ShoMadjozi and John Cena - what's it about?

December 3, 2019

Colonialism reversed

December 3, 2019

Ianski.

November 29, 2019

SAFARI NJEMA

November 16, 2019

"Couldn't there be more intercultural exchange OUR way?"

November 13, 2019

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

PHOTO EXHIBITION: EVERYDAY POETICS - INSTAGRAMMING EAST AFRICA

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...

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FROM MY NOTEBOOK, NAIROBI, JAVA KOINANGE ST, 23 JULY 2014

Monday, July 24, 2017

 

'I chatted up a South Sudanese in Java Koinange. Dressed in an impeccable cream-coloured suit with matching socks and tie. His long limbs and poking shoes gave his nationality away. When he ordered food and tea, by using what resembles army instructions to the female waitresses, he also gave his history away.

 

A little later he also gave his tribe away.

 

I asked him where he was from and what he was up to in Nairobi, what he worked with. 'I'm from Upper Nile, Nassir, I'm with Riek Machar', he said. 'I'm here'. Kama. Nipo.

 

'Ok', I said, noting: 'Nuer!' to myself. Nassir had a hard time this week as fighting broke out (again). 'Where did you put Riek then? In the village or in Hotel 680 down Mhindi Mbingo Street?' I asked. He laughed a big, toothy smile, and said: 'Riek is in Addis. Nassir, we handled'.

 

I asked him: 'Sema, when will there be peace?' 'On the 30th', he answered, much to my surprise, and to be honest he lost me there. He went on arguing that even in World War 2 innocent people lost their lives, that if the democratic system isn't respected, then it is okay fine to kill.

 

To underline his points he then explained that he had actually studied conflict and peace building here in Nairobi, and that next step is a ph.d. in South Africa. He topped it up with a personal warning. The kind of kindness only a fighter serves: 'Don't go to Jonglei in near future. We're coming there'.

 

You see, South Sudan, life in the villages, doesn't scare me. Men like these do.'

 

Photo from Bor, Jonglei, South Sudan, 2013.

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