Last Thursday, out of the blues that engulfed Nairobi after tensions from the General Election, I got an urge to return to the Nairobi National Park to shoot wildlife. I shared the idea with friends from Onetouch and Friday morning, we met at the NNP Lang’ata Road Gate at 6am.
I’ve never tried to have a one-on-one with Uhuru Kenyatta or William Ruto, but something tells me it wouldn’t be that easy: whom would I call for a number? Or talk to to tell someone who would whisper to them that I’d like to have a word? There must be a long list of protocol to be observed, most likely starting with my area Chief and DO (do they still exist?) even before you get to my MCA. I have however experienced a truth that bypassed protocol and got me seating at the same table with them, literally.
Lions have never loved my camera. In my countless encounters with them, I’ve only managed to capture two good photos: in 2007 in the Mara, and 2009 in Amboseli. All other times, in Nakuru, Mara and even Nairobi National Park, they’ve either been sleeping, hiding behind bushes or not within the reach of my lenses.
I was recently called upon by the King Baudouin Foundation to document the innovations of this year’s King Baudouin African Development Prize winners. The Prize rewards outstanding contributions to development initiated and led by Africans in Africa. It also seeks to draw public attention to the many inspirational stories, including challenges and successes, emerging from Africa.
Our car was parked under a tree in a rhino sanctuary, grounded and unable to move, 50km away. We were running out of cash and the nearest ATM was 100km away. The sun was unbearably hot and shade was scarce.The Safaricom network was very patchy so we couldn’t easily make or receive calls. We were stuck in Sereolipi.
The light from the starry skies above faded as the sun pieced the morning clouds, illuminating the beauty of Marsabit’s Abdul Camp. Thick fog engulfed us. And as the smoke from the campfire breakfast danced with the fog, we packed our cameras and set out to explore Marsabit National Park.
For many years, The Big North has been a forgotten territory. Lack of infrastructure meant only resilient pastoralists and opportunistic bandits called this home. But around ten years ago, President Kibaki’s government decided to prioritise tarmacking of the A2 from Isiolo to Moyale. Now complete, this stretch of asphalt has opened up The Big North to those seeking to soak in the beauty of semi arid lands that hug the skies where jagged mountains quench themselves by sipping rain clouds. Welcome to Kenya’s last frontier.
In the beautiful heart of northern Kenya sits one of the most scenic community conservancies in Kenya. It covers 49,000 hectares teeming with wildlife that attracts visitors from far and wide. Apart from that, Kalama Community Conservancy is where some of Kenya’s most exquisite jewellery is made.
There’s been a lot of controversy about Kenya’s largest infrastructure project since independence, centred mostly around the Kshs327 billion price tag. I’m not here to throw my weight behind any of the arguments, but simply to show you what I saw when I took a ride from Nairobi to Mombasa.
Less than 20 kilometres from the heartbeat of Nairobi is a settlement that many living on the opposite side of Nairobi fear to visit. Famous for being the home of Nairobi’s main dumpsite, Dandora is also where enthusiasts believe Kenyan hip hop was born, bred and continues to thrive to this day.
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.
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.
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.