It starts with paradise.
Shareholder Ko, motorsafariguide in Kenya, comes to pick me up from the airport and for a few days I am his guest in this luxurious resort.Toilet, shower, swimmingpool, food, water everything is there. But at night huge insects find me in my bed, the musquito-net does not really protect me. I scream and shout… the cook comes to rescue and sprays the animal dead…and I think: “What am I doing here, this is Africa and I am not Stanley or Livingstone”
Next day we meet Dikson, an acrobat who will help me find a good performance-space. But when I talk about ‘theater’ it does not mean the same. The best seems to be Kim4Love, a stage at the beach. We agree to perform on Saturday a try-out and Sunday full crowd.
That night the heat gets me, or is it the food or the fear? I vomit all night long with diarrhea in between. And I think: “This house has a toilet, what about if I get this sick in Lunga Lunga, I will never survive, this trip is my deathtrip just like so many people before me. Death, why not me…”
The first performance is at an Evangelical Secondary School in Ukunda. 1 minute before the show it is decided to do it outside… Some students really get it, others just want to know if I am married. Laura tells me some of my language might be too difficult.
Laura is my New York filmmaker and collaborator who just arrived and immediately feels at home in Africa…..
Kim4love is quite a disaster.
Timing is the African way: we agree on doing a soundcheck at 1, but there will never be one. Waiting, hanging around, I get totally unfocused in this heat. Eventhough the microphone had a horrible feedback, I try to safe myself with enthusiasm as soon as I am on stage but Kim asks me to stop: Germans are complaining they don’t understand english and he looses income….
We drive around in the Matatu, with often 28 passengers in the local little bus in the heat. Hans invites us to stay in his house in Ukunda with his Kenyan wife and kids.
I am diving slowly into Africa. They tell me about family-ties-nods. It is not the parents who support the children but the children who support parents and other children. If you are successfull you even have to support uncles and aunts. It takes quite some courage to break with this suffocating tradition. ‘Come on, go and stand on your own two feet’.
Very poor parents get a lot of children, they hope one of them will be their saviour…