Friday, December 30, 2011

LESSONS FROM 2011

Another one bits the dust. I didn't kill another hooker.BTW if the cops ask you guys where I was last night then the story is that I was at one of your places. I went home to find the hooker (They are call girls when alive and hookers when found murdered) dumped in my room. Obviously my political enemies are still out to get me. That's the fourth such incident this week.And don't buy it when the cops say they have my DNA on all of them. I wore gloves....errr I didn't do it.

But I digress. So very much. I mean the year is coming to an end. And this traditionally the time when I would sit down and write some sappy story about how painfully severe it has been to me. How the storm messed with my hair here or the tears messed up with my make up. But I refuse. This year I will switch things up a bit. You grow older and you learn new things and 2011 has taught me a couple of things. Sampled below are some of them;

1)Being Kenyan means we are totally freaked out by the very idea of burglars. But when Jimmy Gathu breaks into your house and sits in your room with a calculator, you shouldn't call the cops or raise the alarm. You are supposed to sit down and listen to him judge you about how he is way better than you. I have learnt that you are supposed to help him calculate how much of a sleaze ball you are and then walk out of your kadogo's house without a text or a note.

2)I have learnt that when you see either Nyambane or Suzanna Owiyo on the streets in your neighbourhood, you should immediately jump into your toilet and scrub it like the blue blazes. But then again it doesn't really matter because they are both invisible to people with clean toilets. They are the Edward Cullen of the toilet business. They make stuff sparkle.*slits my own throat for making a Twilight reference*

3) It's become clear that the fall in the value of the Kenyan shilling can affect just about the price of everything. This runs the gamut from charcoal (which we obviously import from Saudi Arabia), MP's seats and even the donations given to beggars on the streets. Apparently ksh. 20 can't even buy the good glue. The good stuff needs to come all the way from Gara so be sure not to get the bonoko. This was how it went down.

4) All women are great in bed. Apparently if great things happened, it was all them and had nothing to do with the sweaty guy in the corner who looks like he just ran a marathon. In more women news, do not piss them off. This will result in one of two things. They will either stop the car on Valley Road and slap the daylights out of you or they will infect you with HIV and go on a twitter rampage about it with acid involved somewhere.(For the record, none of these things happened to me.)*Pinocchio nose growing*

Friday, December 16, 2011

OPERATION LINDA KICHEKO


Twitter is apparently where it’s at. This is where the in crowd gets together and discusses matters of national importance like what is happening at the Art Caffe and whether or not Kenyans living in Uganda can be defined as diaspora folk. So yeah, pretty important stuff. A defining feature of this whole experience is the tweef i.e. the twitter beef for those unfamiliar with twitter lingo among the twitterati. Wow. I feel so sad for writing that whole sentence. 

So one of the most interesting tweefs this year has been between our armed forces (KDF) and the AlShabaab where we watched the war on terror across to the cyberspace. Here is a look at how it unfolded. None of the words have been changed. This is EXACTLY HOW IT HAPPENED. Word for word.

Al Shabaab just joined twitter.

Al Shabaab is now following KDF.

Al Shabaab: @KDF I hear you’ve been talking trash.Now say it to my face…err avi.

KDF: @AlShabaab We will smoke you out of your caves to win this war.#OperationLindaNchi

AlShabaab: @KDF What’s wrong with you?#TeamFollowBack

KDF is now following AlShabaab.

 KDF: @Alshabaab now we are following you on two fronts.#Coincidence

Alshabaab: Seriously dude.What did we ever do to you? @Yenyewe what’s the bile?

Yenyewe: @AlShabaab what are you on about?Don’t know you. @KDF I don’t know them.

KDF: @Yenyewe could you please DM your details. #NoNeedToWorry

Thursday, December 15, 2011

KENYA:A STRIKING/STRICKEN NATION

2011 has been the year of ‘Haki Yetu’ and ‘Solidarity Forever’. Before I go even further, it’s about time we came up with new protest songs. ‘Haki yetu’ is kinda catchy and simple to remember the words to, seeing as they are only two. But then again it would help if we could articulate a bit more than that in a chant. I don’t know. Make it rhyme or something. ‘Solidarity Forever’ is a bigger headache though. The song requires weird arm movements and it’s only performed by people with two left arms (the upper body version of being uncoordinated). 

Think about it, every single time you get that gratuitous shot of the guys on strike shouting out their demands, no one gets it right. Not teachers or politicians or students or doctors. (Doctors surprised me the most. Thought they make their living on being able to do stuff better than the general population.) And if you are going to have a strike, then make sure you learn the words to the stupid song. 

What comes after ‘Solidarity forever’? I mean the song has more words than that. So when you issue the strike threat, please enclose lyrics of the appropriate strike song to your members. Research shows that authorities are 72.65% more likely to take a strike seriously if the people are able to sing and dance like the kids on Glee. In addition to that get a professional to do your picket signs. They all look like they are done by a retarded chicken which also has dyslexia. Case in point was that teacher who couldn’t do basic arithmetic or spell during the TEACHERS’ STRIKE.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

GOSSIP GIRL: HECK NO! HECK NO!


I have the utmost respect for people’s sweat and toil. Thus I find it pretty deplorable when people hide behind their keyboards and monitors and tear down other people’s labour. It is a sign of a lost generation when meanness is what passes for creativity especially in light of the growing influence of alternative media.

Thus it pains me to have to do this. This goes out to one Ruhila Adatia so here goes.

Dear Ruhila,
Ok chill. That sounds a bit too personal and I mean for this to be a bit objective and professional. So we shall go with;

Dear Unnamed Chic who hosts Gossip Girl on Kiss TV.,
What the hell are you doing? Listen I have a lot of respect for what Kiss TV has achieved based on the shoe string budget they probably operate with. That’s why I don’t join the bandwagon when people make fun of Ramah Nyang when he has to kneel behind that news desk; because that guy is brilliant. And I’m told it’s not the size of the tool but rather what you do with it. (Unless you are a big tool with a little tool)

Today, I sat through ‘Gossip Girl’ and I found myself wincing from the very start. Lets just start with that name. It’s about as original as naming your matatu ‘Nissan’. Or your out of wedlock son ‘Bas Tard’. It just reeks of laziness. The original show is both mundane and patronising. It is basically one of those Latino soap operas with the horses, ranches and heavy breathing replaced with cars, parties and text messaging. If I wanted to watch adaptations, I’d stick to someone who can pull it off well. Like Mike Sonko trying to imitate someone with a brain or O’Brien Kimani imitating a news anchor.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

GBS: GOD BLESS SHOPPING!


I am a regular viewer of GBS. Wait let me rephrase that. Viewer sounds so personal. Like I actually tune into the station with a particular goal in mind. I don’t. With GBS you can’t really do that. I’m not even sure they have a programme schedule. I’m pretty sure there is a Korean guy who sits behind some wooden counter and points at random screens, shrugs and then says “Why not!” before the show is beamed to thousand of unsuspecting viewers. I’m sure they don’t even have a standard time for the news. It would probably air when the mood suits them. If enough news has happened by 10 am then that would be the only bulletin you should expect.

That said, GBS is stills a very guilty pleasure for me. It ranks somewhere near those guys who secretly love the smell of their own farts. Yeah. That bad. The best bit is when you watch the Sunday morning service which is translated from Korean to English to Swahili. I’m sure the meaning is completely by the time the last guy has finished his sentence. When I’m low I will switch to the channel to watch them go on endlessly about every other phone. This Samsung is the phone for you. That Lg should be what you are buying. Why haven’t you bought this Motorola? 

They are good at what they do and there we have to give the devil his due. That’s why they’ve been trusted by Jacaranda Gardens to drum up sales for their estate. They once tried selling a car and the first thing the dude said was “This car says it all. Need I say anything else?” only for him to go on and on for about half an hour with details like how round the steering wheel was. Pretty sure the car company lost customers that quarter. Clients must be queuing though because I was sure I saw cooking utensils being plugged today. And was that Jalang’o spotted on the show? Their strategy is obvious: Annoy them enough and they will buy. He’s a threat.

So I was wondering what they would offer next. They’ve pretty much run the gamut. Electronics, real estate and vehicles. They have made TV home shopping a reality for lazy Kenyans. And now the next frontier. The brothel. And before the feminists start complaining about their sexist portrayal, I will have you know that this would work in either direction. Guys and girls on offer for all your carnal pleasures.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

HELL HATH NEITHER FURY NOR ACID.....

Twitter has been abuzz this past week with stories about acid. If you’re thinking there was a car battery seminar then you are wrong. It’s a story made in twitter heaven with the help of a couple of astute Kenyans. It has all the makings of a Kenyan fairytale. Two women. A virile young man. And acid.

 Let me break it down for the guys who have been living under a rock. Woman A sleeps with the guy and later finds out she has a girlfriend. She goes on a twitter rampage telling people how she is HIV+ and that she infected him and by extension his girlfriend, Woman B. They are both pregnant from the same seed. Girlfriend loses it and decides to bathe his fair face in acid. Naturally. I’m guessing he now looks like that DA from batman. Harvey Dent aka Two-Face.

I’ve seen a couple of stories on the blogosphere about this story and I think people are looking at it all wrong. Sure, it could point to the near-cult status we have given people via social media just because they make us laugh, wince or stare at their interesting body bits. But then this is about something much simpler. It’s about expression. The girlfriend could have easily written a strongly worded letter or done the traditional thing and stabbed Woman A but she went for something different. Modern. Novel.

It’s that novelty that we are going to explore. What if there are women out there thinking “Hmmm, I wonder how I can pour acid on my friend/boyfriend/lecturer/watchman/matatu driver?” It is these women I’m reaching out to. There is a definite art to it. It’s not as easy as throwing a car battery at someone’s face and hoping the best. No. This isn’t for armatures. And thus a short but helpful way to make someone’s face melt.

Monday, December 05, 2011

ONE VOTE:ONE VOICE


The year is winding down after months of what has been termed ‘a wind of change’ sweeping across the Arab Peninsula. We found ourselves hoping that the wind would blow southwards pat the Sahara but around here it’s business as usual. In Syria, hundreds are still being targeted by their government for speaking out. Egypt’s Tahrir Square is still occupied for fear of having the gains of the Arab Spring swept away by the military.

Here at home, the situation was different. The Social networks were abuzz with chatter. Maybe we should follow the lead shown by our northern neighbours. Maybe our Kenyan spring should spill out to the streets. But it was limited to walls on facebook and among the twitterati. The closest we got was in February when we got out to sing the national anthem. Since then, initiatives have come up and then fizzled out like a wet matchstick.

The set of circumstances surrounding the Arab world are vastly different from the Kenyan situation. We are not governed by military dictators and our media is free to report on whatever happens within and past our borders. Compare that to Iran whose population is scarcely aware of the Arab Spring and then it looks like we have it pretty good. And therein lies our problem. We are ok with mediocrity. We got rid of Moi and whatever alternative we got became just fine. The literary simile is Oliver Twist’s comrades at the orphanage. They wouldn’t ask for more and neither will we.

So we sit and talk. Things have changed. Then we watch while the same constitution is used to wipe away gains. We are a sovereign nation. But not when Sudan’s Bashir wants to come hang out at State House. The judiciary is independent only when the executive agrees and when it doesn’t piss off our honorable members. But still we talk. In hushed tones. Hiding behind the key strokes and the monitor. Don’t rock the boat. Things could be worse.

ONE VOICE!
I’m tired of the talk. Of the panel discussions. Of the ideals on democracy and the NGO-speak on things like ‘capacity building’ and ‘governance structures’. I don’t doubt that they may ultimately serve a function but then that means very little when we have a year to the next polls. So we turn it back to the very source of democracy. That single person. That single vote. I refuse to refer to myself as a ‘common mwananchi’. What does that make them? Special?

Friday, December 02, 2011

DANCE WITH MY FATHER

I AM YOUR FATHER,

No that's not Darth Vader surprising Luke in Star Wars. For the record I don't understand that movie. How was Darth Vader Luke's father when Luke was also Darth Vader. And what was up with Luke making out with Princess Leia- HIS SISTER! *Hyperventilating* But then we just lost the plot. These words were said to me a few years ago.Caught playing truant in my preteen years, my father had busted me again. Nothing ever seemed to escape his attention. Invariably he'd catch me doing something I knew I wasn't supposed to in my forays into the world as a child. More often than not these encounters would end with me crying after a well-deserved(I didn't think so back then) spanking.

So used was I to this setting that I was momentarily taken aback by this chain of events. I have no idea what mischief I'd gotten into but I'm sure it was bad. I wasn't necessarily a bad kid but my dad had us reigned in pretty well. In fact the worst thing I remember doing was going for a dip in the local river after particularly heavy deluges. My siblings and I would get back home covered in mud and the drill would start. You had to go and find the stick with which he would administer your punishment. Thus you had your fate in your own hands.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

YAWN:POLITICALLY MOTIVATED!

Robinson Githae is a man of many talents. Chief among them is the fact that he is head of a ministry which is also being run by the mayor of Nairobi. Basically, he is the mayor minus the chair throwing since Minister of Nairobi Metropolitan just allows him to dream about what the city will be like if it wasn't Nairobi. I love those artist renditions of the city with trains going through buildings and dogs barking upside down and parks in fictitious shades of green.

But I totally digress. I wouldn't bring up Githae if I didn't have something bigger to talk about. Last week he was quoted (he is never misquoted) as saying Uhuru Kenyatta's wealth was greatly exaggerated by Forbes list of Africa's Top 40 Richest Africans. Check that list here. Anyway Mayor Githae implied that Uhuru's political enemies are out to get him...by making him sound rich. *clears throat*.

Before I even go into that lets look at the other presidential race. Herman Cain is almost pulling out (hehe) of the race because of the many women accusing him of sexual harassment dating back decades. Newt Gingrich was being targeted because he divorced his wife while she was recovering from cancer. Rick Perry got into trouble over his inability to function as a human being with a brain.

But in Kenya, apparently if you are rumored to be rich then people are out to get you. So it's cool to be assumed poor. Shhh keep it on the down low or else Sinai residents will all run for elective office. It's about being seen as a man of the people. Githae goes on to say that UK owns a shamba and a few cows and goats while the political enemies in Forbes say that he is worth an estimated $500 million. But the best is left for last when he says that if UK was actually that rich then it would be awesome and we should elect him since he won't steal money. The hell?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

TOP TEN REASONS FOR NEXT UON STRIKE

If you own a car, live in the city or just typically hate people having throw rocks at you then you must have heard that the little imps at the university were on the rampage this week again. It was to be expected after their lecturers went on a 'peaceful' strike earlier only to be caught on camera scaring non-teaching staff who had shown up for work.

So we have no idea why the students went on the rampage. We have even talked to psychologists, psychiatrists and other people who sigh but they couldn't give any headway on this. They seemed to concur that evolution had completely eliminated what has come to be known as the 'UON' doctrine. This stipulates that throwing rocks, having running battles with the cops ('running battles' was coined specifically for those kids) and basically being louts grants you an audience with whoever you want.

It is an indictment of the Kenya education system where you have to sit and wonder how some of these kids made it past nursery school let alone how they got into university. While the Arab Spring was being orchestrated by their age mates, UON are busy trying to figure out who would feature on Kenya's fictional shot putt team in the Olympics next year.

For the sake of innocent Nairobians, I'm gonna highlight the possible reasons for the next strike by our favourite students. Here is a countdown:

10) They felt left out by the surge in Somalia. They figured the government should have sent them there to help launch grenades and other projectiles at the Al Shabaab.

Friday, November 11, 2011

I DID NOT HAVE SEXUAL RELATIONS WITH THAT WOMAN

I threw myself in this presidential race a while ago and I’ve been pretty quiet over the last couple of months. This is mostly due to the fact that I have no need to have rocks thrown at me in ‘enemy territory’ or to have my name dragged through the mud in whatever scandals. I’ve also been avoiding trials of all sorts so I guess it’s about time I broke the silence.

I have been watching the American elections with keen interest especially since they will take place at about the same time as ours. It’s full of intrigue as the media and rivals find dirt on the front runners to hurt their chances in the polls. It’s actually pretty funny if you think about it. First it was Rick Perry who has been found to be a total idiot due to his debate performances.

 For real, he had a blank moment during a debate and just finished by saying “Ooops!” Oooops? For the dude who might get nuclear launch codes? Sure. He also got into trouble over his dad having ownership of a place that had a racist name. Then there is Herman Cain who is the current front runner but is being faced by allegations of sexual harassment. Not by one person or two. But by four or five people. More to come.


So in a way I am lucky the Kenyan political scene is more forgiving than the American one. Here we are good with murderers and thieves as long as they speak the same language and basically do nothing for our wellbeing. It helps to have low expectations. But we are becoming a bit more politically aware so things might have changed by the next polls. So I figured I should come clean to the electorate so no scandals will show up next year. I’m coming clean on all the stuff that could used against me pretty soon.

Monday, October 31, 2011

AL SHABAAB UNIVERSITY: EXPLOSIVE EDUCATION


I’m getting confused by this whole thing about terrorist organizations. CNN has this clip they play whenever they mention Al Shabaab or the Taliban. They cut to this slow motion video of some guys in bath robes running around on a playground and then shooting off into the distance before ducking into holes in the ground. This is confusing on a number of levels. Firstly, why do terrorists run in slow motion? I mean, wouldn’t it be faster for them to just run at a regular pace? And why do they need all that cardio? I have never heard of a suicide bombing at a marathon race. Actually if that were the case, they’d only recruit Kenyans. (Congrats to the team that scooped top ten places in Frankfurt Marathon. Suck on that!) 

But the mental image is changing with every passing day. Now it’s being replaced with an actual organization complete with a really rude receptionist and departments. I can almost see some campus with lecturers walking around, books clutched under their arms while they peruse that day’s paper. Once in a while they will rush to the corner to the corner excitedly to show their colleagues a picture in the paper. 

“That’s was one of mine,” he’d say pointing to a blob of blood in there. “One of my best and brightest. I always knew he’d do something explosive with his life. Obviously he had a blast!” 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

THIS IS KENYAAAAAAA!!!(THINK 300)


Some idiot has been leaving his grenades everywhere around the nation. If that’s you then we need to have a sit down. A talk. No come closer. Ok drop the grenade. On second thought just hold it tight.Drop the Ak47 though. And the angry rat. I’ve seen what rodents can do. This is for your ears only. First, I won’t assume that it’s Al Shabaab. Why, you may ask? Well I just don’t wanna have them take the credit for someone else’s hard work without giving them a chance to prove themselves. I mean, it might be some drunk cop who just keeps leaving his work tools everywhere.
Though if it is Al Shabaab, here is the skinny. You don’t freak us out. We don’t scare easy as a nation. Either we are not smart enough to know when we should be afraid or we are more excited by the thought of showing up on the evening news as an eye witness. (Doesn’t matter if we heard the story from a friend of a friend of a brother of a sister’s cousin). We will be at each other’s necks over petty differences like who is stealing more money from our coffers but insult our nationality and you have a war on your hands.

GAY? ME? OF COURSE!


So I’m sitting in a barber shop the other day and after a thorough verbal thrashing of Manchester United,(yeah we get it. WE GOT OUR BUTTS KICKED!) the topic changed to something quite unexpected. The radio had a news item about some Zimbabwe’s response to a growing homosexual population in its midst. The topic was taken up by both the patrons and the barbers and within seconds, the consensus was that they should be hung.
I wouldn’t have necessarily been surprised had it been for a conversation I’d had earlier in the week. Apparently my own sexuality has been put into question and on some level I find this a bit laughable. But then the academic in me found that there was more to investigate in this matter.
I am from a generation that grew up in the information age. Most of my friends were brought up by a television and have grown into adults with the internet at their fingertips. I would like to think we are a learned lot. At least, a bit better off than our parents’ generation where the very idea of homosexuality was deemed a disease.
So the question was posed to me. Are you gay? It doesn’t necessarily surprise me. I am not the world’s manliest guy. It’s both nature and nurture. First puberty just messes around with me. Depending on the day, I wake up with a voice close to a shreaking little girl or a man talking in a flashback. I’m told I also have a gay build which is something I can’t quite understand.

Friday, October 14, 2011

NI KUNOMA:ECONOMIC BLUES

I had dinner at this swanky restaurant the other day. Swanky here denotes that there were tables and chairs as opposed to a shady spot under a tree. So anyway, after a hearty meal I had to settle my bill on the way out and then things got a bit hairy. While things have been getting thick economically, others have been getting thinner. I found this out the hard way when I had to pay for four chapatis. To save money, they had made the darn things half as thin for the same price. But the girl next to me just thought I was a hog.

The shilling is on a free fall. Like a fat kid diving for the last bit of cake or like Mike Sonko's IQ dropping whenever there is a camera crew around. Big up to Treasury and the Central Bank for doing stuff to help stall the drop. Our sources inside these places tell us that technocrats have been burning the midnight oil to turn the tide and thus some new economic policies have been announced to the public. These include crossing fingers, blaming those other guys and my personal favourite, NOT doing anything because it will sort itself out.

We are starting to feel the pinch though and with that comes the conspiracy theories. Is it aliens? Are guys filling up their war chests for the next elections? Is it blatant stupidity by the government? Ours is the worst performing currency. IN THE WORLD! Mind you, it's not the most worthless. Just the worst performing. That's after countries like Iran, North Korea and even Uganda despite the fact that they are still in 1957 as evidenced by UBC's coverage of last week's match. Yeah the Uganda bit hurts. It doesn't hurt quite as much when you are being beaten by military dictatorships.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

ADULTS ONLY: THE EPIDEMIC

Puberty hit me early and hard. Very hard. That growth spurt hit me when some kids were still losing their milk teeth and baby fat. It was that early bloomer who was the object of snickers during Home Science lessons when the teacher would whip out a list of ‘symptoms’ of adolescence. I had contracted it earlier than most of my contemporaries. The sudden growth spurt had left me towering over my classmates and my face became a veritable farm, sprouting little pimples on every oily inch. It was torture. Absolute torture.

That said, puberty had a summer romance with me. It was intense and crazy but ultimately it was incomplete. It was a fling. It’s like puberty woke up one day and just decided I wasn’t good enough for her anymore. Just woke up, packed her bags and…(Ok I think you get the relationship metaphors). Point is everyone seemed to catch up and left me behind still looking like a half-formed adult. I swear I have the years to prove it but the body (and at times, the brains) of a child. I am continuously reminded by an evil, evil friend that I need to stop shopping in the 8-15 section in shops because I apparently look like a pedophile. It’s not my fault that it’s the only place I can find fitting clothes. (Disclaimer: My shoes are actually adult sized. I would take pics and post those but that would just seem petty)

Monday, September 26, 2011

CONFUSED KENYAN

Juxtaposition. My high school teacher had a knack for throwing big words around. Ahhh Mr. Kamoni…those literature lessons were just so we could see how garrulous and loquacious you could be while using words resplendent in superfluous grammatical theatrics. See what I mean? It was all hogwash but my vocabulary was vastly improved just so I could keep up with the exploits of one Chief Nanga. But I digress (as he so often did). Juxtaposition was one of the words he would pull from his repository and it is the one that jumped into my mind this past weekend.

A few weeks ago I had an early session at work and after that, I found myself seated in a bus eager to get home and start my weekend. The bus hadn’t left Kibera when it had to slow down to pick up more passengers. Here I was confronted with a few things. Firstly, on the right were flags draped for sale in preparation for the Kenya-Guinea Bissau match that afternoon (OLIECH!!!). On the radio, they were extolling the virtues of the Kenyan athletes in South Korea bagging medals on behalf of the Kenyan population. The paper on my lap informed me how the ICC hearings were going. Someone had apparently mentioned something to the effect that there are no IDP’s in Kenya and that people who live in those camps do so of their own volition.(I might need correction on that since no one could say something that stupid)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

SOCIAL MEDIA DEMOCRACY

We are a product of our history. As Kenyans though, we are plagued by bouts of selective amnesia that make it impossible to trace historical roots. The vast majority of Kenyans are afflicted by the ability to settle for mediocrity. The middle class is content to sit back and try not to rock the boat while the rich make the rules and the poor suffer under their brutality. We live average lives, in average neighbourhoods and drive average cars so we can sit at the end of the day and comment about what is happening around us without thought of doing something about it.

Think about it. On one end of all those demonstrations are chauffeur driven gits in sound proof cars. On the other are guys who will have to trek to either Kibera or Mathare. In the middle? Tear gas, police batons and rubber bullets. This sense of amnesia is what gives us the same class of ‘representatives’ after every election cycle. We are a reactive rather than proactive country hence we lack a national ideology.

Such is the case that after people our age started fighting for democracy in North Africa, whispers about the same thing started in Kenya. One such initiative was KenyaFeb 28th. For those of you who have been living under a rock, the plan was that on Monday the 28th of February, from all corners of the country, Kenya was going to explode into patriotic song at 1pm with a rendition of the national anthem. While I applaud the organizers for this noble and novel idea, I have some issues with the purpose and effectiveness. Why? I’ll explain. But first, some facts.

Monday, August 29, 2011

R n B (Rude and Boring)


I grew up on ballads. No. Don’t wince. There are guys out there like me. We live in the shadows and speak in whispers. You can identify us mouthing words every once in a while and then looking off into the distance as if remembering some deep-seated memory. But if you confront us about it then we will vehemently deny it. (Should have thought about that before I posted this on the internet. I’ll still deny.) 

We shunned the tough-talking, crotch-grabbing hip-hop trends of the nineties and even resisted the ‘I’m so deep but wanna cut myself’ teenage angst of the same period’s time scene. We whispered the lyrics from love songs to unwitting girls and they swooned at the deep words unaware that we had ‘borrowed’ them from Brian McKnight, Boys II Men and Backstreet. (Never Westlife by the way. There are lines we could never cross.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

HUNGRY FOR HUNGER


So get this. I'm becoming a celebrity and no I don't mean like that Hemedi guy from Tz. I mean a real celebrity. I have made the headlines of every single major newspaper and news show. (Yes even that Kiss TV news where they are sitting behind a child's desk.Or maybe it's Kids TV news and they just misspelt it?) Even Julie Gichuru is in on the fray. Aaaaah Julie....we'd make such sweet children.

I've led a pretty sedate life until now. My days were spent staring back at people while they tried to grab me. Sure, that wasn't too exciting but it's my life. Once in a while I would get really great days where I would watch mothers push their little kids on trolleys and the little things would just lose it. I keep hoping to see one of the parents stuff the children on the shelves and just walk away. Hehe. Sorry it tends to get boring. I need to entertain myself somehow. After all it's not easy being a bag of sugar.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

FALLING FOR A 74 YEAR OLD

I fell in love today. Hook, line and sinker. It was pretty simple. The object of this affection was Robaim Mkoto and she is 74 years old. Before you start making those faces and cursing me for stuff you are dreaming up I will offer a scandal-free explanation. Work has a component called screening which requires us to meet possible candidates for our community sessions. Today this less than sprightly young lady walked in and sat down in front of me with the kindest smile I had ever seen. Her face, lined with wrinkles from both age and the elements, showed experience in things I could only imagine.

On this cold morning, we hunched over a questionnaire as we worked our way through the relevant information. She was a grandmother taking care of her late daughter’s children. This wasn’t mentioned as a fact but rather an emotional outpouring. Tears were blinked back as this woman confided in me like an old friend. After having raised her own children, she found herself raising her grandchildren in her twilight years. Work done, she rose up on her unsteady legs and thanked me for the time. At the door, she stopped and said she would pray for us both.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

HOW I DIDN'T MEET YOUR MOTHER:RULE III

My early twenties were the very genesis of the technological crazy generation. On my way home from work, I was sitting in the bus next to Tony. We’d had a great day but the effects of trying to absorb the words of a shrubbing senile octogenarian had won us down. We kept smiling about he kept saying ‘Colorando’which is supposedly somewhere on the continental US. Check your maps.


Anyway in keeping with the tech craze, Tony had come up with a very fascinating version of IM which he dubbed Intense Messaging. It was really simple. He would scan the area for active Bluetooth devices and pick the ones with feminine sounding names. (Bosslady, honeypot, feline, magzphone). Then he’d send a provocative message which would force a reply. The game was actually very successful and I’d seen him bag very interesting catches in the past.


The element of surprise was so great that some women could barely control themselves. Which is not to imply that he never stumbled upon the occasional reply from a guy (leave my girl alone, you perv), a mother (shame on you) or a pastor (Repent!!!!). Anyway, I had seen him do this so often that I figured I would take a turn. It was time for the apprentice to take over.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

THE FRUSTRATED SAMARITAN:A NAIROBI TALE

I wanted to write this while I was still seething with anger. While I was still hopped up on righteous indignation and the need to make someone feel accountable. But now all I feel is sadness. A deep, ridiculous sadness. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back to the beginning. 2.30 am and we are tearing down

Mbagathi Road after having had a long meeting. I’m sulking at having been kept up way past my bedtime and the only sound is the wind howling outside as I unleash my frustrations on the speedometer.

We turn the corner and he materializes out of the darkness. A ghoulish figure. Lonely. Staggering. Alarm bells sound as Nairobi instincts kick in. He raises his hand to stop the car ahead of us and the driver goes on. And then he comes into full view. Blood everywhere. His face bruised and battered. A single yelp of surprise comes up from us both. I take my foot off the accelerator for but a brief moment then the speedometer needle inches higher again. Mercy still has her hands clasped around her mouth. Horrified. Her mouth agape as if in a silent scream.

Friday, July 29, 2011

IF I WERE A GIRL?...NO THANKS!

The trend right now is getting scary for me.The thing is we're leaving behind the equality issue now and the in thing amongst the fairer sex is to find some way of wishing they were guys.The brutes that are men have been beaten down in prose and the poetry of song for a while now. Men are now consumate evil and we are the cause of everything bad from polio to the Japanese tsunami and everything between.

The battle has been taken to the airwaves with song after song being chruned out to say how men can't be trusted to tie their own shoe laces let alone be trusted with something as complicated as a relationship.It started with how women "don't need a man" and went on with how they could do anything better than any man. And now the envelope is being pushed further with songs like Ciara's with 'Like a Boy' and Beyonce's contribution 'If I was a Boy'.The songs were both interesting from a listener's point of view but it's even more interesting to see how many girls(sorry young ladies) are latching on to this.

Monday, July 25, 2011

PET PEEVES!!

People keep telling me to let it go but there are things other people seem to do just to see if they can drive you crazy. You know those tiny things that make you want to pull out your hair or jump off a particularly steep cliff. So someone figured i should start a list so that it can act as a deterrent to some of the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.

Remember this is my own list so you're allowed to disagree. If you think there are any hints of hypocrisy then you probably need to start writing your own. If you see hints of yourself then you're going over that cliff before me.

1. Politicians. Enough said.
2. Fake accents. This goes out to the guy who thinks his kao accent is hidden by his twang.
3. Girls who think that the world revolves around their looks. Seriously there has to be something more to you than that. Yes you look good but at some point i will get bored staring at you so you'd better have other tricks in that bag.

Friday, July 22, 2011

HOW I DIDN'T MEET UR MOTHER:RULE 1

 Now kids you have to know that all these rules weren’t things we just pulled out of thin air. They took months of scientific research and training. As we sat down that night, the Professor’s sensitivity had intermingled with Tony’s wit and Steph’s reason to come up with this unheard of brand of rules.

I guess you might be wondering what I brought to the table. Well…….to put it simply……..I was the guinea pig. I was the most naive of the group and my experiences were modest at best so they put me to the test. We tested each of the theories we came up with and submitted them to ‘Project Phoenix’. Some rules didn’t make it. For example Tony’s rule about getting under someone to get over someone was deemed inadmissible. Anyway, this is the story of the rules that made it through. This is how ‘Project Phoenix’ came to be. Rule by Rule.

1. If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, walks like a duck smells like a duck and tastes like a duck then it probably isn’t. A duck wouldn’t try so hard.

I was sitting in a bus heading home after a long, hard day at school. Hours had simply dragged on and all I wanted to do was get home and relax. My head was against the window as I sat in the bus waiting for it to fill before the trip started. As usual, I sat there trying to figure out who I would be sitting next to for the next half hour. I had always had bad luck with this since I invariably sat next to the large lady who would end up sitting on half my seat or the screaming baby or the weed smoker…….(I think you get my drift).

Thursday, July 21, 2011

HOW I DIDN'T MEET YOUR MOTHER: PROLOGUE


Son, your sister brought home her first boyfriend and as your father I feel compelled to give both the talk. Ewwww! Don’t look at me like that! Not that talk. That’s for you to learn in dark alleys and from wasted teenagers at parties as God intended. The talk I’m giving you is way better and a lot less icky. It’s a story about growing up since that’s what you’re doing. I was a late bloomer and married your mum at the ripe old age of 45. Since we want both of you out of the house by the time you’re 19, you better pay attention. And so it starts……

It was 2009 and I had just turned 22. My world had just been turned upside down after my longest relationship came to an end. Two long months. She cheated on me with the plumber. Said something about him being able to fix her pipes in more ways than one. I never did understand what she meant by that. Why are you smiling? You know what it means? Maybe I should give her a call.

Anyway I didn’t really mind the break up. This was for two reasons. One, chics (do you still call them that?), love wounded souls. And two……. well reason number one is good enough. Despite this, I was under intense pressure from your grandmother to settle down. Back in the day life was tough. Most guys had a brood by the time they were 12. (Ok maybe 13). My mum would constantly point to random girls on the street then make suggestive and rather lewd pelvic gestures. Crazy old lady. God rest her soul if she’s not torturing you up there.

Monday, July 18, 2011

HOW I DIDN'T MEET YOUR MOTHER: PROJECT PHOENIX

Kids to put this list into perspective, it is important to give you some background on the individuals who wrote it. The result was way in excess of the sum total of the individuals who wrote it. First Ben aka the Professor was the sensitive one of the group. He was the one who would point out the things that always escape our eyes about someone getting hurt. The Professor was our own Dr. Phil. While he wasn’t very smart, he was nice to a fault. Because of this girls threw themselves at him but his sensitivity was matched by a shy streak that was Archiles’ heel.

Tony was the know-it-all of the group. He was the resident encyclopedia and always had some obscure information to share with us. Mostly it revolved around the fair sex. (e.g Clinophobia is the fear of beds……he had the reverse condition if you know what I mean). He was a self proclaimed skirt-chaser (this was meant to exclude Hillary Clinton and those Scots wearing kilts) and was obnoxious about his 89% success rate compared to 57% for other guys.

Steph though was the voice of reason. After hours of arguments it was usually left to her to cast the deciding vote. She didn’t date much despite the fact that she had loads to offer. We just figured other guys were as scared of her as we were. Tony once joked that she was part of the reason that his stats weren’t at 100%. For some weird reason she started playing with the knife in her hand. The topic was dropped.

Friday, July 15, 2011

BOYFRIEND FILES: THE FIRST DATE


Aaaaah the first date. I remember mine ever so well. It involved a five seater van, pineapples and mad screaming. (Work it out for yourself. I can’t spell everything out for you.) It is as important as what you call your future kids. (Mind you if you are thinking about what you are going to call your kids during your first date then prepare to never have a second date) Back to the topic at hand, the importance of the first date cannot be overemphasised. 

Don’t roll your eyes at me junior. I know you think you know what you are doing because you have watched a few romantic comedies. Yes of course. The world works in the same way that Jennifer Aniston movies go. The Kenyan context is very unique and no motion picture has ever reflected those circumstances. So here is what you know about what that first date says about you.

a)      Lunch at my place-DO NOT try this unless you are sure you don’t come off as the type to try get some action on the first date. If your eyes are sunken within your head or you have a ghoulish laugh *eye roll and hair toss*(Hehe....where is my cape Igor?) then don’t attempt this. You may turn out sounding like a serial killer picking a victim. If you can cook then this is a perfect way to show off your culinary skills and if she shows up then she shows she trusts you. (or is a complete idiot)

b)      Meet at the movies- The general convention is that when you take a girl out for the first time then it’s either a romantic comedy or a horror film. The former will mean she will be ‘awwing’ the whole time on you and the latter will mean she will be using you as a shield from the blood and guts. Either way the magic words are PHYSICAL CONTACT. Only way this could go wrong is if you end up crying during the romantic comedy or screaming like a baby during the horror film. 

c)       Picnic at the park- Awww how sweet are you? Extra points for actually planning something. If you can avoid the crazy weirdos, the city council employees trying to arrest you, the muggers and the birds swooping in for your food then you are golden. Oh and don’t forget the UON students going on strike. On second thought, just let it be unless you are sure you are pretty fast.

d)      Restaurant- Notice I said restaurant not cafe. McFry’s is where you go when you are sure she is madly in love with you and will never leave you.(she will leave you) But then again if she accepts to go to McFry’s or Sanford then she must really like you. (or she is really hungry and just doesn’t care where she gets food. Be afraid)

e)      Getaway- If you have the cash then you can opt for some special getaway to some lake or cabin where there is no phone reception then you know you are in a horror movie. This means someone will definitely track you down and hack you to death. And nothing puts a damper on the second date like having you both dead. *wince*

As usual I would love to give you more tips but being a bf means I have needs to take care of. I’d love to explain but again privilege excludes some stuff from being disclosed. Maybe we will talk about that next time. Let’s just say it involves celotape, a tyre, three pigs and a German. Take care.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

MOVIE MAYHEM...BUSTING THE BLOCKBUSTER


The days when I would sit and watch in awe as sound and picture intermarried in an explosion of cinematic story telling are long gone. In its place is a roll of clich├ęs pieced together into coma inducing rubbish. In this day and age it is very unlikely that you’d sit and not know where the story is heading and thus some questions have to be asked.

Take the horror genre of old. Remember when you’d watch one of those films that would keep you awake for days and turned every moving thing into a fiendish spectre? Today though, the plotlines have gotten stale and the story predictable. I mean why in heavens name do those teens or college kids go the woods alone and get drunk? It’s like hanging a ‘Please come kill us’ sign around their necks. 

Then what’s up with the blonde never being able to outrun the killer? He always seems to be taking some leisurely stroll wielding a sharp gardening implement while the younger and more athletic cheerleader somehow manages to twist her ankle every single time. The only up side to this is I’ve found myself cheering on the mad killer just so he can stop the blonde from screaming.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

WHY I WANT TO BE PREZZO (not the singer.....ewwwwwwww)

Kenyans are a peculiar lot. Very peculiar. We do things weirdly which is what makes us who we are. We start sentences with ‘but’ as if we are in the middle of a conversation...(lakini Wanjiku aliruka), complain about the very stuff we do and are political pundits, judicial experts and social researchers all rolled up in one. (in other words know-it-all, judgemental bastards)

Added to this list is apparently the need to run for president. We are born with this unfathomable genetic trait that makes us want to reside in the house on the hill. We want to ride in a long convoy of unnecessary vehicles, grow fat at the taxpayer’s expense and put our faces on the legal tender. (How awesome is that? Checking yourself out in the money rather than using a mirror.) We have this inexplicable need to pull back little curtains to reveal little plaques with our names on them and have children named after us. 

I know I wouldn’t mind boring people with long-winded speeches and then have them applaud like Bill Shakespeare would have borrowed words from you. (I think Kibaki gets a kick out of this. He intentionally drawls like a drunk Texan just to see who passes out and tries to outdo himself at every other speech.) It would be awesome if people stood up whenever I enter the room and have that aide dude walk behind me wherever I go. (except in the loo. )

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

UGALI: THE OTHER WHITE GOLD!!


Once in a while I watch business shows and watch the pundits go crazy over the price of oil while colourful graphs on the screen give the audience reference points. If the graph says it’s true then it’s true. The talking heads will break down the cause and effect of the price of the barrel of oil while the graph spikes in either direction.....usually northwards. Economics for dummies.

With the price of maize flour going through the roof, Kenyan news should take up the mantle. A typical show would begin with those half baked graphics local tv is known for. Starving children, cows asking why, government officials confused and farmers doing cartwheels would flash past the screen before the text emblazoned in red: MAIZE WATCH. Graphs would show up while the anchor tells us how we are going to die soon. I can imagine Larry (unnecessary pause) Madowo going crazy using big words to say what we can all see. No more ugali.

Friday, June 24, 2011

PAID A MILLION FOR YOU. NOW YOU HAVE TO.........

Women tend to be picky and it’s something that men have kinda gotten used to when it comes to the dating world. We listen to them with bemused smiles when they read off that list that holds the attributes of one Charming. First name Prince. It’s like watching a child tell you how he wants to be an astronaut. You don’t just crush their dream. You listen and encourage them despite the fact that you know the odds are pretty much astronomical. (Half-irony there; astronaut and astronomical, get it?) Then you smile when they become petrol stop attendants. (metaphor hidden here)

So yeah back to the list. The trinity is the one we are used to. Tall, dark and handsome. (I’m only sure I’m dark. Definitely not tall and the handsome depends on how drunk you are.) So there at least I know where I stand. More stuff has come up along the way. Must be funny, sensitive, a good cook, great in bed, a good guy with bad boy tendencies and the staple now.....financially stable. Which brings me to the “Ponyoka na Millioni” dowry girl.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

TOP TEN EXCUSES OVER FPE SCAM

Since there is so much heat being thrown around by the media over the Ksh 4.2 Billion (Dear Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta that is read as 4.2 billion Kenya shillings not Kenya shillings 4.2 Billion) I decided to take a moment and reflect. Sam Ongeri has categorically stated that he will not resign over this scandal and his PS is denying that there is one to begin with. (Hakuna pesa imeibiwa)

This morning Prof. Sam said he has no power as a minister to investigate the scam (which is true. He is paid over a million shillings to look pretty in parliament) He has left it to the police who we, as Kenyans, trust implicitly to sort this out in a very short time....like how they have sorted out AngloLeasing, Goldenberg (still hunting down Pattni? Watch him preach on Sunday morning) and even the Samuel Wanjiru debacle. (he jumped..no he was pushed..no he is still alive)


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

THE PLAYLIST: LIFE'S SYMPHONY

Every morning, I have a checklist that is meticulously gone over before the faulty padlock is slapped on my door and I jump down the ten flights of stairs on the way to the carpool. The list includes my fare (should get a wallet. Can’t keep going around with a wad  of crumpled up wad of notes), phone (damn you Safaricom. Why did I fall for that Ideos idiocy?), phone charger (yes Safaricom still on you) and my earphones. Stuff like dressing is pretty much a bonus.

Walk down the streets of Nairobi and you will find that we have plugged in to the earphone phenomenon. Mine go on for a simple reason; to keep the world away. As soon as they come on, everything drowns out. The drone of the engine becomes the violin solo in “Coming Home”, the woman complaining about her husband is melted into the guitar intro of “ Year 3000” and Maina Kageni’s incessant sex talk becomes “I write sins not tragedies.”



I find myself waiting for those moments alone with my music (my taste has been described as everything from feminine, to “awww Brian you are so sensitive right through to my favourite “Are you kidding?”) One Tulanana Bohela has had to deal with the pain of hearing a song replayed over and over when I’m going through that honeymoon phase. But here is where judgement is reserved. No one knows . It’s just me and my music.



I get cheap thrills from imagining what is on the play list of random people. The prim and proper woman listening to Soulja Boy, the important looking CEO rocking along to Lady Gaga or the tough kid with the mohawk listening to some Westlife. I can’t help but think they are relieved that here in their own little world, they can be who they want to be. Away from the expectations. Where their bespoke suits and below the hem skirts don’t have to point to the person within.


Yesterday though my checklist was forgotten due to my morning haste. The driver was hooting and on the phone at the same time. “Brian, injury time.” And so my ear phones were left on the table as I dashed down the stairs. And from there the torture started. Maina Kageni was on the radio, (I don’t hate the guy. Just can’t help think that we lose brain cells listening to him.), the topic of discussion in the car was also less than savoury (to protect the poolers I will keep that secret). Once in town the morning sounds are drowned out by the hooting and I start craving for the peacefulness of  Sauti Sol’s “I’m Coming Home.