HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Had a good one I hope? I always love the turn of a new year..it’s like smelling freshly cut grass, or being in the countryside (what urbanites here fondly refer to as Reserve or Ocha). The joy of saying goodbye to the past years triumphs, tribulations, opportunities and mistakes. Who doesn’t love a clean slate?!
On towards the post, this is a random post of pictures I took in Taita, the nucleus of my motherland. I proudly hail from there and I will be blatantly biased and declare we have arguably the most beautiful landscape (and women :)) in the land. I travelled down with family in not so good circumstances but all in all it was handy that I went with my camera.
Enough rambling, hope you enjoy the images.
And last but not least, an image I took from my phone – un-edited with no filter..
Taita, my beautiful motherland, I’ll be back!
It’s a drab hot Monday in the +254. Nothing like feeling lethargic..which reminded me of these mature male lions that lazed under a shade, unwilling to expend precious energy looking for prey.
Which is what I’m feeling this Monday too…
Have a lovely week amigos 🙂
How’dy do folk!
Hope the start of the year has been kind to you all. Last week some report was published online about how Nairobi is the 2nd worst city in the world to reside in. That article started a major uproar on twitter with many ranting and raving on how inaccurate the report was. And I totally agree. Nairobi, in spite of it’s ups and downs, I believe is one of the best cities in the world to live in. From climate to food to it’s inhabitants; all warm. Not to mention we are the only city to have a National Park at it’s heart, boasting the Big Five.
It is in pursuit of this Big Five that I travelled to the Masai Mara in December. Now, I have never done wildlife photography before so be gentle on me, but needless to say, the views and wildlife were breathtaking. After 2 game -drives, one of which was full-day, I happily kicked up my feet at what I had seen. Ranging from the majestic pride of lions to schools of elephants to Topis, Gazelles, warthogs, cheetahs, vultures…it was a photography feast out there [sadly though I didn’t spot any Leopards or Black Rhinos].
Hopefully the following pictures will inspire more positive reports about Kenya and in the same breath, encourage each one of you to at least one day make a trip to the Masai Mara. It’s beauty is too lovely to pass off in this lifetime.
Happy New Year Folks!!
Cheers to new frontiers and delving into the unknown, which is 2013.
I begin blogging with a post that should have been published last year but the timing of events meant otherwise. Also, this will be my LONGEST post to date, so brace yourselves.
Allow me to digress a bit by first saying that I am a music lover/critic/collector prior to even picking up a DSLR camera. I pride myself in vast collections of different genres of music and those who know me quite well will testify to my love for jazz. Love it. From the era of John Coltrane, Count Basie, Etta Jones and Miles Davies to the new school vibes. Acid jazz, Nu jazz, Smooth Jazz..I love it all. So for among the founders of Acid Jazz to grace Nairobi at the Bomas of Kenya, brought in by sponsors Sierra and Capital FM, I was game from the get-go.
Ladies and Gents, introducing Incognito – A diverse cultural yet singular music band formed in 1979. The look and sound of Acid Jazz. Acid jazz, going by their 15 albums released to date (yes, 15!) is a fusion of Soul, Funk and up-tempo Jazz. Why Incognito? Well, going by their medley of backgrounds it really is a band with only one unifying factor: Good Music. Led by the timeless Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick from Mauritius, Incognito boasts having present and past members from diverse backgrounds – sample this; A bass guitarist from Jamaica, Lead vocalists from Sri Lanka, Britain, America and Germany, An Italian drummer, A Jewish Music Director/Keyboard, A Portuguese percussionist and A Scottish trombonist. Phew!
So you can imagine my surprise when I saw the low turn-out to the Sierra Jazz Festival, an issue that was not lost on them either. Thankfully, that did not deter them from dropping on us the audience the mother of all concerts- showcasing their brilliance to the point that they could afford to switch up their whole set by playing a piece with different band members on different instruments from what they usually play. So torn between shooting and enjoying myself I was, that I eventually packed up my gear early and joined the rest at the front of the stage to shake a leg. I figured I had enough pictures plus it was better to be up close to hear the immaculate voices and instruments, while ogling at Imaani.
I can gab on and on about how awesome it was but no words or pictures can do the experience that was justice. Not to mention, the very able Kato Change and his band being the curtain raisers , gave a performance worthy of the ticket itself. he definitely is going places – fast.
On to the select images but before I do, please familiarize yourselves with this unbelievable group of musicians here and sample some of their stuff.
How’dy good folk!
Been ages [again] since I was up in here, it’s almost Christmas! It would be injustice if I didn’t blog at all before the turn of the new year.
On to matters more important, introducing one of the pioneers of Neo Soul, in the flesh, actually regarded as The Queen of Neo Soul, Grammy Award winner, Ericah Abi Wright or better known to us all as Erykah Badu, finally set foot on Kenyan soil. The stage was all set at the Carnivore grounds , with the irony probably not lost on her, considering she’s vegan.
Curtain raised by the exemplary Isaiah Katumwa (backed up by the very able James Jozee of Gogo Simo Band on the keyboard), the audience were almost hushed into awestruck silence as the roller coaster shuttled from the mellow to groovy and back to the mellow tracks. An encore was therefore in order, which got all to their feet, as anticipation of the main event inched towards fever pitch.
Cue in the intermission as the mercurial DJ Adrian and freshly talented DJ Andre tag-teamed to ensure the crowd was kept on it’s toes, dishing out throwback tracks on their wheels of steel, I almost thought I was lost in the ’90s [no pun intended].
Silence. Dimmed lights. Breathless anticipation. Suddenly, a gentle rhythmic beat preceding a medley and crescendo of rhythmic instruments pushed to their limit as the diva of the moment made her grand entrance. And a grand entrance it was! Soaking in the deafening cheers and applause, FatBellyBella took to the stage and struck one of her trademark poses, before preceding to churn out hit after hit off her famous albums “Baduizm“, “Mama’s Gun” with songs such as “Bag lady”, “On and On”, “Appletree”, “Tyrone” and “Didn’tcha know” just to mention a few. So good and long was her performance (almost 2 hours non-stop), that an encore would probably have been overkill.
Needless to say, this concert by Tusker Lite Experience’s books was definitely worthy of being the full-stop in their calendar of events for 2012.
Enough gabbing on, here are my select images [in random order as I get the hang of blogging back]. Enjoy.
It’s been a good few months since I embraced my camera and took pics so I am firstly grateful to my mate David Mutua for coming through to help me break my duck.
This past few weeks, Kenyans and Tanzanians have been treated to the nostalgic roars of thundering engines from classic cars driven by legends in the game, Bjorn Waldegard, Patrick Njiru, Alastair Cavenagh, Ian Duncan – what motor sport isn’t he in??!! among others.
The sumptious motoring treat, traversing areas such as Mombasa, Tsavo, Tanzania, Voi, Athi River to Nakuru served to whet the rally enthusiasts appetites, who by their spectatorship add their voice to the growing demands for the need to reinstate Kenya as one of the choice countries into the World Rally circuit.
Fast forward to the Athi river leg and the venue and conditions were perfect for photography (and driving, I guess). Sharp hair pins, a muddy flat out and scattered muddy puddles all added an extra edge to the scene. Credit to the events organizers for the choice of venue. The security too was up to the task, with a razor-sharp barbed wire rink forming a menacing buffer from potential stray pedestrians – which was good given the nature of driving witnessed. And the classic cars did live up to their ‘classic’ genre. Among those that revved and splattered mud included the all famous Porsche 911, Ford Escort Mark 1 & 2, Ian Duncan’s Ford Capri, Datsun 260Z and 180B. Needless to say, the eye candies were the Porsches.
All in all, it was a very successful leg which ended with welcome news that the main and title sponsors, Kenya Airways have dug deep and bankrolled the event to ensure its continuity for the next THREE years. Good news indeed for the rally fans!!
Enough chatter, on to the pictures. Enjoy!
Hope the week’s started well for you (depending on your time zone – I understand it’s past midday in Aussie)
The week’s started off in chilly fashion, which is a stark contrast to what the weekend was.
The highlight of the weekend for any normal Kenyan must have been/should have been the just concluded KCB Safari Rally. What made this edition more special is that it involved more competitors from far and wide, as the event tries to regain its lost lustre and reclaim it’s stake in the International front of Rallying. The 3 day gruelling event was flagged off on Friday by the President Hon. Mwai Kibaki at KICC grounds, which later moved to the Jamhuri show grounds for a spectacular, spectator show piece.
The weather was almost perfect, though the photographer in me wished it had rained a wee bit to add more drama to the surface. Nonetheless, we were treated to an amazing show of mind boggling driving and stunts, as so happens when man and machine augment. More information on the winners, losers, times posted, etcetera can be found here
Enough with the yap, here’s a sampler of the action. Enjoy.
Another beautiful start to the week this is…(maybe it’s because I woke up before my alarm rang so I had time to switch it off and continue snoozing)
Anywho, this post is a bit ironic because I had planned to put it up on Friday but as is first becoming the trend, I got derailed..(hence I’m putting it up on a Monday morning!)
This post is simply about a random sunset.
What makes sunsets so special for me is not just the beauty of seeing the sun hide behind clouds, but the significance and symbolism it holds. It ushers in the night, a period of rest for all. A time to reflect, shut eyes, switch off and delve into the sub conscious.
Ok the above is me attempting to sound deep. [cue in applause]
The pics below were taken at a venue x that lies deep in the bowels of Nairobi, and it was pretty interesting because of how fast the sun was setting..’twas more of a hide and seek. So my finger was basically on the shutter like a sniper on crack..(ok fine, fill in your own analogy! sheesh!)
And from Taita (Mwatate)..
Happy Nu Year folk! (Is it a New World order yet?)
I again unapologetically apologize for my
laziness..ahem, procrastination in putting up this post. Truth is, much has been going on since the turn of the new year. Good stuff mostly so yeah..be easy, inhale, exhale…I’m alive.
Rewind back to December for just a bit and I was on the road shuttling between Nairobi and Mombasa/Taita for 3 out of the 4 weekends. (I slept into the New Year. How lame is that??!!)
So while I was busy gallivanting left, right and centre, my 2 goals in photography were to shoot the landscape/hillscape of Taita (The Taita, the Better they say. Wise chaps me tells ya) and to shoot portraits of my grandfather.
I unfortunately wasn’t able to get the landscapes I really wanted primarily because of lack of time to just get away, set up and shoot. Was too busy overfeeding and bonding with fam (which is very important – Duh!)
So I was able to chat up me grandpa (maternal) and well I managed to sneak a couple of shots of him, while also getting a few of His grandkids (aka my cousins) in their ‘moments’.
..And it all made me realize when I looked into his eyes and how he just zoned out staring at us making fools of ourselves – Here is a man who has lived his life richly and fully. May God add onto his years.
Enjoy the appetizer.
And last but not least who doesn’t have one of these in their Ocha? [Countryside home]
Just thought I should post this before the Christmas festivities were in full swing.
This is my last post for this year and I saw it befitting to end it on a high.
As many of you (or few of you) know, I’m still a novice blogger and unabashed about that. I like to think that I grew with you my audience, despite it just being 3 months and change.
It’s been a beautiful experience, from the onset when I thought of honing my photography skills to this very moment.
I have been abundantly blessed by many a folk who some deserve special mention.
Firstly to my home boy, a guy I consider a brother actually – David Mutua a.k.a @dipwiz. Here’s a cat who schooled and keeps schooling me in photography. He was photography 101 itself. Mad love bro.
Along the way, I’ve networked, all thanks to #Twitter (the future of social networking and information exchange)
I’ve met gurus in Photography and Blogs who have now become very good friends – Mutua Matheka (@Truthslinger), Steve Kitoto (@SteveKitots), Rags Kanyi (@ragskanyi), Natacha (@natishem), Hiuhu Murimi (@hmurimi), Wendy (@AwinyoPiny), Shuhi (@shuhi), Saitonne (@saitonne), David Sikobe (@skubi), Njeri (@sunnynjeri), Mike (@profkatts), the crazy height-phobic Dee (@dianangila), @wiselar (a.k.a. #1 Fan), …the list is endless. (If you can’t see your name, even me i can’t see it. I blame my decreasing brain cells)
Of course the most important people of this baby here is YOU. You are the numero uno.
Every encouragement, criticism or simple click on the page goes along way to me knowing I’m not wasting my time. Keep me in your prayers and bookmark the site 🙂
Now on to the post (Here is a hanky..after that oh-so-teary moment)..
As we close the year there’s a lot to reflect on. Both positive and negative. I choose to focus on the positive.
There’s just so much to be thankful for in a world of negativity. There’s life, good health, family, friends, beautiful places..all these (OK, not all, most) freely given.
So as we close the year, slap a smile on, laugh, enjoy the season. Carry yourself like the King/Queen you are.
..And let’s gaze into beautiful sunsets as we hope and pray for better days.
And some random select few pics..
As we gaze into the sunset and beyond baby!
And it’s a wrap!
Have a very Merry Christmas and a Fruitful New Year!