Little Kikuyu girl at a wedding near Thika, Kenya; late 1970s.

The bottle of Fanta fizzy orange is about 10 inches tall – and evidently her treasure!

She’s chewing the white Fanta bottle top while wondering with horror what this fat mazungu (white man) is about to do to her!

OM-2 with 75-150 Zuiko; Kodak colour transparency.

UPDATE: This brings back a lot of memories, not least the day glow colours of much of the local knitwear, which in this case fits so well with the colour of her drink.  Kenya is a land of colour, I remember returning there from visits to England and being visually stunned and uplifted by the blazing brilliance and radiance all around.  There are two factors in this.  First, of course, the country is straddled by the equator, and the sun simply blazes down from high overhead for much of the day – your eyeballs are hammered back into your skull – and especially so on days when the sun is obscured by thin, white stratus clouds.  And to add to this effect, this photo was taken somewhere around a mile above sea level – so not only were we being blasted by the light, but we were somewhere around 5,000 feet up in the clear air – just to make sure we got the full effect!

But the other thing of course are the tropical colours – vegetation, birds, insects, clothes – absolutely wonderful to behold.  There are to be sure drabber places there too, particularly in the wilder and more arid areas, but they still have a wild beauty that stays with me.


About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for many types of subject, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.

16 Responses to ARCHIVE 218 – KIKUYU GIRL

  1. Sallyann says:

    And of course, the colour chosen for the dress is perfect for a wedding. Youngest and Eldest Daughter’s are planning weddings… Two more Mother-of-the-bride outfits to find. I can’t quite manage an orange dress, but I do still have the orange shoes and bag from Middle Daughter’s wedding… I’m thinking… Green dress maybe?! 😀


  2. wow this image from your archives reminds me of the photo of the afghan girl and how the photographer went to find her so many years later!


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Haha!!! >>> don’t think I’m quite in Steve McCurry’s league >>> but I’m very pleased to hear you like this, Cybele >>> wish I’d taken far more pictures like this in those days! Adrian 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The colors are what struck me the most – after her eyes. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Meanderer says:

    What a delightful image, and a vivid description of the light and bright colours.

    I had a dress very similar to that when I was about her age: a bright orange hand-crocheted dress – the orange colour – from memory – being quite the same! It didn’t have sleeves and – I’ve just remembered – had a velvet ribbon around the neck 🙂


  5. paula graham says:

    Yes, the memories you undoubtedly have, funny to think that this sweet girl is now a middle aged woman!!


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