The nightbus to Mombasa, airport. The road is dark and full of holes and traffic
but people assure me these busdrivers are the best..
I look at the pictures Laura made these last days.
We took the tour through Kibera-slum. Impressive. I did expect dirt and poverty but what touches most is humanity and kindness and creative streets and shops (even umbrella’s can be restored) and the inventor of the tour, director John Adoli.
We decide to perform in the slum. Why not. John likes the idea. At home Keith and Nick discuss the danger of riots in the slum on Saturday because of the elections. Saturday could be a dangerous day. Keith suggests to adapt in any case the costume.
But we decide to perform a day earlier, that might be safer.
Before and after the show the slum-acrobats perform. They are amazing. Strong, daring, happy, lifely performers but the crowd does not react. No applause.
Then it is my turn. The microphone has a terrible feedback. The music sucks. And while I look at my audience, I have no idea how this performance is received. ‘I must be suicidal..’ analytic thoughts come in my mind. Mostly men are listening or looking at me. Two are guarding my laptop so it does not get stolen while I play. I skip half the performance but afterwards John thinks it is great. He likes this opportunity for people to be confronted with new ideas. I get paid 4 changze, the local money Nubian inhabitants use.
That evening I feel more at home. The Theatercompany is hosting my performance (Keith is the director) and it is fun. Great reactions. A lot of shares are sold. And Kenyan Television will broadcast the event. It is so intresting to meet actors and playwriters and talk about money and the necessity of art and theater. (They are dressed so well…)
A festival is planned in December and Hilary asks me to come back! Yes!
Saturday Sitawa is hosting us. All day people are nervous for the outcome of the courtdecision. Will there be riots, will it be safe enough to go? Where we are it is safe enough and the last performance will happen. We meet with poets. And eventhough I can’t understand Swahili, I enjoy listening to the performers and their great energy. We talk about money and orphans and divorce and women treated so badly and relationships and Mpesa. The inventor of Mpesa is broke. He sold his idea to Safari.com for only a little money. He lives 50 km from Nairobi. Laura will try to find and film him, she stays a week longer. Keith knows the man who makes now the money with it…
Laura found some great musicians to sing with.
We talk about silence. ‘I find silence creepy, it gets crazy in my head. I always think my girlfriend thinks I have done something wrong’. And we talk about men and women again. ‘A woman has to obey and a man must love’ men tell us over and over again. Laura likes the discussions, she thinks she can change their minds.
And then we dance all night long, one last dance before I leave….