War and Peace

19 September 2008 | 10:35 | English | Leave a comment (one)
The shore of Lake Kivu West of GomaThey don't know how to tell war from peace anymore. The people of North Kivu I spoke to preparing for my next trip, are still telling the same story. Officialy there's peace in Eastern Congo, but especially this area is still rife with violence from militia and military; pillaging, murder and rape. Next month I'm leaving for the vulcano town of Goma for the next chapter of my book on cities in Africa. Nature around the lake is fairylike: in colonial times the Belgians used to go here on their honeymoon. But now the green hills of Northern Kivu are dangerous territory and everyone who can flees to the city near the Nyiragongo vulcano. This chapter of my new book will treat the effect of war and violence on a city.

Night Life

03 September 2008 | 20:51 | English | Leave a comment (one)
Famous strip joint Luso's in downtown Maputo (picture Kiko)That I didn't get a tan always amazes people when I come back from Africa. But working in Congo, Angola or Burundi I rarely have the opportunity to go sunbathing. As if I'd be interested in doing so in the first place. The same goes for my last stay in Maputo, Mozambique. Although the Summer was making its entry, I haven't seen a lot of sun. Also because for this chapter of my new book on urbanisation in Africa, I was focusing on the 'dark' side of society. Night life down town, the strippers in club Luso's and the prostitutes on Rua da Bagamoio to me are much more captivating than a stroll along the beach.