Alcohol Consumption a sin? No please!

Many Christians associate alcohol with sin. In fact, the staunch ones can swear by their ten percent that the intoxicating liquid is the blood of devil and any pious Christian should never touch the cursed drink. But is this what the Bible says? Is the founder of Christianity in agreement with this proclamation that His children should not moisten their throats with this drink whose fans readily sacrifice their livers for its sake?

In the book of Matthew 11:18-19, Jesus says that, “For John came, neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He is possessed.’ The Son of Man came, eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ Yet wisdom has been proved right by her actions.”

                                                             

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Glasses of wine. Many denominations condemn the consumption of alcohol based on misinterpretation of the Scriptures

From the above verse, the Son of Man clearly was not talking about drinking water. No, for him to be called a drunkard by the Pharisees Jesus must have been a regular boozer but he clearly ascended to heaven. After the last supper (where Jesus is seen drinking again), he says that He shall not drink wine again until day He drinks the new wine with his followers in God’s kingdom (Matthew 26:29). Throughout the bible, there are several instances where people consume alcohol without any form of condemnation. Only Nazarenes such as Samson and John the Baptists were not allowed to drink. It would have been disastrous for Samson to drink because his career demanded that he was to be sober enough to work on Philistines. History also proves that consumption of wine in Palestine was quite common and it is no surprise that many saints we know regularly consumed alcohol.

It is therefore hypocritical for people to associate the great hangover giver with sin. If Jesus were alive today, it is possible that he would take a glass or two of wine after his meals. Christians should discourage people from taking excess alcohol because of the side effects of the drink such as impaired judgment and health issues but not on religious grounds. Besides, I am very certain that God will not condemn people to burn in eternal fire for using the plants he created to derive a pleasant liquid. It is also important to know that I rarely drink what I preach.

The Media Council of Kenya Is a Shame to Journalism Standards in Kenya

Journalism standards in the country have been improving in a recommendable manner. To instill professionalism in the field of media, the Media Council of Kenya was established in 2007. The body registers journalist and ensures that the latter adhere to the code of conduct.

As an overseer of journalists, MCK established a magazine called the Media Observer where the council points out mistakes which journalists commits in the course of their work while giving recommendations on how to avoid such errors. The idea is worth praising except for one thing; the magazine ends up committing bigger mistakes than whatever it claims to correct.

Almost every issue of the magazine is published with errors that make an amateur journalist like me feel ashamed of my profession. Take an example of The Media Observer Issue 23, 12 June 2018. In one of the articles, the author boldly wonders why journalists say “patients are fighting for their lives yet the patients are in critical condition” Without any sign of shame, the self appointed critic questions how an injured person can fight for their lives. Idioms are taught in primary school and anybody who has undergone the system should be in a position to know that the expression “fight for one’s life” means struggle to stay alive. How the writer got a job with the Media council without Basic English knowledge and how to interpret idiomatic expressions is a mystery. How the same article passed through the hands of editors of the magazine and got published still amazes me.

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A screenshot of The Media Observer Issue 23, 12 June 2018. The circled area shows some of the glaring mistakes that the magazine publishes

The same edition also argued that referring to Ms. Kanze Dena as a girl was erroneous and sexist. The word “girl” has many definitions and is not restricted to a young female human being. There are specific contexts in which a mature female human being can be called a girl without any offense. Men can also be called boys under similar circumstances. It is perfectly fine to call players girls and boys irrespective of their age. A young woman such as Dena with a specified job such as news anchor or spokesperson can be called a girl. I doubt if the audience and readers of The Standard would have been happy to see the headline of the newspaper scream “Coast TV woman uhuru’s new spokesperson.”

Before one qualifies to train as a journalist, they must have attained a given grade in English language. During the training period, journalists spend close to 40% of their time studying English. Writers who end up drafting articles full of mistakes show that they were ill trained and ended up getting jobs through corruption. The editors of The Media Observer are also lazy and do not have mastery of English language. Before media council of Kenya embarks on pointing out mistakes from reporters, they should first clean their own house. I will not be surprised if they respond that they have employed sweepers to ensure their houses are clean.

Dear Great Grandpa Moody Awori;

I am writing this letter to you while as moody as your name. I thought you should also live up to your name after what recently happened and show nothing but displeasure.

Puns aside, Mr. Awori, with all due respect I believe that one of your grandchildren, who definitely is older than me, will read for you this letter word by word. If your glasses are still good enough, you can equally read it although I doubt if based on your age, you can competently use a computer. I do not intend to abuse you sir, far from it. However, let us get to the point without wasting much time since a nonagenarian like you can easily fall asleep within a short notice.

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Sir, the son of Jomo recently disrupted your retirement and tried to forcibly bring you back to civil service although technically, you should have retired 31 years ago. I believe somebody woke you up to deliver the bad news that you can no longer mull over your golden days as you sit under a tree in your great compound looking at your great grandchildren running about. Maybe you were sitting with fellow old men born several years after you had started serving the great nation of Kenya and discussing how December nowadays if different from the way it used to be during the second world war. Who knows Mr. Awori, maybe you were on the way to your dentist to give a new set of dentures for the 20th time since your last tooth kissed your gum goodbye. I can imagine the annoyance you felt at the craziness that befell the Kiambu tycoon to think that you were still fit to actively serve the nation.

As a gentleman I know you are, you should have let your grandchildren call a press conference and criticize the government for giving you the jobs they qualify to do. They should have screamed at the 50 something year old youth that as a person who once held the second highest office in this former British colony, smaller appointments are demotion and mere disturbance. In fact you should have instructed them to say that you are no longer interested in money because anglo leasing left you wealthy enough. Yes, Arthur, the whole world should have known that at 91, the only appointment you deserve is to see a doctor to fix those problematic joints and get new specs. Even our shameless Jeff cannot ask you if “unaweza kazi” because everybody knows you have retired from all aspects of active life.

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Mr Moody Awori during his younger days

I know that old is gold but sometimes gold is worth just watching and not actively using for any purpose. You are a wonderful medal that should be hung on wall for every visitor to see not a trophy to be fought over. I am waiting to hear that you have rejected the appointment stating clearly that you cannot be associated with the government that is making life hard for the friends of your grandchildren (your family is too rich to feel the pinch that ordinary Kenyans persevere).

I hope that the letter does not offend you great grandpa since I have been brought up knowing that I should respect the elders. I should be in good terms with you because you can decide to reject the job and recommend an energetic Kenyan youth like me who deserves the appointment as you work on your pension and remember how 70 years ago, you first joined the workforce in Kenya.

Yours sincerely,

A Youth Who Has Never Stolen From the Government.

Thank you Tiger Battery Company

Thank you Tiger Battery Company

 

Today, I want to pass special thanks to battery companies for saving our lives when we were growing up. The younger generation and people brought up in towns cannot understand what I talking about. Long before mobile phones became common, or before Zuckerberg dropping out of school to run Facebook, there was radio.

The radio was an important gadget. They were cheap to buy and run. But getting money was not that cheap. These radios derived their life juice from dry cell batteries that were not rechargeable. According to the manufacture not the consumer I should add. There were two types of people in village those days; those who could afford EverReady batteries, and the rest. Even the EverReady had sub classes within it; the yellow, red, and black types but I am not interested in them since they lived in a different world.

eveready black paka power

Although Eveready bragged of paka power, their batteries did not have the nine lives of the domestic mouse eater. That strength went to a bigger member of the feline family; there existed a brand of battery called Tiger. The company was designed for poor fellas in mind. Not only were the batteries cheap; they also did miracles that Eveready could not perform. Tiger cried and cried until it started bleeding; then it went on crying as opposed to EverReady that would suddenly grow quiet after using them for one week.

Tiger batteries were quite friendly for the innovative village mind. Once the power had drained from the batteries, there were various methods of squeezing the remaining little power from these chemical cells. One of the most common methods was rolling several cells end to end making a very long roll that would make a Jamaican smoker die of jealousy. The roll was then connected to the treasured radio via some wires then one was free to roam the village and brag of their prowess in managing such a feat.

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Not everybody had these skills that bhang smokers love. The poor ones with two or three dry cells that had gone past their best before dates had also to listen to their favorite programs such KETAU express or some reggae program by Jeff Mwangemi in KBC English Service. And that is where these battery manufacturing companies saved our lives. The simplest method was hitting the batteries to revive their power. A poor folk would sit with a piece of wood and vigorously work on the dry cell while being careful not to break the powerhouse. The daredevils usually wrapped the cells in polythene (NEMA please) and dip them in water. The budding physicist would then boil the cells until they felt that the fire had recharged the cells. Nobody bothered finding out the risk associated with these illegal activities since there were chances of the batteries exploding.

There were also the lazy and uncreative people who sun dried their batteries in the sun (and prayed their batteries were not rained on). These cells would only work for one minute before starting to snore just like their owners would a few minutes. Perhaps, the most important lesson I have learnt from these power companies is that Tiger is a Chinese company and Eveready is an American one; so china keeps winning in African markets.

Gone are the Sweet Days

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The rate of pregnancy among school going children has dramatically increased in the former sugarcane growing regions after the collapse of sugar industry because the boys have nothing else to chew. That’s how important the sweet plant was in the region I come from. If you think the writer of the article is drunk, then you are wrong. Brewing of alcohol in this place requires the use of ‘sukari nguru’ which cannot exist in the absence of sugarcane so cast your doubts aside.

Talking of sugarcane reminds me of the days when I was younger. You see there are a lot of similarities between sugarcane and the Kenyan society. Long before farmers uprooted the sweet cane and replaced them with kuon or obusuma plants, there were huge plantations of the crop in our region. The biggest threat or should I call them pests, were animals called pupils (I was one of them for a decade less two years). These pests reasoned like people in the government; this farm is so huge, if I take only one stick, the farmer will not notice or even suffer any loss. To further tamper with the evidence, the young thieves would go deep in the farm where the owner may not take notice of the ongoing crime. These thugs must have later gotten jobs with the government where they loot believing that the government is rich enough to fail noticing theft. Maybe the Kirinyaga queen grew up in our village or one of the men in the place walked carelessly ‘outside’.

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Stealing sugarcane had two problems. You were only caught if you were the youngest or the slowest. Sometimes the plantation owners pulled an Alshaabab on us and gave us a chase of the year. As youngsters, we would easily outrun the older cartels leaving behind the slowest to be caught and Nurdin Hajjid by the farmer. The second problem was being noticed by the owner of the sugary farm. If you were reported to the headmaster, your friends would defend you faithfully like Kenyan tribesmen defend their corrupt leaders. You only prayed the owner never reported you to your parents for post-theft violence would erupt in the homestead. Unfortunately, attempts of becoming a refugee in the neighbour’s compound would be met with instant deportation.

There were holier than thou guys who would not enter the plantation to steal but would beg until you shared the loot with them. Some would allocate themselves unnecessary services like standing outside to act as guards if the owner approached while the culprits were busy taking the share that was not theirs. But these guys behaved like NASA principals on the swearing in day; the false guards took off the moment they noticed the owner coming and run faster than that Bomet teacher after giving the policeman a blow on the head without warning those engaged in the ‘harvest.’ Worse, the guards sometimes stayed outside while the real threats came from within the farm

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There were a group of sugarcane thieves that excelled in the game. These hardened kriminos got into the farm without notice and sat in the middle. They would then spend hours in the place with the biggest canes chewing as they pleased only to leave with full stomachs. Like typical Kenyan looters, they would scatter in different directions making it impossible to run after the young critters.

To cut the long cane sorry story short, the government should give our children stories to tell when they grow up just like the lazy writer of the narrative is currently doing.   

My Book

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When my time comes of owning a book,
I want one that has never been read,
I will take my time to look,
For the one written in red
Even though others would have admired it,
Only I should find it fit.

The book should not be the best,
Lest many develop interest,
Neither should it be the worst,
My feelings it may later hurt,
I know my taste,
Thus I will choose without haste.

I will be happy peeling its wrap,
After checking the front and back,
In joy my heart will leap,
As gently my fingers poke,
Its sweetness I will tap,
As soothingly in its ecstasy I soak.

I will guard the book with jealousy,
From the prodding eyes of my neighbors,
In my eyes it will remain classy,  
I’ll brag even if none cares,
Thus when it’s my time to own the book,
I will take my time to look.

Owino Ooko

Sufferer for Presidency

The wisdom that I have gathered for the 308 moons that I have lived, or better survived, on this planet convinces me that it is only a hustler who can efficiently run this country. Forget about the Sugoi billionaire who convinces people stupid enough to believe him that he is a hustler. For a start, Billy the son of Ruto was born when the year 1966 had ten days left before it followed its ancestors to nobody knows where. His biography states that he went to university and did some course that has nothing to do with kutangatanga that he has made his specialty. You see, by 1992, Samoei was a Youth for Kanu ’92 meaning he was eating fat crumbs from the table of the former dictator, sorry president Moi, and swelling his pocket. When you subtract 1966 from 1992, Ruto was approaching his 26th birthday and was already rich and influential. If I am to believe that he is truly educated, that means he had left university barely two years from that time. So there is no time he was running away from kanjos while trying to convince some luhyas to buy roasted ingokho.

Back to our topic of a hustler running the country, youths with no reliable employment can literally move mountains (when doing mjengo). For your information, majority are busy here in Nairobi making degrees for lazy wazungus (read online writing or freelancing if you went back in the afternoon). Interestingly, the same odieros with degrees made in Roysambu still believe that they are more intelligent than an average African.

A youth in Kenya is a walking debt. The life is borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. With trigger happy cops and assassins all over, it is impossible to think of robbing (the grammar gurus should excuse my wise saying). So why should a broke youth be better at running the country? These guys know how to manage the little resources they get while hustling. In fact, the day to day operations of a jobless young adult resembles operations of the government albeit a miniature version.

Just like the government, a jobless person usually comes up with a budget. The sources of finance include loans (Tala, branch, M-Shwari etc), grants (when a shopkeeper or makanga accidentally gives excess balance), donations (discovering money that had been forgotten in the pocket), and of course betting. Unlike the authorities, these people use their money prudently. I think Dida borrowed the theory of eating when hungry only from the sufferers. . . (to be continued)

Wake up Obiero

Wake up Obiero

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Wake up Obiero
Don’t pretend to be sleeping
It is time to go to the farm
Even the sun has woken up
To start his journey across the sky
The hens are awake too
Including the chicks hatched yesterday

Obiero please
Leave your simba
And go to the farm
Take your jembe
Follow everyone else
As you are happy when eating
So must you be when working
I said get out
Even the little Adoyo is already in the farm

If you do not come out
There will be no food for you
Whose sweat do you want to eat?
Come out quickly
And join us in the farm
Your keyo is getting bigger
As you continue sleeping

No you are not sick,
That is a lie,
No your jembe is not broken,
I saw it yesterday evening,
Even that is a lie
You did not cut your foot
come out fast
I will assist you finish your portion
Do not fear work as a man
Who will feed your family for you?

Do not be the proverbial oyundi
Who is only active during meals

The delicacy of kuon
Is a product of hard work
Come out my son
And toil like the rest.

You are not weak,
I have seen you attacking food
Neither are you slow
Remember when you chase cock
To be slaughtered for welo
You can attack puodho the same way

And chase time in a similar manner
Come out now
I said come out

Owino Ooko

 

Githurai Con

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I went shopping in Githurai,
Things are cheap there why lie,
Too bad I faced a problem,
That can only be told through a poem.

I wanted to buy a roll on,
Then fell in hands of a con,
The man sold things by the road,
What’s more I could afford.

Happily I did purchase,
Satisfaction on my face closed case,
I headed to my room,
Without a clue of the lucking doom.

When I tried the deodorant,
My breath turned into a pant,   
For inside the container,
There was nothing but soapy water.

Who knows the liquid’s source,   
Maybe it was used to clean a corpse,
Thus if you want to shop in Githurai,
Prepare enough tears to afterwards cry!

Owino Ooko

GITHU2

Magical mothers

Everything about mothers has been written and said for the entire time human beings have existed. Somehow, the writers left me some little space for me to squeeze my article and further enrich the world of celebrating these female heroes.

I strongly believe that mothers are magicians. Some of their actions cannot be explained in any scientific way and even if they did, I would simply reject such explanation. Take a look at some of the magic these women performed to our amateur minds when we were growing up

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  1. Lifting a boiling cooking pot with bare hands

For those who have grown up in rural areas, you are well aware of the fact that there are no sufuria ‘kamatas’ there. Most of the cooking is done in open flames inside a hot, smoky kitchen whose activities would make a bee colony appear lazy. There are always children running around, some roasting maize around the fire, others struggling to warm themselves after running in the rains the whole evening, while the hydrophobic ones squeeze for space to warm some bathing water. At the center of this confusion, the mother is always present. There is no doubt that women can multitask. One moment she is at the corner checking why the chicken are squawking, the next moment, her sharp nose smells that the food in the sufuria is overcooked and is burning. While the potential slay queens in the house struggle to find a rag remove the pot from the furnace, the mother, in fluid movement, lifts it off with bare hands, places it on a space that was not visible to everybody else, and continues with other activities as if nothing happened.

Disaster happens if the young ones try to Kobi Kihara, sorry copy paste her actions. When the mother is absent and the eldest sister ascends temporarily to the throne, her short lived reign is usually filled with a lot of drama (and harassment too). She will try to lift the sufuria with her hands but due to lack of experience and patience end up throwing it down and burning her fingers. The rest will be forced to stay hungry as she awaits some serious beatings when the real magical queen returns.  

  1. Detecting lies

The government in the past threatened to use lie detectors to flush out corrupt procurement officers. I almost proposed that they employ mothers but remembered in time that the officials needed to tender for the lie detectors and eat from there. This is Kenya, isn’t it? Still, ordinary mothers are great biological lie detectors that sometimes one is left wondering how men (their husbands) lied to them and they agreed to be married. Or maybe they have specialized in finding out deceits from the little one only. ‘Nani alilamba sukari’ may have been an infamous question in almost all households. Sometimes, the investigations did not reach the questioning stage since the ‘clever’’ culprit in most cases forgot that sugar grains stuck on moth, hands, and the cloths. The most common lie revolved around boys and bathing. One would always play until late night forgetting the earlier reminder to shower. When the question of who had not bathed arose during supper, the malefactor would quickly assure the lady of the house that he will interact with water the first thing in the morning. Unfortunately, it did not matter where you slept; the bag containing books was usually kept in the big house. That automatically meant waking up the mother, and therefore reminding her of the shower promise, before going to school. Miraculously, these ladies forgot about the five hundred shillings your uncle gave you and she took for safe keeping but would never forget that you did not bath.

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It was during these moments that the infamous passport must have been invented. Knowing quite well the permanent enmity between the back and cold water, the boyshaold would carefully wash the head, hands, and the feet almost to the pubic bone and then present themselves shivering to the female sire turned sanitation inspector. The woman in her magical knowledge would only feel the torso which would be warm and dry like most people’s pockets in January. The end result; supervised cold bath after some lashes.

The magic of mothers made us admire, love, and respect them; or sometimes hate them with equal measure. Still, they remained a central figure in our lives and that is why I never celebrate mothers’ day; what these women did to our lives cannot be compressed and be appreciated in a single day, it must be celebrated daily even in afterlife.

Tell the truth on missing marks Kabaji

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Professor Egara Kabaji. The MMUST administrator has blamed university students over missing marks

The article by Professor Egara kabaji published in the Daily Nation on 26th August 2018 is entirely untruthful and written to mislead Kenyans. In the article, professor Kabaji has shifted the blame of missing marks to students instead of those responsible; the lecturers and exams offices. The problem of missing marks is usually a headache in most public universities and any person who has encountered it knows the frustrations. The minister of internal affairs, while still in the education docket, had promised to stamp out the perennial issue but was moved before he could act on it.

Put in simple words, missing mark occurs when a student has sat an exam but the marks of that particular paper mysteriously vanish. Somebody like Kabaji who has studied and worked in the university environment for decades knows what causes the issues of missing marks. The biggest contributors are the university lecturers. In this era of technology, it is still common to find lecturers in public universities recording results of a continuous assessment test on a piece of foolscap instead of a computer. With many classes that they handle, it is easy to misplace students’ marks. Again, most lecturers are usually on the move shifting from one university to the other.  Should one transfer themselves after recording marks carelessly, they will go with the marks making it difficult to acquire the results. Despite all these, the blame is usually placed on students.

Universities have mechanism to prove that a student sat an exam. A learner registers for courses online, signs attendance sheets during the exams, and has an exam card that lecturers sign to show that the learner undertook the tests. Whenever marks miss, the exam department is usually quick to dismiss all these evidences and suggest instead that the student may have forged the exams card or the attendance list.

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Part of the article written by Professor Egara Kabaji where he blames university students for the issue of missing marks

Professor Egara Kabaji must, as a senior academician and a part of university management, be honest with himself and Kenyans. The article is an abuse to the intelligence of those who have gone through the university system and understand the menace of missing marks. As a person who attended the institution where Kabaji is the deputy vice chancellor, I understand that missing marks is a serious issue in that particular campus that needs to be addressed. The professor has become the proverbial ostrich burying his head in the sand, instead of handling the problem and providing solutions to this recurrent issue.

University students are usually adults and know the value of education they are pursuing. Only a few may fail to take assessments seriously knowing the importance that the tests have in their future lives. Although some students are to blame, it is the irresponsibility of university staff such as professor Kabaji who fails to address the problem and look for innocent victims to crucify, that have greatly contributed to marks of students missing after the latter have taken the same exams. With the kind of attitude that Egara Kabaji has, I will not be surprised if he blames victims of theft that it is their behavior that makes thieves steal.

Of Songs and Their Messages

nipe pesa 1.jpgSongs are meant to entertain us. Many people neither pay attention to the lyrics of a song nor the meanings of the sung words. That is why we can afford to listen to Franco or hum along to the tunes of Charonyi ni wasi and other songs recorded in languages we do not understand. Still, there are some songs you listen to and set you thinking.

Recently I was in a matatu heading to my cave (call me a caveman if you want to shorten the number of your days). I sat there listening to manambas sing their usual amosini and kome kome, their voices competing with mugithi (or whatever genre the kikuyu song belonged) that was playing in the mat. My idle mind made me scrutinize people waking by as I wondered what was running in their minds on such a day. I am one of the few people who do not believe in the proverb of an idle mind being the devil’s workshop. Being a Kenyan qualifies me as a devil so there is no space for an extra dark spirit to set up a workshop. The tender process to my soul is quite complicated too. Furthermore, even the idlest devil in Kenya will find something better to do in this country than own my soul such as possessing people to sell us killer sugar, rape our students, or vote leaders based on their tribes.

Back to our mat, a song started playing. The lyrics of the song were ‘bwana nipe pesa watoto wana njaa, lakini mke wako anapenda kutangatanga, hata majirani wachemoka kumuona . . . If you grew up in the era when KBC was still KBC, then you definitely know this song.  I tried to think what inspired that artist to compose the song. If a man has wife whom he neglects, what made the musician think the husband would be willing to send her money? If the woman lives in the village similar to the one I was raised up in, how would the community react when they hear Baba nanii sends money to a woman he has not married to take care of his children? The village gossips would stay at water point the whole day nattering about it. What of the husband of the woman requesting money from another man to take of other people’s children? How will he understand the agreement reached by the two to have funds allocated to his wife to run the family of another man? Since songs reflect communities from where they originate, which part of the country do people close doors to other people, however bothersome they may be?

Before I could find answers to the questions, I heard the Kondaa shout wale wa  kushuka na jam. I wasn’t left with any choice but to alight with the jam and abandon my questions in the vehicle. Maybe when I board the vehicle next time, I will pick up from that point.

On the positive side, such songs make us forget our problems temporarily and enjoy being Kenyans, a country where we believe we are headed in the wrong direction as a nation but equally think that the problems we have are not related in any way to the top leaders of the country.

I AM GOING TO A LAND OF NO RETURN

 

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I am going to a land of no return,
A place where there is no sun,
I am going to a dark blurry place,
Where I shall see nobody’s face,
I feel scared already,
But my conscience tells me I am ready

I have one request before I go,      
I pray that you understand and know,
Do not leave my new home desolate,
Fence it instead and put a gate,
Make it noble and attractive,
Although I’ll be gone make feel alive.

I beg you to cement my tomb,
To make it warm like a womb,
Even though I’ll be cold and rotting,
In joy my bones will be rattling,
Plant flowers and shrubs around
to entertain me with melodious bee sound

Do not take this as a joke
take not lightly this talk
or I will return to haunt you daily
then you will know no peace eternally
I request that you immortalize me
my happiness that will be the key.

                                        Owino Ooko

 

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Why I hate Kenyan greetings

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I greet people because that is what society expects, failure to which I know I will get branded as ‘bad hearted.’ That does not deter me from questioning why greetings are necessary. I mean, when you greet somebody who is not a close friend, you can accurately predict the answer they will give. Still in this business of greetings, has somebody ever attempted to greet you and you lacked response to the greeting? I have in numerous occasions and here are some unanswerable greetings.

  1. Alafu?

If nobody has ever uttered those words to you as a form of greeting, then you are not a Kenyan. Halafu (that is how it should be written anyway) loosely translates to, ‘and then.’ For the several moons I have existed in this corruption haven we call Kenya, I am yet to know how to respond to this greeting if it qualifies to be described as such.

  1. Mhhh

Grunting is associated with pigs. Unless you are a Kenyan MPig, you can do better than use paralinguistic that ordinary people find hard to interpret. What does it cost to say a word or two in form of greetings? If anybody knows the answer to this form of greeting, you can enlighten the ignorant lot although majority of us do not care.

  1. Hae

I cannot claim that I know all the words in the three languages I speak fluently but I can swear with oxford dictionary and TUKI Kamusi I used in joining form one that the word ‘hae’ is not a form of greeting. In fact, it is neither English nor Kiswahili word. The golden rule of language use is; if you are unsure of spelling, use an alternative word.

Sunday Reflection

From Grass to Grace: Drawing Inspiration from the lives of Moses and David

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If the Bible were an ordinary literature book, Moses and David would stand out as two major protagonists. The two are remarkable leaders known for their humble beginning before rising to hold the highest office of the land during their time. That is something worth reflecting about. There are numerous lessons and inspirations that can be drawn from the lives of these two individuals.

Humility

Moses was a child of an ordinary Hebrew family. David likewise came from a humble family. Worse for David, he was the youngest son (a win for the lastborn children). The two also held one of the most despised positions at the time; shepherds. Despite all these, God raised them up and made them some of the greatest biblical figures in the history of the Israelites. A humble beginning does not determine how the end will be.

Preparation

God wanted Moses and David to lead His people. Unfortunately, the two were born in ordinary, not royal families. So where were they to get their skills from understanding that there were no schools of management and BCom crash courses? Well, God took His time preparing the two. He did not do it through ordinary ways. He created problems first. In the case of Moses, he had to be thrown in River Nile. Pharaoh’s daughter picked the little boy thus Moses grew up in the palace where he learnt the concept of leadership.

David underwent the same too. Saul, the incumbent king at the time, was possessed by evil spirits. David was then brought to the palace to play music for Saul during the bouts of attack by the spirits. Thus, he acquired some knowledge of how the palace and the kingdom were run.

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The two were also shepherds. From this humble profession, they learnt perseverance, hardship, bravery, and value of hard work. Before God could entrust them to lead people, they began first with animals.

We draw two important lessons. First, before God gives you a task, He will prepare you on the best way of executing it. Secondly, some things that appear as a problem may be God’s way of preparing us for tough tasks ahead.

Using what is at hand

The Swahilis say that “Fimbo ya mbali haiuwi nyoka.” Even God believes in this too. During the call of Moses, God used what Moses had in his possession to convince him to go to Egypt. First, God did a miracle with Moses’ staff, then with the hand of Moses. Similarly, when David was fighting Goliath, he used the readily available stones to kill the Goliath. This is a true inspiration. Maybe whatever we have at hand is the only thing we need to solve our problems. We may not need complex stuffs to solve our problems. Not millions of cash, not numerous degrees and definitely not corruption (dear Kenyans) to become successful.

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Weaknesses

Everybody has their weakness. Moses was a stammerer and short tempered. David was a womanizer (in fact, a number of his wives had been previously married by other men). Despite their shortcomings, God still used them. To be successful does not mean we have to be perfect. God will always provide an Aaron to cover up our challenge or prophet Nathan to correct us when we veer off the path He wants us to follow.

Have a blessed and inspired week.

Give us a Break, Dr Ezekiel Mutua

Dear Ezekiel Mutua, Screenshot_2018-05-28-00-09-15

I know you will not read this letter for two obvious reasons; first, I am a Kenyan with little or no significance to somebody of your status. Secondly, the letter entails explicit content which a moralist like you (whose second name should be hypocrite) cannot read. Still, I will write it anyway. After all, it is my time, blog, bundles, ideas and my devices that I am making use of.

The morality issue you are propagating in the country is of no use. It is a waste of everybody’s time, a bother or in plain language absolute stupidity. The picture you are trying to create is that sexual immorality is the greatest sin under the sun which everybody must be protected against. I disagree with you. Disagree is an understatement since I lack stronger words to use. Sex is not inherently bad. As much as we intend to protect our children from it, some countries are looking for ways of encouraging their youths to have sex.

Take an example of Japan. The current generation of youths in the country is not interested in sex. The country is worried because without the bed game, the country will lack manpower in the near future. In fact, it is a crisis in the island state and the government is trying to find a solution to bring the predicament to an end. Russia, Denmark, Turkey, Singapore, and South Korea are some other examples of country with such challenges. If we preach the gospel of morality and criminalize issues to do with intercourse, the country will start looking for ways of encouraging people to engage in the act after some years.

Still on this issue of pornography, I believe majority of pornography consumers do not go to YouTube, Facebook, or local television channels to get their dose of the gland-to-gland combat videos. No, Mutua, no. There are sites they can get the videos for free. Even if porn were to be censured in the whole world, I believe some geeks would find ways of bypassing the restrictions. Introducing crazy laws in the name of protecting us from immoral content is absurd. Targeting a few bloggers like Nyakundi should not make government to use you to come up with unnecessary restriction. The social media you talk of, have their own ways of moderating their content. Maybe I could educate you a bit since your age may have made you lose touch with the digital age. Explicit contents can be reported then the site in which they have been posted will either restrict access of the controversial material or pull it down. The user of the account gets some punishment; the account can be suspended or even be deleted.

Daktari, I don’t support consumption of pornography; neither do I stand in solidarity with those pushing for homosexuality. Nonetheless, you are blowing the whole issue out of proportion. Why are you cheating Kenyans that sexual immorality is our biggest threat? Why are you lying to us that homosexuality is the number one enemy of the society? I would rather have a society where everybody accesses porn but public funds are not stolen with confidence the Jubilee government is using. I am quite comfortable living in homosexual society with no tribalism, enough jobs for everybody and strict adherence to the rule of law. I can comfortably sit in a room where porn is being watched than attend a rally of Moses Kuria (where he is likely to discuss uncircumcised Luo penises). Yes. I can freely interact with immoral people than attend a church session where I must give the pastor the little I have in the name of tithe for the preacher to be opulent while I languish in poverty.

You, Ezekiel Mutua, have been accused by Boniface Mwangi of corruption. You have not given any concrete response to the allegations by the activist. Where do you get the courage and audacity to lecture us on morality while you have questionable traits?

In a country where ten billion shillings disappear like a coin in somebody’s pocket, in a state where leaders holding office are not democratically elected, in a place where people who condemn corruption give tens of millions in harambee while legally earning less than twelve million annually, in a state where it is right to appoint more than 60% of civil servants  from two out forty three tribes, in a place ranked among the top 10 most corrupt places on earth, porn and homosexuality should be the least of our worries.

You are a learned man; in fact I am two steps shy from reaching your academic status. Your great education should help you see that we have things we need to prioritize. Let us fight corruption first, fight poverty, and create a balanced society with no marginalized groups. Let us overcome our annual problems like drought and floods. Let the issue of banditry be forgotten. Let us first streamline our electoral system. We need to overcome dependence on foreign aid. We need free education system and universal healthcare with the unemployment rate below 1%. Once all these have been attained, when we feel idle with nothing to do as a country, we can focus on non-issues such as the ones your board is addressing. The best we can do now Daktari is to pray that your bothersome board is disbanded and banned. Then the funds the KFCB (mis)uses can be allocated to more important sectors such as youth empowerment.

I hope you will not need bloggers to be licensed before publishing such articles.

Yours faithfully,

Kenyan Against KFCB.

Shaking and Checking the Handshake

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Professionally, anything to do with the (in)famous handshake is considered stale news considering the length of time that has passed since the event. Those who prioritize in endangering their livers, however, have a saying along the lines of wine getting better with age. A teetotaller like me does not pay attention to such proverbs anyway. Still, I cannot keep off the topic. Kenyans with their never ending sense of humour decided it was a hand-cheque after all. As a Kenyan (without sense of humour), I also gave it a different tag. William son of Ruto has had sleepless nights as a result of the greetings. Maybe it has given the Sugoi hustler a hard shake. Others like Mudavadi, Wetang’ula and Kalonzo have been forced to go back to the drawing board and reorganize their political game. To them, it was a hard check.

Is there anything the handclasp has resolved? I highly doubt. First, it does not change the fact that there are some counties that never voted for the incumbent president. Greetings cannot resolve that, can it? Diehard fans of Uhuru will not just wake up after the ‘reconciliation’ and forget that there is a group of uncircumcised people who live in Kibera and around the Lake. Neither will supporters of Raila (if they still exist) forget the injustice done to them by the current government. The publicity stunt will not bring to life those who died as a result of the elections. Yes, accepting and moving on is practicable strictly on theoretical sense.

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Peace is good for the country. Uhuru and Raila are trying to convince Kenyans that they are reconciling their followers. The same was said during the political marriage between the two most powerful men in Kenya. Everybody believed that the 2007-2008 post-election violence was forgotten or at least forgiven. Recently, things have started changing. On various social media platforms, the name of Ruto seems to go well for some people if some words such as Kiambaa are added to a sentence bearing the DP’s name. Forgotten and forgiven? Not in Kenya. Will the UhurRaila union bridge the gap that has existed from 1964? Time will tell, or maybe it will not.

Still, I believe shaking of hands should be accompanied by other activities of bigger impact such as the president resigning and calling for a fresh election, IEBC opening its servers, or maybe listening to what Akombe was telling us. Expecting those to happen is like expecting Ruto to tell us the source of his wealth. It is impossible. Maybe we can ask for something less. What about balancing employment in the public sector? More than 60% of key government positions are held by the Kikuyus and the Kalenjins. The remaining 40% is left for the remaining Kenyans. Equal distribution of resources (including jobs) is not a favour, it is a constitutional requirement. Genuine reconciliation should involve this without which the whole issue is a waste of everybody’s time.

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Finally, the son of Jomo recently issued out apologies. If I step on your foot and apologise while still standing on the same foot, my act is totally useless. That is the same case with Uhuru’s apology. Politicians are never to be trusted; not when they are still alive anyway. What we have seen is just 2022 strategies being laid down. Building bridges for somebody using the debris from a different person’s demolished bridge. The best thing Kenyans can do? Maybe sit back and watch events unfold. If shaking alone is a sign of mending broken relationships, then it seems men are masters in reconciliation since they perform numerous shakes in the lives on a daily basis.

The Hypocritical Preacher

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On Sunday I went to church,
The back pew I made my perch,
I listened keenly to the preacher,
Playing the role of Jesus the teacher,
“You must plant seed,
If you want to go to heaven indeed.”

I watched keenly,
As people gave their money happily,
But I Know where the preacher and I,
Will go after we both die,
Since offering we both gave none,
Our souls must belong to Satan.
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Shukran Walimu Wetu

mu wapi

Mu wapi wetu walimu, wale wa siku za kale,
Nawataja leo humu, wote nawapeni dole,
Kazi yenu imedumu, yanang’aa hadi vilele,
Mchango wenu muhimu, tunawapeni kongole.

Yu wapi Bwa’ Muruka, shupavu wa hisabati,
Huwezi sahaulika, twakupenda kwa dhati,
‘Menifaidi hakika, ‘paka nikapata cheti,
Mchango wenu muhimu, tunawapeni kongole.

Bwa’ Omondi Tomasi, gwiji wa ki’ngereza,
Kiongozi wa halisi, ‘litutoa kwa giza,
Wala hatuna tetesi, mambo mengi ‘litujuza,
Mchango wenu muhimu, tunawapeni kongole.

Ony’Okothi na ucheshi, “ukelonae avako,”
“Ogungo ‘gungo ogushi,” maarufu wimbo wako,
Hatuna nawe ubishi, nasifu ujuzi wako,
Mchango wenu muhimu, tunawapeni kongole.

Okumu, Koni, Nyasembo, Rero, Kasindi,Olamu,
Wote twawapa nembo, masomo mlitupa hamu,
Mlitucharaza fimbo, kutupa maisha ‘tamu,
Mchango wenu muhimu, tunawapeni kongole.

Baraza, Betti ,Maria, Ouma’mara, Penina,
Adabu mlitutia, juhudi zenu ‘mefana,
Mema mlitutakia, kila siku twanena,
Mchango wenu muhimu, tunawapeni kongole.

Awabariki mola, maishani awafaidi,
Asikilize zenu sala, msaidie wengine zaidi,
Jasho yenu ‘zidi kula, muendeleze zenu juhudi,
Mchango wenu muhimu, tunawapeni kongole.

Owino Ooko

Shukran

Failed? Use Kenyan Lies to Justify It.

 

I hold a strong opinion that instead of struggling to define failure, the world should just use Kenya. I am not unpatriotic (if there is anything in Kenya to be patriotic about), but only trying to be truthful. We have a mediocre breed of leaders who in real sense are a bunch of thieves engorging themselves with public wealth at the expense of poor citizens. Some call themselves hustlers, some shake corrupt hands for their personal gains while others have founded their political lives on wealth their fathers stole from Kenyans. I will not mention names lest I become like Cyprian Nyakundi. Nonetheless, some of these people we call leaders have failed us and they either use foolish reasons to justify their reasons for dismal performance or their followers do it for them. Here are some of the excuses the use.

  1. Cartels

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Everybody sings the word cartel in Kenya although I am sure some of the avid users of the term do not even understand its meaning (No, it’s not you Sonko). It has become the norm in Kenya for those holding public offices to fail in delivering pledges because they have a scapegoat readily on the tips of their tongues; cartels. Poor roads? Cartels. Dirty capital city? Cartels. Unexplainable tenders? Cartels. Floods in Kenya? Cartels. The list goes on. If you were to ask these people why we have cartels in Kenya, the answer they would give is obvious; cartels. The gullible public has been receptive of the cartel theory encouraging irresponsibility because the leaders know some imaginary cartels exist to shoulder the blames. Soon, we will go the Nigerian way where wild animals including snakes and monkeys are capable of swallowing public funds. Ironically, even the renowned cartels have the courage to blame cartels.

  1. God and nature

If it is not cartels to bear the blame, then it is God or nature. It is in Kenya where politicians boldly say that rain comes from heaven and has nothing to do with trees. A quick check on internet reveals that there are some countries like Saudi Arabia that do not have rivers yet, never gets news of people dying over drought and famine in such countries. Some states with higher rainfall rates than Kenya rarely lose their citizens to floods. Here? Between January and March, we cry over drought and beg for food while our citizens starve. Then some analysts come up with weird reasons why we have drought   (even though it is clear that annually, December to March is usually dry season). When rains return, people still die while water is rationed in some of the parts of the country receiving highest rates of rainfall. What can we do yet rains come from God?

  1. ‘Mtu Wetu’ Syndrome

In Kenya, becoming a saint is quite easy; commit a crime, expect public outcry then wait for your tribes-people to come out and sanitize you. They will praise how hardworking you are and firmly say that others are only envious of your achievements. If you are lucky, some may even threaten to strip and walk or run naked if you dare resign or some legal action is taken against you. This happens only if you are rich. Try that if you are poor and see people returning to Stone Age (by stoning you to death).Maybe the Hell’s Gate we have in Kenya is actually hell’s gate. The leaders in Kenya are aware they have support of their tribe and can afford to do anything (other than development) for their own benefit.

wetu 1

Kenyans should learn that development only takes place where leaders are accountable to the people who they are acting on their behalf. Our system is odd as leaders feel they are above ordinary citizens sometimes passing bills to force citizens to refer to them with titles such honorable while they lack anything upright in them! Maybe it is time we stop them or at least make them creative enough to come up with different sets of excuses to justify why they underperform or their reason of being corrupt.

 

 

 

If Jesus Were a Kenyan

It is roughly 1,989 years since Jesus died. The world which the son of God lived in is different from our own world. Have you ever wondered how he situation would have been if Jesus were to die in 2018, specifically in Kenya? I feel this is how it would have gone down.

The reaction in social media would be mixed. Facebook would be filled with messages of RIP Jesus. Slay queens would be all over posting photos of that day Jesus turned water into wine in the wedding at Cana, Galilee. The captions accompanying the photos would be crazy. “Dying with Jesus and one billion others” one caption would read. High school kids would also have joined “RIP Jexux. It is xoxo xad dat yu have gone. Too xoon.” The youngsters would have quipped in.

Twitter would be equally lit. The Jewish leaders would have hired the infamous 36 bloggers to defend them and paint the savior in bad light. ≠RIP_Jesus would be the trending topic tweeted by the pro Jesus while the 36 bloggers would generate a new hashtag, ≠good_riddance. They would have gone ahead to say how Christ was bad because he chased poor hawkers in the temple, how he misused a young donkey by climbing on its back and how he had committed treason by swearing Himself in as the son of God. Some would have gone to the extent of saying the Messiah should have stayed out of town to avoid arrest. (Wait! Pilate deported Jesus to Herod then Herod deported him back to Jerusalem again? Hello Miguna). Before the day ends, ≠Jesus_Challenge would dominate twitter. People would be carrying all forms of funny crosses trying to bring humor to the obviously sad situation.

Judas would have committed suicide sooner than he did. His Facebook timeline would be jammed with all sorts of abuses. He would then have responded by posting a suicide note before going to Uhuru Park to commit suicide.

Meanwhile followers of Jesus would have organized the mother of all demonstrations. “Pilate must go” would have been the song tomorrow before GSU descending on the rioters and killing more people. Meanwhile a pay bill number would be circulating online to donate money to assist in buying spices to help embalm the body of Jesus once Sabbath ended. TVs would have some panelists explaining why Jesus died faster than the two thieves or how to ban crucifixion. Omuga K’Abisai would be there with “Kifo chatangazwa cha Yesu Masiya. Kifo chatangwa cha Yesu Masiya. Alikuwa mwanawe Yusufu na Maria . . . mwili tayari umezikwa . . . “

Barabbas on his side would have been given the head of state commendation and later vied for MP seat in Eastlands. At the same time, the eyewitness would be all over our screen explaining “nilikuwa chini ya msalaba wakati Yesu . . .
All the same have a Good Friday in preparation for Easter Celebrations.