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Burkina Faso

Souleymane Koanda

Photographer: Briony Campbell

When I asked Souleymane to be part of the project he invited me to his home in Camberwell. I decided – both because of the wonderfully warm atmosphere that he and his wife invited me into, and his attachment to the place – that we should make the photo on his estate.

He told me he wasn't sure whether to wear 'normal clothes' or his best traditional Boubou from Burkina Faso, which he only wears for special occasions. We both agreed this was a special occasion.

Souleymane left Africa as a young man to explore the opportunities of Europe. Soon after arriving in Italy in 1972, friends found him work as a cook in a wealthy home. He met his wife, who was originally from Colombia, when she began working as the nanny for the same family. After 15 years in Rome they moved to London with their little daughter Silvie. She recently made him a proud grandfather when she and her Dutch partner had a little girl.

As a Londoner born and bred myself, I am continually inspired by how many friends I make and encounters I have here with people who have roots in other parts of the world.

by Briony Campbell, photographer - www.brionycampbell.com

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