Thursday, May 06, 2010

New Ad: The YeahXcitement

YEAHXCITEMENT is the 1st of five new adverts from our multimedia & foreign language brands. It captures the reaction I get often from individual clients & from agencies of all sizes that give our brands the task of turning their sometimes vague ideas into reality.

There's nothing more rewarding than completing a project and on delivering it to the client seeing faces light up in that uncontrollable moment of joy that says: 'Yeeeeeaah!, I'm excited'.

YEAHXCITEMENT features Carol, a fellow entrepreneur & close friend I've known since we were 18/19 years old.

More on Carol:
* Cost Engineer by profession
* Entrepreneur by inspiration
* Our brands' main contact & publicist on the West Coast
* Calls California (US) and Nairobi (Kenya) her home
* 2004-2009 we collaborated on her online language teaching school and a tours & travel service
* She is currently setting up her independent management consulting agency to improve performance
and job satisfaction for workers of state & government agencies.
Watch this space for the official launch.

Advert concept & design: akiey5Gallery

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Fyah Pon Fire

Please click here to listen.

Fyah Pon Fire is a reggae track I produced & recently added to the multimedia section & soundtrack of my upcoming audio book/film scene project.

The writing, songs & videos I've recently done for the project have assumed a more 'new media' shape that inspired me to recreate most of the book's content into a movie scenes. Details on this coming up soon. Since about 90% of the plot is based on true events names & locations will be changed to protect the innocent (wink!).

Fyah Pon Fire is a Lovers Rock type of reggae track with a mellow, groovy tropical rhythm guided by a Hammond Organ tune I played on a Yamaha synthesizer keyboard. Flavour is added by typical Jamaican Patois singing by Iriestan while R&B/Pop harmonies are done by our friend Donna. There is also the familiar "Lord Of Mercy!" chants, Afro/Reggae drumming, a dominant bass line plus a Dub Riddim section guaranteed to get you dancing & singing along. Enjoy & stay tuned for more info on the movie scene projects.

More info:

Movie Tickets Contest

The brands recently presented 2 lucky winners with tickets to go watch any movie in any theatre in any country between February & March 2010. Of the 107 entries received, many got at least one of the questions right. Correct answers to all sections had to be submitted in order to win.

The photo on the left is a screen shot from a popular movie.
a) What is the name of the movie? - Apocalypto
b) In the movie, who is the boy's father? - Jaguar Paw, son of Flint Sky

The words on the back of the girl's tank top say 'What DID Happen in Vegas? 6.05.09'

What is being referred to by those words & date?

The many weird, funny events in Hangover, the award winning comedy movie set in Las Vegas.
6.05.09 is the date the movie was released in theatres.

Bursting at the seams

Stay tuned, we have so much in store for you we're bursting at the seams!

Many new projects coming from our brands. Over a dozen new multimedia collaborations with our partners. Amazing new products from 'new' entrepreneurs & artists. We'll take you to California, Brazil, Kenya, Italy, the UK, Venezuela, France & Bali to name a few.

More info:

Friday, November 27, 2009

What's Your Thrill?

Since we started our brands our mantra has been: 'set up your own independent business...even if you're already gainfully employed'. Every year since then we have worked with & assisted several partners in turning their ideas into reality; and in helping the growth of their different types of 'biz'.

To all my fam & friends who've come knocking: It's creative folks like you that are changing the way the world does everything, and I mean...everything! Being in your company is a thrill in itself! Thank you!

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

You'll Thank Us Later

The 1st of several new advertisements appearing in print, video & on the Internet as we launch the new seal that brings together all our brands as one creative unit.

The seal will be used often as a mark of quality for projects designed by our brands. Where necessary, it will appear as a 'Seal Of Approval' on projects we develop with you, and with our creative partners in different states & countries.

The round-shaped seal with the '5' displayed prominently in the middle is composed of some major features (colors, shapes, themes & fonts) you've seen on our different logos. It took 2 days to design in early September & has been tested on numerous websites and multimedia.

The girl in the advert is my youngest sister whom I filmed a few months ago in Mombasa, Kenya. Like other fam & close friends, you will see her in more ad spots soon. She joins the ranks of my two close friends, one based in St. Petersburg, Russia and another in Davis, California, USA who have featured in our recent ads. Many thanks to them.

More info:

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Jaguar Paw : Reprised Movie Score

For our brands, I recently produced an entirely new film score for some scenes from Apocalypto that originally did not have any/much sound effects or music.
The clip shows Jaguar Paw (Rudy Youngblood) - my favorite character from the movie - at that famous 'Waterfall Scene' that all who watched the movie talk about with delight. I composed a score evoking the emotion and on-spot decision making Jaguar Paw goes through. Enjoy & fill in the conclusion with your own imagination.
Click poster below to view clip with new movie score
Poster design: akiey5Gallery
Please click here for larger, clearer view of poster

All music and sound effects for this scene produced by akiey.
Video and film score synchronized at akiey5media

More info:

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Oscar & Jim Wins!!!

Our new movie Oscar & Jim is a confirmed First Prize winner in the Short Film category at the Rhode Island International Film Festival held Aug 4th- Aug 9th, 2009!

This year’s RIIFF featured 235 cinematic works from more than 57 countries & 31 states in the U.S.A. The festival films were selected from over 3,400 international submissions.(RIIFF).
About the Festival:
The Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) discovers and empowers filmmakers. Held in Providence, and locations throughout the state of Rhode Island, RIIFF is one of only a handful of festivals worldwide that is a qualifying event for the Academy Awards (i.e. “Oscars”) (...) (RIIFF)

Cited as one of the "Best International and Short Film Festivals in the United States," RIIFF is New England’s largest film festival, screening a record 236 films. []

Many congrats to Iain Weatherby, Paul Fenwick, Harry Lloyd, Charlie Corvell, Sarah Llewellyn, Martin Lightening, Phil Casey, Simon Bryant, Miriam Lyons, Rose Pomeroy, Seiji Okumiya, Dara Williams, Martin Wilson ... my fellow executive producers & everyone involved with Oscar & Jim. Great work everybody!!

More on Oscar & Jim:
More on the RIIFF:

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Oscar & Jim (new movie)

As one of the executive producers, I am happy that Oscar & Jim, our new movie from the United Kingdom is being screened at the Rhode Island International Film Festival Aug 4th-9th, 2009. Oscar & Jim was filmed in Paris, France and on the Eurostar train connecting the United Kingdom & France.
The movie stars Harry Lloyd as Gerry, and Charlie Covell as Emma on a romantic weekend trip to Paris. It is written & co-directed by Iain Weatherby, produced & co-directed by Paul Fenwick.
Click image to visit the official Oscar & Jim website and to view the movie trailer.

Synopsis: "Emma and Gerry are on a romantic city break/dirty weekend in Paris. Last stop on the tourist trail is the Pere Lachaise cemetery, where the illustrious dead lie round. He wants to see the grave of Jim Morrison. She wants to find the tomb of Oscar Wilde. Their Eurostar leaves in two hours. It's the end of their first weekend away together. But will it be their last?"
More info:

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Brigade Rock

Brigade Rock, is a positive and motivating high-energy rock song I selected to start off our Year of Rockologie - a period where we bring you some of the best works in the rock genre. These will mainly be rock music songs, entire albums, and other rock-related media such as videos, short films, clothing, artwork, etc produced at our Rockologie imprint & original works from our creative partners in different places.
Click cover below to listen to the track.

Cover design: akiey5Gallery

NB: Rockologie invites all interested to collaborate in the positive advancement of the rock genre through music, film, art and other creative fields. I have been producing rock-related media through this imprint since 2006 and use it often alongside akiey5mediato fuse rock with other genres such as film, Hip Hop, R&B, Reggae, Latin, and Jazz. Thanks for all your support.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

'Buenas Noches' video by G.No

Buenas Noches, the music video from my friend G.No in France is now available.
G.No has stayed busy doing radio and online interviews as well as shows in support of his new album 'From Paris 2 Louisville' . The video, which he directed himself was filmed in the city of Paris.

Click video poster below to view video
Design & concept: akiey5Gallery
Please click here for a larger, clearer view of poster.

G.No's album is now available and will ship to you in a matter of days. I received my signed copy in the mail and I'm playing it on repeat! Buenas Noches and Dame are some of my most favorite tracks from the album.
Stay tuned and interact with G.NO at:

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

MJB: Forever No More

Forever No More is our latest musical production featuring a poem composed and recorded by the soulful Queen of Hip hop Soul, Mary J Blige. Produced at akiey5media it's a musical tribute to Mary J who's among the artistes to be featured in a late 2009 Poetry & Spoken Word project.

Click front cover below to listen to the track.

Design & concept: akiey5Gallery

Popularly referred to as MJB, Mary J has for years used her musical gifts to inspire, uplift and touch the lives of many worldwide. To date she has released 8 successful albums and performed on 8 thrilling tours. She has acted on TV & film, garnered numerous awards and still keeps on working hard like she just got started.

Please click here for large view of the poem on the back cover.

In producing the music for Forever No More, I opened the track with American jazz piano keys and closed out the production with trumpets & horns typical of traditional Swahili wedding parades. That and everything in between is yours to enjoy!

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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Interview with G.No, creator of Latin and Blues

Here's an interview with G.No (a.k.a The Latin Bird), our Paris-based friend & multi talented singer, songwriter, producer, author and Web designer. Considered one of Europe's finest rising stars, G.No speaks and sings in four languages and is credited with creating the new 'Latin and Blues' music genre that is fast gaining popularity. G.No's new album From Paris 2 Louisville is now available. Stay updated with G.No's projects via his Myspace, Facebook, Youtube and on
Click album cover to visit G.No's myspace & preview the new album.

* Your new album "From Paris 2 Louisville" just came out, what inspired the title and the general style or direction of the songs?
The title of the album came naturally to me since I recorded the songs between Paris, France where I was born and Louisville, Kentucky where I met Smoke E.Digglera, former singer of the R&B band Playa who also worked with the legendary Jodeci. This album is the story of a musical meeting: I'm bringing Mediterranean roots and US producers like Smoke bring true R&B music. This new mix is called "Latin & Blues". There are 15 tracks dealing with fiesta, love, sex and I've also got 2 songs speaking of my origins and life in Paris.

* Your fans really like your first album "Evazion", most people play it without skipping any song. What inspired the album and how was the writing and recording?
Thanks! I recorded this album 5 years ago using Pro Tools and my 2 guitarists. I recorded it in a room at my home. I had to release something because I was getting impatient waiting for a major contract that wasn't coming. This album is far from perfect but I did it all on my own. I was young but I truly sang every song with my heart.
One thing with acoustic music is that it never grows old. "Damelo" and "Mon ami mon frère" are my favorites. Back then, I never thought I would one day sing with my R&B idols. I didn't want to sing regular R&B anymore because I didn't want to appear as a European R&B copy. Although I didn't sell very many copies of the "Evazion" CD, the wonderful exposure I got on Myspace helped me meet Smoke. "Senorita Sensual" was the track that appealed to him so much that he decided to work with me.

* You've always been very creative, what new stuff should your fans expect in "From Paris 2 Louisville"?
Something really new from the producers of songs by Aaliyah, Ginuwine, and Missy Elliott just to name a few. They will also get music with an international flava and of course songs in international languages.
I'm the 1st European singer to have the true "Jodeci/Playa" sound yet I'm not trying to copy Black American R&B artists. I'm singing my way in Spanish, Italian and French. And for the fans and lovers of Playa, I've done a remake of "Cheers 2 U" with a rapper from Florida named Cutty Lue.

* You signed with Smoke from Playa, a legend in the R&B world. How does your French and American creativity help you both?
Our meeting in Louisville was crazy. It was a fun and magical experience. We were drinking, recording and singing all night. Judging from the over 500,000 visits we got on YouTube I can say that people felt it connected to the music. You can see the whole story on the DVD "FROM PARIS 2 LOUISVILLE" which can be bought on my Myspace at
I went to Louisville feeling very shy because I was afraid to sing in front of a highly talented vocalist like Smoke but he helped me improve my skills and I learned a lot just from watching him.

* What do you like most about singing and performing?
Self-expression. I need music in my life. I'm not singing just to be famous but to truly share from my heart.

* Who are some of your musical influences?
Dino Conner of the R&B group H-Town. He was 'the voice' to me. Devante Swing, Playa (R.I.P Static Major), George Michael and Yves Montand, a French singer.

* When did you record your very first song; how was the experience?
I remember it was in '94! I was like "damn my voice sounds good!" hehe!!, I had a New Jack Swing trio in France and we were into Boyz II Men, Shai and such like groups.

* What was your first ever major TV or radio appearance and how did you feel about it?
I remember my 1st big TV appearance because it was last year on a major French TV channel. I was interviewed, I sang live and I loved it. I'm looking forward to more exposure. I'm convinced that artists have to show real concern for social issues and I first need more exposure for that.

* What motivated you to create the new genre you call "Latin & Blues"?
It came naturally since it's a mix of my origins and the kind of music I like. My father is Italian, mother is Spanish, and me, I am French. Since I really like fact, I love Rhythm & Blues so much I had to merge all these ingredients and create a new style called "Latin & Blues". It just felt right that with this mix of cultural roots and my love for this wonderful music, I be the creator of Latin & Blues.

* What things, people or ideas inspire your songs?
My everyday life and thoughts inspire me the most. I'm a quiet, mellow person but with this album there is a lot inspired by clubbing and being in love. You will see my many other inspirations and creative side in future albums.

* If you could perform live with any musician from any part of the world, who would that be?
I would love to share a live show with Babyface as a guitarist and Alicia Keys on the piano! I can't help smiling just thinking about that!! That girl gives so much emotion when she sings, it's incredible! Music should only be like this. I'm not attracted simply by style and glamor. That's why I prefer to sing with my acoustic band than with too many dancers and TV tracks.

* If you could collaborate on a record with any musician, dead or alive, who would that be?
To sing with Smoke and have production by the guys who did Aaliyah's "Rock The Boat" for example used to just be a dream yet it is happening. Right now I am connecting with a lot of R&B stars but I think that making duets is my favorite thing in this music business.

* You have a huge following on Myspace, Facebook, YouTube and even on your website , how important is the Internet to you as an artiste?
Without the Internet this album would never havve happened. How could I have met Playa while living in Paris?? There wouldn't be exposure on TV, Radio, or shows for me. I'm not the son of a rich guy so the Internet is a blessing.
My new task as an artist is also that of an e-marketer: I gotta target my potential fans and meet people in the industry, all through my Mac! You know, TV and radio create "virtual stars", now the same happens through the Internet and hopefully there are bigger things coming for me and all the independent artists.

* Recently you filmed the video for your new song "Buenas Noches", which is a real favourite with your fans. Please describe the experience of having videos for your songs.
The only thing I was missing as an artist was actual music videos. I started the video making experience while in Venezuela last summer with my cameraman Kassius. We did 2 videos there and since I live in Paris I had to do another one in this beautiful city. I directed the videos and I love doing it and I appy my creativity because without a big budget you gotta think of original ideas to lead your project. The video for Buenas Noches is a good example.

* Where do you see yourself in the next 5 to 10 years?
I've dedicated my time to focus on making my music. If people are touched by my music I will be able to live off of it, tour and work for other artists. I see myself as an entertainer and writer - things that I already do. I just need more exposure now and believe me, the Internet is so good because people can better understand your entire vision. For me it's Libertad or muerte, I don't see the point of living without sharing my art.

Interview by akiey. *

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Mr. Forty-Four Is Ready!

It's a new chapter we're all writing now. Gone are the days of living under the constant confusion and delusion of the Bush dictatorship. We knew we would survive those terrible 8 years & now it's a new era and a new movement for a world that works together. Obama & Biden already have their sleeves rolled up and are working on that Change, let's do the same.
PS: Nearly a year & a half since my last post. Been busy doing this & that. May come around post some more some time later...may be...


Monday, July 02, 2007

It Wasn't Impossible -free track

It Wasn't Impossible is a giveaway track from our upcoming blend album set for a July/Aug '07 release. Go here for more details.
This is a cinematic production resulting from reworking Shaggy's 'It Wasn't Me' mega hit then morphing it into our newly reworked instrumental version of Kanye West's 'Impossible' (the theme song he produced for the movie 'Mission Impossible III').
Click cover to hear & download a free copy of "It Wasn't Impossible"

Cover design: akiey5Gallery
I'm inviting 'out of the box' creative thinkers to work with on a bunch of projects. Our 3 imprints are capable of handling numerous design & production projects to satisfy your multimedia needs. Get in touch for best rates & samples of recently completed works.


Friday, February 23, 2007

Obama: Speech Music

Reposted Feb 23:
On Feb 10, Barack H. Obama, the Democratic Senator from Illinois stood on the steps of the old Illinois Capitol in Springfield and gave a 21 min landmark discourse that culminated in the much anticipated official declaration of his run for US president in 2008.
Obama's values, worldview and principles have long struck a chord with many among us clamoring for sound, fair and responsible leadership on the homefront and one that places diplomacy at the core of it's international policy. For this reason akiey5media/The Niteshift immortalizes his speech in this original music production aptly titled "The Candidate" in honor of this great son of the 2 USAs: United States of America, and... Ugenya Siaya Alego.

Plz click cover below to listen to Obama's Speech Song
Cover design: akiey5Gallery

NB: Feel free to share this Obama Speech Music, The Niteshift will convert the track to fit your mp3 player, iPod, PSP and car/home stereo on request.

All lead (speech) vocals : Barack Obama
All instrumentals & mastering: akiey

White House backdrop photo: akiey5Gallery files
Barack Obama image source:
here (original has both Barack & Michelle)


Monday, January 15, 2007

I Have A Dream-remixed

Every Second Monday of January: Time to celebrate the birthday, works, life, sacrifices & contributions of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
In honour of this great son of the US, Citizen of The World, Civil Rights Leader & 1964 Nobel Peace Prize Winner I share with you this musical rendition of his acclaimed 1963 "I Have A Dream" speech whose instrumentals and arrangement yours truly arranged & produced at dawn on Friday Jan 12, 2007 for the akiey5media/The Niteshift imprints.

To hear the 'Dream' part of the speech only, plz click image below to visit our e-home & click track one 'I Have A Dream' on the mp3 player.

Photo Courtesy 'Time' Magazine. Cover Design: akiey5Gallery
To hear the entire speech (highly recommended) plz
click here.

Feel free to request a downloadable mp3 and WMA version of this production for your non-commercial use. Will convert to fit your iPod, mp3 player, PSP, car & home stereo etc.
PS: Martin Luther 'The King' Jr would have turned 78 today. Let's celebrate and reflect on the teachings, values & principles of the Civil Rights Movement and search within & around us to see how (un)well we Keep The Dream Alive.

Happy Birthday Dr. King!

NB: If you have a great, clear voice please get in touch soonest. There's interesting gigs awaiting you at our Niteshift imprint.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Obie Trice-Sopranos-Msanii

Obie-sopranos cover

Click cover to view video
Many thanks to Obie Trice for personally providing us "Cry Now" in June, some 2 months before his new album "Second Round's On Me" was released. The song "Cry Now" is a true to fact, confessional message depicting recent events in Obie's life, some of which made breaking news on both Tv & print media.
As long-time fans of Obie's work, the akiey5media/The Niteshift imprint made a studio video by carefully assembling different scenes from The Sopranos (HBO) series and digitally synchronized them with the song to bring to life the message in "Cry Now"...with a new twist that juxtaposes Toni Soprano's life in New Jersey with Obie's in Detroit.

BNTS Nbi banner2

click banner to download BNTS Episode 6

Msanii_XL, the publisher of BNTS, whose loyal fans also know as the "music man extraordinaire" for his use of podcasting as a tool to make unique mixtapes offers 3 albums (yes, 3 whole albums with over 55 songs !!) for you to enjoy, to download and share...for free! as BNTS Episode 4, BNTS Episode 5* (broadcast on German Public Radio in Aug,06) & BNTS Episode 6.
He is no stranger to most of our readers for he's the first innovator we featured on our skyblog e-magazine. Msanii stands out from the crowd by fusing music from different continents, different genres and from both major and independent labels and broadcast it to a growing number of enlightened fans across the Diaspora who are now very familiar with trendsetters like Ukoo Flani MauMau, Shida Mingi, Jay Dilla (RIP), Lebo Mashile, Tumi and The Volume, Viktor Vaughn, K-Shaka, Infidel aka Seff (gifted lyricist who did the intro on BNTS 6 & appeared on BNTS 5)...the list is infinite.
BNTS 4-5 album cover bBNTS Episode 4 BNTS 4-5 album coverBNTS Episode 5
Click album covers above & download "BNTS Epsiode 4" & "BNTS Epsiode 5"

Alright, now to try & update Tafsiri, been a while...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Things People Do

... while away from blogville and its environs include: burning the midnite oil balancing work (yes, I happen to 'work' at times,lol!), life and a bunch of audiovisual projects.
A couple positive changes have been made, several beneficial collaborations established and we're ready to get more stuff done. Have to keep working, praying hard & having fun while at it.

As we prepare a major comeback to blog, here's an invite to kick back & enjoy this slide show from yours truly. Peace!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Still Got It

I've been offline & off everything else as I make this move to the new house in the new city whose metropolitan area I know like the back of my hand. Have worked here, gone clubbing here countless times, been in concert with greats from Damian Marley to UB40, to Slum Village and Annie Lennox.

Still settling in, most things still boxed up but that mojo? Not to worry, I got it with me & it never left...

Lemme reply all pending comments on both Maarifa & Tafsiri some time this weekend.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

No Way, Jose!

If the pic looks familiar you're probably right. Click to find out...or just read along...

What bloggers block? Did I hear the word hiatus? hehe, No Way, Jose! The few KBWs with whom I'm in regular touch and are listed in my address book got hints of some stuff this blogger has been up to while away from blogville. A couple of days ago I moved some furniture around & renovated both Maarifa & Tafsiri, produced some kool new videos that I've already started hosting on both blogs... and there's more changes to come so make yourselves at home.

It's been an interesting few days. Yes, kept busy & still enjoyed the world's greatest sporting event thoroughly especially on the Spanish language channels where the amazingly animated commentators led by Fernando Fiore went Gooool! Gooool!! to mark every goal and just as I kooled off cheering I noticed TeeTee, who also caught the world cup bug was still excitedly bellowing the Latin American accented "G-o-o-o-o-o-o-l!!", sometimes making me think I'd missed another goal, lol!.

I rooted for France to the very end, even as Zidane had to walk away from what would have been one of his life's greatest achievements. Congrats Italia. You deserve the hard-fought win. Zidane, you rightfully earned The Golden Boot, Thierry & co....Vive Les Blues, Vive La France!

Ok good people, as we get back to normal programing I couldn't help laughing at/questioning some of these facts I found here:

  • It is possible to lead a cow upstairs...but not downstairs. (Is that why the bulls chase folks down the streets in Pamplona, Spain?)
  • Donkeys kill more people annually than plane crashes. (How come the population of Lamu isn't going down & they have more donkeys than planes in the city?)
  • Turtles can breathe through their butts. (So, basically they can't distinguish a fart from exhaling?)
  • Ninety percent of New York City cabbies are recently arrived immigrants. (So, how do they know their way around? Well, most New Yorkers get lost in the huge city so worry not)

Finally... Is it just me or is that real deal guy sound way happier than most folks you and I know?, huh?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Block This Too!!

Just confirmed it! some things get done the way those pulling strings want them done around this here get to shutting the door & hitting the locks on this one too, you know who you are, lol!

Don't know why I quickly opted to do a car pic for this 'packed' post but many kudos to sandman's post which probably indirectly stuck in my mind.

Legends, Icons & Revolutionaries

Finally came across this photo that for a long while I thought I had lost in my picture files.
Hard to believe that I've had it for over 4 years and I still can't find the source information. I thought I would have it as the first in a series of images I am working on that I labelled "Legends, Icons & Revolutionaries"
Am also planning on printing this image on a black or white t-shirt before the summer but I would first like to get the source right so that I could credit it both in print and on the web. I will greatly appreciate any input on this.
NB: I am currently working on "Legends, Icons & Revolutionaries II" . I'm thinking of putting 2 men & a woman on it. Any suggestions very much welcome!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Friends Like These!?

Won't waste space saying what I already know about this madd friendship that has stood the test of time and by now wiped off the thin line between friendship and family ties.

"Dis-moi qui te hante et je te dirais qui tu es "

-Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.

And whoever said this at 3.30am several moons ago needs to get their head checked:

"None of us would stoop so low as to harm and maim anyone that hurts one of us bcoz that would be too barbaric. It's best to cut them up & feed them to the dogs, stray dogs to be certain lol!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The 360 Guarantee


I don't own Kenya, I owe Kenya.
I am all that I am because of my experiences growing up and living in Jamhuri. Yes, born, bred and in most part equipped with life/work skills in this beautiful, diverse nation we call home. Land of smart thinking, smart acting and smart, fun/funny people blessed in plentiful ways.
Granted, it has been some time since I was last home and I miss it every day. Like many of my peers, I am bcoz I grew up in an environment where the child was raised by the entire community regardless of one's ethnic origin, social standing or worldview. We benefitted from a social support system which entitles you to hold onto and pursue your dreams despite the many hurdles standing in your way. This is the one place where I met happiness and peace of mind and made them my friends.
Growing up in a town (now a city) where leaving the front door unlocked all day was the tradition but locking yourself indoors 24/7 was considered mean-spirited and antisocial, we were taught that opening up your heart is a sure way to fill it with warmth and l'epice de la vie (spice of life/nakshi za maisha); that opening up your mind is the way to learn beyond books and maktabas and opening up your home is the key to limitless abundance of happiness, good fortune, growth of kin and kith, warding off misfortune, boredom and a cold, lonely existence.
I am aware that with time things change and so do some values but it is gratifying to know that many well-grounded principles still hold firm (despite the darned MPs mess!). These are lessons I still value and look forward to sharing.
Mimi ni Mkenya/ I am Kenyan and many things define me as such. There is no perfect person or society but I know fellow Kenyans at home & abroad to be very hardworking (and hard partying), enterprising people. When someone says "You Can't" it only gives us more fire to succeed and we turn around, smack them in the face with the "I just did and will do again!" (hehe, guilty aren't you?), yes, we run (yaaawn!) to win races and the millions in prizes that come with them but we don't run away from ourselves.
We laugh so hard and so often it hurts. We care so much till we hurt, we're more trustworthy than our lousy, kniving politicians that milk us dry as they live in sinful luxury...yet we let them be!? We stay up-to-do date with local as well as world affairs and find it quite normal to analyse happenings as far away as Kiribati, Fallujah, San Juan, Kumasi, Copenhagen or even Seoul while riding in the matt, waiting in line at Nakumatt, cycling over Nyali bridge, taking the tube to Victoria Station, in the Metro in DC's U.Street, on phone, email, blog, etc just becoz we're who we are...Kenyan.

Kenya accords me My 360 Guarantee of happiness and peace of mind for every 365 days in a year. Show me a place promising more than that and I'll let you know its other name is...Kenya.

Happy Madaraka Day!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Tuendelee Ama Wasnitch?

"The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life"
~William Faulkner
W. Faulkner may have been reading my mind at some point. Visual arts will always fascinate me and for that reason I better not stop this Akiey5 Experiment...same way that young, super-gifted black kid many called Jimmy didn't stop his Jimmy Hendrix Experience...yes, that very self-taught and mastered Experience that changed how we listen to & play music.

Here's a little taste of The AQ Experiment:

This is part of a continuing series of music video remixes I've worked on most recently. The Experiment brings together the song "Tuendelee" by Kenya's Kleptomaniax with the "Snitch" music video by Obie Trice & Akon to create what I called "Tuendelee Ama Wasnitch"(lol!) yeah, a blend of the two concepts as well.

Many thanks to the Musicman Extraoridinaire himself, MsaniiXL (I know you got greater things than this one coming bro!), as well as Spicebear, Irena, and Acolyte for trying out and giving feedback on different videos I've worked on to date.

Also, thanks to Gishungwa for contributing the Klepto track. For her effort she gets listed on the video credits towards the end among the likes of Obie Trice, Akon, Klepto, Eminem et al that akiey thanks for their part in the video/music. One day soon I will most appropriately honour said artistes as well. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Simple Yet Complex

NB: The UB40 concert post I promised is in the works, still making time to edit video & pics.

Sometimes I Wonder...

When my time is up on this 3rd rock from the sun,
will I be remembered more as a digital artist or the trained professional that I am?
If, and since I devote as much attention to my art
as to my chosen profession, will my works of art impart
greater precedence over the works of my mind and heart?
Until then, I will strive to make simple of complex things
And complex of otherwise simple things.
Bcoz such is the principle of my art.
I've mentioned this to a couple of my readers:
Never in my life have I taken a 2 minute class in photography, photo editing, videography or filming. What I do here and on other print & digital media is but self-taught & God-given skills that now define me as the akiey that does this & that in the name of art.
As such, years from now, will anyone touched by my work,
artistic or professional regard akiey's time on God's green earth
to be as good as what...

Pele is to football as Samora Machel is to martyrdom?
Dr. Dre is to G-rap as Mother Teresa is to saintly?
Mental is to Kaybee as Aime Cesaire is to freedom?
Iman is to modeling as Mikhail Gorbachev is to Ruski?
Clinton is to admirable as Necessary Noise is to exceptional?
Kipchoge is to athletics as Larenz Tate is to versatility?
Mc Solaar is to rhythm as Fundi Frank is to fashion?
TeeTee is to akiey's ifey as Lebron James is to simply amazing?
Maybe, maybe not, but you're still reading & viewing
and am still clicking, filming, editing and thinking...
Until then, You may be remembered as...?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Cherry OH Baby!!

Orig pic sans my ticket here

I've had to put off this concert post mainly due to the tragic loss we suffered back home when we lost dignitaries on the peacekeeping mission to the northern region of Jamhuri. RIP all dear departed and my sympathies to their family, friends and all affected by the loss.

News of the loss reached me on the same day I was to start editing video & downloading the many photos I took at the concert. No way could I talk of a fun time with friends and mourn at the same time. The time out & no video playing here was Maarifa's tribute.

Yes, Good People, I finally got to meet & greet with the one-of-a-kind UB40 and their equally Irie opening act Elan from Cali by way of Morocco. The concert was at the amazing House of Blues in Cleveland. It's an understatement to say all this was a dream come true. Will give detailed info with pics, video etc in a new post as soon as am done working out a few details with video & photo sequence.

I will get back to you ALL by tomorrow, I too need to have my hands full of dessert for now!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Am An Addict

There comes a time when one makes known their indulgences, compulsive pastimes or even: "addictions". I have a couple I've developed and nurtured (or have they been nurturing me?) since I was a kid.

I love reading. Will read anything & everything from that slip of paper swaying in the wind before it finds a spot on the sidewalk, to biographies in the library. Will read countless emails & IMs from fam and friends, online press releases, installation manuals, blogs, even those 60,000 word professional documents I work name it, regardless of the languages it's written in, trust I will read it, internalise and analyse it...("urrrgh, who brought in this sorry nerd!"...murmur the bored AA-Addicted Anonymous attendees)

For nearly a year and a half now I've been getting my daily, nerdy fix from Wikipedia, that fast-growing online super warehouse of knowledge. I fully revel in it & indulge as if reading will be banned tomorrow. You will find me everyday browsing through articles on music, art, politics, history...kamilisha sentensi kwa jibu linalofaa.LOL!

I lose myself so much in Wikipedia it virtually becomes Akieypedia, with me, bloodshot, wide-eyed & info-thirsty looking around like a deal-catcher seeeking the latest arrivals at Nairobi's Gikomba market, a videogamer looking around for the latest Madden Games, like a damsel on 5th Avenue frantically seeking Vera Wang's latest robes, or feeling great like a loving, young Digo couple holding hands on their way home after selecting fresh fish at Likoni Ferry's Soko ya Samaki...and I mos def feel hyped like a mixtape DJ ruffling through crates of music LPs searching for that one beat that will change the music scene...

Today I take a break from Akieypedia mania, allow you to sit on that couch and wonder to myself: what's your addiction...?!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Absolute Indisputable Truth

If there's any one lesson anyone in the Diaspora should carry with them every waking moment....

Strive to make your own money with the knowledge & skills you have acquired right from Jamhuri so you're not treated like the shit anyone would want to make you believe you are.

Class dismissed....

PS: This is my only major entry without a pic & hopefully my very last blogger post. Sayonara, Kwaheri, Baadaye....

Monday, January 30, 2006

If Blogs Spoke

If your blog had a voice, what would it say to/about you?
- If Maarifa & Tafsiri spoke they'd tell me:
a) Stop treating us like step-children, we bring you happiness so update us regularly (Rhaahaha, yeah right!)
b) Will you stop toying with the idea of quitting blogging because the more you think of it the more real it becomes every day!?
c) When we grow up we'd like to become ..err...magazines, maybe satellite radio stations, digital Tv & movie networks and also help write your memoires by complementing the junk you've been writing in your diaries since you were 12 years old, or...whatever the heck your insomniac self pushes us to be since you seem to decide everything big head,lol!
We're having a party and we will be dancing under the light until yawn* at our other home. To get an all access pass to the event please click on the photo below or follow the link below it.
** The two and a half people who visit & comment on this blog regularly would tell you that when akiey says party until dawn he means "to party until the sun comes up" whereas by Partying Until Yawn he actually means "Partying Until Another Year Comes Up",LOL

Ok, now time to get back to what we used to call life & also prepping a couple pics for friends' upcoming projects:)

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Checking Body Parts

-Best viewed l-a-a-r-ge-
First off, I send out a big this to Blogger for being such a pain when I repeatedly tried to perform the most basic operations on their system. No wonder I've been planning to move my entire blog-related stuff to another site. Wapumbavu sana hawa madogi wa Blogger!
Lately I've had 101 photo design ideas struggling to pop out of my head & onto paper, website, print media etc faster than I can handle. For that reason I decided to draw on the creative juices by taking 3 ideas at a time, lol!
The above montage is one in a series I am developing as a tribute to some good fam & friends whose photos I recently came across on 2 CDs I thought I'd long-llost & were buried in the town's garbage dumps somewhere. The newly found CDs contain about 800 photos of people, places & things I caught on lens over the past 2 yrs & all this has now inspired an extra twenteen ideas ontop of the 101 I have doing the chakacha inside my thick head.
Currently, I am checking out body parts of people am close with, as well as those of blogpals who gave me the green light to use their pics (why the raised eyebrows, it's art!lol!), avatars & other blog 'things' for an upcoming composite photo meant to make fun of a situation that happened in my host country late last year but it's something we all can relate to since it was broadcast worldwide.
There' s still some room on the photo I am working on, so let me know on email, IM or phone if you'd like to be featured on it...Have no fear, won't make you look bad, if anything, you know my motto I Can Make U Famous.
Artists, like everyone else also do have a funny side. This caught my eye last nite. Enjoy:
An artist working on a nude portrait got very tired after a busy month. He had become very weary from this non-stop effort he decided to take it easy for the day. Since his model had already shown up he suggested they merely have a glass of wine and talk .
They talked for a few hours getting to know each other better. Then as they were sipping their claret the artist heard a car arriving outside. He jumped up and said "Oh no! It's my wife! Quick take off your clothes!"

Monday, January 09, 2006

Blogversary and Winners

On this day a year ago, Maarifa the weblog came into being. The reasons & drive behind this have long been obvious to all of my loyal readers composed of close friends (some I've known for nearly 20yrs), family, the wonderful KBW family, my buddies from other web-related affiliations that I am actively engaged in, a couple professional clients and ofcourse not to forget the Web surfers who stumble upon my bloghome.
It has been a very interesting and satisfying 12 months thanks to your regular visits, generous comments & appreciation for the digital photographic art I share with you, sharing your opinion on all my rumblings, your genuine concern when I go/went AWOL (many thanks everybody in KBW!) ... and ofcourse everytime you made me feel welcome in your blog homes cannot go unnoticed.
There's absolutely no way I could overlook the many good things that this interaction, mainly through KBW/NYD/FLM/Afrikblog has brought my way. I am glad to have met an amazing lot of highly talented, funny, caring and creative-minded friends. Many I meet on blogruns, about two dozen also on email, IM and regular calls across states and/or continents. Some of you I've known for countless years [sema mamboz good chica Irena, my kin & kith: Naj, Farouk, Maleeha & Izzo!:)], some I've met several times & with many others shared unedited(LOL!) photos of fun/crazy stuff we get into so we've basically 'seen' each other & we can now attach faces and voices to blogs!
All this has fueled the engines behind the growth of both Maarifa (and its affiliate bilingual site: Tafsiri which in turn marks its 1st anniversary in 3 weeks) and akiey the blogger and for that I say a very big Thank You! For sticking around & enjoying the ride with me:)!

NB: I would quickly run out of space & wearout my fingerprints trying to elaborate why I like some blogs & bloggers, so here's a quick glimpse of my top blogs and my most fav lined up over there.
To celebrate this day, I share with you the 3 winners of the two (long overdue) posts that had everyone trying to figure about The Mvita Don's modus operandi and the food this blogger made & shared with friends. Thanks everybody for participating in this brainstorm activty:)
and so..... the winners are:

I made this collage of the 3 Maasai girls from 3 diff pics to honour the often taken for granted cultural magnificence of the Maasai culture and to congratulate the 3 ladies below that got the answers right. KBW guys didn't seem to fare too well so I look forward to you doing better next time guys!

The Chops For Days Post on Tafsiri:
The winner: Mshairi, my 1st blogfriend whose intelligence, brilliance and down-to-earth good nature (I know many out there would agree with me) gives one that deja vu feeling of having known her in another lifetime. She gave the dish one quick look & without hesitating figured it was octopus stew gravy that was on made & shared that evening. Let me know what kind of photo edit you'd like done. Muchas gracias querida!

The Mvita Don Post: to the two winners go a photo of their choice so see me in my chambers please:)

1st winner: Guess, that avid blogger who had no inside info but one that relied on her photographic memory and used her "skewed brain... that...can read upside down, right to left, right to left upside down" to easily and accurately figure out about 95% of Don Mvita's MO as well as his tools of trade & 'hits'. Congrats!

2nd winner: K.i.d.a.d.a, the shy, yet risktaking, creative writer of a blogger who knows people that know this blogger better than she'd want to admit (total balaa!) also blew the competition thanks to her probing skills, arm-twisting & info extracting tacticts. Only flaw was a small mistep in the tools of trade but she got it very right with the 'hits':

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Chilling with MJB...

As I go about responding to the Mvita Don post, my b-day post and my Chops for Days post on Tafsiri too, am all jazzed up for The Breakthrough, the new release by the Queen of HipHop-Soul Mary J. Blige (Dec 20, 2005). This montage and the other 5 in the series I made last weekend [flash that smile if I sent you any of them in the past few days:)], is a tribute to MJB for her ongoing contribution to good, soulful music. I intentionally inserted the mid pic as a reminder that am working on meeting the requests from the Mvita Don post.
PS: *I am announcing the winner(s) of the Mvita Don post, in the next post. Gotta do that. Lately, I've been swamped in work-- loots of work; but work, life, more work & more life is not an excuse*
-Screenshot of the new joint. Click pic to be redirected there-
I am pleased to announce that I'm opening doors to my new home over here. Please feel free to drop by for some munchies, music, videos, audio & all the good stuff. All 3 joints will be running at the same time & same tempo so kick off your shoes & let's have loads of fun!
PS: I am not abandoning Maarifa or Tafsiri, No way!! New joint will be home to more pics, and stuff surrounding this blogger's other interests.
PSA-Public Service Announcement: I'm sure by now you've noticed that about 90% of my posts have 3-word titles à la : Chilling with MJB..., It's My Birthday!, After This Interruption, Pride and Joy, If Bob Visited, Akiey Con Fuego! It Wasn't Me , just to name a few. This happens for a reason or three but it sure brings to mind a good friend whose 3 names have 6 letters each to make a triple sixx!, lol! tsk, tsk!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

It's My Birthday!

The Entire KBW means the Blog to me & please don't feel left out because some fast folks got wind of this sooner & decided to surprise me. Hugz 2 U all!
11/22: the day I celebrate my birthday. Yes, a year older & hopefully wiser. Behind me lies a year full of stuff I'd love to remember for the rest of my well as some sh*t I'd rather not, but that's life. A new year full of hope lies ahead, will take it as it comes & make something greater out of it.
Strange but every year since I was 16, my birthday has been the busiest of all days in November. There's got to be a reason behind it, I may know it when I turn 40...That's when life begins, right?LOL!
Today I'll be working around the clock to beat two deadlines for clients in two different time zones so I will officially celebrate my b-day tomorrow. Do feel free to join in the fun if you have my address(wink!), know my phone number, IM add, email or you'd like a blog meet up. If you happen to be around the block then you'll mos def run into me & T-Joy(ful), Matt & Wei getting into some crazy fun stuff. For everyone who kept asking, nagging, threatening & even blackmailing about unedited(?) pics of this blogger here's a peek into some of my fam & circle of friends I hang with on the regular. (Best viewed L-a-r-g-e)

Thank yous (in no particular order): Mom & Dad for bringing me into this world and for raising me right. My siblings represented by Dada Aisha(middle left column) for the early morning B-day greetings (N'nani kama wewe Dada?) T-Joy(ful) (middle right column): dearest babygal for having my back(love U to bits hon!) Thrity: for the beautiful e-card(kisses 4 U & hugs to Pervez for me). Poi: for being 1st KBW to get thru call at exactly midnite(how nice of u fellow scorpio?), Abeid in Cotonou: thanks for the card (glad u remembered), Farhiyya: calling while tired & sleepy (U blaze up Toronto!).Guess: for the early morning email & msgs & for shouting me out in public jana(thanks rub-a-dub babe!), Nick for IM wishes(bro #3, u rock!), Milo untouchable on IM (bro #2, mention them plz!) Adrian IM sting (fellow scorpios sting!LOL!), FarmGal on IM, (stay strong:)!), SpiceBear on IM(thanks in b/n doing papers!)

Thanks everybody for your patience while my computer was acting up. Now it's up & running like Paul Tergat. Back with replies to comments & yes, I have to meet two photo requests from last post. Coming up in next post, promise:)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

That Other Side

EDIT: Hey good people, I know I've not done my regular blog runs lately bcoz of problems with my computer...can't stay online more than 5mins at a time:( I'm sorting out the problems & will be back in ONE day with replies to comments & ready for a new post. Thanks!
That Other Side
-This post is 90% based on true events-
From time to time, the Mvita Don's modus operandi consists of deviating from the 'norm' such that when duty calls his personality changes to: no jeans, no cap; no tees, no slang; and definitely no bling or camera snaps.
The day starts earlier than usual with a prayer of thanks for a good night's rest (even if it was no more than 4hrs, ahem!), and hope for a better, rewarding day ahead. Quick shower followed by a quicker walk in-walk out of the wardrobe transforms last night's fun-seeking, casually dressed and easy going insomniac into today's more focused, formal looking, talking, walking & acting non-stop hustler.
Two to three urgent phone calls later confirm final details about the task ahead and add to the obvious "seriousness" of this "job". He has a light "pretend" breakfast as he again notices his state's own Robin Meade is all smiles as she reads global news on CNN Headline News-his favorite morning news station. Two minutes later, he's all ready.
A few quick but sure paces take him to the dimly-lit living room. By the coffee table he picks up the black attaché case containing his very important tools of trade-the tools of trade that he needs to ensure the 'job' gets done right. Tools he values so much fellow wise guys know the Mvita Don would die protecting them. It is common knowledge that such tools help define who he is & both friends & foes know not to mess with him when equipped with this arsenal that can determine the fate of many a man, woman and child.
Don Mvita, as others dare call him (but not to his face),knows he uses the arsenal to do good but you would know better depending on which side of the law or the street you are talking from.
A final walkthrough of his living quarters ensures all lights, doors, windows and appliances are shut & he grabs his keys as he checks the time on his wrist watch-the serious, leather strap kind he spares for such days- and out the door he goes into a world of contracts knowing today's outcome, which may be covered in the media would result in yet another urgent contract to take care of the current one. "What a life...!" he whispers to himself half smiling as he eases into the seat of the beige-gold sedan he owns but wants to give away to some anonymous single mother of 5 struggling with two jobs to put food on the table and clothe her kids. He does have a good side to him, he certainly does but there's work to do today so he remains focused.
Leaning back on the beige seat, he looks ahead as the quiet-engined machine slithers out of the parking lot. At the red light down the street, the car comes to a gentle stop. His eyes veer into the rear-view mirror and he immediately notices the obvious change. "Looking way too serious today" he says with a chuckle as he glances at the white sheet (displayed in pic) showing the increasing number of hits done, is he happy about that..?
The traffic light goes back to green, the sedan eases into the slow morning traffic and off he goes towards the rising sun...
For now, the Mvita Don will make you an offer you can't refuse. He will grant you any reasonable photo request you make if you figure out:
a) where he is going & why b) what the valuable tools of trade are and c) what the 'hits' are
-To find out more about the Mvita Don, click on the image below.

PS: Replies to recent comments made on previous post coming up later in the day.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Pride and Joy

Recently, I got a terrible verbal whipping from some KB-Dub friends for going AWOL from my blogs & a few daring enough folks like Poi, Nick, Guess, Milo & K.i.d.a.d.a went as far as to suggest I was giving priority to my other online personas, or ripping the neighbour's jeans (not again!?), or that I was still topless in my white briefs like some Calvin Klein underwear model (thought we agreed I'll do that for the"akiey5" brand?), or better still that I've been shopping for a toy bullet proof jacket to face off Milo's toy gun(Rhaahaha!)....the list & jokes were endless but am glad everyone had fun... albeit at my expense:) .
Anyway, I've made my way back to Blogville with caliente (hott) posts coming over there this weekend. For now, as I revel in the surprise gifts from Mshairi (yes, she has a biig, kind heart. Thanks querida!), I shamelessly lay blame on all mentioned here & the folks I lined up in the above photo montage for giving me too much TLC, more than I could ever give my photos,LOL! They ensured I ate good, slept good & in return they engaged in some silly stuff just like we know how to:) Thanks all for being there in person & in spirit. Dada, Jr.Bob, N'dots, Tuma, Omari(RI..P), Zah, Doc you're one of a kind. T-Joy(ful), U are Awesome & thank you for everything, U know I mean it.
With all you fine folks at KBW & these wonderful people that are just a small part of my fam, I share Giacomo Leopardi's words:
"People are ridiculous only when they try or seem to be that which they are not"...I am glad we're all family, now let's keep having that ridiculous fun!!

Friday, October 07, 2005

If Bob Visited

I've spent 20 mins wondering & day dreaming about some "ifs". These are important & semi-important 'ifs' and "what ifs" concerning life, career, some choices I have as well as choices I' d like to have. "Ifs" about where I'd like to travel in the next few months, where I'd like to live starting next spring, 'ifs' about keeping some friends and 'ifs' about completely shutting out some used-to-be-friends.
I've considered 'ifs' about signing new contracts or sending them back unsigned & wondering 'if' I would do the same thing 'if' I was 21 again & doing the same things I love now. 'Ifs' about welcoming some people into my life & 'if' I'd still love them the same way when we get old...'if' I'll get old. There are 'ifs' about spending more time with family & closest friends & 'if' I should let them know that I could surprise them with a knock on that familiar home door. I can't deny some 'ifs' and 'what ifs' to do with finally turning some hobbies into breadearners and 'if' I'd be fully content with the decisions. Also, 'if' she a.k.t.u.a.l.l.y knows me like she said she does?
One biiig 'if' I've enjoyed wondering about is..."What if" I was to swing open the doors to my Gallery today, this week or this month and could invite any one or two persons to officially open it, who would I gladly have come do the honours & why?
'If' I could, I would invite the Honorable Robert Nesta Marley & my kid sis Tuma (love ya babe!). But again, 'what if' they were to choose to stand next to a pic of their choice as they gave a brief speech & they both chose the dual-personality framed pic of my parents' first born kid? "What if"?..and only "if"?
If you could invite any one or two people to do the honours for you, for anything, who would they be...?
"Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don't complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don't bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality . Wake Up and Live!" - Bob Marley