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Kenya has imposed a new lockdown to combat a surge in coronavirus infections.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday announced a ban on all inland travel in the capital Nairobi and out four other counties.

Kenya’s Covid-19 positivity rate has jumped from 2% to 22% between January and March and Nairobi accounts for nearly 60% of the cases-

Kenyatta said that hospital admissions had increased 52% in the past two weeks and that at least seven people are dying every day from coronavirus.

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What do the new measures mean?

No road, rail or air transport will be permitted in Nairobi, Kajiado, Kiambu, Machakos and Nakuru.

In person, meetings will also be banned.

As for curfew, hours now start at 20:00 until 04:00 am (instead of 22:00 until 04:00 am`) in the five counties. Special passes that allowed people to travel during curfew hours have also been revoked.

Alcohol sales in the areas have also been banned and restaurants can only provide takeaway services.

The president also ordered “an immediate suspension of all face-to-face teaching, which includes universities”, with the exception of students currently taking exams.

Kenya reopened its schools and colleges in early January, which had been closed for ten months.

All sporting events are also suspended.

International travel is permitted but subject to a negative coronavirus test.

The new measures begin on Friday at midnight.

Coronavirus in Kenya

This week Kenya recorded between 1,000 and 1,500 cases per day.

“According to our health experts, our third wave started to gain strength in early March,” said Kenyatta.

The peak of this wave is expected in the next 30 days, with more than 2,500 to 3,000 cases per day,” he added.

Recognising the impact these decisions will have on the economy, Kenyatta added that these “measures are temporary and necessary to contain the spread of the disease and therefore to stop further loss of life.”

“I am convinced that the cost of inaction would be much worse,” he said.

Kunga Kihohia went to one of the best schools in Florida. He graduated, was making money, and then one day lost everything. He ended up homeless in Miami, sleeping in his car. Then a trip to Kenya would change his life.

His parents are from Kenya, but he was born and raised and spent most of his life in Florida.

He traveled to Kenya for the first time at the age of 10 and stayed there for about five years, where he learned his parents’ native tongue. He traveled back to the US for high school and college, where he graduated from Florida International University in Miami.

Kihohia didn’t travel to Kenya for more than 15 years once he was back in the states.  After spending some time working in corporate America, he told Travel Noire in an interview that he realized he was “psychologically unemployable.”

“I was in the business-world chasing money, making a lot of money, but I was really unhappy because I had moved away from my purpose,” he said, adding that he found himself overweight and overall, unhappy.

So, Kihohia went on a journey to Kenya to find himself and, ultimately, save his life.

“I started this journey of coming back to nature and coming back to my own peace, which involved coming back to Africa. The lifestyle I had gotten involved with was putting me on a path of self-destruction.”

The trip was only supposed to last for three weeks.  It took him some time to adjust, as it was his first time back to Kenya in more than a decade.  As he began to settle, he realized that people in Kenya were far more content despite some challenges, than people in America.

Back To Nature Organic Farm

Kihohia said he’s always been a serial entrepreneur, but Back To Nature Organic Farm grew out of his interests and passion.

“The farm is only part of a larger vision, and a larger movement called the “Back to Nature Movement.” It’s part of our philosophy and ideology that states, “the closer we are to nature, the more whole, happy, at peace and at ease we are.”

Through the organic farm and the movement, Kihohia said that his mission is to inspire, motivate and encourage Kenyans, East Africans, Africans, including those from the diaspora, to adopt a more natural holistic lifestyle approach towards maintaining or regaining health and wellness.

With a few other like-minded individuals, Kihohia decided that they wanted to control the food system as they saw a rise in diseases in Kenya, such as cancer, hypertension, and more.

“When there’s a will, there’s a way. We started learning all the components about the soil water systems,  harvesting and post-harvest losses,  markets, dealing with human resources, human capital […] there are so many components, but we belly-flopped into it.”

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2021 will mark the fifth anniversary of his journey back home and back to nature. During this time, Kihohia went from obese, stressed, and homeless to the founder of one of the largest organic farms in Kenya, where he’s happy and living life with no regrets.

“My advice to anyone looking to make a move abroad, especially to Africa, is to follow your heart. At the end of the day, this life is temporary. No one gets out alive. We all sign a contract unwittingly that no one leaves alive. It’s vital that while you have your time on this earth, to make it as significant as possible, give it meaning,” said Kihohia.

To learn more about Back to Nature, visit the IG page: @backtonatureafrika.

Source: Travel Noire

#Pride Month: Telling the stories of LGBTQ Africans isn’t easy. Considering anti-queer laws and homophobic and transphobic attitudes present in some of the continent’s countries, even openly identifying as anything other than straight or the sex one was assigned at birth can be a death sentence. And yet, people like Samuel, the subject of Kenyan director Peter Murimi’s feature documentary debut I Am Samuel, still want to live and love as their authentic selves even if it means making sacrifices

Samuel grew up in the Kenyan countryside, where tradition is valued above all else. He is close to his mother but his father, a local pastor, doesn’t understand why he isn’t married yet. After moving to Kenya’s capital in search of work and a new life, Samuel falls in love with Alex and finds community and belonging. Despite the threat of violence in the city and of rejection by Samuel’s family in their rural home, the couple move between their co-existing worlds, hoping to win acceptance in both. Samuel’s story is one that award winning director Pete Murimi, and well-acclaimed producer, Toni Kamau, beautifully portray in their recently released documentary, I am Samuel. The documentary was edited by Ricardo Acosta C.C.E and Phil Jandaly, two well regarded editors in the international film community.

Filmed in a vérité style over five years, the documentary was made possible through grants from Sundance, Hot Docs, IDFA Bertha, Oak Foundation, Heinrich Boll Foundation, Good Pitch, Afridocs and Docubox. Docubox, headed by award-winning Kenyan filmmaker Judy Kibinge is a documentary and fiction film fund for African filmmakers. Judy also serves as an Executive Producer on the project along with Peter Mudamba and Oscar winning director Roger Ross Williams.

On a three-way call with Murimi and Kamau, Okayafrica film columnistCiku Kimeria, discusses with the duo the inspiration and key themes of the documentary. I am Samuel recently premiered at 2020 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and will be at the upcoming Human Rights Watch Film Festival and available to US audiences most of this month.

Motivation

Murimi’s motivation for telling this story is based on his own experiences as a young man. “My own father’s expectations of me were that I would go into business, marry someone preferably from my neighbourhood or community and that we would have children. I did not fulfill any of his wishes and it made me think of African expectations of masculinity and what a man “should” do and the weight of family expectations.” Of course, his own circumstances are different from Samuel’s, a closeted gay man living in Nairobi with his partner, knowing that the revelation of his sexual orientation, will tear his family apart. However, he can understand the burden of not being able to follow the path your parents carve out for you. As a filmmaker, his work has focused on telling stories of the marginalized and especially those that make viewers question the prevailing narratives. He adds, “It is very rare for a poor, uneducated gay man to be given a platform to tell his story from his point of view, particularly in Kenya where such love is not accepted by society. Money and privilege can buy some privacy and security if you are gay, but Samuel has none of that.” In Kenya, homosexuality is still criminalized under colonial-era laws. People who identify as queer aren’t able to love or live openly, and face the threat of assault, abuse and discrimination. Kamau, on her part, uses her production company, We are not the machine, to also tell stories of outsiders. “As soon as Pete called me about this project, I knew that we had to work together,” she says.

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Conservatism and Religion

The discussion brings us to a theme that is quite dominant in I am Samuel. Samuel’s father is a pastor and therefore Samuel’s sexual orientation goes against his father’s religious beliefs and convictions. What is equally fascinating is that Samuel is also quite religious and extremely conservative. Kamau says, “This was just the reality of who he is. We are used to people being either one thing or the other, but here we have a man who is conservative, traditional, religious and gay. None of his identities obscures the other. He is not the image people have when they think of a gay man, and I think this is an important part to capture.” Reflecting on the othering that society normally has of LGBTQIA+ individuals, she adds “It’s easier for people to believe that they don’t exist or that if they do, they are completely removed from normal life. Samuel will make hopefully make Kenyan audiences question this belief.”

Coming Out and Acceptance

In the course of the five years of filming, Samuel finally does reveal his identity to his family and the expected fallout is painful to watch. Moving from having a close relationship with his family to having his father not speak to him for close to a year is difficult for him. Finally, there is a form of acceptance that comes from his family – one that they will not discuss the matter again and that they somewhat accept his partner as a friend of sorts. This element brings us to the discussion of the contextualization of coming out. “In the Western context, coming out means fully publicly declaring one’s sexual orientation. For majority of those in this community in different African countries, the most they can hope for is revealing their true identity to close family and friends. Most times this still comes with the risk of losing their family. Murimi adds, “Acceptance means different things to different people. In the context where homosexuality is criminalized in most African countries, where public sentiment against the community is generally very hostile and where violence against members of the community if they are discovered is quite common, most people can never come out in the form that people do in the West.”

Where to Watch

For updates on when the documentary will be available in your city, check out the documentary’s Facebook page.

I Am Samuel’s next confirmed screening is at the Atlanta Film Festival, which has been rescheduled for September 2020.

Source: okayafrica.com

 

Africa is such a dynamic and fascinating continent. It’s an incredible place to soak in history and learn about the past. One especially fascinating and visually stunning period here is the turn of the twentieth century.

Tucked away out on the east coast of Africa lies one of the most unique accommodations one could ever experience. Nairobi, Kenya is home to the world renowned Giraffe Manor.  Incredibly preserved and sitting on top of 140 acres of land, this place is like stepping into a dream.

A continent of 54 countries, 2000 languages and over 3000 tribes, Africa has a staggeringly diverse array of cultures. It’s no surprise that Africa is home to some of the best cultural festivals on the planet

The wide variety of music, cultural, harvest, and religious festivals in Africa is almost as unique as the continent itself. Some of these festivals are well-known and attract people  from around the world, but all offer a distinctive form of celebration that highlights the wide array of African cultures and customs.

There Is a reason they call  Seychelles “paradise on earth.” and you’ll see as soon as you arrive.

Located off the east coast of Kenya, the Seychelles is made up of 115 coral and granite islands- most have protected areas of marine sanctuaries and UNESCO listed nature reserves, and are home to endemic species like the giant Aldabra tortoises and the rare Coco de Mar palm.

Solo travel is one of the most rewarding adventures a person can have in their life. We are already excited for you!

Solo travel in Africa is an incredibly rewarding and awesome experience, but it’s always a bit daunting when you are travelling to a new place or a new country and especially to a new continent by yourself . So when you start to plan your trip to Africa, the first question you’ll probably ask is where should I go?