I've been visiting Stone Town ever since I was a child. Both my parents ancestors first landed in Zanzibar; and although most of them have migrated out of the island, I will always have a special connection with this island.
A casual family shoot with Shruti & Alister at Coral Beach, Dar Es Salaam.
Hamisi came to Dar Es Salaam in 2000 after he failed his 7th grade exam at a school in Mtwara (his home town). He came to the city and started working with his brother selling fish at their stall in the Msasani Fish Market. Soon he learnt to differentiate between fish that were in demand, those that were fresh, dynamited, and how to haggle during the auctions held by the fishermen. He then developed relationships with customers through his stall and eventually started delivering directly to their homes.
I’ve been approached several times by people who are setting their foot into photography; those who want to polish their skills; and those who just need to take decent shots of their everyday lives. Most of the time, questions revolve around what camera I use, which lenses they should get and other technical questions. So today, I’m writing to all of those people with some not so technical advise, but what worked for me!
Most visitors to Mauritius will skip Port Louis and hang out at the beaches. I don't blame them, but when I travel to a place, I want to dig deeper and understand the back story, the history and the presence of a place. And so, camera in one hand (Fuji X100T), my kids, hubby, and all the other baggage that comes with us, I began exploring the not to common streets and corners of the island.
Muchacho's Restaurant has been around since 1986! It was started by Mr Saidi (of Arab descent) in the Kariakoo' neighborhood of Dar Es Salaam. Despite it's humble facilitates, the place attracted foodies from all over the the city, cutting all social classes. The concept of driveways is very new to Tanzania, and what made Muchachos pretty cool, was you could eat in your car! Let's face it, we all want to do that, especially on on days when you're not in the mood to socialize.
I've traveled a good handful of African cities. As usual, I've got hungry on the way somewhere and over the years realized that there is probably no other city that rocks street food like Dar Es Salaam. As a child I being i super exciting to spend my pocket money buying sliced mangoes with chilly, bbq corn, tope tope (mabungo), fried cassava, milky pink homemade icecreams (which no longer exist), gubbit (caramel like sticky sweet), fried peanuts ... and the list is never ending.
But this post isn't about all those foods. It's about my favorite of the street foods - SUMNI SUMNI = Tiny pieces of beef meat and fat, skewered into old cycle rods, marinated in garlic, ginger, lemon and grilled in the most hygienically questionable circumstances and charcoal grilled on pedestrian popular streets of Dar Es Salaam.
Some test shots on my dream camera the Fuji XT-2
I photographed this couple's wedding around five years ago and was thrilled to know they were expecting an addition to their family. This was a mini shoot on the beach . . .
The Bohra's are a population of approximately 1 million worldwide. Most of this community resides in India, Pakistan, East Africa and is scattered around the West. The community hosts their 10 days of Muharram (An important Islamic month) in various countries around the world. This year its Tanzania. Slowing economic growth has lead to falling house rentals and businesses suffering from lack of business and hence, the Bohra event has been a welcoming break for Dar Es Salaam's resident.