January! My favourite month of the year. I started really loving January when i was in high school. There were these sweltering hot summer afternoons, just after another lunch of ugali and sukuma wiki, and the teacher would be droning on and on about …oh, i don’t remember, whatever!…and the room would be hot bordering on stuffy. Yes yes, I know you’re confused as to where the appealing part of this is..it was when this cool breeze would blow in the room from the nearby trees through the wide open, half-french windows and for a minute, everything would stand still as papers being lifted would pause mid-air, skirts and teenage girls’ hair would rise only to freeze and all was silent aside for the soft whisper of the cooling wind. Sometimes I would close my eyes in that instant and feel the cool fingers of the breeze raise the hairs on my skin and kiss the heat away. Beautiful. Even now I still hear the wind blow, when it’s bloody hot in Nairobi and sweat is rolling down my back. I always listen. I love the heat of january, I love how I sweat and my skin glistens in the African sun. My skin also takes on this gorgeous dark shade and when I put my olive oil on, my skin comes alive with a beautiful shimmer! Everywhere is warm and the breeze is cooling; the sun shining bright, giving me the day’s strength and lengthening the hours. I LOVE January!
It even got better last week when I got a chance to travel to Naivasha and to Narok with Sauti Sol. Interestingly when i was there over Christmas the area was dry and dusty to the extent dead trees by the rad side had turned a beautiful sun burnt white, however, last week it seemed they had been visited by the rains and the place was green. We had t travel towards Narok to find the dry, dusty scene we were looking for. With great golden expanse of the Savannah, reaching to the foot of the Rift Valley escaprement wall. The beautiful drive down looking over the Rift Valley and the gorgeous plains reminded me f the shoot I did mid last year with the One Touch Family.
One Touch decided to do a shoot in one of this country’s most beautiful places, Hell’s Gate. After working with them in Lukenya, there was no way I was missing out on this! I was mega excited by the theme they wanted and when I heard how the execution would take place, I was beyond excited! This would be awesome! We meet up early morning in Nairobi CBD and made our way to Hell’s Gate National Park. It was such a beautiful day, we were blessed with a bright sun and warm day. We got there early morning and were greeted by zebras, elephants and gazelles, definately a great way to start the day. Hell’s Gate has very beautiful rock faces that seem carved out of the earth by God himself as though he was trying to drown us in the beauty of coloured strata. Mayne, this shoot was already awesome before it had even begun!! The back drop was already doing all the work.
As usual there were many laughs and disses between the group, but come on, between Mutua, Amunga The Great, Kioko and Jaydabliu; I expected nothing else. kay Ndeto did her stylinh thing and got me ready for the camera and Sonnie K worked her magic wielding her make-up brush.
The shoot started out fairly sane, a false safety, and in no time had turned wild! We has taken some really nice pictures with the gorge wall as a fantastic backdrop and we were looking around for what else we could do. Then, I saw it! It came clearly to me; silent, billowing, perfect! Without a word, I took to my heels running towards it, beckoning wildly behind me for Mutua to follow. Before I had a chance to think twice, I some how found myself 15 meters in the air balancing on a tree that had fallen across the gorge!!! I was balancing on a tiny branch that stuck out of it and giving the camera all i could as Mutua was shooting way down there! Ah, the lengths we must go to for that one picture! Can you tell I’m in the air or has Mutua’s cameras’ amazing zoom fooled you?
This was undoubtedly the best and most fun shoot I have had yet. Everything was perfect! The backdrop was glorious, the styling and make-up was great and the company was out of this world! And as thugh things couldn’t get better, after climbing out of the gorge, we had a meal of ugali and nyama choma. Wah! After hours of shooting I was ready to eat a zebra!….no animals were injured in the production of these pictures…I learned that Amunga The Great was the fod champion but let’s just say he was dethroned that day and not ask mnay questions…..what?! A girl was hungry :p
Below are Mutua Matheka’s picture. Find more of his work at: http://mutuamatheka.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/thogi-vs-the-gorge/
I really loved this shoot and the pictures blew me away. What say ye?