Enchanted

OluluaA

Photos by Tosh.

Words by Wanjiku.

Concept and direction by Agnes Agada.

Some spaces that carry magic in them, simmering with the promise of stories. If you listen carefully to the trees whispering, the water roaring, the birds humming, at first everything sounds like separate strains of meaningless noise but keep listening and watching and the music starts to form before your eyes.

We’re almost at the trail when Tosh points out of the window and tells me that there, where he’s pointing, is a garden where it’s so quiet you can hear the sound of silence. It surrounds a convent, and and to enter you have to leave behind your camera your cellphone and– most importantly– your noise, which is why we’re not going there to take photographs, even though I think that creating something in the silentest of silences would be a fascinating idea. In theory at least.

Olulua Nature Trail is not quiet, but the noise is a different kind of noise from that which we’re used to in Nairobi city, and I feel instantly at peace as soon as we land. Important lessons I soon will learn: there’s a reason it’s called ‘posing’. Nobody actually sits like this or poses like this or does any of these things in normal life. When I was a child I once harbored brief fantasies of being a model, fantasies that were, sadly, dashed when I realized that I’d never grow to be the requisite 5’7″ height that was necessary. And so, having neatly locked away those dreams, this is the first time I’m sitting for photographs for a friend’s project. With time, the whole thing will start to feel like a different form of theater.

Looking back, I realize that often, when you see a picture of someone smizing atop a dangerous cliff or by a waterfall and you think “wow. so amazing that they were not afraid to do that”, they probably were pretty afraid to do it and the only reason they actually went through with it was because a director was shouting at them the whole time (I love you Agnes). All of this is unnatural and I’m in awe of people who do this for a living without cringing or bursting out into laughter the whole time, which is what I spent much of this shoot doing.

Warmest,

W.

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