POPOBAWA*, "Misery & Adventure"
Africa cries and will continue crying trapped in a millennial curse. Six hundred years ago English, Dutch and, above all, Portuguese, traded with people in a macabre business that bled the African continent and today in the XXI century nothing has changed. In Africa there are still slaves. The oppressor and the oppressed are still alive under the guise of luxury safaris and the powerful white man, in this case, is embodied by a spanish company, which is curiously led by a Portuguese. History repeats itself.
This company offers luxury safaris that travel through Kenya and Tanzania, and the "luxury" I say it is debatable, even for customers, but certainly for those who are not questionable is for their workers who have working conditions, that framed in nowadays, they would be similar to those of the fifteenth century slaves.
After working for five months as a guide for this company, I discovered that under the flag of "Luxury and Adventure" they really hides a "Misery and Adventure", and now, that I know the entrails of this monster, it is impossible for me to close the eyes to so much injustice ... I'm going to explain it:
While each customer pays the nothing negligible amount of 4,500 euros for 13 days of Safari, the expedition chef, at the service of the clients (from sunrise to sunset), charges €120 and the attendant receives € 88 per the same period of time, 13 days.
Calculate the benefits yourself... "Misery and Adventure".
Add and follow. In these miserable conditions it is added that none of them is registered in the social security, with the obvious consequences; they do not quote, they can not get sick or injured, since they would not charge, and if one of these cases occurs they have to pay for themselves medical care... "Misery & Adventure", how easy it is to become rich in Africa.
But the conditions are not only bad in terms of hiring, but they are also forced to sleep in simple tents, crammed into bunks without any privacy, other times in hostels, where a horror movie could be shot, or even, in the same truck.
The guides, almost all of us Spanish, do not have it much better. Nor are we registered in the social security and what at first looks like a labor contract, hides a commercial contract, in which our salary depends on the unbalance of the accounting of all the safaris accumulated throughout the whole season. This means that we do not charge a salary per month, but at the end of the season after checking the invoices we are paid. Any mismatch, accounting error, theft or loss of money is not assumed by the company, but automatically deducted from our salaries. This in principle seems simple but it is not so much when we are forced to travel and to guard almost 30,000 or 40,000 euros every day, in a backpack that will become a constant danger, even for our lives. The locals know of the existence of that money and in Africa the need makes the excuse for a life worthless before such a quantity. And you will ask, why do we travel with so much money? Once again, the greed of the great colonizer.
Each client must bring to Africa a studied and exact amount of 1300 dollars and 480 euros. We are four guides with an average of 15 clients, in low season, in high we arrive at 19 and 10 safaris each one in the whole season. You do not have to be a genius of numbers to understand that it is a great evasion of currencies of more than one million euros free of taxes. Long live capitalism! Now is the time I want to remember the 120 euros of the chef and the 88 euros of the assistant ... "Misery and Adventure".
Africa cries and will continue to cry. In the 21st century, slaves do not wear chains, that's for sure, but they still exist. Oppression and exploitation by those who do not have morals or scruples are still carried out, under laws that protect them, and under the great lie of progress and evolution. My experience in Africa tells me that nothing has changed and I cry with her for all the miseries that are hidden in this "Luxury & Adventure" what this company promises.
* The real name of the company is expressly omitted so as not to hurt sensibilities and not to tempt the freedom of expression, so weak in the current times. The choice of “Popobawa” is not casual, this name collects all the attributes of the company in a perfect analogy. Popobawa whose meaning in Swahili is "Bat/wing" is the name of an evil spirit of Tanzania associated to multiple misfortunes. Mythology says that in addition to bat can also take any other form including human. The victims of Popobawa can be men, women and children and their attacks in addition to physical, can be poltergeist phenomena or the most feared all, the sodomy.