19 dead after commercial aircraft crashes into Lake Victoria in Tanzania’s largest city Nairobi (Reuters/Edgar Su)
As I wait at the intersection of two roads in northeastern Tanzania and see the driver of a passing vehicle slowing down to turn around to allow the other driver to overtake him, something about the driver of the other car strikes me: He is in the middle of the road. He cannot brake with the right-hand side of his car. His car is swerving to avoid the other car. His steering wheel is spinning and shaking in his hand. He doesn’t know what to do.
And then my eyes meet the driver’s. He is wearing yellow shoes. He is wearing the same clothes he wore when he was driving. I know what I will tell him. And he knows what to do. He has no idea, but he has to do something. I have to tell this to the driver in the other car.
He is the man in yellow shoes. He was the man I saw in a photo on Facebook. He is the African man who was recently seen bicycling through Nairobi, Africa’s largest city. He isn’t the only person in that photo. There are others next to him.
It was a photo taken last year. It shows a pair of men cycling through Nairobi. They were wearing headdresses. They were all wearing yellow shoes. Their heads were bare. They appeared to be Muslims. Their bicycles were covered with prayer rugs. They were passing through the streets of Nairobi under the gaze of curious people.
The photo was taken by one of a series of Facebook videos I made last year, while traveling in the region of East Africa known as “Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.” I was traveling through Kenya and Tanzania, and the men in the photo were standing at the entrance of a building in Nairobi. It is called the Kasarani Mosque.
The men were wearing headdresses and had beards, although their heads were bare. They were all Muslims, though not Muslims who wear the traditional headscarf around their head, nor are they wearing anything that identifies them as a Muslim. They were all men who had beards