Turn what pinches you into your spice - SpiceTalks | … ideas from the backyard of society

Erick Matsanza is from West Kenya and a product of a single parent household. Erick’s father left for the United States in search of better opportunities the year Erick was born. Ten years later, Erick’s father returned to Kenya empty handed and would eventually pass away just a year after his return. This left Erick’s mother, “a strong woman who took care of me and my six siblings”, struggling to ensure that Erick and his older brothers and sisters were educated.


Erick recalls the difficulty he found completing his education and how on one Friday afternoon, due to the cost of his tuition, his education nearly came to an abrupt end. On this particular Friday afternoon, Erick overheard his mother and his brothers locked in a heated debate concerning how they would move forward with financing young Erick’s education. Unable to come to any sort of conclusive agreement, Erick’s older sister, a librarian at a nearby school, would provide the solution by taking Erick under her wing to continue his education with her. “Today I stand tall because I am inspired by the actions of my mother and my sister.”




For if not me then who? And if not now then when? I echo the words of Mahatma Gandhi when I say that I have to be the change I want to see in the world.”

– Erick Matsanza



My aim is to subvert the top-down approach to social change through which academic or professional knowledge is of a higher value than lived experience. Valuing status over experience leads to decision-makers making decisions that simply do not work for the majority of Kenya’s citizens, especially women who remain discriminated and marginalised as these decision makers tend to represent the minority of privileged men. This top-down approach often creates systemic human rights violations in which the government is complicit.”

– Erick Matsanza



My mission is to empower women through journalism, critical thinking and creativity. Kenya’s women need to right the wrongs they are all too familiar with in their society.”

– Erick Matsanza



Read more at ZOD CULTURE , an explicitly anti-exclusionary project that actively seeks to carve out a space for  passionately driven and critically conscious creative production in an open and socio-politically active environment.



Creating a more inclusive Society - SpiceTalks | … ideas from the backyard of society


“Women have always impacted society in their own creative ways. The men, however, have never stood up to realize and recognize these abilities.” – Erick Matsanza, Founder Spice Without Borders and the SpiceTalks Platform. Read more about http://www.heforshe.org/en/newsroom/identity/my-dress-my-choice


Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN under secretary-general
Erick Matsanza, a Kenyan activist, helped organise a protest in Nairobi against male assaults on women at which he dressed in a skirt, posted the photo online and encouraged other men to do the same. Get more at the Financial Times online publication. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7dc4d484-d962-11e5-a72f-1e7744c66818.html#axzz4Byv2ToTg




Get more about Ideas and inspiration for a gender equal world here http://www.heforshe.org/en/newsroom


Make The HeForShe Commitment that;

I am one of billions… who believe that everyone is born free and equal. I will take action against gender bias, discrimination and violence to bring the benefits of equality to us all.

Banner | Planting the Spice 2016 - SpiceTalks | … ideas from the backyard of society

Neema Afwande - SpiceTalks | … ideas from the backyard of society

Neema Afwande is a Business administration and Management specialist who has developed passion in social education. She has worked for several organizations specifically on education assignments with young children and great interaction with women.

Her education inspiration arose after meeting young girls in the rural area being raped for three years by the farther and the mother had been silenced by the husband and the only defense or rescue she could afford was walk out of the home, marriage and family into another marriage.

The lady believed getting into another marriage would save her 6 year old daughter from being assaulted. Unfortunately the new husband only loved her for what she was and not for the baggage she had. The new found husband did not want anything to do with the woman’s children. In desperation the woman decided to settle down for this man forgetting about the suffering of her daughter. This was not a solution and so the little six years old continued being raped till she was 9. Teachers in her school new about it but didn’t do anything due to fear of what the family reaction would be given that even the uncles to the kids who knew about it didn’t see an issue about it.

Veronica Nthenya - SpiceTalks | … ideas from the backyard of society

Erick Matsanza - SpiceTalks | … ideas from the backyard of society

Erick Matsanza is a social change catalyst who employs disruptive means in challenging the status quo at the backyards. As a brand builder and community catalyst, he is the founder of Spice Without Borders, a movement of social change accelerators who use their inner spice to transform society. Before initiating Spice Without Borders, he co-founded Life Bridge an organization that bridges the technological divide and was a founding director at Intelsoft Limited, an Information and Communication Technology firm. He serves as the National Secretary for information and Publicity at Labour Party of Kenya, a political movement that espouses the principles of social democracy. He has also volunteered in a number of organizations across the world including Video Volunteers at their head office in Goa – India, Pawa 254 in Nairobi – Kenya, Hotel Kenrock, Kampala – Uganda.


Inspired by the struggles of the women in his childhood to impact his life when he was about to miss his secondary education. His mother and sister who despite their meagre resources, stepped in when no man in the family was willing to take up the responsibility. This has stired him to see more women empowered with the necessary skills that will foster creative and critical thinking so that they are able to transform society.


In 2014 Erick was awarded a Leadership Scholarship by kanthari, an institute for social visionaries located in Kerala State, South India, where he is a certified social initiator and began his social entrepreneurial journey founding Spice Without Borders. His expertise in social perspectives is, project planning and management, concept transformation, issue based awareness campaigns, branding and marketing, event planning and management, social media advocacy and has skills in fundraising.


As part of the Kenya Ni Kwetu movement, one that brought into the limelight leadership issues and in his quest for a world free from discrimination, negative attitudes and harmful norms he jumped from one issue to another on a national scale fighting for the rights of the people in Kenya using creative ways that unearth human rights abuses. While at kanthari he made a u-turn to zoom right in his backyard and bring out the hidden and unpronounced issues. With his sister, a single mother of 6 children not having a voice in the family and living in uncertainty for being deprived of her right to land and property ownership by his brothers due to traditional believes, he purposed that Spice Without Borders is to empower social change catalysts who stand up against social ills at the backyard of society.


As a social activist and a public speaker, his spicy talks have provoked many mindsets, changing their perceptions on harmful traditional ways of doing things so he created SpiceTalks, a platform for exceptionally spicy ideas from the backyard of society, and a catalytic accelerator for intense social change. The platform is devoted to transforming the society by the creative and critical voice of the people.

SpiceTalks “X” | At the heart of your community - SpiceTalks | … ideas from the backyard of society

SpiceTalks “X” is about ideas from the backyard of society independently organized by social change catalysts right at the backyard.

SpiceTalks runs community initiatives called SpiceTalks X throughout the year unearthing hidden issues at the margins of society and with local relevance. “X” means SpiceTalks happening right at the heart of the backyard of society.

At SpiceTalks we celebrate the diversity of those from the backyard of society, their energy, their vision and their focus to plant the spice as they are privy to social ills and have the natural spice to catalyze change in their communities. Our mission is to bring out ideas from the backyard of society and to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to provoke dialogue right in the backyards.

SpiceTalks by Spice Without Borders, a registered international not for profit organization in Kenya under section 10 of the Non-Governmental Organizations Coordination Act, is a platform for exceptionally spicy ideas from the backyard of society, and a catalyst for intense social change.

The platform is devoted to transforming the society by the creative and critical voice of the people.

SpiceTalks’ vision is to create a platform that amplifies social ills, catalyzes and provokes social change through creative abilities to the whole world. We are on a mission to bring out ideas from the backyards of society to a platform where social change catalysts creatively provoke and inspire the general global citizenry.

To disrupt and chart a different course, we need as many talented individuals, from all walks of life, to play a role in promoting a more tolerant and just society that serves the many, not just the few. We seek individuals who have been faced with life challenges, overcome adversity and are passionate, talented social change catalysts, social entrepreneurs and community leaders to share their personal stories to a larger audience and ready to take immediate action for long-term impact.

All SpiceTalks speakers and organizers are volunteers, committed to nurturing and bringing out creative and spicy ideas from the backyard of society to the fore with a hope that it will make communities and the world a better and more inclusive place for all.

Jayne Waithera - SpiceTalks | … ideas from the backyard of society

A 2010 kanthari Fellow and a 2015 Yali Fellow, Jayne Wairimu Waithera is a woman having been born with Albinism to a mother who abandoned her at birth out of fear and stigma, She is inspired by the works of Rick Guidotti. Jayne is on the frontline addressing the significant needs, both medical and psychological, of the local Albinism community — a community on high alert with news of recent bloodshed against individuals with Albinism in Africa.

The Speakers - SpiceTalks | … ideas from the backyard of society

In addition to the graduates at Spice Without Borders, SpiceTalks receives applications from speakers and nominees, who share their personal stories with us. A team of spicy social change catalysts evaluate the stories and make a selection.

These are stories from change makers and spicy thinkers from the backyard of society who take up the stage and creatively inspire the audience.

Their talks will leave you wondering as they ignite a fire in you to share and take action in your community. We are ever on the look out for people who want to share their unheard and spicy idea that will inspire and ignite conversations.

Once the selection process is complete and those selected notified, their names are listed on our website. To learn more about our previous speakers, you can read their full bios HERE

Be Spiced! Be Inspired - SpiceTalks | … ideas from the backyard of society

There is more to SpiceTalks than just talks. The medium for speech delivery is not just talks, performance too takes center stage to deliver knowledge, stories and inspiration.

SpiceTalks 2016 featured TDave an artist who livened the participants with his music performance. Join us in uniquely transforming mindsets with ideas from the backyard of society.

SpiceTalks is a platform for exceptionally spicy ideas from the backyard of society, and a catalyst for intense social change. It is a platform by Spice Without Borders, a registered international not for profit organization in Kenya under section 10 of the Non-Governmental Organizations Coordination Act.

We bring you ideas from the backyard of society through our annual event and other activities that seek to build an inclusive society.

The platform is devoted to transforming the society by the creative and critical voice of the people.

Our annual SpiceTalks Event invites social change catalysts from the backyards of society to speak for about 10 minutes. Which we then make available, free on our social stream platforms.

2017 marks the 2th annual SpiceTalks event. The event started as a small conference in 2016 with 50 people attending at Pawa254, Mageuzi Theatre and is growing.