Most students would opt for a doctor, pilot or engineer as an answer whenever they are asked what they would like to be when they “grow up.” These are arguably the best professions around the world since they pay handsomely with practitioners perceived to be geniuses. Most parents’ wish for their children to be part these professions ,however, some decisions in life might seem awe-inspiring if you don’t look at them from a different angle. Meet the lady who graduated with a degree in engineering but opted for Event planning and branding.

I go by the name of Mwanamkasi Juma, a graduate in Electrical and Telecommunication Engineering. At the moment, I am pursuing my business venture, Ntaraza Brand which does Events Planning and Management Branding, Digital and Social Media Management as well as marketing strategies.

Mwanamkasi with a branded name take at Devfest Riftvalley 2017
Mwanamkasi with a branded name take at Devfest Riftvalley 2017

The reason behind my decision to pursue events planning and branding despite being a graduate engineer was influenced by my inner feeling of untapped passion and talent I had, all I needed was to practice it to actualize it. My interest in this field originates back in my high school days where I had the golden chance of working with NGOs as a volunteer mainly assisting in their events planning and management. I count myself lucky for I worked for an NGO organizing Youth Camps after my first year of study. Afterwards, I got involved in event planning in campus.

Mwanamkasi at a past event
Mwanamkasi at a past event

I ventured into professional branding after completion of my studies, it’s now 9 months old. I deal mostly in corporate events as well as corporate sponsored events for students. Apart from that, I also do fashion events. Events management brings to fold a lot of branding from T shirts, wristbands, notebooks, stickers, mugs, key holders, water bottles etc. to make the event a memorable success. As far as branding is concerned, I deal with individuals and companies from designing logos, business cards to printing posters, e-cards, portfolios, brochures et al.

My parents support my ambitions despite their expectations that I would have pursued engineering as a career. They must be the best guardians alive. They are not only supportive but also trusting in my ambitions giving me requisite space to make my own personal decisions. Many people might not understand my wants but I don’t expect anyone to understand me any better than my family.

Branded items at Dev Fest 2017
Branded items at Dev Fest 2017

Just because I pursued Engineering doesn’t restrict me in that field, with the changing employment dynamics one has to be diverse in everything. I practiced Engineering for five months before I took a break to solely focus on my business. To me that’s not absurd but logical. I believe engineering, events and branding correlate because it is all about creating something from ground up. Moreover branding requires planning which is a technical skill I learnt in the field of Telecommunication. I use my engineering knowledge to come up with innovative ideas which makes me stand out. I am passionate on both of them as much as they are difficult in their own unique ways. Each one of them has its moment.

Branded items for a client
Branded T-shirts for a client

Speak of difficulties; entrepreneurship has got quite a number of challenges especially when you are young with the main challenge being getting clients and building your clientele base. Growing each day is the main goal in business and figuring out how to execute that can be the biggest challenge itself. However there is no problem without a solution. In order to cope with the challenges I face, I learn research and adapt.
So far, I have acquired real business experience, marketing and human interaction.

One of the events she  organized
One of the events she organized

Moreover, I have sharpened my designing skills building my confidence feeling every day. This business has also taught me values like patience, resilience and self-belief.
In a few years’ time, I hope to take my brand to a new level creating employment job opportunities and mentoring others who are afraid to take the big step. I see myself being a serial entrepreneur owning both an engineering corporation and a public relations agency that will focus on marketing, branding and events.


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