Saturday, March 29, 2008

Kenya NOW

I received an email Friday from Binyavanga Wainaina: the noted Kenyan writer is due back in the Capital Region next week. It appears that things are calming down in Kenya: I have selected a few articles which you'll find below. I found Bin making a "cameo" appearance on the blog Kenyan Jewels (that's where the picture is from --- go there to view a larger version). Also, Bin has written an inspirational feature that appears on Rescue Kenya's blog. It is entitled "A ‘third force’ for peace in Kenya - Continental Drift" and is available here, and here is a snippet:
…A “third force” for peace is gathering around honest brokers like Ambassador Bethwell Kiplagat, a gentle man of great empathy and intellect, trusted by all in Kenya; retired general Opande – known in military circles around the world as a formidable UN peacekeeper; and retired general Sumbeiwo, a man of honour, trusted as a mediator by both sides in the Sudan conflict. At times like this, these three men are the most valuable real estate in Kenya...
In "Kenya Back to Normal" Rebecca Wanjiku writes: It is funny how life can turn around. A country that was tilting on the edge and threatening to follow the legacy of Africa's failed states, is now back to full life and life is back to normal.

Residents of Nairobi, who were adversaries and concerned about their ethnic background, are now united in attacking the local government minister for changing the public transport routes and forcing people to walk long distances. Hawkers and small scale traders are now united in calling for an expanded market and proper lighting for them to do business at night. The ethnic hatred seems to have been pushed aside and now people are pushing a common agenda and pursuing economic survival.

Online discussions also reflect the diversity, bloggers are concerned about the Initial Public Offer (IPO) of East Africa's largest and most successful Mobile phone company- Safaricom. In the political front, the discussions are more balanced and sober compared to discussions two months ago.

African Loft has an article about SLUM-TV in Kenya: “Operating from Mathare, the biggest slum in Kenya, the SLUM-TV was created to document the lives of the people in the slum and to ‘reevaluate’ these lives through the camera.”

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