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Shooting the Pope

...with a camera...

Story by Enigma Images September 21st, 2016

In November of 2015, Pope Francis made his first tour of Africa. He begun with Kenya then went to Uganda and finished with Central Africa Republic.

As soon as we confirmed that he was coming to Kenya, myself and some fellow photographers (Mwangi ‘Mwarv’ Kirubi, David Mutua and Peter Ndung’u) begun preparing to photograph him. The preps were a messy affair. We signed up for accreditation a month or more in advance but even the day he arrived, we were still lining up at the accreditation centre with every media practitioner in Kenya still waiting for our cards - which were just then being printed!

Due to this delay and a mixup at the names submitted to security, Mwarv and I were unable to photograph his holiness at State House so we resolved to get him at the next two venues he’d be at; the University of Nairobi - making a public address and leading Mass and at the Safaricom Kasarani Stadium.

So the following morning, I was rudely awakened by Peter at 5am, telling me that people were already streaming into the University of Nairobi grounds. So i rushed out, leaving my warm bed, my warm wife, warm breakfast…to join Peter.

It was a very wet day and the rain kept raining and did not let up until midday. So i met Mwarv in town and we begun walking to UoN grounds.

It was very wet and cold. The number of boots on the ground caused the soil to mix up with water and grass


Nuns and priests from across East Africa filled the UoN grounds in seats reserved from them


There were dancing children, one of the biggest and best choirs I have ever seen and a really hip organist from Austria.

I shot a video of this guy. You can view it here

Finally, the man himself arrived. it was very quick and I almost didnt get a shot of him. He came in, after some convocations, he gave his speech then led the Mass


Holy communion followed and after it, people greeted each other as a sign of peace


When he was done, he met with our president and first lady. I like how in the last photo its like he‘s saying, “Chill, lemme think about it..” :-) )


Finally he left…and so did we.