Perhaps influenced by Shonda Rhimes’ TED talk (I am yet to get the book), I promised myself that I’d make a point of saying yes to more things and just try new stuff at least once. I did, for a while. But not too consistently. Talents of Nairobi caught me in one of those inconsistent spots.
Talents of Nairobi is a Moses Obanda’s personal project. The essence of it is that he profiles Nairobi’s creatives and follows it up with beautiful portraits, or rather, the creatives write the profiles and Moses matches them with some bomb photos. When he’s not framing creatives, Moses is a travel and landscape photographer.
In January, right after the last installment of Too Early For Birds, Moses approached the cast and crew of the show, via one of the co-founders. As exciting as the Talents of Nairobi project sounded, I opted to seat it out. No solid reason. Just, No. But the universe wasn’t done with this story.
A few weeks later, I got a DM on my Instagram from Talents of Nairobi. I couldn’t say no twice. It felt like I would be knocking down their hustle.
So I wrote my profile, emptied as much of myself as 150-300 words can bare, on a weekday, at fifteen minutes to 7pm. Moses came through to Ikigai on a random morning and in between me throwing my hands in the air (like DJs are always asking us to) he got a couple good shots. He had no idea that I am in any way involved with Too Early For Birds so when I explained why I turned down the initial group request I was snitching on myself. Yikes.
My Dad calls me Nyambura and Nyambra when he is mad. My mother calls me Nyambura Ngugi, after my byline while I am ‘sissy’ to my sister, Kabura to my brother, Tata to my niece and Veon to my friends; V to the really close ones and theVeon to humans of the internet. I have trouble answering the question, ‘Who are you?’. What makes a person? The things they do for a living or just the things they do? I do a lot… I laugh hard, till my cheeks ache and the insides of my stomach feels like fire. I love harder, but lately, intentionally and with a lot of devotion. I love people and things, not in equal measure but still… Writing is the love of my life and perhaps that makes sense because I went to uni to learn how to write, quite literally. So I have written; for a magazine, for online publications, for the stage, for my blog, and that one time, for a poetry anthology. (That was me humbly mentioning that I am published.) When I am not writing, I eat potatoes with a joy that overflows. I stand in front of cameras, tilt my face on instruction and find love in the warmth of the sun. (No, you cannot call me an Instagram model.) I shamelessly, publicly dance to the sound of the voices in my head. I give love without expecting it back, mostly. And I pray. #talentsofnairobi #nairobi
I love shooting, it gives a kind joy that I cannot explain, so I will attribute it to vanity. But love it as much as I do, I’m terrible at directing myself and Moses doesn’t really direct either, he just initiates random conversation and let’s you be. I like to be, just be.
You can read more profiles of Nairobi’s creatives on Talents Of Nairobi’s Instagram account.
Photos courtesy of @MosesObanda