mardi 12 juin 2012

Kenya: The foreign correspondent in Africa, a machine of Clichés*.


Nairobi is a good plan for a news correspondent. Not only there is always scheduled for the last "genocide" the closest, but there are lawns, tennis courts and great service.
You can receive gifts for electoral purposes and obtain an excellent pastry chef named Elijah (I forgot her name) officer comes into your kitchen for 240 euros per month.

If you work for a major newspaper, television or radio, it is quite possible that you live in Nairobi or Johannesburg. For your convenience, we must have in your phonebook numbers of local directors of European NGOs such as Oxfam and Save the Children.
It is not difficult to find these numbers: there are great chances that those responsible are your neighbors or tennis partners.

If your spouse has just arrived in Kenya and has no job, she will soon build relationships and gain a substantial amount of pounds, euros or dollars by ensuring that babies are African safe, that the African animals are immune to the Africans, the African woman is protected from the African and the genitals of Africa benefit from levies, condoms and education recommended by awareness programs.         
 This is because you're a good person, you believe in multiculturalism and that politicians embody evil.

NGOs, the main providers of information.

You are a child of the age of human rights. A child of the post-Cold War era. In this era devoid of ideology, problems of skin color are exceeded: the topical issue in Africa is where freedom is homosexual.
All knowledge are provided by NGOs. These organizations speak of human rights and it is because they do we know they are good, objective and reliable.
If a foreign correspondent needs to know exactly what is happening in Sudan, his weekly lunch with the head of Oxfam provides information on the most pressing issues.

Like, in your world, the great story died with the fall of the Berlin Wall, it remains to cover the story of Africa. This story is full of outbreaks of joy, but she also knows the horrors that disturb this absolute world dull and harmless.
A boy from Malawi has produced a radio. A real radio. He has a beautiful smile. Osama bin Laden or one of his cronies blew up a train, airplane and innocent, and that night you sleep quietly while the world sleeps peacefully dull and harmless.

There are five or six lots that were not fully pacified to the world led by the victors of the Cold War: North Korea, Gaddafi (the problem was resolved), Somalia, Afghanistan, African women and Chinese poorest, working in terrible conditions.
Important regions where history is still alive, like Russia, China, the Middle East, are demonized.

In the 80s, your newspaper probably had correspondents in many African countries. Today, there are only two: one for West Africa and one for East Africa (the Horn). Or even one - for Africa - based in Johannesburg.
Some African countries were to camp, some for another. You could not ignore. As there was no winner, the great powers struggled to get sympathy, and membership of all mineral resources.
All a African president had to do was to suggest that he would switch sides and he received love and smarties, which were dumped on his house by UN aircraft.

The West has lost Africa.

In 1991, Africa has ceased to exist. The world was no longer in danger and the winners could concentrate on the management and language assistance. If we drew up a new map of Africa, it would be divided into three:
1) outbreaks of horror: Mugabe, undemocratic regimes, wars, Somalia, Congo.
2) outbreaks of joy: Mandela, World Cup, safaris, Africa Baby 4 (a small NGO that great things with babies coiled merrily in the hands of their white saviors who have torn from the war). My favorite groups are and Knickers 4 Africa, which collects used panties for African women.
3) And everything else! Africa base! It is ideal for exploring the country because it is the real Africa (AK47 not to annoy you, or groups of German tourists). Ordinary people have no other purpose than to await the arrival of agents of sustainable development-European - to help them take charge.

But we can not say is that history has jumped into the present. Capitalism shaken to its foundations, and suddenly the local people have oil, copper and hands motivated and ambitious.
The continent is ready for new partnerships, new capital and new handshakes. China is not an angel, but, for her, we represent an essential part of what the world has become. They are there for their future, not for ours, as we are with them for our future.

It is not surprising that a large middle class is emerging on the African continent: the British media, the U.S. and Europe we have lost.
Ours are growing and we sign contracts with the Chinese channel CCTV and Al Jazeera. We travel on routes Emirates and Kenya Airways. We enter into agreements with those who see a common future as a dynamic basis for dialogue.
* Binyavanga Wainana, article in The Guardian.

Nephew of the writer of novelist Njawu Rebeka, Binyavanga was born in 1971 in Kenya. After obtaining a degree in Commerce at the University of Transkei in South Africa, he became a freelance journalist. Back in Kenya in 200, he published his first novel "Flitgts of my fancy" which earned him the "Caine Prize" in 2002.

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