A day at The Kibera slums
Last week was the world Aids vaccine day and I had the privilege of being the official photographer at the event that was held at the sprawling Kibera slums. Moment to moment i was distracted by the surroundings and so here is a glimpse of my “driftings”
Kibera’s history stems back to Nairobi’s colonial days, when many native Kenyans were forced out of the residential areas of the city – at that point a minor railroad depot – by the Imperial British East Africa Company in the late 1800s. This action paved the way for longstanding conflicts over land rights.
Kibera itself was formed when Nubian mercenaries from Sudan, who were conscripted into the King’s African Rifles during World War I, were allowed to squat in a wooded hillside area outside Nairobi after the war. The former soldiers built homes in what they called kibra, meaning “forest” or “jungle.” They were never given title to the land. Thus, Kibera was born.
What struck me most as i photographed the event was the contrast:
Shades of blue sky against the rusty tin roofs
High school kids in bright red sweaters carry water to school through the mud
Stark bare tall buildings silhouette against the skyline
Tourists in POLICE helicopters “spying” on the slum dwellers
Expert child acrobatics
an eight year old kid carrying his 1yr old brother on her back
dogs and goats lying peacefully on the ground
I am reminded of the stark contrast between cold damp fall rain and frozen wintry white beauty in fluffy piles everywhere I look.
but mainly it was the contrast of sadness and joy.
this kid was so flexible he made feel like a plank of congolese wood..
its peaceful enough for animals to rest and grab some forty winks on the road
And then this brotherly love really touched me, hope it lasts for a lifetime 🙂
The zion train was in action too! though it dint have the passenger carrier 😦
This kid brought so much nostalgia and a toy that is very rare in the “modern days”