Posts Tagged ‘Kamba’

Johann Lodewyk Marais. Op pad na Addis Abeba

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Ek stap begeesterd in die rigting van die middestad, want die besoek aan die Ethiopiese restaurant is iets om te onthou. Nairobi is klaarblyklik op ‘n kruispad van verskillende kulture. Dit sien ‘n mens aan die verskillende uitlandse restaurante en word bevestig deur die lewenskragtigheid van die Keniase ekonomie. 

Op die ingewing van die oomblik stap ek by Ethiopian Airlines in Bruce House in Muindi Mbingustraat in om te hoor wat ‘n vlug na Addis Abeba, die hoofstad van Ethiopiё, sal kos, want ek stel nou baie in dié buurland van Kenia belang.

Terwyl ek wag om met die vroulike beampte agter die lessenaar te praat, knoop ek ‘n geselsie aan met die meisie wat twee sitplekke van my af gewag het en nou haar beurt by die toonbank gehad het.

“Are you on your way to Ethiopia?” vra ek net voordat sy wil uitstap.

“I have to leave the country because my visa for six months has expired,” sê sy en kom sit weer.

“What are you doing in Kenia?”

“I work for the church and try to help the people.”

“Which church?” vra ek.

“Coming from Italy, it is of course the Catholic Church. I have studied anthropology in Modena where Ferraris come from, but currently I am doing social work. I have recently been able to work in the jail in Nairobi.”

“How do you find it in this city?”

“I want to get out of Nairobi and work elsewhere. People here find it difficult to escape their problems.”

“It is very much the same in my country,” antwoord ek. “There is a huge gap between those who can get jobs and those who cannot.”

“The people here have stopped dreaming.”

My gespreksgenoot se naam is Daniela Botti. Sy is sedert 2001 in Afrika en het vroeër in Zambiё en Tanzaniё gewerk.         

“The colonial borders that were drawn many years ago make it difficult to create national identities. In Zambia, for example, you have for some distance a straight line as a border and then it turns ninety degrees in another direction,” gaan sy voort.

“However, in Kenya I find that there is a lot of emphasis on the existence of different groups,” antwoord ek. “For example, quite often you see drawings of them. Ethnicity obviously also plays an important role in the current election campaign.”

Tydens die presidentsverkiesing in 2007 was dit opvallend hoe groot die drie hoofkandidate se steun in die gebiede is waar hulle oorspronklik vandaan kom: Mwai Kibaki s’n in die Skeurvallei waar die meeste Kikuyu’s voorkom, Raila Odinga s’n in en om Kisumu langs die Victoria-meer wat die tuiste van die Luo is en Kalonzo Musyoka in die ooste van Kenia waar die Kamba sterk is.

“How is crime in this country?” vra ek, besorgde Suid-Afrikaner wat ek is. “I do not see many street children and beggars here on the streets.”

“They are not here. You find many of them at the bus ranks further away. My Kenyan boyfriend and I live among the locals and I think I have been accepted because I have the same needs they have. Sometimes, however, I can feel that there is a negative feeling towards me, because of what has been done to them in the past.”

“When are you going to Ethiopia?” vra ek.

“I do not know, but I have to go, either by bus or even with a lorry because I do not have the money to pay for the air ticket.”

Daniela vra hoe ek die integrasie tussen Europa en Afrika sien en ek weet nie onmiddellik wat sy met die vraag bedoel nie.

“I am an Italian,” verduidelik sy, “but my boyfriend tries to convince me that I have become an African because I have been living here so long.”

“Well,” antwoord ek, “I have a long line of descent in my country and as a child I learned to speak an African language together with my mother language. I feel that I am an African.”

“I will never be anything but an Italian and continue to wear my Western clothes. I won’t be able to become a white Maasai and wear their clothes like Corinne Hofmann who wrote The white Masai, but I will not live in Italy again. My mother cries and says I am mad. She wants me to go back.”

Daniela bied aan om vrae te beantwoord wat met my navorsing verband hou as ek dit vir haar per e-pos stuur. Ons groet en ek loop verwonderd en dink aan die jong vrou met die blou oё uit Modena, die tuisstad van Ferrari, wat haar met Afrika kom vereenselwig het. Ons het so lank gepraat dat ek weer die volgende dag moet terugkom om vir my ‘n vlug na Addis Abeba te bespreek.

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