Lulu Kitololo Studio design and illustration highlights from 2016

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”

Inspired: Tropical Flora from my East African Travels

 

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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!

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Interview with My Father (My Hero!), Entrepreneur and Author, Paul Kitololo

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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.

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Inspired: Swahili Architecture and Interior Design at Palm House, Lamu

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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.

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Interview with Social Entrepreneur Laura Marano of Green-Safari

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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. 

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Inspired: Architecture & Jewellery – Shompole Lodge and the Shompole Collection


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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).

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Baytil Ajaib: Swahili-inspired interior design at Lamu’s House of Wonder

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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

 

L-atitude: where fashion meets travel: The Africa representatives

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I recently discovered online boutique, L-atitude: "where fashion meets travel" – a curated collection of exotic, exclusive and edgy finds from Africa, South America, Asia, Europe and the US.

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Interview with author, photographer and Black film aficionado, Nadia Denton

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I've been working with Nadia Denton for the past few months and she's got so much up her sleeve! She's involved in film – she established and co-ordinated Black Filmmaker (bfm) Film Club, a monthly platform for Black World Cinema at the Institute of Contemporary Arts between April 2003 – Jan 2010 – and just this month launched her book, The Black British Filmmaker’s Guide to Success (which you can download for free!); she has an exhibition of her photography going on right now; she's developed the Black History Month film programme in Islington, London and; she's in charge of PR & Marketing for the upcoming Film Africa 2011 festival. I'm always super-inspired by creative people who dabble in several areas and happy to hear what makes them tick. Today, Nadia shares …


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