Gallery I

Kenya

Home
Gallery I
Gallery II
Gallery III
Ricardo Martin Photos
Jewelry from Kenya
Spotlight
Artist's Bio
Feedback

 

 

Taxi -“Boda Boda”

 
Muhoroni, Kenya

2009

Boda bodas have been around since 1990, when young people in Busia, a Kenyan town that shares a border with Uganda, used bicycles to smuggle goods across the border. In fact, "boda boda" comes from the English word "border."

These youth quickly realized that the same bicycles they used to carry goods from Kenya to Uganda and back could also ferry people in the transportation-poor villages of Western Kenya. The mania spread its wings to neglected rural villages in the west and beyond.

With an estimated 90 percent of Kenyan roads not being paved and many roads being impassable by vehicles, the boda boda has become a versatile, quick, and reliable form of transportation.



Photograph is available with a black wood finished  frame.

 

Black Frame
                                                  
Matted Only - No Frame

 

Siaya Girl
 


Siaya, Kenya

2009
 

This little girl was gathering and carrying twigs on a would-be school day. She paused just enough to allow me to take a few shots of her. She walked tall and proud, very aware of how beautiful she was.

Despite primary education being free, the children in Kenya could only attend school if they have a uniform which costs approximately ten dollars. This little girl did not attend school because, like many Kenyans, her family does not have the money to buy a uniform or basic clothing resulting in this girl being in rags.

 

 


Photograph is available in a brushed gold wood finished  frame.

  

Brushed Gold Frame

 

Matted Only - No Frame

Red Dresses
 


Kisumu, Kenya



2009

Kenya's recent introduction of free primary education helps girls forced out of school by poverty to regain lost ground. The girls, however, still face many challenges, from the humiliation of worn-out uniforms to views favoring boys' education. Early marriage, motherhood and female genital mutilation are rites that often mark withdrawal from school.

The Ministry of Education has made it clear that students without uniforms should not be turned away. Yet, for girls, the stigma of having even a torn uniform is enough to discourage class participation or even attendance.

                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                       Photograph is available in a brushed gold wood finished  frame.

Brushed Gold Frame
Matted Only - No Frame

 

Native Plate


Muhoroni, Kenya


2009

This plate of food was prepared by a group of women of the village of Muhoroni. Our group from America, sent money ahead so the women could purchase and prepare food for us and the people in the local village. In a separate dining area, we were served fish, chicken, beef, rice, potatoes, greens, cabbage, chapati and a few more dishes for lunch. There was enough money for the women to purchase the same food for themselves, but this is the food they chose to eat that afternoon...ugali (cornmeal) and rice. It cost a dollar a day to feed a Kenyan family and they don't have it. Because of the high poverty level within the area, there are those who go without food for days at a time.

 

 

Photograph is available in a brushed gold wood finished  frame.

 

Brushed Gold Frame
Matted Only - No Frame

Modern Kitchen Stove

 

Siaya, Kenya

 

2009

A Siayan family hosted a dinner for our group. They were a considered “wealthy” family because they owned a vehicle, a refrigerator, livestock and a television. Their house was not a typical mud house. It was made of concrete and it had electricity. After a delicious dinner, I decided to sneak a peek into the kitchen, expecting to see modern appliances. The concrete countertop gave this photo a lot of texture while the ugali, the pots and the other items contributed the bold color.

 

                        Photograph is available in a brushed gold wood finished  frame.
 

Brushed Gold Frame
Matted Only - No Frame

 


Modern Kitchen Stove

 

Siaya, Kenya

 

 

2009

 

A Siayan family hosted a dinner for our group. They were a considered “wealthy” family because they owned a vehicle, a refrigerator, livestock, a television and they had electricity. After a fine dinner, I decided to sneak a peek into the kitchen expecting to see modern appliances. This is what I saw. They did most of the cooking outside but underneath the countertop there was a small wood-burning stove.

 

 

                          Photograph is available in a brushed gold wood finished  frame.

 

Brushed Gold Frame
Matted Only - No Frame

Village of Siaya

 

Siaya, Kenya
 

2009

Siaya, the ancestral district of US President Barack Obama, is a rural area in western Kenya with a population of 750,000. Poverty is still a major challenge to overcome. Most families live on less than a dollar a day resulting in 65 percent of  Siaya residents living below the poverty line. Health and sanitary problems (diseases like malaria, AIDS and malnutrition) have further worsened living conditions. Basic utilities like electricity, gas and running water, are very uncommon Siaya.

Photograph is available in a medium brown wood finished  frame.

 

Medium Brown Frame
Matted Only - No Frame

 


 

Tin House


Muhoroni, Kenya
 

2009

It is clear that in reality, the general housing situation in Kenya is deteriorating for the majority of poor and vulnerable groups. The number of homeless persons is increasing day by day and there are people in the towns living with no shelter at all. Faced with the scale of the problem, some have resorted to forms of distressed housing such as slums and squatter settlements; old buses; roadside

embankments; cellars; staircases; rooftops; elevator enclosures; cages; cardboard boxes; plastic sheets; aluminum and tin shelters. It is also estimated that the majority of urban dwellers live in overcrowded and poor quality housing with inadequate provision of water, sanitation, drainage and garbage collection putting their health continually at risk.
 

 

                                                                                                   

                                                                                   Photograph is available in a medium brown wood finished  frame.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Medium Brown Frame

   Photograph is available in a black wood finished  frame.

Black Wood Finished Frame
Matted Only - No Frame

 


 

Muhoroni Girl



Muhoroni, Kenya



2009

This little girl was standing outside of a church in Muhoroni, Kenya. She was very timid and small for her age. All the other kids eagerly approached me when they saw I was taking pictures, but this little girl stayed away. When I approached her, she kindly allowed me to take her picture and quietly walked away. Based on her behavior, I immediately assumed this girl was an orphan.

Orphans in the western Kenya area are faced with psychological distress generated from the trauma the children experience as they watch their parents die of dreadful diseases. They are left with traumatizing memories of society’s stigma towards them and the many unanswered questions about their parents’ death. In the home of a guardian, the orphans are normally beaten, denied food and barred from attending school to take care of the house work.

 

                                                                                  Photograph is available in a thick dark brown wood finished  frame.

                                                      

Thick Dark Brown Frame
Matted Only - No Frame

 


Baby

 

Muhoroni, Kenya


 

2009


 

This small child was sitting in the doorway of a church in Muhoroni. He was partially naked and barefoot. Average number of children per family is five. It is very difficult to provide sufficient food, healthcare and education to all the family members on a low income. Women and children, whose status is low in the society, suffer from poor education and malnutrition. The death rate of Kenyan children under the age of five is among the highest in the world, with the leading causes of mortality being: pneumonia, HIV/AIDS, malaria, diarrhoeal disease, dehydration, and anemia. Approximately 66% of all childhood deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa are preventable, but 80% of them die without ever seeing a doctor.


 

Photograph is available in a medium brown wood finished  frame.

Medium Brown Frame
Matted Only - No Frame

 


 

Blessed


 

Siaya, Kenya


2009


 

During a church service, all of the children were called to the alter for prayer. the minister prayed for this little girl while two other women laid hands on her.

 

 

 

 

 

 Photograph is available in a medium brown wood finished  frame.

                                                 

Medium Brown Frame
Matted Only - No Frame

 


Munzugu “White Person” Doll

 

Siaya, Kenya

 

2009


 

There is a common belief that light skin is beautiful, provides more opportunities, better jobs, more respect, acknowledgement and better treatment from society. In 2001, the Kenya Bureau of Standards announced a ban on the sale of cosmetics that have a bleaching effect on skin. The banned cosmetics contain mercury, hydroquinone, oxidizing agents or hormonal preparations that have been found to cause damage to the mouth, kidney, liver and even the brain. Ultimately, prolonged use can lead to death. Despite the dangers of these products, the market for skin lightening agents has persisted.

In Kenya, being light skinned or mixed race is an automatic stamp of beauty. There’s a common misconception among women, that only light skin is beautiful. Regardless of the health risks involved, many women with darker skin tones are opting for skin lighteners to “improve” their skin color.

 

 Photograph is available in a medium brown wood finished  frame.

                                                     

Medium Brown Frame
Matted Only - No Frame

 


 

Entering Church
 

Muhoroni, Kenya

2009

 

Although Kenya is 80% Christian, the religion's mix with local culture has brought about a curious sort of Christianity. Locals absorb the message of salvation, but pray at Mt Kenya for a good harvest and the cleansing of curses.

In a country where half the population live below the poverty line and cannot afford basic health care, repentance - which costs nothing - is their only hope.
 

             

      Photograph is available in a medium brown wood finished  frame.

                

 

Medium Brown Frame
Matted Only - No Frame

 


                                                                                                                                    The Feeding

                      Muhoroni, Kenya 

 

                                                         2009

Malaria is the leading killer of children and pregnant women. Already facing limited access to health care, pregnant women are also at a higher risk of malaria infection as pregnancy reduces the body's ability to fight disease. Once infection occurs, malaria increases the chance of death or illness for both the mother and child.

 

 

 

                            Photograph is available in a medium brown wood finished  frame.

       

 

 

Medium Brown Frame
Matted Only - No Frame

 


Praise

Muhoroni, Kenya

2009

 

Before Christianity was introduced to Kenya by the missionaries, Kenyans predominantly followed traditional beliefs and rituals. This has changed greatly since the 19th century and only about 10% of the population still follows these practices. Although indigenous beliefs and rituals vary among the ethnic groups in Kenya, they share general characteristics. God is commonly manifested in the sun, moon, mountains, stars and tree particularly the fig tree. The Kikuyu community believed that their God "Ngai" lived on the snow-capped mount Kenya .

 

 

 

Photograph is available in a medium brown wood finished  frame.

                                                                      

Medium Brown Frame


 

Matted Only - No Frame

Church



Muhoroni, Kenya
 


2009  

 

Western tolerance for Kenya's enculturation of the doctrine has grown over time. In the 19th century, missions added few converts and even fewer clergy. Priests eventually changed their expectations, welcoming hordes of local converts without much religious education. Kenyans are Anglican, Pentecostal and Catholic, but many are classified as independent, mixing Protestantism with indigenous customs. Evangelicals are often left turning a blind eye to “backwards” Kenyan customs, prioritizing either the community or religion.
 

 Photograph is available in a medium brown wood finished  frame.                                                                                                                                          

Medium Brown Frame


Photograph is available in a brushed gold wood finished  frame.

Brushed Gold Frame
Matted Only - No Frame

 

Hotel

Muhoroni, Kenya

2009

This "hotel" was probably intended for the local patrons and not the tourists who are accustomed to better suited accommodations.

 

 

 

 


Photograph is available in a black wood finished  frame.

   

Black Wood Finished Frame

        

Matted Only - No Frame

This photo is also available in a 8' x 10" plastic frame.

Black Plastic Frame

Boy in Mud House
 

Muhoroni, Kenya
 

2009
 

Nearly 60 percent of Kenya’s 37 million residents are rural subsistence farmers and live on less than US$2 a day. Although parts of the country are lush, green fields of healthy crops, many people in the rural areas suffer extreme poverty. Families live in inadequate, overcrowded homes, typically with only one room and no windows. The houses usually have mud walls, cow dung and dirt floors and thatch roofs. The structures are extremely dilapidated and leak seriously during rainy seasons. Poor home construction means they serve as breeding grounds for diseases including malaria, amoebic disorders and respiratory conditions, which are commonly life-threatening.
 

Photograph available in a thick dark  brown wood finished  frame.

Thick Dark Brown Frame

Photograph available in a black wood finished  frame.

Black Wood Finished Frame
Matted Only - No Frame

School Children

 

Nyanza Province, Kenya

2009

Primary and lower secondary education helps reduce poverty by increasing the productivity of the poor, by reducing fertility and improving health, and by equipping people with the skills they need to participate fully in the economy and in society.

Many parents attach little value to girls’ education. Some believe that educating a girl simply enriches her husband’s family, while educating a boy is seen as enriching his own family. A girl who has received too much education may either not get a suitable husband or cause difficulties in marriage leading to divorce.

 

Photograph is available in a brushed gold wood finished  frame.

 

Brushed Gold Frame
Matted Only - No Frame

 


 

Boy in Red



Muhoroni, Kenya


2009


This photograph was taken on the church compound in Muhoroni.  The church headquarters contains a school and living quarters where they educate, feed and house the people of the small village.

 

 

Photograph is available in a medium brown wood finished frame.                       

Medium Brown Frame

Photograph is available in a black wood finished  frame.

Black Wood Finished Frame
Matted Only - No Frame

 


 

The Hole


 

Muhoroni, Kenya


 

2009

The Hole, an outhouse, or “long drop” is simply a hole in the ground. Unlike outhouses in the US, long drops don’t provide you with anything to sit on, so you have to straddle a hole and squat to make your drop.

 

              Photograph is available in a black wood finished  frame.

                                                  

Black Wood Finished Frame
Matted Only - No Frame

 


Bicycle Repair

 

Siaya, Kenya

2009

 

Attempts to manufacture bicycles locally in Kenya were abandoned in the 1980’s due to the small size of the market and a lack of comparative advantage for component manufacture with China or India. Bicycles are imported in parts and assembled locally. In 2002 the Kenyan government announced the elimination of bicycle import duties and the years that followed saw a huge growth in the number of imported bicycles.  Boda Bodas are inadequate solutions for the daily transport of cargo. The quality, safety, and load-carrying capacity of the bicycles sold in Kenya are all poor. A Boda Boda operator spends as much each year on maintenance as he would for a new bicycle. Kenyans have adapted superbly to the tools available, but there is much more that the bicycle industry and Kenyan merchants can do to transform the bicycle into a real poverty-fighting tool.


Photograph is available in a black wood finished  frame.

 

Black Wood Finished Frame
Matted Only - No Frame

     This photo is also available in a 8' x 10" plastic frame.

Black Plastic Frame

 


 

Big Bike

 

Nyanza Province, Kenya

2009

 

This little boy walked this bicycle along a rural road in western Kenya. The bike was too big for him to ride making it possible he was delivering the bike to its owner

 


Photograph is available in a black wood finished  frame.

 

Black Wood Finished Frame
Matted Only - No Frame

This photo is also available in a 8' x 10" plastic frame.

Black Plastic Frame

Bare Feet

 

Siaya, Kenya

 

2009

 

There is a huge health problem caused by a parasite called "hookworm." Hookworm lives in wet dirt and raw sewage kids in the African slum walk around with no shoes causing the worm to enter from the foot, making its way into the intestine. This can cause retardation death and birth defects in as little as 6-7 weeks. Hookworms lay eggs in the intestine and the eggs come out in the stool of its host. This can be stopped with a simple solution. SHOES!

 

Photograph is available in a brushed gold wood finished  frame.

 

Brushed Gold Wood Finished Frame
Matted Only - No Frame

This photo is also available in a 8' x 10" plastic frame.

Black Plastic Frame

 
 
 

Home | Gallery I | Gallery II | Gallery III | Ricardo Martin Photos | Jewelry from Kenya | Spotlight | Artist's Bio | Feedback

This site was last updated 03/02/10