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Radio Okapi Kindu The Station the Helped Bring Peace to the Congo; A Memoir

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Radio Okapi Kindu The Station the Helped Bring Peace to the Congo; A Memoir by Bakody, Jennifer, 9781927958971
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  • ISBN: 9781927958971 | 1927958970
  • Cover: Paperback
  • Copyright: 6/13/2017
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When Jennifer Bakody stepped off the plane in Kinshasa in 2004, she walked right into the most arduous and inspiring job an idealistic young journalist from Nova Scotia could ever imagine. After seven years of brutal warfare involving eight neighboring countries and several million deaths, the Democratic Republic of the Congo had just agreed a tentative ceasefire. A week later Bakody finds herself 1,500 miles up the Congo River in the heart of the country's jungle, managing a small UN-backed radio station.

Welcome to Radio Okapi Kindu. Welcome too to its team of hard-working local reporters determined to cover the complex events in the country’s rapid march towards elections. One day rebel soldiers are walking out of their jungle enclaves and handing in their weapons; the next, it’s time for some music, or some public service announcements. Then one of the journalists is accused of lying, and Bakody finds herself confronting a general of the Congolese army in his own living room, while armed guards look on.

When a public lynching in Kindu is followed by an outbreak of violence in a nearby city, Bakody begins to realize how little she understands the complexities of the country’s politics—and how little she has at stake compared to her colleagues. Maintaining the rigor of Radio Okapi’s editorial line suddenly seems like a matter of life or death. As the pressure builds and the team redoubles its efforts to bring its listeners accurate and impartial news, they realize they are targets too. How long can one small station of the “Frequency for Peace” stand the strain?

Radio Okapi Kindu is a touching memoir of a young journalist’s coming of age and a love song to a poor but astonishingly beautiful country recovering from a decade of war.

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