Young at heart
Following on from his totally fabulous series of photographs looking at Kenya’s “league of extravagant grannies”, Nairobi-based architect/photographer Osborne Macharia returns with a new set of images that brings the shimmer back to the golden years of some of Africa’s most wonderful grandpas.
Macharia tells the story of the Kabangu, a littleknown group from Kariobangi, an informal settlement in Nairobi. They’re “watchmen by night, hip-hop heads by day”, Macharia says. “A group of real hip-hop heads from the 80s who meet up regularly to educate and mentor young talent. They teach them values such as peace, equality, prosperity and social justice.” It’s the dream subject of every portraitist. Macharia uses his unique take on studio-style photography – well-lit; obviously posed; fashionably styled; and hyper, enhanced detail – with his own penchant for colour to draw attention to the elements of his subject that are so definitively “them”. Just look at “Nairobbery” so beautifully scrawled across the chest of one of the men.
His ability to take youth culture and spin it on to older bodies creates a juxtaposition that is so fresh, and so necessary, and gets us to ask if age is just a state of mind. Bring on Youth Day in all its forms.
For more of Macharia’s work, head to k63studio.com