Sunny Dolat is a Kenyan fashion stylist, creative director and production designer. In 2012, he co-founded The Nest Collective, a multidisciplinary Kenyan squad working with film, fashion, visual arts and music. The Nest started out as a gathering place for young and emerging creators in Nairobi who were interested in the intersections between poetry, feminism and queer theory, design and technology.
For their Stories of Our Lives project the collective members travelled around Kenya to interview over 250 Kenyans who identified as queer. The result of the project was the critically-acclaimed feature film Stories of Our Lives, as well as a book of the same name. The film was screened in over 80 countries and won numerous awards, but was banned in Kenya.
Subsequent works include ‘Tuko Macho’, an interactive crime web series widely considered to be one of the best African TV series, and ‘Let This Be A Warning’ a virtual reality short film set in a distant African future. Most recently The Nest published a fashion book entitled ‘Not African Enough’. The book asserts the rights of African designers and artists to step out of the narrow confines of what the world considers to be African. ‘We wanted to challenge the existing narrative of African fashion, which is often examined and analysed using a very singular lens,’ Dolat says.
In 2013, the Nest Collective also founded HEVA, Africa’s first creative business fund to strengthen the livelihoods of East Africa’s creative entrepreneurs.