Kisumu Pacho

Fly 540 plane

Amid grey and black clouds, the sickle-shaped moon hung like a comma in the sky. Then, white and red lights flashed like lightning. Flickering faster and faster, the metal bird with a belly full of humans cut into the night. We were headed to earth, to sable grounds glittering like studded mattresses, stilled fire flies.

Our flight to Kisumu could be measured in one safety instruction demonstration + dispersion and consumption of half a packet of Britannia biscuits and cup of Fanta + reading 13 pages of Yejide Kilanko’s Daughters Who Walk This Path + listening to photographer Sebastian Wanzalla and trip producer, Cindy K calmly explain to the orange-clad air hostess why they had to keep their hand luggage on their laps.

A cough and sneeze and we were in Osum.

Capture Kenya Team 5: Wanjeri, Sebastian and Cindy

Three of us were in the land of fiery leaders and excellent fish to kick off the 10-day Capture Kenya adventure. The hunt for the zingy, the cool and the unexpected on the Naivasha-Kisumu-Kakamega circuit will hopefully yield fantastic images for Safaricom’s 2015 Calendar. It’s theme being ‘Unexpected Kenya’.

Descent into Kisumu was preceded by a scratchy announcement over the intercom. The low male voice barely paused from a river of sentences and I barely deduced that 30 minutes after boarding we’d arrived.

A few months ago, I made the same trip…by road and in nine hours.

My visit to the city this time is shaped by the task of shadowing Seba as he lines up beautiful shots, and, to tell the story around and about the final image. From the look of things, Kisumu will yield amazing images.

I took a mental one myself as I disembarked from the plane—

An air hostess had instructed the lady sitting right by the door to stay back till all other passengers alighted. The lady protested and made for the exit. I watched as the figure in a white baseball cap and an orange and black tie-and-dye dress boldly cut across the airport tarmac.

Her body rose and fell in a steady rhythm. She leaned heavily to the right to compensate the clumsy movement of her left foot brace but putting great distance between her and the steel fowl. Defiantly throwing an orange scarf over her shoulder, she sidestepped a wheelchair-pushing attendee who’d been heading for her.

She became our Moses. We followed her lead to the Promised Land of Baggage Collection and the knowledgeable Titus Mulwa and Mark Onyango, our Capture Kenya guides.

Meet the entire Capture Kenya 2015 team here and read more stories from the road!

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