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Joy Kendi's rise from Sh5K pay to Kenya's most sought-after Fashion Icon


Badass: /Noun/ Joy Kendi

We bring you...a wonderful, Influencer by Pulse surprise.

You know how when you want to start something, the first move most probably makes or breaks it?

Our switch up for this interview was a first and boy was that a delight. Who made ours? The gorgeous, good-natured and incredibly artistic Joy Kendi.

She is funny. Witty. Hella cool. So dope. People, I could go on...And my gad, she knows how to choose songs. I kid you not, I worked on this over Joy’s vlog music.


She is a fashion and lifestyle content creator based in Nairobi and I bet you have come across her content somewhere. She’s been on the creative scene since her acting days with Changing Times and Prem. And she also did that Colgate Advert, guys.

To know how badass she is, she’s been on CNN, featured on Wendy Williams’ show, received a mention in Essence online magazine; 10 Beautiful Women Who will Inspire you to Shave Your Head.

Jumping straight into it, we need to know how to get our Joy Kendi groove on!

She chuckles.


“I wouldn’t really say my Instagram has an aesthetic. It's completely by accident. I just like certain colors and that's just how I edit everything. I personally don't have an aesthetic. When it comes to the importance of it though, having a page like that, is that 3 seconds into someone looking at it, they understand what they are getting into. When it becomes too all over the place, people might not know what they’re following you for. So I guess my aesthetic would be showing lifestyle that is fashion, makeup, travel and food.”

Joy is literally my spirit animal because she’s such a joy, you know? And is totally relatable!

“With failed executions of content, I sometimes am very hard on myself. If I have a very specific idea in my head and it doesn't come out exactly or closer to what I had in mind, I’ll just start again. I give myself a percentage. My goal is usually like 85% or higher close to my end goal, so if i don't reach that, I will just do it again.”

She’s her own manager, does her own proposals, goes to her own meetings and is her own accountant. And it doesn’t stop there. She’s her own director, her own editor and the face of her brand. Who wouldn’t want Joy in their corner?


“I am very picky with brands that I work with. I don't work with just anybody because I have products and brands and companies that I genuinely do enjoy using and talking about. My biggest rule is: if i wouldn't pay for it, I’m not going to talk about it. So if I don't willingly fork up my money for it , I wouldn't wanna talk about it. Sometimes they are certain jobs that you might get offers from that could ruin your other jobs in the future. For example, gambling. I wouldn't promote it coz it's sort of considered taboo and well, I also don't believe in gambling.”

But wouldn’t you want a little bit of both worlds? Especially in the sense of monetary value?

“It's a lil bit both advantageous and disadvantageous. It does affect you in the sense that you aren't going to make as much money as you possibly can because you are saying no to jobs. But in the long run, you might have a longer career. I honestly just don't say yes to everything.”

So did she have a eureka moment with her content? Knowing like ‘Aha’ this...this is it?

“I've been doing this for about 10 years so in the beginning when I started off, I can remember me and my friends, Sharon(This is Ess), Nancie Mwai, we used to get paid in exposure. Getting paid 5,000 was like you were killing it in the game! I was once paid 5,000 by an agency and in hindsight, I really felt cheated. I I don't know, I’ve not really had ‘aha’ moments but I have had moments where I'm just like I 👏🏾 really👏🏾 love 👏🏾what 👏🏾 I'm 👏🏾doing.”


“My biggest moments are when I get messages from people who are just like ‘You really inspire me’ and then I see them trying to recreate something that I did whether its photos, or videos. Or when I talk about body insecurities like stretch marks and body rolls and young girls tell me I make them feel comfortable in their skin. I think that's my biggest thing.”

And as with most creative jobs...

“People don't know how much work goes into that video, that picture. I shoot twice a week and the other 5 days are me doing office work, going over contracts, going over client work. There's things in the background that people just don't see. For example, a reel or a video that is 30 seconds, takes me about 4 hours to shoot and people don't see that part.”

If you were then to start a business, would you still be in content creation?


“I would do something in the fashion industry. I would start a full clothing line. I tried it once and im gonna try it again. It did well the first time but whoosh, it be hard. I would most likely start with swimwear because I love swimwear, I love finding pieces and showcasing how to look good in swimwear for thick girls. Because we don't usually get enough of that. I know some people will argue that I'm not thick enough to consider myself a thick girl but then some people do. I guess I am in that middle part.”

We chat with Joy about her talent that’s absolutely useless to her, her biggest pet peeve and who she would rate a perfect 10. Trust, you want to watch this episode of Influencer by Pulse so do check out our YouTube: Pulse Live Kenya.

We hope you're having a bangin' time in Lamu, Joy. I cannot wait to work to your vlog! 😊


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