At first I thought the aircraft steward was speaking in tongues. Some kind of jungle speak. Swahili is a mythical murmuring with Tribes and Spears. And Head of beads. Shamanic. Ancient. Open plain speak. Serengeti speak. The type of language spoken by dark body hovering over you in the heat in the Masa Mara when you’ve been lost for weeks in dust. To give you water. Kenya is the land of the great migration. Of flamingo’s and wildebeest and workers and colors and cultures and languages crossing territories and plains. Their paths carving out the Great Rift Valley. A 6000 KM vein. The throbbing pulse that started at beginning of time. We’re migrating into a part of the world I’ve never flown, East Africa. Java Nirvana. I’m still trying to find it on google maps. And why the fuck did I take all this equipment.
Buntu, Arabs, British and dozens of other cultures have made their their cuts into this earth, built their empires and architecture. Absorbed and blended into these daubs of modern dirty traffic congestion everyday shopfronts and blur. Diving into warm pure river of experience alongside two-tone Safari tour guides with waterhole eyes. (You get these from years of tracking down lion while looking through a bottle of Tusker Lager). “The flowers Andrew the flowers”.
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is like taxi rank. Dodging Boeings to find the passport control. Americans importing more gospel. Germans importing more khaki. Signs and names swarm to welcome us. A framed President Emilio Mwai Kibaki watches us on every wall. Kenya is a country where David Attenborough is always in fashion. The first day shooting I feel like I’m on the set of Lion King with giraffe, elephant and agency creative people crossing frame. Even after 3 hours sleep this place is eye-smashingly beautiful. I’m falling in love with Mombasa. Its breezes. Its plastic chairs. Its signposts. Its river mouth. Its seaside history.