Railways, rabid wolves and man-eating lions

Don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for a railway story. And nowhere are they richer or more symbolic than South Asia. Built by the Brits and nationalised at independence, Pakistan’s railways are now mired in economic failure – an inefficient, publicly-owned service that has struggled with landslides and bombs, and which today caters … More Railways, rabid wolves and man-eating lions

Finding George

Nairobi’s slums are filled with hundreds of thousands of people living cheek-by-jowl in tiny shacks. Each of the muddy streets looks the same and within minutes the visiting mzungu is completely disoriented. So finding Barack Obama’s half-brother George was never going to be easy. Especially as he had made a point of telling no-one but … More Finding George

Chasing Shadows

Today’s Standard splashes on mounting suspicion that someone in Kenya’s anti-terror police unit tipped off Fazul Abdulla Mohammed, a key terror suspect, just as officers were about to swoop. They arrested a family thought to be hosting Fazul in Malindi even as his dinner was cooling on the table. But there was no sign of … More Chasing Shadows

You Know You Have Been a Mzungu in Kenya Too Long When…

“Very OK” has become a standard response to a variety of questions Matatus are no longer a welcome bit of colour on the roads. They are a pain in the arse You have stopped picking out politicians who might be Kenya’s best hope You can’t remember the last time you filled your car’s petrol tank. … More You Know You Have Been a Mzungu in Kenya Too Long When…

A Cynic Goes Soft

It’s not hard to sneer at diplomats. Particularly those who have learned the art at the United Nations. And, being a journalist, it’s something that comes easy to me. I’ve done it already on this blog several times. You know the sort of thing – making fun of their platitudes, using the term “diplomatic” as a euphemism … More A Cynic Goes Soft

From Kenya with Love

Like many of my colleagues writing for British newspapers I have spent the past few weeks waiting for Britain’s response to the unfolding catastrophe in Kenya. Ministers have expressed their deep concern and said vaguely that there could be no “business as usual”, parroting the same line delivered by the US and our European partners. … More From Kenya with Love