Opride.com – Before we dive into the making of “Inside the
Y.J – Yes indeed it took me three years…perhaps a little bit more until we finally got to the bush. I decided to venture into the unknown, first and foremost, because Kenya neighbors Ethiopia and the fighting between the OLF and Ethiopian government troops has time and again affected our northern frontier. Secondly, we have a large audience base of Oromo speaking Kenyans, the Boran, Gabra, Burji , Garre, Ajuran, and Orma. And of course, we have a large number of Oromo refugees in
I have been covering conflicts in our region and I think
Opride.com -What did you want to achieve with this particular documentary? Did you succeed?
Y.J – Demystify the OLF. Yes I think I did.
Opride.com – Two questions– first are you surprised by the response to your work so far and the controversy it has generated? And second, did you see this coming?
Y.J – I knew even before heading to the bush that my documentary would be controversial…so am not surprised that it turned out to be just that. I expected the Ethiopian government to protest because in the past they have tried to block journalists who wanted to cover the rebel territories. But I admit, I am surprised by the enthusiasm shown by the Oromo in the Diaspora since I did not expect that overwhelming response.
Opride.com – You alluded to this in the documentary; when the permission was finally acquired, you were packed and ready to go…what were you feeling?
Y.J – You know when you have waited for such a trip for more than three years you get discouraged at times. It was a surprise when I got a call that I should be ready for the tough journey North. It was such a short notice; I think a three days notice.
I wouldn’t worry much if it was
Opride.com – Did your feelings change when your linkmen told you that there was a fighting? What were the guarantees for you and your cameraman’s personal safety?
Read Part I here.
— Part III continues tomorrow – –