SISI NI MASHUJAA
Nairobi, Kenia. 2016
Kibera, Nairobi. It is considered the biggest urban slum in Africa, where 1 million inhabitants struggle everyday with a very tough reality.
This project is a reflexion of the strength that all the neighbors show everyday. A tribute to the smile, optimism and determination from every woman and man, to go on with their lives despite the hard conditions. Kibera is after all, a united community.
CONTEXT
Kibera means woods and before in the XX century it was a field near Nairobi. The first impact is overwhelming: stench, stagnant water, plastic mountains, animals eating from the trash, houses made up by enticing you can imagine, trenches but most of all mud.
 
Once you overcome the impact, you discover a totally different universe. A cohesive community, creative and alive. With so much force within it, that looks at life with their eyes quite open, teaching the young that spirit of survival that we haven’t seen elsewhere.
The best way to describe Kibera is by describing the children’s smiles and the way the shout «MZUNGU, MUZUNGU» (white man in Swahili) every time they see you.
CONCEPT
The Leso or Khanga is a type of cloth that women use in all of the east of Africa. Within its print, there is always a text that sends a message that accompanies you day by day. Women choose the fabric because of its colors, but especially because of the message.
 
There was not a better tribute to all of Kibera´s inhabitants than to dress up AMREF´s hospital with this leso that says SISI NI MASHUJAA, witch means WE ARE HEROES in Swahili.
THE PLACE
We have worked over the 6 containers from AMREF hospital at the Laini Saba ground. The only kind of «Open Park” at the township. A space of 2.500m/2 in witch every day thousands of people walk passing through or to play football or turning into a market or the play ground of the three schools that are near it. 
It is the greatest witness of the life in Kibera and probably the only public space that could be called square.
INFORMATION & CREDITS
  • 100m2 of mural executed over the containers of the AMREF hospital in the Laini Saba ground at Kibera
  • Synthetic enamel on corrugated sheet metal
  • The Project has being possible thanks to the healp of «GHETTO YOUTH FOCUS FOUNDATION» GYFFMADE IN KIBERAKUBUKA MÁS POR ELLOS and the support of RENAULT
  • Thanking specially to Geoffrey, Phlexible, Simon aka Twaani, Coco Tea, Cleophas, Denise, and Warrá for being our guardian angels in the slum. To Andrea, Luis, Carra, Miriam, Raffi, Álvaro and Jose Luis for being our family in Kibera
  • Thanks to all the community of Kibera for inspiring us and make us remember the true values in life
  • Photography by Boa Mistura