Tuesday, September 27, 2011


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


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


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.