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|Nothing about Africa surprises me any more|
|Written by Cindy-Lou Dale|
|Sunday, 21 October 2007 08:10|
As the road to Mombasa uncurled before me I became aware of passing increasing numbers of pedestrians, striding off to somewhere beyond the horizon. Curiosity got the better of me so I stopped by a roadside salesman selling second-hand toilets and quizzed him. In the next village, which was near 12 miles away, he claimed there to be a tribal witch doctor that had “… powers when throwing of the lotaola”. He claimed the spirit of the bones spoke with the Sangoma and told him which potion to mix for his patient, who would dutifully drink this muti and supposedly be cured of AIDS.
As if sketched with the honest simplicity of a child’s hand, the road to Mombasa threads through a make-believe land of the most picturesque African villages, especially when passing through Tsavo National Park – one of the largest parks in the world. Here I encountered a group of Masai warriors riding bicycles; their tartan robes billowing in their slipstreams, spears clutched in one hand, and with the other ringing their bells in greeting as I passed.Nearing Mombasa, as the afternoon drew to a rich, cooling, melancholy close I passed hundreds of cyclists. I paused at a busy cross road and was fascinated to see a cyclist in a giant bird costume passing in front of me. Strangely though, this vision evoked no reaction from the locals. The giant bird raised his fist at me in a black power salute.