Friday, December 25, 2009

RHETORIC.

Words are powerful. They may not be able to break your bones or cause you any physical harm but words can be dangerous if misused. All powerful things are. Whatever you say with your mouth goes a long way, sometimes it does not only have an effect on you but also on the people who are listening, more so if they take heed.


They say it is better to listen than to talk, but how do you avoid being consumed by the words of the talker? Because words are not just words, they evoke emotions. When this occurs, people become attached and form opinions after which they epitomize those opinions and emotions. This can be a good thing, but not always. I once became a victim without noticing, in a way that was not good.

I always desire to be on the side of the truth, regardless of how it makes me feel. Whether or not it favours me but sometimes, if not most times, the truth resembles the lie too much to tell the difference. My father and I used to argue a lot about Kenyan politics (I quit because arguing only left me drained with nothing achieved), he was for one political party and to him, there was nothing the rival party could do that would be right. So I would argue with him just to reveal the other side of the coin but not that I supported the other party, just to make things level, trying to state little truths here and there.

Election time came in 2007 and the news were selling filled with so much tribal rhetoric in them. That election was the first I was liable to vote. So I listened, not only to politicians but also to people who surrounded me, they seemed to say similar things. Not much was being said about the issues, people did not care about those, they had already made up their minds based on tribe on who they were going to vote for, all that their tribal leaders had to do was say anything and it would be right to them. And then it became ugly, people became emotional, I gradually took sides based on what I heard being said, mostly fuelled by hate. Sometimes its not how you say it, sometimes its just what you say, period. Thankfully I was not infected by hate. But I took sides and I put my faith in a bunch of greedy people whose ideologies I did not even agree with, just because they talked loudest, just because they moved crowds (including me), I could see during the campaigns that they lied, but on election time I took sides because of their stupid rhetoric. Why did I take sides, both sides were the same.. liars! What happened to the truth?

I was watching Christiane Amanpour interviewing President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe on CNN the other night. This man has caused his country a lot of economic turmoil, that is the common knowledge. I was surprised that he would even accept an interview with Christiane Amanpour on CNN! Again, I listened. He made sense in the beginning, talking like the very educated man that he is, he was so convincing! Then I thought, there goes that rhetoric again. But I was glad to see that later he was asked a tough yet simple question and he practically choked on air, pausing for a good thirty seconds before he could answer. Then everyone could see the lie. From this interview I learned that Mr. Mugabe is not a simpleton, he just lacks wisdom.

The thing is to listen and to receive the words as a separate entity from the person saying the words so that your opinion of the person does not affect your judgment towards the words that he is saying. Because just because a person is an idiot, it does not mean that he is wrong. On receiving the words, it is upon an individual to use their wisdom to evaluate those words and to decide what lessons, conclusions or opinions can be formulated from those words. For there is something to learn from everything that you listen to, even from evil words. But I could be wrong, and that is the beauty of life.

Monday, December 21, 2009

CROOKED STEPS OF MY BABY BLOG

Blogging, which I began as an experiment, has been such a fulfilling experience for me. I started off pretty confused but now that I’m enjoying it, it engenders the feeling that one does not command a strong presence on the web if you don’t have a blog. A blog is like a baby you give birth to and nurture to its full growth, the son (or daughter) that is going to represent you and speak for you. One thing I have learnt in this blogging business is that bringing up a healthy baby is difficult.

Honestly speaking I’m still partially confused about my baby. Sometimes I wonder if I picked the right path for my son to follow as he grows. Every parent wants their kid to amount to something in the future. I remember when I newly became a parent some old parents advised me; just let the kid be, allow him the liberty of choosing his own future, he’ll be okay. He is your baby, don’t let anyone tell you how to raise him! I liked that advice. I adhered to it. But sometimes I wanted to cover my face when people saw my son, because when they see my son they see me. When they see my mistakes manifest in my son, they see how fallible I am, you follow?

Anonymity is something you should greatly consider before you plunge yourself into blogosphere, especially if you intend or may find yourself writing personal posts from time to time. This varies from person to person, some people first start with an alias only to give it up and reveal themselves as soon as they get comfortable with it, others start and continue with their real names to the end. In blogoshere, you may have the right to remain silent, but whatever you say can and may be used to judge you in the court of blog. When I began blogging, I knew little about the activity. My url had my full name in it and it didn’t take me long to want to change it, only recently did I find out that I could do that, so I did.

The Sanctum, you want to know how that name came about? I was listening to Eminem’s ‘sing for the moment’ song, and the cursor kept blinking at the name-of-blog space… then came the line ‘..a sinner’s mind is a Sanctum..’ in the Eminem song, and the rest is history. I don’t know if a random pick of a blog’s name like that is wise, do not do that, unless you want to end up with names like Doubt Fire. Nevertheless, I don’t think the meaning of my blog’s name deviates so much in describing the blog. My advice to aspiring bloggers is to hold a vigorous debate in your head before you proceed to choose a name for your blog to make sure it gives a hint to what the blog is all about. Most importantly, just be unique.

Everything about this blog is random like that. Every now and then along the way I wanted to give it a new image, a new identity. Blogging can become so confusing when you cover everything and anything that comes to your mind. Both for you and your readers, but it’s cool if you can handle it, I think I am. Just that I would prefer to know where to go to to read about what. To give an identity to your blog, stick to one or a few subject topics please. But not this blog, just trust me you future parents, you hear me? Stick to a few subject topics! Do not follow into the crooked steps of this baby.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

SORT OF LIKE

Once upon a time

I was sort of like
Like so bored of life
I discarded the fight
I discouraged myself
But I saw the light
Now I so delight
But I’m cold as ice
And I was poor as mice
But just what I thought I was
I have gold, I’m wise
When your thoughts are nice
When they’re clean and white
You’ll escape demise
I mean, sort of like
Like sure I’m right
No, like soul and mind
Yeah that’s it, I’m right
I like these poems I write
When I mold it up
Like sort of like
A pot or cup
That’s how I grew up
I was well molded up
So now I’m like
Sort of upright

Sunday, December 13, 2009

THERE IS JOY IN GIVING

Walking on street pavements around Nairobi and seeing the different array of beggars from the disabled to the sick and to the physically normal people over the years, made me develop an attitude of contempt towards them, chiefly because I felt they had many more options aside from seeking handouts from other human beings who are just like them. I felt like they could do better to fend for themselves, at some point I even blamed them for whatever plight they undergo. I asked myself, why are other people poor while others are not? I thought maybe if anyone understood this one thing then perhaps they’d be better placed, including me, to truly help the poor.


But this was just a notion I had in my head, just a political thought. The poor I had in mind were not the ones sitting on the roadsides with placards beside them with a long medical history written on them, hoping to get money off the public. The poor to me were not beggars, those are just lazy people looking for an excuse to not have to work. The poor is that mother of a two year old child from the slum trekking to Nairobi’s CBD every day to sell sweets and cigarettes only for city council officers to topple her carton-made stand, and scatter all her stuff on the road. The poor is that family of orphans who have to work odd jobs to support each other.. those are the poor! I have always had the heart to give but I either thought of it as something to be done in future (when I’ll have something significant to give) or, whenever confronted with an opportunity, thought that the person(s) in question did not deserve it.

I walked by a blind beggar not so long ago, stretching out his hand, holding a tin, singing a gospel song, praising God. I remember thinking ‘if you truly believe in your God then why are you begging amongst men, beg your God and He’ll provide.’ I never gave a single cent to a beggar because I never believed in handouts- free things. When approached by those ‘dirty folks’ beggars I’d mean mug them like they were just about to take what’s mine and say words to shoo them away. I really did give them a bad look and when that made them back off it made me feel like I knew the street. I felt so because one of them had tried to extort me back in the day, he showed me a packet of ‘human wastes’ and a few sharp tools he had in possession inside his coat and threatened to use them if I did not pay up.

Then God spoke to me. Yes, God. He spoke to me. He said ‘Wyndago, ye my child thou need to learneth something’. Alright I did not exactly hear a voice speak but look, I had a sudden change of heart and a new attitude towards beggars was implanted in me in a split second (snap!). I strongly perceive it to be God speaking to me. It happened recently when I had just said another ‘no’ to a beggar. I felt compassion and all the times I turned my back on a beggar flashed before my eyes… and I was sorry. Then I felt the need to give. I woke up one morning and decided to pursue any beggar to not only give him/her money but to buy them food, and shake his hand, and wish him a good day. I had only fifty shillings with me so I was planning for just one beggar. I did not find any beggar around my neighborhood that day.

Yesterday, a friend of mine and I were approached by a street child, she carried a baby on her back and she asked us for money. I had no cash but my friend without hesitation stopped to look for loose change in her purse, I felt so ashamed that my friend wouldn’t even hesitate when I can’t remember the last time I gave to a beggar probably because I had never. Meanwhile I engaged the street girl in a friendly small talk. Asking her if she took anything for breakfast, she stopped to think but eventually said “tulikula mandazi”. I was impressed that she told the truth! She had paused to think whether or not to lie, it was about noon and she must have been tempted to lie to make us sympathize with her to lead us (my friend) to give her more money. Then she gave me a look mixed with both surprise and appreciation. I did not give the kid money, but I gave her something.

It feels good to care about people who other people care less about. There is so much joy in giving to the needy! Moral of the story; when you give, give with your whole heart and not just to get rid of loose change that make noise in your pocket. Give with compassion. Do it for the joy of it, it doesn’t matter whether or not they deserve it, appreciate it or pretend to be needy. Just do your part and always give! give! give! Even when you don’t have money, stop and show them that you care. That is our duty as God’s people, not something we do when we please.

Merry Christmas.

WHICH RADIO STATION ARE YOU?

The ‘Oh’ moment as described by Barney on How I Met Your Mother season 2 inspired this post. According to Barney, when dating someone you don’t need to know much about them so as to delay the ‘Oh’ moment until after you get what you want (sex). The ‘Oh’ moment is when you find out something about your date that will give you reason to not go on with your advances on her, for example, when she suddenly tells you she’s bulimic, or married, or celibate… then you find yourself going, ‘Oh.’


Well, on first dates people talk about a lot of nothings and music is a popular topic to pop up. People mostly listen to the radio for the music, so they will listen to the station that plays their favourite music. But with time I came to notice (on dates) that people who listen to certain stations have some common traits. So whenever I went out for first dates I asked about favourite radio stations and when the answer came as certain radio stations, it made me go, ‘Oh.’

Here’s what the radio stations say about you in my book.



Capital fm

• You can be so full of yourself sometimes when you let your confidence override your humility, although you have it under control most of the time. You have class and because of that you always sought after that good life and you never get complacent.

• When it comes to music, you’re not an a-little-bit-of-everything kind of person, there are genres of music you have made a part of your life. You buy authentic music and like your music organized, songs that stimulate similar moods are put together in your mp3 player.

• Love. Cheating is not in you and when you find yourself doing it it kills you inside so you are comparatively faithful. You like to be shown affection but you’re not lovey dovey and always strive to stay on planet earth about the whole notion of love. Fun to be with but hard to get… and to find.

• Very talkative and opinionated.



Kissfm

• Everybody knows you are a sucker for soap operas. Kissfm’s are an emotion-driven bunch and what people say about you bothers you a lot even though you won’t admit it to yourself. Whatever is in fashion you must have it but you are willing to overlook quality and go for what is aesthetically attractive.

• You speak Swanglish, something like, I was busy so I couldn’t pitia, the boss zushad about leaving work early.

• You are an a-little-bit-of everything type of person when it comes to music. So long as it is new and it sounds good to the ear, it’s good. You are a radio junkie and perhaps due to that you rarely know any music that does not get air play. You don’t buy music.

• You talk too much, in an annoying kind of way.

• Holidays and anniversaries have to be special for you (Valentine’s Day, Christmas and Birthdays).

These ones don’t differ much from Easyfms.



Homeboys Radio (HR)

• A hip-hop head who drinks a lot but not to the point it becomes a problem. You like to go out on Fridays.

• You speak a lot of American slang that may not make sense to some people sometimes, occasionally adding four-letter words. You are too concerned with new trends, fads and the likes.

• You like your music blasting and are probably considered a nuisance in your home or home area.

• You like being part of a group, a clique if you may, just to hang around or doing something that you mutually like such as dancing, acting.

• An HR is a party person so you can always find him/her where its buzzing.



Ghetto Radio

Interesting fact: I have not yet encountered a single lady who admitted to me that they listened to this radio station so I guess it’s safe to assume that all female GhettoRadio’s are all liars!



• The original hip hop head. Never looks for love, love only finds him.

• You are down to earth but quick to proclaim that you’re street smart. You believe good things never happen until they are made to happen, usually by the same person to whom the good thing happened.

• Speak in Swahili slang

• You are an ardent admirer of local art, from music to graffiti.

• Sometimes you buy authentic local music

• You loyal to friends.



Xfm

• You know what you want and so you take it

• You are an interesting person but other people can’t realize that until they spend a considerable amount of time with you.

• An introvert who likes peace and quiet.

• Sometimes you talk to yourself loudly



Note: Most people don’t always listen to one radio station so depending on the proportion at which you listen to different radio stations, you may have varied characteristics from different radio stations. But you are always more of one radio station than another.

Monday, December 7, 2009

I'M A 80'S BABY

Babies of the 80’s, those were the last good bunch of babies, the generation that scooped that last bit of fun in real childhood. I mean real childhood. Life was good then, there wasn’t global warming or the numerous TV stations we have today, and perhaps because of that we had plenty of time to be real kids rather than trying to act older than we were.



And parents were parents, discipline was effectively instilled in a child whenever he displayed the slightest sign of drifting away from the right path and was promptly ‘straightened up’. Get home past the curfew- whoop ass! Return from the shop without the bread he had been sent or the money because he lost it on the way- whoop ass! Hell, look at your momma wrong and you get a whoop ass! That wasn't the good part for us kids but the point is things were in order.



Fast forward to 2009, parents went stale like they had a use-before date. Parenting stopped. My nine year old sister's favourite commercials are the 'tumechill' and 'shake-shake' (that one for sanitary pads, she loves the song!) commercials. She won't stop singing and reciting what they say in those commercials. I did not have an issue with that until she approached me and asked about the tumechill symbol; is it like this (normal peace sign) or like this (peace sign with fingers close together)?



'I don't know', I muttered, 'how did you see them do it on TV?'



'Like this', she said waving the normal peace sign.



My argument is this; yes, I'm a first born but I am NOT a parent yet! Where are the parents at? If I go through this, will I have to go through it with my kids too? Oh, I guess I'll leave it for my first born kid, they really do come in handy those ones. I just need to make sure I give him enough whooping while he's still young, he'll take care of the rest.



'Daddy, can I ask you something?', that would be my 6 year old daughter asking in the year 20__ something, in a curious but sweet face. You know how adorable kids can be.



'Sure, honey. You know daddy's a genius. Shoot'



'What's a blow-job?'



'Aah, that's easy. Go ask your big brother!'



Boys are easy, you just buy them a couple of porn magazines on their 14th birthday and they'll learn everything by themselves. More effective than an uncomfortable lecture by his old man. Seriously though, nobody should buy their teenage boys porn magazines, I'm just saying it works better.. a win-win, everyone gets what they want. As for girls.. once they get comfortable they get it all out, I'm not sure I'd like that. That's where mothers come in, I guess.



My siblings are growing up in a very different environment, right from the realm of the family. They get to watch TV 'til midnight, I used to be sent to bed by 9pm. My mother used to switch off the TV on me and made me do homework or some excuse of a chore, now I settle down to watch TV and it's not odd to hear her yell from another room:



'Let your sisters also watch what they want to!'



Even when they don't want to watch. I don't know what changed.

These '90's babies don't know any better but lucky for them they have us, the generation that will make the coolest parents. If they pay attention the may learn our swagger. The revolution is here and it's ours- babies from the error of good music but bad sense fashion- The Eighties.

Monday, November 30, 2009

HIV/AIDS AND MY PEOPLE.

Who’s fault is it? It’s their fault- them! They are the ones who went sleeping around with random people and failed to take the simplest precaution of using a condom. That’s plain stupid and ignorant, it’s their fault!!




To begin with, they KNOW. They know it MAY have been stupid, they go through a lot of trauma by themselves and they don’t need anyone else to add to their psychological burden. It does not necessarily make them stupid or ignorant and the rest of us are more or less like them by virtue of being human. We make mistakes, we all tell lies, how can one redeem himself and claim he’s a saint? Tell me, are you saint?



It really does not help to point fingers, it’s my fault or it’s his fault, you think it would make the virus go if at all it wasn’t the fault of a HIV/AIDS patient that he/she has it? Time has come to fight in the right battle, kill in the right war, recruit in the right army and to march in the right direction to deter the human race from entirely being pervaded by this virus.



I’ve seen it first hand, it was right in my backyard. My mother’s sister was infected with AIDS and I didn’t need to be told, I called that woman my aunt. She was my family. She got so sick, she got so thin. No, she lost all meat because all that was left were bones, she looked like sticks. To look a little normal she had to wear more clothes. I wondered how she walked. When I looked into her eyes, she looked ashamed. I was just a little boy, some things I just couldn’t ask. She died, you see? She left two baby girls, the little one is sick too. She got infected during birth, you see how it doesn’t matter who you blame?



Most of my friends are jack rabbits, it’s a fact and I can’t hide it. Listen, it’s not perfectly safe but at least have a rubber on when you get to humping. That’s how real the threat is, you see? Sometimes we tend to forget, or we choose to forget until something tragic happens close to where we are standing. Or a little later when it happens to us. Then we scream “NOT AIDS!!”, and we wonder how it happened. Not a single person is immune, it could happen to me just as it could it happen to you.



People with the virus are an obvious target for stigmatization. It may not mean much to you as to why they should or should not be stigmatized until it happens to someone you immensely love. Then all over sudden it will become so senseless, you find yourself asking questions like; why do people do this? Infected people are not deprived of brains, they are not handicapped. They won’t unexpectedly just drop dead due to their condition. As far as I am concerned they do not fall under any special group of people. Not unless they themselves put themselves in that box, and even then it would be a hoax!



My High School English teacher is a heroine. She taught me English literature too, the Lord knows I did enjoy her lessons because when she spoke I’d wish she never stopped. She had these interesting stories that had beautiful endings. She had more to share with us than what was written in the books. You see, she is positive. I mean HIV positive. I heard the rumours then, but I didn’t pay attention to them. But my teacher Mrs. Nindo is a heroine, I saw her on TV talking about HIV/AIDS. The stigma she went through, the fact that she’s still here is proof enough of the amount of courage she possesses. My teacher is a good woman, and a very great one. I am very proud of her.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A NEW CONSTITUTION AND REFORM.

Nothing will bring us change, not the law, not the international community, not even The Hague, but ourselves. For that reason I do not expect any change in ourselves as individuals making up a nation to arise due to the enactment of any law or set of laws because we are a corrupt people. Therefore expecting a new constitution to magically transform this whole nation by creating a whole new political platform and eventually making our intricate problems or challenges a little solvable is absolutely dreamy. As much as the current constitution may have erroneous laws, or laws that are unjust, we should ask ourselves about the remaining ‘sound’ part of the current constitution, does it serve us any good, equally without discrimination, does it protect us and preserve our rights? On paper it does, but it is us who contaminate it with corruption and greed. A new constitution may be a good thing for this country, but it won’t bring any more change than itself- a new constitution, if we don’t change as well.

Some Kenyans consider a new constitution as the starting point, the first step to change or reform but it shouldn’t be. Having this notion evokes the feeling that if we as a nation fail to acquire a new constitution this time round then we wouldn’t be able to move on. Not to undermine the importance of the constitution, but it is just a document written by individuals to depict how power is going to be shared and how the country will be governed, period. Whether or not it works for us does not entirely depend on the document itself but also on us. We decide. So in the end, change comes from within us.

At the core of all our troubles lies tribalism. Some assert that it can never ever be solved. But we owe it to ourselves and to prove to the rest of the world that we can be big enough to solve a problem of this enormity and not just kick it by the side to avoid facing it. Intermarriages could serve a great purpose to that effect but it may not be the best option because it MAY mean dissolution of the tribes, which is something we don’t desire and it also it would constitute kicking the problem by the side so we won’t have to actually resolve it. The cause of tribalism is not the tribes themselves but the people of the respective tribes. Tribalism can be eliminated, it can be done faster and sooner than we’d like to think, it can be done tomorrow! There is no reason to wait a another decade or century. Only we can bring change, and it begins right when we start seeing each other as partners, from there greater positive change will come.

There’s not a doubt about how tribalism can be dealt with, tribalism is as a result of ignorance and ignorance can be reversed by only one thing- education. Not education as we Kenyans have been made to believe it is, as to having our heads cramped with so much information in our memories which we may not fully understand, but education as being liberal and independent in our thoughts and being able to form an opinion based on the facts and having the ability to dissociate our personal interests and emotions in our final judgment for the greater good of the nation or even in our personal lives. This education can happen both inside and outside classrooms. It is doable.

When we have a population educated in the sense described in the previous paragraph, change becomes inevitable. Everything would fall in its rightful place, because then we would give more consideration to the unborn children in making decisions of national interest. When it comes such a time when we can rise to reach the level selflessness in order to attain greater good for the nation, at that time there would be nothing to stop us. As it is now, we are our own worst enemy.

Revisiting the issue of new constitution, the draft constitution has renamed and scrapped off some national days. In my opinion this to some extent erodes that Kenyan sense of pride, because it seems like whoever changed it saw something wrong with the initial name, and therefore we may have been celebrating a lie all this time. The same can be said of holidays cancelled from the calendar as national days. It’s like renaming Christmas!

Friday, November 20, 2009

FRESH OUTTA COLLEGE.

Fresh outta college. Job seeking now.. internship, whatever. So I find myself at the doorsteps of the company I worked for about a year ago on attachment. I know his name so I spit it out when I was asked whom I wanted to see, right there at the gate by them uniformed watchmen- the human resource guy. How hard can it be to see a person without an appointment? So they called in to check if he was in, right from the gate. No he's not in, but you can wait, they say, pointing at the bench.

'Right here?!', i thought. 'It rained this morning, its drizzling, i'm freezing, i have only a shirt on, you want me to sit here on a wooden bench with you!' Haha, funny. What the hell is the reception inside for?

I just want to drop shit and I'm out. Convinced they let me in. Lie. But the other lie was on me though, at the reception I ask for Mr. Musyoka, that's the human resource boss, and the receptionist says he's in.

'Have a seat and wait.'

The stupid idiot didn't want to see me all this time! See, he told me last year that I could come back when I get done with college. Perhaps I should have made an appointment then. The receptionist did a good job though, bugging him every other minute about this young man waiting. 'Til he asked for me to be put on the phone.

'Hallo'

'Hallo, my name is Wyndago...'

'Yes?'

'..and I was here on attachment last year and...'

'SO?'

That 'SO?' just threw me off. I had to rearrange my thoughts.

'You told me I could come back so i...'

'I told you to come?'

'NO! ...I mean yes. No, you told me last year.'

Pointless.

They were nice to send me down a cute lady to talk to me. No space for me until maybe January. MAYBE. So now I'm looking at other alternatives.
This job seeking business is just something. That was just my first attempt and it was enough to make me want to do my own thing! Actually, no... I've always wanted to do 'my thing' ever since forever, today's incident just rekindled the feeling. But can one do his thing being fresh out of college? YES. I mean, it's possible, isn't it? No room for negative thoughts.

Anyway, before I settle down to doing whatever it is I'll end up doing, I'm open to work any where. Even volunteer work, perhaps I should start by helping to plant trees in the Mau. My aim is to gain experience in whichever field, and in interaction, handling and working with different people. Yes, I said whichever field. You can't believe how fast I can learn and perfect a skill. I mostly want to work for small time people, businesses that are trying to come up. You have a small business? Call me. E-mail me, shadywane(at)gmail(dot)com.

So what skills do I have? I can write. I love it, to write that is. Computers, I'm fond of these machines. I can network a set of computers and do lots of other amazing stuff with them. Currently I'm learning how to use CAD (Computer Aided Design). I can sing, everyone says I should have been on Tusker Project Fame and that both Alpha and Ng'ang'alito have nothing on me. If you got kids you can hire me rock 'em to sleep. Or even yourself. Another skill I posses is in motors. Those are tremendously awesome machines, people. They are applicable in almost every other machine system. I can go on and on, but I'll close this chapter by saying, I cook good too. A brother has skills.

Friday, November 6, 2009

MAKE YOUR BLOG MOBILE

Nothing is of great importance to bloggers as traffic. It's hard to think of another thing that would bring a serious blogger more delight. A blogger can probably win a few readers but to keep them coming back a blogger needs to pay just as much attention on the general outlook and simplicity (for lack of a better word) of the blog as he should on the content. Simplicity here refers to the conveniency of the site, readers should be able to find what they are looking for with ease. But most of all bloggers and indeed website owners should worry more about the ease of their site's accessibility, especially through the mobile phone. And especially bloggers from this region and the generally the East.

In Kenya for example, the number of internet users is steadily growing and a large portion of these users use mobile phones for the internet most of the time, I being among them. I use Opera Mini to browse the internet, yes it helps to make PC websites 'fit' on a mobile phone screen but when the site is too large, maneuvering around it can be cumbersome and also make your phone slower. That is why I desired to create a mobile site for my blog and I was surprised at how there are so many alternatives to that effect. Left me wondering what I had been waiting for all this time. Having a mobile site for your blog or website has become so necessary. I being a thorough user of mobile phones for the internet can't help but avoid certain blogs which I know to be extremely large and save it for when I'm near a PC. On the contrary I'm filled with a lot of relief when I'm re-directed to a mobile phone version of site.

The most popular website for the creation of mobile sites is Mofuse. They do it for free and is unbelievably simple. You can have your mobile site running in under 5 minutes! I tried it. But I wasn't impressed with Mofuse so much though, but if you are using a mobile phone to view this, you can view the mobile site for this blog here.

First, for blogger blogs, people trying to access the blog cannot automatically be re-directed to the mobile site when they are using a phone, so you have to promote the mobile site separate from the PC version of the site. As for wordpress blogs, there's a pluggin that you can download and install in your site to allow for re-directing. Second, I could not find my comments in my mobile site yet that is one of the reasons why I wanted a mobile site- to make commenting using a mobile phone easy both for me and my readers. Currently I'm looking into the following other options...

And these are other websites from where you can create a mobile site;

1. Mobify.me: Mobify is a free service that makes WordPress, Drupal and other websites mobile-friendly. That is how it defines itself. Here you can design a mobile layout for your website and also capture mobile traffic from Twitter & Google. Not bad.

2. Bango

3.Zinadoo

4. XtGem.com: This website as I see it is just a mobile site builder and does not convert an existing PC website into a mobile one.

5. Winksite: This website allows you to mobilize your website, blog and twitter feeds. It also lets you personalize your mobile site with your own sense of style. In addition to that you start a mobile chat room, forum or poll. This I may like, moving on.

6. FeedM8 (Feed-mate): According to the site itself, this is a whole new way to get the mobile web. You can get your favorite blogs or feed-enabled websites on your mobile device. This means you get all the popular sites, top news, social networks, sports, celebrity and weather updates all on your mobile phone--anytime, anywhere. The content is designed for your mobile phone and it's optimized, so it's fast and uses very little data. Plus if you have a blog or a feed-enabled website, you can get it on FeedM8. Thus you can create a mobile site of your blog here.


7. MobisiteGalore

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

MAVUNO CHURCH


It is a very well known church now and it needs no introduction like it used to a couple of months ago when folks even demanded for it to be explained to them why the name Mavuno (Swahili word for harvest), presuming it meant a place where money is being extorted from the congregation in form of offerings. I don't know why the name Mavuno but it I sure come out that dome at Belle Vue every Sunday with a lot more than I came in with, spiritually. If you haven't already heard of these beautiful 'fearless influencers'(that's what they call themselves) cropping up in Nairobi ask yourself, in which cave have you been living in?

No kidding, the first time Mavuno came around, I was skeptical. Everyone in my neighborhood was skeptical (proud to say here that Mavuno is in my hood). At first we didn't even know it was a church. I don't remember how I began going there but now missing a sermon is something I can't bear to do! Ever my mother got into the mix! She was a sort of a critic. All my family goes there.. except for Dad but he never goes to any church. Perhaps we'll have to make him work on that.

Okay, now down to what they do down at Mavuno they are very friendly and sooo welcoming right from when you arrive at the dome. This is what I most like about Mavuno, the fact that, contrary to a misguided belief, it is for everyone!!! Not a group of people of a certain social class, or a certain age group... anyone would feel at home at Mavuno. The sermons; Pastor M and pastor Simon are doing a tremendous job. They will make God seem closer than we always try to put Him. They will make you see how God is relevant in your life. For most us tend to think, even subconsciously, that God was for Abram and Moses and that He wouldn't understand what we are going through because times have changed. I know God has blessed me a lot, before Mavuno I wasn't a church goer. My excuse was that church was far. Now its right at my doorstep, and its so amazing and no one can convince that God didn't have me in mind when he was showing these great people where to set camp.

Good people of Nairobi, come to Mavuno and let's change this city and the world together!

Disclaimer: As you can tell this piece was written when the writer was extremely ecstatic, just overlook the craziness and join him at Mavuno this Sunday!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

BAGS OF MEAT.

Ever since that dreadful day,
A day won’t pass before the thought crossed my head,
I probably think more of it than I think of sex,
We all are nothing but just bags of meat,
That’s why the mind may want but the body is weak,
Bite yourself to feel it you’ll see,
I don’t un

HOW SAFARICOM ALMOST CONNED ME.

Safaricom is currently running an offer where you can receive unlimited internet access for 24 hours at Ksh 200. You top up your card with the amount and send a blank text to 555. After a moment you will receive a confirmation text message that goes; “You unlimited daily internet access request has been received. Ensure you disconnect and reconnect to start enjoying the service in 10 minutes.” I did send a blank text, this is the message I had received, I followed the instructions in it.

I was skeptical about this offer and more so now. To begin with, the offer was and is not good enough to me because I believe it can be cheaper but that’s another story. And the fact that the offer lasts for less than a month is just pathetic, I’m not sure when it began but I know it ends on the 5th of November. As to why I ended up taking the offer I don’t know but I most regret it. I think I was driven by euphoria seeing everyone activating their accounts for the service.

Usually I use my phone as a modem, not as fast as the Safaricom modem but it works just fine for me. I called Safaricom customer care to ask if I could still use my phone as a modem and still take advantage of their offer, the man on the other end said Safaricom does not mind what device I use, all they look at is my account. That made sense to me. There is no single day have I heard Safaricom or any other cell phone company restrict any of their products to, say, customers with Nokia handsets only. So I thought, I have plenty of downloading to do, maybe Ksh 200 shillings is worth it after all. That is when I did what I had to do, topped up and sent the text.

10 minutes later, I was on the internet with my phone modem. Ha-ha. I was down to do some major downloading! But they must have known or something. Safaricom hates me, I realized I was still being charged. I called Safaricom customer care (I called there so many times last night, they don’t even ask me my name anymore when I call. Sometimes they hang up on me while they kept me on hold!). I was instructed to switch off my phone and back on, then I would be good to go. I did that. Nothing happened. Okay something happened, I couldn’t log on to the internet even through my mobile phone browser, instead I got a message: Authorization failed. It stayed this way for 5 hours during which I could not get through to customer care, you know, number busy. And when I tried to sambaza the little credit I had in my account, it jammed! Like they really wanted the 41 bob I had remaining.

After the 5 hours, it goes through, customer care. They tell me- switch off your phone then switch it back on. I did that again, reluctantly. Walaa, internet was back... but they were still charging me. Customer care again, they say- we are looking to see what’s wrong and we will get back to you in 48 hours (Yes, they said they would get back to me. I asked again to make sure I heard right, will you actually call me? She began her sentence with “ If we don’t then just…”). 48 hours?! I had less than 20 hours to enjoy the unlimited internet access! I should have been mad with these people, I was but I tried as much as I could to keep my cool. They didn’t even know what was wrong themselves, they are just employees who pick up calls. They should be trained better, because when I called again later, I was told I could not get unlimited internet access because I was using my phone as a modem and I that I should use the Safaricom modem. Nice. I asked her if the first guy had lied to me and she said- we are sorry but that was a miscommunication. “What about my money?”
She blubbered something but she didn’t know the answer to that neither. These people don’t even understand the products of the company they are working for!

So now I’m sitting here mad as f*@#! Wishing Safaricom headquarters would burn to ashes! But don’t worry Michael Joseph, I’m still holding on to my Safaricom SIM card, but who knows for how long. One thing is for sure though, I’m never buying a Safaricom modem.

Note: He-he, just as I am completing to write this I get a message from Safaricom saying "Your unlimited daily internet access request has been successfully processed. Ensure you disconnect and reconnect to start enjoying the service." They must really know! I decided to not withdraw from posting this for what they made me go through. But I have conveiniently added the word "almost" in the title of this post. Now, let me test to see if it is true what they are saying.

Friday, October 23, 2009

WHY DO WE NEED SEACOM ANYWAY?


It usually gets very tricky when it comes to technology here in Africa because most of the technology (if not all) that comes our way we but adopt, we do not develop. Therefore most of it was not designed to solve our problems as they are. What we do is try to take a piece of technology and try to make it relevant to us by trying to figure out how the technology that we receive can best suit us instead of analyzing a problem and developing a technology that is best suited to solve our African problems. Lucky enough, some problems we share with the West. And some problems in the West are not problems to us until the West solves it, then do we realize that things can be better. That’s how the internet, let alone fiber-optic is to us. We didn’t and still don’t comprehend to what extent this beautiful technology can be useful to our economic growth. We get to learn of its limits by watching the West use it but funny thing is that the limits keep shifting so rapidly it’s so confusing!

Moses Kemibaro wrote an article on his blog a while ago called ‘Now That SEACOM Is Live, what next?’ Read it here, it’s a nice piece. This question is very legitimate especially to us Africans in this region because this technology is coming to us relatively late. A huge proportion of us who could even get internet access either didn’t understand or didn’t know what to do with the internet as it were before SEACOM went live… that is if social networks and e-mails were removed from the picture. Now that it is live and its objective was to make the internet cheaper and faster and provide more bandwidth, which we might have not needed that much because we’d made ourselves comfortable with every aspect of the earlier connectivity except for the high prices, what next?! Mr. Kemibaro goes ahead to say in his article; The challenge for the [internet] market in Kenya will be to find useful and value adding applications of this overflowing bandwidth and make sense of the high speed cables. Right on point! And this value I presume, is monetary. It is all about economic growth and poverty alleviation when it comes to technology, otherwise what good is it? After all Governments and other organizations put in a lot of money to lay this magical cable under the sea all the way from South Africa, this goes to show that this cable must be of great importance to them. When the big guns put their money on something, they expect returns. So SEACOM must be big business. Question is; where will the money come from? But I digress.

Let’s focus on the benefits of wireless broadband, which is what SEACOM and other cable systems like EASSy are offering us. The most conspicuous or vocalized benefit is that of bandwidth pricing, it was even predicted that the prices would go down by 95%. Now that percentage is huge, I’d probably end up buying something I don’t need for 95% less its original price. Not by any means am I trying to insinuate that SEACOM is a bad thing, it is amazing! What bothers me is the fact that we didn’t even do much with the little we had in the first place. The internet is a powerful tool and I’m starting to doubt if as a country we will be able to handle its effects on our lifestyles and how we do things. In addition to cheaper bandwidth and faster internet consumers will also enjoy media-rich applications such as audio and video. This is quite something. Other benefits would include the opening of doors to global competition, cheaper telecoms costs would have positive effects on the economy and infrastructure and most of all promotion of innovation and stimulation development.

Sometimes I feel like Africa is being forced to walk the economic road at a faster pace than it can handle with these many technological advances. And we have no choice, we have to work hard just to embrace new technology. As much as the arrival of SEACOM created a lot of excitement in Africa (where most of the population still don’t have access to the internet), in the end it is going to be upon us to make it work for us. This is where we need to be creative and beat even the creators of the technology. We Africans do not have an excuse, we are probably the region which needs the internet the most. Whether or not we are going to use for pure entertainment and social networks is upon us.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

IN CASE OF A ROAD ACCIDENT.

Most of the time, I just mind my business. While I was doing just that in the company of a friend of mine, we suddenly heard a loud crash sound from across the road. What could that have been? My friend wondered. I don't care, I thought to myself as I hoped he would drop the subject. Something must have happened, we saw a large truck slow down right before the crashing sound. I succeeded at drifting his attention to our business but then noises from the tarmac road which we could not clearly see from where we were captured my friend's attention again and so he insisted we go check it out. Alright, he won. Let's go see what's up. So we went.

Alas, he was right too, it was an accident (He'd thought it was). Two grown men laid on the ground bleeding profusely with broken limbs. It was a gruesome scene and my mood was immediately changed. One of the men was a bodaboda guy (cyclist) and the other one must have been the passenger. The passenger man was the one with broken limbs, agonized by pain but trying to hide it in his facial expression. the bodaboda man on the other hand was bleeding from the back of his head, he must have had a concussion. The bicycle was scrap metal.

Now, I stood there and I wanted to leave. Not because I can't stand the sight of blood but because I couldn't stomach the fact that everyone else was just staring and doing nothing! It was like a freaking show. I was just hoping for someone to do something, I guess that's what everyone else was thinking. But nobody did anything except watch this short version of a reality show.

It was then I started to ask myself, what can I do to help these people... call the cops? No, 999 doesn't work. The paramedics, do we even have those in Kenya? The ambulance? Well, even if I wanted to call I didn't have any hot line number and I still don't. So who is to blame, me and my ignorance or the system? That is why I did not want to be among that crowd who just hovered around and asked stupid questions like 'what happened?'. If I stuck around I'd just be like them. Typically Kenyan, idle enough to not pass another chance to be idle! What is wrong with us, huh? to make things worse, a police (or maybe it was the army, AP... I can't tell the difference) truck passed by and that is all they did- passed by. I felt like vomiting, I can't do any first aid, all I was thinking was shouldn't anyone be doing something fast?!

The story has a happy ending though, I said a little prayer and I think God heard me because a personal pick-up vehicle stopped to offer to carry the accident victims to the hospital. Now that made me feel good. There were still human beings left among us, even if I am not among them. Because I don't know how I would have felt leaving a couple of injured people by the roadside and get back to my own 'business', after seeing how much pain they were going through.

Everyone else is not prepared for such emergencies, next time I want to know what to do. So if you have any suggestions or you have police or emergency numbers, hit me.

Also, is it morally right to take pictures at such scenes?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

ALLOW ME TO SAVE THE DAY.

If people added a little more truth in what they said, life would be a lot easier! The truth is difficult to say... and ugly, but doesn't somebody just have to say it to save the day? Fuck my feelings, just because you can't handle it doesn't mean I can't handle the truth! I hate selfish, emotionally needy individuals. With that said I guess I might as well say that I hate everybody. With all these superficial women hovering around, my diplomatic nature doesn't really help.

Wyre told you ladies, make a choice! Make up your minds... but I guess you all like to be chased after. One thing I usually can't argue with when I'm trying to hit on a girl is when they say they have a man. What do you say to that? Ummm, 'I don't mind. I have a girl too'? Then you find out you like me too, but you didn't tell me soon enough that you had another guy somewhere. You just led me on until I got you cornered and then you spill out that gibberish! You knew what I wanted, I know you knew because I told you. Talking about you want us to be friends now, crap. You should get to know me better. And I can't believe it that you claim you were protecting me from a heartbreak all this time, then what do you call this?! But I'm a big boy, woman. I'm okay. As a matter of fact I'm fine! Shit, I'm doing great, look at me! I don't hate you, I love you, remember that. That's why I can't be your friend, not even because you are a filthy liar. I'm looking back at the first time we met, and I wish you never called.

Hey, I'm willing to carry the burden of being the hero and save the day, big responsibility. It's one of my shortcomings anyway, I can't fit in so its probably a good thing I use it to create better days for all of us, right? No, that dress doesn't fit, you're too fat! I know it looked good when your mother's cousin's daughter wore it but that's because she's a teenager... and she has a nice figure. And your teeth are crooked, ever heard of braces? Pretty cool invention. You need a little teeth whitening too. But it shouldn't worry you much, those are things we can fix. How am I doing so far, is the day any better? Call me Captain Save-'em. You need me just holler my name!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

WHEN THE MOMENT ARISES.

According to Newton’s first law of motion, a body persists its state of rest or uniform motion unless it is acted upon by an external force. This external force, depending on its magnitude and direction, may bring the moving body to rest, accelerate its speed, slow it down or change its direction. If the body was initially at rest, the external force will cause it to move. In short, there has to be some force applied to change the initial state of a body in terms of motion. Applying the same law in every day life, nothing changes until you do something. In other words, if change is desired something has to be done! The question then becomes; what has to be done?

During the post election violence, people picked up their weapons because they felt they had to do something. They felt they’d been violated and they had to do something back. And some of us watched and said yes! Somebody has to make them pay. Someone needs to make them know that it’s not all that good. What else was there to do? Sit back and watch the news? Grumble inside your house? It was an emotional moment. But killing is not accepted, surely not even on self defense. God is not fallible and neither are his laws. God said do not kill and it stopped there, there were no exceptions. Those who know me know I wonder, does there have to be war before there is peace? Is it okay to do evil just so good may prevail? Does someone have to lie so that the truth may come out?

So again what is it that should be done when such moments arise? Young men and women are out protesting, you are safe inside your house. You support them but you are not out there with them. Your people end up dying, you know they died for you. But they are laughed at and you can’t help but think, why didn’t they just stay at home? Nobody asked them to go out there but somebody had to go. Mau Mau people are considered heroes, they fought and died for freedom. We like to think they died for us. Someone has to let them know that it’s not all that good down here. But how can that be done without risking lives? Even the Mau Mau couldn’t do that. Ostensibly, only the poor get so concerned.

Something still has to be done but we are still here seated watching them play us like it’s a movie. Watching the news, getting our moods swung and probably write about it but we are still static. Hopefully there won’t be a too big a price to pay for freedom/democracy this time, less than the loss of any life or bloodshed. But if there is any volunteer willing to die for the cause, let him show himself. God bless us all.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

THE RECYCLE

Is this a curse or a blessing? The fact that wherever you turn here in Kenya you see the same people in their respective lines of work, pick a profession, any profession.. we can begin with the obvious- politics. We all know how it goes, the same people getting recycled back to office and we wonder how. Well, I have news. If anyone thought that Kenya was a democracy then he was broadly mistaken, we have in place an oligarchy as a form of government. According to wikipedia an oligarchy is a form of government in which power effectively rests with a small elite segment of society distinguished by royal, wealth, intellectual, family, military or religious hegemony. Now if this does not describe Kenya then I do not know. Ours is an elected oligarchy.

Turn on the your TV, a new station came up and guess who you see? You got it, the same faces you are used to still reading you the news. A new radio station, the same players reshuffling every now and then changing stations. I bet there are certain media personalities who have not a single media house they haven’t worked for. That show can you dance? the Kenyan version, it came and went, right? Now we have Tusker Project Fame III, guess again whom I saw, the same choreographer that was on can you dance? still a choreographer on this show- Edu!

Take big businesses in Nairobi, if you don’t see the same person you see another him. Born in Kenya, educated abroad, worked abroad for a while then decided to come back because they love Kenya. Started their own thing and now they run a successful business. Overly educated too, intelligent, tend to think you are stupid until you prove yourself otherwise.

I appreciate it when someone is good at what they do. If opportunities keep landing on their laps because of their skills, that is a good thing, isn’t it? But is that why they get the opportunities or is it that there is not tough competition. If the latter is true, that means that there is a shortage of professionals in Kenya. There is a shortage of people with technical know-how in any field so the same people get the opportunities. In plane words, most of the population is stupid. It bothers me when I see the same people because it sends a message, it won’t be easy to get in because they won’t let you. That ‘same’ person is already there, so unless you become him, forget it. And even if you become him you have to wait until he finishes his turn. But when you make it in, you’re IN. That’s the message.

INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBLITY

Until we as a people understand the ills of corruption, we are never going to be disentangled from it. Until we learn and permeate the culture of owning up our individual responsibility to the next generation or even the next person standing by us, we won’t stagnate economically but we will fall far back. Now this is not news it has already happened and the past can act as an empirical proof. What is most saddening is that we keep repeating the same mistakes and nobody cares because nobody wants to take responsibility. It is always somebody else’s fault.

Enough analysis have already been made by experts, clearly outlining our problems and mistakes in an articulate way. Comparisons have been made between our economy and other economies which were of the same level as ours some thirty to forty years ago. Sometimes one can’t help but get ‘wowed’ by our failures. Well, this article is not about what we are doing wrong, it’s about a fresh start. It’s about getting the hell up, dusting our shoulders off and getting our walk on! It’s a process, a realistically executable one. The views expressed here may not be in synchrony with the laws of political science but here they follow in no particular order, nonetheless;



1. In The Head

This is where it all begins, in our heads. Every individual has a role to play. Even if we had angels in the government (where most of us erratically think it’s where it starts, understandably though), they wouldn’t do much good if the people didn’t want to be led by them or were simply not corporative. We need to support and respect those whom we chose to lead us, after all God put them there. The condemnation and the negative talk won’t help, let’s accept what we have in our hands and work with it! Let us all foresee prosperity and success before it is here. Let us not say ‘Kenya will never develop’ because every time someone else utters those words the realer it becomes. Let us think positive and see the good.

Don’t you know, that it’s not always that we are doing something wrong? Sometimes we fail not only because we don’t have faith but because we spray too much negative criticism on a good thing even before it is put in place such that it doesn’t do us the good it was intended by the few men and women of faith and goodwill, or didn’t you think they exist?

If you are not proud to be Kenyan, at least don’t be ashamed of being Kenyan. A man said of Kenyan products; I will not buy Kenyan products just to prove I’m proudly Kenyan, give me quality and I will buy. I believe that is how true pride is achieved.



2. Call Upon God, Not The Government!

Those who watch the news are all too familiar with the rather sickening phrase ‘serikali iingilie kati’ which is now a cliché. That has to stop because if it brought us any solution it was short-term and we were stretching out our arms again, begging. Just like they (gov.) do to donors when they run out of funds in their budget.

It is not necessarily evil or detrimental to our progress if we called upon the government, but much more of our needs would be met if we called upon God just as much. Why call upon the ‘legion of thugs’ anyway when you can go straight to the source?

This point kind of inclines to religion, and not so long ago when priests and pastors were tossing themselves into politics every major TV station asked people to send their opinions whether or not religion and politics can mix. It’s hard to tell about the ‘can’ part, but what is for sure is that it should. I sure as hell want to know that my president prays. If we put God first, we wouldn’t have anywhere to go but up.


3. Hard Work/ Giving Back

There is no doubt that Kenya is a working nation, but why then is our hard work not reflected on our national growth? I may not know much but I think it’s the lack of a common goal. Most of us are at the point where we’d do anything for money, just to get by. So other people work to survive. Some people do what they do over other things because of the huge amount of returns.. (have nothing against that as long as it is legal).

Whatever the reason for working, we tend to miss the bigger picture- our contribution to the wider community through our work. Does our work change lives, does it make life easier or bearable to someone else? (Selling drugs to an addict doesn’t count). It doesn’t have to be something big. The point is, we may be working hard but some of us are working hard in the wrong direction because we always put ourselves first. The target should be a better future for the unborn children, our grandchildren. Our ancestors might have failed to prepare a good present for us but it doesn’t mean that we too should fail the generation that is going to come after us.

Yes, we should think of our immediate families first but in the end we should think of everyone. For this reason I suggest we do more volunteer work when we get the time off our busy schedule in addition to just dishing out money. Visit children’s homes or help clean the environment. Do physical work that will benefit the community, that is giving back.



4. Education

Our education system should change. This is a tough one because this system is all we know. Our teachers went through the same system, its all they know. That we read, we pass, we get a job- period. We don’t even need to think. Alternatively, we don’t read, we don’t pass, joblessness.

Poverty is by no means an excuse for poor quality of education. With a pencil, a paper and a good trainer one can still get quality education. Other things like computers, desks, a classroom etc just facilitate the process. Its like money and love. Love feels better if you have money but you can still have love without money. You tell me where Newton and Socrates got their education. (I understand though, that times have changed and that even Newton and Socrates would find it hard to cope in today’s world but you get my point)

This means we need an educated lot. We need men and women of integrity. Since education is one of government’s responsibility, they can do much to improve on the quality.



5. Family/ Morals

The basic unit of a community, that is what a family is. The family plays a very crucial role in developing us as responsible human beings as we grow up. Not enough attention is given to our young ones when they grow up so they get confused. They grow up thinking one thing is right until they find out its not when its too late.

We need to pay attention to what our children are thinking when they are still young and correct their misconceptions while its still possible. Children listen to what we say and emulate, when you watch the news and haul insults at a politician you don’t like, he’ll grow up thinking MP’s are stupid, a certain tribe are to be avoided and so on. We don’t want that.

We need to protect the innocent minds of our offspring from the cruel world we live in until they are ready for it. They need constant checking up, find out what they’ve learned, how they spent the day. The future might just depend on these minds. It’s a hard job, parenting. And it was meant to be done by parents, not by schools or the media.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

ENGINEER WANTED; I'M BUILDING MY OWN WORLD!

In the Greek language, there are three (actually four, it depends) words for love; eros which means passionate love with sensual desire and longing, Agapē which refers to general affection rather than the attraction suggested by eros and Philia which refers to a dispassionate virtuous love. It requires virtue equality and familiarity. I find it interesting that the Greek created these many words for love but I find it convenient, and so did Martin L. King Jnr. I have come to think that all the many great men and women who came before us were not any different from us, they too were human. Because even Mr. King who preached pacifism stopped to question himself, why should I love him who oppresses me and my people? What do you when he smacks you in the face for no reason? Yes even Mr. King questioned himself sometimes so we are not that much different, but at the end of the day there is something that makes us different… that makes me different. And that is Love. Mr. Martin explained that he couldn’t possibly love his oppressors, he just couldn’t. But he loved them by virtue of them being human. He loved them because God loved them too just as much as He loved him. He loved them because he was not as superficial as they were so as to just see the colour of their skin, but he saw them as brothers and sisters in the family of mankind.

I want that. I want to love, in all aspects of the word. I want to be loved. I want to create a world of my own where people share everything they have. I want a world of my own creation where everyone cares and people forgive. The Lord knows that I do try… I really try, just maybe not hard enough. I want to do good to people without expecting nothing in return. I want to wash people’s feet, I want to serve! I want to learn the secrets of life, learn about spirituality and gain all the wisdom I could get. I want to understand. I want faith. But most of all, I want God.

Isn’t that the meaning of life? We spend too much time just trying to get by, all for what? If you can love and find love in this life, then you are successful! Yes we need to work to put food on the table and even more but if only we understood what love can do… Malcolm X said (I’m ashamed to have to quote foreigners); Africans didn’t get their freedom by singing ‘we shall overcome’, they fought for it! Frankly I don’t know what to say to that, but I think that the real man is he who can still be able to love his enemies regardless of how much wrong they do him. It’s so easy to be angry, the task comes in containing it. What I’m saying is realistic, just in the same way poverty can be eliminated and tribalism can end!

Perhaps I’m dreaming. Well, I can’t waste my life hating. I’m creating my world within myself. And when I have kids I will share it with them. I will love them and I will teach them everything I know. Then I will tell them to spread it as far as they can. Then I will consider myself to have played my part. Because we cannot all be Martin Luther.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

LIFE SKILLS.

I read about the art of negotiation in the recent past and it created a notion in my head that to get what you want in life you just have to acquire the skills to play the game of life. The skill my people, is the art of negotiation. In reference to what I read, we all negotiate everyday. When you want someone to cover for you at work, when you have one too many drinks and can’t go home for some reason (maybe your wife is a python or you still live in your mother’s house) so you call a friend at 2am for a spot to sleep. Perhaps the latter situation is a little extreme in the sense that it doesn’t occur that often… well, for most people, but it is in such occasions that you need something a little extra to get what you need, that you might not necessarily deserve.

Just so that we are on the same page, I feel compelled to define the word ‘negotiate’, not according to the dictionary but in the context of which I’m using it. To ‘negotiate’ can fundamentally be defined as persuasion or convincing in order to gain that which you desire while having to give up the least. It is possible. This blog was not intended to give a lecture on the subject but I will say one thing, you have to understand the interests of the other person. Have a little something on them too, you get?

Anyway, so I tried to put into practice what I read in them stupid books. I went out to the world and I could see all the things I did wrong… unfortunately I couldn’t make them right, I’m just too critical to negotiate. Check this scenario; me and a friend walk up to the entrance of a club… wait, we weren’t going in to drink or party. We’d traveled together and arrived late (8pm) so while we were in town, he decided I had to see this place which he likes. I wasn’t so much interested but I went anyway. At the entrance I get frozen, apparently I look like a twelve year old with facial hair! It was ridiculous. I probably should but I don’t walk with my ID probably because I have never owned a wallet. I tried to ‘negotiate’ but what I ended up doing was trying to win the argument. I even engaged hypothetical talk; ‘what if I have a student ID?’ As we continued to argue, he lets another person enter without asking for his ID which makes matters worse. Long story short we were let in, my friend was the better negotiator for the day and he didn’t read any books. He bribed the bouncer with fifty shillings. I didn’t like that. I preferred to just walk away which I was already doing but my friend insisted. My point? I lost my point.

But I like the following conversation I heard in a movie.

Man 1 : How much do you charge?
Man 2 : 50,000
Man 1 : 50,000, are you kidding? Earlier you said 30,000.
Man 2 : Things have changed since then.
Man 1 : (Sighs) I’ll give you 40,000
Man 2 : Deal.
Man 2’s partner : Hey, you know what? We were bluffing, we would have taken 30,000
Man 1 : I was bluffing, I would have given you 50,000.

Monday, August 17, 2009

JUST WAVE.

In Nairobi we take greetings for granted, I can give you that. The fact that I nodded at you today doesn’t necessarily oblige me to perform a gesture in form of a greeting on the following day or from that day onwards. Its just how we live, it doesn’t mean I have a grudge against you, it just means we missed eye contact. That means we move on! So pardon me.

Yes, I do nod… that’s a form of greeting. I mean, you can’t be too careful these days, a Latino President caught that virus! No, not HIV, that H1N1 flu virus. I read some tweet suggesting hugging but I don’t swing like that. I don’t like getting all touchy especially around my abdomen. Plus, I hate when someone rubs my back when we hug, thank you very much, I’m warm enough. Its like they want to make sure their ‘dirt’ sticks on you, uh-oh. I’d rather wave, or just holler your greetings. Hugging is over-rated, even strangers want to hold me!

The hardest people to handle when it comes to greetings are those people you are not used to, you are not friends, you don’t even talk with each other but circumstances put you both in the same place everyday and you have to say hi to each other... the awkwardness brewed up by the situation can be so overwhelming!

Maybe I just leaped out of stone age but do you remember the days when there were greetings for different age groups? Like you wouldn’t just approach your dad and say “what’s up?” Where did those days go? Forget it I think I know… to the dogs.

I’m saying this because I came back home from college one day and found new security guards (don’t call them watchmen, some of them really sensitive) at the gate. They are not familiar with me so I see them looking at me funny but I know that they are just doing their job, so as I approach I holler my greetings in case they have something to ask me.

“Habari yako?”, I mutter.

He still gazes at me. He sees that I’m sure where I’m going, then he replies;

“Poa, Poa!”

I was dumbstruck. I just walked by feeling like the Flintstones.
That day I learned a valuable lesson. These men are not that old, they are just grown.

On another occasion, I come home at night. It was dark and again I have this thought that it would make their work easier if I make my voice heard so they can identify me by it.

“Niaje?”, I say as I hurriedly pass through.

“Wewe ni nani?”

“Screamer”, I replied.

“Unaishi wapi?”

Right then I knew I’d used the wrong greeting. I had better chances of passing without all the scrutiny if only I had kept my mouth shut. What? If I say “Habari yako”- you are not that old and if I say “niaje”-I’m a suspect?
That is so unfair. I had to answer a dozen more questions like I was some sort of criminal before I walked into the estate. On that night I learned another valuable lesson; to just keep my mouth shut until I’m talked to!

I don’t know if this is relevant but on that night my jeans were sagging, I had a cap and I carried a backpack.

Monday, June 8, 2009

KEEP YOU EYES OFF MY MONITOR!

I once watched on Tyra Bank's Show ( Yes, I watch Tyra, so what! But not so much for it to make me a sissy.) little boys and girls talking about cyber bullying, little kids took their own lives because someone they had never met kept telling them awful things like how ugly they looked or how stupid they are over the internet. Well, that's very sad- that they had to kill themselves, but the 'bullies' were right on that part about them kids being stupid!

Anyway, anyway... I wasn't going to write anything until when I was seated before this computer and this idiot passed by and tried to peep on the monitor so I quickly minimized everything, then I suddenly had something stupid to write about- stupid people!

It occurred to me like a vision, walaaaah! Our lives are now split into two; real lives and cyber lives. The internet is now such a big part of our lives... it's not bad. And it's made privacy so hard to achieve. I am not so good at keeping secrets. No, I'm not one of those who go on yapping uncontrollably and before I know it I said something I wasn't supposed to say, NO. Those kind of secrets I can keep. Or to be more accurate, it's the evidence of secrets I find hard to contain in obscurity. It's like spilling water and not wiping the floor hoping nobody will notice or that it will dry up before someone finds out there is water spilt. So to me the internet is the perfect place for me to keep the 'evidences' of my secrets without having to worry much, no one will find it there. At least no one I know.

So when this moron was peeping, trying to see what I'm upto on the internet I felt this overwhelming urge to punch him in the face. Look, didn't you get the hint when I minimized everything? The dude still hang around over my shoulder, gazing at the desktop! Well, damn him.

On other stories, yesterday was my birthday. 7th June was when the kid was born. I had the most people wish me a happy birthday ever since I can remember celebrating birthdays, thanks to facebook. And they said facebook was bad! I was glad. And I didn't do anything stupidly crazy like most people do on their birthdays, or just certain people whom I know. Anyone of you still want to wish me a... arrgh whatever! It's too late to say happy birthday but just go ahead and make me happier!

Disclaimer: The author is not responsible for any exergeration or wrong use of the word 'stupid' . The author is also not liable for any emotional distress that may arise from reading this blog post. Sensitive readers are warned not to read twice!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

KENYAN YOUTH ARE SLACK!


I was inspired by this article on mama's blog to write this one.

On a previous blog I wrote about how we kenyans talk too much and hold too many conferences but don't come out of them any better. It's because of lack of commitment actually. I'm not saying I'm any better, but at least I don't waste my energy... what I'm saving it for, I do not know. Truly, I tell you, some of my pals come to me and they say, Screamer tell us; what can we do to make money while we are still in college? And I try to think up a few things to conceal my cluelessness and uncertainity, so I suggest a couple of things... they are not impressed. They suggest a couple more but none of us think any of them would work. Then we sit up looking at each other like dummies and I feel bad. I feel bad because these boys want to do something but they can't figure out what! I exclude myself here, because I somehow don't have as much enthusiasm as they do. Not because I do not need money though.
Then I try to analyze the whole situation, who's fault is it? Are we not creative enough? Are dumb? In the end I blame the system in which we live in, and the society we grew up in. We don't like to read books of any kind, we don't really learn much in schools, we despise protocol, rules and regulations. We don't perceive education as worthwhile. We (for fairness sake, most of us) all like the same things; movies, booze, sex, music and partying! We like to lie to ourselves that everything is okay. Our dream is to loot public funds to make ourselves rich overnight, nobody cares! These are the ills of society we were brought up in. And the education system isn't helping in revoking these negative values.
I do not like to preach or to whine or go on and on about what is wrong. But this is how I feel. It will take much to change this attitude. We the youth could do a lot of good if we wanted. See, a career in music is not bad, but music is intangible. I believe that an economy is built by production of actual goods, and this requires skill. This skill is what is lacking.
The youth are slack, but again it may not be entirely our fault. Not to say that anybody owes us anything. But we are not the way we are because we are young, its partly because we were nurtured to be this way. So everyone may as well be guilty.

Monday, May 25, 2009

STUPID SCHOLARS!!

This weekend was interesting. But I was annoyed... but not the way you think, you will understand.

A lecturer from Daystar University, who is also a student in some university in S.A pursuing a PhD. in economics, came to my campus to carry out a research along with a few helpers of his. He came to do this under his student status, he explained. The research was in form of a game, that was made to simulate certain conditions in real life and his aim was to observe people's behavior when dealing with money in relation to other factors as ethnicity and gender. Apparently, this is the millennium way of executing research as opposed the old way of just using questionnaires.

He came to us in need of 'guinea pigs' for his experiments and we provided him just that... I was one of those guinea pigs, but only because I heard that there was going to be cash rewards.. and they promised much! But they clarified that the amount of money you will pocket will depend on how well you play the game.

So they group us in threes and explain the rules;
There is going to be player1, player2 and player3. These players will not know each other for they will be selected at random and they will not see each other for they will be in different rooms. The only detail a player will get of the other two players is their surnames, surnames were required to make it easy for other players to know your tribe. Each player will be assigned a certain amount of cash, not necessarilly equal in amount. Player1 will be required to transfer cash to player2 (a range within which the amount should fall was specified), player1 decides which amount he will transfer, and in return player1 and player2 get profits from this transferred amount- player1 gets 2 times the transfered amount, player2 gets 2.5 times the transferred amount. Player3 is rather dormant, his is just to watch. But his amount decreases by the amount transferred by player1, if player2 accepts the transfer. But player3 can choose to punish both player1 and player2 for his losses which they caused him, but in doing so he will have to incur more losses. If player3 does not do anything, he basically remains better off.

I played player1, I wanted to eat off this guy of a lecturer as much as I could, this is easy money, I thought to myself. In that room I could already see me swallowing whole bottles of beer! So I was willing to bet, the money wasn't mine anyway. It wouldn't even hurt losing somebody else's money in a gambling game! So hell yes I was willing to take a risk (which really wasn't a risk) so I transferred an amount.

Then they give us questionnaires to fill in, I remember one question "why did you to transfer?" then the multiple choices were... I can't remember but I know I ticked on the one that said "To increase my profits"!

Then afterward these sons of bitches tell us that transferring an amount represented offering a bribe! And by accepting, player2 was also corrupt. And if player3 did not punish the two players, that he saw corruption taking place and did not do nothing. So these assholes tell me that I'm corrupt? I'm not corrupt, you tricked me! This game lacked a lot in trying to reveal how corrupt minds think.

I don't know, I just felt used and deceived when they tried to convince me that I am that which I resent the most and that I just don't know it. That it will show when the opportunity presents itself. He almost concluded that we are all corrupt in one way or another, which is true. Corruption is sinful. It is fundamentally a sin. It is very clear in the good book that we are all sinners, there is not one pure soul in the face of the earth. Then how will some of us end up in heaven? ...because some of us will.

Maybe I am corrupt, but not the way that you are. But I learned something. That corruption is a matter of trust and passion, passion for your country and countrymen and trust in the leadership. Things don't have to stay the same.

For the curious heads, yes we got paid... but just like you guessed, not as much as they professed. No, I did not spend the rest of the weekend drinking.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I GOT TAGGED!

I want to thank all my readers, as few as they may be, especially you mama... for the the award and for giving me a reason to write in my blog again.

I got tagged! If you've never been tagged before, wait for your turn. I might just tag you (I am required to brag, pardon me if it sounds lame). Mama tagged me. This is my first time and it feels good. But again not so good... I'm supposed to reveal personal stuff. That's kinda tough.

Here it goes;

1. I have a way of disposing off my nails after I cut them, I eat them! I wouldn't bite them off straight from my fingers. I attend to them real nice and let them grow long enough, then I cut them in big chunks and arrange them on a table top somewhere. Then I pick them one by one and eat one at a time. It's like a ritual. And if one flies off as I cut it, I will have to pursue it. If I lose it, I feel awful. That may sound weird to you guys.

2. I hate small talk, probably because I may not be good at it. I'm a straight forward person, when I talk it's about what, where and when... and probably who. I hate gossip too. on the contrary I like deep conversation. I like to listen to people as they reveal their thoughts. But at times you can catch me blubber a bunch of dumb shit, when I'm in a good mood.

3. Unlike Mama, I'm not into cars at all. I don't know car names and I don't really have preferences.

4. I like beer (Well mama, if you are ever going to marry then I guess it wouldn't be me!). My good times are when I'm in a nice (and I mean nice) pub with nice music in the background and accompanied with a couple of friends and chics, talking... I don't know, real talk.. like discussing global warming.. haha.

5. I am relentless when it comes to things that challenge my intelligence, like crosswords... or math problems. This probably explains why I never get anywhere cause I spend too much time one thing and just won't let it go and wouldn't accept help until I'm really beaten!

6. I dread to make calls! I don't know what it is, but I find it easier to text and use other means to communicate. I'm too conscious about airtime credit. And if someone called me and I didn't know what to say to them, I hesitate to pick up.. even though THEY called. Add this to my inability to engage in small talk you can imagine how confused I become.

7. I sleep a lot, I think. I sleep very late and wake up late, I sleep about eight good hours during school days... meaning I miss various classes, and sleep even more in other days. But that's healthy, ain't it?

8. I can't mention seven names of fellas we went to school with in primary school.

9. I rarely go to church. Not to mean that I'm non-religious. I do pray, read the bible and all. Most of the times that I go, my mom dragged me.

10. I can become insensitive sometimes, cause I say things to people hoping to be funny and it turns out I'm mean. Chics are the common victims. Good thing is I realize and diffuse the whole thing.

11. What else can I say, ummmh... I like to be in clean environments but cleaning isn't one of those things I like to do.

12. I have never broken up with any girl, they all just fade away because I wouldn't call. At least not as frequently as girls would like. But that's just one reason I know, there may be more..

Attachments to the award.

1.You must brag about the award.

2.You must include the name of the blogger who bestowed the award on you and link back to the blogger.

3.You must choose a minimum of seven (7) blogs that you find brilliant in content or design.

4.Show their names and links and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with Honest Weblog.

5.List at least ten (10) honest things about yourself.

Then pass it on with the instructions!


Well, most of the people I would have tagged are already tagged... by she who tagged me.

Fixated- Ey, come back to blogosphere!

Rafiki- Tell us who you are.

Robin- What's underneath the poet in you?

Shishi- I especially want to hear about you!

neemadivine- I'm going to start reading you blog more often.


Jeez, I can't think of two more who are not yet tagged. Maybe I'll add them later.

Friday, May 8, 2009

HEY PEOPLE.

Yeah. I'm back.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I'M SICK OF TALKING!


I really love my country Kenya but we rant too much! That's why when everyone's out making their opinions known I choose to keep mum, because talking can sap so much of your energy in vain. Some people mean well when they talk, they want something to happen to counter whatever it is they are talking against. I fight the urge to talk but I pay attention and try to weigh everything. I do have opinions, sometimes I just don't know how well to put them across. I need time, give me a second. But time's moving fast and sooner or later I'll become that old guy we all don't want to become.
Go through those social network things, check out the groups, check out the blogs, organisations of people with common interests are being formed and websites are being set up. Seminars are being held, tours and workshops are scheduled, Vijana tugutuke thing, G-jue concert, The Kenya we want and of all that... it's too much! I hear the youth preaching aginst the old men as if the problem lies in the age. Women fight for leadership positions with the men, the disabled claim they are undermined and Muslims against christians... and the ugliest one being tribe against tribe each shifting blame crying foul that they are short-changed.
I'm not against all the talk, really, it does help to some extent. It might inspire trigger one of us who is listening to rise up for the occasion in the midst of all these cowards! Funny thing is everone is talking about the same thing at the same time. Everyone is trying to explain what is wrong with our society and our institutions or whatever... the few who try to think what a long term solution would be, end up doing nothing about it because, they claim, they have no power to do anything about it. Then just shut up because you are not helping.

Myself, I want to do something, I will. That which I think I can do nothing about, I listen to what they say... then say something when I do something. Like what Mutahi Ngunyi says, it doesn't have to be something big. But big is relative.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

SO WHAT IF I DON'T SAY IT?


I invited Becky over to my place last week... and she CAME! All the way to from Kiambu just to come see me. I was so glad to see her after that long, about six months. She still looks beautiful. Okay, Becky is just a friend... or a little more than that but not that other thing. Notice that? I said thing. Wait, you'll understand.

I was telling Becky about these girls I've been having while she's been away, she keeps asking and she bugs when she starts, I don't like talking about it... with HER. And she noticed I never use the word 'love', even just in conversation. Like instead of saying 'fall in love' I say 'being in that situation' and stressing on the word 'like' when I actually mean 'love'. Yeah, I admit. I'm not so fond of the word. And then that she mentioned I noticed I rarely say those three magical words chics like to hear- 'I love you'. Becky condemned me for that, just because I don't say I love you. My explanation is; I'd rather not say it unless I mean it! Is that so wrong?

Not more than a week later after our conversation I decide to send Becky a text, I tell her I love her. She says I'm just playing, that I just want to see how she'll react! Upto that point, I just don't know. She said she loves me too, but I just don't know which love she was reffering to, I don't even know which one I was reffering to, you understand?

I spend too much time with the boys is what she claims, that they corrupting my mind. The love doctor was talking, telling me that the way to a woman's heart is when you do to her the things that you swear you wouldn't otherwise do, dropping the ego. I'm like okay. Don't get me wrong though it's not like I'm trying to be 'hard'. I know how to treat them ladies, I just won't lie to them, especially when it comes to LIKING them. Just be cool and we can have fun, alright? Don't start with all that talking, getting all mushy trying to re-enact a scene from your favourite soap opera!

Then there is the question of when to say it. After what, three days, weeks, months? Is there a standard time? Jeez, I might just go out and tell every female that I love them!

For real, I'm training my mouth to get used to the taste it gets after saying the word.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

IT WAS AN ACCIDENT!


Right about now, everyone is talking about the K.U (Kenyatta University) mayhem, for lack of a better word. I just feel bad about the whole incident. I might say something when everyone is quiet about it.

The past week has been very aweful for me. My mind had been clogged by nothing but death thoughts... no matter how hard I tried to evade them thoughts, I even had death dreams... but that's a story for another day. But I think that I came out a better person, stronger. I can handle grief.

I went out to drink this weekend. I blacked-out! Now before you judge me, it was an accident. The fact that I K.O'd was an accident. Because I've like, passed out blatantly like that like, three times ever since I started drinking! That's got to be a record. I had my first sip when I was 16. I know that's young....

But I'm a responsible young man, I was the guy who talked sense into the heads of the 'gang' back in high school. Apparently, while in a group people stop thinking, what else can explain the K.U frenzy? I will explain it to you right now, people stop thinking when they are a group!

Oh, what I should explain is how my 'accident' happened. Nothing complex really, I was seated in a bar... I gulped a couple of glasses... and without a warning... I pass out! That's all I remember. I mean, I wasn't even past my 'gauge' yet. Now this is not something I'm proud of. I regret it, even thought of quiting the drink (still thinking). I did NOT enjoy my high that night. That was a waste... a waste of money... a waste of time... and a waste of energy. I felt this feeling of nothingness in me, it killed me. That sort of behavior is not for a person of my stature. I'm supposed to show these friends of mine the right way!

I doubted what happened, so I said to myself "I won't blame it on the A-a-a-a-alcohol, since it's been loyal to me, and I have treated it with respect, we've had this wonderful relationship with no strings attached, so I MUST'VE been DRUGED!" All my friends were against the idea, because we were together and everything I had was with me because they took care of me. So I dropped the idea. I'm left with nothing... except that- "It was an accident!"

Now that's my story. I don't mind airing my dirty laundry for you all to see, unless if you all do.