Enhancing artistic ability
A strengthened creative
and cultural industry.
Sekoya East Africa is an arts organization that serves emerging craft makers and creative professionals through creative skills development, promotion of their work and provision of peer mentorship. We believe arts and culture have a fundamental role in holistic human development and work to enable creative expression and cultural engagement through accessible channels.
We are driven to establish and grow collaborations among East African artists as a way to sustain the arts in the region.
Our Core Values
We believe building the arts begins with strong artistic communities working together whose doors are open to all artistic abilities and channels of growth affordable.
Freedom In Innovation
We encourage openness in creative expression and incorporation of personal style while it.
We are quick to be creative companions to artists in the foundational stages of personal and professional development where it is needed the most.
Inspired by our name root ‘sequoia’ we are driven by an attitude of firmness and tap into creativity as a means to achieving it.
Here's where we've come from.
Still Waters by Maggie Mucheru 2020
Sekoya was birthed as Suza World in 2016 by Sharon Zarita, a craft artist and creative economy advocate. Suza World produced customized craft invitations and stationery to enhance the guest experience in social gatherings. In it’s two years of operation the organization produced over 2000 craft items. It initiated a community arts program “Tengeza” (to make in Swahili) for deaf children run voluntarily by creative entrepreneurs in Kenya.
Programming was paused in 2018 when Zarita left Kenya for postgraduate studies in Arts Management in Canada. Through knowledge acquired in her studies and working with different arts organizations in Canada, Zarita resolved to equip budding artists with the right professional and psychosocial tools for them to scale their careers. Hence the rebirth of Suza World in its new name Sekoya.
Sekoya has been coined from ‘sequoia’ - the redwood tree species that is known to support the life of other species. It symbolises wellness, safety, wisdom, communication and longevity. We write it ‘Sekoya’ to reflect its connotative pronunciation in Swahili, the most intercultural language spoken in East Africa. Just like its inspiration from the redwood tree, Sekoya is here to walk the journey with East Africans in crafts and culture who are just beginning to identify, nurture and thrive their careers in the arts. For us, this creative journey is better when not walked in solitude and richer when there is a professional cushion to lean into.