Who talks about refugees in Tanzania, and what do they say?

November 10, 2019

#SudanUprising in Copenhagen

June 23, 2019

On 26 June I moderate talks & debate on #SudanUprising in #Copenhagen.

The Sudanese artist Khalid Albaih joins via Skype.

Kindly read Khalid's article a...

Update: Everyday Poetics: Instagramming Life in East Africa in Belgrade

April 26, 2019


April 12, 2019

Owl in Tanzanian Parliament - bad omen for freedom of speech and assembly.

January 30, 2019

On 29 January, when the Tanzanian Parliament (Bunge) was assembled in Dodoma, an owl flew in and watched the assembly. The owl is seen in Tanzanian (e...

''We've died''

January 22, 2019

Bikozulu tells the stories of the people making it through last week's terror attack in Nairobi.

See the Instagram post here

If you ask me, and someti...

FILM: Wakamba Forever

January 21, 2019

Colonianism revisited:

..''a hilarious take on Masaku and McMillan’s first encounter set in the 21st century. From a dramatic re-telling of the Kamba o...

Chuchu: ''We are not the audience. We are the story''.

January 20, 2019

Two important tweet threads (see below) which take point of departure in the New York Times coverage of the Riverside terror attack on 15 January 2019...

Field Work & more

November 9, 2018

Vild uge i Tanzania

November 3, 2018

Vild forgangen uge i Tanzania, og der er grund til at tro, at det fortsætter i næste uge: LGBTQ-personer trues med anmeldelse/arrest; tanzanianerne må...

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'Hiding in Plain Sight' - confusing book by Nuruddin Farah

Monday, February 9, 2015


I read 'Hiding in Plain Sight', a novel by Nuruddin Farah, who is of Somali origin. 

This wasn't an easy book.


For one, the book mixes up rather big issues, like terrorism, homosexuality in Africa, with Somali lifestyle, traditional versus modern. It is as if the writer wants to say everything about all the stereotypes connected to the above. Most of the story takes place in Nairobi.




However, there are certain points which are totally confusing:


In the novel, Farah situates Hotel 680 opposite the Israeli Embassy (that's Fairview Hotel on Bishop Road in real life). Hotel 680 is on Muindi Mbingu Road.


Secondly, he then lets the teenagers in the story crave McDonalds burgers, and the head character takes them to the drive-in. There's been talk about McDonalds entering Kenya, but it is not confirmed, is it?


He also lets Ugandans eat 'mattock' every day ('mashed plaintain stew with peanut stew). Mattock is hand tool, used for digging. What he means, I assume, is 'matoke'...?!


And when he refers to the violence during the elections in 2007/8 in Kenya, he claims 1,5 million were killed. However, tragic this was, the number of dead were about 1300.


The worst parts are that the writer goes on and on about the most boring, mundane things. He constantly elaborates points about Somali culture or Nairobi to the reader, in stead of letting them unfold as part of the story. And then the writer repeats points.


I am so puzzled. How does a writer get away with so obvious mistakes?

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PhD Student, MA in African Studies, journalist and former development worker. Heart tilted towards the Balkans & East Africa: Refugees, Peripheries, Imaginaries & Humanitarianism