One Grandmother for Everybody

So you didn’t have to worry if you never had one.
I was partly raised by my Grandma until I was in primary 5, unfortunately she didn’t live long to get photographed by her favourite grandchild, she actually named me (Papa), does that hint on how much was spoiling me? I dedicate this blogpost to her Life and all the grandmothers in the world.

African grandmothers will always have your back; they always get you covered! They will call you by every kind of sweet names, spoil you with way too many favors and would grant you as much edibles as you weren’t able to carry (then I started using my shirt as a basket). Tropical fruits for my childhood case, and grandmothers would always provide a place to hide until your Mama’s temper cooled down or even better would negotiate for your forgiveness. Way too many memories.


Abuba was one of those sweet grandmothers and she still is. (Abuba) is a Nubian word for Grandma, she is the only surviving elder of her generation in the whole village. Her parents were apart of a huge movement of Swahili speaking people who migrated from Tanganyika (present Tz) into Uganda via the Southern border of Uganda before 1900 and settled in Mbarara, at place that came to be known as ‘‘Kiswahili’’.





Just that you also know; In Africa, a child is raised by the whole village (community). Even though this tradition is fading away with time, it is still everyone’s responsibility to watch children’s behavior as they grow up. When we the 90’s kids were growing up, this was more like the (neighborhood watch), you would get your behind whipped, get reported to your parents or even disciplined you accordingly by anyone older than you. My European friends laughed at this and questioned me about who gives who authority, I bet this wouldn’t work in so many parts of the world.

Roundabout 180

Nyakaizi cell- Kakoba Round-about, this is a township that Abuba witnessed come into existence. She knows its stories, and this township knows bit of my childhood memories.

Well, Africa to the world.

Hamburg Sunset / Hafen city.


At Peace with Life, Mona Mour.

With peace from Nepal,

” I just returned after 9 month away from home and I have a culture shock, the lifestyle here isn’t meant for me, people think that I’m crazy”. “You see close your eyes, dont think about anything, give attention to your senses, feel your breath. You see people are afraid of closing their eyes, but you have to be at peace with your self” MONA just returned back to Germany from a 9 month stay in Nepal and India and she is a yoga fanatic.





“I’m not really good with being in front of the camera, can I smoke while we are doing this?”

Marteria at Southside Festival 2015.

Germany April 17th – Nov 17th 2015.

Marteria / Marsimoto at SouthSide 2015. Being a photographer and intern at Viva Con Agua e.v, has given me a path to restricted areas at festivals like artist villages, backstages, led me onto artist tour buses and to me this is special because Not everybody get this opportunity and treatment. With an estimated crowd of 80,000 people, South Side festival was just one of these experiences. Meet Marteria, a German rap sensational whose alter ago is MarsiMoto. I happened to move along with his personal photographer called Paul Ripke who also appears in the following presentation, Ripke is the guy behind most of Marteria’s images both stills and videos.

Who is Marteria? /

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Who is Marteria? /

What do you know?

School is good. what do you see? what do you think? How do you feel about this? The photo depicts 3 young school pupils on their way back home from school in the evening, I shot the photo in Buyende district on return from doing an assignment by AKVO Int’l on their global Akvo heros project. _MG_8184

Paper beads for a life.

A considerable number of young girls, ladies and mothers have been able to achieve sustainability through making of paper beads. I learn’t about the possibilities and the long term hard work involved in the process of rolling paper beads when I was contacted by a client to document and later shoot the final product. As I go further to build the story, here is a few shots for you to look at! Enjoy.

© Papa Shabani photography 2014. All rights reserved. No rights granted unless in writing by Papa Shabani





Photo Story|the month of Aug: My friend is a B-Boy.

Mush Ali is a Break-dancer and fashion stylist operating from Owino market and he is an active member of the popular B.P.U(Break-dance Project Uganda), an arts organization that uses Break-dance for social change. Break Dance/B-Boying is the pretty the fastest growing element of Hip hop in Kampala. And the most popular by far. This is a portrait from my upcoming series titled “Patriots”.

The boombox bag.

The boombox bag.

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Catch the Sun

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Riding Life

Riding Life

En route from Gulu. 20 years ago this Northern Uganda district was filled with horror, nightmares and migraines caused by the ruthless killings by the LRA Rebels who are now hiding in C.A.R forests. I happened to take several photographs on my way from the recent concluded Bayimba Regional Festival of the Arts, GULU 2014 and I chose this to share with the world. If you look clearly you will see that the young lady on the bicycle is having a baby tied on her back.

Photo of the Week : The Iron Snake that Produced smoke.

Built during the Scramble for East Africa, the Uganda Railway was the one genuinely strategic railway to be constructed in tropical Africa at that time.It was “a truly imperial project, built by the British government with purpose to expand British domination of the area”. 2,498 workers would die during its construction.


At the Nairobi Railway Museum lie these huge metal remains of the great Steam Engine trains. The Iron Snake prophecy was a story told by a Kikuyu Witchdoctor who prophesized the destruction of plantation fields, homes and death of masses caused by a long snake that would pass through the Kikuyu a short while after her prophecy.