HADITHI ZA WATU.
A photography project that tells peoples stories in an intimate and humane way, i photograph strangers and let them speak the world for themselves.
hadithi is a swahili word, meaning stories, watu is people; therefore hadithi za watu is peoples stories.
Nairobi presents a duality, more like a double sided coin, on normal days hooting of matatus and hawkers all over your shoulder trying to make a living. On sundays its rather different, a quiet and not so crowded city, one full of life and fashion, vibes and inshallah. On this day i had an opportunity to photograph a stranger who later became a friend.
kevin ochieng is a father of six children and he has been a fish vendor for close to 10 years now, kevin sits on the main entrance of the city market, in his amusement i notice and approach him.
i asked whats the most interesting thing about you and the city market.
" i am father and i enjoy interacting with people, seeing them come with empty stomachs to look for food remind of why i do what i do. i enjoy seeing families eat together. i am always excited and ready to experience that when i leave here. fish mongering for close to 10 years is not easy, i get customers who ask different questions and sometimes i do not have the answers, some will say that they dont like fish from nakuru they only prefer ones from lake victoria, thank God i am from those sides and i can tell the difference. My greatest fear is that i dont get to spend more time with my family, i have to work long hours to make sure that they are okay, but i hope some day time will allow me to be there for them"
"I am retiree, i used to work at the city county, " Juma says. Do you miss work i ask. " yes and no, but i am always here to check my bank account, we weren't paid for some work we did, when i was here and i am always here to check that. its a reasonable amount for my sustainability and i dont think i should let it go. we were promised that once the new administration took over it will be settled too bad we are still down this road.i moved from busia to check with the bank its very tiring since its quite a distance but i have to do it," wilfrida poses. where arevyou going to spend the night? i ask. " at my sisters in huruma, then ill travel back the following week. for an old mama this is tiresome, i cant spend at my daughters since its a taboo, you know traditions wont allow that. you are of this new generation you wouldnt understand. i will travel back and hope to find some good news when i return. i also preferred coming to the cbd on sundays, its quiet, unlike weekdays the hustle and bustle is not that much, i could sit and think about myself and my family. i remember i used to see one or two people with cameras on their chests, today theres a lot of you, i think in will tell my grandchild to pursue this."