Christabel Ntete is a vibrant young woman! The first thing that she meets you with is a wide smile and bright eyes. Her colleagues are different shades of reactions. Ethel Nshakira is also smiling but hers is tempered and steady. I have seen her photography on instagram, and become a little giddy meeting her in person. Lagum Owor has a calm gaze. I am sure I have heard that name in my circles. He’s the only guy in this group and he’s carrying some machines. Shari Mwanika is butterflying, she tries a lot of shots in lots of different positions with her camera. Later I am introduced to her instagram .Peace Bakwega is almost like a spy, she’s present but not in your face, almost shy. [She is @foreign_onthis on her social].
The team are meeting me this morning as part of a series/documentary they are developing called “Africa Through Their Eyes”. I am late, so I come in rushing with apologies almost creating a white lie or two. Thank God their good graces kept me from taking it that far. Peace and Lagum help me carry a sofa to a position with good light. I allow them to set up as I join my colleagues for a small meeting.
When they are ready they call me to the hot seat. What goes on are Qs and As over several topics. Their questions seem simple but they are not, they are somewhat asking me about who I am, whether I am proud of who I am, what I want to see happen in the continent and the country and what I would do to help if I had the resources. It’s a good discussion with Christabel who is the lead on the project.
Lagum set his microphone and machines in the corner and is responsible for the sound. He watches intently at the goings on of the discussion. If you did not know, he is also a rapper, peep his music now. Peace sits on the platform a little to my right, saying nothing just clicking inconspicuously. Ethel is seated next to Christabel, Shari is moving around taking all kinds of angles.
The energy these ladies and gentleman share is rich. I ask them whether this endeavour is part of a school project and they respond in the negative. Ethel says somehow God brought them all together. They are interested in pursuing a narrative of Africa that is not bound to the conservative view we have all shared. This spans education, arts, culture, fashion and other industry. They are pursuing a narrative that allows diversity, that encourages diligence in the different fields, that allows people to pursue what they want and contribute to the common goal of an Africa we want to see.
“Africa Through Their Eyes” aims to share African perspectives from different voices, different points of view, different passions. We know that collective stories contribute to a greater story.
What I love about the team is their youth, their creativity, their energy, their initiative. They are not waiting for CNN African Voices to tell the story in their community. I am very excited for them and where they are taking this and cannot wait to see their finished work.
You can follow them on Instagram or Twitter – @africathroughtheireyes.
Some photos from the shoot. (Like I said, Peace is they shy one, so she isn’t in these photos but the one I took has her in. Enjoy)