“Made in Kenya” design was a very different thing when I was growing up, a couple of decades ago. The creative industry consisted of great theatrical productions and not much else. African Heritage was the place to get beautiful African crafts but, very much of the aesthetic that you’d expect when you think of “African”.
Back then, there were very few possibilities in our imagination, when it came to having a career as a creative and being able to make a decent living off of it.
That’s a huge part why I started this blog: to showcase the diversity of creative possibilities for us – affirming people’s creative dreams and inspiring them to pursue them.
I’ve finally put together my Nairobi city guide. In the last few months, several good friends of mine have visited Nairobi for the first time. It’s been fun coming up with itineraries because, it also gives me the opportunity to explore all that’s good and new in my beloved home city.
It seems that many more people are planning trips to Kenya in 2018 – I keep getting requests for tips! This inspired me to put together this post, sharing some of my favourite places.
I thought I’d do things a little bit differently and suggest some combinations of things you can do on the same day. That way, you can plan your movements easily, if you have limited time. But first
Happy new year! I hope you had some time to rest and rejuvenate as the year turned. A good chunk of my holiday was spent in Moshi, Tanzania. I stayed at my late grandparents’ home – resting, reading and spending time with family. I came back to Nairobi with renewed enthusiasm and clarity! There are several big (and slightly scary) adventures – design and otherwise – on the horizon this year, for me and for the Studio. I look forward to sharing them with you.
The first one starts next week, when 3 creative friends and I set off for a 15,000km+ road trip through southern Africa (see below).
As we prepare to set off, I wanted to share some highlights from 2016. Many of you have been a part of these projects and endeavours and I thank you deeply for your different contributions. Continue reading “Lulu Kitololo Studio design and illustration highlights from 2016”
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 father, Paul Kitololo, has been an entrepreneur for all of my life. At the height of a successful career in the corporate world, he gave up the regular paycheck, the company car and, in many people’s opinion – his sanity – in order to start his own tour company. Over the next 3 decades, Private Safaris grew to be one of the most prestigious tour companies in Kenya and East Africa. I remember spending my Saturday mornings at his office as a child, busying myself on his secretaries typewriter (creating my ‘zine). I am still in awe at how my father successfully run the company while also: participating in or chairing several associations and boards; managing the Kenya Special Olympics team; writing a novel, Shortcut to Hell (published in 1983); making it to every single one of my parent-teacher evenings, as well as sports days and plays and; generally being so involved in my life.
Continue reading “Interview with My Father (My Hero!), Entrepreneur and Author, Paul Kitololo”
Palm House is a rental property near Shela Beach in Lamu, Kenya, whose architecture and interior design is influenced by Swahili style.
I'm yet to visit Lamu so I'm exploring the accommodation possibilities as I drool over all the beautiful applications and interpretations of Swahili design.
Continue reading “Inspired: Swahili Architecture and Interior Design at Palm House, Lamu”
I’m happy to introduce you all to Laura Marano, the driving force behind Green-Safari, a social enterprise that offers volunteer-tourism packages in Tsavo East, Kenya. With Green-Safari, not only do you get to experience the beautiful fauna and flora of one of Kenya’s largest national parks, along with a stint at the Coast for some sea and sand – you also engage with local communities and support local social enterprises which contribute to the local community infrastructure (e.g. schools, sanitation, farming practices). Furthermore, Green-Safari is working on making the beauty of our wilderness accessible to all, no matter your abilities or diverse needs.
In this interview, Laura shares how she’s gotten her social business off the ground. It’s an inspiring story of how you can turn a negative situation into a fulfilling career by pursuing your passions, taking initiative and believing in yourself.
Continue reading “Interview with Social Entrepreneur Laura Marano of Green-Safari”
Shompole is a luxury eco-lodge on the Nguruman Escarpment in Kenya. I haven't yet been to Shompole (note the "yet" – it's on the list of places I must go see!) but I'm fascinated by the open architecture, dissolving the boundaries between outside and in. I imagine that it is at once exhilarating and humbling (the vulnerability of being immersed in the so-called wilderness).
Continue reading “Inspired: Architecture & Jewellery – Shompole Lodge and the Shompole Collection”
Greetings from the East African coast and yet another beautiful example of Swahili-inspired interior design. I am writing to you from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania (which, at 30 degrees Celsius, 94% humidity & to be fair, cloudy skies, is by local standards cold!) but today's post features a townhouse located a little further north – Lamu, Kenya.
Welcome to Baytil Ajaib, meaning the House of Wonder. The ceilings in this palatial house are made from five types of lime-coral stone, including snail shell and engraved turtles represent fertility and resistance to evil spirit. Wonderful views of Lamu town, the Lamu archipelago, sailing dhows, occasional schools of dolphins and breathtaking sunrises and sunsets are some of the things that you can enjoy, along with the birds and butterflies that frequent the courtyard of the house.
You can book a stay at Baytil Ajaib through Chic Retreats.
Images via the Baytil Ajaib website and Lamu.org