By Efemia Chela
Do you prefer to stay in your lane or do the most? Kaz Lucas and Chris Muriithi are two very busy queers devoted to the lifestyle of the latter, showing up in the world in wild and wonderful ways. These two Kenyan MxsterMinds and multi-hyphenates seem to make a success of whatever they put their hands to – pole dancing, fashion collabs, journalism and music – to name a few.
Chris, who is non-binary, moves different. They started off as a teen actor on television shows such as Tahidi High, then became a journalist whose production of BBC ‘What’s New’, garnered them an Emmy nomination. Today, Muriithi is the CEO of Bold Network Africa, which tells real and inspiring stories of queer African people to demystify stereotypes and encourage acceptance. The Bold in the name stands for ‘brave, odd, loud and different’, encouraging LGBTQ+ people to never shrink themselves, despite the challenges they face.
Chris, known for their dynamic personal style, sporting dapper suits and pristine kicks has dropped a collaboration called Zoya x Bold with Kenya’s biggest athleisure brand, Vivo. They have spoken openly about being cyberbullied because their appearance bucks gender norms. To challenge the status quo, the vibrant fits in their collection are gender-inclusive and promoted with androgynous models. Chris describes the power of fashion for people like us: ‘Fashion is something that the people in the queer community really embody because it’s one thing that makes them feel seen, like their identity is out there’.
Kaz Lucas dances to the beat of her own drum. In the 90s, she performed alongside Coolio in a national competition where she won best overall rapper. She’s been an actress, musician and activist, winning the Upinde Award in 2018 for her work in this sphere. Nowadays, Kaz is a sex positive educator who runs Kaz Entertainment, has a rousing and inspiring Ted Talk entitled ‘How Sex Education Should Start With Consent’ and shows off her moves as a skilled pole dancer, co-owning the Birds of Paradise Studio in Nairobi, which teaches pole and yoga in a queer-friendly space. Kaz credits pole dancing with changing her life: ‘It has helped me battle the worst parts of my depression/anxiety, it has increased my love for my body, made me feel myself the most and made me ultimately stronger in all facets’. You can also hear her online, disrupting the digital space as a certified sex educator, dispensing advice on polyamory, healthy relationships, kink as well as proliferating good vibes and sex positivity on her podcast, The Spread.
No stranger to public controversy, these two have lived and loved in the spotlight and received bigotry and invasive media attention that hasn’t always been pleasant. Queer people in the public eye (especially within the African context) are often held up to arbitrary standards and archaic ideas of respectability, and are heavily criticised when they don’t fall in line. Yet, Chris and Kaz display bravery and authenticity and never let the haters dissuade them from their winding journeys. We’ll be waiting and watching to see what they get up to next.