Sunday, December 2, 2012

Welcome to Kenya

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

I arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 1st.

Custom's dude @ the airport: Hello? What do you have in those bags?
Me: Some clothes and my camera equipment.
Dude: What are you doing with this equipment?
Me: I'm working on a documentary about healing from trauma after post-election violence.
Dude: Are you a press-man?
Me: No.
Dude: Where is your filming permit?
Me: I don't have one
Dude: Then we have to keep your equipment until you get a permit
Me: I find it hard to leave this equipment here after all the sacrifice it took to get it
Dude: Go talk to that lady (presumably his superior)

- - -

Lady: What are you using this equipment for?
(I explain what I did to dude)
Lady: But this happened five years ago!
Me: Yes, but the trauma has not gone away, and will not go away with time
Lady: How will it go away then?
Me: Through education about trauma and teaching various ways that we can heal
Lady: This is a very controversial film. You need a permit, and you need to leave your equipment with us until you get one.
Me: Please, madam, this is not agreeable with me
Lady: Go see that man in that office

- - -

Man in office: Where is your permit?
(The Dance repeats itself. 45 minutes in total)
Man: We'll let you go with your equipment, but you have to pay 1% of the equipment's cost, non-refundable

I pay, and scurry off to meet my father who has been patiently waiting, sipping coffee through a straw.

Karibu Kenya.


Al said...

Africa will always be africa. I am not surprised. Sorry for the mishap.

Patrick Mureithi said...

It's all good. In retrospect I found it rather comical, really. Onward and upward.

Daima Mkenya said...

Well.. You do need a permit to film.. You should get back the 1% fee you paid on your way out. Good luck with your project saw the youtube link and it's a fab project. Karibu Kenya, do watch Nairobi Half Life (I co-wrote that) ;)