Huawei launches ‘Explore Kenya’ campaign with photos by Mutua Matheka

Huawei Technologies has unveiled the Explore Kenya campaign featuring exclusive new images of the country, as seen from the peaks of Safaricom Base Stations.

The campaign dubbed “Kenya: Exploring a new point of view” by Huawei will be exhibited across multiple digital communication channels globally showcasing the modernity, diversity and beauty of Kenya to millions around the world. It is a collaboration between Huawei and its client Safaricom, as well as Kenya Tourism Board as a partner.

(TOP: Photographer Mutua Matheka – left – greets CS for Tourism Najib Balala while Steve Chege, Safaricom’s Director of Corporate and Stone He, CEO, Huawei Technologies Kenya look on during the unveiling of the “Nairobi Cross My Heart” photos taken by Mutua Matheka).

For the first time in history, a photographer has been given access and allowed to climb to the tops of Safaricom base stations (powered by Huawei equipment for mobile network coverage) to gain a unique perspective of Kenya. These vantage points were selected from over 4,000 base station locations across Kenya, including the tops of high-rise buildings in Nairobi. Images used for the campaign were shot on location by highly-regarded local architectural photographer Mutua Matheka.

The photos not only demonstrate Safaricom’s broad coverage of Kenya as a whole, but also shows how well-connected Kenya really is, even in the most remote and unexpected of locations.

Speaking during the launch event held at Huawei Kenya’s Head Office, Creative Director for Huawei globally, Xavier Wong, said the campaign demonstrates that the real destination is the journey of explorationand the results from the expeditionare just part of the natural discovery process. By exploring the power of openness and collaboration throughout that journey, that we are able to overcome challenges, even failure, to create incredibly beautiful results that, not just Kenyans, but the world can appreciate.

“Each location was chosen for its uniqueness, beauty and timelessness with shots in RAW format by the Huawei P10 dual-camera smartphone with Leica lens, with sunrises and sunsets timed by the Huawei Watch 2 wearable,” Wong said, adding that, “over 7 days, across 2,500kms, crossing some of the most beautiful places on earth, the images by Mutua Matheka showcase Kenya’s progress, future, diversity, spirit and culture.”

Photographer Mutua Matheka described his 7-day expedition as both new and exciting: “I am always seeking a fresh, new angle on Kenya and I was delighted to have this opportunity presented by Huawei to explore Kenya from a different point of view. It is something that has not been done before, something exciting and something bold. You don’t know what Kenya would look like from almost 100 metres up until you explore the possibilities. It was not easy: from the safety training course to rough roads and climbing the actual towers themselves but it was all that hard work that made discovering each shot so meaningful. For some sites the sun wasn’t visible and for others we even had to go back a second time to access them, but exploration never stops at failure,” said Matheka.

The eight hero photos and video series are themed according to the new perspective on Kenya. Some photo titles include: Winds of Change, Devil’s Breath, Eye of Kenya, Cross my Heart, Lonely Island, Wild in the Out, Sea the Sunrise and Spearhead.

Huawei believes a bold spirit of Exploration can unfold exciting journeys leading to innovation, inspiration and ideas. Directed by a perceptive sense of curiosity, exploration is the spirit that energizes and empowers the future to a better connected world.

Huawei Technologies CEO Stone emphasized on the continued efforts by Huawei to get into partnerships that foster exploration and innovation such as this one. “Together with our customers and partners around the world, Huawei is exploring the unknown, inspiring new ideas, and facing challenges head-on to break through bottlenecks in future technology”, said Mr. Stone

The cross-country photography project was done in collaboration with Safaricom, whose base station/cell towers were used as stages for the photography.

Safaricom’s Corporate Affairs Director Steve Chege lauded Huawei’s efforts towards this innovative and educative project. “We are delighted to have partnered with Huawei Technologies on this project because it captures not only the hidden beauty that lies within the country, but also our continuing quest to expand coverage across Kenya. We believe that each one of our over 4,600 base stations represents an opportunity for our network to Transform Lives.  Beyond providing essential connectivity, our towers are often the only link to critical services such as education, health, financial services and government services.”

“This campaign will help us create a new narrative for our tourism products. The great news is that there are people in Kenya today (including Mutua Matheka) who are already building a great narrative for our country. They are creating, conserving, building, training and investing to build their story. They are winning awards, writing books and shooting films about what they are doing. And I salute each and every one of these people,” said Tourism CS Najib Balala.

Eight final photos will be available on the Explore Kenya link and are set to be shared across social media globally reaching tens of millions of people. All photos and videos are also available on the official Huawei Corporate social media feeds on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

In addition, CNN’s Great Big Story has also documented Mutua Matheka and his journey to change perceptions of Kenya and Africa through photography. This was set for release at the end of November 2017 on the Great Big Story


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