June 19, 2014

Kenya | Vacancies at State House: Mood Readers wanted (m/f)

An imaginary morning at the President of Kenya’s Office: President gets up, first thing he gets is his security briefing, especially movements that are ICC-related and CORD related, then the press clippings. He goes true with it, gets some emotions with the news, then his personal assistant comes up with today’s agenda. While walking to his vehicle with a tea-to-go in his hands, he gets briefed in more detail about the first meeting today. In the car next to him, his speech-writer talks to him about the print-out mister President has  just been handed over: the speech he going to deliver  at the next function. Eh, wait… stop… Are we missing something here? As in: missing something that we might need, not as in missing something that was there but we didn’t see? Yes! I would say. We are missing
May 21, 2014

The invisible consequences of terror

Since the Westgate attacks, Kenya has been hit by 14 terror attacks, leaving tens of Kenyan people dead and even more Kenyans wounded. Most of them are common men, women and children whose main day to day concern is how to feed their families and their loved ones. For the rest of the world, live continues after the 8 o’ clock news. For the victims, life will not easily be the same as before an attack. Admit: for most people, terror attacks is something you hear about on the television news. For a few seconds, maybe minutes or days, you are in a shock. We live I a society where most people are familiar with televised violence. I wonder if most people would actually notice the difference between the real world, created in the News and the entertainment world, let’s
September 10, 2010

Goosebumps, tears and Machiavelli(2)

This is a follow up on my post a fews days ago (Please find it here) about Kenya’s invitation to invite Sudan president al-Bashir on the promulgation of Kenya’s New Constitution. Many things have been said about it, I enjoy the Freedom to add. The things we don’t see are what politicians are reading. I am 100 percent sure that Machiavelli’s The Prince is on the desk of at least some of the Kenyan leaders. One of the things that Machiavelli talks about is moral. There the monopolised moral by the churche/religion in this world and there is the moral with the meaning of doing what is good for the masses. Apparently, Kenyan politicians’ moral seems to be the Machiavellian moral, in this case (or at least that is what they say). They invited al-Bashir for the greater good: peace
February 22, 2010
Caprivi Gambling Machines

Namibia / Gambling machines from Russia in Caprivi

On my trip through Namibia’s Caprivi Strip, I stopped at a small coffee joint to satisfy my caffeine-needs. In the end, I am still a Dutch. It was not my first time that I visited this small place in one of the poorest areas of beautiful Namibia. The type of area where people die of malaria because they can’t find transport to the nearest hospital or can’t spend two dollar to safe their own baby’s life. On the outside, nothing had changed. Still the dark orange/brown red-earthy color. Inside still the slow service and the super friendly girl who looks like she doesn’t need anybody as a customer today. Yes: everything looked as usual: I was even happy with the absence of Take Away Coffees. The mugs are on the way, like two years ago, I was told. But I
August 29, 2008

Tanzania / Picture of the Day!

Posted from the Cape (RSA)… But I took it in Tanzania, some days ago. I decided to make it the picture of the Day! It’s available in high quality on special request. Comments are welcome.
May 16, 2008

Zambia / Mister Seaman from Zimbabwe, you made my morning

Thank you mister Seaman from Zimbabwe, you started a small coffee stand on Lusaka International Airport. You know what a traveller needs at the beginning of the day: good coffee. But… what i don’t get: why do Zambians need a Zimbabwian on their International Airport to start a coffee shop all those years nobody noticed?
January 16, 2008

Kenya / Coming up: pockets of rioting youth

The morning was quiet in Nairobi. This afternoon i visited the informal settlements Mathare and Kibera. Police was around and Mathare seemed realtively quiet. Downtown Nairobi though there were pockets of rioting youth. They were dispersed by special police forces that used teargas. Less than an hour later, I witnessed singing youth who were challenging the police in the informal settlement Kibera. Police went in (that is the moment you hear on the audiofile). Minutes later, it seemed back to ‘normal’, as far as i can use that word in this extraordinary days for Kenya. Observation: more journalists around than common people. The riots will be in the media much bigger than they were. [mygal=nairobiriots]
January 15, 2008

Kenya / Nairobi: Just outside Parliament now

Just outside Kenyan Parlement now. It’s still quiet, riot police are around and an old lady is removing dust from the streets in front of the Parliament buildings, thus giving them a final touch. She laughs at me, I greet her and I wonder what she thinks…
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
June 20, 2007

Tanzania / Mobile internet has the future!

Yes. A lot of people would be surprised to hear that nowadays in a lot of African countries we have mobile internet. I posted this text live from the streets of Dar es Salaam. Mobile internet brings Africa to the world! At the same moment it seems that I am walking through a world that has two speeds. On my left hand side, here and now, there is a hospital where tonight a lot of people will have died of diseases, like malaria, that could have been treated cheaply. But because of the fact that they could not afford the medicine or say health insurance, they will die. Others cant make a choice because they cant afford to use a condom. Death is always around the corner on this continent. And still: i see people surviving, the streets in Dar