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FUNDI WA VIATU (Shoe maker) - Umoja streets | by Ambra Vernuccio
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FUNDI WA VIATU (Shoe maker) - Umoja streets

"Fundi Wa Viatu" is part of a photo-essay: “Nairobi: Face to Face”, which is a documentary work based on candid shots of individuals related to their environment.


Fundi Wa Viatu was shot in Umoja. Umoja is a suburb that still houses such traditional services such as shoemakers, an integral part of everyday life in Kenya since the 70's.

A shoe is costly and will be repareid countless times before a new one is bought. However, certain areas of Nairobi are undergoing rapid change, due to gentrification as the government sets out to modernise Kenya's capital city.


The small street shops, made out of corrugated iron, have all disappeared in other parts of the city.

Many suburbs such as South C and Nairobi West, just to mention a few, have changed not only their appearance, but also their demographic. This implies that people living in those neighbourhoods can now afford to buy new shoes instead of repairing them.


As the capital city is in continuous development, “Fundi Wa viatu” represents an historical documentation of Umoja in 2011.


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Taken on January 2, 2011