My 2018 flew past so fast that by the time it was December, I was still swamped at work and in denial that it was holiday time. My last gig of 2018 was releasing Coke Studio Africa’s Christmas Playlist and the Diani Beach Festival. As the fireworks painted the skies with magnificent patterns and explosions, on that very last night of the year, I couldn’t help but regret the ending of such a grand year for me.
I’ve been holding onto 2018 because it was a major year for me: bringing me the grandest of challenges, achievements and life’s little pleasures in large portions. I am finally letting go by sharing the best 18 things that happened to me in 2018:
1. Winning Young Entrepreneurs Award & being named among 100 Most Influential African Women
When you set out to do what you love and make your own pact to never give up or never give in to people discouraging you (coz some people always got shit to say), nothing will make you feel as special as getting recognition for making that choice. I will never know all the people who nominated me for both accolades but I am thankful for your support and acknowledgement. It just shows that, you should never stop or give up because someone somewhere is watching or getting inspired.
2. Working with Major Lazer
Anyone who knows or has been following on the international group comprising Jillionaire, Diplo and Walshy Fire, must know of how much creativity and badass sounds they emit. Handling their Kenya PR for “Particula”, their Africa Project that included 4 collabos with African acts, has taught me a lot. First thing is how particular global acts are about their brands, releases and delivery. From a Publicist perspective it’s been mind blowing to see the nature of pre planning that goes into marketing global releases. It’s intense and coordinated to the bone.
3. Team Getting Bigger & Badder!
Anyiko PR Team is growing by the day and getting bigger! In 2018 we landed on a pretty nice office space and this allowed our expansion, even if to mean that the team would now have our own creative space to brainstorm more. This made me happy that now I have my own office.
4. Back on Africa’s Biggest Music Show!!!
Handling Coke Studio Africa for the fourth time as Publicist is a huge honour. I am driven by my love for music and all things African and what other better platform can be highlighting Africa’s best? Got to be Editor of the Coke Studio Africa Blog – which I adore!
For the first time in 2018 Anyiko Public Relations Agency got to handle the Coke Studio Africa project as the main agency in Africa. This was and still is a major challenge because just like in the music industry, Africa’s media scape doesn’t operate the same in every country. There are cultural differences and different media preferences among other differences but still what remains the same is that we all love the same music and stars!
5. Successfully Produced 2 Events for our first time!!
Don’t ever doubt what a team can do. My team and I got to work with William, Grant’s & Sons on two of their brands: Tullamore D.E.W and Grant’s Whiskey. For both brands, we organized and managed Kenya media tours of their global brand ambassadors. We also produced 6 events around these brands and boy oh boy! It wasn’t easy but we nailed it!
6. Best of all trips was to Czech Republic and Burundi
Czech for the first time without babe in October was different but if turned out to be the best Czech trip I’ve made so far. Plus David and I got to dine at Czech Republic’s No. 1 restaurant in Olomouc, unbeknownst to us.
Attending my friends beautiful traditional wedding – Amanda & Ballgum – in Burundi just made me appreciate culture the more.
7. Focus on East Africa
Changed my business approach to focus more on creating PR and marketing opportunities for East African artists in East Africa and of course all other non East African acts in the region. There’s just a lot of work to be done in East Africa and I am here for it! Flying over to Tanzania to orchestrate Shiikane and Yung L media tours was a boss move! They were actually some of the best to be done in TZ. I crave to do more of that across Africa with East African acts.
8. Launched Vanessa Mdee’s Money Mondays album in Kenya
At the start of 2018, my team came together with Mdee Music to launch Vanessa Mdee’s acclaimed debut album: Money Mondays in Kenya at Aspire Centre. It was super successful. We threw down stellar twin events: a press conference and album launch. The album went on to become East Africa’s No. 1 Music Album. Glory to the most high. Vee is amazing.
9. Working with Morgan Heritage
Meeting with the legendary Grammy Award- Winning Reggae Group: Morgan Heritage to join their Africa PR Team and lead in East Africa was a real “Mama I Made it” moment for me. The first single we dropped from our Africa Project was “Africa Jamaica” and it did quite well across the continent. Our next release is “Pay Attention” with Patoranking. It’s been so great to work with MH so far. Love how the members are ambitious and at any point running some business or closing on deals. They push me to deliver on more than just PR.
10. Launched my new TV show
I started saving and purchasing my studio equipment soon after retiring from TV in 2016. By 2018, the package was complete and I launched VIP Access with Anyiko – my YouTube show, that was inspired from one of my trips to Tanzania. It’s always a struggle to grow new fan base but I believe my consistency is doing wonders. We are now at more than 30 interviews, 1,000 subscribers and a total of over 4,000 views! Please watch and share!
11. Working with Universal Music Group – Africa
It was a short project. It was only 3 months but we got to monitor music trends in East Africa, while releasing numerous songs from around the world across East Africa. I would love for me and my company to work more with reputable music companies. Always a worthy challenge.
12. Christmas of 2018 back in Molo
After having missed to spend two Christmas holidays in Kenya, spent Christmas in Molo with mum this time. All I ever wanted was an African Christmas – when you eat silly and sleep for 3 days! That’s exactly what I did.
13. Meeting Beats One Global Boss Julie Pillat
Meeting Julie in Kenya and getting to know more about her love for Kenya and support conservation efforts in Kenya’s Sarara was special. I ending up curating an Apple Music Playlist for her on some dope Kenyan songs from 2018.
14. Conducted a record 10 media tours!!
This is the the most my company has done so far. From Nasty C, Mumbi, Fadhilee, Mandela to Mr. 2Kay, we were killing it. Please email me ASAP if you know you are a serious artist needing to book a media tour.
15. Gave my first proper solo TV interview & proper hair cut.
Don’t know why I added up those two but hey! Unrelated but cutting my hair and starting my own business / agency is by far one of the best life decisions I have ever taken. Thank you so much to Living With Ess show and Sharon for this great convo and feature. You are the best!
16. Meeting Analee
I thank Smiles for bringing Analee into our lives. She’s the sweetest girl turned monster. Just love how passionate you are about your friends, women and generally doing good for people. May God bless you beautiful and may we (all 4) be friends forever!
17. Learnt how to say NO
I either turned down a couple of jobs and offers or just stood my ground and told a good number of people NO. I have finally learnt how to say NO and not feel guilty. If it doesn’t feel right or it’s not the right time to do something, I’ve learnt – just leave it and if it’s meant to be you can always come back to it or do it another time.
18. I said YES!! At this very bridge set in Amsterdam!! 🙆🏾♀️
So thankful to every single person I met, interacted or worked with in 2018. Thank you for the challenges, lessons, fun times and everything in between. 2019 mood just kicked in! Here to kick ass, travel more and deliver on more excellence! Watch me do me 🙂
BONUS: You might like My 7 Lessons from 2017 to light up your 2018