Tonight, my camera could have been taken.

Greetings Earth Dwellers,

A couple of nights ago we went on adventure.

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Nairobi at night is an adventure.
My camera could be taken. Definitely not in line with my will. He took it cause he needed the money, He can’t bear to live on these streets anymore. The night is getting colder and so is his heart. He needs to run from the streets. His dream isn’t to run the streets. His only hope is that it never will be.

However, he isn’t bothering me tonight. His attention is at the end of the street more than it is with my camera.

My camera could be taken. By those people watching the car. I can’t see them, my subject can’t either. My sight is trapped in the studio of my mind as I try and compose my shot. “Move to the left?” Its not enough. “To the left again?” Damn. Now its too much. “Now to the right. STOP! That’s perfect” And its like I can finally breathe normally again. The wheels turn faster, The wind blows colder. We were five, now we are two. Where are the rest? Probably on the next street. I should have noticed. Of course the wind was warning me. I turn, Behind me there are two silhouettes. Dammit. I should run.

This man, is bothering me tonight. His attention isn’t wavered, it isn’t altered. He is coming straight for me.

They look relatively young. But old enough to be out at this time of the night. They have camera’s that look super fancy. But why at this time of the night? They can’t be. Can they? I think i have been seated in this car for too long. Those three are escaping. Let me get these two.

“Madam!”

I knew I should have run. But he doesn’t look dangerous. He is here anyway, lets face this speed bump. The questions begin. What am I doing here? What is my name? What do i do? What do i want with this building? What do i do again? Aargh! I’m tired of these questions. Get to the point. “We are policemen. This is wrong. What do yo mean why? Are you not Kenyan? Don’t take me for a fool. ” He is getting angry. I am tired of this session. He is being stubborn. My turn. “I’m sorry. I can show you what I shot. I can delete the ones you know are a threat to security. No, I do not take you for a fool. No, I am not being sarcastic. None are a threat? Oh! How lucky I am.” Totally being sarcastic. He is calm. Why was he angry before? His turn. “We are under attack. Everyone is watching everyone. You have to be careful. Anyone can be one of them. Its not safe. Take those pictures during the day, not at night. Its the same thing” The sun is on a black sky canvas with stars at night, changing the light OBVIOUSLY. Sure. Its the same thing. I agree. I walk away.

He is no longer bothering me tonight. He has a family to get to. It was a temporary mix of a world he had no idea of. He had to explore. Or maybe he was doing his duty? Who knows these days.

My camera could be taken. Its a new location, safest location as decided from our little discussion. We park. So much energy now. Nothing can stop us here. The road is abandoned but there is some music from somewhere. Nikons and Canons come out to play. A group of five turns into doubles and single streams of creations. My subject stands beneath the light. It makes a halo around her hair. Like a crown of fire. A security guard mumbles something loud enough to attract our attention. We walk towards him. I mean, who else could he be talking to? “Not you.” Clearly he enjoys his own company. Back to the light that burns. She wears her crown of fire again. Glorious.

“Excuse! Excuse Madam!” A security guard, a different one.

He is CLEARLY bothering me tonight. He shall do it with a purpose, without distraction and with calculation.
‘Who are you? What are you doing here? What are you? Oh Photographers? And who told you this place is for taking pictures?” Who told you the air around you is for breathing? Another scenario. I hope this on blows over quicker. “Let me see those pictures”  I show him. He sees them. He ignores them. “Who told you this place is for shooting?” He grabs my camera.

HOLD UP!

Give it back? Why? Cause its not yours. I take a step closer, then a step back. My guess is that be isn’t going to woo his girlfriend with the smell of his new cologne; alcohol. He dangles the camera. I’m getting angry. My voice is rising. He is mumbling a lot and dangling my camera. I get louder. I’m shaking. “Calm down.” CALM DOWN? I walk away. The other three come. Level headed. Settled. “Out of all the places in Nairobi, you decided to come take pictures here? What is so special about this place? You know it’s not right.” Give me a reason why its not right! No valid reason? I’m not surprised. Calm down? Look at the way he is holding the camera. He will damage it! I will not calm down. I feel five, The bully took my toy. I need it back, Is this where I am supposed to protect my property? He is shouting. The three who were level headed are now two. Now were both fuming. He says more words, I only catch a few. Money, Ego. Illegal. Afford. Another one down. Now we’re three fuming. We talk to his college. We explain. He is your boss? No wonder you can’t tell him to calm down. The two out of our quintet carry on. They are still calm, they are strong. A phone is produced, a number is dialed. “Hello Head Office. We have a problem with one of your people. What happened? What happened is that the level or reason-ability is not being reciprocated. Apology accepted. You are sending a team? Thank you” Superman is on the way. Rather, just his superiors. The two continue to reason with him, but his mind is scattering and his voice travelling. Shouting must be his talent.
The team arrives, Fear is in his eyes. I kind of smile. GIVE IT BACK! Give it back now! One of the two takes it. Their patience had just run out.

He bothered me tonight. He bothered me and five others tonight. He bothered us tonight. And whats more, My camera could have been taken.

Nairobi at night is indeed an adventure. And i guess these pictures are not a matter of national security. Go figure.
Bazuli Bemhlaba.

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B A Z U L I B E M H L A B A : U S

Imeldah Natasha Kondo: B E A U T I F U L, Deep, F R E E-spirited, Loving, Understanding, Weird, T A L E N T E D, Encouraging, Inspiring, Meditative, Exciting, Infectious*especially her laugh*, C U T E*like a puppy bruh 😀 * Ambitious, Dream-chaser, Fellow W A N D E R E R, A R Tistic, Creative, And ultimately a B E A U T I F U L  S O U L. “She always had that about her, that look of otherness, of eyes that see things much too far, and of thoughts that wander off the edge of the world.” -Joanne Harris  _MG_3671-2 _MG_3680-2 _MG_3686 _MG_3689 _MG_3693 _MG_3711 Jebet Naava: Powerful, Promising, Patient, Eclectic, Electric, Ecstatic, Cultured, Curious, Saucy, Sultry, Smashing, Dependent, Disastrous. A little hurricane that tears it all down. Places of strength cannot resist her wisdom, beauty, wit, strength, fire. She is a queen of the kingdom of her life. She is an empress in the presence of truth and faith. DSC_9259 DSC_9295 DSC_9252DSC_9246 Bazuli Bemhlaba

C H I K I T I K I

Greetings Earth Dwellers,

Nairobi happens to be filled with a vast selection of artists who can feed your every desire. Whether it is photographers who focus on Nairobi’s beautiful skyline, poets who tell stories of their childhood and dark nights of their adolescence, musicians who sing of love, butterflies, joy and all things sunshine or fashion bloggers who continue to inspire your every day wear, Nairobi has it all.

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William “Nyeks” Kanyeki.

Meet William Kanyeki, artist, founder, designer and all that jazz of Nyeks Apparel which is dedicated to well designed stuff with a dose of creativity, they are made for the young, old, fun, serious, geeks and artists who want a change.

It happens to be much more than that.  Anyone who has seen this design has been attracted to its authenticity and uniqueness in the designs; Chikitiki and the Nyekitiki

So, we took a trip, one hour out of Nairobi armed with a random pair of heels. Lindsay, Quentin ( the Live Props 🙂 ) and Nikola to capture the ChikiTiki on film? memory card. 🙂

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Now, Machakos.

It is a beautiful place and is greener than what most people perceive about it. Its made up of flat land that extends to the horizon and just before it gets there, its captures by a hill that is reaching for the heavens. The sun (thank heavens) wasn’t too hot and there was the occasional perfect breeze that reminded us of what season we were in.

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Nikola :) Our impromptu but amazing shoot director.

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Even though it is only one hour away, Machakos was beyond amazing and temporarily satisfied our wanderlust.

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Bazuli Bemhlaba

T H A N A B S T E R

Greetings earth dwellers,

Today we feature one of our favorite photographers, Canon Kenya Photography Award nominee and King of Tones, Joseph Mbugua Chege – A.K.A Thanabster.

Joseph is an extremely talented and passionate photographer whose consistency and drive acts as a cannon that propels him closer and closer to his destination.

“Before every great reward, comes the footprints of persistence, consistency … courage, faith and patience.”
Edmond Mbiaka

Below are a few of his photographs, enjoy.

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1526752_10203566224371933_7832871780187041637_nCheck out more of his work by clicking on this link ~ https://instagram.com/thanabster .

ALSO, as we mentioned earlier, he is a Canon Kenya photography Award nominee and we would appreciate it if you took a minute to vote for him by clicking on this link ~ http://www.photoawards.co.ke/vote-online

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Bazuli Bemhlaba

E X P R E S S

Greetings Earth Dwellers.

Deep inside us lie emotions we sometimes can’t express. No facial expression, music, poetry or dance is able to rip those feelings out from the vessels in our body. So, they flow like the water. They continue to inhabit every living cell that we have, waiting to be felt and expressed as we purposefully ignore them and hide them under a facade that we sometimes believe to be true but most times, we are aware are lies. We go with the motions until we become the motion that is moved with, we become the song that is danced to and the paint that colors the world. Except we are not complete. Our minds are unable to fully connect with the current time because we left a part of us unfinished, not felt, and hidden. So, we let the emotions that we wrapped around in a block of us linger under the sun and we watch. We stay still. We stay still as the spirit, like the sun, melts away the cold hard shell that encapsulated what was part of our being and as we lay still, we remember, where we were and what we have conquered.

I acknowledge the privilege of being alive in a human body at this moment, endowed with senses, memories, emotions, thoughts, and the space of mind in its wisdom aspect.

Alex Grey

Bazuli Bemhlaba

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Sunrise, Moonrise.

Greeting earth dwellers,

Every morning, the spectacle of the rising sun is with us. We get to watch the colors in the sky morph into different shades and tones, no matter how cloudy it may be, that beautifully tells the world good morning and visibly gives life to everything its rays touch. The sun is the earth’s fire, strong and very penetrative, sometimes even deathly. However, no matter what, the sun awakes in the calmest and purest form and starts a cycle of focus and diligent work from farmer to lawyer, teacher to soldier.

The moon rises in the evening with splendor and grace. Starting in its graying beauty, the moon rises above the sky lines and concrete jungles all over the world. The moon is a symbol of peace and danger, of purity and so much sensuality. As she rises, she brings in a new era every single day. For some, hope others renewal, others peace.

No matter where you are, the sun and the moon always release energies that are absolutely beautiful.

“But the Sun and the Moon
They share more than we know
For over the years both have
Withstood many similar a blow

And still they love one another
unbiased and unjudged
Knowing both their faces
Are tainted and smudged”

-Unknown.

Bazuli Bemhlaba.

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Beneath the leaves.

Greetings Earth dwellers,

Today we delve into our mind and pick at the memories and go back to where this all began: the Kinale forest. Beneath the leaves that delicately filtered the sunlight, the idea of Bazuli Bemhlaba was born.

The forest is located just past Kijabe on the way the way to Naivasha. On this particular day, we purposed to be at the forest by sunrise. The sunrise caught us halfway through the journey. . . :(. HOWEVER! The light that the morning sun provided was too nyummy for us to ignore (and we had woken up too early, and left home early to go back! Mission must be completed!)

It was cold,  really cold. The fog settled right above the round like a protective blanket with thin air just above it. The forest had quite the mysterious feel, almost enchanting.

When the sun finally came out from beyond the heavy morning clouds, it was like glorious birth. Everything had life. Everything opened up. Including us. The heavy jackets came off and we came out of our cocoons and enjoyed nature and the life and beauty it holds. Keep planting trees to have forests that are beauties such as this!

Here is to Kinale Forest; you are quite the spectacle!

“We walked into the arms of the forest…”
Ishmael Beah

Bazuli Bemhlaba.

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WWIM11: NairobiAtDawn

Greetings earth dwellers! 🙂

Last Sunday morning most of Nairobi’s instagram community came together to shoot our beautiful city and experience one another’s creativity. It was a day filled with new faces, friendships, knowledge, laughter and perspective.

Many thanks to  https://instagram.com/instagram for the platform they have so graciously given to photographers and instagrammers all over the world.

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”
-Henry Ford

Bazuli bemhlaba.

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A tale of innate beauty…

Greetings Earth Dwellers,

This past weekend we awoke to a journey that begun with stories of flat tires and minimal car races that led to quite a bit of above ground action. 😀

Our plan was to capture the beautiful sunrise from the Mwea rice farms and though we ended up missing it, we still had an interesting experience at the farms learning how to strobe.

After making a quick stop at the Tana River bridge, to shoot, our trip had come to an end.

From witnessing and shooting our first solar ring to jamming to  https://youtu.be/kvohZWSMUVQ?list=PL91182146F2482AB7 in the car, its always a whole lot of fun touring our beautiful country, sharing new experiences and meeting new people.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
Augustine of Hippo

Bazuli Bemhlaba.

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