Spring grew up with a passion for writing and acting that led to a career in the film and television industry. After acting, producing and directing small theater projects in New York City, she found herself in a more production-based role as a crewmember. Writing, however, has always been her favorite way to express herself - to sort through good and bad times, and to connect creatively to others. She is a published poet with a collection of short stories, and a novel in progress. She is a graduate of Columbia University with a major in Socio-Anthropology and a minor in Creative Writing.
Spring was fortunate enough to work on the film, “The Queen of Katwe” in Uganda in 2015. Not only was this the realization of one of her life-long dreams - to work and live in Africa - but she connected to artists, journalists and filmmakers, as well as U.S. Embassy and Film Aid workers, such as Ashley Beckett, who helped light the way to co-creating, “I’ll Tell You My Story”. She is grateful to Zippy and Emily for turning it up!
Zippy’s passion for filmmaking is apparent in how incredibly busy she is as the founder and director of AfroFilms International – afrofilmsinternational.com. Zippy, born in Kenya, grew up acting and writing. Once entering university, she knew she wanted to be behind the camera, where she could tell stories of her own making. She went to New York University Tisch School of the Arts (Asia) in Singapore, where her short film, “Burnt Forest” was acclaimed at film festivals internationally. Since then, Zippy hasn’t stopped making films, producing documentaries, or working for hire on all types of projects – from documentaries to feature films, like “The Queen of Katwe”, for Walt Disney, Universal studios, amongst many others.
Zippy is a volunteer at Maisha Film Lab in Kampala, UG, where she teaches young filmmakers in East Africa to produce short films. She’s a passionate teacher who wants her students to learn essential skills. Knowing first-hand the struggles the world can inflict upon you, causing life to change in a moment -please watch her film Burnt Forest! - Zippy knows how important it is that young women focus on the ability to support themselves. Developing “I’ll Tell You My Story” gave Zippy the chance to share her life story and many skills with other young African women – inspiring them to think differently about their future, and to know that they can be surrounded by a support system of African women who support themselves with their passions.
Emily has devoted much of her life to the care and concern of young people, as well as maintaining a career as a professional photographer. She studied photography at the School of Visual Arts in New York, before living in Los Angeles and Seattle to photograph rock bands, people and animals. As an advocate for the welfare of youth, she has mentored with Big Sisters, worked as a Truancy Interventionist for Seattle Public Schools and as a photography instructor at Youth in Focus. Always a bit of a kid herself, Emily approaches life with curiosity and her camera ready – traveling the world with wonderment and an open heart – hoping to not only share what she sees, but to encourage others to care and get involved as well.
Emily’s photography business Best Friend Photography; bestfriendphoto.com, demonstrates her artistic talents as well as her love of animals. She lends her photography skills to the Seattle Animal Shelter and has been documenting Native American youth in Washington State learning to surf with Warm Current. Forever enthusiastic for opportunities to travel and volunteer, Emily can’t wait to get back to Kenya to share “I’ll Tell You My Story” with other girls there, and wherever else in the world we are welcome.
Our Team in Nairobi
Shiru Kimundu, Project coordinator
Shiru makes sure transportation arrives, lunch is served, money counted and materials acquired.
Wangechi Kahiro, Translator
Wangechi is fluent in Swahili, English and French. She works tirelessly to be sure we all understand each other.
Refushe (formerly Heshima Kenya)
Refushe identifies and protects unaccompanied, refugee, young women and their children in Kenya. Shelter, education and community outreach services and local resources in the communties empower this population to live healthy lives.
PAWA provides a classroom, theater, and rooftop setting. It also presents a working, artistic community.