I was in a jav last week and as the tout reached out for my fare his arm read, ‘I have nothing to loose’. Well heck, you really have nothing to lose if the term isn’t spelled right for one. He may never really know it’s spelled all wrong, I’m sure neither did the tattoo guy. It’s just a cool tattoo that probably gets him the girls, plus his messy locks. Locks seem to have a beard effect these days.
Then I met Bobby. I’d go on to describe him but it wasn’t a one on one interview, more of a teleconference, only using whatsapp audios. He’s nothing like the tout though, you can see how neat his locks are. I’ve never really had this kind of interview before, being an email person, so when I get audios after a day at work from someone whose voice is radio worthy, well, lets just say it was a pleasant working night.
Bobby sounds like the kind of person my Environmental Law Lecturer would love and he really doesn’t like many people. He thinks our knowledge is like specks of dust, but that’s for next time. Bobby is the person who a rainbow in a storm(or in Nairobi Rains). Before East Meets West, he was home. No school because cash just runs out sometimes and no job because we all know how the reception lady fakes a smile and never calls you back after an interview. Despite all the papers you still don’t make the cut. Rejection basically and the imminent risk of depression.
There’s however, a sort of new found energy rejection gives you. For Bobby he had a shift in his pattern for starts, sleeping all day, working all night while doing his research on what next in the Kenyan Market. He says God gave him inspiration to start a YouTube channel. On 7th August 2017 therefore, East Meets West was born. Yep! the new kids in the block are only turning ten months old by end of this month with 8.2k subscribers. I mean who even gets to 1k in a year with YouTube?
Why East meets West? ‘Because I wanted to do something with an impact to the millennial age. God gave me the name, having come from Eastlands and interacting with people from Riara from the west side.’
The beauty of the group as Bobby sets out is ‘they say it as it is’ and ‘it’s not one sided,’ with people from various divergent backgrounds whether in terms of ethnicity or religion.
How do you sync so well? I can’t even get my socks alike in the morning! (Of course I didn’t say this I wish I did though) Bobby says there’s no script to their videos which is hard to believe when they end without a chaotic battle of intellects. ‘We spent more time together and went from being friends to family because we understand each other.’
Their bond had me thinking about Trevor Noah’s Born A Crime. How eclectic he was about reuniting with his dad at 24. When he wrote, ‘Being chosen is the greatest feeling you can give to another human being…’ definitely had to be the same feeling that brings this group together, or just close enough.
I like East meets West because it’s balanced, this is a personal bias. There’s a representation of both genders, different relationship statuses, diverse opinions and topics; and this comes in a package of people our age going through what we go through? What more could we ask? Disclaimer though, It’s not all roses and sunshine yet, ‘YouTube is hard, unlike other networks, but start with what you have, believe and have faith in God to go far.’
When you have a group that takes on praying at the beginning of the shoot, trusting and being patient with themselves then a ripple effect of 8k subscribers in 8 months is simply a return on investment. Topping it all off, ‘consistency is key, when you’re not posting people are going to forget you.’ Don’t be in a hurry or compare yourself to another channel, have a good game plan, research, know what you want to do and how to capture an audience.’
Originally starting out with 12 members but balancing off at 7 permanent members you’ve definitely heard of East meets West from well, everywhere. From their ‘Things that girls do and guys don’t like’ video that got a whooping 55k views. Just in case you missed it I got you covered here. To their collaboration with Wabosha ‘Things I wish I knew Before becoming a YouTuber’ here that had them trending on YouTube’s top 20 in Kenya on levels with the likes of Sauti Sol. Plus Chit chat on Ebru TV and partnering with qwetu living for a gig. Just to mention a handful.
All that in 8 months. What of 5 years? ‘To be the biggest YouTube channel in Kenya and Africa with 100,000 subbies, growing and relevant. To be a big name in the industry showing that people can make money and earn a living out of YouTube. Most importantly, ‘having a large impact on the generation in this millennial age’
Still not buying into the idea? Bobby says YouTube is indeed sustainable. ‘I regret not starting earlier since its a smart way of having a job, doing what you love and earning. You don’t need papers to start earning.’ Aside from the YouTube channel we all see East Meets West is taking it to the next level; East Meets West productions, venturing into music videos, movies and even short films on YouTube. ‘YouTube has been neglected as a source of income while people like Jake Paul work on it full time. Through YouTube Bad Barbie started her musical career.’ (remember cash me outside? Yep that’s her)