Boniface Mwangi is one of the most vocal and courageous Kenyans of his generation.
Recognized globally for his passion and excellence in photography, this photographer-cum-activist could not resist the call to activism after witnessing first-hand the brutality that disadvantaged Kenyans experienced in the wake of the Post- Election Violence in 2008. He then established Picha Mtaani a traveling photography exhibition telling of the violence.
The travelling photo exhibition toured across Kenya and drew more than 2 million people. The tour of the exhibition offered a platform for individual reflection, honest dialogue, interpersonal healing and community reconciliation.
In 2012, Boniface founded PAWA254, a hub for creatives in Kenya where journalists, artists and activists find innovative ways of achieving social change.
At 36, he has been a guest of the state on many occasions for championing justice and calling out powerful leaders for their wanton corruption and blatant violation of human rights. This has earned him friends and foes alike. His commitment to promote social change has also come at a heavy price. As a husband and father, his wife and children have endured hostilities from different quarters. The escalation of these hostilities has seen him being threatened with harm and/or death by powerful forces in government.
Like many Kenyans with a challenging upbringing where basic needs were not always met, Boniface Mwangi is all too familiar with the struggles of the ordinary Kenyan. He has worked as a bus-park sweeper, house-boy and hawker. He even served time in Approved School.
Despite monumental odds, he has risen, discovering photography at a young age and applying his entrepreneurial brilliance to break free from the clutches of poverty. Those who have worked with Boniface Mwangi can attest to his diligence, compassion and self-drive.
He has twice won the CNN Multichoice Africa Photojournalist of the Year Award and is the youngest Prince Claus Laureate. New African Magazine named him as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans of 2014 and 2016, and he is a senior TED Fellow. Time Magazine recognized him as a Next Generation Leader in 2015, and he was selected as one of Kenya’s Top 40 under 40 men in 2016, and named as one of the Top 100 Kenyans in 2019.
Boniface Mwangi continues to wage a spirited campaign against oppressive establishments. Although at one point he stood alone, today his movement has gained traction with many – inspired by his vision and consistency – adding their voices to champion for a better Kenya.
Boniface and his wife Njeri Mwangi are the loving parents of 3 adorable children.
He is the author of Unbounded – a poignant and riveting memoir that captures his incredible journey.