Boniface Mwangi’s Message for America

Boniface Mwangi


Boniface Mwangi
Boniface Mwangi

The Kenyan born activist asks some important questions that challenge the ideas most westerners have about Africa. He is married to Pauline Njeri Mwangi and is the father of three young children (Raila, Mboya, and Oneko). Boniface studied Human Rights and documentary photography at New York University. He runs Pawa 254 a collaborative hub for creatives in Kenya hub where journalists, artists and activists meet to find innovative ways of achieving social change.

He has continued to work as a freelance photographer for Bloomberg, the AFP, Reuters, the Boston Globe, and other media outlets while building a movement for social change in Kenya through “Picha Mtaani”, Swahili for street exhibition, a photo exhibit with the aim of healing the scars of Kenyans and drawing their attention to the dynamics of the violence to prevent a repeat during the elections of 2013 . Boniface founded Pawa254 as a collaborative hub where journalists, artists and activists could meet to find innovative ways of achieving social change. Pawa254 is the first collaborative space in Africa bring together established and aspiring photographers, cartoonists, animators, creative designers, video & filmmakers, as well as entrepreneurs and activists, to work, learn, and share in an environment that inspires creativity. PAWA254 derives its name from a combination of “power” in Swahili and 254, Kenya’s country code, as a symbol of national strength and unity. Learn more about his work at

Most westerners view Africa as a place in need of their help but never as a place they can learn from. He challenges the idea that Africa is the place most in need of help and tries to get young Americans interested in helping their own communities. His fresh perspective ignites a much needed discussion about how Africa is portayed in the media and how it feeds into the notion that we need to be saved by westerners.


  1. So true but America is not ready 4 this message. I once told my coworkers to google my african country. When they saw the real estate & homes i grew up in they stopped taking to me. Its as if they were upset that i grew up in a brick house with indoor plumbing. One even remarked “i grew up in a townhouse but u in a single family home in Africa”

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