Photography by Kevin Tosh.
Location: The Murumbi African Heritage Collections.
When I was growing up, I wasn’t much of a fan of history lessons. It was interesting but ultimately all too tedious to memorize the names, the dates, the numbers. I was always much more interested in the stories of these people than in the collective stories, which meant that I ended up choosing geography for my final exam– which wasn’t that much more interesting but for some reason the prospect of memorizing rock names was a little less daunting than of memorizing the entire history of Kenya. Looking back, I feel a little silly about this; no doubt if I’d given history the chance instead of writing it off, I probably would have learnt a great deal and would have been grateful for it today. But to this day, I have to admit that it’s hard for me to keep up with current events unless I can feel a human connection to them. Which is why I really love it when authors are able to tell a story within history, for instance, Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun or Margaret Ogola’s The River and the Source.
I feel similarly about the Murumbi African Heritage Collections, which are a capsule of history and a collection of various beautiful items put together by Joseph Murumbi and his wife Sheila, while there were still alive. To be honest, I’m not sure how someone could have managed to collect so much (gorgeous) stuff during a lifetime. From jewelry to sculptures to paintings, carvings, cloth, books– the collection is an eclectic array of little pieces documenting a PanAfrican history and present. I felt myself blown away, not just by the physical beauty of the place, but by the historical beauty of it.
With the help of Kevin Tosh and Amanda of Amanda’s Fashion, I’ll be dedicating a few posts to featuring a little snippet of these collections. Also: what a lovely coincidence that this is also during Black History Month (in the US).