Kesh Nthamba

Documentary Photographer
      
Amboseli 46 (Longterm)
Location: Kenya
Nationality: Kenyan
Biography: Makenna Kesh Nthamba is a Nairobi based Documentary Photographer and Cinematographer (DoP) specialising in storytelling, environmental portraits, editorial and photojournalism photography. The primary focus of her work revolves around preventive... MORE
Public Story
Amboseli 46 (Longterm)
Copyright Kesh Nthamba 2022
Updated Jan 2022
Location Kawangware
Topics Black and White, Community, Culture, Culture stories, Documentary, Hiphop, Human Rights, Kawangware, Minority, Personal Projects, Photography, Photojournalism, Underground, Youth
"Amboseli 46" depicts my growing familiarity to a new fabric of society. I have lived at close proximity to Amboseli for a little over ten years and it took Covid19 in 2020 for that to be revealed to me; the fact that I had not been conscious or enlightened by this community under my very nose. This body of work consists of a series of environmental and street portraits of Amboseli's community and her activities such as underground music shows.

My curiosity grew bigger and bigger; the more I observed, the more I shot, and since the onset of my documentary/visual journey in region 46 of Nairobi City - that is Dagoretti North (where Amboseli is located) and/or Kawangware - I have been pleased and encouraged with my results as I keep going back to the drawing board. This documentation and cultural observation began in May 2020 - one of my silver linings during this pandemic period.

One fabric I have encountered is underground Kenyan hiphop. The bulk of the black and white images form the narrative of what a local show mtaa (in the hood) looks and feels like. Skilled and talented rappers, freestylers and singers alike bring their A game to the stage -- which in this case was a primary school playing field. I attended this show and on departure, my findings left me convicted. I am very much inspired to venture onward into this subject, to bear historical witness to the journey of underground performing and/or recording hiphop artistes in Kenya; an artiste(s) who would wish to graduate onto the mainstream platform, those content with underground as well as underground dynamics. This body of work will also serve as a commentary as hiphop is universal, and different geographies still exhibit the same or similar attributes as I continue to read and observe.

I appreciate the emotion displayed by these untapped, veiled artistes and strive to channel and portray what I saw, the way I saw it. For posterity.

Ultimately, I seek to honour my subjects through my pictures and remind each and every one of them that they too are worthy of attention.
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