Note: This article was originally published in Dutch in NRC Handelsblad: https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2021/05/06/voorkom-turnleed-door-controle-op-alle-niveaus-a4042638 Over the past years, something has stood out to me regarding the scandals in the gymnastics world. Sport federations are almost always a monopoly. There appears to be a lack of supervision, consequences, and a lack of competition or alternatives. Athletes have no … Continue reading Sport federations: The monopoly that leads to countless abuse victims
I open the same door that I have opened about a million times in my life. Today it is different. I’m repeating all the tips my sister gave me over and over in my mind. I’m early for my gymnastics training… luckily… That morning I woke up, did my normal routine, until I got to … Continue reading Period.
Today, 14th of February 2021, it is exactly 1 year ago since I moved to Addis Abeba, Ethiopia for work. As is the case for everyone, it has been quite a year. A year full of surprises, challenges, accomplishments and personal development. About 10 years prior to my move to Ethiopia I moved countries for … Continue reading Uprooted
Training at the beautiful facility in Utrecht, Netherlands (March, 2017) I am a gymnast. I grew up in a sport that is most popular among girls and women. When I was training I would never have thought that there are forms of my sport or places where it is mostly practiced by men and even … Continue reading When two worlds collide
I chip in 400 shillings (3,36 euro) like the team asks of me. They are my family. If Kevo is not doing well, I will contribute as much as the other guys contributed. A bit later, everything is arranged and we all go out for lunch. It is a celebration of our bond, friendship and … Continue reading We do not need your money
“But for me, the way I have seen and what I have learned; it is not a must to go to school. It is not a must to be clever to get to an airplane. Because most people here, they work hard and studied so they can get to the airplane. But for me, that … Continue reading Talent to fly
“So, you teach acrobatics to youth in slums in Nairobi?” This is often the first question I get when I tell people that I work as an acrobat in informal settlements in Nairobi. Maybe if they listened more carefully they would have heard that I said that “I work as an acrobat”. I did not … Continue reading No, they teach me.
“I’m scared, yeah because it can make me bring back. I’ll be like, starting again to train because maybe you don’t know it can take long for injury to be recovered. That’s why I’m scared of injuries. I take care, I’m careful with injuries.” – Ali, acrobat. He walks up to me, points at his … Continue reading When your livelihood breaks
Kangemi acrobats trying a new pyramid (February, 2018) I’m sitting on the side of the gym watching training. It’s already been 3 hours and I am tired. The men around me are still going. Trying out new pyramids and tricks. They climb on top of each other trying to make stable constructions, falling 40% of … Continue reading Acrobats defying tribalism in Kenya
International development is often not as international as it makes it out to be. Many implementations are based on a Western perspective and include little conversation with the aim groups. Projects and programs are realized from a top-down perspective, where an organization comes in with an idea and executes that idea independent of its context. … Continue reading A world where development is context specific