We are chilling at the meeting point. Somewhere along Kyuna Crescent. A compound carpeted by a lush greenery and trees of colour. Photgraphers, bloggers, peeps from Squad Digital, Safaricom and Scanad mingle. We are taking part in year’s Capture Kenya project- basically a blogger trails a photographer around different parts of Kenya, and tell stories. The theme is Unexpected Kenya. The idea is to capture the eccentric but progressive cultures, happenings, people etc about the places we are assigned to.
Here is the thing; I have only been to 5 places; Kisumu, Nairobi, Mombasa, Bondo and Siaya. So I am pretty thrilled. Now here comes Safaricom sponsoring us to tell you all the stories from Kiambu Limuru, Githunguri, Muranga, Thika, Garissa, Kibwezi, Sultan Hamoud, Amboseli, Oloitoktok, Namanga, Nairobi, Machakos, Magadi and Kajiado. We have 10 days to do this. I imagine after this I will consider myself to have traveled far and wide.
My photographer, Osborne Macharia of K63 Studios is doing the video interview and we are hanging out with Wanjeri. Breaking bread and ice. Talking about where we will be going. I tell her that she is going to my hometown, Kisumu. If she is lucky, she will be privileged to eat at Kakwacha. My favorite kibanda in the Kisumu stend. Also, if the makangas dont grab her bag and load it onto a matatu going to Nyapiedho or Wich Lum, then she will live.
Then comes this dog. It is fuzzy and so damn huge it appears genetically modified. I don’t know his name. He snoops up behind her and sniffs her derrière while closing its eyes. His lecherous tongue wagging, saliva dripping out of his mouth. I have a bad history with dogs after one bit my brother in the bum when we were kids. I wonder what it is with some dogs and bums. But then again they are dogs, what do you expect?
The air in the compound is expectant. We have no idea what going out there will be like. I am a G, so I am not worried. Just excited. Wanjeri’s hairstyle calms my nerves.
I watch Osborne. Quiet Osborne. Soft spoken Osborne who lets his pictures take over the purpose of his tongue without asking for a referendum. I have checked out his website. A thousand words spoken by hushed photos; coloured, sepia, black and white photos. Pictures with some texture in their stories. They make your breath go on vacation.
Tomorrow we set out. Myself, Osborne, and an illicitly lovely lady called Fortune. See, I have been blessed with meeting a lot of ladies in my life, but I have never met a Fortune anywhere. That is a name that feels at home in your memory.
With a girl named Fortune, a photographer named Osborne and this goon, riddle me this; ‘Who can beat us?’
I am among the last to leave the brief location. That dog is on another chick’s bum. Sniffing. Darkness is crawling in. The promise of adventure is like an invisible smoke of weed. Guys are either giggling or munching. Osborn is gone, to powder his lenses or something. I don’t know, whatever photographers do to get ready. Garissa is in my head. Our first stop. I wonder if I have clean underwear or socks or even life insurance.
I walk past the dog. I wish I knew its name. Sages said these are man’s best friends. Maybe. I think, though, that this John Doe is a friend sniffing around for some benefits.
Photo courtesy of K63 studios, by Osborne Macharia