Rehema Wangari Makes a Career Out of Photography

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Rehema Wangari (L) and Lapid Leaders Africa trainees

Though she studied Business Information Technology, the 23-year-old hopes to make her passion for photography a full-time job

A few years ago, it was a tradition in almost every family to get some photos taken by photographers during special occasions such as birthday parties, Christmas, New Year and weddings among others. However, most of the photos taken were not artistic. The then photographers failed to capture the essence of life through photography.

In the recent time however, the rapid growth in technology and a growing interest in professional photography has significantly revolutionized the visual art. People have started to accept photography as a form of art and business.

Rehema Wangari is among the few Kenyans who are committed to provide a new sensation to professional photography in the country. “Photography has always been my passion since childhood,” says Wangari. While in primary school, she used to take photos using her father’s camera, which earned her a few coins to buy some goodies.

Wangari’s passion became a reality in 2011 when she met Joe Makeni at the Navigator where she attends her Bible study classes. “He has been my inspiration and always guides me in order to improve my skills.” In 2014, they worked together in one of the high-end weddings, something that ignited her love for wedding photography. Makeni is a professional commercial photographer who uses his keen and astute observation of light, and in particular the interplay between natural and artificial light.

When Wangari got her first job in 2013, she used the money to buy a digital camera. With the knowledge that photography is an expansive form of art that involves more than just clicking the camera, she endeavored to learn more. “Through Youtube, I was able to perfect my skill,” reveals Wangari. “Moreover, with my gift of sight, I am able to see particular things in a much better way,” she adds.

In 2015, she covered a series of events, and most of them were weddings. She also works as the photographer of Lapid Leaders Africa, a company that equips young adults with leadership skills. In order to further her love in the visual art, Wangari registered a company – Lensitivity Photography, which she hopes will give her adequate market exposure. “My vision is to be known as a story teller who uses photography to communicate,” she avers.

She is set to exhibit her work at an art gallery to be held at Michael Joseph Center in September 16th this year.

The 23-year-old holds a Bachelor of Business Information Technology (BBIT) from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, and will graduate in November this year.

“Top 40 under 40”

Together with her friends, Wangari started telling the untold narratives of micro entrepreneurs in the country. These include greengrocers, second hand cloth sellers, shoe shiners and shoe repairs among others. “Our focus is on enterprises that are less than 40 years and are able to make Ksh. 40 everyday,” she says. Wangari works as a creative director.

According to her, these micro-entrepreneurs have been able to educate their children in addition to providing other basic necessities for their families. However, their stories are rarely told. She believes that people do not necessarily need white collar jobs in order to make money, but can equally earn a decent living by starting small enterprises.

Lapid Leaders Africa

In addition to her love for photography, Wangari’s leadership roles can not be overlooked.  She joined Lapid Leaders in February 2016. She is currently the head of communication besides being a member of the Lapid Leaders Council (LLC). She also works as the communication director of Lapid Leaders Magazine.

For the few months she has worked at Lapid, Wangari says she has learnt a lot as far as leadership is concerned. That is why she is committed to transform the minds of children aged between 8 and 10 years by working as a Sunday school teacher at her church.