Kenyans have in the last few weeks been outraged by the flood of negative coverage the country has received ahead of the elections. Veteran reporter Michael Holman offers this satirical examination of the activities of foreign correspondents in the country.
Michael Holman in Kenya's Nation:
Kenya was braced at the crossroads on Saturday amidst growing concern that the demand for clichés is outstripping supply.
Critical elections loom, say senior diplomats, and there is a pressing need not only for clichés, but for colourful phrases, authentic quotes and fresh sources. Without urgent action, warned a senior taxi driver, this strategic east African nation with close ties to the West, risks being driven to the brink of an uncertain future.
Analysts and observers, however, joined diplomats in dismissing fears that coverage of the forthcoming poll will be threatened by a shortage of clichés.
“Lessons have been learnt,” said a UN spokesman, and a strategic stockpile has been built up since the last time Kenyans went to the ballot box. With the help of an emergency airlift, which includes consignments of anecdotes and first person accounts, both chilling and inspiring, reporters will be able to do justice to a crucial test of democracy/a slow motion tragedy/a land gripped by tension.
“We are now prepared for any eventuality,” said the spokesman. “Our monitors have registered an early demand for 'fears rising', 'key ally', 'strategic partner' and 'ethnic violence', and fresh deliveries will arrive within days.”
“Tribal rivalries’, and ‘ethnic violence’ is also proving popular, the UN official added, as are ‘bloodstained machetes’, ‘pangas and rungus’, and ‘mindless violence’ ‘Bitter memories’ is also in great demand.