Trendsetters! Meet the women who broke the norm and became the first in their careers

Kenya is a beautiful country with beautiful women. Gone are the days where women were considered to only stay at home and do house work. It is now that we see women empowering their fellow women to move up the ladder and do what men are doing and actually do it better.

Below are some of the Kenyan women who became first in their career,

1. Elizabeth Marami

 She is Kenya’s first woman marine pilot after successfully completing five years of intensive training at the prestigious marine training college in Alexandria, Egypt.
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2. Captain Koki Mutungi

 She was the first black female captain of Kenya Airways Dreamliner which took its maiden voyage between Nairobi and Paris.

3. Wanuri Kahiu

She was the first female director of the award winning film“Rafiki” (also known as “Friend”), which marked the very first Kenyan feature film to debut at the the Cannes Film Festival

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4. Alice and Concilia

Kenya’s first female train drivers to debut on Standard Gauge Railway. The drivers beam in their navy blue suits, white shirts and red neck ties as they receive final instructions from their trainers.

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Greener pastures!! Here are Kenyan celebrities who live abroad

It is said that life abroad is not easy because of the different cultures but these celebrities have managed to hack it and are actually living quite well.

Here are some of the celebrities who live abroad:

1. Wendy Kimani

The Kenyan singer, songwriter, actress and entertainer came into prominence after being the first runners-up in the second season of Tusker Project Fame. She relocated to Netherlands where she lives with her husband and son.

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2. Longombas

The group consists of two brothers, Christian and Lovy Longomba. They are both hip hop artists who come from a family background of artistes. They relocated to Califonia USA.

These are the Kenyan celebrities who have children together

3. Moipei Triplets

Moipei Quartet is a gospel musical band that consist of triplets Mary Moipei, Martha Moipei, Magdaline Moipei and a sister Seraphine Settoon Moipei. They relocated to Texas USA and recently graduated with first class honours.

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4. Eddie Gathegi

He is a Kenyan American film, stage, and television actor. He is famous for his role as Laurent in the films Twilight. He relocated to California USA.

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Team natural! Here are your favorite celebrities without makeup (photos)

5. Stella Mwangi aka STL

Stella is a Kenyan singer, songwriter and rapper. She moved to Norway with her family but it wasn’t easy because they faced a lot of discrimination.

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6. Wanjira

She is a media personality who was famously known as a radio presenter with Capital FM. She recently relocated to the USA and she took part in the voting process.

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7. Ian Nene aka Almasi

The famous actor who was featured in the hit TV series ‘Machachari’ relocated to London where he is pursuing his higher studies.

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8. Edith Kimani

She is a famous media personality who recently relocated to Germany. She works at German’s Deutche Welle (DW) as the East African correspondent where she covers East African news  tackling matters of the environment.

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9. Wanuri Kahiu

Kenyan film director, producer, and author has received several awards and nominations for the films which she directed. She relocated to Paris but has been moving around the world with her family because of work.

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Rafiki film producer Wanuri Kahiu files a constitutional petition challenging the decision of the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) and its CEO – Ezekiel Mutua – to ban the film in Kenya

Rafiki film producer Wanuri Kahiu and the Creative Economy Working Group (CEWG) have filed a constitutional petition challenging the decision of the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) and its CEO – Ezekiel Mutua – to ban the film in Kenya.

The petition argues that the ban is against freedom of expression, freedom of artistic creativity and goes beyond the limitations stated in Article 33 (2) of the Constitution of Kenya.

On April 26 th 2018, the Board’s CEO notified Wanuri Kahiu of the Board’s decision to censor the film Rafiki as she declined to remove what it defined as offensive classifiable elements.

As filmmakers, creatives and story tellers we believe in the intrinsic value of our work. We believe that freedom of expression is the cornerstone of any democracy.

The unreasonable and unjustifiable censorship of films infringes on our rights of freedom of expression and freedom of the media as enshrined and guaranteed in the Constitution of Kenya.

The right to freedom of expression has been anchored in regional and international human rights instruments signed and ratified by Kenya such as Article 19 of the Universal.

Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights which Kenya is obligated to respect, promote and fulfil.

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The petitioners are challenging 12 sections of the Film and Stage Plays Act and the Kenya Film and Classification Board Classification Guidelines, 2012.

“These sections criminalize free expression through film, limit freedom of film makers to seek, receive or impart
information or ideas, restrict freedom of artistic creativity and limit freedom of expression.

Sections of the Films and Stage Plays Act, CAP 222 are a threat to free speech and media freedom. They limit the freedom of artists to impart information and restrict freedom of
artistic creativity.”

The petitioners also want the application to suspend the respondents’ decision to restrict the film pending hearing and determination of the petition.

Under a Certificate of Urgency, the petitioners want the Court to grant a Conservatory Order allowing the lifting of the ban.

This is to enable the Oscars Selection Committee Kenya to consider the film for entry to the Academy for the Best Foreign Language Film category
award at the 2019 Oscars.

Without lifting the ban the film cannot be considered for selection. The entries close on 30 th September, 2018.On the issue of the Oscars, Wanuri adds

“This isn’t about me personally. It’s about the freedom for all industry players to tell the stories they want to tell and not to be censored.
The world is quickly becoming a village and the film industry is worth more than USD 30 billion globally. The opportunities for more Kenyans especially the youth to participate in this sector is immense.We should not let colonial laws stop us from achieving this.”

The petition which was filed on Tuesday 11th September awaits conservatory orders as the Judge gives the other parties the chance to respond.
At a court hearing today, Justice Wilfrida Okwany ordered that KFCB be served and all parties to appear before her on Friday 14th September for directions.
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16 female celebs featured on Vogue with the cool girl’s guide to Nairobi

 

 

Vogue Magazine  has featured several female Kenyans in it’s latest issue, who give us a guide to Nairobi.

In an aeticle Vogue says these sixteen are the city’s most stylish powerhouses who are combining passion with purpose, and consider them your guides to the best places in town.

Wanuri Kahiu, filmmaker

She got a standing ovation at the Cannes Film festival for her movie Rafiki. She has since achieved numerous recognition, and according to Vogue, here are her cool places in Nairobi.

Her spot: “The GoDown is full of artist studios creating amazing work and Afrobubblegum art, which has joy and hope at the center of it. It’s an incredibly inspiring place to be. You are surrounded by some of Kenya’s best artists all in one space.”

Cafe select: “Tin Roof Cafe in Karen has fresh juice, cocktails, and great vegan food. I always do the salad bar and bunless vegetarian burger.

Going live: “Check out live events like Life in The Single Lane by Patricia Kihoroor a live recording of ‘The Spread’ podcast by Kaz, hands down best way to spend an evening.”

Fashion fix: “Deepa Dosaja and Katungulu Mwendwa clothing, worn with Ambica Shah accessories.”

Wild life: “Driving through the Nairobi National Park and staying at Emakoko, the gem of a lodge inside the park.”

If she were mayor: “I would cover public spaces with roadside exhibitions of art, increase access to cultural events, and I would encourage freedom of expression and support artists in their quest to create.”

Weekend getaway: “Diani beach, my favorite place on earth.”

Musician and actor Sam Mugatsia

She made her debut in the movie Rafiki, by Kenyan filmaker Wanuri Kahiu above.

Must-try: “Zucchini green grocers in the Village Mall for Madafu baby coconut water with key lime.”

Fashion fix: “Nyeks is an illustrator and clothing designer I currently have been rocking. I also like the hats from creative collective Bongosawa, which means ‘like-minds’”

Local style: “It’s in our culture to dress up on Friday, not knowing what kind of party we’ll go to, but the whole crew has to look fresh.”

Key Kenyan trait: “Waiting until the impending doom of a deadline to act on something.”

If she were mayor: “I would improve on garbage collection, disposal community recycling, find a way to accommodate hawkers without increasing traffic/insecurity, create designated bicycle lanes, increase skate parks, playgrounds and tree cover in town however possible.”

Wild life: “Get up early and do a forest hike at Oloolua or Ngong Hills.”

Actor and filmmaker Sheila Munyiva

As Rafiki’s enigmatic co-star, Munyiva has the kind of rare beauty and talent that signal big things are to come. Not content solely gracing the screen, she’s currently training as a director and producer, with her first short film in the works. She also recently scripted and directed a Kenyan children’s program “The Krazy Kool Show” for ZUKU.

Go explore: “I like going to Kitengela Glass to watch the artisans make glass sculptures as well as walk around their beautiful property to find little hidden glass gems and art pieces.”

Cafe select: “Crave Kitchen. I order a plate of ugali and sukumawiki with a side of guacamole. This meal is the staple of our Kenyan runners—and we all know how well we do at the Olympics.”

Going live: “The Alchemist in Westlands is one of my favorite places. There’s always live music and it’s a great place to listen to underground and established artists. The vibe is always electric.”

Sound off: “It’s so wonderful to see how Kenyan women are taking a front seat and becoming vocal and unapologetic in what they do. There’s been an increase of women embracing their African beauty.”

Pro-tip: “Get MPESA, a local mobile phone-based money transfer service. It’s convenient because everyone accepts it and safe because you don’t have to carry money.”

Wild life: “The Giraffe Manor has to be my favorite. If you stay at their hotel, you get to have meals with Rothschild giraffes. They normally poke their heads through the windows at breakfast time and as a guest you get to interact with them.”

Model, agency founder, and philanthropist Ajuma Nasanyana

 

In a culture where skin bleaching is still practiced, this model, or rather, role model, has become a national symbol for natural beauty. After walking the runways from Alexander McQueen to Vivienne Westwood, she recently returned home and opened her own agency, Ajuma Limited (she’s pictured here at her headquarters), which seeks to increase African representation in fashion. Her search for models even extends to Kakuma, Africa’s second-largest refugee camp, through her project Beauty Without Borders.

Her spot: “My offices. As a former Victoria’s Secret model, I have experienced first-hand the excitement and media buzz that show generates. With a rapidly growing and highly aspirational urban market spurring me on, I am launching Kenya’s first African lingerie fashion spectacular, Afrodisiac, on October 27. It will raise funds for our 2019 Beauty Without Borders project.”

Must visit: “Bomas of Kenya, which displays recreations of traditional villages belonging to the several Kenyan tribes.”

Weekend getaway: “Try to visit more exotic areas of Kenya like Turkana, where I am from.”

Chief Kenyan trait: “I was The Kenyan National 400m champion in 2003.”

Wild life: “Visiting our adopted baby elephant at the Sheldrick, picnics at Paradise lost and walks at the Aboretum or Karura forest.”

Fashion fix: “KikoromeoKidosho, Trendy B and Yvonne Afro Street. They make amazing looks with that beautiful modern African touch. The Maasai Marketcraftsmen and women also make beautiful, vibrant accessories that I love to wear and gift to friends and family abroad.”

Night spot: “Mercury Lounge. The music cuts across board which makes it fun for everyone, and the crowd is a great mix of locals, expats and visitors.”

Education development consultant Niccola Milnes

 

A Canadian expat who has called Nairobi home for the past seven years, Milneshas overseen the building of local libraries across Kenya, stocking them with a curated collection of local authors and international thought leaders. “I am currently working on groundbreaking research using fiction as a tool to prevent violence. It’s exciting because I’ve been able to show that reading can be a simple and cost-effective way to reduce extremism, in any country.”

Her spot: “The office of Knowledge Empowering Youth. I helped build their trademark program, which designs and donates libraries for government schools in Kenya, and then uses the libraries as a platform for democracy and peace. The book collection there is always different depending on the project you are working on.”

Dine out: “La salumeria, in Valley Arcade. I always end up ordering the eggplant parmesan; on the cooler Nairobi evenings it’s perfect with a glass of red wine.”

Culture club: “Circle Art Gallery. I’ve slowly been building up a collection of East African artists discovered there. My current obsessions are Patrick Kinuthia and Donald Wasswa.”

Shop talk: “Diana Opoti’s store is out of this world if you want to discover African designers. Go hunting for textiles on Biashara Street. I am currently obsessed with designing furniture for my home in Vermont.”

Wild life: “Karura forest, followed by brunch at the River Cafe. Also, Sirikoi Lodgein Laikipia. It’s heaven on earth and completely eco friendly.”

Fashion designer and social activist Anyango Mpinga

 

Through her eponymous label, the half-Tanzanian Mpinga creates not just striking clothing, but a pressing dialogue that addresses stereotypes of African prints, and questions overconsumption through season-less collections. This dynamo is also the founder of Free As A Human, an anti-human trafficking initiative which counts Gloria Steinem as a supporter and rallies to end the sexual exploitation of young girls, the use of child labor and modern slavery. Check out her t-shirts here.

Her spot: “The Tribe Hotel (pictured) was founded on the principle of inclusivity. Their belief that unity is the foundation of a prosperous world is something that speaks to my values as a Baha’i. I love visiting their Jiko restaurant for meetings. I order the ginger salmon and coconut rice in banana leaf.”

Shop talk: “If you’re looking for a special piece you won’t find anywhere else, visit the Erika A. Style Store. It was started by a stylist who worked for Louis Vuitton.”

Art scene: “Check out Paa Ya Paa, Kenya’s oldest indigenous arts centre, currently directed by renowned artist Elimo Njau.”

Weekend getaway: “Nothing beats a trip to Lamu Island on the North Coast of Kenya. It is a former slave port which carries with it a rich history and beautiful architecture with its centuries old settlements. I love that there are no cars on the island.”

State of affairs: “People are supporting local brands more. There was a time when Kenyans wouldn’t go near anything that was made in Kenya because they assumed the quality and standards wouldn’t be good. However, in the past few years there has been a great shift.”

Stylist, television personality, and retailer Annabel Onyango

 

As one of Nairobi’s most influential tastemakers, Onyango uses her multimedia platforms to highlight Kenyan design talent. Originally from Ivory Coast and raised in Zimbabwe, with stints in England and Canada, she brings her worldly eye and passion for promoting African design to Republi.ke, her new multi-brand boutique dedicated to locally-made fashion. “After I had a baby, I threw out all my old clothes and set myself a goal to rebuild my closet with mostly Kenyan brands.”

Her spot: “Tribal Gallery is a furniture, art, and design haven. Shopping here is like going to visit the home of your friend who has superb taste and being allowed to take things home with you. Owner Louise Patterson travels the world sourcing exquisite things. She will give you a glass of wine and let you chill with her dogs. It’s one of the most inspired places in Nairobi. The in-house artisans also create custom furniture from old boats sourced from the Kenyan coast.”

Cafe select: “Wasp & Sprout is a family-owned coffee house, brunch spot, and artsy shop. Most Sundays we’ll stroll over there for the spinach and mushroom omelette and a couple of mimosas, and a look around the shop for stuff to style our house.”

Night moves: “J’s in Westlands hosts live Kenyan music on Thursday night, showcasing local sounds, from traditional to more urban. It’s a converted colonial manor house with a large outdoor area. After the live music stops, the DJ takes over, so the dancing continues until very late like most Nairobi nights.”

Eco find: “Ocean Sole make children’s products from discarded flips flops recovered from beaches and dumpsites. It employs local craftsmen, allowing them to provide for their families while alleviating marine pollution by recycling hundreds of tons of flip flop rubber waste every year. The art of transforming trash into sculpture is something Kenyans do very well.”

Must-visit: “Every Sunday, the K1 Flea Market hosts brunch and live music and is a popular spot to shop emerging local artisans and fashion brands.”

Nairobi myth: “I think Westerners have this vision of Kenya as politically insecure, on the brink of civil conflict, or teeming with terrorists, which isn’t at all accurate. We have no more of these things as any other major city in the world. We strive for the same things everyone else does—peace and prosperity.”

If she were mayor: “Women need more maternal support—resources, information, healthcare and benefits like longer maternity leave and subsidized baby care products. Mothers need workplaces that protect their right to care for their babies by providing daycare centers or flexible hours. More female representation in government is necessary.”

Fashion retailer and brand strategist Diana Opoti

 

Opoti’s store, Designing Africa Collective at the Village Market (pictured), is a compelling ode to the region’s buzziest labels and emerging lines, which customers are prone to shop directly from her daily Instagram looks. With glamour in spades, Opoti is a champion for design talent across Africa and consultant for foreign brands looking to enter the Kenyan market.

Art crawl: “Visit One Off and Circle Art Galleries for their curation of top East African artists, and always discover new names.”

Fashion fix: “A favorite new name is Kepha Maina. Also, you have to check out Anyango Mpinga, Katungulu Mwendwa, and Ami Shah.”

Dine out: “Zen Garden’s Bamboo restaurant for their pan-Asian cuisine and scenery.”

State of affairs: “Nairobi is growing rapidly. I love the tech innovations, but worry about the quick real estate growth without strategic urban planning and the city water supply. I’d love to see more recreation centers and parks as well as better waste management.”

Weekend getaway: “For a quick day trip, drive up to Naivasha and have lunch at the Ranch House Bistro. I love the beach. And for longer breaks, I’d recommend the Majlis in Lamu or Hemingway’s in Malindi.”

Angela Wachuka book publisher and Wanjiru Koinange writer

 

Meet Nairobi’s most ambitious culture curators. The Tokyo-born Wachuka’sbackground is in publishing some of Africa’s leading literary voices, while Koinange is a writer, arts programmer, and podcaster. Together, they co-founded Book Bunk, an organization that restores and repurposes some of Nairobi’s oldest libraries and installs new ones in public spaces.

Their spot: “The McMilan Memorial Library (pictured) is our newest labor of love,” says Wachuka. “It was opened in 1931 and has somehow remained trapped in the past. We’re transforming this space into a modern library and a public arts center.”

Lunch spot: “Roasted Truth at the co-working space Ikigai. The grilled cheese, salad and soup combo is the perfect lunch, and they also make the best coffee in town,” says Koinange. “The goat pepper soup at Valley Arcade’s Mama Ashanti is a staple, “ says Wachuka.

Going live: “The Elephant on Kanjata Road for concerts. I will also go anywhere the Too Early for Birds crew are putting on shows. They bring history alive in breathtaking ways, exploring everything from newspaper headlines to Kenyan idioms,” says Wachuka.

Fashion fix: “Angelsmile House of Design—Wambui Kibue creates such masterpieces. Check out Kiondos, which are handwoven baskets made from sisal and wool, my favorite Kenyan-made accessory,” says Koinange.

Kenyan pride: “Right now, Rafiki, a groundbreaking film by Wanuri Kahiu,” says Koinange. “Our athletes bring me tremendous pride. They excel against so many odds,” adds Wachuka.

State of affairs: “There’s something shifting about the way that Nairobians are imagining their city and I am thrilled to be among the people who are concerned about the utility of public spaces,” says Koinange. “On the flip side, our creative economy is under the threat of unreasonable and uninformed censorship. This is worrying.”

If they were mayor: “We’d would institute a regeneration plan focused on the city’s arts and culture as not only channels for public consumption, but key drivers of an economy whose demographics are mostly young and who more than ever consider the arts as a viable career path,”says Wachuka.

Jewelry designer and brand consultant Gladys Macharia

 

While her bespoke jewelry label Loyangalani has a cult following in Kenya, the Florence-trained designer is equally in demand with international labels seeking to manufacturer artisanal products in East Africa. She’s a key connector between artisans, ethically-aware brands, and a diverse group of the city’s creative class.

Her spot: “The home of Dodo Cunningham Reid, a friend and mentor known for her impeccable style. She is a woman of many talents, best known for interior design and her magical boutique hotel in Naivasha called Hippo Point. She has been a driving force in my life.”

Go explore: “My favorite part of the city is downtown. I am lucky as a majority of the stone merchants and gold smiths I work with are based there. There is lots of quirky buildings and you see the real hustlers of Nairobi. Watching them go about their work inspires anyone.”

Fashion fix: “I’m currently working with a wonderful brand called Ubuntu. We recently launched the first ever African customizable shoe called the Afridrille, using locally sourced spun cotton canvas, the best of Kenyan leather and beautiful bead work embellishments developed by Masai women.”

Dine out: “Talisman. Try the Nyati wings and feta coriander samosas, and don’t forget the dessert. My brother John Bond Macharia just took over as the new pastry chef from his stint at Faviken in Sweden.”

Must-see: “Our countless beautiful sunsets, so there is always an excuse to have a sundowner, our classic gin and tonic cocktail. They make a great one at The Giraffe Manor, and the experience can’t be beat.”

Fashion designer Katungulu Mwendwa

 

Her sophisticated collection has developed a following so loyal that Mwendwaenlists bicycle couriers to whip around town delivering her latest creations to clientele. With her unfussy designs gaining traction abroad, she’s focused on expanding her business internationally.

Her spot: “Mama Rocks Burgers is such an energy-filled spot! The space has an afro-pop kind of vibe going on and the food is a yummy mix of your gourmet burgers in flavors. I also like to work from there.”

Night out: “Brew Bistro is known for brewing its own beer, The Big Five. It’s a fun dancing spot.”

Pro-tip: “Be patient and open minded to the possibility of cosmically-imposed spontaneity and unpredictability. This will help you in all aspects of your experience here, from the weather, to traffic and people. Every day feels like a little adventure and you won’t want to leave.”

Must-try: “An apple mango. Although its probably not only native to here and isn’t always in season! When ripe, it’s the yummiest fruit ever.”

Shop talk: “The Made in Kenya home and fashion store at the Yard in Westlands is a really exciting. They carry a ton of really cool local brands.”

Cafe society: “Crave Kitchen. Try the Kienyeji tea (similar to chai) and a mandazi pastry.”

Jewelry designer Ami Doshi Shah

Shah grew up on the go, moving from Oman to the U.S. and U.K. before returning to her native Kenya. Since launching her I AM I brand three years ago, she’s has emerged as an accessory standout. Her outsized pieces inspired by tribal talismans are handmade in her Nairobi studio space and by-appointment boutique (pictured). She was recently selected by the British Fashion Council to present at an upcoming London Fashion Week’s International Fashion Showcase.

Go explore: “DuBois Street, where you’ll find the West African Market, a house with multiple rooms around a central courtyard. Each room has an array of West African antiques and textiles from intricately beaded Yoruba Chairs to indigo Mali mud cloth. There are no price tags, so be prepared to have an approximate budget in mind before you start bargaining.”

Pro-tip: “While distances in Nairobi are not that great, traffic can be grueling. Give yourself enough time to get around and always overestimate how long it will take to reach places.”

Shop talk: “Ichyulu.com is a beautifully curated online store for Pan African fashion, and Saba Furniture Company based in Lamu.”

Guilty Pleasure: “The Sno Cream ice cream parlor is a real treat.”

Makeup artist Sinitta Akello

 

As one of Kenya’s most in-demand makeup artists, the Uganda-born Akello has a uniquely personal take on beauty, influenced by her diverse upbringing all over Africa and in England. With her natural, skin-first approach, she worked on most of the women in this story.

Her spot: “Kuona artist collective. I have a studio here and love the space because of all the inspiration I get from my fellow creatives. I use it to come up with unique makeup looks.”

Lunch pick: “The Arbor is amazing. I always order something different, but try their wontons.”

Fashion fix: “Check out M+K Nairobi, a contemporary brand by Muqqadam Latif and Keith Macharia. It’s modern African chic.”

Shop talk: “The Natural Beauty Bar for Kenyan-made clean beauty products.”

Must-see: “Masai Market is so dope. You can find some real gems there. When I lived in England and took trips back home, it was the one place I always had to make sure I reached before getting back on the plane.”

Musician Muthoni Drummer Queen

 

This rapper, singer, and drummer fuses her upbeat dancehall with feminist manifestos. A popular figure on the Kenyan music scene, she also has an international following and is currently on tour in Europe in support of her latest album #SHE. And with her ever-changing, day-glo hair, indeed she’s hard to miss.

Her spot: “The Nairobi Railway Museum. It’s smack in the middle of downtown. All the old trains no longer in use transport me back to an imaginary time. Its also super cool that a lot of these carriages are now occupied by visual artists with great studios and galleries.”

Go explore: “My favorite part of the city to go exploring is Karen. There are lots of boutiques, restaurants, galleries and artisanal spaces.”

Lunch pick: “TamuTamu, which means delicious. It’s a Swahili food spot. I almost always order biriani or fish in coconut sauce.”

On Live: “The Alliance Francaise. I’ve watched a lot of great theatre, poetry, contemporary dance and live music there.”

Fashion fix: “My favorite is Bongosawa for everyday streetwear. Their minimalist, unisex designs and excellent graphics makes it super cool. Sandstorm and Nyakanboth make excellent travel bags. Own Your Culture are amazing at accessories.”

Key Kenyan trait: “I often say ‘Me, I’ That’s a truly Kenyan way to start a sentence.”

Local style: “Living in Kenya and being of modest means has made a lot of us rely on secondhand clothes because we don’t have a textiles industry so we don’t make our own clothes at mass scale. To look good, I had to develop my own aesthetic through curated thrifting. I recommend the Toi Market. When these thrifted items are mixed in with locally produced products, it makes for really quirky, individual style.”

Must-try: “My Nairobi guilty pleasure is the street food. Nothing beats a boiled egg with some spicy salsa after a night out.”

Creative director Velma Rossa

 

Rossa is one-half of 2ManySiblings, a creative collective with her brother, Oliver Asike, concerned with exploring new African narratives in fashion and art. The striking pair (definitely worth a follow on their joint Instagram) recently worked with ASOS on a Made in Kenya collection.

Lunch spot: “Haru for the fresh crab sushi.”

Pro-tip: “Learn bits of the local language Swahili. It comes in handy with the traders in the markets. But be prepared to tolerate the dust there as well.”

Must-try: “Kericho Gold for their elegant flavors and blends of tea.”

Key Kenyan trait: “Put simply, I am a non-conformer.”

If she were mayor: “[We need] beautifully painted buildings with murals to have a city that would visually inspire and stimulate all senses.”

Weekend getaway: “Cycling in Naivasha’s Hell’s Gate. There are bikes for rent and the routes there are quite gorgeous.”

Akothee’s daughter nominated for best model of the year in annual Diaspora Awards

Days after Akothee stated that hustling lanes have no traffic, her daughter Rue has been nominated for an award by the lavish DEAR Awards to be held in Texas.

The Diaspora Entertainment Awards and Recognition(DEAR)  which is in its fourth year, honour individuals and entities for their relentless efforts in furthering the development and unity of our people in the diaspora.

‘There is no traffic in hustling lanes, choose your own lane’ advices Akothee

Rue is not only a model but also the face of Nivea, a role she greatly played with pride, inspite of backlash by petty Kenyans who thought that she did not deserve that role.

Akothee took to her Instagram to announce the good news of her daughter being nominated for the awards urging people to vote while reminiscing on how she never thought that her daughter would turn out this good. She wrote

“Waking up to God’s blessings @rue.baby from Rongo to the World , go my baby go , VOTE @rue.baby BEST MODEL OF YEAR @Dearawards , Well , I did your visas before you became a professional model thinking of just travelling with you the World, but now you travelling for good & better reasons , My daughter just do what you are good at doing , you never know who is watching , congratulations on your nominations POWER OF MANIFESTATION”

Kenyan film director Wanuri Kahiu invited to become member of Oscars Academy

This seems to be a good year for some Kenyan. Kenyan-born actress Lupita Nyongo is on the list of celebrities to be honored with a star on the Hollywood of Fame.

The high profile activity has been slated for 2019, and also on the list include actor/producer Tyler Perry, Terrence Howard, Guillermo del Toro, Lucy Liu, Cedric the Entertainer and many more.

Wanuri Kahiu the movie director of Rafiki” joins top Hollywood personalities to become members of the movie Academy. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has invited a record number of new members, extending invites to 928 people and Wanuri is among the 928 people invited.

These ladies above are proof that being a woman does not limit you from achieving your dreams rather it pushes you to work harder to prove to the world that women and girls literally run the world.

Here are photos of Akothee’s daughter doing what she loves most (Modelling).

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Kenyan film director Wanuri Kahiu invited to become member of Oscars Academy

The organization that oversees the Oscars has set it’s sights on a Kenyan making boss moves.

‘Rafiki” movie producer Wanuri Kahiu joins top Hollywood personalities to become members of the movie Academy.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has invited a record number of new members, extending invites to 928 people.

Kenyan film ‘Rafiki’ director Wanuri Kahiu gets a standing ovation at Cannes festival

Wanuri has accepted has accepted the invite, and announced it on social media.

She wrote;

According to Variety, Some of the big-name actors include Daniel KaluuyaMindy KalingTiffany HaddishKumail Nanjiani, Blake Lively, Amy Schumer, Dave Chappelle, Miles Teller, Randall Park, Daisy Ridley, Timothee Chalamet, Hong Chau, Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Blake Lively, Regina Hall, Rashida Jones, Lily James, Lily Collins, Chloe Grace Moretz, Olivia Munn, Kal Penn, Pedro Pascal, Amber Tamblyn, Damon Wayans, Gina Rodriguez, Sarah Silverman, Jada Pinkett Smith, Evan Rachel Wood, and Amandla Stenberg.

Also read more here

 

Music Review: The Soundtrack for Wanuri Kahiu’s Rafiki movie is out (MUST LISTEN)

The first ever Kenyan film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival which ran from May 8th to the 19th.

The film has been banned in Kenya but that hasn’t stopped the world from appreciating Kenyan talent. It’s writer/producer Wanuri Kahiu jetted back home this past weekend after a whirlwind time in Paris.

The soundtrack features Muthoni Drummer Queen, Chemutai Sage, Blinky Bill and a host of other talent.

“Rafiki” was inspired by the 2007 Caine Prize winner, Monica Arac de Nyeko’s “Jambula Tree,” which chronicled a story of two girls in love in Uganda. The filmmaker added that “making a film about two women in love set in Kenya, means challenging deep rooted cynicism about same sex relationships among actors, crew, friends, and family.”

The Kenyan filmmaker also noted that her film is “a story about all that is good and difficult about being in love, so that for those fortunate moments we are lifted above our prejudices.”

The film is Kahiu’s second feature film, following her 2009 drama “From a Whisper.” Her 2010 sci-fi short “Pumzi” screened at Sundance in 2010.

Also read more here

Rafiki writer-director Wanuri Kahiu sings with Gotham Group

Is she gearing up to go worldwide? Kenyan movie producer Wanuri Kahiu has caught the eye of a top Hollywood management, film and television company.

Wanuri Kahiu is the brains behind Rafiki, a movie about a lesbian encounter, that has been banned by KFCB.

Rafiki (which means “friend” in Swahili), tells the story of Kena and Ziki — both considered “good” Kenyan girls destined to become “good” Kenyan wives who both long for something more. Despite the political rivalry between their families, the girls resist and remain close friends, supporting each other to pursue their dreams in a conservative society. When love blossoms between them, they are forced to choose between happiness and safety.

When it was banned in Kenya, KFCB tweeted: “Anyone found in its possession will be in breach of law.” Under national law there, gay sex carries a 14-year jail sentence. Despite the ban, it found international distribution through Orange Studios and MPM Premium.

“Wanuri Kahiu is a prodigiously talented and brilliant woman,” said Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, founder and CEO of The Gotham Group. “As an advocate for Africans, especially young women, Wanuri has established herself as a major cultural force. That she refused to edit Rafiki in any way to avoid the Kenyan ban is a testament to Wanuri’s courage and commitment to her creative vision.”

Her short sci-fi film, Pumzi, which she wrote and produced, is a haunting parable about a world without water, It screened at Sundance in 2010, won the Venice Film Festival’s “Award of the City of Venice,” and was named best short film at Cannes in 2010.

“In our difficult times, and I say this despite the serious themes in much of my work, I also believe film – and television – needs images of joy and frivolity as well,” said Kahiu. “My hope is that the whole dimension of the human spirit, in Africa and around the world, be reflected in my work.”

Kahiu is also the co-founder of Afrobubblegun, a media company that supports, creates and commissions fun, fierce and playful African art.

Courtesy deadline 

Kenyan film ‘Rafiki’ director Wanuri Kahiu gets a standing ovation at Cannes festival

The Kenyan film ‘Rafiki’ is a love story of two women and is the first ever to premiere at the prestigious festival in France.

The film premiered yesterday at the Cannes Film festival even after being banned by the KFCB claiming that it will promote homosexuality.

The filmmaker and director Wanuri Kahiu and the two stars Samantha Mugatsia and Sheila Munyiva were overwhelmed as they received a standing ovation last night at the Cannes festival.

Even after being slapped with the ban, Rafiki will receive some international arthouse play.

Kenyans are showing support, love and appreciation to their own stars.

Check out these positive comments the film is getting both locally and internationally.

Queer: Girls from my country did that!! And to actually think it was banned for the notion that it’s promoting homosexuality. The kind of thought process that went into that is appalling. Since when was sexual orientation influenced by what we see. Congrats to the girls.

Ashlee Preston: Let’s be specific…they’re applauding BLACK lesbians (women) and it is such a beautiful thing to watch.

Shalom: This is really awesome!

Mikael Smith: Look at these fabulous women! This is the Kenyan film I mentioned – first to play in competition at Cannes!

Lucy Bruton: That is DELIGHTFUL!

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The banned Kenyan film ‘Rafiki’ is premiering today at the Cannes Film Festival

The ‘Rafiki’ Kenyan film is set to premier today at the Cannes Film festival in France despite it being banned in Kenya.

Kenyan authorities banned the LGBT love story last month on 27th saying that they believe that it will promote lesbianism in the country.

Kenyan film director Wanuri Kahiu expressed her disappointment, saying they have received lots of backlash from people yet the film has not been aired yet.

To her it was just a story that was beautifully written and was turned to a film. It was an artistic expression.

Despite that, Wanuri and her team will still attend the premier at the Cannes Film festival.

She posted this on her social media account,

That #WaCannesDa glow! Today we start press and a pre-screening for @rafiki_movie. So excited to share the 💗 in this film! #AfriCannes #rafiki.”

It is unfortunate that the Kenyan authorities are banning a film that is the first ever Kenyan feature film to be invited to Cannes.

The best thing they can to is to rate it as 18 and above and allow adults to watch and have their own opinion since it is something that is occurring in our country.

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Watch the lesbian love story film ‘Rafiki’ that has been banned. Wanuri reacts

The film ‘Rafiki’, which means friend in Swahili. It is a love story of two women and is the first ever Kenyan film to premiere at the prestigious festival in France.

On Friday (April 27), Kenyan authorities announced the ban of the film and said in a tweet that anyone found in its possession will be in breach of law, referring to a colonial-era Kenyan law under which gay sex is punishable by 14 years in jail.

They believe that it will promote lesbianism in the country.

The filmmaker and director Wanuri Kahiu, has confirmed the banned in a conversation she had with her assistant expressing her disappointments and the main reason she took that angle on the film.

“Many believed in the film and they felt it was a reflection of society and that it felt that these things were things that were happening in the community and we absolutely agree with that statement. We know that there are, there is an LGBT community in Kenya, however our space as artists it to be able to tell stories. This was just a story. It was taken from the book ‘Jambula Tree’, which was a Caine prize winner in 2007. We adapted a book, an East Africa book into film. That was our role, as filmmakers as creatives it is our constitutional right to be able to express ourselves freely.Once the film was announced that it was invited to Cannes Film festival as the first Kenyan feature film, we got lots of support, we got lots of support, the Ministry of Sports and Culture tweeted about it, the Kenya Film Commission have continued to be very supportive of us and are even supporting financially, us going to Cannes Film Festival – so we have that support behind us. Unfortunately because of the recent banning we are getting backlash, that is… first, it’s not accurate, because nobody has seen the film. Now we have lots of opinions about a film that nobody has seen and that has been banned.”

She also pointed out that how she doesn’t understand them banning her film yet they content that is taboo in Africa is played.

“We watch international content, some of that content has things that we find taboo here. But we still are able to watch it, we are still able to say, we liked it or we didn’t like it, we have an opinion or we don’t have an opinion and that’s all we are asking for our film, is that not everybody… you don’t have to watch it. We were asking for an 18 rating so that adults can come watch the film, have a conversation about what was happening in the film and take it from there.”That is what we had hoped. Unfortunately the film was banned. Our film is just a film. We were not making it to challenge anything. We were making it as a film. Just to say, this is a story that was beautifully written and now we are making it into a film. It was an artistic expression. That is what we intended to do as a result of the film and we also intended to make a love story because its just high time, it’s really, really is high time that we spend as must of our energy talking about about the love that exists in Kenya and on the continent as all the other subjects that we talk about. We spend a lot of time talking about devastation war disease, its high time we started talking about love.”

The ban coincides with a landmark case brought by gay rights campaigners to repeal Kenya‘s law on gay sex on the grounds that it deprives sexual minorities of basic rights.

However, activists say the ban would only promote interest in the movie.

Watch the trailer

-Reuters

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#Cannes2018: Kenyan film ‘RAFIKI’ banned in Kenya

A Kenyan lesbian love story captured in a movie called Rafiki has unfortunately been banned in Kenya.

The Kenyan woman behind the movie, Wanuri Kahiu, has confirmed details of this move by Kenyan authorities.

Kenyan film-maker Wanuri Kahiu’s film to premier at Cannes film festival

On the film’s website, it’s billed as a love story between its female leads. Per the official synopsis, “Kena and Ziki long for something more. Despite the political rivalry between their families, the girls resist and remain close friends, supporting each other to pursue their dreams in a conservative society. When love blossoms between them, the two girls will be forced to choose between happiness and safety.”

The Kenyan filmmaker also added that her film is “a story about all that is good and difficult about being in love, so that for those fortunate moments we are lifted above our prejudices.”

The film is Kahiu’s second feature film, following her 2009 drama “From a Whisper.” Her 2010 sci-fi short “Pumzi” screened at Sundance in 2010. Check out IndieWire’s exclusive trailer for “Rafiki” below.