these difficult streets.
5. If you weren't a blogger, would you be...well, an architect? What happened to the old architecture blog? While at it what exactly does a Wikipedia ambassador do?
Though I'd love to, I don't blog full time at the moment. While I would probably look at getting back into architecture in my 50s, I figure I'd most likely be a fictional writer who lives by the ocean-side.
My architectural blog is still there, suspended on the inter-webs and in my subconscious, waiting to be refuelled one day when I feel I'm more stable in my passion for writing and build wonders, on www.natekev.wordpress.com.
As an ambassador, I promote Wikipedia in Kenya, contribute to articles online, help improve local content, and gather people together to possibly form an official chapter next year.