The Work

Will Langford


Photographer’s Note: “The Work” is a visual gallery walk through East Africa: the wamama (Kiswahili for “mothers”) filleting Nile-caught tilapia, and stringing them with orange twine. The wamama carrying 100-liter jugs to water elsewhere.

“The Work” takes us to the Children and Youth Empowerment Center in Nyeri, Kenya where a young master carpenter crafts a handles for a scythe to cut Kenyan sugar cane.

“The Work” takes place beneath the shine of the Zanzibar sun. I watched a man hew the husks from coconuts the size of footballs—each one the size of a soccer ball—with a machete. He’d juggle the green 10lb fruit in one hand, tossing it aloft, slicing away the ripe green until what was left was tan, impossibly multi-sided, tan, tropical treat.


Will Langford, a Detroit native, is a poet, teaching artist, and Fulbright scholar. He is the 2017 Motown Mic Spoken Word Artist of the Year, and the voice of Lansing’s Below the Stacks Mural Festival. Will divides his energy between education and community development projects in his hometown, East Africa, and East Lansing. Website: WillThePoet.Com. Instagram: @WTLThePoet.



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