Hosted by Goethe-Institut, contemporary artist Michael Soi presents a series of 17 paintings celebrating women from all over Nairobi, bringing you different takes on the...
“Something Necessary” is a Kenyan story of forgiveness and redemption inspired by real stories from the post-election period. The film is a product of a One Day Film workshop, this time pairing veteran filmmaker Kibinge with Ginger Ink productions (the people behind Nairobi Half Life). Employing sparse dialogue and wide-angle shots that linger on pivotal scenes, “Something Necessary” tells the story of one woman’s struggle to piece her life back together after losing her husband and home during a senseless act of violence. Interestingly, the film also follows Joseph, one of the members of the gang who has second thoughts about his actions. UP caught up with the film’s lead, Susan Wanjiru (31) during a press screening.
What is your acting background?
I’ve done a lot of theatre before, like with Friends Ensemble but this is my first film.
How did you join the “Something Necessary” cast?
I actually auditioned when I was 29 although I saw that [the casting agents] were looking for someone in their 30s, someone who could play a mother. But I thought, if it was meant for me, it was meant for me. They called me back a month later for a second audition.
What do you think of the character “Anne”?
She is a very strong. It was a very emotional experience acting her character. Anne loses everything and the one person she thought she could trust ends up letting her down.
Why should people watch this film?
People go through a lot in life but tend not to [easily] forgive. Come and watch this film and learn that forgiveness is key.
Watch the trailer here
The 4th edition of Festival for African Fashion and Arts (FAFA) was a glamorous affair showcasing 20 local and international designers from Kenya, UK, Uganda, Italy, Ghana and Nigeria. Hosted at the Ngong racecourse grounds, the lush greenery was turned into fashion central as imaginative designs in all forms, shapes, and sizes were paraded on the catwalk. The event saw veteran fashion and accessory designers showcase alongside newbies thanks to the FAFA Insight, a designer’s competition held earlier in the year.
At a press conference prior to the event, the FAFA panel including Ann McCreath, Ajuma Nasenyana, Randolph Gray and Waridi Schrobsdorff, expressed enthusiasm ahead of the event. “I feel like I can do something. Join the movement for peace,” said Ajuma who was spotted on the runway in several designs. A section of the designers presented conceptual creations that were Feverish Fun at FAFA both daring and whimsical. “My showcase was in two parts. The white bridal or floral represented femininity.
I contrasted this with the snake fabric [on the men] which represented the phallic symbol. Essentially these two sections came together as if in conception, creating life on stage,” said Ghanaian designer, B’Exotiq who was showcasing for the first time at FAFA. Interestingly, FAFA also had top CEOs as well as media and sport personalities moving down the catwalk in riveting designs. Their appearances were met by rapturous applause as was Kenyan designer, Kaveke’s line. Undeniably, he was the man of the night with his crisp line that primarily featured jackets and pants. Themed “Men at Work”, Kaveke had the crowd up on their feet as toned male models confidently walked down the catwalk in his works.
The night’s cuisine, prepared by the Sarova Group, featured a delightful culinary adventure to the four corners of Africa, completing what was justifiably the fashion event of the year.
This September, Katungulu Mwendwa became the first Kenyan fashion designer to showcase in the GenArt’s “Fresh Faces” show at the New York Fashion Week. The US-based influential arts and entertainment organisation dedicated to scouting new talent had partnered with Tribal Chic 2012 (a premier fashion organised by Tribe Hotel that took place last May). They intended to pick one of the designers from the Kenyan event to show at their prestigious runway show.
Katungulu says, “It really was such a privilege and I am highly grateful to Gen Art for allowing me the opportunity. And thankful to all my wonderful and amazing family and friends for supporting and encouraging me through it all.” “The styling of her presentation was youthful and on-trend down to the the lace up biker boots. Her perspective was truly singular--modern and even a bit futuristic, but steeped in traditional elements. It’s the perfect expression for GenArt’s global launch. We truly believe there’s a consumer for her wares in the US,” wrote Martine Bury, Director of GenArt Global, in an email.
And at the showcase, the GenArt panel of judges used words such as “cosmopolitan”, “edgy with tribal flare”, “New York cool”, “wearable” and “urbane” to describe Katungulu’s post/futuristapocalyptic collection inspired by the Tuareg of Northern Africa with Pokot inspired accessories. For Katungulu, debuting on the global scale was quite memorable. She explains, “It was a wonderful experience, very different from my previous shows. I feel like I have learnt a lot from it, and know there is still alot more I can do to get to the level I want to achieve.” It also made her rethink her overall strategy. “Because of [the show], the business idea of [my] brand has had to change.
The long term goals were to be able to stock within the country and globally, also maybe doing a few shows internationally, [I] didn’t quite expect it to happen so soon,” says Katungulu.
Some people may know her as Esther Bonsu, 21, but fashionistas embrace this vivacious stylist as “Yaa”. “Since my father passed away three years ago, it is the only sense of connection I have,” says the Ghanaian-Kenyan of her African name, “Yaa”. Yaa began as an assistant and later worked as a stylist on photoshoots for Liz Ogumbo, a designer and model. “I learned to multitask and manage pressure,” she recounts. These skills helped her when a hair stylist at a high profile fashion show was late. Yaa immediately enlisted the help of a hair salon close by but amusedly says, “It was really stressful trying to pull that off.”
She is focused on building her portfolio with local and international work as a stylist, designer, and fashion journalist. She is also interested in gaining experience as a publicist, and a fashion show producer. “I think I’m at one percent,” she estimates wistfully.Of the Kenyan fashion scene, she says, “There is a lot of talent but we need to tell the difference between distinct designers, shops and brands.”
But when asked, the über cool stylist states that the three most stylish people in Nairobi are Annabel Onyango, Sunny Dolat and Kwame Bonsu, her fashionable brother who shares the slot with Bien-Aime Baraza from Sauti Sol. However, based on her chosen outfit of the day, she too can jump on the stylish list with her effortlessly retrocool combination of gold aviators that accentuated her brown skin and vintage Yves Saint Laurent sandals. Yaa’s demure poise is old school but her style is fashion forward, which gives her an undeniable allure. Currently, Healthy Woman magazine employ Yaa as a stylist, where she is in charge of the fashion pages. This is her most notable achievement to date.
To get in touch with Yaa Bonsu, log onto facebook/ Yaa Bonsu.
Lets face it. Fall fashion trends revolve around colors found in nature. Ranging from beiges, light brown to even darker brown. But not everyone loves or even wants another dark brown jacket. This is the exact reason why a number of designers have decided to break this overdone tradition.