The Atlantic Ocean near the coast of Western Africa has been one of Russia's fishing grounds for decades. But these fish-rich waters also draw a lot of international competition, which gets fiercer every year as the number of fish dwindle, and can often cross the line of being legal.
When kids are accused of witchcraft in Africa’s Democratic Republic of the Congo, they’re thrown out of their homes. They beg and steal in the streets, where might is right. The aim of the country’s first centre for homeless children is to bring them back to their families. But superstition in Congolese society is hard to combat.
E-waste, the term given to discarded electronic appliances, is often shipped by developed nations to poorer countries such as Ghana. RTD visits the country's most infamous dumping ground, Agbogbloshie. Locals call it “Sodom and Gomorrah” after the infamous Biblical sin cities. Its air and soil are polluted with toxic chemicals, while extreme poverty, child labour and criminal gangs are also rife.
“La Sape” is a unique movement based in Congo that unites fashion-conscious men who are ready to splurge money they don’t really have on designer clothes. Dressing in stark contrast with their surroundings, these elegant ambiance-makers become true local celebrities… but this fame comes at a price.
Tiny Migingo is one of the most densely populated islands in the world. In the middle of Lake Victoria, it’s home to Ugandan and Kenyan fishermen and their families. RT Doc’s Peter Scott paid a visit to find out how more than a thousand people live on a rock half the size of a football pitch.
Pastor and pilgrim Gennady Mokhnenko - a foster father of 32 former street boys, travels to Africa to sponsor a 33rd son, a boy from the streets of Kenya. He brings along three of his foster sons and a team of volunteers. They work in orphanages and hospitals, bring money to provide medications, food and clothes in their mission to help Kenyan street kids and orphans in their day-to-day struggles. RT’s camera crew follows them in Kenya to hear about their experiences in this troubled part of the world.
From a very young age girls in Mauritania are put on a strict diet. Its intention is to help them achieve a certain standard of beauty to ensure that they can find a good husband. The reality of this means force-feeding. Leblouh, as the tradition is called, may be fading away in the cities but it’s very much alive in rural areas. This variety of beauty though comes at a price, the diet can be very dangerous.
The Central African Republic's bloody civil war lead to the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians. Orphaned kids were recruited by both sides of the conflict, taught to fight, drugged and thrown into battle. After a ceasefire in 2015, the rehabilitation process began for many of them, but after all they’ve been through, they and their mentors face challenging times.
The Maasai tribe in Kenya proved a very welcoming host for professional traveller and photographer, Olga Michi. During her time in Africa, she stayed with them to learn about and photograph, their way of life. She later invited a few members of the tribe to go with her to snow-shrouded Moscow, a world they could never have imagined.
Refugee camp Dar Es Salam in Chad is a safe haven for thousands of Nigerians fleeing violent attacks by Boko Haram. This militant religious group has been wreaking havoc in Nigeria, destroying whole villages and killing indiscriminately. Those who escaped the terror are looking forward to rebuilding their lives, when a few camp newcomers bring fear and anxiety to this peaceful place.
Egypt is a land where the concept of gender equality has barely taken root. It’s hard for women to make ends meet and even harder if they happen to be single parents. When Sisa’s husband died, leaving her alone to bring up and feed a young daughter, she came up with a novel solution; she became a man! For the next 43 years she pretended to be male. Now in her 60s, she has no doubts about living that lie, saying it was a far better choice than taking another husband.
The Nigerian “dream factory”, Nollywood, became the second largest film industry in the world after India in just two decades. Its annual film production even surpasses Hollywood’s. What is its secret? RTD filmmakers travel to Lagos, to see how Nigerian movies are made.
The ancient Greek island of Lesbos is where hundreds of thousands of people fleeing Africa and the Middle East first reach Europe. “Clowns without Borders” is an organisation that sends volunteers to entertain children in the refugee camps and offer a little comic relief.
In Tanzania, the tradition of child brides is still prevalent. Despite strict laws against this practice, promising harsh punishment for grooms and parents, young girls are still married off to much older men. In exchange, the family of the bride receives cows that it considers more useful than their daughter.
As of 11 December, the Ebola virus has claimed 7,690 lives this year. From a couple of cases at the end of March, the outbreak's rapid spread has sowed seeds of panic all around the world. RTD goes to Liberia, the country hardest hit by the disease, to speak to those battling on the frontline against the terrifying illness.