The Nest

Starting as a collaborative audience space for new and emerging art forms in Nairobi in October 2012, The Nest was co-founded by Jim Chuchu and George Gachara, alongside founding members Sunny Dolat and Dr. Njoki Ngumi, later joined by other members. In 2013, the Nest chose a collective creation modality across several artistic disciplines, kicking off a decade’s worth of group learning, adventures, insights and successes. Of these works, which were well received both at home and internationally, the Nest are best known for the following: the Chico Leco Presents fashion film showcase (2013), the award winning film and book Stories of Our Lives (2013-2015); the fashion film To Catch A Dream (2015); the crime procedural web series Tuko Macho (2016); the fashion book Not African Enough (2017); The VR short Let This Be A Warning (2017); The short film series We Need Prayers (2018); the Sweet and Sawa Music album and DJ project (2018); the EP Blue Ticks and Kisses (2019); and the multi-country Black activist documentary reflection, The Feminine and the Foreign in London, Cape Town, Nairobi and Wiesbaden (2020 to present).

The Nest have also commissioned a font, Charvet (2013) and the historical comic books (Wangu Wa Makeri and Mekatilili Wa Menza, 2020), as well as played lead curatorial roles in multi-national, multistakeholder collaborative projects with anticolonial approaches, exploring restitution of stolen and looted Kenyan and African objects (International Inventories Programme, 2018 to 2021) and guiding conversations, research and experiments exploring Black cultural futures globally (Unexpected Lessons, 2021 to present).

The Nest also founded HEVA, Africa’s first creative and cultural economic catalyst facility, in 2013, and supported the growth of Strictly Silk, a nightclub event and multimedia exploration for gender-marginalised people, from 2018 to 2021.

Most recently, the Nest took part in Documenta 15 in 2022, presenting a multimedia installation Return To Sender as a strong critique of the Global North’s sending of hundreds of tons of toxic and non-biodegradable fashion waste to Africa and the Global South. Return to Sender is being recommissioned, expanded and evolved in partnership with a number of museums all around the world.

After a decade of intense multidisciplinary creation as a collaborative production powerhouse, the Nest’s next phase is incorporating intentional room for holistic rest, and prioritising individual curiosities and inspirations.

Njeri Gitungo

Njeri Gitungo is a multi-talented individual, serving as a producer, program manager, DJ and member of Nairobi's Nest Collective. With her expertise and dedication, she has taken on the role of Head of Production, playing a pivotal role in shaping and formalizing the collective's alternative production methodology. This approach emphasizes cost-efficiency, fostering strong relationships, and cultivating a diverse and inclusive working environment.

Driven by a passion for transformative change, Njeri Gitungo strives to transcend power dynamics and champions team-oriented models that benefit all industry players and stakeholders, seeking holistic solutions that promote collaboration and equality.

Notably, Njeri Gitungo has been involved in various outstanding projects. She co-produced the highly successful event Strictly Silk – an exclusive dance party uniting diverse populations of women and nonbinary individuals as performers, guests and event service providers. This groundbreaking event received widespread acclaim and garnered viral media coverage internationally, solidifying her reputation as an innovator.

As a DJ known by her stage name Ziggie, she delivers captivating and energetic performances at gigs, festivals and parties both within Kenya and abroad. Specializing in Afro-house, R&B, dance and house music, her sets create a unique and memorable atmosphere.

Sunny Dolat 

Sunny Dolat is an independent fashion curator, cultural producer and creative director who works independently as well as in the Nest Collective, which he co-founded. He centers his practice in making unapologetic statements about the beauty and dignity of black skin, through works such as the video art piece “When We Are/When We Are Not”, which meditates on black death, grief, silence and resilience, and the fashion book "Not African Enough", a voyage into contemporary Kenyan fashion and exploration of wider issues regarding Africa's place in global cultural debate and dialogues. In 2019, he curated and performed “In Their Finest Robes, The Children Shall Return”, an expansive fashion installation and ritual staged on the shores of São Tomé and Príncipe, for the N'gola Biennale. More recently, Dolat was part of the curatorial team that put together the monumental Africa Fashion exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Dolat currently lives and works in Nairobi, Kenya.

JP Waithera

Jane Pauline (JP) has a passion for creating engaging content online and is currently very curious about delving into Kenyan history, with her particular interest being in the ways of expression of different Kenyan cultures. In addition, she has a love for music and deejaying with her eclectic music selection encompassing everything from from old-school R&B to pop.

Njoki Ngumi

Njoki Ngumi is a writer, filmmaker and feminist thinker who has held positions in private and public health care sectors in Kenya. She is a founding member of the Nest Collective, a Kenyan multidisciplinary gathering of artists, builders and makers, where she has expanded her

practice into film, research design, and organisational, collaborative strategy. Njoki's cross sectoral work and organising was also core to the Nest Collectives's founding and set-up of 2 now independent entities: HEVA, Africa's first cultural and creative economy catalyst facility, in 2013; and Strictly Silk, a festival, club and multimedia entity dedicated to happiness, enjoyment, care and community with and among people marginalised by gender, in 2018. Njoki is currently finalising post-production with the Nest's latest film work, The Feminine and The Foreign, and has began research for independent film, writing, audio and exhibition work.

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