What it takes to shoot on the streets of Nairobi

What it takes to shoot on the streets of Nairobi

Nairobi’s beauty has many people – especially photographers – wanting to click away at every junction. Nowadays, it isn’t unusual to see a photographer or two taking long exposures of the city after dark, or posing newly weds on a median over the weekend. Just like any activity held in a public space in Nairobi, permissions should be obtained for commercial photography on the streets of our city, and here’s how to get them.

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Wanna drone in Kenya? Not so fast!

Wanna drone in Kenya? Not so fast!

In January 2015, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, who are mandated with regulation and oversight of aviation and safety in Kenya, issued a directive banning all use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Kenya. Rightfully so, because many had been spotted flying in public and private functions without any regulation on when, how and who was allowed to use them. The ban was put in place as a security measure and to give the government time to set up a regulatory framework for the use of drones in Kenya.

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Agra’s Revolutionary Decade

Agra’s Revolutionary Decade

In 2006, as Kofi Annan ended a decade at the helm of the United Nations, he called on African farmers to wage a ‘uniquely African Green Revolution’. This is the seed that planted Agra. Since then, Agra has been fulfilling the vision that Africa can feed itself and the world, transforming agriculture from a solitary struggle to survive, to a business that thrives. Last July, I was picked to join the Arete Stories team that was documenting Agra’s success stories across Africa.

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Returning to Eastlands

Returning to Eastlands

It’s where I was born and called home for more than 25 years. These are the streets that shaped me, where I played shake, hid and sought and watched apartments grow in what were once open fields. When I was born, my parents were living in Buru Buru Phase 2. From there, they moved to Umoja 1 before settling in Doonholm in July 1979. They have lived there ever since. #OnetouchLive_Eastlando was a walk down memory lane for me. 

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Doof Mpararo, Burundi Style!

Doof Mpararo, Burundi Style!

If you didn’t play in a pool of water without chlorine when growing up, you can consider yourself having had a deprived childhood. It was one of the reasons I got spanked over and over again but I still did it. It was irresistible. Yes our school (Hospital Hill) had a beautiful pool but nothing matched the fun I had in the murky waters of excavations and quarries that surrounded Doonholm Estate in the 80s.

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The Beauty of Ngong Road Forest

The Beauty of Ngong Road Forest

It’s not a place many would like to visit because of the stories of carjackings and muggings that have happened here. These were also my objection statements when I was invited to pay a visit by Arune, one of the friends of the forest. In her defence and that of the forest, she told me there’s parts that are completely fenced off ensuring safety for those visiting. Convinced, I called on friends from Onetouch to come along for the ‘myth debunking tour’.

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Rediscovering Nakuru

Rediscovering Nakuru

With family spanning almost every administrative ward since the 1950s, Nakuru is naturally my second home. It’s a place that I’ve visited more times than I can remember, making beautiful memories filled with smiles from family and friends. As it came up on the Onetouch calendar last April, I knew it would be a challenge to find something new to shoot there, but still booked my seat in Shani’s Forester for the ride to Nakuru.

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Shooting for SoilCares in Meru

Shooting for SoilCares in Meru

I never set out to shoot farmers specifically, but many documentary projects I’ve worked on have gravitated towards spending time with people who work hard to make sure we have locally grown food on our tables. Two weeks ago, I found myself riding shotgun in a SoilCares-branded ProBox headed to Meru, on what was my latest project documenting farming activities in Kenya.

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A Gospel According to Jazz

A Gospel According to Jazz

Rarely does one have the privilege of being in the presence of unashamedly God-worshipping musicians who have mastered their craft, won countless awards and accolades, toured the world, mentored other musicians to greatness, and still express themselves in a down-to-earth way that speaks humility at all levels. Mine was last Thursday as I soaked in Kirk Whalum, Norman Brown, Gerald Albright, Shelea, Kevin Whalum and John Stoddart perform alongside Kenya’s AfroSync Band.

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