THE ANIMEET – by SONILE BANDA
LAN parties, Karaoke nights, LsCon, and — particularly the AniMeet, which is essentially a celebration and convention of all things anime related, are just a few of the events that Nerd Otaku has organized over the years. This has brought together an entire community of people, each with their own set of interests and passions.
The AniMeet offers the full convention experience with a variety of merchandise from well-known vendors, a Maid and Butler Cafe, cosplay, trivia, karaoke, anime screenings, video and board games, and a Japanese Embassy exhibition on Japanese culture.
Let’s take it back to the 2023 AniMeet!
The 2023 AniMeet was a huge success, as many fans of anime and Japanese culture attended the event from all over the city, making it a great opportunity for networking and meeting like-minded individuals.
Attendees were overwhelmed with emotions as they participated in the many activities made available to them at the event, and many people who attended the event said they had never experienced anything like it before and were happy to be in an environment that celebrated their interests and hobbies.
Staff members played a large role in executing the AniMeet, as they worked tirelessly to ensure that everything ran smoothly and attendees had a memorable experience.
Staff member Yande Mukuka, in charge of screening and karaoke, explains how the planning process was a collaborative effort among the staff.
According to Yande, despite the rollercoaster feeling during the planning process, the end goal of providing a fun and engaging event for attendees was worth it. Additionally, she mentioned that executing the scavenger hunt was particularly challenging but ultimately added to the overall success of the event.
“Despite anime not being a common interest among people in the country, being in an environment where people can get together and have a good time was enjoyable,” she said
“As a member of staff, it was great to see our hard work come to life, and despite me not being able to try out some of the activities, I still had a great time at the AniMeet.”
Yande was not the only one who had fun at the event, as popular cosplayer Malindi Chipenzi also known as Mali-Chan, expressed her excitement about the AniMeet.
“This was not my first event by NerdOtaku, as I have attended several of its events due to my growing passion for cosplay, gaming, and other arts in the community,” she said.
She explained that she was impressed by the variety of activities at the event and that she was spoiled for choice when it came to choosing which activity to participate in, but stated that the cosplay showcase was definitely a highlight for her as she got to see some amazing costumes and meet other passionate cosplayers.
“Being in such an environment as a cosplayer made me feel a sense of belonging and camaraderie with the other attendees who shared similar interests and passions, making it a memorable experience,” she added.
Mali-Chan’s presence at the AniMeet added to the excitement of the event, as she is known for her stunning cosplay and engaging personality. It’s no surprise that NerdOtaku’s events continue to attract a diverse group of anime and gaming enthusiasts.
Throughout the event, many attendees were able to participate in the cosplay showcase, gaming tournaments, and anime screenings, creating a lively and engaging atmosphere for all who attended.
The Japanese embassy interacted with visitors through an exhibition on Japanese culture, a yukata dressing session, origami and calligraphy workshops, and takoyaki tasting.
The event provided a great opportunity for people to learn more about Japanese culture and connect with others who share similar interests. The various activities and exhibitions showcased the diversity and richness of Japanese traditions, leaving attendees with a deeper appreciation for the country’s history and customs.
Another member of staff, Khoumie Mwashingele, who worked at the Maid and Butler Cafe throughout the event, shared that the cafe was a huge hit among attendees with its unique concept.
“Working at the cafe was a bit challenging at first due to the fact that I had to get out of my shell,” he said. “However, with time, I learned to interact more with people, and it was rewarding to see them enjoy the experience we provided at the Maid and Butler Cafe.”
In addition to having board games available for play, the café allowed customers to take pictures with the maids and butlers beside the manga panel boards.
“The biggest challenge I faced during the planning process was getting people to be in one place at one time,” he said. He added, however, that his favorite part of the planning process was the team’s collaboration and brainstorming sessions.
“As a member of the community who is an avid enjoyer of Japanese pop culture, being in such an environment meant a lot to me as it allowed me to contribute my ideas and interact with like-minded individuals,” he added.
The AniMeet was indeed a memorable event, and NerdOtaku continues to grow their community as their events provide a platform for people to share their passion for anime, manga, and other aspects of Japanese pop culture.
The community is a haven for a bunch of ardent gamers, anime lovers, and technology geeks and it offers wonderful possibilities to meet new people and inspire them to get involved in our world.
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