The new year is finally here. As we start a new calendar, our lives are teeming with the hopefulness and anticipations of a better 365 days ahead. 2020 and 2021 were unprecedented in many ways; 2022 is the year when our optimism gets a chance to come back to life. To mark this milestone, Versatile Photographers has launched a new Versatile desk calendar, a picturesque one that comes in three versions to celebrate the beauty of our country, Kenya.
In 2015, David Macharia, the CEO and lead photographer of Versatile Photographers had the privilege of covering then US president Barrack Obama’s visit to Kenya. It was a life-changing experience that opened the doors to more opportunities. It also marked the beginning of a personal project to photograph the beauties of Kenya, pouring his efforts into documenting erstwhile undocumented places such as Samburu and the Chalbi Desert. Almost seven years down the line, his efforts have, in many ways, paid off.
David has captured stunning, exclusive images of people and places, their cultures, social-economic activities, and the astounding wildlife that makes our country an attractive tourist destination. The bulk of his work, which includes short experiential videos of various destinations around Kenya—a wholesome experience captured in real-time—is shared online and on YouTube. An Art gallery based in Village Market, Nairobi, showcases the images printed on mounts, canvas, a book called ‘Asili Yetu Africa,’ and postcards for sale.
For the first time now, David Macharia’s exquisite work is shared on a new Versatile desk calendar that captures our various cultures, conservation efforts, wildlife, and tourism. Kenya boasts many picture-perfect landscapes, therapeutic and beautiful beyond words. Some of these destinations are exotic, abundant with stories that have little if any coverage. David uses his photography to reveal such places, unraveling hidden, unknown gems of our country to adventurous souls. He tells the stories passionately. Chyulu Hills and the Chalbi Desert are among the numerous rare destinations he has unveiled. David also gives special attention to Nairobi’s cityscape, Kenya’s creative industry hub. These stories are now part and parcel of the Versatile desk calendar, which comes in three versions; Kenyan landscapes, wildlife, and culture.
The lead photographer uses wildlife stories to showcase their behavior, habitats, and larger areas where they reside. For instance, in the Maasai Mara, he has documented different pride of lions, various generations of leopards, and the great wildebeest migration. David has done features on elephants in the Tsavo and Mara. The rich imagery from his work consequently plays a significant role in promoting tourism and conservation. Kenya is also notably one of the countries in Africa with communities that practice authentic cultural activities. Their culture and social economy are tourist attractions that David loves to capture, tell stories, and market the country.
The Versatile desk calendar project is another opportunity to appreciate and showcase our beautiful country. For $30(Kshs3000), you can purchase the three desk calendars or invest in a single one at $10 (Kshs1000). David Macharia is also partnering with corporates who wish to have their company’s logo on the Versatile desk calendar. Funds from the project will help fundraise the setting up of Versatile Africa Hub, an information center at the Maasai Mara. The hub, a hotchpotch of galleries, conservation stories, and a training institution where tour guides will learn to tell their stories through photography—will further help put our country on the global market.
David strongly believes in the life-altering potential of our stories. If we tell our own stories, we will become agents of change. He constantly uses photography to drive home the message of conservation. “We should conserve the resources we have for our future generations.” He says. On the year ahead, David teems with optimism, stating, “2020 and 2021 have been tough, but I would like to encourage everyone that 2022 is our year to rebuild.”
To book the Versatile desk calendar or donate to the Versatile Hub Project, contact: +254722424136 or +254721330767. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or visit our website www.versatilephotographers.com.
WRITTEN AND EDITED BY: Tim Njugi, Writer, Blogger, and Photographer
STORY COURTESY: David Macharia, CEO and Founder, Versatile Photographers