Kipepeo Goes Kenya - The Movie

Kipepeo Goes Kenya - The Movie

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Hi, I'm Martin, and I'm here on Long Street in Cape Town, South Africa. This is quite an important place to me. I came here the first time in 2008 after I was working as a primary school teacher in Tanzania.

And I was just about to meet this guy. So I was sitting here having a beer, thinking about the time in Tanzania. Hey man, cheers! - Hey, cheers! Who are you? - I'm Sam, who are you? I'm Martin, nice to meet you.

What's this? - Oh, this is a journal. I kept it on my travels when I was working in Tanzania as a teacher. So many of the children were drawing these little designs in the book. Oh, they're really cool! I think I'll print one of these on the T-Shirt. It's like a nice reminder, don't you think? Yeah, that's a pretty good idea! So 10 years ago, I started a company called Kipepeo-Clothing.

We are a manufacturer of organic adults, kids and babywear that is based in Tanzania. All designs are created during the regular school lessons in Tanzania. By selling these products, the proceeds go back to the schools, where the designs were created. They are used for school fees, stationery and building new school buildings. Now, in the year 2018, we are going to start Kipepeo also in Kenya.

So 10 years later, Kipepeo was just about to expand to Kenya. When Sam came up with quite a good idea. I did.

Like all the best ideas, this one started in the local pub. So I've been thinking, as its been 10 years since Kipepeo started, and the new designs and the new project in Kenya... Do you want to hitchhike to Kenya? Oh, it's happening, you're putting on the official tour T-shirt. This is already annoying. We have two months of this.

So we are now at a petrol station in Stuttgart, where we start hitchhiking. And actually we already got a lift, direction to Munich, of a guy who wrote us on Facebook yesterday evening after we did our post. So we're excited to meet him and to start our journey to Nairobi. Well, we are halfway along the Autobahn, still not in Austria. Amazing. - Do you think anyone will pick us up? Yes, It will take like 10 minutes.

We left Mozarts birthplace Salzburg on the second day and got our first lift by Robert, a lorry driver from Austria. Then we continued our journey with Edin from Croatia. So far, things went on quite well. There are so many ants. Don't worry about the ants.

Yeah, don't worry about them, they are everywhere. We are at a service station just after the border between Austria and Slovenia. And now we need to get 140 km to Ljubljana in the next couple of hours.

Martin has decided, he now needs the toilet so he's running to the toilet which is holding up the hitchhiking. I just do my little dance, look at my little sign dance.. ..and it will work, one day to Ljubljana. Unfortunately, our dancing didn't help.

After seven hours, we decided to call it a day. Martin is leading us to a hotel in Maribor. I'm not quite sure I enjoyed crawling through that fence at the service station.

Oh, the joys of being on the road. So this is where we stayed last night getting quite used to sharing our little beds now. We're in a car. I'm so happy. We are in Ljubljana.

Finally Ljubljana, Slovenia after far too long. How does it feel to be here Martin? I'm just looking forward to have a cold beer and rest. A cold beer.. I think a cold beer would be nice. Finally, we arrived in Ljubljana, the capital and cultural center of Slovenia.

Thanks to the Austrian couple who had mercy on the two desperate hitchhikers. Our lift has arrived. I like this form of hitchhiking.

It's much easier when the lift just arrives. We have to figure out which way to go I'm Urša, I'm from Slovenia and I met Sam four years ago and he told me about Kipepeo. It's so nice to have you here in Slovenia again and to meet you and good luck with your project and hitchhiking.

I've got a good feeling about this today. Yes, it won't take us 10 hours this time. 20 minutes. It's not that easy for two guys in their mid 30s to get a lift.

So sometimes we had to get a little inventive. We got dropped by our second lift today from Ljubljana to Zagreb by a very lovely man called Bobo. But he had to continue his way so he just dropped us off here which seems to be like in the middle of the highway. So we need to figure out how to get to Zagreb from here. But it shouldn't be a problem, I guess. He said we should walk up there.

This doesn't look safe. I don't think it looks safe personally. We are between two lanes on the motorway where every pedestrian wants to be. But Zagreb is that way, so I think it's pretty good. Martin is optimistic. - I think all goes fine.

After walking through fields for three hours, we finally made it to Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. The next day, a truck driver with a passion for beekeeping took us to the Serbian border. We've been waiting at the border for about 1.5 hours now.

Martin just walked down there to see if he can see the truck driver. The truck driver dropped us on the other side of the border. We had to walk over cause we were not allowed to walk between the trucks. and he said to wait here for him to take us to Belgrade. And he hasn't gone past because he can only leave by this way. But we have been sitting here for about 1.5 hours, maybe its 2 hours.

It starts to make you worry a little bit. We continued on our way to Belgrade, capital of Serbia and gate to the Balkans with our friend, the beekeeper. He joked and mentioned several times that we should take care of our internal organs as they might get stolen and sold in Albania.

Again, we were left on the highway, but got a lift pretty quickly. The moment our truck leaves us on the highway. We are now in the wonderful city of Belgrade that we love a lot, even we just arrived a few hours ago.

And it took us around 15 different rides that brought us here. Starting from Germany to Austria, from Austria to Slovenia, from Slovenia to Croatia and then from Croatia finally to Serbia. So far, we travelled 1165 kilometers. We were amazed by the amount of incredible people we'd met along the way. Our hitchhiking seemed to involve a lot more hiking than hitching. Trying to find a good spot to get the next ride.

We are now at the border of Macedonia. We arrived here like 1.5 or 2 hours ago. We were waiting up the highway but we didn't get a lift so far And now a truck driver returned who gave us a lift actually here. And he's waiting with us here and tries to find us to get a lorry to Skopje.

Because he also needs a lift to somewhere else, so this is just very kind. So we just keep on hanging out here and hope we get a lift before it's dark. We finally got a lift and arrived in Skopje, Macedonia, late that night.

The next morning, when we finished drawing our sign, we got picked up almost immediately by Tony and Anna. Not only did they give us a lift, they also recommended a place for us to stay before we travelled on to Albania. Right beside the beautiful Lake Ohrid. A special bar? The Beatles Bar. Oh, my God.

The Beatles Cocktail Bar. This was when when Martin and Sam decided to stay just forever in Albania. We're just at the border of Greece from Albania. And we got a lift out of town by this guy in his little Jeep.

And we got in and it was very confusing. I was kinda convinced he was a private taxi, as he had stickers in the window, and then we got here and I was worried he was asking for money. And he was just really nice and said things that I'm assuming like safe travels and shook our hands and smiling and filled up with fuel and drove off. And I think he's now driven into Greece.

We probably could have gone further with him. But never mind. It's just nice you think something's wrong and it's not wrong. So far anyway. Two weeks and we've reached the end of Europe for us and we're gonna try to get to Egypt, somehow. There will be a way..

That's actually a normal sized coffee, it's just Martin has really big hands. We've been dropped on a motorway again. It's kind of the quietest motorway I've ever seen in my life. And there's no traffic, there's no service station, there's nowhere safe to walk.

So Martin is trying very hard to get us a lift at the moment. We waited for like an hour without one single car passing and then one eventually did it was the same guy who has given us a lift previously. The part of hitchhiking I love the most is just getting out of town, leaving urbanisation behind and you find yourself in the beautiful wilderness somewhere in Greece.

Oh, someone's been eating a lot on the trip My name is Gerasimos Georgiadis and I live in the capital of Greece, Athens. So how did you meet Martin and Sam? They threaten me at first with a gun and afterwards with a grenade. So I was astonished at first...

..but they needed a lift to bring them from Meteora to Athens so they can keep on going with their trip. Today is day 18 of our hitchhiking trip from Stuttgart to Nairobi. We are now in the capital of Greece in Athens and we hitchhiked 2440 km in 27 different vehicles so far.

Our last lift was one of the funniest so far. We met a guy on the balcony of our hostel and had a glass of wine and he told us that he's going to drive to Athens in the morning so we basically just jumped in his car and he took us here for the last 360 km. We are now very excited to go to Africa tomorrow.

We fly to Egypt and then we will continue hitchhiking to Sudan, Ethiopia and finally to Kenya. So we're looking forward to that. Do you mind removing your hand off my ass? No. This is what I was talking about before, about how hitchhiking can be a little bit... ..stressful when you spend all your time together. I enjoy it a lot. I don't think it's stressful at all.

It's just Sam, sometimes he's a bit.. I just like to get somewhere and chill out. But you have to do all these things all the time. Like work? No, It's not just that you just sit down, get a coffee, check this, think about that.

It's all these processes. It's a very bohemian attitude, is it? I would like to get somewhere and then I'll be bohemian once I am somewhere. It's the first time in six years that Sanna and I meet again. And we met by couchsurfing when she was visiting Stuttgart six years ago. - Exactly. And we never really made it to catch up in Stuttgart, in Vienna or somewhere else in Europe So why not Cairo? - Why not Cairo, exactly. And made it, finally! We started hitchhiking outside of Cairo where three businessmen picked us up almost immediately.

They even offered us money thinking we needed it for the bus and couldn't really understand why we were hitchhiking. They dropped us around 300 km south. Then we passed a police station and things got a little strange. What exactly happened with the police we're going to explain a little later. So for now, just sit back and enjoy the ride.

We are in Luxor after our crazy police trip yesterday. We went to see the Valley of the Kings in a bit of a rush before we travelled on. We are now in Aswan, in Southern Egypt, on Elephantine Island, - on the Nile.

It's beautiful. We have a lovely company here. So this is like the fourth take where we try to shoot this video, but now everything is fine, I think. Tomorrow we are getting a boat to Wādī Ḥalfā in Suidan, because we have been advised we are not allowed to hitchhike. Because there are checkpoints and the police will stop us.

Because the police stopped us on the way here. We started hitchhiking from Cairo. So like 20 kilometers outside of Cairo we were standing on the highway and it took just like 10 minutes till three Egyptian Businessmen stopped and ask us what we are doing. And we were standing there with our little hitchhiking sign in arabic.

And so they they offered us a lift. So we squeezed all in and went like 300 km down south. And then they dropped us off to the highway, which was close to a police station.

And we just we just walked across the police station. And then there was the chief officer and he waved us over and offered us a cup of tea. And so we started having a chat and then what happened next, Sam? He said he was worried about our safety hitchhiking and he was going to arrange a lift to the next little town. And then it basically turned out that we were taken from checkpoint to checkpoint by armed officers in police trucks. - All the way down to Luxor.

So so actually on that day, we did like 715 km of basically hitchhiking in one day. And we think that was that was pretty cool. And it wasn't a dangerous area. I just think it was unusual for tourists to be there and so they wanted to help. And everyone just has been amazing so far. The last 4 weeks of hitchhiking were amazing but Egypt so far is my favorite country.

The people here are just so friendly. There's not been one single bad experience so far. Just everyone is smiling - Thank you! Thank you! I think that's where we're gonna leave it. That's a cut, director said so. You wanna say cut? You go: cut! Cut! We're now the border of Aswan and we are ready to go to Sudan, finally. This is one of 10 pieces of paperwork I've had to pay for the port.

So let's go and see if it's worth it. Our first glimpse of Sudan. Martin hasn't mastered the art of filming and walking, so he's usually hangs back doing this. I wanna get through customs quicker. Finding the right gesture when you're in need of a toilet was a crucial skill we picked up along the way.

Toilet? Yes? Yes! We go now? I'm just enjoying, this is hilarious. They keep making funny faces at you when you're not looking. Hello, welcome to Sudan. We are in..

Oh, he's better, he's more stable. Where are we? We're in Wādī Ḥalfā. We arrived by boat this morning trying to be professional but my camera is moving around. We've had some fish and we think we have a bus to...

..Karima. We don't really know where we are. So far, this trip is just really, really nice. It's just an amazing experience. We're looking forward to visit Ethiopia and Kenya, of course.

And to meet lots and lots of lovely people along the way. One thing we've realized is which we said... ..I think we said it various times before the trip how hitchhiking in Europe is obviously a lot easier, the language barrier is less.

We thought we could probably hitchhike down to Athens quite easily not as easy as we thought we would be able to We did accept that in Africa, it's a little bit difficult in some of these countries. Egypt, Sudan... The roads are fewer, desert, we can't just wander and stand in certain places.

So, you know, there's going to be a few buses here and then but we're continuing overland, which is exciting. We're seeing like huge areas of countries we've never seen. We're traveling like a massive amount of distance in Africa.

And I think now with the time we have left, we're keen to try and make the most of it. Stop maybe a bit more frequently see a few more places and meet people because the people we're meeting are so friendly and it's a shame to waste the opportunity to get to know a few more of them. I'm hoping we're doing a little more of that but we are going to try hitching. And when it's not hitching it's crazy little local busses which, to be honest, I'd rather be hitching because they're a little bit scary.

Thank you. Thank you very much. Even the short distances from town worked out pretty well for hitchhiking but we had to get several minibuses to make it through the desert to Khartoum, the capital of Sudan and the place where the Blue and White Nile meet. We arrived in Khartoum and it's flooded.

There's water on the streets everywhere and we are trying to find a hostel with our taxi driver. He just hit another car. He did just drive into the car in front of us. Just a little bit - but it's fine! It's fine, right? It's fine. You're enjoying your drink Martin? Very cool. You want sugar as well? Yes, I need sugar.

One of the most memorable moments on our trip was watching Nuba Wrestling in Khartoum. Every Friday, a sea of spectators gather in the stadium, to watch one of the most famous sports in Sudan. We were told that a few cultural practices match the importance of wrestling to the people of the Nuba Mountains. And the excitement was palpable. We continued hitchhiking from Khartoum and got a ride that would take us close to the Ethiopian border really quickly.

We are somewhere near the Ethiopian border and we're paying far too much for this hotel room, although it is fancy. You can tell how long you've been traveling now that this is fancy, And then tomorrow morning, apparently bus is at 7 to Ethiopia. So we might have do that because I don't think we can hitch again. We're going to get up early and just see what happens. Walking next to me here is Omar.

He's living proof of the kindness of strangers. We met him just before the Ethiopian border. A few hundred kilometers later, I realized I'd left my laptop at the previous guest house. I messaged Omar on Facebook. Amazingly, he went to the guesthouse, found my laptop and posted it back to London in the UK and asked for nothing in return. In the process, he saved all the footage we recorded of the trip so far.

We are in a national park in Gondar, close to the Sudanese border in Ethiopia. We're hiking around here for probably an hour or something. Just enjoying the amazing landscape, as you can see. We've seen lots of the... ..what is the name of the.. Geladas! - Geladas.

Definitely makes a difference from standing by the side of a road, doesn't it? Yes, absolutely. The next day, we continued our journey to Addis Ababa in several minibuses because the police stopped us from hitchhiking. In the morning, we went to Marcato, said to be the biggest open air marketplace on the African continent.

We were searching for vinyl records of beautiful Ethiopian jazz music. When we got there, things got a little bit wild. So they now close the windows of the shop, and everyone is very excited... What's happening? Better run. Today is record hunting day, or "Shakla" as it's called in Ethiopia. And we've just been around the market, avoiding riots.

Someone's arriving from a country, we are not really getting the full story yet, we probably need to do some research later. But there're riots happening, stones throwing, people keep running. So we spent a few hours dodging all around the market and we kind of gave up because we couldn't find any CD shops to ask about Shakla. So we got a taxi and the man just had a CD. So I said, I'm looking for these and he just phoned someone, we drove 5 minutes down the road and we found a shop filled with Ethiopian Jazz Music, which is really expensive.

But the power's out, so the guy said we can come back in one hour. So we're just having a beer while we wait. And the funny thing is we actually read an article about that specific guy, that was written 2-3 years ago of another guy who met him randomly at a hotel. And it's the same guy! Because there's only one single picture on the Internet and that's basically his own shop with his own vinyl collection. So we're really excited digging some records in Ethiopia.

Best day ever, again! If we keep looking behind us, it's because we've come to a place where there's hippos and we thought there be like barriers and you can watch the hippos from a safe distance, but they're just in there and we've seen one and they're just there - and they kill people. Yeah, basically just like 50 meters that way. There are children just swimming, basically. And there's like a sort of bar over there. People just chatting and having fun. I don't feel safe.

You're not supposed to be where hippos can get to you. Ethiopia is fun. - It is. This is our last last couple of days in Ethiopia. We travel tomorrow to a place that I cannot pronounce, a very small town, and then on to Moyale, which borders Kenya. So in two days time, we should be in Kenya and then to Nairobi.

In the end, it turned out to be like what we thought before, that we have to take a lot of minibuses as soon as we reach the Ethiopian border, because just like regular traffic and private cars is not very common. So we basically just spent the last days just by jumping on minibuses and going short, short ways. So we started in Gondar, then made our way to Addis Ababa and we're now in Awasa and tomorrow direction Kenyan border. It's been 2.5 days of constant travelling...

..and I can't feel my legs. I'm doing a little video, Martin. So we we are now walking to Kenya after we've already entered Kenya like half an hour ago, illegally. We just asked some Picki drivers to take us to Kenya. So we're thought they probably take us to the border but they just took us into town.

So now we enter the border from the Kenyan side to the Ethiopian side to re-enter Kenya from the correct side. It was a nightmare. So this is going very well. We are in Moyale in Kenya so we have officially made it to the final country of the trip - which took us like six and a half weeks.

With one single flight, which was from Greece to Egypt. The rest was just travelling on roads. Oh, It was 6 weeks and 1 day.

And tomorrow we go to Nairobi. All on the road, not all hitched admittedly We got some busses but it's kinda impossible to hitch the whole thing in certain countries. So we did our best and I think it's kind of a crazy distance we've done. It's cool...

It was kind of an adventure. Our final stop, Nairobi, where we met our friends from Starkids Kenya. I got stuck! Hi everybody, my name is Esther Kamaara and and I run an initiative in Nairobi called Starkids Initiative. And we basically support children who come from underprivileged backgrounds.

So we work and we partner with the schools and we give them mentorship programs. Last year, we took the children for a trip to the Nairobi National Park and they were able to see different types of animals. And we went to see Nairobi City, so they did see different buildings, things they had never experienced before. And when they came back, they all wanted to draw what they had seen so that they can remember.

And then we are now hoping to get into a partnership with Kipepeo where the drawings of the kids are going to come to life. Here you see basically the last step before the T-shirts are getting packed and shipped to Germany. The T-Shirts are now ironed and then they are ready to be shipped. It's absolutely amazing to see how many steps are actually involved in the cut, make and trim process.

Like from cutting the fabric, stitching the T-shirt, attaching the pocket. Before that, you have to do the print, iron it it and you have to attach the labels. It's just like lots and lots of steps. And if you look at the whole supply chain from picking the cotton, ginning the cotton, making the yarn up to here, it's just so many people being involved in a product that is just 100 percent handmade and printed in Kenya.

So I think this is something we can be really proud of! So the fundings that we generated out of our Kipepeo goes Kenya campaign, they are going to be used to build a new school yard environment here at Songa Mbele Na Masomo. And we will start by building a new fence. As you see the fence in the background, it's just like located next to the slum, which is right behind it. And during the rain season, the whole school yard is flooded with mud.

So we're going to replace this fence with a proper wall so the school yard can be used by the children 365 days a year. Thanks, guys, that's perfect. That's great.

Thank you so much.

2020-12-26 21:35

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