No Shit: Hollywood In Nairobi

A friend called me, there are need of people joining as statists for filming. There is some money offered, but surely i wanted have a glimpse behind the scene of movie making too. The location was held on Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), an impressive building complex, especially at night. Inside that futuristic looking building is a big conference room, called the Amphitheatre. Rows of empty seats around a red carpeted centre when i get there. Just a few people sitting and standing spread around. No camera or film team in sight. A busy looking lady giving out a form which claims all right on filming on that spot. An amount of money for compensation is promised by that form too. To my surprise i’m told, it’s not a Kenyan production but Hollywood itself shows up, making a science fiction movie. Around 30 people gathered this evening to pretend being members of a parliament or council. Due the delay of the film team, we got coffee and sandwiches first, got fitted in suits and dresses and finally seated in front of the camera, which arrived meanwhile. The next three hours or so, we shifted from row to row, from box to box, from level to level. In the movie, the 30 people of us will appear as around 300 people in the council. Before midnight, the film director was happy with the take. With the welcome cash in my hand and new experience in my head i stepped out in the nightsky.

times of repairs

On travel, there are times of joy ..and there are times of repairs. Happy to see my Land Rover again, but there was quite few things to repair, to improve and to test again. The clutch must be replaced, as the pedal didn’t work properly too. To replace the word battery seemed to be an easy thing, despite the narrow place under the seat, that’s why i also put some switches and wiring in different places. Wondering why the new board battery won’t charge lead to a problem on the controller of the dual-battery-system. We took it out and put a manually switch between the batteries instead. Now the fridge didn’t work anymore. A few coffees later, and after i took some cash in hands, Gabriel could fix my precious fridge. There was more small things to fix, including a photo lens (fixed quick by Nikon Service in Thika Road Mall), but meanwhile i learned to be patient on traffic jam too. There seems only one rule on Nairobi’s streets: no rules! The start of rain season didn’t make it easier to navigate trough the city, especially at night. On the camp of Jungle Junction soaked the terrain to a muddy flat.Just right to test the couple new Maxxis off-road tyres i got here. 🙂

Kenya; Ngong Hills

Just out of the city of Nairobi are the Ngong Hills covered with windmills, satellite antennas and communication towers. Can’t cost anything to hike there around, i thought. In the village on the way to the hills were children playing. Some hide shyly, other ones showed up curiously about the stranger passing trough. Just a few adults were around, as curious as the young ones. A father peeks over the fence and ask me to take a photo from him with the kids. Over the village circling the blades of the massive windmills, making a sonorous, deep sound. You get used on it, the villager told me.

Despite the forest is almost gone, replaced by a wide access road and the wind generators, it’s called still a conservation park and a fee is to pay. With Ruth, a new friend and model, i entered the park and hiked around the huge generators. Some women and children followed along a trickling creek. Near the source of it they scooped water into buckets and carried them back to the huts.Three siblings got curious about the white/black couple doing a photo shooting. The youngest got scared, start to cry out loud, but got then overwhelmed by his own curiosity. With the support of the older sister he dared to get closer and play with the cam and the looked at the photos i made of him. At the end we all had a laughter about funny pictures.

Fun Group Hiking At Mt.Longonot

Mount Longonot a quite volcano about two hours drive out of Nairobi, is the destination for a group of friends for a hike. I got invited and joined it with pleasure. Too long time i didn’t hike, and with that funny, open minded and nice people it’s pure pleasure too.

There’s many photos in purpose of giving the people of the group the chance to see them and download it. Have fun along the „photo story“  …and many thanks for the group letting me join in for that day!

Solita’s Fashion Shooting

We had to talk with the guards, but then they let us to the roof top for a photo shooting. The location was perfect, my model Solita (instagram: @solitacruz) has been once more enthusiastic and the afternoon light just came right.

with Solita at hot springs

Early morning gives us a clear sight of Mt Kilimanjaro, while the natural hot springs are still deserted. Perfect condition for a photo shooting with Solita (instagram: @solitacruz), the queen of selfies, as she called herself. And indeed, she put herself in great poses and i just had to push the shutter. But yes, you wanna see the results now…

Photo shooting with Maasai woman

The idea was to travel to the Maasai village of her family to make photos in genuine Maasai  dresses. Unfortunately we didn’t make it so far, but found nice location around Arusha for photo shooting…

Visitors from India

A few years back i met that nice lady in Bangalore who invited me to her family stay. Now she’s on a trip trough Europe and i had the honor to meet her again in Zurich for one day. There was a lot to catch up, so we had coffee and chat with her friends who accompany her. Between all the luxurious shops on the famous Bahnhofstrasse we bumped in a guy offering „free hugs“. Big fun and bright smiles guaranteed.

Despite the cool temperature and overcast we had a stroll trough the inner city, seen some ancient spots and cultural highlights. The weekly flea market caught the attention of the visitors. Just before the rain started we made it back to the main train station, where the local „Oktoberfest“-party started…

stranded footballer / gestrandete Fussballer

Three young men playing on the campground. Then they run, exercise, training with the ball. They’re doing their daily training, i get explained. Asking for their story, they told me a rather sad one. Discovered in a Ghana football club from an agency, they were offered contracts in other countries. A plane ticket to Zambia was paid by that agency. Arrived in Lusaka, they waited to get introduced to their new football club and for a contract. The local agent put them on a camp, where they live since all together in a small, blue tent. This was more than two month ago, without any sign of the agent anymore. The footballer and the agency in Ghana failed to reach the local agent or get a contract. The owner of the camp is helping out with food and support, they explain me. Going back to Ghana is not a option yet. They’re here to get a better income, or maybe there’s another country which takes them as footballer. What impressed me most is their optimism and constant smile.

Drei junge Männer spielen auf dem Campingplatz Fussball. Zwischendurch rennen sie um die Wette, machen Kraftübungen, absolvieren kurze Geschicklichkeitsparcours und jonglieren mit dem Ball. Das ist ihr tägliches Training, erklärt mir einer von ihnen ernsthaft. Nach dem Grund ihres Aufenthaltes gefragt, kommt eine traurige Geschichte zutage. In Ghana von einer Agentur als Fussballer entdeckt, wurden sie nach Sambia vermittelt. Das Flugticket in der Tasche und mit ihren Habseligkeiten, landeten sie in Lusaka, wo sie von einem lokalen Agenten auf den Campingplatz in der Stadt gebracht wurden. Hier leben sie nun zu dritt in einem kleinen, blauen Zelt und warten bis sie einen Vertrag in einem hiesigen Klub unterschreiben können. Doch der Agent lässt sich seid über zwei Monaten nicht mehr blicken und ist weder von der Agentur in Ghana noch vor Ort erreichbar. Zum Glück helfen ihnen die Besitzer des Campingplatzes aus, erzählt mir Michael, einer der Fussballer. Zurück nach Ghana wollen sie nicht. Sie hoffen immer noch auf einen Profi-Vertrag hier in Sambia, oder einem anderen Land, ergänzt Blessing. Was mich am meisten imponiert, ist ihr unerschütterlicher Optimismus und ständiges Lächeln.