Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • It was late, too late to be out taking pictures in Juba. But it's not often you see a UN military police vehicle smashed into a corner store. I made my photos and headed home, but not before a ex-rebel solider found my picture taking extremely suspicious.

    I had just arrived in South Sudan. This was before Al Jazeera brought in 400 reporters to cover the referendum, this was when NGO staff were being arrested in the market for taking pictures of cute dirty faced kids with point and shoots. And this man wanted me to pay for my suspicious transgression.

    I hoped on the back of my boda boda (motor cycle taxi), tapping his shoulder to to get him to leave, or rather, tear the hell out of there. But the ex-solider was blocking our path, and he was taller.

    I spent about 15 seconds lecturing to him about the freedom of press before I realized his inability to listen to what I was saying was only matched by his desire to discipline me.

    But I was a western foreigner, and it's one thing to arrest or yell at white guy, but beating him up was not going to be cool, especially considering that the group gathered around him was telling him to calm down.

    So he slugged my boda boda driver.


    People pulled him away, and my driver, showing incredible pose given the situation, preceded to get the hell out of there.

    I tipped him accordingly and went to sleep wondering how the hell I was going to work in this country.
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.