David Mungai – Empowering Youth Through Art

Nov 23, 2023

Who is David (MC Kym)?

I am David Mungai, also known as MC Kym. A member of the Nairobi Youth Alive Working Group, I currently serve as the Working Group Secretary. Professionally, I am involved in community development and mobilization, specializing in designing change concepts. I am deeply engaged in the arts and creativity, working as a professional MC, thespian, and director of stage plays. Our affiliation with Youth Alive focuses on youth participation in leadership, climate action, mental health, and building partnerships.

Tell us about your organization.

💡 I am the founder of Street Talent Africa, a community-based organization that leverages art, innovation, and creativity for advocacy on various issues, including mental health, sexual and reproductive health, climate action, inclusivity, equality, youthful leadership, and gender-based violence. Our primary focus is on empowering young people. We run three key programs: My Artistic Voice, Talent Development and Innovation Program, and Youth Economic Empowerment Program. My Artistic Voice: This is a safe youth and children-friendly space platform where they converge and speak up on diverse issues artistically. The Talent Development and Innovation Program identifies and nurtures young talents as a way of fighting crime, life skills promotion, and economic empowerment Youth Economic Empowerment Program: In this program, we have created diverse ways of linking young people with available government and private sector opportunities.

What challenges have you faced in this work as a young leader?

As a young leader, I have encountered several challenges. These include stigma and discrimination regarding youth inclusion in leadership spaces and insufficient financial capacity to implement innovative ideas. There is also a lack of safe spaces to reach out to other youths in awareness creation, and a lack of policies supporting young people in their various spaces.

What are your proudest achievements as a young leader?

I take pride in creating a space for young people to develop their talents and fostering innovation. Additionally, I successfully mobilized my community to reclaim a youth space that had been grabbed. Now, young people use this space as a safe environment to engage with their peers.

What has it taken to achieve your success? What advice would you give to other young leaders trying to build organizations?

Building a foundation for any organization requires focus, commitment, and a system of growth. I faced challenges in building the right team, securing partners, engaging with the community, designing convenient activities, and setting up technical systems for smooth programming. Patience, a willingness to listen and learn from others, and the ability to drop team members not aligned with our vision were crucial. Building an organization is a continuous process that demands an open mind and ongoing learning.

Parting shot?

As a young and optimistic leader, understand that your goals are high, but your starting point is low. Work on your day-to-day systems, and the reward will be automatic. In other words, focus on your outputs, leading to your outcome, and the impact will follow automatically.

Please follow MC Kym’s work on:

Facebook: Street Talent Africa

X: @streettalent254

Instagram: @streettalentafrica

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