Today I’m featuring a picture of a Kenian seamstress taken by Sascha Möllering from 60 Seconds Blog.
Sascha was born in Berlin (west) in the time of dinosaurs (1974). He worked as a digital marketing manager for 12 years, before he decided to work with real people and became a bike guide.
Started blogging 2,5 years ago for his employer and created his own blog a year ago. Started getting into the video a short while ago, trying to perfect his visual storytelling skills, so do follow him on Facebook and Instagram to check on how he does with it.
Photo Story: Kenian Seamstress
I took this photo Homa Bay on the Kenian side of Lake Victoria. I spent the day riding around a Boda-Boda (motorbike taxi) shooting an interview with a mechanic of World Bicycle Relief. But that is a completely different story, involving a lot of misunderstandings and the intervention of a couple of village elders on my behalf.
Getting off said motorbike after a long day, I heard a rather undignified tearing noise from my crotch. Suddenly I didn’t only stand out for being the only white guy around. It’s strange enough for a first-timer in Africa if kids along the road start screaming “Mzungu!” the moment they see you.
Nowadays it is just used as an expression for “white guy”. Originally it was more like “a single person wandering around aim- and cluelessly” and was used to describe western missionaries and researchers.
If I wanted to stand out, even more, I couldn’t have done better, because by now everyone in a 12-mile radius probably knew I was wearing checkered underpants. So I asked around to find a seamstress who would be willing to fix my trousers right now.
At first, the seamstress felt a bit insecure about me taking her picture. Once I was standing in front of her with a huge towel wrapped around my hips, they all had to laugh. Apparently, a Kenian man would never let himself be seen in such a girlish outfit.
So she lost her interest in me and my camera and I was able to take a couple of nice portraits. When the nun came along to pick up some clothes I simply asked and she agreed.
She giggled and blushed before agreed under the condition, she didn’t want to be in the picture alone. That’s all it took to create this moment of silent dignity.
I can’t even tell you why I like this picture of Kenian seamstress so much. Maybe it’s the guy sitting in the back looking sceptical. Maybe it’s the nun’s posture; upright and proud, while you can still see the weight of a hard life trying to push her down.
The world rests on the shoulders of strong women everywhere, but I found this to be especially true in Africa. I wholeheartedly admire every single one of them. Fighting to keep their families and communities afloat in a challenging environment and always ready with a smile and encouragement for those who need it.