Najib Balala (L), Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Steve Chege (C), Director Corporate Affairs at Safaricom and Stone He, Huawei Technologies Kenya Chief Executive Officer unveil the Hell's Gate national park photo during the Huawei exploration campaign launch in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, Nov. 30, 2017. This campaign dubbed "Kenya: Exploring a new point of view" by Huawei Technologies will be showcased across multiple digital communication channels globally showcasing the modernity, diversity and beauty of Kenya to millions around the world. (Xinhua/Charles Onyango)
By Christine Lagat and Wang Xiaopeng
NAIROBI, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Mutua Matheka loved adventure since his childhood days and often defied warnings from older relatives and teachers to scale dangerous heights to test his grit and resilience.
The 33-year-old architecture graduate developed a passion for adventure photography during his teenage years and gladly embraced any opportunity to capture fascinating landscapes in his locality.
Matheka's prowess came to its own in mid July when Chinese technology firm Huawei recruited him to embark on a photography mission aimed at showcasing Kenya's attractions to the rest of the word.
His participation in the Huawei-sponsored photography campaign titled "Kenya: Exploring a new point of view" marked an important milestone in his career.
During an interview with Xinhua on Thursday evening at the launch of the Huawei digital photography campaign, Matheka said he felt honored to be part of a crew that helped rewrite Kenya's narrative through visual imagery.
"Participating in this project to showcase Kenya's unique physical features was a dream come true for me since I have always aspired to harness the power of images to make positive changes in society," said Matheka.
Huawei and Kenya's leading mobile phone company Safaricom sponsored the digital photography campaign to help highlight the positive side of Kenya amid polarization witnessed during the prolonged electoral cycle.
Matheka and his crew embarked on a seven-day trip to different parts of the country to capture captivating images on top of Safaricom masts using Huawei's P10 smartphone and cameras.
His endurance and stamina was tested to the limit when he climbed up to the apex of the cell phone masts to capture thrilling images of hills, water bodies, wildlife and savannah grasslands.
"The seven day photographic journey was grueling and I had to endure freezing cold and strong winds on top of the cell phone masts to get the best snapshot," said Matheka.
The eight most outstanding images that he captured during the week-long odyssey to Kenya's hinterland, cities and coastal beaches will be displayed on Huawei's digital platforms to be viewed by millions of people globally.
Matheka said he was overwhelmed by the positive feedback he received from the public when his snapshots of Kenya's fascinating landscapes were unveiled.
"I will always cherish the experience of climbing tall masts at sunrise and sunset to capture our natural beauty using a smartphone camera. Each picture that I took will live to illustrate our timeless and authentic heritage to future generations," Matheka said.
He underscored the role of digital technology to re-invent the Kenyan brand that had experienced a beating due to fractious politics and insecurity.
"Most of us Kenyans have always viewed the country through the lenses of foreign media and it is high time we harnessed the power of digital technology to tell the positive side of the story," said Matheka.
He is currently mentoring upcoming photographers through social media platforms and is optimistic the photography campaign will boost tourism in Kenya.
Matheka's companions during the photography journey had kind words for the venture that not only added luster to their careers but also elevated their fame in Kenya and beyond.
Trevor Maingi, 27-year-old aeronautical engineering major, was part of the Huawei photography project that helped refine his photography skills.
Maingi started engaging in adventure photography two years ago after graduating from a mid-level college and an opportunity to participate in the Huawei explore Kenya project opened new horizons.
"It was a whole new experience to travel hundreds of miles to some of the remotest outposts in the country and take a photo of desolate hills, plateau and water points," said Maingi.
He also braved chilly mornings to climb up to the apex of cell phone masts and get a better view of captivating landscapes underneath.
"The hardest part was carrying a luggage weighing eight kilos while climbing the masts. It was a grueling task that also boosted our physical stamina and resilience," Maingi said.
He vowed to utilize his photography skills to inspire and mentor younger peers.
Kenya was the first country in the world to benefit from Huawei sponsored digital photography campaign that aims to spotlight the country's positive attributes.
Xavier Wong, Creative Director of Huawei Global, said Kenya has made great strides in many spheres hence the need to magnify this progress using digital technology.
"Kenya is renowned for wildlife and technological revolution and it is important to showcase these positive developments to the wider world using smartphones and other digital platforms," said Wong.