In 2013, Sandra Chege’s best friend took her own life, and this event deeply affected Sandra. She recalls how pronounced and life changing the experience was and out of this she created Hadithi, a blog that allows writers to speak honestly about who they are: the good, the bad, and the ugly, in epistolary form. The blog became a response to society’s detached perception of mental health issues.
The first letters came from Sandra’s friends and family members, and then in January this year, she opened up the blog and received “some of the most beautiful letters”. The letters vary in their reflection of love, self, pain and release, and everything in between. This form enables writers and readers to look inwards and broadens considerations and conversations around social and personal issues.
Outside the blog, Hadithi has had three live event installations where participants put up notes and letters for audiences to read and reflect on. The first installation Hadithi had was at Mchuzi Mix held at the Alchemist where they left letters and notes up for one month. The second installation was part of the East Africa Soul Train and finally, at the Mustered Soul Hadithi event.
During the April 2016 edition of Blankets and Wine, Hadithi was paired with clothing brand Bongosawa. Sandra encouraged different levels of involvement and had anticipated a mixture of responses, both on and offline. “Hadithi exists for us to see a little bit of ourselves in each other. Hadithi aims to become a space that connects the dots to allow critical self-reflection," she says.