The year is 2013, a cold evening in the month of August. I’m just coming back to the digs from a long boring Programming class, in which the lecturer kept blabbering on and on about stuff like ‘#include’ ‘printf’ and ‘scanf’. [But you probably didn’t need to know about all that]
So I walk in and I find my roommate with a friend of his, listening to Saliva Vic’s rants on 91.5 Hits F.M.
My roommate is Dennis Wyre, and he introduces his chum to me as Dilna Ayce…Rapper Dilna Ayce. And we get acquainted. And we chat like long-lost buddies of yore. Then he leaves right before dusk.
A few days later he’s back again. And the three of us are talking about Kenyan Showbiz. Wyre is declaring his profuse admiration for Camp Mulla while I can’t stop chattering about just why Rabbit is the best artist Kenya will ever have [sorry, E-Sir]. Then in the middle of the discussion Wyre looks to me and says;
“By the way, we are thinking of starting our own company; Dilna and I. Unaonaje?”
And I look at him like he just rose from the dead. And I look at Dilna, he’s just sitting there. Calm as always, nodding his head in agreement at Wyre’s last statement, and looking straight at me in anticipation for my response.
And I almost burst out laughing but I don’t want to seem rude so I just smile. I mean, these guys are barely even into their 20’s, one is in his first year in campus and the other should be joining the following semester and they’re already thinking of starting their own company? The hell do they think they are, Mark Zuckerberg?
So, naturally, I ask what their supposed company will be doing and they explain it to me in slow crisp details. I’m not really following; they’re saying something about social media blah blah blah…marketing blah blah blah… But the sounds of their voices and the excited bulging in the eyes paint the whole picture in bold: These are boys with a dream; These are boys on a mission to chase their dream; These are boys on a mission to succeed.
A few months later, their Facebook page goes up and voila, a bouncing baby Dil-Ray INC. is born; alive and kicking.
So now, champs, due to PUBLIC DEMAND, I bring you the Founders and C.E.Os of Dil-Ray INC.- the Mohawk-prone certified all-round jack of all trades Dennis Wyre and the fun-loving rapper-cum-businessman-cum-sneaker-maniac Dilna Ayce [I’m serious, he loves his sneakers way too much, don’t step on them!].
In their first ever online interview, the lads open up to you like never before and tell you just why they’re the guys to watch.
Q: Introductions first, gentlemen, tell us a little bit about yourselves. Who is Dennis Wyre? Who is Dilna Ayce?
Dennis Wyre [as D.W, from here onwards]: Dennis Wyre is 20 years of age, founder of Dil-Ray Inc., a social media consultant, an Entrepreneur and a student at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology pursuing a Bachelors’ degree in Business Information Technology.
Dilna Ayce [as D.A, from here onwards]: As a co-founder of Dil-Ray Inc., I am a student at JKUAT pursuing a Bachelors’ degree in Business Information Technology (BBIT). I have majored in music as a recording and performing artist. My other interests include acting, dancing, graphic design. You can call me Mr. Entrepreneur too.
Q: I have heard guys ask whether Dennis ‘Wyre’ and ‘Dilna Ayce’ are even your real names. Care to elaborate?
D.W: Dennis Wyre is indeed my real and government name just that ‘Wyre’ is spelt as Wairey on my Legal Documents.
D.A: Dilna Ayce is a name that came up through originality and uniqueness. It has a meaning though which is D.I.L.N.A. (Do It Like Never Again) to be Ayce (The Best).
Q: Uh-huh. Okay. Now the world of today is filled with backstabbers and ‘water melon’ kind of friends. You can never know who to trust and who to cut off. So, tell us, how and when exactly did you two meet and when did you decide that you could fully trust each other and do business together?
D.A: We actually get this question asked a lot. I met Wyre at some acting audition back in the days. I mentioned earlier that I am an actor. Just as we were socializing we realized we have a lot in common, that’s how we became good friends and the rest is history. If one is a REAL friend then trust would never be something to worry about.
D.W: Sometimes in life, you have to take risks and trust different people along the way. That is exactly what I did and I haven’t regretted any part of it to date.
Q: When was Dil-Ray Inc. officially established? How much capital did it take to put the company on its feet and how did you even come up with the name?
D.W: Dil-Ray Inc. was born on the 1st of November 2013, through the creation of our fan page on Facebook. We were naive then and didn’t know exactly what we were going to do. We have since grown exponentially over the December festivities, and decided to major in Social Media Marketing and the Clothing line. We registered earlier in 2014 and are now proud to say that DilRay is 100% legal and ready to do business with everyone.
D.A: As we all know starting out comes with its own challenges but we thank the Almighty for this far He has brought us. On the capital part I won’t put it to the public but whoever wants to really know can snap me on my snap chat (Username: DilnaAyce )
Q5: But still, what does the name Dil-Ray Inc. mean and where did it come from?
D.W: The name Dil-Ray Inc. is a basically just a combination of both our names Dilna & Wyre, as follows Dil – Dilna, Ray – Wyre, Inc. -Incorporation.
D.A: We settled for this name as originality is always a priority for us.
Q6: And to those who don’t exactly know you yet but would like to have a piece of you in the near future, how would you describe your line of business to them? By that I mean, what exactly does Dil-Ray Inc. deal in/do and where/how can an interested party reach you guys?
D.A: Dil-Ray Inc. is a clothing label offering you the latest trends. Our shop is located along Biashara Street, Yala Towers, First Floor, shop No.105.
D.W: Dil-Ray Inc. can also handle all your social media services for companies, brands and artists – which includes branding – as well as events, which involves social media marketing.
You can reach us through any of our social media platforms:
INSTAGRAM & TWITTER: @dilray_inc
FACEBOOK PAGE: Dil-Ray INC (www.facebook.com/dilrayinc)
FACEBOOK ACCOUNT: DilRay TheAccount (www.facebook.com/DilrayTheAccount)
If you want the quickest feedback be sure to give us a call, text or WhatsApp on 0701856644, and we’ll be glad to do business with you.
Q: And how has the journey been so far, since you founded the company? Tell us some of the events, persons or parties you’ve worked with.
D.W: It’s humbling how within a short span of time you can move from looking up to guys to working with them and eventually being really good friends. We’ve worked with META, which is the powerhouse behind the controversial Daylight Festival Series. We have also, in the past, worked with BEAT INTERNATIONAL who are best known for JUMPOFF and ALL FOR LOVE festivals. And we’ve also been doing some bits of social media marketing for popular events such as “THE HAKUNA MATATA FESTIVAL” and Skyluxx Lounge’s “ART OF LUXURY”
D.A: We also do the social media marketing for corporates such as “The Jockey Club Of Kenya.” This is just to mention a few because the list is endless.
Q: Being that both of you are still students pursuing your degrees at the university level, how do you manage to juggle between your studies and staying relevant in your industry? Or do you have separate people managing things for you when you’re cramped up with exams and all that school stuff?
D.W. Dil-Ray Inc. is obviously not a two man team, we thank God for our support team who always got our back (#TeamDILRAY). Balancing between schoolwork and handling Dil-Ray Inc. matters calls for a lot of planning to ensure that everything runs smoothly even when we are overwhelmed by the studies or are out of town. But I have to admit that it is one of the challenges we are dealing with, but luckily we are two.
D.A. It also calls for creation of more time and very good time management. Like for me my day starts at 6am.
Q: Do your folks and family know and support what you guys do?
D.A: My Parents are always my consultants hence they know and are always behind our backs. Like I remember there was a time mom had my song as her ringtone. Even when we go for TV or Radio interviews they are always tuned. You know what I’m saying? I thank God each and every day for such a family.
D.W: My mum is my biggest fan, and has always been behind my back. My brother is in Dubai but still buys our products and Reps the brand in that side of the world. My sister and her young kid were among the first to buy the newly launched hoodies, so I am very glad to have a family which supports me. Every member of the family is a proud owner of at least one Dil-Ray Inc. product.
Q: What motivates you guys? What drove you into doing what you do so well and, if any, who do you look upto? Generally speaking.
D.A: I look up to my dad. I admire how he does his work and despite any challenges he overcomes them, anytime I need any assistance I usually run to him. As young as we are I was also motivated by Willow Smith. She started mainstream music at a very young age and yet she succeeded. It’s never too early to start chasing dreams!
D.W: I look up to Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook founder and CEO) because of the various business decisions he has made in his life and simply because of the fact that he is a young self-made billionaire. Locally I used to look up to Camp Mulla back in the day as they successfully put Kenya on the international map. Currently I admire Tanzania’s Diamond Platinumz for being arguably the best Musician from Africa, and if you think I’m nuts then let’s just wait and see the results of that at the end of the year.
Q: What is your proudest achievement as Dil-Ray Inc. and the highlight of your lives since you started out this hustle?
D.W: I can’t simply point out one single achievement that I would call my greatest so far but Thanks to God we have our share of notable achievements so far such as a TV Interview we did last year which opened some new opportunities for us. I also remember H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta attending one of the events we were marketing and although we didn’t get to personally talk to him, he still showed up. That’s kind of a big deal, Yes?
D.A: Dil-Ray Inc. has made me meet a lot of people, hence connecting which is key in business.
Q: So besides schooling and running your outfit, anything else you guys do?
D.A: Music, Music and More Music. Practicing dance moves. Drawing which includes Graphics design, Any IT related stuff I’m an addict. The list is endless; you can never get me idle at any one given moment. Follow me on Instagram @DilnaAyce and you will get to see the other side of me.
D.W: I am currently doing my Internship at Kenya Revenue Authority but besides that I’m also doing some research and looking to venture into other businesses soon enough. I’m also learning some bits of programming on the side.
Q: And suppose you guys were not doing all this, what would you be doing? Who would you be?
D.W: I would probably be a footballer, I used to love soccer so much growing up plus I got the skills to match the love.
D.A: I would be an athlete on the same track with Usain Bolt. I’m a fast guy and I love fitness. My mom too was an athlete, so I guess I inherited some of her genes.
Q: Ha-ha, Soccer and Athletics? Really guys? [LOL] If you could relive the last 5 years of your lives what would you differently?
D.W: I can’t think of a single thing I would change, maybe just start Dil-Ray Inc. immediately after high school instead of the following year.
D.A: I also can’t think of any particular thing at the moment.
Q: Now I hate to ask this question, but I have to…at least for the sake of the many single ladies reading this out there, any special opposite sexes in your lives? And please don’t mention your mothers and sisters here.
D.W: At the moment I am focusing on chasing my dreams and making myself a better person, which is also a more sophisticated way of saying I’m single.
D.A: Let’s just cut to the chase, I’m single.
Q: Now to my favorite question. Do you consider yourselves successful? And if so, how?
D.W: Ha-ha, no, not even close. Until the day I have complete freedom to do whatever I want to for the rest of my life and still have food on my table is when I’ll consider myself successful.
D.A: I couldn’t have put it any better.
Q: What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
D.W: My greatest weakness would have to be the fact that I hate hard work, which inclines me more towards working smart instead. My greatest strength would have to my entrepreneurial instincts which have helped me in coming up with ideas of making money out of the weirdest or strangest of situations I find myself in.
D.A: My greatest strength is definitely creativity especially in artistic environments. I’m also a perfectionist hence rarely associate with errors. My weakness is anger; I tend to get angry very fast but have learnt to control it through guidance and counselling.
Q: What should we expect from Dil-Ray Inc. in the near future?
D.W: We just came from our photo-shoot, unleashing the new set of products for the year 2015! We also have a surprise coming for you pretty soon so you better keep it locked to all our platforms as it involves everyone.
D.A: Expect the unexpected because the future is bright.
Q: From pioneering the evolution of social media marketing in Kenya to running your own clothing line, any words of wisdom to the youngsters coming up in the game?
D.W: All I can say to the ones reading this is “Originality and Persistence” I would be lying if I said it has been an easy road for us with Dil-Ray Inc., we have had difficult moments indeed but have just been persistent with what we do. Also remember to put God in all you are doing.
D.A: Yes he said it. God first and focus on the goal with a lot of patience.
Q: Any people out there you would love to shout out?
D.A.: Shout out to all the people who believed in Dil-Ray Inc. from family, friends, customers… just everyone!
D.W: I would first of all like to take this moment to appreciate anyone out there who has ever bought anything from Dil-Ray Inc. or has ever done business with us together with the thousands who are following us online across all platforms, I thank you for all the love shown to us thus far.
Shout to all the haters’ outchea too!
Q: Hahahah! Lastly where can guys follow you online? Your personal accounts.
D.A: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Snapchat: @DilnaAyce.
D.W: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Snapchat: @DennisWyre.
Meanwhile, some of our local celebrities who’ve also grabbed their Dil-Ray apparels: