Arne Doornebal is a Dutch freelance journalist working out of Kampala, Uganda. For Club Africa he shares his experiences living and working as a journalist in Africa
It’s all about love
‘Real-life’ TV show focuses on the positive side of Africa
It is the theme of nearly every famous song, countless films and numerous TV-shows; there is nothing more universal than love.
Often, my work revolves around breaking news stories which are, I admit, most of the times not so positive. But in March I wasn’t covering any disaster or war. Instead, I was selecting Ugandan men who were dreaming of marrying a white woman.
Reluctant to join
When I first heard about the concept, I wasn’t sure if this would work. In ‘Around the world in 80 dates’ five women from Holland embark on a 7-country journey around the world, looking for the ‘mr. Right’ they can’t find at home. Off course ‘a country in Africa’ had to be one of the destinations, so I received a call to find out whether I could arrange something. We quickly agreed: Uganda was the place to be. I would arrange all logistics; which included the search for reliable candidates and filming locations. This job is called ‘fixing,’ though when you are more experienced you may be labelled a ‘local producer.’
One large beauty shot
The invasion started. The five ‘movie-stars’ jetted in with their care-taker, followed by a crew of eight people. They came straight from Moscow; from -5 to +30 in one day. Most of the stars had never visited Africa before and were full of misconceptions. They were ignorant, ‘virgins’ in Africa so to speak.
After four hectic days of filming, the women had invited three Ugandan men to come to Holland to film the last episode. Love seemed to blossom, although it remains TV love. When asked to rate Uganda, 4 out of 5 film stars gave the country a nine (out of ten).
What do you prefer: in-depth coverage about Africa’s challenges or an easy-going dating show in an African setting?
Next time Arne will discuss The power of football, until then read about:
Would you like to comment on this article? Please log in on the right hand side of this page or: