I am an Explorer. An explorer is a traveller-storyteller, a seeker of the unknown. I travel and tell stories of our people, mountains, rangelands, rivers and wildlife in East Africa.
I have traveled to 40 countries around the world – Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. One of my favourite accomplishments so far was driving 6000Km from South Africa to Ethiopia.
My inspiration to travel came from my father when I was very young. One evening, he brought home a large book with a black cover.
“What is that?” I asked.
“It is a map,” he answered.
“What is a map?” I asked.
“Dunia.The world,” he said.
He opened the atlas – I saw the different parts of Kenya, Africa and the world. My eyeballs could have fallen out with excitement. I had never seen such a colourful book in my entire life. I had no idea how big the world was and we spent hours following roads, towns, rivers, mountains and oceans on the maps.
This encounter changed my perspective about school and developed a singular focus to finish school and travel the world.
Why Naloolo Explorer?
There are two things that worry me about the environment in Africa. The first is that many Africans are getting disconnected from nature as they embrace urbanisation. Many can no longer connect their future to the existence of pristine rangelands, mountains, forests and wildlife.
Secondly, even though Africa has changed in the last few centuries, what has not changed is how the story of exploration and expeditions is told. This story and its tellers have not changed since the arrival of the first European explorers in the 15thcentury. Western travel and conservation media outlets still majorly control the narrative.
This story telling space needs to be expanded to accommodate the natives of Africa. Expanding it will bring not just add Africans voices to the media but millions of audiences that will re-connect with their lands, cultures and wildlife heritage.
In late 2017, I set out to change the above issues and formed Naloolo Explorer (www.naloolo.wordpress.com), an exploration outfit that will put passionate modern day African explorers in the media to tell stories of their continent and in the process reconnect people to nature.
It has been a life changing experience building Naloolo Explorer from a simple blog to something that many people follow and admire.
In order to do this, I drew inspiration from the wandering spirit of my people – a people that travelled the vast lands of eastern Africa for centuries. With their long spears, they ruled this land until they were silenced by the arrival of incurable diseases (that killed 70% of their population) and the power of European weaponry. Like many nomadic people in Africa, the Maasai were the true explorers.
I started traveling – climbing mountains and other amazing destinations in East Africa. I wrote and photographed about these adventures and shared with my social media followers. The response was astounding. The first question from fellow Africans is always:
“Why are you doing this?”
My response: “Why Not?”
Over the months as I traveled, wrote and photographed, the narrative changed to:
“Can I come with you on your next hike?”
“I admire your courage”
“I love what you do” and “You make us proud.”
I expect this movement to keep growing and I am happy that my travels, writing and photography is encouraging people to travel and connect with nature. The more citizens travel, the more they are inclined to care and protect their environment.
Stories matter and must be told and that is my purpose in life.