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Kazi ya Mkono (KYM) concerns itself with an invisible workforce. The ones whom playwright August Wilson described as pursuing “a way to live life with dignity and whatever eloquence the heart can call upon”…people of “definite and sincere worth”. Their work is demanding and requires grit. It pushes back against the ‘soul-sapping efficiencies of the modern age’.

Series 01 of Kazi ya Mkono focuses on a hairdresser, a welder and a watchmaker. The project artists, Bethuel Muthee, Naddya Adhiambo Oluoch-Olunya & Wanjeri Gakuru have produced work that seeks to honour these individuals, presenting them as complicated protagonists with as many dreams, triumphs and ambitions as the disappointments and tragedies they’ve faced.


Naddya Adhiambo Oluoch-Olunya

Naddya Adhiambo Oluoch-Olunya is an Animation Director and Musician from Nairobi, Kenya. 

For the past 12 years, she has relished the challenge of diving into a new story world, researching it’s histories, growing it’s palette and pushing graphic language to a place that only animation can go. With a practice spanning comics, animation and XR she has worked with studios from all over the world including Netflix Animation, Shujaaz.inc, Faceboook and ZanaAfrica.

As Founder and CEO of Nalo Studios, her goal is to tell fresh nourishing stories however and whenever she can.

You can find more of her work here

Bethuel Muthee

Bethuel Muthee is a poet living and working in Nairobi. He is a member of Maasai Mbili Artists Collective.
He was series editor for Down River Road’s inaugural issue “Place. As a member of Naijographia he has co-curated three exhibitions:
1. Naijographia (2017, Goethe Institute Nairobi)
2. Wanakuboeka Feelharmonic (2018, British Institute in East Africa) 3. From Here to When (2019, Goethe Institute).
You can read more of his work here

Wanjeri Gakuru

Wanjeri Gakuru is a freelance journalist, essayist and filmmaker. A cross-section of her writing has appeared in Transition Magazine, The Africa Report, The Elephant, LA Times Magazine and CNN, among others. 

Wanjeri is an alumna of the 2014 Farafina Creative Writing Workshop. She was selected as the 2018 Literary Ambassador for Nairobi by Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel and in 2020 was appointed Nataal’s Nairobi-based Contributing Editor. 

Between 2018 and 2020, Wanjeri served as Managing Editor of Pan-African writers’ collective, Jalada Africa.
She served as Co-Curator and Festival Producer during the Collective’s inaugural Jalada Mobile Literary and Arts Festival covering Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, DRC and Rwanda (2017). 

In 2021, Wanjeri was appointed Jalada Africa’s Board Secretary. Wanjeri is a founding member and the Partnerships Director of Rogue Film Society (RFS), a collective of multi-talented African filmmakers and thespians working in film, TV, theater and advertising. Wanjeri co-wrote feature films, Supa Modo (2018) and Lusala (2019) as well as the pilot for TV drama series, Country Queen (2019). The independent filmmaker made her directorial debuts in short fiction and documentary in 2019 and 2020 with the mockumentary, Get Laid (2019) premiering at Shorts, Shorts and Shots Festival in collaboration with NBO Film Festival and the documentary film project, Nielimishe (2020) which is currently moving around the festival circuits. 

You can read more of her work here