A contingent of Kenyan journalists was stranded in Kigali for 3 days on route to the All African Music Awards.
The team was headed to Lagos to cover the annual event when officials in Kigali blocked them from boarding due to a lack of visa.
Before embarking on the trip the team had received assurances from the AFRIMA team that they would be able to board without a visa and receive them on arrival in Lagos this however turned into a three-day horror ordeal.
Boniface Nyaga is a leading entertainment journalist in the country and was part of the team that was stuck in Kigali. He said
“Our tickets came in Sunday and we were scheduled to travel on Thursday morning,” Boniface Nyaga “We informed organizers the visa takes a minimum on three days to process but they assured us that we will be able to travel. They were to make arrangements and they gave us a document that would help us gains passage, but that was not the case.”
Reports of various cast and crew members who were stranded in airports across Africa on their way to AFRIMA have also emerged.
A journalist from Ghana also complained of ill-treatment by organizers of the event. With no arrangements from organizers, the Kenyan team were left to fend for themselves, in Kigali and organizers are still non-committal or whether they will compensate them for the ordeal.
“AFRIMA is such an amazing platform, it brings players from all over Africa to network and fosters a pan-African industry. I honestly understand that it is a daunting task to organize an event of that magnitude but as Africans, we must hold ourselves to international standards of Conference Travel Management. We have a whole year to plan AFRIMA 2020, I hope organizers can start early to avoid this kind of drama.” He added