By: Kelvin Haizel
The attendant responded, “You will pick up your luggage in Maputo”. This was at the entry point into one of the world’s oldest civilizations and the only country in the east that was never ‘colonized’; ETHIOPIA. Though I was only in transit, I remained largely excited to visit another African country other than mine Ghana. Hopeful for a cultural exchange that could be different from that which is familiar, it suddenly became clear it wasn’t all that dissimilar when I entered the ‘Churchill Hotel’ bus.
The driver turns the ignition and almost simultaneously my ear drums are violently attacked with the words “to live and die in LA is the place to be…” by Tupac Amaru Shakur. I was shocked and excited immediately given that in our earlier encounter the driver had only used Amharic in conversation. We drove through the night in a city of high-rises until we arrived at the ‘Churchill Hotel’, checked into my room on the fifth floor of an eleven storey building, had dinner downstairs and returned to my room. On return to the room, I switched on the 14 inch silver TV box without a clue what would be showing. A montage of two affluent old women and a plastic looking ‘flawless’ lady, doted amongst them an average handsomely built man, hacked my pupil and permeated through to the cerebrum. The funny English they spoke, hours away from their lips may have only corresponded to the partially meaningful sub-titles. TELEMUNDO is here. I couldn’t help but change the channel to a not better dead champions league football match; slept through it. Woke up to breakfast the next morning and we drove back to Addis Airport; the journey to Maputo continued, along with it was the anxiety and suppressed euphoria.