Monday, April 22, 2019

BBC Explore: The Rift Valley 1st February 2009

BBC Explore: The Rift Valley – Simon Reeves leads journalists Tanya Datta and Emeka Onono, exploring the lives and challenges facing communities and wildlife of the Great Rift Valley from Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.

The programme was broadcast on 1st February 2009 at 9 pm on BBC Two in the United Kingdom. If you missed it, it will be available to view via the BBC iplayer.

The Kenyan portion has interesting snippets for discussion with students or study groups:

1) Children Photo Journalism Project In Mathare Valley Slums, Nairobi
An inspiring children’s photo journalism project in the Mathare valley slums in the capital city Nairobi, Kenya. Simon Reeves’s interview with the young people will pull at the heart strings.

2) Post Election Violence In Kenya’s Rift Valley.
The Kenya Rift Valley was one of the epicentres of Kenya’s 2007 Post Election violence. The programme visited those rebuilding their lives and interviewed some of the traumatised communities whilst exploring the existing tensions. There is a worrying interview by Emeka Onono with a gang described as a “Kikuyu militia or death squad” that rampaged through Nakuru. There is no evidence that these are “true members” of Mungiki or just a group playing to the cameras. The Kenya Police will obviously watch this with interest. Emeka Onono will present a follow up to this feature entitled “Kenya’s Violent Rift” on the 5th of February 2009 at 23.30 GMT in the UK on BBC TWO.

3) A Maasai Lion Protection group
This part of the programme is an excellent example on how a group of local Maasai moran are protecting both the lion population and local herd men using new technology. Using a ‘huge’ TV aerial and a “bipping” signal the moran can identify where a lion is and then warn the local herders. According to the programme no lion has been killed in their community since 2004. They moran demonstrated a ‘lion hunt’ game as a substitute to killing a lion as part of their journey or passage to manhood! Probable, this game with catch on around the world!

Shoot Back Mathare Photo journalism project. If the Mathare Valley photo journalism project sounds familiar then, it is because you may remember a Harvard and Royal College of Art London graduate called Lana Wong and Francis Kimanzi of the Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) who authored a lovely book – Shoot Back: Photos by Kids From The Slum published in 1999 by Booth – Clibborn, Editions, London (sadly now out of print). The documentary did not make it clear whether this project is linked to the one featured in Explore: The Rift Valley.
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