African Photo Magazine Issue #7


A Pan-African magazine showcasing Africa's photographers and their stories!

Local Perspectives, African Insights

+ Kenya + Phillda +


Showcasing Kenya’s

photographers on


Ragland Njau

A walk down memory


Spotlight on


“Sanaa ni kioo cha




DEC 2017





Photography Bloggers of 2017

16 Phillda Ragland-Njau

04 30 12

From first African-American female

photographer for the Presbyterian

Church of the United of the United

States to curator of Paa ya Paa gallery

22 Spotlight on Kibera

Kibera’s artists show there is more to

their home than what is supposed to

form the “slum menu”

36 Mekatilili Wa Menza

Story of a Kenyan warrior

19 Photoshop Tutorial

South Africa’s IMAGE magazine with tips

to better photography



46 Instagram Kenya

Spotlighting Kenya’s community of


54 Photography Gear

Cool accessories to take your skills to

the next level

62 Lucas Maranga

A man at 40

to current times, we say a big ‘hello!’ to the pre

and post independent period that birthed our

African photographers. Far too many young

photographers today, indeed many young

practitioners in various fields, have a poor grasp

of the rich history behind their chosen fields

and the blood, sweat and tears their fore-fathers

shed to allow them to craft the present. These

African greats stood up at the dawning of a new

Africa; as independence movements gathered

steam in the 1950s and 1960s, a new breed of

photographer was about to take the stage.

This publication has the very great honor of

featuring some of our greats in this edition,

such as Malick Sidibe of Mali, Mohamed Amin of

Kenya (now deceased) and Obie Oberholzer of

South Africa. We have created a “Hall of Framers”

to showcase the amazing work and talent of

these greats and will endeavor to feature at least

one great in every issue we publish ~ they must

not be forgotten!


Additionally, in this issue, we feature Canon sponsored

workshops called Project Miraisha. Since December 2014,

Canon has facilitated three workshops in Kenya, led by world

renowned photojournalist and Canon Master Gary Knight.

With the support of local partners, Canon is using its core

imaging skills to help local people develop livelihoods in

professional photography or print. The next workshops are

slated for Saturday 14th - Friday 20th May, 2016 and will be

co-hosted with House of Fotography, a local outfit based in

Nairobi, Kenya.

As we come to the close of 2017,

it is only fitting that we do so

with our 7th issue and with a

special spotlight on Kenya and its

photographers, for this magazine

calls this great nation, home.

Kenya has also come out of a

very acrimonious election season

and it is our fervent prayer that as

we face the harsh realities of our

political life as Kenyans, we must

continue to remind ourselves of

the goodness that permeates our

lives every day, and much of that

goodness is seen in our arts and

stories as a diverse community of


We open up the 7th issue saluting

the 2017 nominees of the Bloggers

Association of Kenya (BAKE)

Photographer of the Year category,

and the ultimate winner, Mutua

Matheka. The effort it requires to

consistently produce photographic

content at a very high standard is

commendable indeed and you

have earned our high praise and a

deserved spot on BAKE’s platform!

In keeping with our practice of

reaching back to our past while

looking forward to our future, we

are delighted to feature Phillda

“nollywood” themed exhibition presented by


The Sony World Photography

Awards will open for entries on 1st June

Letter from the Editor

Ragland-Njau. Phillda was the

first black woman photographer

Lastly, we tip off our hats to our African photographers be sent that on overseas mission

came out tops in the recently concluded assignments SONY and Hamdan by the United

bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Presbyterian International Church of the United

Photography Award (HIPA) competitions. States, These are and the in 1969 she came to

largest photography competitions in the Kenya world and and Africa never looked back.

took its place amongst the very best. Kudos Phillda’s to our winners! work has been featured

It is an absolute pleasure The Editor, bring this magazine publications to you and I such as TIME

trust you Sharon will enjoy Mitchener

as much as I do! magazine, Jet magazine and

EBONY. Today, Phillda runs Paa ya

Paa with her artist husband Elimo

The Editor,

Njau, and her contribution to the

fabric of Kenya’s arts community

cannot be overstated. Phillda, and

her husband Elimo Njau are the

giants of yesteryear and we must

“Sanaa ni kioo cha jamii

Art is the reflection of the


AFRICANPHOTOMAGAZINE 2 Local Perspectives. African Insights.

lovingly continue their legacy for

our posterity.

The Maasai, the Mara and Kibera

have pretty much become

synonymous with the Kenyan

experience. While the Massai

and the Mara receive extremely

favorable coverage, Kibera is often

depicted as offering a slum menu

that centres on poverty, crime, tribal

angst and hopelessness. However,

“sanaa ni kioo cha jamii” and Kibera

has a very different story to tell, if

you care to listen. This publication

has selected a few of the many

amazing and inspiring stories being

created by the very proud residents

of the ‘slum’.

Included in this issue is a story of a

little known Kenyan warrior by the

name of Mekatilili Wa Menza. This

masterful depiction of hope, of

uncompromising faith and of great

strength was the work of Rich Allela

(Kenya) and Dapel Kureng (Nigeria).

These are the stories we must keep

alive, for our sakes and the sake of

our children. We must remember

that we are a great people, with a

great history and a promising future,

and that we are the keepers (and

destroyers) of our shared destiny. It

is up to us whether we will rise up,

or fall down. It is up to us, whether

the battles that Mekatilili Wa Menza

and her ilk fought were in vain, or



were worth the death they so freely


embraced, for Kenya to stand tall

as a nation.

We also celebrate Kenya’s

photographers featured on

Instagram under the moniker

#igKenya and the work they do

to keep flying the nation’s flag

high. It would be remiss of us

to not specifically mention the

cooperation and enthusiasm we

received from the team at #igKenya

while compiling this piece.

Also in this issue we would like

to roll out the red carpet for

Lucas Maranga, our new regular

contributor, with his blog entitled,

A Man at 40. We first met Lucas at

Engage and fell in love with his wit

and candor. We hope you like him

as much as we do.

At the close of 2016 we celebrated

the 170 year anniversary of PSSA,

the very first African photographic

society established by our brothers

in Cape Town, South Africa, back in

1846. PSSA publishes a quarterly

magazine named IMAGE, which

covers all aspects of the Society’s

activities and photography in

general. IMAGE has so very

graciously come alongside us to

promote our efforts and in this

issue has contributed Photoshop

tutorial techniques we know our

readers will find most instructive

and beneficial.

Lastly, in this issue we share with

you what we consider interesting

developments in terms of gear a

photographer would be interested

in, and in this issue we look at some

gadgets one can use to improve

their photography skills.

Our next issue will come out in

early 2018 but in the meantime stay

connected via our website, http:// and

social media pages.

Asante Sana, and enjoy!




2 africanphotomagazine ISSUE 7 November 2017 3


nominees for

the category of

Photography Blogger

of the Year 2017





What is BAKE?

The Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) is a community association of Kenyan

bloggers and content creators that promotes online content creation & free

expression in Kenya. BAKE connects blogs in Kenya from all areas of interest

and expertise. BAKE was formed in 2011 after a series of discussions concerning

content creation and consumption of online content in Kenya.

BAKE recognizes the efforts of exceptional bloggers through the BAKE Awards.

The awards seek to reward bloggers that post on a regular basis, have great

and useful content, are creative and innovative. These awards represent BAKE’s

efforts in the promotion of quality content creation.

BAKE has successfully held the awards for 6 years running since 2012. The

inaugural BAKE Awards had 14 categories. The categories have increased every

year and the 6th edition which was held in May 2017 had 23 categories of blogs

to award.

This publication proudly features the nominees for the category of Photography

Blogger of the Year 2017, who have collectively captured our imaginations!





4 africanphotomagazine







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“When I started photography, I did it

because it was so much fun to me

and creating came easier than many

other things. I didn’t have a subject

matter which meant I kept looking at

other photographers here in Nairobi

to figure out what I wanted to shoot.

One time a friend took me to the KICC

rooftop and when I saw the city from

above I had an inkling as to what I

wanted to photograph. Cityscapes and

architecture. Contrary to the case right

now, beautiful images of Nairobi were

not the norm 7 years ago when I started

but I kept on. Now shooting cities and

buildings is how I feed my family and

like at the start, photography is still so

much fun.”

Mutua is an Architect from Jomo

Kenyatta University of Agriculture

& Technology (J.K.U.A.T), and fully

applies his architectural eye to capture

architecture, cityscapes & landscapes

with his photography. Mutua, together

with David ‘Blackman’ Muthami and

the UN Habitat, use photography of

urban spaces in Africa to showcase a

beautiful Nairobi and eventually Africa.

Mutua uses his photography to show

the world that Africa, and his beloved

Kenya, is much more than Maasai’s,

safaris and lions.

In this special feature of Mutua, we

showcase the amazing photography

that first launched him onto the scene

and stamped his place as one of

Africa’s pre-eminent photographers.

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6 africanphotomagazine ISSUE 7 NOVEMBER 2017 7





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Mwangi Kirubi, known to many as

Mwarv, takes photos that primarily

showcase Kenya’s beauty, and works

with NGOs and other development organizations

to showcase their work in

Kenya and on the African continent.

Mwarv, has been in the photography

industry for 11 years and characterizes

his success as being driven by

passion and building strong

relationships. Before Mwarv ventured

into photography in 2006, he was a

copyrighter. “The salary was good, but

I felt there was no need to be empty

during the week and then full on

weekends, which is when I pursued my

photography passion. Quitting my job

in 2006 was the best decision I made.”

Mwarv started out by taking photos for

Mavuno Church’s events and moved

on to wedding photography, which he

did for a number of years until it no

longer fulfilled him.

Mwarv then made the bold decision to

follow his dream and that dream would

take him on a series of photographic

road trips around East Africa, including

his home country of Kenya. Through

his photos, Mwarv counters negative

stereotypes about the continent

with regal portraits, awe-inspiring

landscapes, and iridescent city shows.

‘My biggest achievement as a

photographer involves making people

look at Kenya and Africa in a whole new



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8 africanphotomagazine ISSUE 7 NOVEMBER 2017 9





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Peter Irungu is a Photographer,

Designer, cinematographer who

appreciates all Art Forms. His mission is

to impress upon a change in negative

mentality and perception through

which Africa is viewed. Through his

photos he wants the world to view

Africans as equals in beauty, diversity

and creation in every aspect.

Two of Peter’s artistic projects

define him as a stand out, unique


His series HUMAN vs CONCRETE is

a series that projects our influences

as humans onto the landscapes that

define our architecture and cityscapes.

The buildings are an expression of the

architects vision and also influences

what the eventual occupants want to

identify them as and for.

Nairobi Urban Rush, is a street

time-lapse project. “It might seem

chaotic at first but that’s all an act. A

different perspective is all that it takes

to unmask the poetic motion of the

masses, filling up the streets on their

way home.”

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10 africanphotomagazine ISSUE 7 NOVEMBER 2017 11





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African Fashion and Beauty Photographer

Victor Peace is a leading artist in

Africa having worked with prestigious

companies such as Ford and Forbes.

His project ‘Maumbo’, meaning shapes

in Swahili was a stunning color-rich

editorial project done in collaboration

with stylist and set designer Kevo

Abbra and features Kenyan model

Sylvia Owalla.

Victor’s interest in photography

was sparked first by his very cool

grandfather, a great professional

photographer who had been shooting

from the 1970’s with his portfolio

expanding and showcased as far as

Japan. Victor would accompany him

to weddings and funerals and as the

grandfather shot video, Victor was his

accomplice, shooting stills with his old

manual minolta camera.

Victor Loves shooting fashion and

beauty and aspires to be one of the

best fashion and beauty photographers

of his time. We wish him all the best!

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SanaaStory is currently running three

major creative projects.

SanaaFashion is the merchandising

franchise that presents a stylish yet

meaningful touch of design to the

fashion market.

SanaaStory is a creative investment company. SanaaStory aims to invest in creative projects

that spearhead bold and fresh initiatives in the urban artistic/creative culture, in order to make

art a sustainable venture for artists.

The SanaaStory began in 2014 when a group of young art enthusiasts wanted to create a

cultural movement that would redefine how art spaces were viewed and perceived. Far from

the traditional desk and chair in a dimly-lit room, art could also be created and experienced in

the great outdoors, in downtown Nairobi and even amongst non-creatives.

The first venture was a street art gallery on November 29th 2014. A crowd of about ten guests

came to experience art installation on the road. Since then they have experienced growth and

support that has seen them hold four more events in venues such as Michael Joseph Center

and the Village Market.

SanaaCulture is an event, which

provides a platform that allows artists

to display their creative works. The

event also brings together non-artists

and art enthusiasts for a chance to

view, enjoy and purchase the different

forms of creative works.

Their ventures grew as they met creatives along the way that shaped their understanding and

philosophy. From fashion to travel to music and to photography, their growth is continuously

shaped by the collaborations and development of the artists they have worked with.

SanaaWanderlust is a purpose

and culture driven take to tourism.

SanaaStory organizes budget trips to

both SanaaWanderlust members and

non-members, with an aim to immerse

the travelers in a destination’s cuisine,

culture and creative opportunities.

14 africanphotomagazine ISSUE 7 NOVEMBER 2017 15




Interviews by African Photo Magazine

VIEWFINDERS | Black Women Photographers by Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe @1985



hillda Ragland-Njau, born in

Plainfield, New Jersey, in 1939,

was the first black woman

photographer to be sent on

overseas mission assignments by

the United Presbyterian Church. At

twenty-nine, Phillda was the manager of production for

the filmstrip and photography section of the Commission

on Ecumenical Missions and relations – the overseas

department of the United Presbyterian Church in the

United States. Phillda comments, “Being the first black

woman photographer in the church of course made

a difference, but I thought of my assignment more as

a personal journey into life, self-development, and

opportunity for spiritual growth through involvement with

people.” Phillda goes on to say, “it is the aesthetic and

spiritual dimension of photography that interests me,

and which I try to put across in my work, whether I am

photographing a person, a natural thing, or an object.”

From very early on, Phillda captured the imagination

of many, gracing the cover of the famed Jet magazine

in 1958 when her alma mater, Upsala Collage of New

Jersey named a “Negro” as Gazette Girl. In 1966 Phillda

was again in the spotlight when she made the cover of

Film News and a feature segment in the TIME magazine

in 1968. In 1969 she was the subject of an extensive

photo feature in Ebony magazine and her work with

the church was publicized in The Courier News of New



Phillda’s work for the church’s overseas department

included photographing the social and economic

projects that the church sponsored in many foreign

countries. Some of her interesting photographs were

collected for an exhibition, “Kids Next Door,” that drew

large crows to the church’s headquarters in New York. At

the same time that she was teaching an adult education

class in scriptwriting and in shooting and editing motion

pictures, Phillda received her Master’s degree at

Columbia University, with her earlier enrollment making

the press in New York Beat as a singular event of note!

From very early on, Phillda captured the

imagination of many, gracing the cover

of the famed Jet magazine in 1958 when

her alma mater, Upsala Collage of New

Jersey named a “Negro” as Gazette Girl

Jet Magazine, March 1958

Initially hired as a photo librarian for the United

Presbyterian Church, Phillda’s big break came when

Fred Haines, a photographer for the home office, taught

her the basic camera techniques. “Fred was so helpful,

giving up weekends to guide me along,” says Phillda.

When her boss, Dr. Archie Crouch noticed her progress,

he sent her to Latin America in 1967 for her first overseas

assignment, trading her summer vacation for this great

challenge. On her assignment, Phillda used an old

Rollei-cord 120 box camera and a separate handheld

light meter, later graduating to a Minolta Pentax

35mm. Phillda undertook other several assignments,

including conferences and photo features for articles

about black women. As the official photographer for a

black clergymen’s conference in St. Louis, Phillda was

among the handful of women in the assembly of about

four hundred black clergymen, and the only woman

photographer in the press pit. That year Phillda was

named New Jersey’s Outstanding Young Woman of the

Year, an honour given to young women for their accomplishments.

After the Latin America assignment, Phillda went on

to also document the United Presbyterian Church’s

activities in Europe in 1968, and it was on her assignment

to East Africa in 1969 that she met the man who was

to later become her husband, Elimo Njau. Elimo was a

Tanzanian mural painter and Phillda had been sent on

assignment to cover his work as a Christian artist. Elimo

invited Phillda to join the East African International Arts

Programme, which sponsored two art centres, one

in Tanzania, the Kibo Art Gallery, and one in Kenya,

the Paa ya Paa Art Gallery. Phillda’s earlier travels to

Jet Magazine, March 1958

VIEWFINDERS, Black Women Photographers, 1985

Ebony Magazine, March 1969

18 africanphotomagazine ISSUE 7 NOVEMBER 2017 19

Ebony Magazine, March 1969

Film News, June 1966

Latin America and then East Africa stirred a deep

longing to plant roots in cultures that exemplified

family, community and a deep connection to the

environment. It therefore came as no surprise to her,

and her boss back home, when on her second tour to

East Africa, she decided to make Tanzania her home,

and later Kenya.

Phillda has been resident in Tanzania and Kenya over

forty years, becoming Elimo’s wife and raising three

children together, and now serves as the Paa ya Paa

gallery’s archivist, curator and tour guide. In its heyday

in the 1970s and 1980s, Paa ya Paa served as the hub

of cultural activity when it was frequented by the likes

of Okot P Bitek, Philip Ochieng, Ngugi wa Thiong’o

and Hilary Ng’weno, among international notables

such as Nigerian playwright and Nobel Laureate

Wole Soyinka, former US President Jimmy Carter,

Sidney Poitier and US civil rights activist, Dick Gregory.

Unbowed by a 1997 inferno that consumed sculptures,

artefacts, paintings and over 7,000 literature books

worth millions of shillings, the charred remains and

structure are slowly been reconstructed with the help

of artists and well-wishers and the gallery paintings

now hang in the burned ruins of the 100-year-old

colonial house, which gives it an even more artistic


The last two decades have not been kind to Paa ya

Paa as attention has shifted to other art galleries and

art forms, but Phillda and Elimo find solace among the

mainly young artists who come faithfully to the centre

to be mentored by the master painter-sculptor. Paa ya

Paa’s legacy lives on under the very capable hands of

Phillda, and her husband Elimo, and Phillda’s desire is

not only see Paa ya Paa flourish again, but to pick up a

camera and revisit her first love for photography.

The Courier News, Nov 1969

Ebony Magazine, March 1969

Old Rollei-cord 120 box camera

20 africanphotomagazine ISSUE 7 NOVEMBER 2017 21

“Sanaa ni

kioo cha jamii”

Art is the reflection of

the community


ibera is one of the most densely

populated urban settlements

in the world. An untold number

of people, possibly as many as

one million, crowd a 632-acre

area outside Nairobi, Kenya. In

this small, crowded community, residents struggle

to meet basic needs—daily meals, clean water,

adequate housing. It is one of the fastest growing

areas in Kenya and as many as half its residents are

under the age of fifteen. Despite these sobering

statistics, the resilient youth of Kibera do overcome

their circumstances showing great courage,

creativity and determination and these same

qualities are essential for affecting and sustaining

great change in their community and in our country


“Kibera’s artists show there is more to their home than

what is supposed to form the “slum menu: poverty,

poor education, violence… Kibera is also about

solidarity, strength, generosity, adaptability, beauty,

perseverance, and a lot of laughing.

People use crafts, poetry, music, painting, dance,

acting or comedy as ways to tell their stories. It is the

collection of all these diverse talents of the people of

Kibera that draws the fascinating, constantly moving,

picture of Kibera “ ~ Kibera Creative Arts

In this issue, we proudly celebrate the Kibera artist.

22 africanphotomagazine ISSUE 7 NOVEMBER 2017 23




rian Otieno is a freelance photojournalist

who operates an online photo project

called “KiberaStories,” since 2013. Brian

was raised in Kibera – Africa’s most

vibrant, biggest shantytown in Nairobi,

Kenya and is a graduate from Multimedia

University of Kenya with a Diploma in Journalism and

Strategic Public Relations.

Brian’s passion and commitment lies in capturing

the visual realities and documenting the norm of

everyday life from the people around him, and

sharing their stories. His visual stories attempt to go beyond the chaotic appearance

and to demonstrate the daily lives in Kibera from socio-economic, cultural, political

and environmental perspectives. By doing so, Brian also tries to draw the attention

of the public to understand the diversity, dynamics, and inequality of urban life as an

observer with a unique point of view through photography.

In this particular series, the publication showcases a fashionista from Kibera, Stephen

Okoth, also known as Ondivour, a film-maker, photographer and model for his self-styled

colourful and vintage fashion. “He inspires a generation in the shanty town through his

sense of style, which brings hope to the people.” His signature bright clothes sourced

from local second-hand markets have turned him into a local celebrity.





24 africanphotomagazine ISSUE 7 NOVEMBER 2017 25


Photo Start is a non-profit organization

developed to foster creativity and teach

marketable skills to disadvantaged children in

depressed areas.

Photographers in the programme learn to

become literate in the digital darkroom, and the

underlying concepts of computing, to take, edit,

produce, print, store and transmit photographs.

Photo Start graduates are capable of using

digital cameras, manipulating light, understand

best practices regarding digital workflow, digital

production, and digital asset management.

Planning and patience, two prized assets of

the prepared photographer, are also valued

highly by businesses and hiring managers in a

multitude of fields.

Photo Start students also improve in self-esteem,

self-confidence, and self-reliance, leadership

traits that are highly translatable and extremely

marketable, particularly in developing regions.

It is important to amplify the voices of those we

have never heard from and to this end, Photo

Start provides equipment, learning space, and

one on one guidance with program participants.

By teaching vulnerable students photography

as an art, and a business, Photo Start hopes

to bring about much needed economic

development as well as to introduce the world

to a new generation of artists.



Located at Kamukunji grounds in Kibera, Uweza provides advanced art students from art classes as well

as other Kibera-based artists with a space to create, market and sell their own original artwork. The youth

that have graduated from the art classes to the gallery are encouraged to consider art as a viable career

option and to explore different techniques, genres and mediums as they find their own artistic styles.

Artwork created at the gallery is sold both locally and abroad and the proceeds are used to fund the

artists’ high school education or act as a source of income for older artists living in Kibera. All participating

artists that are high school age are currently enrolled in high schools throughout Kenya, fully supported

by the sales of their art.


The centre was was founded in 2001 by Otieno Gomba and Otieno Kota. The pair began by selling novel

hand-painted signs along Kibera drive, before acquiring a permanent site in 2003. This became the M2

Art-centre, serving as a studio cum gallery and a juncture for many creatives and artists in the area.

The M2 Art-centre was a pioneering visual art space in Kibera initiating opportunities for participation,

collaboration, teaching and socialization as well as providing a space to work.

M2 has also ventured into community outreach projects, conceptual work, fashion, film, mixed media,

music, photography and sculpture. The artists and their work traverse local, national and global art worlds.



30 africanphotomagazine ISSUE 7 NOVEMBER 2017 31


The Gallery is a registered CBO whose conceptual work revolves around creative issues with educational

empowerment focus, aiming to provide the gifted but under privileged youth from the slums with space,

supplies, training and market so that they can change their livelihoods and inspire their peers despite their

social, physical and economic disadvantaged backgrounds. The proceeds from the sales of their artworks go

towards the funding of their education.

Nyota desires to develop talents, to reach out and empower, the normal, deaf and the mentally handicapped

youngsters in Kibera as they believe that every child should have the opportunity to seek, to explore and

nurture their God-given talents.


32 africanphotomagazine ISSUE 7 NOVEMBER 2017 33


Creative & Digital

Disruptive thinkers | Creative Doers | Innovative Actors

Our mission is to providing leadership in integrated creative and digital

space that catapults action and delivers sustainable outcomes for our partners.

We are disruptive in our thinking, creative in our process and Innovative

in our execution.

34 africanphotomagazine ISSUE 7 NOVEMBER 2017 35

Mekatilili Wa Menza

of Kenya

by Mfon Abigail for 24Naija


rom the bowels of Kenya, a prophesy about British oppression

had gone ahead. What also followed was that the savior would

be a woman. No one guessed that it would be Mnyazi wa Menza,

an only girl among 5 children, born to poor parents in Mutsara

wa Tsatsu, a village of the Giriama, sometime between 1840

and 1860. The little girl had no idea as well until she became

an eye-witness to the capture of one of her brothers by the Arabs in the

market place. The rage and dissatisfaction was only fueled when the British

colonial masters arrived and marched right on to threaten the values of

the Giriama people, pushing them to the verge of extinction. The culture,

norms and values of her people were to be replaced with British policies

and ordinances. But this was unacceptable to the young woman whom the

birth of her son katilili had christened Mekatilili (Mother of Katilili). It didn’t

matter who stood as the tower against her, she was ready to fight and tear

out her people from the jaws of the British colonial lions.

Despite the fact that numerous ideologies from time immemorial have

oppressed, caged, trodden, abused and discriminated against the woman

and her core, gender inequality has also provoked her to be referred to as

one who is to be seen and not heard and to crown it all, cultural moves,

beliefs and practices in the world at large and in Africa particularly, have

justified this unnatural behavior.

Thankfully, women like Mekatilili of Kenya have been bold enough to step

forward, rising beyond the embargo placed on them by society to express

their inner strength and worth.

The fact that she was a young widow without a man to stand up for and

protect her should have deterred her but she harnessed and embraced

it, preferring to see it as a breath of freedom to travel and speak for the

emancipation of her people.

She was a woman of many qualities and these became her tools. Her

exceptional prowess in both oratory and the kifudu dance which was a

funeral dance garnered many admirers who turned followers. When the

need arose she conscripted them to become her army of fighters against

the brutal colonial masters. Many of them were women but their gender

Rich Allela(Kenya) -

Dapel Kureng(Nigeria) -

36 africanphotomagazine ISSUE 7 NOVEMBER 2017 37

wasn’t an impediment because they

drew strength from their Mekatilili.

She met Wanje wa Mwadori Kola; a

notable traditional medicine man

who became a powerful ally. He

helped in organizing a large meeting

at Kaya Fungo and together, they

administered the deadliest oaths: the

mukushekushe among the women

and Fisi among the men. The oaths

helped them keep sacred creed

never to cooperate with the British in

any form whatsoever or die. Together,

they went to war with their courage

and trust in the singular course of


Her exile on 17th October 1913

together with her ally by the colonial

oppressors to Mumias in Western

Province only functioned as a

necessary retreat for Mekatilili. She

is said to have escaped and trekked

about 1,000km with Mwadori through

the dangerous forests, back to

Giriama to continue the fight right

where she had stopped. This instilled

fear in the colonial master thus, she

was recaptured but, this instigated

the uprising of October 25, 1914.

Although the British had the upper

hand, they were unable to gain total

control and eventually, yielded to the

demands of the Giriama people.

Many may frown at the insinuation

that she is a preserver of life but a

close look at the mere fact that she is

a carrier of the seed that blooms into

a human being is proof enough. The

woman is thus to be preserved. In the

case of Kenya’s Mekatilili, it is within

her bowels that the seed of freedom

is birthed and she stopped at

nothing to ensure that the freedom

of the Giriama people came to be

even though she was far away in the

Northern parts of Kenya. Five years

later, Mekatilili returned again from

her second exile.

She was indeed a warrior and one

would imagine that her outspoken

nature in the battle ground would

generally define her. But it is almost

quite ironic that she enjoyed a very

private and quiet life in her home

when she wasn’t about the business

of freeing her people from the

clutches of colonialism or holding

leadership positions among the

Baraza, Hifudu or Makushekushe.

She was womanly in every sense

of the word and cared so much for

her immediate family, providing

basic home needs and dutifully

performing wifely responsibilities to

her husband Dyeka wa Duka until he


Although she died in 1924, and

was buried in Bungale, in Magarini

Constituency, Malindi District, her

heart beats on, inspiring many simply

because the woman has been built

to be the guardian of the flame of life,

virtues and values; the active and

total expression of her innate worth in

its entirety spells preservation of life

and core human and societal values.

Her life represents the strength of

womanhood and inspires African

women to RISE above the inequality

and discrimination saddled around

their necks.

Rich Allela(Kenya) -

Dapel Kureng(Nigeria) -

38 africanphotomagazine ISSUE 7 NOVEMBER 2017 39

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PSSA (Photographic Society of South Africa) is the oldest photographic society on the

Continent and recognised by the South African Government through the Performing

Arts Council. PSSA is consulted on all aspects affecting photography in South Africa

as well as being able to negotiate protection and exemption for photographic clubs

and members.

PSSA publishes a magazine named IMAGE, which covers all aspects of the Society’s

activities and photography in general.

This is a submission by IMAGE, sharing photoshop tips and techniques, with readers

of our publication.

42 africanphotomagazine ISSUE 7 NOVEMBER 2017 43

44 africanphotomagazine ISSUE 7 NOVEMBER 2017 45

Photo books to read

Vanishing Songs of the Warriors

(Available for purchase from All Time News Stand Village Market, TBC Sarit Centre and Bookstop Yaya Centre.)

Vanishing Songs of the Warriors is an amazing compilation of illuminating moments that reflect the veiled thoughts of Africa. Woven through

its pages is a story with a message; a deep message that is so simple, yet so significant. It is a photographic coffee table book that explores the

Maasai, Borana, Turkana, Pokot, South Sudan, among other communities.

46 africanphotomagazine ISSUE 7 NOVEMBER 2017 47


With over 25,000 followers and over 250k

images tagged, #igKenya is the Instagrammers

community in Kenya, promoting Kenya, events of

note and instagrammers to follow.

In this issue’s focus on Kenya, we would be

remiss not to cover the Instagrammers community in Kenya



48 africanphotomagazine @l.eafar








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56 africanphotomagazine ISSUE 7 NOVEMBER 2017 57







Some cool accessories to

take your skills to the






Kick your footage up a notch with the Wiral LITE Easy

Cable Cam. Compatible with GoPro and other action

cameras, this device gives your camera a totally steady

line to follow. Hanging easily and effortlessly, your camera

glides smoothly along to capture the perfect angle with

minimal shake. The Wiral LITE has two modes to suit

your style. In standard mode, the Wiral LITE can travel

along the cable as fast as 28mph to keep up with you. In

addition, the device works in time-lapse mode. With this,

it can go as slow as 0.006mph to capture all the nuances

of the world around you.

Make your online live streams look more professional

with the Mevo Plus Livestreaming Camera. This latest

camera from Livestream edits video in real-time and

shares it on every major social media platform. The

purpose is to tell your video story in the best and

quickest way possible. In fact, you can actually create

a multi-camera production with a single Mevo Plus.

You just need to enable the Autopilot mode and let

Mevo’s advanced AI do the editing for you.


Using your own body to steady the camera, the Nano

DSLR Rig can turn your DSLR camera into the ultimate

movie-making machine, as well as give you all the options

you need to brace your camera for the perfect photo.

The flexibility of the rig opens up a world of different

possibilities on how it can be used.



Create high-quality content anywhere when you have

the Samsung 360 Round VR Camera. This high-tech

system is complete with a whopping 17 different

lenses to capture literally everything around. The

cameras are spread throughout the disc-like shape.

The camera can create 3D images thanks to all the

lenses working in unison. With this, you can also

create content for a variety of VR headsets. With six

built-in microphones and two external ports, you can

also pair your content with crystal clear audio. The

360 Round is both water and dust resistant so you can

take the whole system anywhere you go.


The Gorillapod needs no introduction and should be in

every photographer’s kit. The flexible tripod can attach

itself to just about any surface, making it easy to get

the exact photo that you want. And there’s a whole line

of Gorillapod’s available, that can take anywhere from

325g to 5kg, so no matter what kind of camera you use,

whether a small point and shoot, or a huge SLR sporting

a telephoto lens.

58 africanphotomagazine ISSUE 7 NOVEMBER 2017 59

I Love my country, Kenya

Canon Trainer, T eddy Mitchener with workshop students,

Kenya S ept 11 -16, 2017

In Emerging Markets, Canon is helping local people to

establish careers in photography and print, and since

December 2014, Canon has facilitated many workshops

across Africa.

Through each free week-long workshop, students experience

classroom learning, one-to-one training, hands-on

application and lectures by established locally-based

professional photographers. These workshops have inspired

and developed the students’ ability to tell powerful stories

that matter to them through their cameras.

With the support of local partners, Canon is using its core

imaging skills to help local people develop livelihoods in

professional photography or print. Already some of the

workshop students have had their work published locally

and abroad.

What does

mean? Miraisha is the

combination of the Japanese word ‘mirai’ meaning ‘future’

and the Swahili word ‘maisha’ meaning ‘livelihood or life’.

60 africanphotomagazine

Visit this publications website on

to register for the 2018 and beyond Miraisha Workshops

Mumbe Mutisya |


“Life i s not a solo act. It’s a huge collaboration,

and we all need to assemble around us, the people

who care about what we care about.”

~ Tim Gunn

Kenya Fashion Awards, The Norfolk Fairmont and House of Fotography have come

together to roll out a series of collaborative projects that showcase the best in each


To see more on this collaboration visit this publications website on

62 africanphotomagazine ISSUE 7 NOVEMBER 2017 63


I once heard that you are most alive when closest to death. This week I had

the opportunity to be extra alive for a short while courtesy of a conspiracy

between the weather and poor human planning. God and man pulled a

fast one on me.

I was in Nyali for one of my public servant jobs over the long weekend. I

went down with the Madaraka Express, commonly known as SGR. I got

my ticket a week earlier as I had been informed that you can easily miss a

seat especially being the Mashujaa weekend. I was very impressed with

the Nairobi station and for a minute, I felt like I was at a train station in

Shanghai. Well done GOK. You delivered this one for sure.

I got onto my window seat with my notebook and pen in hand, just in case

some inspiration from the passing landscape came to me. That was exactly

why I wanted to travel alone by train – to call myself to a meeting and just

be. In my 40s, I am enjoying my own company more and I love it. It was a

good ride apart from the usual noisy (and some high) Kenyans chatting

animatedly as they went on holiday. We arrived at the Miritini station

exactly five hours later and the train spewed out the sea of humanity. I

plan to go back in December with my baby sharks. I’m sure they’ll love it.

My good pal Junia from Nairobi Serena Hotel hooked me up with the

usual five star treatment at the Serena beach and they did not disappoint.

Their hospitality game is at the top. Even the monkey that stole fruits from

my room through the bathroom window was courteous enough to ask for

them using that woiyemonkey look. He even left me an orange. Customer

service monkey style hapo.

My four-day working holiday was enjoyable despite the 18-hole sauna

that was playing golf in the Mombasa heat. The morning moments at the

beach were cleansing to my heart and mind. Watching the sea and hearing

the sound of the waves collapsing lazily on the white sandy beaches was

the paracetamol to the high fever caused by my anxieties. I’ve told you

guys about them in the past. I even posted on twitter that the sea doesn’t

seem to be in a hurry. Maybe it’s because it knows there will be enough

waves for today and the day after. Be easy folks.

The event at Nyali ended well and on the day of departure my good pal

Cecily, sent her cab guy to pick me up. She wanted to hook me up with a

guy for some biashara. We met in this Chinese restaurant and devoured

some chicken wings and spare ribs. As we talked, I glanced at my watch

and it was 2:30 PM. My flight back home was at 3:45 PM and it was raining

outside. I said my kwaheris and got into Cecily’s car for the ride to the

airport. We only drove a short distance, before our fears were confirmed.

Standstill traffic at Makupa. It was now 40 minutes to my flight and I was

determined not to miss it. So I left my suitcase in the car, grabbed my

backpack with my bucket hat on my head and jumped out for a 500 metre

hop, skip and jump dash to where the nduthis were.

I jumped on one and instructed the rider to

step on it to the airport. It was a ride mixed with

fear, danger, panic and slight excitement. I

told the rider to go fast yet carefully, whatever

that means. I silently asked the Lord to keep

us safe as we swerved in traffic, crisscrossing

matatus that feel nothing for bodabodas

and mean looking old trucks coming from

the port. All this time the raindrops were

slapping my face hard. My biggest fear was

colliding with the tarmac and being scarred

for life. I need to retain my looks you know.

Especially now when I need to impress my

second half new contacts.

We finally got to the Moi International Airport

entrance and my superbike grandprix rider

stopped, as he couldn’t go beyond this point.

I paid him 650 bob which I found steep but

I was least concerned as I ran towards the

airport entrance. It was now 15 minutes to

take off but my dream of catching the flight

were still valid.. I decided to hitchhike and

this mzungu couple offered me a lift to the

airport terminal. Those were real angels sent

to my rescue. I jumped off at Terminal one

after blessing them thoroughly and sprinted

to the gate just to be told by the guard

‘Boss Jambojet iko Terminal One’. Wah! So,

mimi huyo, running to Terminal Two. I went

through security and met this Jambojet girl

who asks for my ID and tells me to run.

Folks I made my flight and it was like the fast

and furious movie trailer, Kenyan edition.

There was no better feeling than getting

to my seat on that flight back home. I don’t

recall the last time I felt that alive. It was just

too deadly.

Lesson for me was, in life, we have to think

on our toes sometimes. Thinking on our feet

may be too slow. Sometimes we have to

throw ourselves out into the elements and

take them head on. Chances are we shall get

through on the other side just fine. Comfort

zone at 40 or any other age is like a virus that

will delete you from this life pap! If I saw the

rain or matope on the road, I would have

missed my flight. But having gone against

the odds and succeeded confirmed that what

we deeply desire is just on the other side of

the rainfall or traffic jams that represent the

domes in our lives.

Now how do I reunite with my suitcase…?

Photo credit _ Jeb Weru of The Standard

64 africanphotomagazine ISSUE 7 NOVEMBER 2017 65






House of Fotography


Sharon Mitchener


Mumbe Mutisya |


House of Fotography P.O. Box 25190-00603 Nairobi, Kenya

Tel: (+254) 702.680.797 | 714.745.924


To all the photographers and artists who contributed towards this 7th issue, particularly

the contribution from #igKenya and the photographers showcasing the greatness that is

Kenyan Photography!

To Brian Otieno (Storitellah), Rich Allela, Mutua Matheka, Mwarv Kirubi, Peter Irungu, Victor

Peace and SanaaStory for their commitment to their craft and elevating Kenyan Photography.

To PhotoStart.Org, M2, Uweza and Nyota galleries for their dedication to the arts and to

establishing creative communities and self-sustaining businesses in our beloved Kibera.

A community of

African photographers

dedicated to sharing news and tutorials on

techniques, business and marketing essentials for today’s photographer.

A joint initiative of

To Bobby Pall for being a leading light and documenting our shared history through his

amazing photobooks.

To Phillda Ragland-Njau for blazing the trail back in the 1960’s and coming to Kenya to

make her mark in the great nation of Kenya and contributing significantly to the legacy that

is Paa ya Paa

To the Photographers Association of South Africa (PSSA) and its publication IMAGE for its

immense contribution to the growth of our industry on the Continent and its support of this


To Lucas Maranga, A Man at 40. Thank you for your wit and candor, and joining the team.

To Mumbe Mutisya for a spectacular layout design and ensuring this publication continues

to see the light of day

To our cover model (front & back), Clara Onyango for graciously giving of her time and



Ultimately, to our Almighty God for who He is and what He is doing.




Free yourself, Free your creativity

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