Boniface Mwangi: Rebel behind the lens

If you have seen the moving post election photos of 2007/08 by the award-winning photojournalist Boniface Mwangi, two things stand out; the photographer is passionate and also very bold. This, in a nutshell, is how one can describe Boniface. His work as a photo journalist has driven him to his current occupation as an activist, now credited for the ‘mavultures’ graffiti that adorn public places – painting politicians as vultures feeding on hapless Kenyans.

But is Boniface a ‘rebel’ without cause? What’s his deal? He shared a glimpse of his life with Daystar students recently.

The multiple award winner is currently the director of Picha Mtaani, a youth led initiative that engages the Kenyan youth to reconcile through dialogue. He talked on the youth’s role in changing the country. Boniface is using photos, multi-media and art to communicate his message to the nation.

“The guys who make us fight will never fight,” his disdain for greedy politicians is evident in his speech and work. “I look forward to a safe country where he can take his wife for a night date at Uhuru Park without fear of being raped or sodomised.”

Boniface urged students to avoid herd mentality, be idealistic and excel in what they endeavor to do.

“The good thing about being young is that you can dream beyond the impossible,” he said. “Don’t just live, it’s a waste of time.”

He referred to renowned golf player Tiger Woods who was never surprised when he won. He always expected to win.

Boniface also shared his childhood and life experience. Despite growing up with a lot of hardships, he has managed to come this far.

“You will find different people in life that will destruct you, don’t lose your eye on the goal,” he said.

Life to him is like a supermarket where you walk in, pick anything, but at the end one must be willing to pay the price.

He recounted how he first met his wife while selling flowers at Daystar University graduation in 2004 where his wife was one of the graduands.

His love for photography was born while in Bible School, where he used to take photos and after he read Mohammed Amin’s book, his fate was sealed as a photo-journalist.

Boniface also runs Pawa 254, a creative hub which engages Kenyan creatives, innovative to achieve social change.

Students also watched the much-acclaimed video, Heal the Nation, about the post-election violence.

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