Simon Javan Okelo

Father | Media Creator | Musician | Entrepreneur

Ten Projects.
One Mission.

I wrote “Rooted in Love” as part of an inspiration that came to me when I was reviewing an exercise I was asked to do by Dee Endelman and Steve Benson.  They were my colleagues at Generating Transformative Change, which is a unique leadership development program I attended in 2011 and 2012 right after I moved to Seattle from Kenya.

At that time, I was not sure how to articulate my vision for One Vibe Africa, but what Dee and Steve knew was that I was a great storyteller. Due to my storytelling abilities, they asked me to imagine what One Vibe Africa would look like in the year 2024 by writing a fictional story about a girl who benefitted from One Vibe’s work in 2024.

01

Rooted in Love

I wrote “Rooted in Love” as part of an inspiration that came to me when I was reviewing an exercise I was asked to do by Dee Endelman and Steve Benson.  They were my colleagues at Generating Transformative Change, which is a unique leadership development program I attended in 2011 and 2012 right after I moved to Seattle from Kenya.

At that time, I was not sure how to articulate my vision for One Vibe Africa, but what Dee and Steve knew was that I was a great storyteller. Due to my storytelling abilities, they asked me to imagine what One Vibe Africa would look like in the year 2024 by writing a fictional story about a girl who benefitted from One Vibe’s work in 2024.

02

Madaraka Festival

Madaraka Festival brings Africa’s finest musicians and creatives together with world renowned artists and innovators for a celebration of music and civic purpose. In 2019, this international cultural extravaganza was the culmination of an entire week of activities happening in Africa for the first time.

In 2020 the virtual version of Madaraka Festival raised over $10,000 to help women who run small scale businesses in three Kenyan slums to help protect their businesses from collapsing as a result of the economic impact caused by COVID-19. 

03

Kijiji Night

Since 2015 I have produced Kijiji Night at Seattle Art Museum in downtown Seattle. Kijiji means village in Swahili. Kijiji Night brings the spirit of an African village to Seattle Art Museum through musical performance, storytelling, panel discussions, fashion show, and authentic African food.

04

African Dinner Experiences

After holding over 30 authentic African dinners since 2016 with chefs for each dinner coming from over 30 countries in Africa, we have attracted over 600 attendees who have literally turned into a family. One Vibe African Dinner Experiences were first held at Cafe Avole in 2016 and are still homed there.

Our hope is to take these amazing dinners to other locations, especially historic spaces like Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute where we will galvanize our community around sumptuous meals.

05

Madaraka The Documentary

Madaraka is a story about a mother and a son from the slums of Kisumu, Kenya and their work to educate and liberate their communities through creative collaboration, self-empowerment, entrepreneurship and sustainability. With power comes great responsibility and the African people, from the youth to the elders are strong people with an entrepreneurial spirit which is not highlighted enough in the mainstream media.

The saying, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” is the perfect anecdote. Madaraka characters range from community leaders, musicians, artists, politicians, activists and more.

06

Miti Ni Dawa

Miti Ni Dawa Project is a tree planting and vegetable farming initiative that allows youth in rural and urban areas to earn a living through environmental protection and vegetable farming.  Miti Ni Dawa activities include Mamboleo Farm located next to the famous river Awach in Kisumu County. 

Miti Ni Dawa also serves women along Lake Victoria through its Women Center located in Luanda Rombo along Mbita-Homa Bay Road in Homa Bay County.  Miti Ni Dawa also shares stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to protect Lake Victoria and mitigate climate change. 

07

One Vibe Experience

A One Vibe Experience is the opportunity for Africans in the diaspora and people passionate about Africa to convene in Kisumu, Kenya to serve, connect and immerse themselves in the Kenyan culture.  One Vibe Experience provides opportunities for you to spend time at the Young Generation Centre where One Vibe Africa is based.

08

Daily African Proverbs

The Daily African Proverbs is a movement created to help change the narrative about Africa through African Proverbs with hopes of helping people of African descent globally ground themselves in their rich cultures, especially during the current pandemic where mental health is a crisis.

Since launching in January, over 100 people attend the show daily. The ancestors are smiling is the slogan for the Daily African Proverbs that’s a daily one-hour show hosted by Simon on Clubhouse and YouTube at 6:00 am PST followed by a 15-minute recap on Instagram.  

The Daily African Proverbs is a space for wisdom to keep us connected with our ancestors and to share our culture with the world. Everyone from every race, color, sex, religion, and creed is welcome.

09

Africa Day

Africa Day (formerly African Freedom Day and African Liberation Day) is the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity on 25th May 1963. It is celebrated in various countries on the African continent, as well as around the world. The organization was transformed into the African Union on 9th July 2002 in Durban, South Africa, but the holiday continues to be celebrated worldwide annually on 25th May.

In 2018 and 2019 One Vibe Africa curated the annual Africa Day celebration at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Discovery Center. We listened to stories of change and progress in Africa from our community and Gates Foundation staff. We tasted foods from across the continent from local African chefs and danced to Afro-beat music. Watch the video here.

For Africa Day 2021,  One Vibe Africa hosted a 24-hour Digital Marathon featuring a screening of the short film titled Madaraka, a story about a mother and a son from the slums of Kisumu, Kenya, and their work to educate and liberate their communities through creative collaboration, self-empowerment, entrepreneurship, and sustainability.

10

Med25 International

After more than 10 years of implementing community-driven programs and social businesses, MED25 International, a Kenya-based organization, continues providing quality, affordable health care while simultaneously implementing social enterprises. 

Ten Projects.
One Mission.

I wrote “Rooted in Love” as part of an inspiration that came to me when I was reviewing an exercise I was asked to do by Dee Endelman and Steve Benson.  They were my colleagues at Generating Transformative Change, which is a unique leadership development program I attended in 2011 and 2012 right after I moved to Seattle from Kenya.

At that time, I was not sure how to articulate my vision for One Vibe Africa, but what Dee and Steve knew was that I was a great storyteller. Due to my storytelling abilities, they asked me to imagine what One Vibe Africa would look like in the year 2024 by writing a fictional story about a girl who benefitted from One Vibe’s work in 2024.

01

Rooted in Love

I wrote “Rooted in Love” as part of an inspiration that came to me when I was reviewing an exercise I was asked to do by Dee Endelman and Steve Benson.  They were my colleagues at Generating Transformative Change, which is a unique leadership development program I attended in 2011 and 2012 right after I moved to Seattle from Kenya.

At that time, I was not sure how to articulate my vision for One Vibe Africa, but what Dee and Steve knew was that I was a great storyteller. Due to my storytelling abilities, they asked me to imagine what One Vibe Africa would look like in the year 2024 by writing a fictional story about a girl who benefitted from One Vibe’s work in 2024.

02

Madaraka Festival

Madaraka Festival brings Africa’s finest musicians and creatives together with world renowned artists and innovators for a celebration of music and civic purpose. In 2019, this international cultural extravaganza was the culmination of an entire week of activities happening in Africa for the first time.

In 2020 the virtual version of Madaraka Festival raised over $10,000 to help women who run small scale businesses in three Kenyan slums to help protect their businesses from collapsing as a result of the economic impact caused by COVID-19. 

03

Kijiji Night

Since 2015 I have produced Kijiji Night at Seattle Art Museum in downtown Seattle. Kijiji means village in Swahili. Kijiji Night brings the spirit of an African village to Seattle Art Museum through musical performance, storytelling, panel discussions, fashion show, and authentic African food.

04

African Dinner Experiences

After holding over 30 authentic African dinners since 2016 with chefs for each dinner coming from over 30 countries in Africa, we have attracted over 600 attendees who have literally turned into a family. One Vibe African Dinner Experiences were first held at Cafe Avole in 2016 and are still homed there.

Our hope is to take these amazing dinners to other locations, especially historic spaces like Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute where we will galvanize our community around sumptuous meals.

05

Madaraka The Documentary

Madaraka is a story about a mother and a son from the slums of Kisumu, Kenya and their work to educate and liberate their communities through creative collaboration, self-empowerment, entrepreneurship and sustainability. With power comes great responsibility and the African people, from the youth to the elders are strong people with an entrepreneurial spirit which is not highlighted enough in the mainstream media.

The saying, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” is the perfect anecdote. Madaraka characters range from community leaders, musicians, artists, politicians, activists and more.

06

Miti Ni Dawa

Miti Ni Dawa Project is a tree planting and vegetable farming initiative that allows youth in rural and urban areas to earn a living through environmental protection and vegetable farming.  Miti Ni Dawa activities include Mamboleo Farm located next to the famous river Awach in Kisumu County. 

Miti Ni Dawa also serves women along Lake Victoria through its Women Center located in Luanda Rombo along Mbita-Homa Bay Road in Homa Bay County.  Miti Ni Dawa also shares stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to protect Lake Victoria and mitigate climate change. 

07

One Vibe Experience

A One Vibe Experience is the opportunity for Africans in the diaspora and people passionate about Africa to convene in Kisumu, Kenya to serve, connect and immerse themselves in the Kenyan culture.  One Vibe Experience provides opportunities for you to spend time at the Young Generation Centre where One Vibe Africa is based.

08

Daily African Proverbs

The Daily African Proverbs is a movement created to help change the narrative about Africa through African Proverbs with hopes of helping people of African descent globally ground themselves in their rich cultures, especially during the current pandemic where mental health is a crisis.

Since launching in January, over 100 people attend the show daily. The ancestors are smiling is the slogan for the Daily African Proverbs that’s a daily one-hour show hosted by Simon on Clubhouse and YouTube at 6:00 am PST followed by a 15-minute recap on Instagram.  

The Daily African Proverbs is a space for wisdom to keep us connected with our ancestors and to share our culture with the world. Everyone from every race, color, sex, religion, and creed is welcome.

09

Africa Day

Africa Day (formerly African Freedom Day and African Liberation Day) is the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity on 25th May 1963. It is celebrated in various countries on the African continent, as well as around the world. The organization was transformed into the African Union on 9th July 2002 in Durban, South Africa, but the holiday continues to be celebrated worldwide annually on 25th May.

In 2018 and 2019 One Vibe Africa curated the annual Africa Day celebration at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Discovery Center. We listened to stories of change and progress in Africa from our community and Gates Foundation staff. We tasted foods from across the continent from local African chefs and danced to Afro-beat music. Watch the video here.

For Africa Day 2021,  One Vibe Africa hosted a 24-hour Digital Marathon featuring a screening of the short film titled Madaraka, a story about a mother and a son from the slums of Kisumu, Kenya, and their work to educate and liberate their communities through creative collaboration, self-empowerment, entrepreneurship, and sustainability.

10

Med25 International

After more than 10 years of implementing community-driven programs and social businesses, MED25 International, a Kenya-based organization, continues providing quality, affordable health care while simultaneously implementing social enterprises. 

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