Staying connected to home: bringing your heritage into your space and into your work

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Staying connected to home bringing your heritage into your space and into your work

It’s been over 15 years since I left the place that I still consider my home: Kenya. As much as I’ve appreciated my experiences of living in the US (New York) and in the UK (London and Manchester) – and especially all the people I’ve met, who’ve made my life so much richer – Kenya remains my home.

I periodically reflect on this notion of “home”. What is home? For some it’s where they come from and for others, it’s simply where they live, at the present time. For me, the whole idea is something far less tangible.

When I am at home, I feel it. It’s in how my body just seems to naturally relax, feels more vibrant and literally glows. It’s in the ease of interacting with people and being understood (and this is not even to do with language but rather, our shared cultural experiences and values). And of course, the joy and comfort of family, and people who have known you for what seems like forever.

While these aren’t things I can carry with me, each time I return to my London base, there are two particular ways in which I’ve managed to keep home very close: Continue reading “Staying connected to home: bringing your heritage into your space and into your work”

Goodbye Asilia: new business directions

Goodbye-Asilia-–-New-Business-Directions
 
This month marks 5 years of running my business. It's been a hell of a ride – high moments, challenging times and everything in between. All with a great business partner and an amazing team by my side. But now, it's time for a change …
 
A key part of the Asilia ethos has always been about following your heart and doing work you love. We’ve constantly strived to practice what we preach. That’s why we love working with other passionate people and why our self-directed projects are so important to us.
 
Over the past 5 years, these projects have evolved in different ways. Some have been more satisfying and successful than others – Afri-love, Afriapps and Black White Simple being the ones that have most resonated with the wider world.
 
 
Products of change
These projects, along with our experiences working with clients over the years, have taught us important lessons; opened up new opportunities we couldn’t have foreseen and; challenged and expanded our visions, when it comes to the contributions we want to bring to the world.
 
In being true to ourselves, our passions, our new circumstances and environments, we have decided on a new future for our professional paths.

Continue reading “Goodbye Asilia: new business directions”

Inspired: Tropical Flora from my East African Travels

 

Tropical-Inspiration-Afri-love-1

 

I recently returned from a wonderfully rejuvenating trip home to East Africa. Here’s the story of my trip, told through the tropical flora!

First stop was my hometown of Nairobi. I felt so lucky to wake up each morning to this – such a diverse, colourful collection of foliage. If you’ve been following my #plantsomethingdaily challenge, you know how much inspiration I derive from nature!

Continue reading “Inspired: Tropical Flora from my East African Travels”

My Women Change Africa Interview

WCA-red

 

I’m honoured to join the family of ‘Bosschiques’ over on Women Change Africa – a blog and brand founded on the theory that if women are celebrated, connected and cultivated, change will occur in our communities.

Women Change Africa founder, Moiyattu Banya had some great questions for me, providing an always welcome opportunity to pause, reflect and appreciate. 

Read the interview over on Women Change Africa. I love the last question and would love to hear how you’d answer it. Let me know in the comments below.

Continue reading “My Women Change Africa Interview”

Return to the Mothership

Earth-Collage-Lulu-Kitololo

 

Blog beginnings

When I started this blog, I had a hypothesis behind it but, as the years went by, I continued to write about the things that interested me, without consciously checking them against those founding ideas. What I did realise is that there were some emerging themes: creativity, enterprise and wellness. 

Now, I can finally articulate what underpins these potentially disparate things – sustainable living.

 

Sustainability begins with me

In this context, it’s sustainable living on a very personal level – how can we, as creative people, respond to this calling while earning a heathy income and taking care of ourselves, so that we may continue to create (and live). All these three things are interdependent.

Those who’ve been reading the blog for a while might be bored by now of my insistence that it all starts with self. I truly believe we can’t effectively help others until we’ve helped ourselves. However, what I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, is sustainable living on a larger scale.

Continue reading “Return to the Mothership”

Plant Something Daily – February Favourites

Plant-Something-Daily-Art-Lulu-Kitololo-February

 

My daily art challenge continues. There have been times, when I’m just about to go to bed, after working really long hours, and I remember that I haven’t created the day’s piece! It’s been so tempting to just give that one time a miss. However, thanks to all the wonderful encouragement you’ve been showing me, I’ve stayed on course and I’m really grateful for that.

Above are some of my favourites from February. It’s interesting how different themes emerge:

Continue reading “Plant Something Daily – February Favourites”

The Life-changing Magic of Tidying

KonMari System During
 
 
Just before Christmas, Stacy from my mastermind group shared a book she was reading, The Life-changing Magic of Tidying. At the time, it piqued my interest and I made a loose mental note to check it out. A few weeks later, it came up again and this time, something in me wanted to read it NOW! So I ordered the book and proceeded to devour it in a couple of days. It’s true what they say about timing – it was just what I needed. I’ve recommended it to several friends since who’ve caught the fever just as bad as I have. Often, it’s all we can talk about. 
  
Intrigued yet?
 
I doubt I can truly do author Marie Kondo justice – you just have to read it for yourself – but, I'll summarise why I loved the book and how it’s changing my life:

Continue reading “The Life-changing Magic of Tidying”

A Summer of Pictures

African Corset Brooklyn Bridge Park NYC

 

Summer is a distant dream for many of us living in the northern hemisphere (climate change aside, that is – only 3 days ago I was out and about in short sleeves!). Indeed, it's now 2 months since I returned to London from my trip to a hot and humid U.S. and, I've been meaning to share the highlights since. What better timing than when I need a reminder of how good it feels to have the sun kiss my appropriately darkened skin.

My 5-week trip was a glorious respite from what has been a very challenging year, in so many ways (more on that another time).

(Corset by Evie Nix)

 

Governors Island Hammock NYC View

 

It was a time for perspective: I find being away from your 'normal' environment great for seeing things clearer.

(Hammock grove at Governor's Island)

 

Continue reading “A Summer of Pictures”

Rethinking Prosperity: Why I’m not embracing a mall per mile in Nairobi

Rethinking-prosperity

As Nakumatt malls pop up all over the place in Nairobi, large impersonal retailers in Western countries are hitting hard times. People in these countries are demanding experiences that: make communities vibrant; are architecturally harmonious with their surroundings; are small business friendly and; offer localised rather than one-size-fits-all solutions.

The late bird catches a break
Do we have to follow the same path that these countries have travelled to reach similar conclusions, decades from now? Can we learn from the experiences of the West and avoid this fate?

Continue reading “Rethinking Prosperity: Why I’m not embracing a mall per mile in Nairobi”