What you need to know:
- The business’s target clients are organisations and individuals that intend to educate their audience on a range of topics.
- The average price of a regular board game is approximately Sh5,500. These prices exclude shipping costs and VAT.
Mijide Kemoli was working with a road safety initiative in 2013 when she first came across a booklet that turned out to be a manual for a board game.
An undergraduate student at the time, she was undergoing training in road safety facilitation which involved, among others, training motorcycle riders on road safety. She also got an opportunity to illustrate a road safety education booklet for children.
This foundation played a major role in her current venture - game developing. She specialises in board games and tabletop games, earning herself the title of a socio-educational illustrator and board game developer.
Between 2017 and 2019, she left her job at Pamoja Road Safety Initiative to pursue a master’s degree in illustration at the University of Portsmouth in the UK.
With the tools she needed at her disposal and input from people that volunteered to play her games, she was able to create a table top game that was entertaining, educational and celebrated African culture and beauty.
That was the beginning of her enterprise.
Board games, as the name suggests, are games with boards as the central component, while table top games are any games that are played on a surface that may not have a board as their central component and can be played without one altogether. They include card games and dice games. Kemoli has so far developed three tabletop games under her creative consultancy, Keeke Art.
“I’m currently working on a fourth game for a client and look forward to designing even more in the future,” she says.
Her target clients are organisations and individuals that intend to educate their audience on a range of topics - from the environment, road safety to entrepreneurship and health.
“For the board games I have developed under Keeke Art, my target audience is those aged 16 years and above that can have a healthy discourse about the state of Nairobi road culture and topics such as corruption,” she explains.
The cost of the games varies, and depending on the game – she sells them between Sh3,500 for a card game of over 100 cards and Sh12,500 for a big board game with several decks of cards and several extra components.
The average price of a regular board game is approximately Sh5,500. These prices exclude shipping costs and VAT.
“When I work with clients to develop games for their organisations, I charge additional fees for my consultancy services, this fee caters for game conceptualisation, sketching, game mechanic design, refinement, testing, evaluation and editing.”
There are a number of stages involved before a game is sent off to print, and her most important job is to ensure that the client is satisfied with the game before final production. For those that cannot afford to buy the games, she exhibits them to allow her target audience to have an opportunity to benefit from the message that the games carry.
It takes between five to six months to develop a single board game with several decks of cards, a large board and its instruction booklet. This period includes conceptualisation, sketching, game dynamic development and final design production.
“If the game is smaller in size, such as a single deck of 108 cards, that takes about two months,” she says, explaining that the illustration stage of the process takes the longest time because she has to sketch the images first, trace over them with more refined line work, colour them in and finally add shadows and highlights. This is all done on a computer.
Her future plan is to expand her portfolio of games and exhibit them in Kenya and abroad, she also hopes to engage with more organisations in the development of tabletop games that can have a positive impact on audiences.