Man Crush Monday (MCM): Boniface Mwangi

by Duke Magazine

Boniface Mwangi is a Kenyan photojournalist and activist. He became the eye of Kenyans during the 2007 post-election violence and showed courage and compassion to capture thousands of images.
Following the political resolution to the election crisis, Boniface started to see himself as a visual artist, using photography as the vehicle for social change in Kenya. His focus was the fight against the impunity of politicians in the face of over 1000 dead and half a million people displaced as a result of the violence they caused.

Boniface was voted Kenya Photojournalist of the Year in 2008 by readers of Adam, a men’s magazine in the country.

Ever since then, Boniface has continued to work as a freelance photographer for Bloomberg, the AFP, Reuters, the Boston Globe, and other media outlets while building a movement for social change in Kenya through “Picha Mtaani” (Swahili for street exhibition). The photo exhibit aims to heal the scars of Kenyans and draw their attention to the dynamics of the violence to prevent a repeat during the upcoming elections of 2013.

As a social entrepreneur, Boniface founded Pawa254 as a collaborative hub where journalists, artists, and activists could meet to find innovative ways of achieving social change. The hub has already had many functions, but two campaigns stand out. “Heal the Nation” is a very successful initiative to show a half-hour documentary about post-election violence to as many Kenyans as possible and facilitate discussions around the film. The campaign is accompanied by a more shadowy graffiti campaign that has evoked strong reactions and fired up the youth of Kenya and the world, as images of the clever graffiti grace the pages of the world’s newspapers. Mwangi was cited as one of the Top 100 most influential Africans by New African magazine in 2020.

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