Not long ago I told you about an initiative that is the brainchild of Cape Town-based Ugandan creative Faye Kabali-Kagwa. The aim of the tea was to unite East Africans in the diaspora, in Cape Town specifically and to create an event centred on home and identity. On August 7, young women from all over East Africa gathered at iKhaya Lodge (owned and operated by a Kenyan woman) and by all accounts you didn’t want to be anywhere else. For those of us who didn’t have a chance to attend, we have the fabulous portraits from photographers Shari Mwanika, Stephanie “Kenyaa” Mzee, and Irene Namuganyi. The portrait series is called “What Home Gave Me”.
Not only did the women gathered get their photographs taken, but they also had sketches of them done by Sarah Rose de Villiers.
The impressive event had those in attendance saying the following:
“Growing up I’ve always suppressed my “Kenyanness” because of xenophobic people and schoolmates who thought me being Kenyan was funny. Hilarious in fact. Being teased and mocked by classmates/”friends” and kids my age was traumatic to say the least…#SixDegreesFromHome allows me to further fall in love with being East African. I met so many new East African ladies this past Sunday who, (apart from being out of this world beautiful) loved being East African so much that I knew there was something special about being different.” – Kenyaa Mzee
“There should be more events and spaces like this. This should become a thing. It is just nice every once in a while to gather in a space, JUST East African women and talk, socialise, discuss things and bond. There is a lot we need to get to, especially concerning our home (East Africa) and this space has the potential to do a lot for us. Keep it going and well done on the first event!”
Glad to see our East African sisters have some time to bond and discuss things pertinent to their place on the map and their identity.
Portraits by Stephanie Mzee:
Portraits by Shari Mwanika:
Portraits by Irene Namuganyi: