They say your life is a blank page, and the only way to write on it is to travel. Upon our many escapades, we were fortunate to meet Michael Mbwambo aka Mcshady on Instagram. A Tanzanaian photographer from Dar Es Salaam who is a lover of life and travel whose feed showcases breathtaking views of the Indian ocean.
We were also very fortunate to meet Cedric Mungai, or Cedi as he is known among his peers. An urban photographer whose feed is full of interesting city scapes and architecture in Nairobi, Kenya.
These are well known photographers in the Tanzanian and Kenyan photography scene respectively. You may ask what binds these two from different countries, different cities, and if you have been reading our previous posts, then you definitely know the answer is photography.
Another similarity between these two talented photographers is that they are both in the digital marketing and advertising fields where McShady has a number of accolades for being outstanding in his field and Cedi is a talented animator.
All modesty aside, who do you think is more “out there” in photography, Kenya or Tanzania, and what do the two gentlemen think is important between a good photographer and a good camera. Read on to find out:
Buni: What are your official names?
McShady: Michael Shedrack “McShady” Mbwambo
Cedi: Mungai Cedric Wang’ang’a but everyone calls me Cedi.
Buni: What do you use to freeze time?
Mcshady: Canon 6D, Canon Mark ii 5D and Canon Mark iii 5D
Cedi: I use a Canon 550D predominantly but I also shoot with my smartphone a lot too.
Buni: In your opinion, which is more important? A good camera or a good photographer?
Mcshady: Today’s standard smartphone has everything better than in the day, in terms of memory and computing ability than a computer used to take Armstrong to the moon back in 1969. A camera is a tool that receives set of instructions from a photographer. so although the best camera can do wonders, it can only do so in the hands and good eye of a good photographer.
Cedi: A good photographer definitely. For me a camera doesn’t really matter since a camera captures your imagination.
Buni: What level do you wish to see photography in East Africa reach?
McShady: International recognition.I believe this is the key because it is what will channel in more jobs or bookings for photographers in the region.It is the same for a giant company to trust a Lucie or Kontinent Award winner than a regular photographer…So I wish to see East African photographers getting the international recognition they need and consequently this will open up the region.
Cedi: I’d like to see photography embraced more in East Africa, I can’t say I know much about Uganda and Tanzania but here in Kenya it feels like photography is not as appreciated as it should be. For example taking photos in the Central Business District (CBD) is really hard, as soon as you take out your camera you are labelled as a threat to security yet in cities like New York and other cities in the west people shoot freely. In general I also would like to see art appreciated more.
For Cedi, his favorite place to go and shoot has to be Karura Forest though he hasn’t been there in a while he confesses. “I am at peace in nature.”
McShady on the other hand does not have a favourite place to shoot. “I can shoot anywhere or anything depending on what I see and others may not see it.”
“I’m younger than you think I am, that’s what people don’t know about me.” Says Cedi.
Can you guess his age at the comment section below. .We’d love to hear your guesses.
Buni: Most memorable moment in your photography escapades?
McShady: The First Instameet which was on May 2014 is my most memorable. I met different young, ambitious and talented photographers in Dar es Salaam. I didn’t know that we had such amazing and talented photography community in Dar es Salaam. Although I knew some few photographers like Michael Mlingwa, Osse Greca Sinare, Salum Farah, Ally, Raqey Gavin Gosbert , Francis Aganno and others. We got featured on the Instagram blog and post. This really put Tanzania in the map photography-wise. I admire this community because it keeps growing bigger and bigger every day.
Cedi: I don’t recall any major one but its always memorable to catch the sunrise.
Buni: Which photographer across Africa would you like to meet?
McShady: I would like to meet these 8 photographers who had chance to be recognized by CNN: Zanele Muholi (South Africa) Hélène Amouzou(Togo) Nii Obodai (Ghana) Mutua Matheka (Kenya- I met him and would love to spend more time with Mutua, he is very talented) Lakin Ogunbanwo (Nigeria) Dillon Marsh (South Africa) Emeka Okereke (Nigeria) and Michael Tsegaye from Ethiopia.
Cedi: I would definitely like to meet Von Wong to confirm if he is really human.
“I don’t like to see people suffering especially Children. And I am too easy, I think I can live with anyone “- Mcshady
Buni: What do you do full time? and other than photography what else are you good at?
McShady: I am entrepreneur, a social media guru and a farmer. I founded a social media company back in the days; it’s called POPOTE media which means Be Everywhere. And yes…I work in social media advertising full time.
Cedi: I’m good at day dreaming haha… Full-time I’m a motion designer/ Animator at a digital advertising firm.
Buni: What advise would you give to budding photographers out there in the world?
McShady: Well my advice to beginners is this, if you are interested in photography don’t wait until you have a large fancy camera, start with whatever you have. And to the pros, keep learning and practicing and secondly if you are doing photography as a business, remember that you are the business owner, a CEO, a CFO, a customer service and probably everything…it is challenging but necessary to build your business skill because photography is good business.
Cedi: My advice to all the photographers out there is “Keep shooting!”
There you have it, from the lips of some of the very best there is.What more can Buni say if not “Keep Shooting”
PS: Happy new month! May the odds be in your favor. Cheers!