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  • Writer's pictureTom Blower

What Makes You Happy?

I wanted to show some of the people who've made my experience in Kenya: not the people from EPAfrica (they know who they are), but the people I will never be able to properly thank. Unsure how to convey a person in a short space of time, I decided on a simple way. I asked for their photo, then asked them a question: what makes you happy? What I found was not just an interesting way of seeing a individual person's viewpoint, but collectively discovering the range of things that a community of individuals values as a whole.

Lawrence (left) and Griffin (right) - Night and day guards at the central house, Kakamega

Lawrence: "When my life is just going straight... when there is nothing going wrong and I can just relax"

Griffin: "To see my family well-off, my children going to school, and to have many friends - to be making friendships"

Nancilene - Waitress at Tour Africa cafe, Kakamega


(I think she may have misunderstood the question.)

Francis - Bicycle mechanic, Kakamega

"Good food...eating, drinking, smoking"

Lynette - Physics and guidance & counselling teacher at Ematiha Secondary School

"My child... seeing Ryan happy. And my students: seeing them grasping a concept. Maybe I'm teaching something difficult to understand. Seeing them get it; that makes me happy."

John - Tailor, Ematiha


David - Principal, Ematiha Secondary School (watched by the unnerving - and legally obligatory - gaze of President Uhuru Kenyatta)

"When I'm peaceful and I'm not sick, I'm not stressed... that is my happiness: when I'm just fine. [...] Whn I'm fine and not stressed, other things follow."

Jacktonne - Groundsman, Ematiha Secondary School (and owner of one of the most wonderful smiles I've ever seen)

"People [...] working with people"

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