Dutch video journalist Ruud Elmendorp provides local coverage of events throughout East and South Africa for various European and United States news agencies.
In an interview I did with Ruud several years ago, he talked about giving a voice to the people of Africa.
One of his video stories features women picking through garbage in Nairobi. I wrote: “A woman uses a long stick to pick through garbage in a Nakuru dump site, west of Kenya’s capital city Nairobi, where 800,000 people are crammed into a slum of densely packed tin shacks. Poverty, illness and crime are rampant. The woman, part of the Minyore Women’s Group, searches for discarded plastics and fabrics that can be crafted into sellable items. Any money earned goes to her children’s education.”
In his own words, “I listen to their stories, engage with them, learn from them, and then present their experiences to a world-wide audience.” he says, “I have an urge to tell how our fellow humans live, which conditions they endure, and how they survive.”
The role of a journalist, in many situations, is just that. Give people without a voice a chance to speak. “Present their experiences to a world-wide audience.”