I know, know, I’ve been guilty as sin for abandoning posting on this blog for a while. I think it is an artist’s curse. Once the river of inspiration dries up, I put my tools down and wait till the seasonal cycle turns up again.
That aside, as I stumbled on a loose spark of inspiration, a shoot proposal was floated to fellow photographers and myself as to who would be keen on kind of documenting the noble efforts of a now growing in popularity initiative, dubbed “Spread The Love“.
Spread The love is an initiative , birthed by a group of concerned friends and then artists under Kijiji Records, who later joined forces with various other parties across Kenya, both in the corporate world and Mavuno Church, to impact the socio-economic scene through benevolent deeds. Past initiatives included refurbishing and donating basic necessities such as beds and beddings to Industrial Area Remand prison.
This year, the task force has taken it upon themselves to rehabilitate the outlook of various prisons in Nairobi namely, Nairobi West Prison, Lan’gata Womens’ Prison and Industrial Area Remand Prison. I volunteered to document a morsel of the action at Lang’ata Womens’ Prison this past weekend. I’ll be honest and state openly that my initial excitement stemmed from the assumption that I would be allowed to get an in depth story from within the prison walls, but that was not to be. All the action took centre stage outside as men, women and children from all walks of life abandoned their comforts, albeit temporarily, to join hands with inmates in refurbishing the looks of the houses and environment.
It was indeed a beautiful scene to behold as young and old, rich or poor, free or incarcerated, abandoned societal stereotypes and mingled freely amidst laughter and sweat, braving the morning chill to scrap walls, plant trees and paint. It served as a stark reminder to all that regardless of outward circumstance, beneath our skins – we all bleed red.
As the Spread The Love initiative undertakes on it’s month of love activities, the question begs to what more can be done on a long term basis to improve the socio-economic outlook of our fellow men. Our neighbours. It is an arduous journey to get to THAT idealistic place, but as has been aptly quoted before, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”.
My urge to all you reading this is, be the catalyst of change in your area. AND if you happen to be free on Saturday or can be free, spare some of your time towards joining the Spread The Love team as they embark on this noble initiative of rehabilitating prisons.
For more on their initiatives and what Spread The Love is all about, click HERE.
Below is a sample of my take of what went down. Enjoy.