In some Kenyan states, sand mining by organized crime mobsters is a big problem. In Makueni County, however, the local government has found a way to reduce people from removing the sand from dry river beds. Kenya is building more and more, and sand is indispensable for the creation of glass and concrete. One can make quite some money by mining and selling the thick grains of Makueni sand.
On toast, in a salad or just as a healthy snack: the Dutch love avocados. My colleagues at MENDO even created an avocado cookbook for the avo only restaurant The Avocado Show! Our love for avocados has a clear effect on countries where the fruit can grow: in Kenya, farmers even uproot their coffee plants to make money off this ‘avocado boom’.
With Africa correspondent Saskia, I traveled to Machakos, a region where more and more farmers are growing avocados to cash in on the global avo trend. You can watch our TV report above, or you can check it out on the RTL Nieuws website.
You might’ve noticed that there’s a new tab on my website, called ‘Countries’! On this page, I have highlighted some of my favorite pictures taken in several countries. I’m very active on Instagram, but due to that activity, most of my pictures are buried under new content and so it can take some scrolls before you’ll see them. On the new ‘Countries’ page, you can now also see older work.
Yesterday and the day before yesterday, terrorist organization al-Shabaab carried out a large-scale terror attack on the DusitD2 hotel and business complex in Nairobi, Kenya. At least 21 people were killed when Somali militants stormed the compound.
RTL correspondent Saskia Houttuin and I could hear the explosions from where we were, about two kilometers away from the Dusit complex. While the attack was still ongoing further down the road, we reported from behind the security cordon.
The following day, security forces and terrorists were still fighting. Saskia and I visited the August 7th Memorial Park in Nairobi’s CBD, where the Kenyan Red Cross collected donated blood for the victims of the attack. Later on, we also visited the city’s mortuarium and talked to Moureen, who had been inside the complex during the attack for over 13 hours.
Above, you can see some of the pictures I took over the last two days. Below, you can find publications of Saskia and me.
Saskia reported for BNR Nieuwsradio on the second day of the attack;
De Telegraaf newspaper interviewed me on the evening of the attack. The article also features 8 of my pictures and videos;
Here, you can watch our Facebook Live report on the RTL Nieuws page, about the blood transfusions for the victims of the attack;
In the broadcast of RTL Nieuws on the evening of the attack, we made a small report from behind the police cordon, filmed with an iPhone;
For the 7.30pm RTL Nieuws broadcast of the next day, we filmed a reportage about the aftermath of the attack. You can watch the whole broadcast here, or see the video below.
The cover of this month’s edition of Kenya Airways inflight magazine Msafiri boasts one of my pictures! On the photo I took in the Masai Mara, a coalition of cheetahs rests under an acacia tree. Inside the magazine, there’s some more of my photography of the Masai Mara and New York City. The cover picture is also right next to an introduction by Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta. I’m very proud to have my pictures published alongside photos of renowned photographers like Michael Poliza and Philip Lee Harvey!
I’ve also written a lot of texts for this edition of the magazine, like a Q&A with Nnedi Okorafor (author of Who Fears Death, which will be turned into a very cool HBO series by George R.R. Martin) about her Black Panther comic Shuri and an interview with Tshidi Manye, who has been playing the Lion King role of Rafiki for over 17 years on Broadway. You can read all that and more via these (1) two (2) links.
To read more about the travel story about Ethiopia I have written earlier for Msafiri, check out my earlier blogpost.
When Musotrees founder Kerol Izwan asked me to write something for his magazine, I immediately said yes. Because Musotrees doesn't only feature great content ("that focuses on journey and destination"), the periodical print from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is also incredibly well-designed. For Volume 5, I wrote a story about my first couple of months in Kenya. You can find the 12 pages with words and 6 pictures on page 22 to page 33 of the magazine, which is for sale here. In The Netherlands, the magazine is for sale at Atheneum Nieuwscentrum in Amsterdam.
Renowned photographer Jimmy Nelson travelled to Kenya to go on an off the beaten track Charlie's Travels trip with Dutch TV presenter Sophie Hilbrand and actor Waldemar Torenstra (and their two kids). Drawing a lot of inspiration from Jimmy's photography work, it was quite exciting for me to be involved with this trip, as the Content Manager of Charlie's Travels. Jimmy took some amazing pictures and wrote a small testimonial about their trip, which is also online on the blog page of the Charlie's Travels website.
Click below to read Jimmy’s travelogue - you can also check out the interview with him I made, about his sequel to Before They Pass Away: ‘Homage to Humanity’.
Musotrees founder Kerol Izwan asked me to write a story about my stay in Kenya - and so I did! You can read my 1300 words (EN) in the upcoming edition of Musotrees Magazine, which is almost available worldwide. You can check out two sneak peeks above - the magazine is getting printed as I write this! If you look closely, you can see a bit of my story and the photography that goes with it. I'll update my blog page once the Volume 5 of the magazine is available.
As a (freelance) Content Manager for Nairobi-based travel startup Charlie's Travels, I'm responsible for all outgoing content, both textual as audiovisual. One of the big tasks for the Content & Marketing team is the expansion of 'CT', from a student travel agency to a responsible, grown-up travel agency for off the beaten track trips to Eastern and Southern Africa.
Charlie's Travels has already organized lots of trips for families over the past few years, but it's the student image that sticks. That's why our content team member Yuri made a kick-ass new video of an off the beaten track trip that Sido and Saskia and their grown-up children made through Kenya!
The video above marks the kick off of Charlie's Travels video campaign, which we're pushing on Facebook, where the vid already reached over 22k people. Check out the Charlie's Travels Facebook page or the site's blog page if you'd like to see more unique content, made by my colleagues and me.
Radio host Thomas van Vliet asked me some questions about Kenya this morning, in his NPO Radio 1 show called 'Fris!'. We talked for about fifteen minutes about life in Nairobi, politics, photography, our flooded apartment and my work! You can listen to the interview through this link. For the non-Dutchies: NPO Radio 1 is the biggest news and sports radio station of The Netherlands, and also my previous employer. And so this interview is in Dutch as well.. Sorry about that!