By Irene Gaitirira
Published December 5, 2016
As Kenya celebrates its 52nd Republic Day on December 12, the country’s Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) is preparing an exhibition of historical photos on the streets of the capital, Nairobi, aimed at “promoting patriotism and cohesion by demonstrating Kenya’s shared history and heritage.”
The show, Kenya Historical Photo Gallery Street Exhibition and Online Historical Photo Library, shall be launched on December 7, 2016 between 9:00 and 11:00 AM on Aga Khan Walk in the Central Business District of Nairobi.
The Kenya Historical Photo Gallery exhibition and launch of Kenya News Agency (KNA)’s Online Historical photos (urithi.go.ke) is organised by the ICT Authority within the Ministry of Information Communications and Technology (ICT).
Robert Mugo, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the ICT Authority says KNA, with the support of the ICT Authority through the World Bank, has been digitising its photo library since May 2015; that “nearly 400000 images are available in digital format”; that many of the photos date from 1940 and that “most [photos] have never been seen since they were taken.”
Saying the public events constitute a Street Exhibition where historical photos are publicly displayed in a town for a week, Mugo says his agency has “so far held street exhibitions in Machakos, Muranga, Nakuru, Maralal, Kisumu and are now holding the grand event in Nairobi.”
Also coming to Nairobi December 8, 2016-January 5, 2017 is an exhibition of ceramics titled 21st Kim Sung-Jin Formative Ceramics Exhibition: Memories of the Beginning and Nature of Kenya (Forests Â· Animals Â· People).
The show, by South Korean-born Kim Sung-Jin who is currently undertaking a year-long programme as a resident professor in the Department of Fine Art and Design at Kenyatta University in Nairobi where he teaches ceramics, shall be held in the Cultural Dynamism Gallery at Nairobi National Museum.
Coming hot on the heels of the ceramics art show on December 10 is Paint and Metal by Mary Ogembo and Dickens Otieno that shall be in the Creativity Gallery of Nairobi National Museum right through January 14, 2017.
Mary Ogemboâ€™s paintings are described as being rich with vibrant earth colours that bring about the state of the African environment. Kenyan born Ogembo has been a full time artist since 1998. She won a Commonwealth Arts and Craft award in 2005 and worked at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana as a resident artist for six months.
Dickens George Otienoâ€™s practice is driven by the search to find meaning in things that seem otherwise useless. Otieno weaves large sculptural fabrics and makes cloth sculpture from discarded drink cans which he collects from local kiosks near his home and studio. He compares the shredded cans to palm leaves which have been used traditionally for weaving through many generations and civilisations.
Also worth mentioning in this article is the 4th Sanaa Theatre Awards that shall be held at the Kenya National Theatre in Nairobi on December 14, 2016.
The organisers of the event–Tone communications–say Dr Hassan Wario Arero, Kenya’s Minister for Sports, Culture and The Arts, shall preside over this national theatre awards that was launched in 2013.
Meanwhile, award-Winning Kenyan singer, Akothee, has releases a new single titled ‘Benefactor’ that addresses the ‘Sponsor’ phenomenon in the East African country.
The video of ‘Benefactor’ was shot in Durban by top South African music video aficionados Godfather Productions and produced by DJ Maphorisa.
“I came up with the lyrics of Benefactor considering that young girls drop out of school in search of sponsors, but in real sense a sponsor cannot sponsor a human being,” Akothee says.”They can only sponsor projects.”
“Who do you call your benefactor, sponsor, blesser, sugar or daddy? The world is cruel and no one cares how you pay your bills. There is nothing like a sponsor; it’s just but another name for hustling wisely,” she concludes.