This week I met up with George at the ACREF center in Baba Dogo before going into the community to meet some of Sisi Ni Amani‘s partners. George and the other Sisi Coordinators have spent months identifying and cultivating relationships with the people and grassroots organizations who can be their ears on the ground. These partners help monitor happenings, including potential tensions, in the informal settlements.
George shared his routine of checking in weekly with business owners and shopkeepers. They fill him in on what they are seeing and hearing during this pre-election time. On our walk we stopped by a soldering shop, a cyber cafe and a youth barbershop. At each stop, George engaged in conversation, asked questions, and took notes in his monitoring notebook. The cyber cafe owner told George that she’s noticed a few individuals and families moving out of the community, some outside of Nairobi, just to be safe. She said it isn’t a large number, which they felt was a good sign.
“Where there is no peace, there is no food…”
At the barber shop George talked with three young men, all musicians and artists, about their feelings during this week before the March 4th elections. These three young men performed their music at several of the Political Debates that I shot in October and November of last year and I recognized them immediately. After George spent a bit of time with the young men, I asked them to share their thoughts on Sisi Ni Amani’s work, their reflections on ‘peace,’ and their post-election plans.
Below is a clip of raw video shot at the Santana Supercutz Barber Shop.