Mishael Adwek: Brains Behind Kenyan Tik Tok Version ‘StaNU’ 

StaNu is Kenya’s Short video creation and sharing platform. It mainly allows users to collaborate virtually with friends and family. One can lip-sync to their already created music or sound, or sing or voiceover with tracks. This on-demand video platform also enables businesses to engage their potential clients within the app, increase their reach, and make sales. Mishael Adwek owns the app, a Kenyan youth currently unemployed. It was developed by a Kenyan-based company called Compwiz Creations.

Here is the story behind StaNU as told by the developer.


When the pandemic hit and the lockdowns and curfews and other health restrictions were announced in Kenya in March 2020, various singing groups stopped their practices or singing. However, I thought about asking multiple friends to sing and record themselves so I could edit the videos and create one video with all the individual ones combined. This resulted in a VIRTUAL group singing as a choir. At this time, the sensation that resulted from zoom meetings had not officially come. When zoom came, we thought we could sing via the platform. However, this was not possible due to technological limitations.

I had just come from laying my mother to rest the previous month, and this virtual singing had made me feel the comfort I needed at the time. Moreover, I had been used to recording myself singing and editing. I had also learned how to edit videos, add tracks, and combine them. I used the skills I had acquired to make some of the virtual singing videos that continue to make me wonder what happened then and how everything knitted together. I refused to let go.

After creating about five videos of this singing, my laptop began to misbehave, and I couldn’t edit more videos. While I needed to make more videos or even be invited to sing a virtual one, I did not get the opportunity. It was all lost. Dead. And perhaps gone never to return. The pressure from some friends with whom I had made the virtual choir pushed me to think about what to do? What if I can make a way so that the videos do not have to be sent to me and edit them all by myself? What if I don’t have to be the one initiating all the singing projects? What if it is no longer just me behind these whole virtual video projects?

Reaching For Help

I contacted one of my church elders and told him, “Elder, I have been creating videos of people singing in different places and I thought it is a good thing that I can make it into an app. What do you think?” The response was highly positive. “The idea is excellent. First go to KIPI and register it so nobody can claim it from you.” The problem here was that I did not have the money. I believe I contacted the Elder hoping he would consider the project and perhaps finance me. However, I was a reserved man. I didn’t ask him for money—terrible mistake.

Being in a situation without money, yet a dream that you believe is big, can be frustrating. I researched a few articles about requesting funds from investors and wrote a shoddy business plan, which I shared with friends, and some great people I believed could finance me to develop the project. This did not work. Looking at the first business plan, you wouldn’t fund me as well.

I contacted several college mates who studied IT to make the app due to my financial constraints to hire renowned developers. In my mind, I never wanted to give up. I had no money but insisted on going anyway, hoping to get investors before meeting a developer.

I searched the Internet and found a Kenyan-based company specializing in software and mobile Apps development. You know, the first shiver you get when talking to such an established company is the cost. How much will they charge me, yet I only hope the investors get me the money? With these questions in mind, I made a move, asked for a quotation and was given (The price would have quickly buried my idea, but amidst all, the dream was way bigger and I feared burying it under). I shared the visuals (those rough intelligible images) and was told that I had to pay 30% of the development cost for them to begin my work. The whole thing stopped. Literally for weeks. Then it started anyway with the help of my dear wife, with whom we decided to finance the project from loans she acquired.

What is StaNu and What Inspired the Idea

StaNu is a mobile app that allows users to collaborate in singing and video of virtual choirs. The app also allows users to upload their videos and share them online, much like some renowned apps for short videos. StaNu was inspired by the restrictions that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. While most of these restrictions have been lifted, video sharing and music remains a powerful force that unites us.

What benefits does StaNu offer the users?

StaNu focuses on empowering content creators, enabling them to sell their chosen catalogue within the platform so that interested buyers can acquire them. The content creators can also be tipped by other users impressed by the shared videos. Moreover, StaNu will content influencers with more companies wishing to advertise within the platform. By connecting talented creators from around the world, it will result in greater benefits ranging from educational material to social cohesion.

Way Forward

Currently seeking seed funding from potential investors to make StaNu grow and conquer new markets globally.