Jide Adetunji & Ibrahim Kamara
Courtesy of GUAP
The consumption of news and information, particularly online, has evolved significantly over the last decade. As media has moved from the distribution of printed press to digital platforms online, we now live in a world where sharing of both amateur and professional images and videos online is essential to information delivery for modern consumers. I met with GUAP Magazine, a revolutionary online magazine dedicated to discovering, showcasing and nurturing emerging and diverse creative talent founded by Ibrahim Kamara and Jide Adetunji. GUAP is the first magazine to use augmented reality to distribute content to its young consumers.
Kamara and Adetunji have known each other for quite some time, first meeting at college, then joining the University of Kent, where Kamara studied Accounting and Finance whilst Adetunji studied Computer Science and Business. Both went into university assuming that they would take on traditional corporate roles after graduation so, in their second year, applied for placements to get ahead. Adetunji was successful in securing a placement whilst Kamara was unsuccessful despite numerous applications. Kamara vowed that he’d “never go through an application process again” after dealing with the frustration of not having his efforts acknowledged. In the summer of their third year, they decided to pool some money together and try out a few business ideas, along with some friends.
Courtesy of GUAP
Failing In Order To Succeed
Their first business idea was to host an event called “AFFParty”, a traditional African party for students. Whilst the team put a lot of effort into the planning of the event, due to an unfortunate combination of bad luck and lack of experience, they didn’t quite pull it off, facing several last minute setbacks (including the late arrival of the caterers) which eventually meant that the event was cut short. The group lost over £8,000 and experienced a backlash on social media. However, like most successful entrepreneurs, they did not easily throw in the towel, and soon after, Adetunji came up with an idea of creating an interactive online newsletter that inspires young students at university. Initially, their idea was to create pdf magazine with embedded video links, however, when Kamara attended an event where he was introduced to augmented reality (AR), an interactive experience of the real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information, he was intrigued to see how they could implement this concept into their project.
With this in mind, Kamara and Adetunji founded GUAP Magazine. The name GUAP, often used to describe money, stands for ‘Great Understanding And Power’ in this context, something that both Kamara and Adetunji want to give creative minds across London and further afield. With no formal qualifications or experience in graphic design or video production and with tight student budgets, the pair binged on free online resources, such as YouTube tutorials, to soak up information and learn about what was required to pull this off. Fortunately, Kamara had a background as an aspiring musician, skills that would become useful in shooting videos and also selecting which creative professionals they should collaborate with. Their vision was for the GUAP platform to showcase up-and-coming talent in the arts community, with a diverse mix of gender, race and orientation. This strategy led to success with GUAP being one of the places many household names today got their first cover shoot. For example, UK rapper J Hus got his first cover story with GUAP.
GUAP Magazine Cover
Courtesy of GUAP
GUAP’s success, recognition and reach has progressed quickly. A project which started as a magazine has snowballed into a community for young creatives. The video magazine was followed up by a website, GUAP events organized to connect individuals in the community and a significant amount of inquiries from large brands seeking to engage authentically with a young, diverse group of individuals. GUAP has now worked world-class brands, such as Nike and Apple, on campaigns and workshops around creating content for the youth of today.
Kamara and Adetunji have recently set up a new initiative with their own studio where new artists can record high-quality podcasts for a fraction of the cost of using traditional studios. They intend to follow this up by opening more creative spaces, where artists and freelancers can record music, shoot video and digital content and utilize co-working spaces.
This article is part of a series featuring diverse people making a difference and you can find more articles here