Where Africa and Technology Collide!

Meeting Videographer Ruud Elmendorp

Ruud Elmendorp is a well-known freelance videographer in East Africa, and someone I have been meaning to meet-up with while there. Last month while in Nairobi we finally got to link up for a coffee and discuss a little about his business and the kinds of stories he does. When you get a chance to talk to someone who has interviewed the infamous Joseph Kony in person, you don’t pass it up!

Interestingly enough, six years ago he decided to just pick up and move to Kenya to begin his business. It came after having done some work in Southern Sudan, and at a time when life beckoned for him to leave the Netherlands behind. It’s how a lot of first-timers get to Africa, for some it sticks and they thrive, others it breaks them.

Of course, we got started talking about equipment, me showing my little Sanyo Xacti vpc-E1 (an ultra-small waterproof video camera), and I swear I saw a little drool escape him at that point… It’s good to know he’s another gadget-head, and was neat to see how he used his mobile phone for a lot of his work (Nokia E-51).

A Video by Ruud

Here’s a recent video showing MTN’s Village Phone Project in Uganda:

‘I never expected to start a business.’ The 49-years-old Nakakande Uvumba got herself a Village Phone, where people can make cheap phone calls. 15,000 others in Uganda have a new future.

Interesting Facts

Ruud is the national correspondent for RTL (Netherlands) and a regular field correspondent for Rocketboom. He also runs the booming Facebook Videojournalist group.

One of these days I’ll be able to afford Ruud doing an AfriGadget documentary. Until then, I’ll enjoy his videos – doing stories that are interesting and always compelling.

Note: the funny picture above was taken using the Xacti video camera’s still image capture (6 Megapixel). Needless to say, Ruud wasn’t quite ready for it…
(hat tip to James Neal for jogging my memory on this story)


  1. Just thinking here, but it seems to me that two camera’s are better than one. And for a documentary about AfriGadget you would naturally want the best, which means at least two cameras.

    And OH YEAH, I could be the second camera!

    That’s perfect! Let’s do it. I’m ready when you are.

  2. Jason, you’re on my list. The bad thing is I’d have to pay for your ticket, the good thing is that you’re really freaking good at this video stuff… 🙂

  3. hey Erik, thanks for replying. I couldn’t direct message you on Twitter because you aren’t following me (hint, hint).

    Anyway, you’re right, I am near Rock Hill, in the Fort Mill/Tega Cay area to be exact. I’m with SIM (sim.org), and my SIM blog is kingdomjournalism.com (see trackback above).

    I hope our paths cross at some point! Shalom.

  4. Erik, for me, those are BOTH good things. 🙂


  5. Obviously I’ve got to throw my hat into the ring for this documentary. I’ll be there with all my HD gear when you’re ready 🙂

  6. @Taylor – I forgot that you’re a video guy too… When you guys do move out to Sudan, and if I get a chance to visit, we’ll have to do some type of video piece. Speaking of which, I hope that you’ll be keeping your eyes out for good AfriGadget-type innovation, who knows, you could become an AfriGadget editor then too! 🙂

  7. Wonderful!

    I knew Ruud in 2001 when he visited our camp, the then ex-childsoldier camp in south Sudan. I talked to at the bottm of my heart telling him all he needed. I did that though I was the youngest in the camp.

    Why can’t YOU now here in Darfur?
    There is good for you to write about.

    Hope to see YOU outh Darfur, it is peaceful

    Maduel James., madueljames2yahoo.com

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