Dear Warriors, Fans & Friends,
I am incredibly proud of our team. From the humble Kickstarter beginnings in 2013, we continue to evolve and grow. VOM has become a movement! We have more than 60K fans, new supporters and emerging talent reaching out to us daily. What is the power of it all? To quote Bob Marley "one love" unity is the power. No judgment, no drama, just one love.
Milestones and Challenges
I work quietly and tirelessly behind the scenes to support VOM team. In Spring 2019, our studio in Arusha was hit by a flood which called for our quick response to launch a support rally. We are forever grateful for those who contributed and helped us make quick repair of our security wall and avoid potential theft issues. We also were surprised by abrupt changes with our tech service providers, so modifications, some voluntary, some forced required me to keep busy and thrifty behind the scenes to keep our online presence functioning at its best. I continue to make every penny count with this altruistic endeavor and with all that, we continue to thrive!
New Talent & Team Members
We are happy to welcome RP Mbaula to VOM team, styling himself as a Maasai Rapper, he is largely influenced by the work of the late Mr Ebbo, Professor Jay and Mr II. His Bongo Flava music, combining Maa and Swahili, is widely received and loved by many in Tanzania due to strong messages about life, society and challenges across Maasailand.
We are thrilled to feature the EndFGM Podcast and to be working along side accomplished host Jeremiah Kipainoi. Jeremiah is from Kitengela Kenya and uses media to share human-interest stories and inspire people to do good in their communities. Kipainoi is an award-winning multimedia journalist and a fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar. His mission is to channel the power of the creative mind towards positive social change. Listen in to End FGM podcast out of Kenya.
It is our great pleasure to welcome Mokia Naputu to the VOM team as a content contributor. Maasai from Simanjiro District in the northern part of Tanzania some 70km south of Arusha city, Mokia is a student and teaching assistant at the University of Dar Es Salaam. He is an ambitious emerging writer and hopes to use his education and the Voice of Maasai platform to teach others about Maasai culture and the issues they face.
For years now I have been asked by fans how they can be part of Voice of Maasai. Although I would love for everyone to be involved, VOM is a bit like a puzzle, big vision but only a few pieces at a time come together. I am thrilled to announce the next big puzzle piece VOM Award Competitions! Providing emerging and professional visual artists the opportunity to become part of our global collaboration. We are hosting bi-annual competitions in which participating artists/photographers and illustrators have the opportunity to win prizes and be published with Voice of Maasai.
Awards & Accolades
Improvements for Team and Brand
Launched Award Competition for merging and professional visual artists
Launched Professional EPK pages for our talent roster
Improved news blog/support page/podcast feed/talent feedback forms/intuitive menu navigation and efficiency of homepage
New merch and partnership with Maasai women's collective hand-made jewelry
Active calendar-of-events participation for continued brand exposure
"I promise to keep steering us in a direction that will help Amplify Maasai Voices and share the story of the Savannah’s of East Africa through the lens of those who call it home." ~ Jessey Jansen
My heartfelt thanks goes out to all who continue to support this work, with a loud shout-out to VOM brand ambassadors that pitched-in at the events this past fall. For those who have downloaded the music, thank you, we hope it has brightened a dark day, lifted a spirit or two, or just made your ears ring with happiness. For those who have contributed monetarily, please feel a rush of pride that your dollars have supported our award winning music that is now available to the masses and helped to empower individuals. To those who have sent encouraging words, this is truly a gesture that pushes me forward when I feel slow. And for those who have taken the time to learn more, thank you, your inquiries fuel a brighter world.
If you are forward-thinking and want to be involved in our altruistic label, please reach out with partnership ideas, Jessey would love to chat.
To all, many thanks, ashe naleng!
~ Jessey and the Voice of Maasai Team
"Serengetidipity, when two unlikely things come together in a happy and beneficial way"
This initiative is made possible by the generous support of world music lovers like you!