Shooting Africa One Touch At a Time

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Having laboured to steer a rookie photographer beyond airbrushed point-and-shoot portrait photography, I wish I had expended that energy on pushing the agenda of this bunch of focused and self-driven photographers instead.

One Touch Live is a posse of 15 Kenyan photographers, some from varied white-collar noble professions, whose like-minded motive is to showcase Africa in its best light away from clichéd poverty porn. And theirs is no Afropolitan-touting by some foreign-educated African wannabe. This adventurous bunch embody the very definition of the [Afropolitan] coinage; an attempt at redefining African phenomena by placing emphasis on ordinary citizens’ experiences in Africa. They mostly showcase their work on social media platforms like Facebook (OneTouch Media Kenya), Twitter (via various hashtags; #OneTouchLive, #OccupyAfrica and #ShootingKenya) and on Instagram. Each member also takes time to blog about their adventures.

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Aerial shot of Mombasa via sky diving (PHOTO BY EPHRAIM “EFI” MUCHEMI)

“We are funny creative, people who chose to come together and learn from each other through taking photos and sharing each other’s company,” says George Kanyingi, a cinematographer. Theirs is about camaraderie complete with getting into fights, discovering new things while critiquing each other.

Their road-trips throw up anything like cooking in the rain, chasing after sunsets and swimming in fresh water lakes. One intimated in one to their promo videos (http://onetouchmedia.net/videos.php) to having seen a marine park that was in his own backyard, first on National Geographic yet it was just a bus ride and a couple of thousand shillings in entry fees away.

One Touch Zebra

Zebra in the wild

As they hit Kampala this week en route to Burundi, their grander plan, if the orange map of Africa on http://onetouchmedia.net/ is anything to go by, is a road trip from Nairobi to Namibia. Now that is adventure with more than just one touch. Call it a modern-day Great Trek if you like!

The One Touch Media Kenya posse are;

  • Amunga Eshuchi; Professional Documentary and Corporate photographer.
  • Kevin Shani; graphic artist, photographer and designer.
  • Mutua Matheka; Artist, Graphics Designer, Architect, Photographer
  • Joe Were; Musician
  • Michael Katetei; video editor, filmmaker, photographer
  • Mwangi Kirubi
  • Hiuhu Murimi; Web designer, Cartoonist, Illustrator and Graphic Designer
  • Ephraim Muchemi; adventure traveller, adrenaline junkie, Photographer
  • Joanne Kiarie; talented budding photographer
  • Naomi Katetei
  • Joe Makeni; Structural Engineer
  • George Kanyingi; Professional Photographer and Filmmaker
  • Sharon Langat; Writer
  • Steven Kitoto
  • Paul Obuna

Text: MOSES SERUGO (kampala1ne@gmail.com)

Pix: One Touch Media

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