The growth of Kenya’s economy over the past decade has seen an increase in the number of companies fighting for a piece of your pay check as disposable income increases. And with many companies offering almost similar products and services, many decisions on where to spend your money are being made on emotional and not rational reasons. Customer Service Departments are moving closer to the big bosses’ doors as their contribution to bottom lines surpasses that of Sales and Marketing.
Tourism remains a key pillar for Kenya’s economy, employing thousands of Kenyans and providing billions of shillings in revenue to local businesses and the taxman. It is no wonder we all get feverish whenever travel advisories are issued. The Kenya Tourism Board has quite a task, making sure travel advisory or none, Kenyans and foreigners make different destinations in this beautiful land their top pick holiday destination.
As far as the east is from the west…
That’s how different it was shooting in Kitui and western Kenya for Farm Africa. While farmers in Kitui have unreliable rainfall and poor soils working against them, farmers in Western Kenya have some of the most fertile soils in Kenya, and beautiful weather to crown their favour. But having these isn’t enough. A lot of training is needed for the farmers to take advantage of their blessings to achieve the best harvests. And that’s where Farm Africa step in.
A couple of weeks ago, I found myself in Kitui, telling stories of farmers benefiting from Farm Africa’s projects in the county. I’d never been to Kitui before this so I was excited at the prospect of tucking another county under my travelling belt and meeting more farmers who feed Kenya.
Nairobi National Park is a place you can’t get tired of visiting. No matter how many times you venture into the world’s only capital city park, you’ll find something new to excite you. That’s why last week, as Kenya celebrated Madaraka Day, I hooked up with Amunga, Sharon and Joanne to see what we would unearth this time round.
Sorry if you fell for the headline. You’ve joined the list of media houses, corporate organisations and individuals who believe photographers’ work shouldn’t cost a dime as they steal, plagiarise and manipulate our work for fame and profit without our consent.
Last November, I had the privilege to visit Lakes Magadi and Natron. You can read more about that trip which has been my most epic to date here. When we got to Lake Magadi, we made our way to the hot springs where we met Maasai ladies selling curios and crafts in an open air market set up daily so that anyone who visits the area can get some memorabilia to take back with them.
Towards the end of April, Cerebra, an integrated strategic communication agency that builds, engages and activates communities around brands got in touch asking me to share what Africa looks like through my eyes. It was quite an honour and I was excited at the prospects of my images being used in a highlight video to be released on Africa Day, which is celebrated on May 25th.
In the last couple of months, there’s been a lot of talk about phasing out 14-seater matatus in favour of higher capacity buses. This is in an effort to decongest Nairobi’s streets and hopefully have more people preferring public over private transport. But will 35 or 50 seater buses solve the problem? Why not have buses with higher capacity?
His energy on stage is infectious and his music continues playing in your head long after it’s over. He is one of Kenya’s greatest entertainers and comes top of my list, together with The Villagers Band. Missing an opportunity to see him on stage is something I’d regret so even if it was a Sunday evening after a busy weekend out of town, I had to carry my tired body to City Hall Way for Juliani’s Na3 Concert.
When news started coming in of the Garissa Attack last Thursday, I held my breath and went into a cocoon, not wanting to believe the reality. It turned out to be my least favourite Easter weekend, occasionally coming up for air to receive updates on social media about what happened and what shouldn’t have. On Monday, I saw a tweet about Tuesday’s vigil and decided to attend.
On February 13th 2013, Boniface Mwangi organised what was to be his last protest. After leading several demonstrations against ills in the country, he felt Kenya wasn’t worth dying for and his family needed him more. I followed Boniface from home to his office to Uhuru Park where the demonstration was dispersed by anti-riot police.
Last Friday, I received a call from Samir Dave asking me if I wanted to shoot at Holi. I quickly said yes, thinking we were to fly to India for the colourful festival. He clarified it was an event by East FM and was to be held at Simba Union Club in Nairobi the following day. I was a bit deflated but excited at the opportunity.
If you told me that I’d be earning a living from photography when I used to shoot blurry shots, I’d have laughed out loud and told you copywriting is my thing. See, photography was just a hobby. It was one of those things I did when I had nothing to do. I loved creating ads and didn’t see myself doing anything else.
Located between the Aberdare Ranges and Dundori Ridge is Central Province’s only natural lake – Ol Bolossat. I also didn’t know that it was the only one in Central Province until about two years ago. I’d always longed to visit it and see the beauty it held and last week, the opportunity presented itself and I joined friends from Onetouch for a short trip there.
When I started out in photography about nine years ago, concerts were I clicked the most. The opportunity to interact with great performers live and move freely yet discreetly at concerts kept me going back for more. Then career happened and with that, other projects, sending concerts to the backseat. This year, I want to WD40 the rust in my concert trigger finger and get back to my first love. So when I saw the Jonathan Butler billboards and heard the Mavuno Worship Team perform their rendition to ‘Falling in Love with Jesus’, I knew I had to attend the Safaricom Jazz Festival.
You must have seen their ads on Facebook by now. Easy Taxi claims to be the number 1 mobile taxi application and is now available in Kenya. This is all good for people who would like to use their service, but, not good to the photography community in Kenya and around the world.
There’s been a lot of interest in the operation of unmanned aerial aircraft in Kenya in the recent past and especially this week, with two mainstream media outlets publishing different drone-related stories on the same day. And for this reason, my long break from blogging has come to an end.
I’ll always be grateful to God my Father for blessing me with the gift of photography because through it, I’ve been able to visit places that I might have only dreamt of if I had a regular desk job. This year alone, I’ve been to more new places in Kenya than in my entire life combined, the latest on the list being Lake Natron.
I woke up this morning to the news of the passing of Dr Myles Munroe, his wife and others in Bahamas. I usually get sad when I hear of the death of someone I knew, but not this time. There was a sense of celebration in me. Celebration of the life of a man who gave his all to make God’s word understood to me, to know the power I have within me. His greatest lesson to me: Die empty. This is something I believe he did.