The Unwritten With: FAROUQUE ABDELA – THE MAN WHO DRESSED PRINCESS DIANA

Farouque Abdela is an established, and internationally reknowned fashion designer based in Zanzibar.

Albeit  born in Zanzibar, he lived in the United Kingdom for most of his life. Almost four decades later, Farouque returned to set up base in Stone Town.

In Zanzibar, everyone seems to know who Farouque is. Everyone has something to say about Farouque. And it’s all good stuff.

Once we landed  in Zanzibar, I couldn’t wait to meet him; this man whose reputation preceded him.

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The Unwritten With: SCOTT THE VIOLINIST – ON MUSIC, FRIENDSHIPS, SADNESS & LIFE’S LESSONS

Scott The Violinist and I plan to meet in Lavington, at the Mambo Italia restaurant. He arrives late, and in a panic.

“I’m so sorry! I really am. I had a class that ended late.”

I’m smiling. And I’m confused. “What class?”

Scott tells me he teaches a group of children how to play the violin. He likes it.

“Kids are the most beautiful thing. They are honest in their feedback. When they love something, they love it. And if they don’t, they simply don’t,” Scott explains, before apologizing again.

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The Unwritten With: OTIENDE AMOLLO – UP, CLOSE & PERSONAL

When I first heard of Hon. Otiende Amollo’s recent collapse, I was instantly gutted. And confused. And on Ralphe Bunche Road, trying to figure out what turn I was actually meant to take.

Otiende and I had had a beautiful lunch only a few days prior, and an even more beautiful conversation during that afternoon. And then this? A collapse? What did a “collapse,” mean? What did that really mean? How did it happen? Was he okay? Would he be okay?

And then there were more questions, I had Otiende’s story in my hands; what did this mean for his story? How would I tell it? Should I change anything?

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The Unwritten With: ADELLE ONYANGO – THE UNSTOPPABLE RISING STAR

Radio presenter Adelle Onyango confirms our meet-up a few hours before the set time. It’s sudden, but she apologizes; she was meant to travel, but had to cancel at the very last minute, and thought she’d instead make time for the interview.

The United States International University – Africa (USIU-A) alumnus shows up at The Carnivore in her tall, slender frame, donning a bright smile and saying hello to everyone on her way, all the waiters included.

As we settle down for the interview, Adelle looks at the monkeys surrounding us, and tells a story about being on a trip once, and the tour guide warning the group she was in, that monkeys aren’t very polite towards women.

In light of this warning, Adelle panics every time a monkey approaches our table, and laughs, as she proves her point, since every time the monkeys see our (male) photographer, they dash away. It’s a hilarious occurrence, one that softens the mood, before I ask Adelle some very personal questions, involving her being raped.

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The Unwritten With: IRUNGU HOUGHTON – ON DIVORCE, DISABILITY & DARING TO DREAM


My meeting with Irungu Houghton, started on the backdrop of a bit of a chaotic scene. The night before had been pouring mercilessly, and the morning of our meeting was nothing but a rage of floods in most parts of the city.

Since Nairobi was still quite wet, we had to change our would-be venue, from J’s Kitchen in Westlands, to his offices at Amnesty International.

I arrive at Irungu’s offices, it’s still pouring a fair amount, and it seems like there’s nowhere to park. But wait, something interesting happens. One of the guards approaches me with his umbrella in tow, greets me, I greet him back, and then he proceeds to confirm that there’s no parking available.

He then asks who I’ll be going to see. The moment I mention, “Irungu Houghton,” the guard stands taller, he smiles wider, and quickly remembers there was a vacant parking slot somewhere. It’s an interesting sight to behold, this, my sudden change of fate, upon the mention of a name.

Read more The Unwritten With: IRUNGU HOUGHTON – ON DIVORCE, DISABILITY & DARING TO DREAM