After the initial publication of Africa Correspondent Koert Lindijer’s article in Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad, the English version of the article on Kenyan Governor Kibwana is now also featured on The Africanists website. To read the story and see some of my never before published photographs, you can click on the link below. To read more about the Dutch version of the article, you can read this blogpost.
Yesterday evening and this morning I made appearances on two Dutch talk shows, to answer some questions about the much talked about Tob Cohen murder case. Cohen, who was found tortured and murdered in a sceptic tank near his Nairobi home, was missing for weeks before his mortal remains were found. His wife Sarah W.K. is the prime suspect in the murder case.
I first talked about the case in the pilot episode of Net 5 TV show ‘Ladies Night’, presented by Merel Westrik. Crime journalist Jessica Vilerius, Linda de Mol, Fidan Ekiz and Dutch popstar Roxeanne Hazes also joined the conversation. This morning, I talked about the same subject on ‘De Ochtendshow To Go’, which is broadcasted daily on the online platform of Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad. The video can also be seen underneath this news article.
Uganda harbors one of the largest refugee settlements in the world, called Bidi Bidi. For the Obakki Foundation, I visited the settlement, where hundreds of thousands South-Sudanese refugees have sought shelter from the conflict in their neighboring country. In the week that I have spent in Bidi Bidi, I have portrayed over 150 women who work on several projects with the Canada-based organisation. The Obakki Foundation states that they have helped over 2 million people worldwide, providing access to education and clean drinking water.
Ever since Obakki was founded by Treana Peake in 2005, the main idea has always been that the Canadian fashion label absorbs all of the Obakki Foundation’s administrative costs, which allows 100% of donations to go directly to their philanthropic projects in places like Bidi Bidi.
The photographs I took in Bidi Bidi were shown at a fundraiser event in Vancouver. Later on, when Peake visits the women I have portrayed, she will hand over prints of my pictures to the ladies I’ve met. If you’d like to see a behind-the-scenes Instagram Story of my trip to Uganda, you can click here.
What happens when the lid of the container slams shut and our donated clothes embark on their global journey? That’s the main question film maker Teddy Cherim and fashion designer Lisa Konno wanted to answer in their BNNVARA documentary ‘Goodwill Dumping’.
Teddy and Lisa are literally following the massive amounts of donated clothing, which are sold many times before they end up on the ‘mitumba’ markets of Kenya. For an article in the Dutch VARA Gids magazine, I spoke with Teddy and Lisa when they shot Lisa’s ‘fashion creatures’ on Nairobi’s Gikomba Market.
You can read the article through Blendle, or click on the image below. ‘Goodwill Dumping’ will be premiering on the NFF, the Dutch Film Festival, and will air on Dutch TV station NPO3, Sunday 29 November at 00.10 o’clock.
For Msafiri, the inflight magazine of Kenya Airways, I have interviewed Brian Otieno, arguably one of Nairobi’s most talented photographers. Brian, who is also known as ‘Storitellah’ and is the main man behind the much awarded Kibera Stories account, told me why he photographs Kibera in the way he does. As he was born in the huge Nairobi slum, he has a unique perspective that he shares with the world through social media outlets like Instagram.
“When I document a fire outbreak or houses that were washed away by the rains, people don’t get angry at me and my camera; they want their plight to be documented because maybe someone out there will want to extend a helping hand. That’s the power of photography: it can change lives.”
You can read the interview here, on the website of KQ’s Msafiri! If you’d like to read more about my work for Msafiri, you can check out this blogpost about my cover shot for the November 2018 edition, click here to read my Ethiopia travel story or read my recent Uganda travel story here.
‘Target Malaria’ is the Gates Foundation-backed organization that wants to genetically modify mosquitoes in order to combat malaria. In the small village of Bana, Burkina Faso, researchers are looking to change mosquito DNA, so that the mosquitos that can transfer malaria can only give birth to male baby mosquitoes, which will eventually mean that one type of malaria spreading mosquito will die out.
The plans of Target Malaria are contested. Western countries, where malaria is causing many people to die, have their doubts about ‘GMO’s’, ‘Genetically Modified Organisms’. Dutch biologist and journalist Hidde Boersma wrote about Target Malaria’s plans and efforts, and what it will mean if they are allowed to genetically modify mosquitoes in Burkina Faso.
For Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, I’ve staid in Burkina Faso for over a week, in order to take pictures that are published with Hidde’s story. With Karsten de Vreugd and René Hoeksema, we have also filmed bits of interviews that can be viewed in an extensive online production on De Volkskrant website. For a behind-the-scenes glimpse of our activities in Ouagadougou, Bobo-Dioulasso and Bana, you can check out this pinned Instagram Story!
For Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad, I met up with Kivutha Kibwana, the Governor of Kenya’s Makueni County (and presidential candidate for the upcoming 2022 presidential elections in Kenya). NRC’s Africa correspondent Koert Lindijer wrote a story about Kibwana and his county leadership. Under his rule, Makueni became the county with the lowest corruption level in Kenya. That has a lot to do with the installation of the People’s Committee, which is involved with every government project in the county.
I spent a day with Governor Kibwana and his young team members, while he had meetings at his office and while he paid a vist to the Makueni Mother and Child Hospital, which counts as the finished flagship project over the Governor. Apart from health, the story of Koert also focuses on water management, and so I also took pictures of the Kwa Mbila Dam, where county residents can get water close to their homes, for a low, fixed price per filled jerrycan.
Marjolijn Sonnema, the ‘Director General Agro’ (aka the Dutch Vice Minister of Agriculture), made an official visit to both Kenya and Tanzania. For the Dutch embassies in Kenya an Tanzania, I followed Sonnema’s around for a week, being part of the Dutch delegation of the Dutch government. You can find some of the pictures that were commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture above.
If you’d like to read more about what the Dutch delegation was up to in Kenya and Tanzania, you can click here (Kenya) or here (Tanzania) to read more about the delegation’s efforts and activities in the newsletters of the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture. To see more photo assignments I did for the Dutch government, please check out the pictures I took at Insectipro and the flower farms of Naivasha.
IT company Incentro Africa asked me to take pictures of their staff members, in addition to the pictures that were already on their About, Services and Culture pages. My assignment, which will soon be visible on their website, included taking playful portraits of all staff members (who brought attributes that tell something about themselves) and taking photos of the Incentro Africa Headquarters.
The Dutch Embassy of The Netherlands in Kenya commissioned a series of photos about the Dutch flower farms of Naivasha. Around ‘Lake Naivasha’, several Dutch families are growing and cultivating roses. Most roses that are sold on the Dutch market are from these (controversial) Kenyan greenhouses. The taken pictures of the flower farms will be used in outings of the Dutch government and will be printed on large banners which can be seen during agricultural conferences.