Lockdown Tales: The New AfriNormal
We’re coming to the end of a second month after a reflective new year. As for the year that passed, 2020, I’m not sure if people are still talking about it or have silently accepted what occurred. Now, at least, we have a glimpse of everything that lies ahead of us; new challenges for humanity to overcome.
International news has been swarming with endless stories about the second wave of COVID-19 and the worry that the vaccines currently being produced will not be sufficient for the Western world. In our own continent, Africa, most countries hardly expect to begin vaccinations this year, for us, the end of the pandemic is still a ways off. Yet despite this, fear no longer holds down our people.
Since November I have travelled to rural Kenya, across Northern Uganda and, now, as I write this I have spent the last month and a half across South Sudan filming. From my travels, I can confidently say that we are more-or-less back to the ‘old normal’ with perhaps only a touch of government curfew and scattered mask wearing. Yet, what has remained stubbornly unchanged is the characteristic warmth of our African people that I meet everyday.
The conversation on mass vaccination may not take over our TV screens anytime soon and perhaps even then we may not have enough to vaccinate even a quarter of our people but somehow, despite this or even because of this, my spiritual self believes the universe found mercy on our motherland. We are still surrounded by laughter as we stand before the glorious African sunset despite the numerous challenges that lie ahead of us.
The year seems brighter than it last appeared and I can’t wait to continue this journey of capturing moments across our motherland and hopefully the rest of the world when the borders are less restrictive. For now I hope you can tag along with me and hopefully be brave enough to come experience it yourself.
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