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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Girl With A Story To Share, Without The Hot Sauce

Written By: Amirah Tajdin—My name's Amirah, I'm 23. I currently live and study in South Africa, doing my undergrad in Fine Art—majoring in Photography—and am in the process of wrapping up my third year—a time when its crucial to start considering where I want my career to go as an artist, a photographer, a creative soul and a woman. I would love to share my story with MIMI Magazine, so here's a little about me:

A bedouin, a nomad, a diasporic confusion of fun. I was born and brought up in Nairobi, Kenya, and am still nationally Kenyan as far as national descriptions go. Moved to Dubai 10 years ago where I went to high school and still consider home mainly because that's where my parents live and that's where I skip to when on holiday.

I've been in South Africa since 2007, when I decided to come back to Africa and experience a slice of life that's 'real' when compared to Dubai. However, ethnically I feel like I fit in nowhere in Africa, despite considering myself African. This is mainly because when people first see me, they assume I'm Indian, Mexican, Arab or Latino of some sort. To break it down though, I am the product of two Indian grandfathers, an Omani grandmother (from Zanzibar) and an African grandmother from Lamu, Kenya. Despite this, I speak neither Arabic nor Hindi, assosciate with neither cultures directly, only speak Swahili and English, have half a shaved head and consider myself a riot grrrl. However, it is this ancestral mish mash that I owe my creative expression to at the moment, also fuelled by the incredibly mixed up reality that is the rainbow nation of South Africa.

I live and breathe art, photography and music (I also dj). I'm not too sure where I want my photography to go at this particular moment in life, but I do know that Africa and the world need more female photographers of colour in an industry that's dominated by men, and hope that I can get the exposure to be noticed and consequently get an opportunity to share my view of society by highlighting lesser known worlds through thought provoking images. The past year has seen my photographic exploration of what is aworking title that goes: "WTF moments: a series of post colonialsubversions." MIMI published my work in the current October 2009 issue (Post Colonial Subversions), but more snippets of this work can be seen at my photoblog:


Fangirl said...

Beautiful, artistic, creative soul. This was a really good read; the photographs are intriguing and I have no doubt Amirah will go far!

Anonymous said...

Great post!

Mon petite Niche said...

Good read.
Don't give up on your dreams. I'm always glad to see african who are willing to break tradition and follow their true passions. We all can't be doctors and lawyers. There are many with some many other talents which they aren't pursuing.

honeybfly said...

I can really relate to Amirah's experience. Thank you, thank you, thank you for opening up to the world.

Mkuki Bgoya said...

This is wonderful work, thanks for highlighting this amazing talent MIMI.
Amirah If you are reading this, your work is awesome! Safi sana.

amirah t. said...



Brandie said...

This is great! Thanks for sharing!

Mazuba said...

Loved this post and can relate to her experiences of not feeling like you belong because you dont speak ur native language.