Friday, December 30, 2011
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.