MY HUSTLE: I make money by travelling the world; virtually

Monday September 11 2017

Abigail Mwihaki, 19 (right) with Joy Nkirote

Abigail Mwihaki, 19 (right) with Joy Nkirote (model). PHOTO| COURTESY 

By MARION MAINA
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Abigail Mwihaki, 19, is an avid internet user who, unlike many of her peers, makes money while at it.

For four hours a day, she goes live on an app called Streamkar to engage her fans on different topics and bond with them. Streamkar is an innovative platform that gives talented youth an opportunity to become global stars through live broadcasting. The main focus is on transpiring culture, art, music and talent globally.

LEARNT ABOUT APP FROM A FRIEND

“I learnt about the app from a friend of mine. She took me to a centre along Ngong road that serves as the official streaming studio. After the interview with Jimmy, founder of the first Streamkar studio in Kenya, I was called in for an audition. They checked for confidence, body language, intonation, articulation as well as general physical appearance. It felt like a TV job interview. I was elated when they told me to start the following week.”

Abigail grew up in Ngong town and spent most of her childhood watching talk shows. While most of her age mates watched cartoons, she was hooked to the Oprah and Tyra Banks talk shows. She later discovered YouTube and fell in love with DIY videos. From an early age, she started mastering the art of talking to complete strangers and keeping them interested in the conversation.

TEASED AS A CHILD

“I love talking to people and I can engage just about anyone. I never struggle with conversations. However, in lower primary school, I was shy. As a chubby kid, I was an easy target of teasing from the other kids. Some were downright monsters. I became withdrawn. When we joined Class Six, two things happened that changed my life forever.

One, a girl called Barbara joined our class as a repeater. Most kids teased her, and knowing how that felt, I decided to befriend her.

Then Nyasande, a Sudanese girl aged 16 years, also joined our class. She was mocked constantly because of her age. We incorporated her into our pact of sticking together. Eventually the teasing lost its sting and soon we were making more friends.”

When Abigail took the job at Streamkar, it was to earn money for upkeep her and to save up for her fashion collection. She is passionate about fashion and continues to indulge in DIYs videos on fashion design. While streaming, one of her favourite topics is usually on the fashion culture of different people across the world.

Occasionally, she meets like-minded people online and gets great insight on fashion trends while still at work.

TRAVELLING THE WORLD VIRTUALLY

“What I love most about this job is the opportunity to virtually travel the world. It has opened my mind to the beauty of global diversity especially in fashion. My fans keep me on my toes. They challenge me to be more informed and well versed with what’s happening in the dynamic world of fashion and design. It is one of the perks of the job.”

When it comes to fashion design, Abigail is not all talk and no action. In 2015, she designed five outfits for the winner of a Coca-Cola Pageant held at her high school, Busara Forest View Academy. The following year, she dressed the same model, Joy Nkirote, who won the Miss Busara Pageant.



Some of Abigail's designs. PHOTO| COURTESY

Some of Abigail's designs. PHOTO| COURTESY

To mark the end of her reign, Joy decided to champion for inclusivity during the cutthroat school sports’ competition so as to promote healthy competition. Abigail helped to execute this idea by designing Joy’s outfit for the day, a multi-coloured t-shirt representing the different teams in the competition.

DETERMINED TO LAUNCH FASHION COLLECTION

“I am determined to launch my fashion collection soon. I have identified photographers, make-up artistes and models that are willing to showcase my work. That’s why am working hard to save up for this. I need money for fabrics and tailoring accessories. Meanwhile, I keep the dream alive, my biggest inspiration being Neomi Ng’anga.

She couldn’t find tasteful clothes to flatter her plus-size figure so she started her own fashion line. Her determination and authenticity draws me to her.”
Abigail currently earns between Sh 15,000 and Sh20, 000 per month depending on the traffic she is able to generate to her account. She currently has 167 fans and aims to increase this number so as to earn even more. To follow her, one just needs to download the Streamkar app and follow her account. Her handle is Abbie Maggie.

Abigail currently earns between Sh 15,000 and

Abigail currently earns between Sh 15,000 and Sh20,000 per month depending on the traffic she is able to generate to her Streamkar account. PHOTO| COURTESY

In September, Abigail will be joining Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) to pursue a degree in Corporate Communications. She had nothing to do with choosing that course. In fact she confesses of never knowing that it existed. Her admission is entirely the doing of Joint Admissions Board (JAB).

PRODUCTIVE CAMPUS YEARS

“I do not know what this course has for me. What I do know, however, is that my campus years have to be very productive. I want it to be a season of more trying out and less wishing or asking what ifs.

I am going there with an open mind and proactive spirit. That is the only way I will conquer my greatest fear in life. The fear of being irrelevant.”