(4) The world of broken souls
It’s a world where anyone can enter, but it’s almost impossible to get out of it. This is said by those who are no longer alive and who have come to this hopeless world and can not find an answer, to get out of it.
Kibera. This is Kenya’s shame, where desperate people come together from all over Africa. I was able to enjoy and see the despair and inability, with which the inhabitants of slum awoke and went to bed in the evening. There was neither today nor tomorrow, only the hopeless existentialism, that kept up the flame of hope.
It made me confused and I was looking for the answer, how it may be, that the richest continent in the world, with a thousand years of history and flourishing cities whose cultural values and scientific contribution far exceeded the achievements of today’s Europe, has now turned into a daunting place in the eyes of the world.
It’s really awesome to watch the Kibera’s slum in this context.
Colonial time is a period, that has left disastrous consequences for many countries and has irreversibly destroyed its cultural and historical values. By brutally employed methods divide and rule, colonial time has destroyed the social structure to such an extent, that its hierarchy has been discouraged and begun to fall from within. You can imagine what hatred may occur, when someone in your home country suddenly begins to classify and manipulate your status privileges. Based on these methods, individuals and individual segments of society are confused with each other. The brother begins to fight against brother.
Nairobi was the place where the workforce from the countries of Africa and Asia was concentrated. Here, the British colonists began to deploy their offices, and built a railway between Uganda and Nairobi to supply fresh labor. It was built in 1922 and is called the Ugandan Railway. During that time, a large number of short-term laborers stayed in Nairobi, who carried out the British Government’s administrative work and continued to build the railroad. In 1922, the colonial government adopted the so-called Vagrancy Act, which obliged to segregate people by race. It was discriminating against the people who were born in Nairobi. This meant, that the residents were not allowed to stay in their hometown, but somewhere on the outskirts of the city. To live in Nairobi needed permission. However, after getting it, people were sorted by ethnic groups. One group that was loyal to the British government enjoyed limited privileges. However, they were also allowed to settle outside Nairobi, where there was a slum, which is today called Kibera. The second sorted group consisted of four larger tribes; The Nubians, Kokuyus, Kamla and Kisil. In between these groups, there were regular violations of every kind of character.
As anywhere, where masses of people are concentrated, over time, in the active or passive way, groups begin to stratify. Whatever the primitive way of doing this, it is typical to consolidate and shape own positions. This could be a self-taught sphere of influence in the field of religion, social affairs or ethnicity. As the divisive composition of the population is rather elusive, ethnically, religiously and nationally, it is quite understandable that there are obvious conflicts of interest between individuals and groups.
The most influential clans dictate their rules throughout the Kibera’s area. There are invisible territorial boundaries between the clans. In the form of mutual trading shares, there are some types of fees collected by the administration. The eclectic product is alcohol, drugs and prostitution. To mention the latter, the sanitary condition in the slum is below every criticism. The human’s biological needs are not particularly hidden, and it is noticeable behind the corner of every home. Feces in a plastic bags are simply thrown through a window or door without paying attention to passersby.
No matter how strange it may be, among these mountains of shit and waste, which, during the hot weather give off an intolerable smell, you can find small eateries and even hotels, whose inscriptions do not indicate anything of acceptable service. The Hotel’s geometric lines do not fit into any architectural standards. Their structures consist of hand-picked materials that are tied together with nails or wire. Launching a shelter is a very dangerous thing. If there is no one who monitors the building materials, they can disappear without a trace during the bright daytime. People go to the city early in the morning in the hope of finding a job, but returning to the slums at late night hours, they find they are robbed.
On September 16, 2009, about 1,500 people were offered to move to multi-stored residential buildings. However, many families refused to move under the pretext of an expensive rents. This, however, came as a shock to people who have become accustomed to living in Kibera for many years and have grown up many generations. There was no such thing as negotiating until the Nairobi government made a drastic decision to squander part of illegally built homes. Huge protests that were transmitted in clashes with the police rebelled against this decision. The government, conceding Kibera’s residents, and promised to postpone the decision for an indefinite period.
Life is as it was at the very beginning, when the first job-seekers massed into slum. If you draw your eyes and do not get a clue about the dirt that’s around, everything is just like anywhere else.
Today, Kibera is full of small boutiques, where you can buy everything for nothing. No one cares foreigners, shopkeepers know they have money, but they do not dare to accept local services. In the second half of the day, you can hear loud voices in the pubs, which sometimes turns into brawlers. There are places in the Kibera where it’s better not to go. However, if you come to the tavern where everything is in full swing, then all kinds of conflicts with a religious or national character could emerge. To thaw the heated atmosphere, be prepared to get rid of the douceur.
If a new suspicious person asks you to buy a milk package, then you’re sure, this guy has no interest in milk. The acetone glue is squeezed in the milk package, and is meant to snuff it. This activity is breaking the brain irreversibly. It’s a pity to watch youngster’s behavior during the snuffing of the glue. It can not be compared to alcohol or drug use. It is neither aggression nor other kind of excitement. It looks like an overdose young person is in a different dimension. I took the milk package out of the boy’s hands and asked him not to do it anymore. The reaction was quite calm, rather drowsy. I felt compelled to compensate for the losses, and paid the boy a good lunch and said that glue snuffing would not be good for health. For me, it was a brief consolation, because I knew for sure that my lesson would not work, and that the boy needed another therapy.
Working in the Kibera slum, I meet with wonderful people,
who still wished to change their lives and get out of this hell. Although small, however, there are changes in Kibera’s social life. I was watching the contrasting landscape far away, and I thought, that once the slum residents will leave their nest of hopelessness, and decide to start living in new homes. Even when faced with students who laughed so kindly and posed for the camera, I immediately lost consciousness of depression. I imagine that they will be the next generation, who will see life more colorful and happier. I would not give Africa anybody, such was the position of children, shouting and intimidating the imagined enemy.
(3) Costal life
African West Coast warm Atlantic waters are tempting. They generously reward fishermen with seafood, but are sternly against irresponsibility. Every month, the ocean takes a human life, as if maintaining a kind of mutual balance between man and nature.
Today is Omar’s Sare 20, good day. He can enjoy, the boat is full of fish, and it must be delivered in the market as soon as possible.
Yesterday the forecast announced bad weather and Omar have given up hope of a big catch. However, early in the morning everything have changed for good. Now his hands are full, as he is posing, and have administer and weigh a fish. Production spoils quickly. Atlantic waters on the west coast of Africa are tempting. They are generous to seekers, but sternly against the workers. Every month, ocean takes up a human life, thus preserving the mutual balance between nature and man.
Caught fish names;
Ledyfish – tonono kajulo
Bonga – kobo challo
Baracuda – sumpat sumpato
Snail – yate kano kano
1. Today the fish net is empty. From the very early morning, the weather was unfavorable. The guy looked forward ocean horizon, hoping for signs of good weather.
2. Guys have noticed the first boat. Watching the draft, it seems that the catch is mighty good. Earning depends on, who will be first to reach the boat. Ocean waves, it is a huge mass of water, and it comes to make a great effort to overcome them.
3. As everywhere, the market have their own agenda, and in coastal waters are no exception. Guys stand in the line and patiently waiting for their turn. On-call, around the boat, patrol the guards and, when necessary can prevent any irregularities.
4. Nature has its own laws, and sometimes it acts too hastily. Large ocean waves, all in one go, can disturb the market order. Now begins a noisy uproar to reclaiming their place in the queue. Sometimes everything turns into a brawl throughness. Guards try everything to put in order. Aggressive boys are apprehended and brought ashore. Here is everything as in all markets.
5. When everything calmed back, bustle disappeared, carriers filled the boxes full of fish hurry ashore to accommodate loads.
6. If anyone consider that the sea routes are safer, it is not quite true. Towards the coast, the carrier is facing a series of surprises. They are “little pirates” who eagerly waiting to test a load and the great moments for something to filch. The load is very heavy, with acrobatic agility, a bearer maintain a balance between the big waves. And then these little thieves, they are too small to reach the box of fish. The smarter uses some tricks, it jumps on the next wave’s back, the wave picks him up, – and just need to stretch a hand, to…
7. Costal waters are generous with fish, and for the local population its the only source of income. As soon as the guy can climb over the edge of the boat, it travels up to finishing
P.M. Bacau. Gambia
(2) Do you want to spoil your stomach, mood or …?
This can be done quickly. When you’re hungry, go to some great restaurants. There is no doubt that you will be disappointed by the quality of food, especially in the hot summer’s period. And if you have a friend, a cook, who can tell you about all sorts of tricks that takes place in the kitchen … perhaps you will accept the decision, never never again in large restaurants …
One can argue a lot, about the quality of the food and its presentation. For Europeans – quality has a different concept. More emphasis is placed on the packaging and expiry date of use, and less on its content. Consequently, the consumer is retracted in the trap.
Product and packaging description is far from being content. Basically, food has long been outdated and unhealthy. Food manufacturers are doing everything to artificially maintain the product at the “life”. Just unpacked product must be subjected to thermo-treatment and after, immediately used, otherwise you are putting yourself at risk of poisoning. Food “longevity” has been reached, with spices and subjected to chemical treatment.
Consequently, the food is left lifeless and does not reveal its true flavor. How useful and healthy is such processed foods we can see everyday on the street. Overweight, diabetes, is the “healthy” feed final resultDo you remember the moment when the hostess brought into the room freshly prepared vegetable salad?
Well look, as Jacklyne Kathavi 28, prepares fresh salads, in one of Nairobi’s market and doing it with a smile. The whole room was filled with a pleasant smell.
Hospitality, smile … it’s like an integral part of daily work. Muthurva Market. Nairobi.
Working winds were blown me to many countries worldwide. Like all people, I have visited all categories of public catering establishments.
Let me be clear that, I and many others who enjoyed it, fresh food that is prepared in front of your eyes gives far more pleasure. It may already criticized that sometimes in the food you can find some bone cartilage, or a tini piece of stone. However, you can be sure it will not cause stomachache. With these foreigns bodies, the organism will cope with. Africans are happy to prepare food, and pays great attention to the preparation.
When as a journalist, I worked in Kenya, during the presidential elections, I often visited Nairobi markets, where could enjoy a freshly prepared meal.The traditional way and simplicity as being a cooked dish, which complements the chef’s kindness, is like a lure to come again and again. I’ve listened to many professional chefs tricks, what they do with outdated dishes and food remnants, and recommendations, which days to attend better and no, public canteens. I prefer better street canteens. I no longer have any desire to visit these restaurants, just to ruin my stomach and mood. Hospitality, smile … it’s like an integral part of her’s daily work. Muthurva Market. Nairobi.
(1) Tolerance in different situations.
Often in a desperate state man does something inadequate, which, in the normal situation would not be acceptable. It is a deep inner experience, which is caused by external or internal factors. Sometimes it leads to mutual reaction and impacts on the environment.
I was sent on a mission to Kenya. In the capital and throughout the country was very strained during the presidential elections. I had the task to prepare some interviews. People’s attitude towards the next president, before and after the elections. I and my assistant were chose one of Nairobi city markets, where there was quite busy. The market barely started to pick up speed after tense elections. It was quite difficult, if it is assumed that people are living from hand to mouse. We walked all around the market and were interviewing people. It was very hot, and I decided to buy an apple to cool.
From time to time I bite off a piece. We walked past a shop and my attention was attracted by a man who carefully watched me. The man was watching yet not me, but my half-eaten-apple and with a hint of arms ordered me to stop. I was a little confused about the gesture. Yet the man persisted and asked me to stop. A moment later, he sprang up to me, quickly snatched from my hands my half-eaten-apple and, more in a moment, it was already in his abdomen…
It was my mistake. Later, I said to my assistant, if he were a young boy, I would have bought him a whole kg of apples.