How does the amount of food placed on the table affect your appetite?
Oh it absolutely depends on the food! If cake, or dessert in general, my appetite expands infinitely. Actually, when placed in front of a wide selection of foods, facts aside, my brain perceives that my appetite has grown. I love good food and I love variety. Things like tapas, sharing plates and tasting menus were made for me!
...and the one food you would never eat?
Apart from matumbo (tripe, and only the towel-like part, which I LOVE), I can't stand offal! I know it's good for me blah blah blah but, no thanks.
Other than your love for Africa, art & design what other loves do you have?
Dancing, travel and writing - I don't do enough of any of them. My not-so-secret plan is to be able to indulge as many of my loves as possible, in my day-to-day at Asilia. Dancing is the one that might be tricky to integrate but, I know that I have allies in the ranks!
Tell us about a phobia you have, how you discovered it and how you deal with it.
It's quite pathetic because it's a relatively recent development which, as far as I can recall, appeared out of nowhere. Fear of heights. Or, more specifically, fear that some unexplainable spasm will overcome me, while at a height, leading me to throw myself over whatever protective barrier exists and hurtle full-speed toward the unforgiving ground. I have an extreme distrust of railings...
...How do I 'deal' with it? Panic and melodramatic behaviour.
Any outdoor activities you like?
A little known fact: in primary school I won a prize for going on the most "intrepid explorer" trips. You know, climbing mountains, hiking through national parks and that sort of thing. I may have done my share for life - the person who can actually get me to go camping today will surely win a prize! That said, I do love being outdoors in the sunshine. Swimming in lakes, rivers and the ocean is quite possibly one of the things I enjoy most in this world. I also like long walks in the park...
You run an International Creative Agency (since 2010), I wonder how that makes you feel..
Like the luckiest woman in the world! I love that I love going to work each morning and, that I get to spend the day hanging out with some really amazing people (the A-team and our ecosystem). I love that I have a great reason to go home to Nairobi often, and for long periods of time. I love that I can come up with ideas and there's a team of people who, are as excited about them as I am and, will help me bring them to life. for me, this really is the best of both worlds.
Who are some of your design heroes?
I always find this question quite hard because I don't really do the hero worship thing very well. Also, I find inspiration from so many different sources e.g. the greatest designer of all - nature; craft traditions from around the world; artists and designers whose work encapsulates curiosity, playfulness, storytelling and consideration for the bigger picture.
Briefly tell us about Afri-Love.
Afri-love started as a passion project over 4 years ago. It was a space for me to share some of my philosophies and experiments to do with how I, as an African, see myself, in the world. Part of the mission was to do with appreciating the heritage of my continent and how the land, the people and their creations have inspired creativity globally. Part of it was about discovering and showcasing what's possible for us. Sometimes, I feel like the plan has evolved far from my original idea. Then I realise that, while the scope of what I share and talk about has widened, the underlying themes remain. It's about being proud of (and loving) who you are and being inspired to make things happen and grow.
Would you rather only be able to whisper or only be able to shout?
Whisper, definitely. One: as I grow older I find noise very unsettling (I finally get what my parents were complaining about, all those years ago). Two: we cannot underestimate the power of a multitude of whispers. The sound could indeed be deafening!
What was the name of your favorite teacher in primary school?
Easy - Mr. Coppell. He was the coolest teacher ever and had this very special and creative way of getting us to learn while having fun (and why shouldn't the two things be compatible?!). In fact, thinking about it now, this was possibly one of my earlier introductions to the concept that these things we 'have to' do need not be dreaded at all (e.g. learn, work etc.). Thanks to Facebook, Mr. Coppell is still very much in touch with us, over 20 years later!
The one book everyone should read?
You did save the hardest for last! Every month I discover at least 2 new books contending for this title. Can I get away with one fiction, one non-fiction? If so, Butterfly Burning by Yvonne Vera and The Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle by Jim Rohn. If not, well, ... I think I've gotten away with it :)
The old school one is via Mr. Coppell
The professional photo is by Jonathan Perugia (JPFoto.com)
Follow Lulu on Twitter @lulukitololo
Interview by Sammy, Follow him on Twitter @Onks_
Next in the series, Lulu interviews Evans.