Monday, March 13, 2017

Brand Identity ; Through My Lens Photography

Official launch of +throughMylens brand identity; photograph and graphic design. More about my work

Monday, March 6, 2017

Networking – The Golden Contact

Many times we are encouraged to build our network so that we may build that bridge for the next opportunity, and as Porter Gale state it clearly “Your Network Is Your Net Worth”, the question is how do we do it right? Reflecting back on my 17 years’ journey in the field of community development, ICT, design and training, I don’t remember anywhere we were taught how to network.

Networking might sound simple and yet it is not, you have to be prepared to handle the unexpected and the expected. I have stumbled upon on many trials, no replies, disinterested people just to mention but a few, these are factors that can take you to a lonely corner, especially if no one knows you in a particular event or if you aren’t a celebrity.

Celebrity or no celebrity status, you shouldn’t be afraid to give it another try until one day that the CEO or whoever you are targeting responds. Below I would like to share with you some pf the tips I have gathered from my many years of experience at meetings, fellowship, events, etc. Remember, an opportunity for networking can present itself in two folds; planned events and unplanned occasions.

Your Pitch / Story

I would advise you to have an elevator pitch that genuinely reflects what you do, who you are and why you do it. I wouldn't advise on cramming your pitch because the context might be different and you may need tweaking to fit the context.

Always be alert and flexible to fine tune on the fly to fit in your content in the context. One thing that you shouldn’t forget to do is to offer your contact a chance to also explain what they do, while you actively listen for any synergies to take the conversation to the next level. The rule of the thumb, always give and take, be willing to find areas of collaboration. Remember the world out there is in shortage of genuine collaborators playing the win-win from the start.

Your Target 

Do you have a specific person you are targeting? What about particular titles or position? Do you have any preference? How many people would you love to connect with at an event? Here the answer is yes / no, but I would advise you have a brainstorm on the above questions so that you just don’t end up talking to everyone which is also impossible in an event and also to keep it open because you never know, the person who might not be on your preference list might be the gate pass to the next golden contact.

A good knowledge of the person or the organization they work for would also come handy in connecting the dots, even though I wouldn’t say it is must whilst you might be meeting your contact for the first time especially for the unplanned occasion, so keep your option open in some scenarios.

  The heart of a connector; made by me and my son Adrian.

Follow Up 

If there is one thing I have come to love and learn is follow up. Following up is a golden skill in the world of procrastination. It is good to take note of the action points during the conversation and make a point of doing it within the best time possible, especially not more than 2 days because people tend to forget first especially if there were no clear point of interest for further discussion. I would usually try to connect with my next contact on appropriate social media channels and by writing a follow up email.


Sometimes it might be challenging to start and end a conversation, especially in an event context. This is a skill you need to master together with active listening to avoid going in circles. I would advise not to pour your heart all out at the fast meet up, the relationship is built over time to achieve the win-win connection. In conclusion, I would say, I rather content with one or two people who are prospective in building the connection further than to try to reach out to as many people as possible in one event. Feel free to share your experience on the comment section below; Thanks for reading, I hope the insights will help you in your next networking hunt! Related article on my blog;

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Mentor-ship Vs. 'Mentorsheep'

Come to think of it, I’m a mentor and I do have some quite a number of mentees on my side. I have always allowed myself to learn in all possibilities of life and this is without the exclusion of my mentees and mentors who bring new perspective into either old thoughts or new ones.

We live in a world of many possibilities and equal share of confusion, what I came to realize the world of mentor-ship isn’t known to many as much as it might sound to be something that has always been there with us. I believe many people practice the “mentor-sheep” at the expense of mentorship. So what do I mean with with the two terms;

Mentor-ship is about something mutual between the mentor and the mentee organized through a system or plan connected to a common goal and interest. Everyone learns from each other while listening, questioning and testing are key part of the growth of the relationship.

Mentor-sheep is full of imitation, following for the sake to belong, obey and maintain the status quo. The 'sheep effect', plans might change randomly whilst there might be less listening and there might be no or less questioning especially from the mentee.

#MyDiary2017 Below are 10 points a great mentor and mentee should practice; 


  1. They should have wide knowledge and skills in the area of interest. 
  2. They should be willing to show the way and sometime through the mentee in the deep end of things, the good thing is that they will follow through so that the mentee doesn’t get drowned.
  3. They should have dedicated time and they are passionate in mentorship. 
  4. They should be well organized and work on schedules than randomness. 
  5. They should share part of the journey (success, failure and future) not to be imitated by the mentee but for them to pick the best practices of pivoting. 
  6. They should be good listeners and good at asking great questions. 
  7. They should allow failures only that everyone should account for the gaps for future lessons. 
  8.  They should always be eager to learn from the mentee. 
  9. They should have great values system especially empathy and patience. 
  10. They should be willing to make random check on how the mentee is doing. Everything need not to be structured. 

  1. They should be well organized especially on time management. 
  2. They should be good listeners and good at asking questions. 
  3. They should show tangible result within the journey of the relationship. 
  4. They should be accountable for the failure or missed targets. 
  5. They should have a clear big picture in mind and willing to start with the baby steps. 
  6. They appreciate their mentors as partners in exploring the new world of possibilities. 
  7. They should have great values system especially professionalism. 
  8. They shouldn’t imitate for the sake, they should have analytical, creative and critical mind buffers before taking the jump. 
  9. They should always be open to new learning experiences, especially triggered by themselves.
  10. They should always engage while it happens than report later in the organized sessions.
If I missed something you would love to share as a mentor or mentee, please feel free to do so under the comment section. For more insights visit get in touch with me for a session with your group on issues around personal branding, personal plan, creative entrepreneurship session, inspirational session, creative boot-camps, photography session etc. wilson.masaka[at]

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Next Big Thing

There are many factors that contribute to the next big thing, for example the social factors, political factors, economic factors, education system, the gaps and need in the society, technological factors, emerging market trend just to mention but a few.

On the long list of possibilities and influence, I believe the linchpin is with people linked to something else. Let me expound further on these four basic fundamentals with the launch of the next idea as follows;

People with Ideas

First and foremost, coming up with a solid idea can't survive in randomness and reacting just for the sake of having something in place. No individual or group has a monopoly of idea generation, respect everyone in the system and make a culture of start to finish with traces of accountability. Remember, people in higher position don't necessary have the brilliant ideas.

People with Position

The position you hold in any system or company facilitates either the delay or progression of the idea for the next big thing. It takes a bold leader to work and delegate responsibilities strategically and intelligently to their team. Great leaders will always know when to fine tune the idea and train their team on what next step, this is called teamwork.

On the contrary, delays or death of any idea might happen at this stage if the people with position (management title) don't agree or understand the idea as generated from other levels, doesn't favor their thinking or even worse the value of launching isn't clear.

People with Experience

Nothing outshines experience even if you have the top degrees in the world. The experts with vast experience will always analysis the situation holistically looking at the pros and cons, then correlating best practices before making the jump. At this stage humility is key than ego for anything to work through the next level.

People, Brands and Emerging Markets: 

Lastly, let us not forget people working with big brands in the market also have a big stake of influence, trust and loyalty in kick starting the next trends. Think Google, Microsoft, Safaricom, Linkedin, just mention but a few.

Don't despair if you aren't a big brand every entity had a starting point and break through to the next big thing. Explore the unknown market where it's a space for all! The next disruptive market is within the existing, emerging and unknown market place #NextBigThing #PositiveDisruption You have a chance to cause it just do your research and start #HumanCenteredDesign

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Are You a Web designer or an ICT Expert?

On Sunday 5th February I was privileged to visit Sama Source offices in Nairobi, where I shared my journey in ICT and design with a group of aspiring web designers and developers joining the master classes organized by Sama Source.

My journey in web design and development started in 2000 and still going strong... #LifeLongLearning 

Below are my key highlights of my presentation; 

Trends to check out in 2017

  1. Digital Marketing / Social Media Marketing
  2. Mobile Application development 
  3. IOT – Internet Of Things Artificial Intelligence 
  4. Branding 
  5. Big data 
  6. Responsive web design 
  7. Frameworks e.g Bootstraps, CMS, Canva etc. UX and UI
Tips for Up Scaling

  1. Learn the tools ( Softwares)
  2. Join a community of designers or developers / programmers 
  3. Self learning and pro bono assignments 
  4. Learn a least two programming language
  5. Learn some coding even if you are a designer 
  6. Think of the users their needs also are changing with time. 
  7. Love the process as much there are frameworks etc. 
What You Can DO is the END GAME #DeathOfCV 
More about me

#MyJourney Sharing our journey's might spark new trails for others to follow...

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

10 Things Employers Should Shrive To Learn From Their Employees.

Picture by Olu Eletu - unsplash

  1. What are they passionate about and why do they work for you. 
  2. What is their unique talents and how best can you nurture them.
  3. How can you awaken the sleeping giant in your employees. There should be one extra thing they can do which isn't in their job descriptions. 
  4. Check if their performances is steady or fluctuating and WHY? 
  5. What does growth and appreciation mean to them.
  6. Their personal desires and what is in their wish list for your enterprise. 
  7. Can they work alone and in a team. 
  8. Learn to listen to your employees, the best solution might just be with them. 
  9. Break the patterns and expose your teams to different environment where they can get inspired and learn together.
  10. Teach them how to learn and maintain the culture that makes your brand #WilsonDiary

Monday, January 16, 2017

My First Job

As much as there are limited numbers of job offers the fact is, someone this year will be taking their first leap into a new job either in the informal (“jua kali sector”) or formal sector (white collar). The questions are; how did you feel when you started your new job?

How did you handle your finances, visa vie your ever growing wish list when you weren't employed? These are mind boggling questions in this fast world where people want to acquire more and money isn't an exception. Looking at my diary reflecting back when I got my first job in 2013,

I had strategies and philosophies that shielded me from derailing from the desires when I didn't have a job and apparently I still do cherish these values.

I hope by sharing these notes it might help you in defining your financial compass by handling hundreds, thousand and millions.

Ten Magnetic Side Of Money, Finding Your True North. 

  1. Have a saving strategy in place even if you aren't employed. Start the implementation immediately once you get the job. 
  2. Treating yourself doesn't mean spending the entire first salary with friends at parties, for any bad habit there was a starting point. 
  3.  Live within your means doesn't also mean rapid scalability in terms of material gains and living big without any sustainability plans. 
  4. Empower people around you while education and business are routes to consider for those who are interested. 
  5. Set financial goals with both a minimal and highest salary you can get. Be realistic when setting the net and gross salary versus what you can deliver. 
  6. Think of the transition from the start, for example, employee to self employment, savings to investment, personal project to community project. 
  7. Increase your self worth by investing in continuing learning. There are many sources of learning for example online education which allows you to set your own speed and environment. 
  8. Do what you love and never stop. A little caution won't hurt when you make job transitions based on finances. 
  9. Buy what you NEED than what you WANT. For example, having 15 pair of shoes that costs keys 5000 each might be a liability to you. You can only put one shoe at a time. 
  10. Don't work for money let your money work for you. 

#Friendship101 #Resolutions101 "You rather be with a few friends who will make things happen than to have more than a hundred friends full of ideas and that is it."  ~ Wilson Masaka

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Spirit Of A Doer

#DoersCommunity A time like this, last year!

 I planned to do some activities over the festive season under Wilsen Initiative (Wi). I'm proud there were good learning lessons (success vs. failures) to do even better this year but in general it was above the pass mark.

 #CelebratingSmallBigWins 1%Ideas 99% Action 

Our philosophy at Inspire : Connect : Educate

Achievements 2016
  •  Art workshop for children between 12 - 16 years 
  •  Document video for the children workshop. My Country, My future Coming soon...
  • Coordinated the Mathare North Festive Season Soccer Tournament for senior teams 5th edition. 
  • Coordinated the first edition of Mathare North Festive Season Tournament for U12 and U 14.
  • Shared my technical skills with women aspirants for the 2017 elections. How to use social medial effectively. 

Among others, thanks to all that supported me in the implementation of the activities, mission and dreams Wilsen Initiative

The Spirit Of A Doer 
  1. Take time to plan - This means see the event happening before even it kicks off, the BIG picture, brainstorm alone, brainstorm in a team. 
  2. Choose your dream team carefully. This are people with time, energy, interest and are passionate they will work and walk with you the extra miles.
  3. You will have to make SACRIFICE - define it! 
  4. Say it and Do It. 
  5. Have an open mind to learn and adjust the original plan. 
  6.  Enjoy the moment and don't forget to document. 
 For more of the stories and pictures about the same please visit. More articles on the same.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Unsung Hero - Made in Mathare Slum

David Mbuthia Mwangi (Identity) was born in a family of seven and was introduced to the photography world in 1997 by Lana Wong (An experienced photojournalist) based in America while working as a volunteer in a project known as ShootBack in Nairobi, Kenya.

Over the years, his photos have been in various exhibitions in the world for example Grass root upgrade-reflection on Nairobi Eastland’s photo exhibition in 2012 and Shootback book London gallery in 1999. The current award he won was in Connect 4climate for change organized by World Bank in 2011 in Durban in South Africa at UN conference and Professional Photographer’ category of the 2014 IMF Africa Rising Youth Photography contest at Mozambique.

For last 20 years he has been doing documentary and artistic photography in Mathare slums and it environs. David Mbuthia has worked as a volunteer at slum-TV an organization working in Mathare area from 2006-2015. Recent he has won "#IchangeKenya that was organized by Play Ground, Stockholm, Sweden 2016 in Kenya and Evaluation Week by Development Bank of Africa 2016, Ivory Coast and his photo was shortlisted for Commonwealth Photography of the Year announcement 2016 His dream is to start a foundation that will teach photography and Videography to children in the slums.

This will empower the children with skills that they can utilize in future to tell their own story in their own words and he is also planning to participate in a charity run and to use the proceeds to fund this dream foundation. He would also want to host a solo photo exhibition about his work and to publish a book about his story/photo book about his works. His career path of becoming an artistic professional photographer.

 Photo credits: Wilson Masaka Latest award 2016 – evaluation week. 

 Links to some of his stories / work;

Contact: David Mbuthia | email: |

Mores stories you will be getting from Wilsen Initiative (Wi) whereby we give upcoming artist’s a voice to make a positive impact in their community by inspiring others while they work on their journey of becoming champions.

Article by Wilson Masaka @

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Are You Living in a Full Life Cycle or You're Locked in a Half Life Circle ?

#2017FinancialResolutionPlan Are you living in a full life cycle or you're locked in a half life circle with a small inflow and a big expenditures list (Out Flow)?

Here are simple tips that compliments the once I shared late in 2016. The vicious circle, red line, thin line, invisible line, the golden line, whichever name you want to give it the rule of the thumb is that if you are born in a poor family it doesn't mean you will be stuck with the status quo for the rest of your life even if you have a zero foundation from your parents you can still make it through genuine means.

The secret that the rich might not share with you is that they have good discipline when it comes to money, at least those that I know their secret is in balancing the Inflow (Income) Vs. Outflow (Expenditures).

The Rich

  1. Hand to invest
  2. Operates a full life cycle.
  3. Makes the future
  4. Multiple sources of finance

The Poor

  1. Hand to mouth
  2. Operates a half life cycle
  3. Tomorrow will take care of itself.
  4. Single revenue stream.

Best wishes in 2017

Are you the YES type or Otherwise?

#HumanCapital #CriticalThinkers #DreamTeam

Are you looking for people to join your new initiative or the already existing one?

Here is my 1% tip on recruiting that ideal member.

If you want to go fast get the YES type people in your team and if you want to go FAR get the questioning type.

The difference, of course they're are pro's and cons for any type of a person you enroll into your team. Do your homework especially on soft-skills because technical skills can be trained.

YES - people - Go fast!

1. They want things done but don't like the process.
2. They are already preset in their mind 80% Yes, they will never read to understand the logic.
3. They will be assumed or branded to be the optimists.
4. They only last as much as their energy can take them.
5. They are afraid of questioning or asking.

Questioning Type

1. They will find the WHY's in everything
2. They like process that will lead to already targeted result.
3. They are often mistaken or branded to be pessimists.
4. Hard to convince because they like processing everything the creative and the logic but once everything is all clear they will work and walk with you the extra mile.
5. They tend to be open minded and will seek answers where appropriate.

All the best in 2017

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Next Generation Stars, Are They Made or Born?

#TheNextGenerationStars  #ParentsGuideFiveLessons

Are they made or born?

A good chance our children become what we train, teach and exposed them, which will influence their ultimate decisions when they become adults at least above 18 years. Come to think of it parents always wish the best for their children whilst there are many positive and negative influences that will try to have a part our children's lives, we still have a role to play to make sure they get the best despite of where we live, financial constraints, schools they go to etc. Here is a simple guide which might work for you.

  1. Teach them how to pray. Praying is one of the greatest values if it grows with the children they will  learn to appreciate other values in life like Peace, Love and Unity. 
  2. Let them explore, for example playing in the mud, building something scrap metals or papers, drawings, painting, music, dance, etc. Appreciate them it's where their talents or gifts are hidden and should be nurtured. Everything has a starting point don't be the talent or dream killer. 
  3. Don't 'police' them, but train them on how to account for their time and activities from a young age like from 4 years, so when they grow up it will be normal routine. 
  4. Lead by example if you didn't know children are copycats watch them play with their age group they will imitate what they have seen or heard. You don't expect to tell your children not to drink alcohol and yet you are the drunken master. 
  5. Don't fake your lifestyle, your children will live knowing that is how life should be and when you are no more they will be confronted with the "ghost" of real situation this is especially when you're living beyond your means. The way out is to have what I call realistic shared information which is predetermined by how old the children are and as they grow involve them in family matters. 
I thank my parents for the guidance based on these five principles that I'm glad to share with you today. I pledge to offer the best environment within my means for my children.
Happy parenting!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Big Ending, Great Beginning 2017

#HappyNewYear It was a great closure for 2016 and a great opener for 2017. On 1st January 2017 we played the finals of Mathare North Festive Season Soccer Tournament (MNFSST) 5th edition organized by @Wilsen initiative and youth in the community championing soccer activities. There was a total of 14 teams playing in a league match format and the top four teams went through to quarter finals. Santos F.C vs. Metro Youth reached the finals of 2016 - 2017  where Santos F.C won 1-0 .

The aim of the tournament is to bring the community together especially during festive season where high rate of crime, drug and alcohol abuse are reported. We create this platform so that youth may be free from drugs, crime and alcohol abuse but exploit their soccer talents towards the new season. Generally we put our energies into positive causes that will eventual foster peaceful coexisting of people of different backgrounds, tribes, values etc.

Sports isn't an exception when it comes to peace building. We want to thanks all the teams, our loyal community fans, coaches, young organizers etc for making the tournament a success. Thanks to Wilsen Initiative and The Pollination Project for the support.