January 15, 2008

Kenya / 17.15 pm / Pictures: Just back from opening of Parliament

Just back from the opening of Parliament. Quit hectic. Noit enough room for the press, so I had to improvise a bit to get some pictures. A warm thank you to the dilpmats from Greece and Cyprus who were very friendly indeed. One of the agenda points was the election of the speaker. The pictures are a quick impression. One of them shows president Mwai Kibaki bringing out his vote. Meeting is still going on. Nairobi downtown seems to be quiet at the moment (17.15 local time). Pictures are clickable. [mygal=parliament] All pictures were taken this afternoon. Audio available shortly. Enjoy the day!
January 15, 2008

Kenya / Politicians seem to come from an other planet

Good morning! I woke up this morning realising how lucky I am. I went to bed with the story of a Kenyan who arrived in Nairobi confused. He spent his last money on the bus to flee for his life, because a group of soldiers and citizens came to his home at night. Screaming to him: Who did you vote for!! Who did you vote for!! I will keep it short. He and his family bled into a river bed and spent the night. From there he and his family saw how groups went through the area putting fire on houses in the region. This man’s life was saved, and the attackers did not set his house a blaze. But they took his cows. I had a paeceful sleep although the story of the man popped up from time to
January 14, 2008

Kenya / Tourism Board: 'We are digging our graves…'

Just back from a press trip with the Kenyan Tourist Board. According to the Kenyan Tourist Board, things have never been so bad, not even after 09/11 when a lot of Tourists stayed away from Kenya. The Tourism sector is ringing the Alarm Bell: 20.000 direct jobs will have gone the end of this month if Kibaki and Odinga don’t come to their senses. According to the Tourist Board within 3 months 120.000 jobs are at stake, 12,8% of Kenya’s GDP comes from tourism. What they want to say: tourists please come back, you are perfectly safe on the Kenyan Coast. Shortly available: audio.
January 10, 2008

Kenya / Invitation to comment on Kenyan Elections: open letter to Kivuitu

I just got this letter from one of my friends. Agree or not: it shows how part of Kenyans feel about what is happening to the country. Please feel welcome to comment on this open letter to Samuel Kivuitu, the Chairman of the Kenyan Electoral Commission. Comments will be shown with a delay to avoid spam-robots… Have a nice day! AN OPEN LETTER TO SAMUEL KIVUITU, CHAIR OF THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION OF KENYA Mr. Kivuitu, We’ve never met. It’s unlikely we ever will. But, like every other Kenyan, I will remember you for the rest of my life. The nausea I feel at the mention of your name may recede. The bitterness and grief will not. You had a mandate, Mr. Kivuitu. To deliver a free, fair and transparent election to the people of Kenya. You and your commission had
October 20, 2007

Togo / Lomé Togo-complot against the West (2)

The masses decide the direction of history. Yes it is a cliché. Thanks for observing that. At least you know your cliché’s. And also: thew image is never as bad as reality, especially if you talk about so called African countries with political tension. Examples? My first visit to Nigeria years ago, I did not get the AK47 roadblocks every 200 meters that people prepared me for. I neglected the advice of friends (who had never been to Africa), asking me if a story is worth my life. I went and I met a crazy country, but not the roadblocks. And I have had the experience before and often. Anyway: travelling to Togo is was prepared for soldiers and harassment during election time. The immigration officer in neighbouring country Ghana had already warned me when he asked my profession. Don’t
October 15, 2007

Togo / Lomé now: so far elections went well

Arrived in Togo-capital Lomé after a 24-hour trip from Capetown, South Africa. I still owe you some stories from Namibia and South Africa and Ghana among them one about some Himba milionares in the Namibian desert, and the Ghana art of living. For now: still enjoying the heat and the end of the rainy season in the Togo-capital Lomé where elections were held yesterday. First impression two days ago: it feels like Sunday morning here all day. And the heat, always the hea. And the happines that seems to come with poverty. Togolese suffer, but they know where they are coming from: they once had a thriving market that was mainly built on the economic crisis of the countries around: in Burkina Faso, in Ivory Coast and in Ghana. Now that those countries are doing well (I came through Accra,
September 29, 2007

Namibia / The Himba Millionaires

That is the name I gave to this small community of Himba people in Namibia’s Northwest where is just passed some days ago. Probabely the only Himba-community with a white female Minister of Finance. Himba’s are to Namibia what the Maasai are to Kenya and Tanzania and Bushmen to Southern Africa. The difference in Namibia is that white ‘native’ people talk about their fellow nationals the San and the Himba in a very strange way: just as if the white nationals are superior to the natives. AIt seems to be a trend among whites in Southern Africa to do something good. And that is also how a lot of these white well-do’ers behave: We are doing something GOOD. Look how GOOD I am. And i have to believe how GOOD they are of course. I ran into a white lady