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在非洲当创客的中国青年刘鹏

2018年09月11日 17:02来源:网络整理手机版

肯尼亚首都内罗毕市郊有一家顶尖音乐工作室,吸引着无数音乐人前来录制音乐专辑和单曲。最近半年,来这里录歌的明星几乎都不约而同地戴着同一品牌的银灰色耳机,仿佛这是当地音乐人的“标配”。

“这款‘节奏’耳机现在特别流行。”说话的人叫卡利格拉夫·琼斯,是肯尼亚当红歌手。“它的音质清晰、细节丰富、层次感好,而价格仅是知名大牌耳机的四分之一。最重要的是,‘节奏’是非洲自己的品牌。”

令人惊讶的是,这款让上百名东非音乐人在社交媒体上争相晒影并点赞的耳机问世才不到一年,而它的主创之一竟是一位中国90后青年。

他的公司仅是一个8人的小团队,除他之外都是肯尼亚人,上海教育网,一同奋斗在内罗毕一个名为iHub的创客孵化中心。在这里,许许多多年轻的非洲科技人才和他一起努力实现着自己的创客梦想。

他叫刘鹏,出生于湖南,板报网,本科就读于西北工业大学航天学院。大学4年,他有些“不务正业”,把主要时间都花在参加学校的模拟联合国活动,经常出国参加比赛。正是因为这段经历,刘鹏对外面的世界充满好奇。

2014年4月,他第一次踏上非洲这片神秘大陆。“我来非洲之后最大的体会是,当你对非洲还保留着‘贫穷落后’的刻板印象时,许多企业已经发现了潜藏的无数商机。”

在非洲,无论做哪方面的创业,都拥有巨大的机遇与空间,但同时也会因为环境陌生,存在不可预测的风险。短短3年内,刘鹏先后换了四五个工作,但他始终没有离开肯尼亚。“我觉得年轻人就要敢于试错,不断寻找,不断摸索,最终找到属于自己的节奏。”刘鹏深有体会地说。

去年初,刘鹏通过朋友介绍遇到了现在的合伙人布莱辛,后者是肯尼亚知名音乐导演和电视节目制作人。他俩发现,非洲人热爱音乐和运动,耳机成为这两项活动完美结合的载体,但欧美大牌对当地普通人而言价格太高,应打造一个属于非洲本土的耳机品牌。

说干就干,刘鹏马上展开市场调研。他了解到,中国国内很多耳机代工厂能够生产高品质耳机。“‘节奏’就是在中国生产,然后在肯尼亚根据非洲流行音乐的风格调音并设计外观和包装的。”刘鹏介绍说,这是“中国制造”与“非洲设计”的完美碰撞。

去年7月,“节奏”品牌在iHub正式创立,同年10月在肯尼亚发布第一代蓝牙头戴式耳机。“我们的口号是‘保持你自己的节奏’,”刘鹏说。“我们想要传达这样的理念:别让这个纷乱的世界打断你的节奏,专注你自己的内心。”

很快,“节奏”耳机因为外观时尚、价格适中、质量过硬,受到当地人追捧。去年12月,肯尼亚最大的电信运营商一次购买了500多个“节奏”耳机。由于销售情况超过预期,今年4月,“节奏”首次实现了单月盈亏平衡。

据刘鹏介绍,除肯尼亚,“节奏”已经销往乌干达、坦桑尼亚等东非国家。他未来的目标是让“节奏”遍布非洲,走向世界。“希望将来有人一提到非洲的品牌,可以马上想到‘节奏’。”

iHub负责人内凯塞·韦雷介绍,自iHub诞生8年以来,刘鹏是首个在该孵化中心创业的中国人。“如今,越来越多的中国年轻人来到非洲,他们外语流利,有着良好的教育背景。相较于上一代中国人,他们更愿意融入当地。”

肯尼亚总统肯雅塔今年3月来到iHub考察。可能因为刘鹏是唯一的一张亚洲面孔,总统在“节奏”的办公区逗留了20多分钟,事后还在其社交媒体“脸书”账号上发布了当天和刘鹏互动的视频。

刘鹏回忆道:“总统临走前一口气买了14个耳机。没过几天,他又下了20个耳机订单,我们还开车送货进总统府。”

“总统对我说,希望我把‘节奏’品牌坚持下去。自己用心做的产品能够得到别人的认可,没什么比这更值得开心的了。”刘鹏说,这次经历让他坚定自己最初的想法:中国企业要想真正扎根非洲,本土化经营是关键。

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