Patricia Kihoro, Kenyan singer, actress, and world traveller, talks to Nomad about winding up New Zealanders, getting sweaty on the bus to Lamu and hot air balloons.
Patricia Kihoro: I ride a giraffe to school
When I was 16, I got to visit New Zealand.
First of all, there were no black people. At all. What was so interesting to me was that in school we were learning about the ratio of humans to sheep in New Zealand. That’s how diverse our education system was.
But going to New Zealand itself and having people ask, “Ok, so is Kenya in South America?” Having someone look at my camera and look at theirs and [see] they’re exactly the same and they’re like, “Where did you get that?” They were completely ignorant of us. So we had fun with it, you know, “Yeah, I ride a giraffe to school. I have a pet lion.”
Driving like they’re on speed
I touch down in Nairobi and as I’m driving out of the airport this person I’m seeing happened to be in Lamu to write, he’s a filmmaker. So he calls, he’s like “Come to Lamu!” But it’s the 30th of December, [and] all flights to the coast are fully booked.
So I take an overnight bus to Mombasa. It’s delayed by two hours, and I get to the Lamu buses, they are run down, packed to the brim. I got the last seat, like right at the back. There are chickens in the bus, there are people with crates so they can sit in the middle of the bus like jump seats. It’s a bumpy road, the drivers are driving like they’re on speed.
At some point there was a cockroach next to me that I gave a name because I was like, “Hey buddy, we might as well get to know each other.” My face is getting dusty, there is water dripping down from I don’t know where.
By the time we get to Lamu – I mean, I’m going to see this guy, he’s gonna be waiting on the jetty for me, and I’m thinking it’s like a movie. I want to look beautiful. I want to look glorious! Do I do my makeup? What do I do? Lamu was beautiful.
Once I got there. We spent New Year’s together. We went island hopping on the boats, going to find the next party in the middle of the night. And then coming back to land in the morning when the sun is coming up, and it’s a new year. That was an adventure.
Living the best life
Me and a bunch of friends took a road trip.
We were staying at this camp site in Tiwi. We were camping by the sea and living the best life – going out at night, coming back at six in the morning, swimming when the waves were large and beautiful, and then taking a shower, having breakfast, having a nap in the middle of the day.
Then you go to a beach somewhere and you hang out, go jet skiing, get massages, and then do it all again. There were people there, you speak to them and they’re like, “I’ve been here for a year just living by the sea.” There was a couple that had a kid and that was their life. They were super tanned, and they’re just living their best life, which is by the sea in a tent.
I’m sorry that you’re dealing with Trump, but this is my view
I’ve learned not to always be filming. I went on a hot air balloon last year in Johannesburg. The most amazing thing ever.
You have to wake up at four in the morning, so you get to watch the sunrise while you’re in the air. You take off before the sun comes up, but the light has started to break. It’s quiet.
That was the morning that [Donald] Trump won. So I’m there trying to take pictures and talking on WhatsApp with my friends. The juxtaposition of it was like, “I’m sorry guys, I’m sorry that you’re dealing with Trump. But this is my view. Look at it! And I’m just about to have some champagne for breakfast.”
Photos Courtesy of Patricia Kihoro
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