Anthony Bourdain tragically took his own life in June, so the final season premiere of his show, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, was bittersweet for both his fans and his colleagues. In the first episode of Season 12, Bourdain traveled to Kenya.
During his opening narration, Bourdain said, “Today’s Kenya is phenomenally beautiful. There is a growing middle class, a highly rated educational system and an enthusiastic and multilingual professional sector. Which is to say this is decidedly not a s***hole.”
Bourdain was referring to comments President Trump made about African countries, among other poorer nations, that he called “s***hole countries.”
Food. Geography. Language. But more importantly social, political and cultural consciousness. That’s what made #PartsUnknown SO special.
— Angel, MS, CRNP (@UrbnHealthNP) September 24, 2018
While in Kenya, Bourdain met with members of the persecuted LGBT community, visited a gym that trains women how to box, and of course sampled the local dishes. And it is those all-encompassing elements of his show that many so admired.
This conversation me and Tony had on the hill was one of the best experiences in my life. I knew it at the time & I means even more now. Thank you, Tony. #PartsUnknown #UnitedShades #ShadesUnknown pic.twitter.com/BLhK8oxs3S
— W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) September 24, 2018
Bourdain’s traveling companion for this episode was United Shades of America host W. Kamau Bell, who live-tweeted during the episode, “This conversation me and Tony had on the hill was one of the best experiences in my life. I knew it at the time & [it] means even more now. Thank you, Tony.”
The episode ends with a haunting reflection when Bourdain says, “Who gets to tell the stories? This is a question asked often. The answer in this case, for better or for worse, is, I do, at least this time out.”
This final season will consist of five standard episodes and two special tribute episodes, so fans can enjoy Bourdain as he tells at least a few more stories.
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on CNN.
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