Boniface Mwangi is an award-winning Kenyan photojournalist better known for his social-political activism based i Nairobi Kenya.
Image Source: mpasho.co.ke
Things You Didn’t Know About Boniface Mwangi || Biography
Boniface Mwangi was born on July 10, 1983 in Taveta at the Kenya-Tanzania border.
His mother was a businesswoman who traded across the border. Mwangi was moved to live with his grandparents home in Nyeri, Central Kenya, when he was six years old. He would encounter linguistic challenges, having mastered Kiswahili at birth – the country’s national language that’s widely spoken across East and Central Africa – although Gikuyu is the language most spoken in Central Kenya. Mwangi later moved with his mother to live in Nairobi’s low-income suburb of Ngara, then Highrise in Majengo, Githurai 45, before finally settling in Pangani. Mwangi dropped in and out of school during this period and helped his mother vend books to raise money for basic needs
Mr Mwangi is married to Hellen Njeri Mwangi, who supports everything he does in terms of his work.They truly work as a team to keep both their work on promoting peace and good leadership, as raising their children to the best of their ability and creating an opportunity for them to live in a future country which is socially just and free of ethnic divides and impunity by leadership
Mr Boniface is a father of three young children namely Simphiwe, Sifa, and Mboya.
Boniface Mwangi is the founder of Picha Mtaani; a travelling exhibition that was part of an effort to foster dialogue, reconciliation and healing in Kenya.
In late 2011, he spent proceedings from his personal investments to found and fund a creative hub, Pawa254, a collaborative space that brings together journalists, artists and activists seeking innovative ways to achieve social change. ()
Boniface Mwangi is an award winning Kenyan photo-activist who for four years held a staff photographer position at The Standard, the second largest Kenyan newspaper. In 2008, he quit active journalism because he had grown frustrated hearing politicians tell lies to Kenyans every day.
Boniface made his decision to quit active journalism, after witnessing and documenting post-election violence in Kenya in 2007 as a photographer for one of the main leading newspapers. The experience led him to experience severe post-traumatic stress and depression; and he was also directly affected having to move temporarily after people of his community were being threatened). More importantly, he was frustrated he had to cover the same politicians that had incited the violence, but remained unpunished. His first initiative was based on his personal strength: Project Picha Mtaani, Swahili for street exhibition, showing the pictures of the violence that happened in 2007 after the national elections, between the different tribes. This travelling street exhibition was shown around the country for people to discuss reconciliation and promote national healing. Over 600.000 people have seen the exhibition by now. This was later on complimented by a documentary called Heal the Nation, which is being shown mostly in slum areas. Following these initiatives Boniface started to develop a stronger human rights stance in his work on fighting (political and corporate) impunity, speaking out against bad and corrupt political leadership and promoting a message of peace for the elections planned for 2013 with initiatives called MaVulture and Kenya ni Kwetu, for which he has gained a large support base. His latest initiative is Pawa 254, a hub he has (largely) funded himself, and space for artists and activist to work together towards social change and advancing human rights in Kenyan society.
- Most Influential Africans of 2014 – New African Magazine
• The Future Awards Africa Prize in Advocacy 2014
• Africa’s Top 30 Most Inspirational Young People-2013
• Temple University USA-Society of Emerging African Leaders Award 2013
• Senior Ted Fellow 2013
• Global Post Person of the Year 2012
• Prince Claus Laureate 2012
• Spread the Love Media Award 2011
• NYU/Magnum Foundation Human Rights Fellow 2011
• Foto Evidence Book Award Special Mention 2011
• Acumen Fellow 2011
• TED FELLOW 2010
• Winner; CNN Multichoice Africa Photojournalist of the Year 2010
• Winner: Foreign Correspondents Association E.A Photo of the Year 2010
• Commended by Hillary Clinton USA Secretary of State 2009
• Highly Commended CNN multichoice African journalist of the year 2009- Mohammed Amin photographic award
• Winner CNN multichoice African journalist of the year 2008- Mohammed Amin photographic award.
• Award of excellence the American pictures of the year international 2008
• Short-listed for Sony world photography award 2008.
• Won third prize in the World Health Organisation photo contest in the images of health and disability 2007.
• Kenya journalist of the year awards: most promising young talent of the year and most promising young photographer of the year 2004.
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