Personas from Amsterdam, Nairobi, Dhaka

Persona’s from three cities, Amsterdam, Nairobi, Dhaka.
These are fictive amalgamated persona’s, they are all based on people I have met in my work. Personas is a design thinking approach, I am using it in order to help me envisage who I could work with in these cities. Work with in creating new ways of looking at the world.

Sofia, a Student


Sofia is 24, and has just started studying international business at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam. She started college late due to visa problems, her parents are from Columbia and while she grew up in Amsterdam she became illegal at 18 years. Sofia would like to qualify and eventually do work to help young people in poverty.  She also considered going to art school but she loves the international aspect of her current study. Sofia wants to get a good education and as much education as she can. She also wants to help others. Sometimes she is held back due to family issues.
Superpower: User research, Drawing

Miriam, the Youth Worker


Miriam is 18 and lives at home with her parents and three younger sisters in Amsterdam. She is studying social work at 3rd level at the ROC in Amsterdam North. She is very good at interacting with young people and serves as a role model for lots of girls and young people. She is not sure yet what she wants to be but things it’s at the cross-over of social work, young people and the education sector. She has a number of different part time jobs to earn money. She likes to have her own money to buy clothes and wedding gifts for friends. Freedom and family are important to her.
Superpower: Working with groups of young people

Daniel works at Mc Donalds                                             


Daniel is 21, he lives in Amsterdam, he has just finished studying to be a primary school teacher however he is working in McDonalds to pay the rent. He thought he would get a job in a school first for the experience, but there are very few jobs to be had right now, now he is thinking to maybe travel to Cambodia for a year to work with orphaned children, teaching them drama skills. He is interested in new opportunities.
Superpower: Working with young people.

Ian, is Inventing


Ian is 20, he lives in Amstelveen with his sister. He started studying at TU Delft as his whole life he has been inventing things, only he found the study too technical and far away. Now he has applied to go to the Rietveld Art school or maybe study psychology. He is fascinated with how people think and come up with new ideas. He has a part time job walking dogs for rich people in the park.
Superpower: Creative Thinking

Nairobi, Kenya

Kimani, the Jeweller


John spent one year at art school in Nairobi which he loved but dropped out due to needing to get work. He lives in his own house in Kawangare in Nairobi. Now he makes his own jewellery from old bones as part of a group who also trains young people to make jewellery. He would love to be able to make a living out of his art, now he has a very uncertain income. Once he went to Tanzania on a student scholarship to take part in a creative festival there.
Superpower: Working with young people.

Faith, the Designer


Deborah is 20 years old, she did one year of nursing college and then had to drop out due to having no money for further study. She also designs and makes hats and bags from flattened beer cans and sells them to tourists. She thought about setting up her own business. She lives in Mathare in Nairobi with her family, she has two older brothers and two younger brothers, her parents struggle to pay the bills.
Superpower: Creative Thinking

Jackson, can draw


David is from the countryside and moved to the city of Nairobi where he lives in the slum with his auntie and cousins. He finished secondary school and gets some work at the community center organising soccer matches for younger children. He is talented in drawing and lettering. He has gotten a few jobs painting signs for shops. He would love to go to art school.
Superpower: Drawing

Sannah, making Fashion,


Sannah is 23, she lives just outside Nairobi, her family, are of Indian decent. She is studying fashion and design at college and is fascinated by recycled materials. She can make hats and bags and pretty much anything out of old materials. Her dream is to be an international designer and she would like to know more designers and makers as she often feels quite lonely and there is no one in her community who is artistic.
Superpower: Creative Thinking

Dhaka, Bangladesh

Priya, a Peer Educator


Priya is 20, she lives with her parents and younger siblings, she is lucky that her family support her freedom. She has always been engaged in youth activities and since two years she is a peer educator. That means she goes out to other young people and talks to them about preventing early pregnancy and HIV/aids. She is good at getting a group of young people together and putting them at ease. She would have liked to study fashion, except there is only one college for that and it is too far from her home. Now, she is thinking of trying to start her own community organisation to help young mothers start a business from home.
Superpower: Working with groups of young people

Farid the Filmmaker


Farid grew up in a very poor background, he was lucky to get a training as a film maker from a ngo. Now he makes videos of weddings but really he would love to be a filmmaker, his head is full of stories about the people of Dhaka. He would love to share his stories on film.
Superpower: User Research

Chandi the thinker


Jewel studied design at Radcliffes design school in Dhaka, her parents are middle class and allowed her to get a career. Currently she cannot find a full time job but she is making designs on websites such as where she has gotten some paid work. She wishes her country would teach more creativity at school, because there are some wonderful old traditions of drawing and painting in the country, which are dying out. All the schools focus on is getting high marks.
Superpower: Creative Thinking

 Tarek the traveller


Tarek lives in Dhaka now but his family moved around a lot when he was small, he has also loved in Pakistan. He speaks three languages. He loves colours and is an expert painter of Tuk Tuks. His skills are in high demand, as the flashier and more colourful a Tuk Tuk the more work the driver gets. Yet Tarek would love to get better paid work. If he could afford it he would study architecture. Sometimes he gives workshops to children in painting  and that pays better.
Superpower: Drawing.

One thought on “Personas from Amsterdam, Nairobi, Dhaka

  1. Pingback: Co-Creation Workshop | Emer Beamer @ Unexpect

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s