AS SOMEONE who has managed different artistes, Ivan Chris Mugabo was obliged to look for ways to earn money without hosting physical events, when Rwandans were put under the lockdown in March 2020, due to the surge of Covid-19 cases,. He began researching, juggling different ways that could result in potential solutions. In his quest, he learned that podcasts could be a source of income and shared the news with his friends, including the artists he was managing. Unfortunately, they found it unexciting, but that didn’t discourage him because he had perceived potential in making podcasts. He decided to start one to prove to his fellows that he wasn’t ‘crazy’. “The podcast talked about our experiences during the pandemic and I had good feedback from the first 20 listeners,” he said. “I was intrigued and so I decided to learn about how I could improve it.” Later on, Mugabo invited his friends for a drink and talk about things that were happening. They cherished the conversation and realised that they could turn that into an outstanding podcast. “That’s how Beer Confessions came about,” narrated Mugabo. “We would sit and talk about what happened last night when we drank. We then started recording that conversation and sharing it with friends as a podcast.” According to him, they named it after “beer” because it was what they liked to drink while having conversations that were either fun or funny. Besides, he said, during the pandemic, people needed content to laugh about and push their life forward. “Everyone who drinks beer has stories about what happened the day they drank: stories about what went wrong, what they didn’t expect, among others,” he said. “There is always a story behind and that story is relatable as long as it is funny and brings people together. Our listeners grew to hundred and from hundred to a thousand in a few months.” After realising the traffic, Mugabo and his co-host Didan Rwabika started hosting the podcast every Monday and Friday using the Anchor app. They involved the audience and started receiving confessions from people in Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya. According to Mugabo, currently they have listeners from 52 countries and three seasons, each with 13 episode. Beer Confessions is available on all popular podcast platforms with over 4, 800 plays. Mugabo and Rwabika also host comedians and musicians to have conversations about different things going on in the world and make some fun out of them. A space for venting In May 2022, Mugabo and his team thought of recording a video for the podcast. They did but it didn’t come out well as they expected. They decided to plan another day to record again and invited people at their own bar, Pull Up Pub, located in Nyarutarama. Around 30 attended who shared their experiences whether related to drinking beer or not and they found that more fun, funny and engaging. Mugabo and his team also realised it was a good way for people to vent and talk about their issues. “Some people have mental health issues. So, the more you see other people standing out there talking about their confessions, including what they went through, it makes you more confident to also come and talk about your issues which can relieve your heart,” he said. “Beer Confessions gives people a space to discuss their issues in a fun and funny way and to be free. Some people are lonely but the more we bring them together for them to talk about funny stuff or sad things that happened to them in a hilarious manner, they feel like they are not alone and also inspire others to open up so that they can even get some help.” On May 26, the team hosted their first physical show and had a larger cloud that included artists and comedians. They decided to start hosting the event monthly. Mugabo said that so far, the platform has secured some partners and has promoted different emerging artistes and comedians by giving them a platform to showcase their talents and connecting them with producers. It has also helped its attendees to vent and is set to keep thriving. The next event is slated for August 6. Ivan Chris Mugabo initiated Beer Confessions as a podcast. Some of the attendees of the first event of Beer Confessions letting out her confession at Pull Up Pub.