Monday, August 16, 2010

A Model Trial

I love models. Nothing quite appeals to my amorous fantasies than the combination of a figure that makes you think long nights in exotic locations and an IQ figure equal to the number on a goalkeeper's football jersey. And growing up as I did during a time when 90% of vehicles on Kenyan roads had only six digits, I was at some point totally besotted with one Naomi Campbell.

Of course the distance between fantasy and reality is mostly only covered by dreams, so the stunning Ms. Campbell has since then remained exactly that, i.e. the girl of my dreams. However, when I'm not busy with other more important stuff such as debating Referendum results and waiting for the start of the new English Premier League season, I make time to look her up and see what she has been up to, as well at ogle at those looooooooong legs thrusting from whatever leading fashion house number she happens to be donning.

Slightly under a fortnight ago, I got a chance to indulge this passion of mine. Naomi had reportedly been summoned by the war crimes trial against Charles Taylor at the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone, and she was to appear to give testimony that would help indict the former Liberian warlord. With my beautiful Naomi in the picture, I was very, very interested in these proceedings, and accordingly stacked on the popcorn.

We will come back to Naomi and models in a bit, but first, a little background for those of you who for whatever absurd reason may never have heard about Charles Taylor.

Born in 1946, this dude is something of a cross between Idi Amin Dada and Robert Mugabe, with a dash of pre-historic man. He ruled Liberia for six years from 1997 after helping overthrow the government of Samuel Doe, and all indications are those six years aren't exactly ones that Liberians remember with an incredible amount of fondness.

Taylor had a number of very disagreeable habits, and among these was an apparent overwhelming covetousness. He was reportedly so covetous of the riches possessed by neighboring Sierra Leone that he felt compelled to fund a rebel group there, the Revolutionary United Front [RUF], so that he could also get in on a share of its Diamonds resource. This was to prove his undoing, as the activities the RUF rebels involved themselves in have landed him in major legal problems at the Hague.

Naomi Campbell catwalks into this Charles Taylor saga sometime in 1999, when both she and Taylor attended a fund-raising dinner in cape Town hosted by then South African president Nelson Mandela. 

Like 99% of all heterosexual men who have ever set eyes on Naomi Campbell, Charles Taylor's senses went AWOL upon meeting her, and by the end of the night, he had displayed his amorous attentions towards her with a pocketful of uncut diamonds.

To cut a long story short, those diamonds are now central to the case against Taylor at the Hague, because during that time, he had apparently gone to South Africa with the intention of selling the diamonds and raise money to help fund the RUF's atrocious activities in sierra Leone.
To be perfectly honest, I have so far paid the Charles Taylor trial the kind of attention I normally reserve for traffic signs when I'm late for work, and I’m sure an overwhelming proportion of the earth’s population are exactly like me. But since the lovely Naomi graced the trial with her magnificent presence, interest in the trial has grown tenfold, and I’m sure the UN is very thankful for that.
Closer home, it is hoped that if Ocampo does his job properly, a number our local politicians will be acquainting themselves with the Hague quite soon. The Kenya trial is meant to act as precedent and deterrence against future acts of civil violence in Africa and the world over such trivial issues as elections results, and the UN is hoping that public interest in the case will be massive.
Kenya is taking the case very seriously, and a couple of months ago, a witness protection bill was passed in parliament to help secure potential witnesses who will give testimony at the Hague. Last week, it was reported that some of these potential witnesses are already being flown out of the country in readiness for the trial.
My question is, are there any Kenyan supermodels among those witnesses being flown out?

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