Solo hazlo – Mi Historia como Cineasta en los Barrios Bajos de Nairobi

Vi como los reporteros representaban Mathare de forma incorrecta. Decidí convertirme en cineasta para corregir esta situación y seguir mis sueños.
Kenya, East Africa

Story by Elijah Kanye. Translated by Leonardo Ismael Pérez Correa
Published on December 19, 2020.

This story is also available in GB de fr tr



Cuando corría contra el tumulto hacia el hotel de Nairobi donde ocurrió el ataque, no tenía miedo.[1] Éramos los primeros reporteros en la escena: yo, otro camarógrafo, y un periodista. Primero, no pudimos distinguir si se trataba de un ataque terrorista o de un asalto. Sólo vimos que había gente que corría para alejare del hotel mientras nosotros corríamos para acercarnos, pero cuando vimos que dos personas en el piso habían recibido heridas de balas, nos dimos cuenta de que era un ataque terrorista. El hotel era un espacio grande, y necesitábamos estar detrás de al menos una pared para protegernos de los atacantes. Revisando lo que grabé, me di cuenta de que la situación había sido muy peligrosa, y estar ahí probablemente no fue una muy buena idea. No llevábamos ningún tipo de protección, y agradecí a Dios haber salido ahí con vida. Muchos otros grabaron la historia desde lejos, yo fui al lugar en concreto y grabé la historia real.

Cuando era joven, quería ser jugador de fútbol profesional. Como muchos de mis amigos en Mathare[2], quería jugar para los clubes locales como Mathare United o  el Real Mathare, o mejor aún, clubes Europeos como Manchester United o el Real Madrid. En realidad sólo había una cancha de Fútbol en el vecindario, el Campo de Deportes Mathare. Mis amigos y yo éramos los dueños de la cancha; por años éramos los mejores jugadores. Por alguna razón, esto desgradaba a mucha gente, pero a mí me encantaba, quería la vida que veía en los carteles de Coca-Cola; “Come Fútbol, Duerme Fútbol, Toma Coca-Cola”; sin embargo, las cosas no salieron como yo esperaba, y tuve que encontrar otro propósito para mi vida.

Vi que muchos reporteros no representaban a Mathare de forma correcta. Por ejemplo, cuando ocurría una pelea en alguna parte de los barrios bajos, pensaban que era demasiado peligroso acercarse para descubrir el motivo de la pelea. La reportaban mal. Así que hace 13 años, decidí convertirme en “cineasta” para corregir esta debilidad de los reportajes. Como soy de Mathare, puedo ir a esos lugares y grabar exactamente lo que pasa. Mucha gente me recuerda desde mis días de futbolista y confían en mí. Algunos me conocen como ‘Elijah el futbolista’ y otros como ‘Elijah el cineasta’. 

Ser cineasta es mi pasión: me siento personalmente motivado por la idea de compartir historias de mi sociedad, la cual es Mathare. Quiero que la verdad de cada historia salga a la luz. Generalmente presento historias positivas, porque demasiada negatividad puede nublar los pensamientos. Sin embargo, siempre apunto a ser honesto y objetivo con mi audiencia, porque dependen de mí como reportero, como cineasta. Un ejemplo es que recientemente estuve cubriendo temas serios como la violencia perpetrada por la policía en relación al COVID-19 aquí en los barrios bajos. Con mi documental, compartí la situación de Mathare con las noticias NOS Holandesas, la BBC y otros canales.[3]

Mi sueño es algún día hacer un documental sobre mi propia historia/vida. Espero motivar a los jóvenes de los barrios bajos y hacerles creer que pueden hacer lo que quieran hacer. Vivir una vida libre, en la que sean auténticos consigo mismos. Simplemente, deberían hacerlo.


Notas

[1] https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-africa-47202313 

[2] Mathare es una serie de barrios marginales en Nairobi, Kenya. Aproximadamente 500,000 personas viven ahí.

[3] Noticias NOS Holandesas acá: https://nos.nl/video/2346202-elijah-filmt-het-politiegeweld-in-zijn-sloppenwijk.html, noticias BBC aquí: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-africa-53025934 

[4] Elijah ya apoya a gente de los barrios bajos con su iniciativa para jóvenes Sautti. Gente joven recibe mentores para ganar experiencia con grabación, cine, artes, y otras habilidades. Para ser lo que pueden ser. Revisa Sautti acá: https://www.facebook.com/watch/TVSauti/ o acá https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFlrToASX3c&t=5s&ab_channel=SautiTv


How does this story make you feel?

Follow us on Social Media

Talk about this Story

Please enable cookies to view the comments powered by Disqus.

Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter

Stay up to date with new stories on Correspondents of the World by subscribing to our monthly newsletter:

* indicates required

Elijah Kanye

Elijah Kanye

My name is Elijah Kanyi, a Filmmaker/Producer and Director based in Nairobi, Kenya. Born and bred in Mathare slum, one of the oldest slums in East Africa. I have witnessed so much injustice over the years, which is what motivated me to become a Filmmaker. The career path I chose has given me an opportunity to tell the stories of my people, ranging from corruption, and inequality in health and education, resource distribution, police brutality & extrajudicial killings. Early in my life, I was determined to protect and project a voice for the people without a voice, and that's wat I do as a filmmaker. 

Other Stories in Español


Elijah Kanye


Show all

Get involved

At Correspondents of the World, we want to contribute to a better understanding of one another in a world that seems to get smaller by the day - but somehow neglects to bring people closer together as well. We think that one of the most frequent reasons for misunderstanding and unnecessarily heated debates is that we don't really understand how each of us is affected differently by global issues.

Our aim is to change that with every personal story we share.

Share Your Story

Community Worldwide

Correspondents of the World is not just this website, but also a great community of people from all over the world. While face-to-face meetings are difficult at the moment, our Facebook Community Group is THE place to be to meet other people invested in Correspondents of the World. We are currently running a series of online-tea talks to get to know each other better.

Join Our Community

EXPLORE TOPIC Liberation

Global Issues Through Local Eyes

We are Correspondents of the World, an online platform where people from all over the world share their personal stories in relation to global development. We try to collect stories from people of all ages and genders, people with different social and religious backgrounds and people with all kinds of political opinions in order to get a fuller picture of what is going on behind the big news.

Our Correspondents

At Correspondents of the World we invite everyone to share their own story. This means we don't have professional writers or skilled interviewers. We believe that this approach offers a whole new perspective on topics we normally only read about in the news - if at all.

Share Your Story

Our Editors

We acknowledge that the stories we collect will necessarily be biased. But so is news. Believing in the power of the narrative, our growing team of awesome editors helps correspondents to make sure that their story is strictly about their personal experience - and let that speak for itself.

Become an Editor

Vision

At Correspondents of the World, we want to contribute to a better understanding of one another in a world that seems to get smaller by the day - but somehow neglects to bring people closer together as well. We think that one of the most frequent reasons for misunderstanding and unnecessarily heated debates is that we don't really understand how each of us is affected differently by global issues.

Our aim is to change that with every personal story we share.

View Our Full Vision & Mission Statement

Topics

We believe in quality over quantity. To give ourselves a focus, we started out to collect personal stories that relate to our correspondents' experiences with six different global topics. However, these topics were selected to increase the likelihood that the stories of different correspondents will cover the same issues and therefore illuminate these issues from different perspectives - and not to exclude any stories. If you have a personal story relating to a global issue that's not covered by our topics, please still reach out to us! We definitely have some blind spots and are happy to revise our focus and introduce new topics at any point in time. 

Environment

Discussions about the environment often center on grim, impersonal figures. Among the numbers and warnings, it is easy to forget that all of these statistics actually also affect us - in very different ways. We believe that in order to understand the immensity of environmental topics and global climate change, we need the personal stories of our correspondents.

Gender and Sexuality

Gender is the assumption of a "normal". Unmet expectations of what is normal are a world-wide cause for violence. We hope that the stories of our correspondents will help us to better understand the effects of global developments related to gender and sexuality, and to reveal outdated concepts that have been reinforced for centuries.

Migration

Our correspondents write about migration because it is a deeply personal topic that is often dehumanized. People quickly become foreigners, refugees - a "they". But: we have always been migrating, and we always will. For millions of different reasons. By sharing personal stories about migration, we hope to re-humanize this global topic.

Liberation

We want to support the demand for justice by spotlighting the personal stories of people who seek liberation in all its different forms. Our correspondents share their individual experiences in creating equality. We hope that for some this will be an encouragement to continue their own struggle against inequality and oppression - and for some an encouragement to get involved.

Education

Education is the newest addition to our themes. We believe that education, not only formal but also informal, is one of the core aspects of just and equal society as well as social change. Our correspondents share their experiences and confrontations about educational inequalities, accessibility issues and influence of societal norms and structures. 

Corona Virus

2020 is a year different from others before - not least because of the Corona pandemic. The worldwide spread of a highly contagious virus is something that affects all of us in very different ways. To get a better picture of how the pandemic's plethora of explicit and implicit consequences influences our everyday life, we share lockdown stories from correspondents all over the world.

Growing Fast

Although we started just over a year ago, Correspondents of the World has a quickly growing community of correspondents - and a dedicated team of editors, translators and country managers.

69

Correspondents

79

Stories

40

Countries

200

Translations

Contact

Correspondents of the World is as much a community as an online platform. Please feel free to contact us for whatever reason!

Message Us

Message on WhatsApp

Call Us

Joost: +31 6 30273938