You must have seen or heard of comic right? I mean we all have a childhood superhero character we love. Marvel or DC? This remains one of those questions we are yet to get an answer for, and in Kenya, comics, anime, manga, cosplay and gaming – which had the highest revenue in the world and is estimated to top $160 Billion this year according to Reuters, has been taking up pace as the fastest growing communities amongst youth.
We had a sit down with one man spearheading this culture in Kenya, Jotham Micah the founder of Movie Jabber and here is how it went.
Tell us about Movie Jabber?
Movie Jabber was founded in 2011 by Jotham Micah, and it is an entertainment and mass media company focused on the exciting world of popular culture.
For the fans we create content and experiential events around the world of movies, comic books, gaming, cosplay, conventions, anime and manga.
For brands, we provide an avenue of engagement for your brand to a defined target audience who are interested in the experiences we create.
How is the local cosplay and gaming scene?
The gaming scene is massive! As per last estimates, and looking across all platforms (PC, mobile and console), we definitely have more than one million gamers in the country, and there’s potential to grow as well as a shift into turning that into an economy that puts some revenue into the pockets of gamers, event organizers, brand partners and as well as game creators.
First of all, let me explain what “Cosplay” is, it’s the act of dressing up in the costume of your fabortite fictional character and role playing as them. The cosplay scene is more niche at the moment, if you look at the number of events around the same and the visible fans. But based on feedback from consumers who attend our events, and whom we interact with, it’s very clear that people are familiar with the act of dressing up in the costume of their favorite fictional character, but they just don’t know there’s an organised description and movement around it known as “cosplay”. It’s our goal to strategically grow the scene and eventually, make an economy out of it for all involved.
You host an annual comic event Comixplosion, with COVID-19 how is the event going to happen?
Well, challenging times call for innovation! As such, after much thinking and planning, we decided to cancel the initial physical event, restructure it and present it as a virtual experience currently set to stream on July 31. It is quite the ask capturing the euphoria and thrill of a physical event, and somehow translating that into a virtual one, but we are keen to make this work.
Cosplay and gaming are niche industries in Kenya, do you have any partnerships?
Cosplay is more deserving of the ‘niche’ tag, gaming on the other hand is generally and globally a bigger beast. From an industry perspective that is. Bringing it closer to home, both have opportunities, something brands are starting to realize. Just to give you a current example, we are working with OPPO on a mobile gaming and trivia campaign, that seamlessly rides on what we have been doing with our live streams, matches our target demographic all the while showcasing the powerful specs of their new product, the OPPO A92 and how it’s perfect for gaming.
Where do you see Movie Jabber in 5 years?
Owning the world! Haha (we are serious though lol). In 5 years, we see ourselves being the major pioneer, and industry expert in regard to the pop-culture scene in Kenya.
Post Corona what will you do differently?
We will be more active digital, and primarily see how to keep the engagement all rounded, digitally and physically at our events. And most importantly, learn from the past and challenge us to always innovate.
Movie Jabber in partnership with mobile giant OPPO recently hosted #PWRDLive where competitions went head to head in a 3 week trivia and gaming challenge where gamer PMO Kim who won an #OPPOA92, first runners up Birgen Lotter who won a pair of Nacon gaming headsets and in third place cosplay queen Jess No Maybe walked way with an Astro controller.
Comixplosion 2020 is slated for July 31, find more details here moviejabber.co.ke