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Humans Of Kisumu

Tom Otieno ; The passion to tell our own stories through photography.

My name is Tom Otieno a photographer, a documentary photographer to be precise. I wanted to be a policeman so as to arrest wrong doers and thieves. After secondary education my very first nemesis became the police recruit team.I was told that my heart beat was abnormal and I needed proper attention.This heart breaking information coming in the heels of a tedious race around the Homa-bay stadium running track where I finished second, behind a guy who appeared to me as a ‘mfadhe’. Anyway, I became a photographer instead.
My youth was wasted in the soccer field where I was captain for several teams that I played for in the division one league in Nairobi. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Yes, I was the captain…that is how good I was.While in school I formed a partnership with a naturally born photographer, one Danson Mwaumba from Wundanyi, Taita Taveta.
Danson literally forced me into the basics of photography.We started photographing our fellow students’ portraits. Me on the other hand, I started enjoying photographing girls Hahaha! There was this particular one from St Saviors Secondary school who had a better smile than the others…there was no single day that I got under or over exposed picture of her.Danson was better than I was at the same

After failing to become a policeman my dream changed. That is how I ended up being a photographer after quitting my first temporary computer employment. I went through college for a photography course and so many other photography trainings. The passion to tell our own stories through photography has stuck to date.”

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