Adding thatch to the roof of a house on a Luo farm near Akala, in western Kenya; April 1979.

The agricultural west of Kenya, to the west of the city of Kisumu, with rich soils and plenty of rain from the frequent storms which move eastwards from nearby Lake Victoria.  Lush trees and shrubs border the farm’s compound, within which are these roundhouses, which have wattle and daub walls and thatched roofs.

This house’s doorway is outlined in pale orange and the wooden door is ajar.  An old man, an experienced thatcher, has climbed up onto the roof via a homemade ladder, and is adding more thatch.

Chickens scratch around, and the farmer stands beside a pile of thatching material destined for the repairs.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window – recommended.

Technique: OM-1 with 75-150mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour side film, rated at 64 ISO.


I’m re-posting photographs that I took in Kenya over 30 years ago.  You can find more context here .  Click onto the “Archive Kenya” tag (below) to see more of these film images from Kenya.




About Adrian Lewis
Photographer - using mono, colour and combinations of the two - many types of subject, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous, trying new ideas, working in multiple genres. And I've a weakness for Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.


  1. This is a story telling shot!


  2. Meanderer says:

    What an idyllic scene. I really love the home made ladder and I’m interested in what’s going on with the boundary fence and hedging – very attractive.


  3. krikitarts says:

    He’s surely fixing a hole where the rain gets in and stops his mind from wandering.


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