Wycliffe Opondo "Wiki", Supa Kutz Baba Shop, mixed media on canvas, 55" x 47"
The joys of getting a haircut are known to everyone. When I was growing up I got all my haircuts in Kibera, Nairobi, where my parents owned a tavern. Saturdays were the days my dad would take me with him to Kibera to get a hair cut. These were moments of bonding that I always looked forward to.
Wiki's work (seen above) takes me back to the barber shop space in Kibera. The "box" would be my cut of choice and my dad would go for the "Jodan." While getting the cut, the radio would either be tuned to Kiss Fm or the Ghetto Fm station. Music is a big part of life in Kibera and every shop or corner presents itself with different music and conversations.
Twenty-two-year-old Willy Paul (see video below) grew up in such a neighborhood in Mathare slums, Nairobi. Despite being born in Nairobi and growing up there, his music borrows heavily from the Tanzanian music genre bongo flava. Willy Paul says innovation is the prerequisite for survival in the slum. He maintains it is easier to be creative in such a space because you are exposed to so many ideas, cultures and people. Today, Willy's music is a hit with all the Kenyan radio stations.
Willy Paul feat. Size 8 - Tam Tam Remix