Okanga Ooko

Editor, Ghostwriter, Graphic Designer, Writer

Author, Writer, Editor, Publisher, Graphic Designer, Content Producer

Artist, Author, Editor, Writer & Designer with 20+ Years Publishing Experience
I am an artist, designer, author, editor and a creative freelance writer with over twenty
years’ experience in the industry working in print and online media. I am a novelist and
short story author with work appearing in various print venues. As a journalist, I mostly
write feature articles on the subject of music for Kenyan publications. I also create
content for technical manuals, company profiles and websites, and I write copy for
advertisement. I am a trained graphic designer with 20+ years’ experience and I also
develop websites. As an artist, I am a realist and work mostly in charcoal, oil, pastels
and water colours, my subjects being wildlife, nature and portraits. SUMMARY:
I am a novelist who is currently publishing books with a major Nairobi City publishing
house. I am a talented writer and an occasional journalist, mostly writing features. I am
www.okangaooko.com 2018 CV 2/ Okang’a Ooko WRITER
an eenthusiastic and creative reader-focused writer, adept at details, and produce
first-rate work. I am gifted with zeal, energy, ttremendous integrity and common sense. A reviewer once said "Ooko is exceptional. From the quality of his work to the
adherence to deadlines, he is amazing. He communicates very effectively and I am
confident whatever task is thrown at him, he can handle with flying colors!" As an author, I have written, formatted, and published many books (Amazon Kindle and
print) in the last few years. I edit books for independent self-published authors and
writers looking to get their work traditionally published. I've worked as a freelancer and
development editor for hundreds of clients in a wide variety of writing genres, categories and styles, including fiction, non-fiction and technical, essay, poetry, drama, memoir, inspirational, Christian, academic, autobiography, critique, law, business
(promotional writing, proposals, presentations, press releases etc), scientific, software
documentation, and more. I have worked for newspapers and magazines as a writer, editor and copyeditor. I have aauthored first-rate essays and articles for publication in
print and online venues and I have mentored high school and college students as well
as writers of all ages wishing to advance their skills. My strengths are simplifying
sentences, finding plot holes, and proofreading for technical error. I am also an artist professionally trained as graphic designer for print and electronic
publishing. With enough experience in corporate business management, I have
extensive eexperience in the art of visual communications and I have worked as a
creative director in the dynamic and restless Nairobi corporate branding and advertising
reality. My real experience in graphic design for print started when I realised, after
working for many years as a product designer, that graphic design and computers is
what I naturally loved and where I achieved more excellence. I have wide recognition as
an expert in creative graphic arts leading me to taking positions at creative agencies as
Senior Graphic Designer (Marketpower International), Art Director (Mashariki Brand
Communication), Creative Director (Oba Kunta Octopus) and Communications Director
(Newlife SDA Church). I have sskillfully created and produced graphics and layout for
print materials such as books, newsletters, brochures, flyers and reports. I have created
corporate identity for businesses and smart graphics for websites, advertising, marketing and promotion, and brand development. My agency, Oba Kunta Octopus, is
committed to advancing design as a professional craft, strategic tool, essential
business implement and vital cultural force. During my seventeen years’ experience as a designer and a professional, I have worked
in many and varied roles bordering on product design for development. I have worked in
Kenya with Undugu Society, and with Housing and Building Research Institute, University of Nairobi in Association with Wagenigen University, Holland. Later I worked
www.okangaooko.com 2018 CV 3/ Okang’a Ooko WRITER
with ILO, FIT Resources, FIT Uganda Ltd. and Technoserve. In 2000, I co-founded FIT
Resources Ltd. as a development consultancy firm through which I effectively
implemented product design and technology consultancies. For years I have been known and seen, and best regarded as a good designer. I have
worked professionally as a writer, designer and consultant in development projects in
roles like project designer, design project manager and design consultant. I see myself
simply as a designer with broad experiences and a penchant for doing hard tasks that
directly use my expertise to increase value and benefits to businesses in Kenyan. This
is to say the least. I use every opportunity to expand my knowledge. Besides being very
creative, I am a compulsive learner. I am a hard working person and I can do long and
solitary projects that requires commitment and high levels of creativity. I am also a good
manager and an effective organizer and team player. I think I have enough experience
to do more than just creative projects.
Content Types
Ebook, Case Study, Script, Blog Post, Graphic
More Information
sity of Nairobi, 2003 – 2005, Bachelor of Arts Graphic Design & Communication Univer
Kenya Institute of Management, Diploma in Business Management Kenya Institute of Management, 1998
Kenya Polytechnic, 1990 – 1992, Diploma Graphic Design, Print Design, Communication

Published Content

When You Sing To The Fishes

Guitarist Otis Dundos is back in Kisumu, the addictive and possessive lakeside town. He is back to settle some unfinished business. Back in the ‘80s, he was the Urban Benga guitar legend. His commercially potent mix of hard benga and lofty rumba was loud with a culture surrounding it, and a cult-like following. It ignited an entire generation of music fans. It made him rich and famous. When he left Kisumu twenty years ago, it was a sudden unpleasant event. Everything ended in tragedy. He was twenty-nine years and at his peak. Today he still is the artsy man: the musician, the guitarist… People have died fast; the men and women who helped him make music… they have all died or wasted away. Is he about ready to follow suit? What is left? The past has unfulfilled dreams, good life, nice cars, easy money, expensive perfumes, glamourous women, living on the road and in the studio. And conniving band mates, thieving promoters and clever pirates. The present is bearable but holds no promise: he is forty-seven. If he has to accept his forced retirement, he has to learn to be a local Kisumuan, not the famous name. He reminisces about the romantic encounters of ‘70s. The future is uncertain. He is searching for sanity and happiness. Happiness? In Kisumu lives the woman whose unfulfilled love still dwells his heart. But his mind is too bamboozled to even think.

August 5th, 2017
Happy 9th Birthday

Nine year-old Karo is a troubled otherworldly girl born in a rural family with no moral fiber. She is molested by an alcoholic father. Her mother cannot help her daughter; she is desperately protecting her marriage. Helpless, Karo endures ordeal after ordeal of rape and torture from a 'protector-turned-molester' father. In desperation, takes matters into her own hands. She confides in her grandmother Cucu Wangari; reveals the terrifying secret... tearfully recounts the shocking ordeal of her own father sexually using her. Cucu leads her through a ritual in which a wandering spirit is made to posses her leading her to set ablaze her family house on her ninth birthday, burning alive her parents and her sister. The spirit, Nyawira, is the restless ghost of a nine-year-old girl who is seeking to unleash vengeance on the residents of the village of Ndathia, on the slopes of Mount Kenya, who caused her death under bizarre circumstances more than thirty years before. This demented spirit takes possession of Karo and gives her an appetite for blood. She turns Karo into an cold-hearted slayer whose new natural inclination is to lure people she doesn't like into deaths by using her mind to light up fires and set up accidents. She takes Karo into a dramatic whirlpool that takes her to Nairobi and a decade later Karo grows into a marginally pubescent woman. She kills anyone who prevents her from getting what she wants. When she is locked up in a mental sanatorium, Dr. Muthoni, a psychologist specializing in "psychoplasmics" -- the physical manifestation of a person's rage -- takes up her case, treats her and discovers that Karo’s manifestations go well beyond the usual welts and scars. She and her equally cold-hearted colleagues use Karo as a test subject from one experiment to another for four years. But Karo is given new powers to free herself and her ability to light fires with her mind finally leads her to burn Dr, Muthoni, her colleagues and the entire mental facility down to the ground. Karo escapes. This is where it gets serious… it begins here. Happy 9th Birthday is quick-paced, fascinating and disturbing -- largely because it's so well-written. Broadly drawn characters and a ridiculous plot only heighten the deliciously dark mystery of this popcorn thriller. Okang’a Ooko's visual style in this one is packed with kinetic style, dreamlike sequences and lush colors. His cinematic direction, oodles of atmosphere, a strong cast and realistic, well-rounded characters make this story a true diamond in the rough.

July 2nd, 2017
Follow the Author

Pandpieri, Kisumu. 1970s. Otis Dundos is a shy and awkward kid but very curious. In the ‘80s as a man-boy he tries to fit in. But he is more an archetype than flesh-and-blood youth. Performing with Nico Opija and KDF in Kondele gives him a beginning and a journey into music. As guitar student hitting all the required notes, Otis is the haunted genius. And KDF in Kondele is a training ground for demonology. He is desperate to leave Kondele's dingy clubs to reach for the future. He seems to realize he is not accomplished until he moves to Nairobi. But the cold, cold heart Nairobi’s nefarious pop culture schools him into becoming a more spoiled artist. Returning to Kisumu with a new band, accompanied by queasy bandmates in the ranks of villainous neer-do-wells, he spirals down into the heart of Kisumu’s darkness, encountering upsurging whirlpools of struggle, survival, greed, envy, revenge, and exploitation. How does he wind down the hysteria; somewhat, and make a fairly good case for an extraordinary achievement backmasking in heavy benga music? That’s not the issue, the issue is that as famous as he is, Otis Dundos has more problems than a normal Kisumuan. Providing a catharsis through comedy, lancing the Kenyan lakeside city’s moral boil with satire, KISUMU tells the story of ordinary men and women trying to live the Kenyan African dream. It is a story of humble beginning, awkward and misdirected fumbling and miraculous accomplishment.

July 16th, 2017
Businesswoman's Fault

Businesswoman’s Fault is a dense collection of seven new stories that are deeply thoughtful, and endless entertaining flights of imagination. These stories deal with a diversity of issues and show emerging challenges facing Africans today especially in their struggle to survive. The first four stories feature strong woman-led characters and present the pros and cons in the advertising industry. Set against the restless background of Nairobi’s corporate world, they capture the shifting boundaries of professional women’s struggles in a male-dominated world in the post-Moi decades with narrative drawn from the cases of modern businesses competing for advertising revenues. In “Businesswoman’s Fault” a designer-turned-marketer must save her company from the schemes of a shrewd competitor. She is a ruthless and strong-willed never-say-die woman and she must be nasty to win. In “Moni Afinda”, a middle-aged designer manager carries the memories of her father’s failures into her business. She must win a contract at all costs and succeed because she cannot repeat her father’s mistakes. In “Kichorchoro”, a tumult of personal tragedies push a young social worker into the frontier of doom without a back-up plan. She throws herself into her work of reshaping the lives of ragamuffin homeless boys in a dangerous Nairobi slum. The haunting cinema-esque “Happy 9th Birthday” is about a nine year old girl who is sexually abused by her father and its horrific aftermath. She throws the spanner into the works and into a nightmare of suspense and stark terror. The two last stories are about elderly musicians in a changing world. “Kiss Ya Bangongi” demonstrates that chasing greatness spurs doubt, self hatred, failure, and pain especially when the conditions for greatness are deemed by the sort of egotistical man the protagonist is. In “First and Second Rhythm Guitars In an Old Benga Song”, an old benga guitarist must drop his personal principles and give benga music a facelift in order to save it from extinction. The two stories are linked inextricably to innovation in the guitar music, to chord changes, and voiced heartaches.

September 23rd, 2015
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