Skip to main content
Marissa Cetin
12 March 2024, 18:22

Brighton student wins £39,000 grant to build mobile nightclub in Kenya

Holly Lester and Boyd Sleator, founders of the Northern Ireland night-time economy campaign Free The Night, have also secured funds to produce a documentary and report in support of their local nightlife scene

Brighton student wins £39,000 grant to build nightclub in Kenya
Credit: Jesse Mwenda Mugambi

A Brighton University student has won €50,000, or £39,000, to build a mobile music studio and nightclub in his hometown of Nairobi, Kenya. 

Jesse Mwenda Mugambi, a Brighton architecture graduate now studying for his masters in sustainable design, will use the Save The Night fund to build a mobile sound studio called Studio Can-V, Music In Africa reports. He aims for it to serve as a studio and rehearsal space for artists during the day, as well as "a cultural hub for socially disadvantaged groups". It'll be constructed by local artisans using repurposed shipping containers and other renewable materials sourced from the port of Mombasa, and will operate as a club by night. 

"My aim is to use this project to showcase contemporary Kenyan identities and promote inclusivity by foregrounding the voices of young DJs from various communities and backgrounds, who represent the future of an equal society", Mugambi said. "It will help build relationships across the industry and create new gateways for those yet to break into the sector."

Jägermeister’s Save the Night fund will grant the other €50,000 of the €100,000 total prize to Holly Lester and Boyd Sleator, co-founders of the Free The Night campaign launched in 2021 in support of Northern Ireland's night-time economy. Lester and Sleator plan to put the funds towards two projects that will "influence public perception and resonate with political stakeholders" to bolster Northern Irish nightlife. They'll produce a documentary about the social and cultural value of their local scene and organise an anthropological study to report on the health of Northern Irish clubs and venues. 

"It's a space of freedom and creates sanctuaries", Jägermeister director Kai Dechsling said. "The two projects in Kenya and Northern Ireland address crucial socio-political issues and actively contribute to developing nightlife in a positive direction."

The Jägermeister’s Save the Night 2024 fund – which last year partnered with Resident Advisor and fabric – received more than 300 applications from more than 50 countries, with €100,000 total at stake to be awarded to selected projects focused on "safety, inclusion and sustainability in nightlife". The fund launched in April 2020 with the aim of supporting global nightlife creatives and impactful projects.

Holly Lester contributed to DJ Mag's Selections series in February last year. Revisit her digital record sharing, featuring Sweely, Dukwa, Emkay and more.