Niko Poa Photo Book for Doctors Without Borders
Kibera is famously known as the biggest slum in Africa, but the people from Kibera refer to it as "kijiji," which means village in Swahili. The friction between "slum" and "kijiji" captures the ingenuity of the human will: when individuals are faced with impossible circumstances, they overcome first out of necessity and later evolve to inspire and support others through their challenges. In these relationships, the story of a vibrant community emerges.
The people in the following stories start out at a time in their lives when they were once very sick. They paint a time in Kibera when stigma, self-denial, and lack of access to treatment led to little hope of surviving. Then in almost every interview, there came a turning point–a pause–so subtle yet demanding.
"Now look at me," they say after the pause, "Niko poa."
It means, "I am okay" in Swahili. They say this with such light-heartedness and pride, because to be able to say niko poa now means that they are living the lives they once thought impossible.