Chief Nyamweya, 34

Lead Animator, Artist

Freehand Movement
My Story,

Toying with ideas

Nyamweya was studying for a post-graduate diploma in law and accounting but abandoned his course midstream with the sole intention of changing his life trajectory.“I wanted to part ways with the traditional norm of life and redefine my career based on creativity, drawing cartoons to illustrate various circumstances,” he says.

Nyamweya, who heads Freehand Movement, a company that published his two animated books that come with an augmented reality link, has since 2010 spent his life globetrotting to create digitised animations for his clients. First, he published “Alphabet for Africa”, a children’s comic book that comes with an app encouraging children to use computer graphic tools to replicate the drawings in his book.

“The future is using technology to deliver learning materials via illustrations, graphics and pie charts that unconsciously engages the learner during the lessons,” he says. Nyamweya credits his change of heart to a two-year stint at Singularity University in California on a Google scholarship that helped redefine his new calling.

Upon return, he made an animated film, “The Nightrunner of Chepalungu” and “Lemmi and Tito” which attracted global clients with a Chicago university lecturer paying a tidy sum to illustrate the financial literacy course Nyamweya says while animated cartoons make learning fun, his efforts to engage Kenyan authorities have been in vain due to their “change-resistance’’ attitude.

He hopes the ICT ministry will sponsor animated artists to collaborate with curriculum developers to redefine Kenya’s education especially on its newly found path where learning largely emphasises on creativity.“These are the life skills that Kenya needs to unlock the potential of future innovators,” he says.

-James Kariuki