To even the scales, a third of all government tenders were limited to disadvantaged groups. But access to them has not eased, as a recent study called #Jipeshughuli by The Institute of Social Accountability found out. Continue reading…
Category Archives: Uncategorized
Every evening at my local, a police vehicle drives in and parks near the gate.
#4 Redundancy is Good, Redundancy is Everything
Writer’s hate redundancy, and we actively edit our work to get rid of that scourge. But photographers love it! It gives them the chance to take as many shots as possible, and to be ready whenever a spontaneous moment presents itself.
I have a theory; being an uncle, a good uncle at that, is much harder than being a good father. One can be a good father without much extra effort per se, but the status of the good uncle that the children run to when he walks through the gate is an honor that must be earned. I agree that fatherhood is a task but it has a greater guarantee of success than simply being the happy uncle.
Before I open this discourse, I will give anyone reading this fair warning that emotions and blatant myopia should be left at the door if they cannot be permanently discarded in any exploration about spiritual matters.
I stood up to go somewhere, but now I do not know where it was, or what I was going to do when I got there. There’s the door I opened and closed, built by my grandfather’s friend and ‘shipped’ on an old donkey cart, repaired many times since, and still holding.
“Once more into the fray
Into the last good fight I’ll ever know…”
My penance piety does not suffice
As the fray takes toll upon my mortal
As the dagger slices and dices
The fort crumbles…
Hope and pray I be reborn
To dive into the fray one other
To face demons whose fire I stoke
That my soul for peace to have
My heart for ants to feed
Yet death hath become this life I boast
All good fights have come to this
The moment on which I stand
The weapon upon my hand
Broken sheath under my feet
On this day I am born
On this day I die
I must hope and pray
That one day I learn to hope and pray
Eyes gaze beyond the clouds
For an omen I might see
This fort mine blessing and curse.
Immortality it might be
The bright light that cometh my way
Into the last good night I’ll ever see.
“…Live and die on this day
Live and Die on this day.”
I am at that age where it is easy to remember the days of yore without overly exaggerating for the sake of raising my stature among my would-be grandchildren. They are, actually, still minute cells within my loins and I have little need to lie to them now…at least just yet…
Okay, fine, I do not know. Just thought I should let that out before you started and halfway down this post you realized that I am just a writer trying to unblock his mind (don’t we all, and the toilet plunger does not work, I have tried, maybe my head is too big?) and then you really felt the need to stone me but couldn’t because…well, am invincible (or am too far, but still, invincible is more macho).
Okay fine, what’s grinding my gears today? Many things, okay, not many, maybe a bowel that needs to be emptied one time too many and does not, in my view, return the favor by ignoring its own contents at a time like now when I need to write. Let’s talk about several things, first politics (the option is I speak of religion first, and we shall play religious roulette where we all stand in a ring and blaspheme each other’s deities and then wait for it…..
wait for it……
waaaaaaiiiit….lightning! Who got hit? Who got hit?)
We are, as per this article, still winning on the corruption this scale, and of course, athletics and bad management. Corruption is the fuel that drives the world and if we cannot do away with it, I, like all other good and reasonable human beings, want a chance to participate in it. Did you cringe at that? Relax, you knew from the start that this was no apologetic post. In fact, we should all loathe people who pretend to have a moral sense. Whether it’s the politician who apologizes to us for being caught with his wee wee in public, or high-class escorts, or getting head from the maid. We should loathe them all because given the chance and the money, we would probably do not better. One of my favorite comedians (and I am feeling too lazy at the moment to start going through the collection to figure out which one-although I will probably do it later) says he will vote for the first politician who admits to everything.
Oh yuh, its Louis Ramey, he says that the first politician to admit to whoring and using drugs will get the most votes, the first being his (Ramey’s).
The not-worst part of it is that as a society, we are more sensitive to women even when they have fought hard to be treated as men (not ‘on your face’ feminists). If, for example, a female leader, I am not saying Rachel Shebesh or Mbarire ( Seriously, I am not even suggesting you get a mental image of the following part) posts a picture of any part of their anatomy complementary to that which Anthony Weiner posted on Twitter and lost his job for, I for one, would ask whether they were any more photos. Its simple, we are copying the American society at too fast a rate to understand that they might not even know they have a skewed moral sense after all.
An example? Remember the Superbowl where a wardrobe malfunction, thanks be to whatever deity you subscribe to, Janet Jackson’s boobbecame the hit of the year? (Which, if you followed that link, actually has a whole website dedicated to it)
And the American govenrment made a fuss like someone had been killed on TV and even fined the cable network? Then the journalist was beheaded in Iraq and it was shown on prime time news? My question is, WTF! So, imagine, for a minute, that Anne Kiguta or Julie Guchuru’s dress malfucntions when they are reading you today’s not-new news…
(Okay, I’ll give you sometime to imagine-Ladies, you can jump the part above, too late?)
You can see the furore? The millions of parents baying for the blood of the two, women, not boobs of course. Yet clothes and covering breasts is a new thing we adopted when we gave away our lands (an unfair trade if you ask me). If you see Samburu women with boobs hanging to their stomachs (very old women who are essentially, Kenya’s own proud nudists), do you cringe or laugh hysterically? Yet in private you either own or fancy a pair of boobs, right? But you do not think that, despite the fact that everyone else either owns or is chasing ass, they should see it all at once?
If you followed the ’08 US elections, you must have noticed a concerted effort by campaign teams to show the flaws of the candidates. This will probably feature in the elections next year all over the world… So, why do we expect politicians to avoid the temptations of alcohol, women, drugs, flashing wee wees on the internet, getting head from maids and other things that we do not ourselves do. For one, I loathe societies with double standards. I can co-exist with individuals with double-standards but not societies. Remember when Captain Sparrow says “You can trust dishonest people to be dishonest. It’s the honest people you should be afraid of because you never know…”
Do I advocate for people to photograph their wee wees with cameras with high megapixels and post them all over the internet? The fact of the matter is, one man’s nudity is another’s fantasy, in the sense that ‘raha ya bata si ya kuku’ (what pleases the duck is not what pleases the hen?). We are all uploading garbage on the internet, this is the great resource where you find what you are looking for. Unlike walking into a bar where you ex might be the stripper on the pole, or giving a lap dance to your ol’ man, the internet, and indeed, modern media, allows you to choose what you see.
Anyway, I support human politicians, if you still have hope in politicians then you should probably go lie somewhere on Thika Road that China Wu Yi has not tarmarcked yet and let them run the tar all over you. As a society, our skewed ‘Westernized’ morals will be the death and ruin of us (not necessarily in that sequence) OMG! Am still rumbling… So, politics are officially an ass, and politicians the riders on this unwilling unnecessary animal.
We are not officially a useless species but we are headed there if we continue to think that the vote of the masses means anything in this modern world. Actually, group mentality is the basis of the modern form of democracy. The skewed moral sense is, however, a result of the human interaction (and fabrication), of religion (Yes, I have just transitioned to this animal, if you have religious sensitivities, please follow this link to earlier religions, sorry posts ;)) Whatever your beliefs about religion are, People invented the idea of God in the sense that we have all, in a way, transitioned our respective deities and moral codes to suit our needs. That’s why the Christian pastor will add internet porn to the commandments, and the Saudi imam will give a theological argument as to why women should not drive. However you think of it, religion can only be true if there is a heaven for every religion, it is indeed, as Karl Marx said ‘the opium of the masses’. Anyway, religion is a boring topic so, let’s talk about whether or not we are a waste of genetic materials. Okay, maybe some other time…
“I am never going to have anything more to do with politics or politicians,” Churchill once declared. “When this war is over I shall confine myself entirely to writing and painting.”
Disaster in the city…again.
Same script, new players, same villain.
Something happened yesterday; a fire in a Nairobi slum killed tens of people in the span of a few hours. Media houses were in shock, as was the rest of the country, and they ended up showing extremely graphic pictures, disgusting the good heart of our nation, even those claiming to be tweeting to help.
As someone who has been to a human anatomy laboratory, and around the bodies of the deceased more times than I count, I can tell you for sure that you do not know how you will react until you get there. Instead of whining about our little consciences, it would have been nobler to start organizing counseling services for the hundreds of residents, rescue workers, police officers and most of all journalists who were there all day. I placed the last as the ‘most important’ for one reason, they had to take photos, and then edit them. At least police officers and rescue workers have counseling services, or an iron armor you develop when disaster strikes too often.
Sad as it is, the fire was prophesied once, two years ago by two budding journalists. They cheekily titled their story (or the editor did, I suspect) The Fire Next Time: Slum Courts Doom. Two Years later, on a rainy, cold Monday morning, doom did accept to be courted, actually it came and took away about a hundred people and ruined others. The fire next time became, well, the fire next time indeed. The government was frustrated because local MPs would not allow the forceful eviction of residents. Ignorance paid off again, as it did several borders away in Congo where it smouldered about 240 people trying to siphon fuel. Of the three disasters that plagued the Central and East Africa Region, killing over 500 people in two days, two were fuel related, and all were machine failures. Still, on the bright side, it was not terrorist-related (or self-inflicted) like the attack on the WTC 10 years ago. Now we blame God, the government and poverty.
When someone asked me why I agreed with @machariagaitho when he wrote in this opinion piece that the price of impunity (and in extension, ignorance) had been paid and yet this people were driven there by poverty, I answered using the adage that ‘Ignorance is no defense’. You cannot live on an oil pipeline and not anticipate danger. Hell, I even mumble a prayer every time I get into a matatu. The saddest thing is that we are a country, and a world, of idealists. I salute the journalist who wrote this, reading was disturbing, even for me. and by the way , just in case you are looking to buy the fuel that survived, read this first.
We want the subjective, sieved details, we want to see edited photos and talk about the disaster. We want photos of the better part, not caring that there is worse happening. We romanticize and we look at disaster subjectively. We act as if disaster is a new thing, and yet it has stuck with humanity all through. Poverty or no poverty, realism has taken a backseat and we are where we are no because we have denied ourselves the truth…
The sight of charred remains, still smoking, the remains of what used to be a human body. The disgusting photos of the half-burned bodies floating in a river, as the people standing on the riverbank hold their chins. Of a slum where one neighbor knows not the other. Where people have died with no identity. It is the greater equalizer, death.
Stalin said that the death of a million is only a statistic, as is the death of a hundred in this case. Even if only one person had died in this fire, it would and should have been a tragedy enough. But the truth is that we have too high a moral sense, unwarranted to begin with, and we sympathies and empathize, and it is a new morning, whats the news?
When I was in college, my financial accounting lecturer told a story about his near-death experience. He was a college student back when the first oil truck overturned near Banana in Kiambu County a little over half a decade ago. As he headed home, he saw the truck and the people getting pails and buckets to get fuel. He joined in; like any other good Kenyan would (I am making an assumption here). When he had his first bucket full, he ran home to get another and just as he reached a few hundred meters away, the truck exploded. Drenched as he was in oil, he did the first thing his mind told him to do, silly, as it was he ran back. What he saw still haunts him, the one memory of a woman running towards him, like a human frame of fire, screaming and wailing for help. She fell to the ground and started rolling in an attempt to put out the fire, but an oil fire can be an ass.
There is no moral to that story, except where one believes that experience is the best teacher, or the story that is retold after that. Do not misquote me; I know if another truck overturns, or a fuel pipe leaks, people will go to get free fuel.
I believe that the worst disaster is the disaster of human ignorance, that innate ability to refuse to listen to reason because we think the universe knows we are poor, or homeless, or unfed, or rich, or tall, or short, or framed, or justified, or beautiful. I have it, you have it, and it will be the death of us, and death is a good thing, living with the scars is much harder.
ION and on somewhat of a lighter note, Walking with my friend @wambumishi yesterday, we happened upon this leaflets (read printed papers) distributed all over.
Now thats a woman scorned. This I believe is a classic case of the propaganda war, slander her name using all possible jabs. A little advice to women, if he is going out with her, fight him, not her. Then again I know that hit on deaf ears, even the realist in me can not understand why this woman would choose to get this tryped, printed, and distributed.
The last lines are the kind that ‘send a chilly feeling up and down the culprit’s spine’
This is the Beggining
Now my friend and I are arguing about whether
Maraya in this case is the woman’s name, nickname, or an insult misplaced. Whichever the case, the four exclamation marks place emphasis on the point.