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...
Every character believes that their actions are absolutely necessary for their survival,” these are the words of Director Judy Kibinge as she explains the title of her new film, “Something Necessary”. Set in Nakuru, the 85-minute-long screenplay is a story of forgiveness and redemption inspired by the 2007/8 post-election violence. Opening with bone-chilling footage from that dark period, it somberly cuts to a hospital scene where the audience sees the world from the perspective of the bedridden Anne.
Played by Susan Wanjiru (31), Anne is recuperating in the hospital after a vicious attack in her home that left her raped and injured, her husband murdered and her son put in a coma. Anne struggles to piece her life together and restore the family farm dubbed “The Haven”. The film also follows Joseph (David Kiprotich Mutai), a soft-spoken young man who is having second thoughts about his actions—he’d been among the gang that attacked Anne’s home. “Something Necessary” tells an important story. Echoing back to a terrible time in Kenya’s “Something Necessary” launched on January 24th at Century Cinemax, The Junction.
The world premiere was set for January 28th at Bright Future Section, Rotterdam Film Festival. For more details, visit www.gingerink.tv. history, it manages to touch on a variety of issues including tribalism, poverty, injustice, sexism and most importantly, forgiveness. Despite it’s social relevance and definite highlights, the movie struggles in some areas. While the acting was good, the dialogue felt too thin overall and led to clumsy transitions between scenes, for instance, the exchanges between Anne and Kitur (her son) or with her friend Chebet. Certain issues remained unresolved, one being that the gang is not brought to justice and even though we empathize with Anne’s plight, the plot plateaus in the middle of the Second Act causing her dilemmas to feel protracted.
These minor drawbacks aside “Something Necessary” is an inspirational movie worth watching. Anne’s strength and determination to rebuild her home could be seen as symbolic of how the nation has tried to heal itself after the events of 2007/8. “I’ve always seen Anne as a personification of the journey the country has gone on,” says Director Kibinge. The production quality was superb thanks to a partnership with Ginger Ink Productions, who previously worked on the internationally-acclaimed Nairobi Half Life.
Afro Slippers/Moran Apparel
These funky unisex shoes are the spanking new footwear in Nairobi. Made of ankara with either leso prints or velvet; they are suitable for high fashion events, everyday office wear or even theme parties. Celebrities such as Sauti Sol have been spotted adorning them while on tour abroad. If you like your shoes with laces, then try Moran Apparel. Both shoes cost between KES 2,000 and 6,000.
For more details check Facebook Page: Afros (African Slippers) Twitter: @MoranApparel
Jiamini have provided a one-stop shop for authentic and exceptional Kenyan adornment ranging from rings and earrings to neck and hand pieces. These are made using brass, beads or animal horns that are inspired by the ancient Ethiopian and Touareg communities. These products are certainly for the afro-divas. Pieces range from KES 5,000- 25,000. Jiamini’s Plastic Vanity Case allows ladies to store their makeup in style whether at home or away. And if you’d like to spruce up your look using urban Kitenge accessories like earrings and ribbons, then try Otenge. This unique range of products go for less than KES 1,000.
To get in touch, visit Facebook Page: Jiamini. Otenge products are available for sale at the Banana Box Company stores, Sarit Centre.
Maridadi.co.ke and Totallytumba.com together form “Maridadi”, online stores that sell affordable Italian and French haute couture fashion. They also sell excellent vintage high street fashions, unique jewellery, sleep wear and beachwear. Jewellery ranges from KES. 700 while beachwear (bikinis, tankins and full swim suits) retail at KES. 3500. Established two years ago by four sisters, in 2012 Maridadi acquired a physical store located in Highridge, opposite Diamond Plaza, first floor, shop 6. They deliver to your doorstep at a minimal cost of only Fashion Must-Haves This December KES 250 anywhere in Nairobi, within 24 hours.
From big retro-shades print to funky warm-colored tees with distinctive asymmetrical designs, these cool tees make an ideal buy especially for Christmas. They come in sizes for both ladies and gents with quirky prints such as maize combs. Tees go for KES 1,200. Also check out Chilli Mango’s warm hoodies partly made of leso/khanga prints costing between KES 4,500 and 6,000.
Manciny’s latest collection is dubbed, “Urban Gentlemen” and comprises mostly of warm colored customized coats. These are made from soft khaki fused in batik or ankara with fancy inside pockets. Coats cost between KES 6,500 and 7,500. For ladies, buy Manciny kiondos and clutch bags made from recycled papers and VHS tapes. Coats cost between KES 2,500 -3,500 and clutch bag/kiondos between KES 500-1,000.
For more of Manciny www.manciny.kbo.co.ke
The Kenyan fashion industry has certainly had its ebb and flow. However, it remains vibrant with positive strides made in the last five decades. To get an understanding of where we are now, we want to look back at some of the pivotal moments in the Kenyan fashion industry by highlighting some of the crucial milestones from each decade. In 1976, Evelyn College of Design (ECD) opened its doors to become the first ever college of design in East and Central Africa. Director and Founder Evelyn Mungai, is a shrewd entrepreneur who noticed an education gap when it came to fashion design.
There was a time when being in the fashion scene in Nairobi meant something. That something may be subject to debate, but in my view, the perception was a curiously positive one, hopeful even. And that is something I cannot say about the fashion scene these days. The circle is much bigger, obviously, filled with dubious personalities channeling a mind-boggling sense of entitlement. But the work out there is binging on lack of originality. It’s the fashion bloggers, the stylists, the aspiring designers and the fashion consumers (like myself) stuck in a mediocre rut, gasping for relevance.
It is the 24th of November and for 13 year-old Ajuna (not real name) it is that time of the month, again. A very common event for a young girl, but for Ajuna the remedy is less common. Living in the Kibera slum, paying for sanitary pads or tampons is not within her means, so with no real viable solutions, she sometimes turns to different “boyfriends” in order to get the money to pay for sanitary pads and be able to go to school when she has her period.
Mud, bark, and old socks are often used as alternatives to pads to keep her menstruation in check, but none of these solutions are good enough to get her through a school day without a bloodsmothered skirt. This is the reality for many girls Trading Sex for Sanitary Solutions living in Kibera and other slum areas in Kenya. As reported back in February 2012 by the Voice of America,the Mathare slum area is another place where NGO’s are familiar with the situation.
They cited a field officer, Lydiah Njoroge, from the Freedom for Girls Program that operate in the Mathare slum, who estimated that roughly 50 percent of the girls between the age 10-19 turn to prostitution in order to afford sanitary pads. Moraa Nelvin is working in the slums of Kibera as a sales representative for the menstrual cup brand Ruby Cup—a private business that is trying to provide a sustainable alternative for young girls. Unfortunately, Moraa is well acquainted with the problem: “A lot of the girls trade themselves to afford sanitary solution,”she says. Moraa has been a part of conducting surveys meant to assess the need for alternative sanitary solutions.
“We did research in Kibera in 100 households. The results were shocking. We couldn’t stand it. 65 percent of the girls said they had sold themselves (to afford sanitary solutions) at some point.” Ruby Cup has moved into the Kenyan market to introduce the menstrual cup—a sustainable cup made from medical grade silicon that lasts for ten years. Their primary target group are all Kenyan women and girls, but with a special focus on girls between 12-14 years old, an age bracket where the girls are particularly vulnerable when it comes to determining their future.
According to research done by the Forum of African Women Educationalists (FAWE) Uganda, “girls aged between 11 and 14 are absent for an average three and five days a month due to their menstrual periods.” When studying for the KCPE exams, the dreams of making a grade that will admit you to a good secondary school seems out of reach, if you have to stay home from school five days a month. Menstrual hygiene has reached it’s way to the top of the political agenda and the Kenyan Treasury has allocated Sh300 million for the 2012/2013 financial year for free sanitary towels to girls in primary school. For Ajuna and the many other girls who have turned to the desperate path of prostitution, one can only hope that this program is implemented quickly.
What is a menstrual cup?
Ruby Cup is a particular brand of menstrual cups, and it is re-usable for 10 years. It is inserted into the body, emptied when full and re-inserted again. After the period is over, you sterilize the Cup by boiling it, and it is ready for next month. Menstrual cups have been around for a decade in Europe and the States and are safe and environmentally friendly products. Ruby Cup is made of 100% high quality medical grade silicone, it has no side-effects, and it contains 3 times the quantity of conventional menstrual hygiene products meaning that you can spend a whole work day without having to empty it.