Recently in Nairobi for a one night only performance, our favorite Kenya-based siblings caught up with rapper, actor, poet, international man of style and social activist Yasiin Bey in an intimate setting in somewhere in the city. Talk about a glut of greatness!
“the month of June has been really good to us.really good!
from the teaser earlier posted this month(scroll down please),yasiin came down to nairobi… and we were fortunate to chill and hang out with him on some occasions…showed him some bits of the nairobi culture…. in conversations and insights shared with him, something that he said really stuck with us…
‘…we have all got some sort of extraordinary skill and unique experiences.specific moments in life…it’s about documenting these experiences in 1st person and sharing them with the world, which makes us blessed in that regard.’ “ -Velma
Matatu crews have earned quite a reputation for their unsavoury
tendencies; from whimsically hiking fares and hurling insults at their
customers at the slightest “provocation” to breaking traffic rules at
Sometimes they have gone as far as assaulting their passengers, or,
worse, throwing them off moving vehicles. Some have even ended up behind
bars for rubbing their customers the wrong way.
This is why the story of one matatu crew plying the Nairobi CBD-Kinoo
route was so awe-inspiring when it made rounds on Facebook on Wednesday
On the evening of the same day, we found out why. At exactly 4:30pm,
Josphat Maina Mwangi’s van drives through the gates of the National
Council for Persons With Disabilities (NCPWD), and Association for the
Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK) offices in Westlands.
This complex probably has more physically challenged people than any
other place in the country. The matatu parks near the foyer.
“They told me how matatus stopped only to drive off after recognising
their state. I asked what time they left work and we agreed that I
would be picking them up at 5pm from work. In the morning they have
scheduled times when I pick each at their gates to take them to work,”
He says he went away thinking about the difficulty they must
experience crossing the busy Waiyaki Way to get to the stage and decided
to dedicate the two trips daily to getting them to their destination.
This, for him, was an opportunity for internal reflection. “I put
myself in that situation and tried to imagine what it would be like
crossing the busy Waiyaki Way on unstable feet and arms supported only
by artificial aids,” he says.
And the following day when he came to pick Okudo and Owuor from work,
much to their surprise, other colleagues too hopped on and that evening
he left with a full matatu of passengers from the two institutions.
“When we picked them up there was even someone on a wheelchair and I
couldn’t imagine how hard it was for him to cross the road, or, worse,
get into a matatu,” he recalls. “And then I decided I was going to walk
with them through their journey, if only to make it easier to get by
during their commute.
When the vehicle is in the garage or when he is engaged elsewhere, Mwangi sends colleagues to pick them up.
But as he acknowledges, he will not just send anybody. “I only ask
colleagues I know are understanding, those whom I know will handle these
clients with dignity.”
In a four-story building on the fringe of Kenya’s capital, “Ninjas” and “Pirates” are working on finding solutions to problems. The young tech entrepreneurs, laptops plastered in stickers, dress casually and sit around big tables, on couches and sometimes on the floor at the iHub, a tech incubation center that has spawned 150 startups and created more than 1,300 jobs. Photographs by Waldo Swiegers.
Mekatilili wa Menza may have been in the freedom struggle scene for a short time, but her contribution in raising the African consciousness among the Giriama people of the Coastal Kenya was immense.
Mekatilili was one of the first women in Kenya to rise up against the British in 1913. Her bravery, oratorical power and charisma earned her a huge following and saw her mobilize the Giriama to take oaths and offer sacrifices to restore their sovereignty.
Initially, her concern was the breakdown of the Giriama culture amid British influence and she pushed for a return to the traditional Giriama governance system. By extension, it created resistance to the authority of the British and the appointed headmen, the latter whom she accused of betraying the Giriama for rewards.
Mekatilili was particularly against the issue of labor recruitment. At the time, the British were putting increasing economic pressure on the Giriama, through taxation, attempts to control trade in palm wine and ivory, and by the recruitment of young men to work on plantations and public works projects.
Mekatilili’s anguish was over the growing disintegration of the Giriama, so she called upon her people to save their sons and daughters from getting lost in the British ways.
While her rebellion lasted for only one year, from 1913 to 1914, it had considerable impact on the relations between the British and the locals.
Despite her exploits, Mekatilili, who died in 1925 at the age of 70, was not recognized among Kenyan freedom fighters until October 20, 2010, the first ‘Mashujaa’ (Heroes) Day, when her statue was unveiled at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi — renamed Mekatilili wa Menza Garden — in her honor.
International Yoga Day was so beautiful over 3000 people turned up to the Nairobi event and the vibes and energy were just so amazing! I’m so grateful to the Hindu community in Kenya for inviting us to join in on this beautiful practice ❤️❤️