I can barely explain what exactly it is about Central Province countryside but I think I will be in Nyeri for a very long time. Now, if you have been dennispetersblog since day one then you know I was never a small town kind of person but you do not know until you try it out. This year marks two years in Nyeri and been here, visiting places, River Chania, River Sagana, Mt Kenya (Read Here), Aberdare Ranges amongst others just puts me in an expansive mood. The country side especially, not to stay, just to visit like last weekend…
Now the Bloggers Association of Kenya BAKE DeKUT have engaged young talents in fields such as photography, art and music in collaboration with Zawadi Society. There is a platform for BAKE members to learn directly from professionals in what our chairman, Denis Mwangi (Denis with single ‘N’. He is very particular about that) likes to call ‘externship’ you can check it all out on his blog Creative Connekt (Click Here)
So today its photography. My group is made up of three people the lead photographer and professional Mr Partrick Ambani Munyata (View on Instagram), Esther and me. You must remember Esther from Mt. Kenya, pretty, graceful and very adventurous. No doubt you remember her now, so she is the extern and I am the writer. My work is to observe and make a story and I know you would all love my work. There is a sudden unearthly beauty about Esther holding a camera but well my job is to observe so that’s exactly what am going to be doing for the next few hours.
After an arduous journey that leads to Zaina Falls along Chania River deep into the interior we unpack our bags and set up our photography gear, clicking begins almost immediately but that is boring for me so I first go for a swim in my boxers but that is a story for another day. The water is cold as ice and the large falls makes a deafening sound as the water lands down below, apart from that the place is desolated and as quite as a tomb besides the occasionally chirping birds. The countryside is wild and beautiful, caressed by the soft fragrance of March wind. The swim is all fun and games until I see a crab under water and mistake it for a scorpion then my swim is cut short and I am devastated.
Do you think I can punch a moving fish with my fist?
I try to find amusement elsewhere but Esther is not going to let anything distract her from getting ‘perfect shots’
She answers evasively and that’s when an epiphany suddenly dawns on me that I had to pay attention to what Ambani is teaching lest I would be in my own lonely desert. Watching Ambani and Esther do their thing is what I would call perfect passion for photography. Well, that is equivalent to me sitting on my bed the entire day laptop on my lap typing random stories and poetry but still not quite up to this level. Am just baffled.
Ambani is quite kind, seeing my pending boredom, so he involves me as the human subject in their photography, so they take photos of my feet in water and am filled with an exalted, ineffable joy to be a model. So I inquire what exactly what they were doing and Esther explains that she was learning to capture the mould and water in a photo that looks like a painting. I look at the photo and I would be damned if that photograph was not just magnificent. The water is still moving but then the shot makes it look like silk in a milky kind of way. No amount of words could I use to describe this art so let us just call it magic. Now am all eyes and ears.
I ask them to take photos of the green landscapes for my March Blogathon Challenge about the Seven Shades of Love which they glad do.
So, what are you going to write about Dennis?
Ambani inquired. It dawns on me that I had not thought about that, all I knew is once I started typing I would stop at 1500 words.
Write about mould and moving water.
Esther decides to offer assistance, which is not helpful at all. Now, Ambani is that kind of guy who expresses vitality in every single point he starts on. A tsetse fly could be a story in his photography, a rock and my feet. His profound wisdom and experience is visible especially from his constant mellowness. He takes his time to adjust the lens, looks at where the sun is and where the rays are falling, he notices tiny shadows and even the wind and how it will affect his photograph. Esther on the other hand is working on the concept of ‘there is never too much information’ she asks questions from all angles of photography, tries them all and is elated each time Ambani says it’s a good photo.
Soon the setting sun begins to dim the sky and the late afternoon shadows paint the landscapes through the trees and starts to fade away. Some locals from up the water fall decide to be mean and destroy our perfect afternoon by throwing stones at us accompanied with a verbal torrent of filth that assailed us. We begin to pack up and leave these strange hills have got no love for strangers, but I thought Kiuks are very friendly, I mean each time anyone visits us at home Mom is very welcoming and even offers you a cup of tea. Anyway all in all the task was done and job was accomplished.
We begin our way back passing through villages, some deserted and forlorn. Everyone sinks into sunken silence except this one time, no, many times we had to take group selfies and groundies on the banks of the meandering river that looks like a well fed python from up the hill. Esther goes through her photos and exclaims that the day was a success.
Now, Denis, the one with single ‘N’ once said that a picture is worth a 1000 words so it would again be senseless to using 1001 words to describe it. Enjoy the photos and give Esther a standing ovation for these photos unless of course you are in a matatu which we will have to excuse you and hope that you travel safe to your destination.
Photography by Esther Mukiri.