Saturday, September 29, 2007

How to become famous in Kenya

We have famous people in Kenya like, business men & women, politicians, lobby groups, comedians and actors, religious leaders, journalists etc. They are famous because they interact with more people compared to the common man or woman. They appear in the media more than other people for many reasons. However there are some who became famous for bad reasons like criminals and hooligans.

I believe that when one wants to became famous in Kenya, it is very easy especially now during elections. Sometimes it happens in a very unfortunate way like a woman aspirant beaten up by people believed to be an opponent. The media highlights the story and people get to know the person.

Lobby groups stage protests against politicians like the recent ones against MPs' send off pay packs. Someone like me did not know Ms. Ann Njogu until she was rescued by Minister Charity Ngilu for participating in civil society protests. We have seen people coming out of nowhere and becoming famous for funny reasons that end up being a success.

I can give an example of how a young man or woman can gain fame very easily. He or she can come up with a group called Maendeleo ya Vijana and registering it, then appear in a group of young people at the law courts to call for the release of University Students arrested for staging a protest like the recent one against Political attacks in Kisii. Within a short time people will get to know about the group, after that young people will want to get registered in the group.

This is how Mr. Nderitu Njoka started Maendeleo ya Wanaume. He appeared in support of Mr. Kamangu of the famous case of Bishop Margaret Wanjiru vs. Mr. Kamangu the man who claims he was her husband. Within no time the guy became famous and would appear in the media talking about issues relating to men.

He was at it again for a very funny reason. When KTN brought the story on News Shot yesterday I thought it was about Mr. Kamangu and wondered what he is up to now. I waited eagerly to see what Maendeleo ya Wanaume had this time. Then I realized he was fighting for a noble cause that many have ignored for years. Women and International groups have been fighting mainly for the rights of the girl child but not the boy child. So Njoka brought up a good issue.

However he has started with the case of a particular boy who is not a living thing. He is a sculpture. This is a picture of the naked boy carrying fish at Nairobi law courts that Mr. Njoka is fighting for his rights.
Njoka says the boy’s rights have been abused for being displayed naked in public; he wants the boy dressed up and the government to stop the fountain splashing hot or cold water on the boy Oops! I couldn’t help laughing all through and wonder if that is something worth fighting for.

Then I realized he could be right because women would do the same if there were a sculpture of a girl or a woman in a public place. It has taken many years for people to see this, we all thought it’s just a sculpture of a small boy and there was nothing wrong with it.

On the other hand Mr. Njoka is gaining more fame as the chairman of a group that others even male politicians never thought of starting. You never know he may also be eyeing a parliamentary seat this year or in the next elections.

That is how easy one can become famous in Kenya.

Friday, September 28, 2007

To buy a house or to build

Making a decision to buy or build a house in Kenya depends on ones financial status. Years back it was common for people to rent houses built by the government, city council, housing finance and a few individuals who owned houses.

Most houses were bungalows and maisonettes were only one storey. In those days you would find one house in a compound or if there was any other building it was the servants quarters.

However with time and rapid population growth in the city, demand for housing increased, and more buildings started coming up. People started building flats with more storeys to accommodate more tenants.

Before this happened, Nairobi was very clean and neat, with houses in each estate built in one style. Other estates like Buru Buru came up with different designs for its 5 phases, those days it was considered one of the posh estates in Nairobi even the Queen visited when she came to Kenya. Other estates that were clean and neat are Umoja 1, Olympic, Fort Jesus, Madaraka, Otiende, Woodley, Makadara, Uhuru, South C and Kimathi etc. with good roads and tarmacked courts.

Suddenly things changed, flats and all types of buildings started coming up, in all kinds of style within these estates. People also started building extensions behind or in front of their bungalows and flats. Some compounds were small and one would not imagine it could accommodate another building but people built flats on those small compounds.

Other estates mainly composed of flats started coming up in lands that were vacant. Like in Kayole, Zimmerman, Embakasi, Highrise etc… People bought land and built in all kinds of style. Some flats are so slim and tall one would think they could come down if something strong shook them.

I believe city council has rules and guidelines that dictate the way buildings are supposed to be built in a city, especially a capital city like Nairobi. They also have to inspect tall buildings to approve that the structures are built according to architectural standards and are safe. However this has not been the case in Nairobi until buildings started falling down even within the City center.

Anyway back to my subject, whether to build a house or buy. Many people find it cheaper buying a plot and building a house slowly or within a short time depending on their income or financial ability, others take loans to build houses. Co-operative saccos have helped people buy plots and build, same as banks.

There are those who do not qualify for bank loans and are not members of Saccos, so they have to work hard to buy a plot and build a house. This is why many people have moved to out skirts of the city to homes they have built. Many are still buying vacant plots or pieces of land in places like Ngong, Athi River, Ruai, and Embakasi etc.

One thing that many people long for is to own there own piece of land and a home.
Whether it is built of mbao (wood), mabati (iron sheets), mchanga (mad) or mawe (stones). Just the thought of not having that ka landlord or lady demanding money at the end of the month is very satisfying.

Some people are very inpatient and decided to enter their houses after putting up the structure and roof. Some would enter their houses after putting windows and glass without plastering, the inside looks like a cave. I have even seen people in town and rural areas who put boxes on the windows and curtains to cover the windows to get out of a life of paying rent or to move in their own home.

With the congestion in the city, high cost buildings with no compounds. I prefer moving to my own home away from the city, not having to worry about paying rent every month, nosy neighbors and some fresh air.

When he forgets my birthday does he really love me?

It was yesterday the 27th September the day when I was born. It is an important day for me that I always remember. I celebrate it and love it. I just can’t miss it because it is the day that I stepped on this planet earth.

Birthdays are good and quite a number of people celebrate birthdays but not all do that. Those who have chosen to skip or ignore this day are also normal people like you and me who celebrate the day. However, for one reason or the other the day passes without them knowing. With this habit in them they forget the birthdays of their beloved ones until the owner of the birthday reminds them. This is a common mindset in most men in that they forget the birthdays of their children, parents and even wives. Cases of mistrust and doubtful love have been the outcome of this in some extreme cases.

There are ladies that are so obsessed with celebrating their birthday that if her man forgets it becomes a punishable issue and the punishment can be very bitter. There are also some men who are carried away by the same. Men and women have used lack of participation of their partners in their birthdays as a justification for separation.

What is just there in the celebration of a birthday? If your man or woman forgets your birthday is it an indication of the lower level of love? Are well-celebrated birthdays indicates improved love?

Birthdays may not be traced in the African cultures. There were celebrations when a child is born but such celebrations were not repeated later in life. That is why many old Africans are unable to recall when they were born unless they estimate the period with certain events.

Times have changed very much and a lot of issues are passing in our lives and minds. Can we drop the celebration? How can we explain to our loved ones that we still love them and keep on forgetting their birthdays?

I am at a loss!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Men in the Kitchen…………….

In my vernacular when a lady is married we say she has gone to cook (nyako odhi tedo) that is it. You have gone to cook. Cook………. cook and cook till death relieve you from that duty. If that is the African language then a woman belongs to the kitchen. How do you take that ladies? It is not me………it is African and your culture if you are an African regardless where you are.

Times are changing and now cooking timetables are being drawn where the man takes some of the days of the week. Some ladies say that husbands cooked food tastes better and they prefer their men cook for them.

I don’t know whose side I belong but I know my husband’s cooked food will not go well with the entire family. I have not tasted any food cooked by him so I have nothing to compare. I can only imagine its terrible because he’s mum and sisters did all the work in their house.

Just like I said times are changing and timetables are being drawn for men to take part in preparing meals. May question to African men are you willing to move to the kitchen?

Women can switch positions, relax with a newspaper while waiting for dinner.

Religion and Politics

Church, Christianity and religion seem to be playing a big part in this year’s elections. Many Church leaders like Pius Muiru, Margaret Wanjiru, Kamlesh Pattni (also known as Paul) and Mutava Musyimi etc… have expressed their interest in joining politics.

ODM-K presidential candidate Kalonzo Musyoka has severally associated himself with Christians and is said to be a born again Christian. He also believes that he is the chosen one of God to lead this nation.

ODM presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, has been attending Church services where church leaders surround him in prayers to bless his presidential candidature. Like on Sunday he attended a service in Kericho before an ODM rally. Priests laid hands on him and his running mate Musalia Mudavadi to bless them.

President Kibaki known of not so famous in attending church every Sunday like the former president Moi, lately seems to have changed too. He is nowadays a regular church attendant.

Kamlesh Pattni was in Marakwet with Linah Kilimo where they attended a fundraiser in Aid of African Inland Church.

In yesterday’s Standard newspaper,I was shocked to see former “Total Man” Nicholas Biwott receiving blessings from American preachers who will fund multi-million water project in Kerio Valley. One thing though, he did not close his eyes when others did. That is not Christian like total man but I know next time you will close your eyes.

What I ask myself is the role of Christianity in politics? Why renowned men and women of God now want to take up a new occupation in politics? What is so good in politics that they missed in the church leadership?

Then my next question is why are our politicians who had earlier been irregular churchmen now turning to God? Have they seen God’s strength as what they need now or could it be to hoodwink the electorate? Do they really mean what they are doing or they are out to hunt for more votes in the churches? There must be a reason why they all are now visiting churches and that reason if you ask me is for personal gain not spiritual ratification, though this may be part of it for the few of them?

Pulpit to politics, priests, pastors why are you going this direction? I think a political constituency is bigger than a church congregation and you are looking for more followers. I don’t intend to judge anyone but I seek to know. What is politics to do with religion?

Lastly I want to say that God at His own appointed time will give us (Kenya) his chosen leader. Not by the number of hands that the earthly men has placed on you or the increased visitation to the holy shrines that you have made of late, but because God knows who is the next president of this country.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Kids on Politics and Tribalism

Did you know that politics and tribalism begins right in your houses?

Our children are influenced by our discussions and have become very political. They are in touch with the happenings of the political arena. They are also turning tribal because the political shape of this country seems to be tribal. This is a worrying trend.

When new political parties are formed, they know it is for which tribe. It was just the other day I heard very young boys saying:

“We ni wa ODM si wewe ni mjaluo (You are an ODM member, you are a Luo)” nasty comments. I know you have heard of such segregating comments even from our politicians.

When I heard these I asked myself what nation we are preparing for these children. Are we preparing them to fight on tribal lines in future? But the fundamental question is where do these children take sides from? Are we parents part of this? Do you teach your child to be discriminative and biased?

My kids also discuss politics and what is on the day’s news. When I get home after the news has passed they will brief me on what was in the news mainly on political issues. You would think politics is one of the subjects they do in school.

This is a very worrying trend, the bad lessons are being learned right in our family houses? Who is to blame? Am sure you all know the answer to that.

Stop this wrong subject in your homes for a better Kenya tomorrow!

Political violence in Kisii

I had talked about Political attacks earlier this month and said this could just be the beginning as we are nearing elections.

However when I watched news with Mr. Nyachae taking a guard of honor comprising of men with pangas, bows and arrows, I thought this could be in his homestead and not a public meeting where he was to preside over a fundraising.

You would think he was preparing for war against some wild animals coming to attack villagers. I only came to realize the animals he was preparing to protect himself from are very innocent human beings. Whose only sin was to arrive in a chopper at the fundraising he was to preside over.

These harmless people were non-other than Mr. William Ruto, Mr. Omingo Magara and Mr. Chris Bichage. May be the only weapon they came with was their political mouth, which could not harm an ant.

Nyachae must have heard rumors that they would gate crash the meeting or they would be coming in a group, his warriors would not be armed like this.

Those supporting Mr. Nyachae’s gang say it was wrong for Mr. Ruto, Mr. Magara and Mr. Chris Bichage to gate crash this fundraising. I do not agree with that because it was a public meeting and not a special invitation function where one needed a card to enter. Furthermore it was not in an enclosed hall. People do not gate crush in public harambees (fundraising meetings), weddings, political rallies etc… where one is not required to show an invitation card at the entrance. Needless to emphasize more people are normally required in such function and the higher the attendance the more successful the occasion will be.

I have seen opposition politicians attending funerals and functions where the President is also attending or invited, but I have not seen such ugly incident like what happened in the “not-for-all” function of Mr. Nyachae.

The worst part was when he stood up to support what his warriors had done, talking tough sweating and swearing using such words like, wasifikiru watakuja kutukojolea hapa, sisi pia tukona vijana (let them not think they can come to urinate on us here, we also have young men), tutawakanyaga (we will step on them).

It was also sad to note that all this happened in full view of senior police officers and the government authorities that were present. They did not arrest these youth who were armed with very crude weapons or their MP (Mr.Nyachae).

This was such a shameful act from someone I would call a veteran politician who should be a good example to young politicians. Kenyans have tolerated Old politicians and treated them with respect for years but if this is the legacy they want to leave behind, they better call it quit.

Do you also remember that Nyachae had at one time vied for presidency of this country? Mwana wa Nyandusi, would you want to be a president after this incident? I hope your answer is No (anyway hes reached political menopause). The behavior of Mr.Nyachae (I deliberately prefer not to address him as honorable because he didn’t behave like one) reflect badly on the government and political party that he services.

I think the best thing that Nyachae should do to in order to salvage his public image is to swallow his pride and apologize to Kenyans and the opposition politicians involved.

This incident woke up University students who have not demonstrated for political reasons for a long time, they have vowed to continue with their demos for a better Kenya, despite some of them being arrested by the police.

Let Kenyans shun violence and violent politicians. My prayer is this does not happen again in Kenya and that we will have peaceful elections.

Gospel music singer Angela Chibalonza Muliri

A lot has taken place in Kenya this weekend, but first I will start by paying tribute to Gospel music diva Angela Chibalonza Muliri, who lost her life in a grisly road accident on Saturday morning on Naivasha road.

I was terribly shocked by her sadden death, I could not believe it when it was announced on TV because she had performed recently in the thanksgiving prayer meeting at Uhuru park which was also attended by the President.

She is a Congolese, they are known for being great musicians in Africa. Most of her songs are mainly in Kiswahili. She also mixed Congolese with Kiswahili lyrics in some of her songs.

She left behind a husband and 3 young kids. I take this opportunity to say pole sana to the family and my God bless them.

This is one of her CDs by Amefufuka web shop.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Defection to ODM are these the victor’s signs?

Kiss FM radio normally hosts Kwamchetsi Makokha on Mondays to talk on politics and check the level of political temperature. I believe the political temperature is now rising, heading to fever levels.

Now that the President has officially defected to PNU or PANU from NARC, when everyone thought he would defect to the flower party NARC Kenya. The race to State House for the 3 horses ODM, ODM-K and PANU has officially begun. Many people say there are only two horses and the third animal may be a donkey. I believe you all know which one it is but lets wait till the race is done.

This is the time for deciding the best party that can assure a politician of getting a civic or parliamentary post. This is the time for mass defections. You defect wrongly and you fail. Electorates only know the parties they are not interested in, the name and it is normally a three pieces suit (President, MP and Councilor).

I believe the party that gets most defectors is the party to watch in this coming election. The presidential candidate of that party is the man to watch (no woman so far). The defections are going to be numerous in the near future but watch where they go to not where they come from.

The mood on the ground will dictate the movements of those defecting; those shopping around should watch out for this and should not waste their money campaigning when they are in the wrong parties.

Two Presidential candidates have so far chosen their running mates Mr. Raila Odinga of ODM, who chose Mr. Musalia Mudavadi from western province and Mr. Kalonzo Musyoka of ODM-K chose Prof. Julia Ojiambo also from Western.

The President also seems to be eying western province with his week long tour of western province even going door to door asking for votes. Western province is the province with beautiful political brides to woe. Two have so far been booked for marriages.

Mr. Kalonzo Musyoka said his choice of Prof. Julia Ojiambo is historical for being the first party to choose a woman as a running mate. If women in Kenya would take that statement seriously and vote because of that fact,then his party would easily sail to State House because women are the majority in Kenya. However voting pattern in Kenya shows that women prefer voting for popular men instead of voting for a woman just for the sake of it.

I asked my house help from western province how Prof. Julia Ojiambo would do in Western if she was a Presidential candidate. The answer I got shocked me, I don’t know if its was ignorance or what. She answered me huyo mama si mjui (I don’t know that woman).

This clearly may demonstrate that the professor is little known in her home land.
Anyway now major defections have started taking place, the strongest party is gaining. Mr. Cyrus Jirongo formally of Kanu YK2 defected to ODM and was full of praises for Mr. Raila Odinga read more. Mrs. Tabitha Seii who has vied for Keiyo South a number of times to unseat Mr. Biwott unsuccessfully visited Orange house. That I can say is a sign of defection to come.

Who therefore seems to control Western. Raila has Musalia while Kalonzo has the Professor. PANU has some but has not decided on who is the best before they defect (most likely). Are these the signs of where the direction of victory is heading to?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Mobile connection in Kenya

With improvement of modern technology now most Kenyan’s are connected through the three main mobile phone providers Safaricom, Celtel and Telkom wireless.

Communication is now very easy, many are so used to their mobile phone gadgets until I wonder how we managed without mobile phones in the past.

There are many mobile phone companies in the world, however “Nokia is the world leader in mobility, driving the transformation and growth of the converging Internet and communications industries. Nokia makes a wide range of mobile devices and provides people with experiences in music, navigation, video, television, imaging, games and business mobility through these devices. Nokia also provides equipment, solutions and services for communications networks”. Read more

Nokia phones are also the most popular mobile phones in Kenya. You will notice nearly every Kenyan has a Nokia phone. Mobile phone prices have also reduced greatly giving more Kenyans the opportunity to own a mobile phone or more.

Nokia have introduced many makes of different prices depending on one's status, check out their makes. One make that is very common with the common Kenyan is the Nokia 1110i

However you will find that network is still a problem in some parts of Kenya. One has to move to a certain part of the home or room to get a clear network.

We have seen in the news people climbing trees upcountry to get a network. I can imagine one calling home from the US to speak to his/her grandparents or parents but end up not speaking to them when they are too old to climb the tree. Unless they are taken to a center where there is a connection.

Traveling to Magadi some 3 years back for an outing on a public holiday. The vehicle we were traveling in lost control on one of the hills and rolled back into a ditch. After getting out of the vehicle safely, we moved up on the road for help. Two Masaai came along and were very helpful. Being a public holiday there were no vehicles in sight for some time, so we decided to call for help only to realize there was no network. They informed us that the only place we could find a Safaricom network is on a hill, which was far from there or at Magadi town itself.

One of us tried to walk with them to get the network because we were still far from Magadi town. He gave up and came back realizing it would be a long walk with thorny shrubs on the way. Some motorists later rescued us and our vehicle that was badly damaged towed away.

This still happens when traveling up country to Western and other parts of Kenya, somewhere on the way the network goes off.

Nevertheless Kenya is now more connected than before, mobiles are getting cheaper and cheaper. One can now get a phone as cheap as Kshs.999/- around 15 US dollars.

However there is still a big population of Kenyan’s who cannot afford even the cheapest mobile phone.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Village girl Vs Town girl

Many men in Kenya still believe that a town girl is a“mjuaji” (know it all), spoilt with bad morals. You would find a man living in Nairobi going to get a wife upcountry when ready to marry.

A relative once told my boyfriend (now my husband) to avoid Nairobi girls. That relative from upcountry thought that girls found in towns especially Nairobi are bad news and not wife material. My husband did not listen to that and went ahead to marry me and I believe he considers his marriage a happy one. There are many ladies who have been dropped simply because they were brought up in town and the husbands to be thought that they are not the right type.

It is true that though brought up in town are a bit different from the up country ones. They see thinks differently and are likely not to accept some things. The upcountry men may get it difficult to accept the reality of the town life and the town lady may also get it difficult to embrace the reality of village life. One should only know that the two sets of life (village and town) exist and couple can be in either of the two.

Education alone has not enlightened men on this. There are very educated ones who still think the same. Some Professors also have gone ahead to look for wives in the village hoping that is where the good breed comes from. Interestingly, village ladies seem not to prefer village men and would like to be married to men from the cities.

My question is that are village born ladies better than city born ladies if one is looking for a wife? Is ones character determined by where she is born or brought up? I know a lot happens in our cities that can influence the character of an individual.

I think that this issue should be approached case by case. I strongly believe that our cities still have good ladies just like the one my husband got. But there are also rotten ones as well. At the same time the villages also have the two groups. There are village girls who once they come to town become worse. Men should know that marrying a village girl does not mean she will remain there. You will get work in the city and bring that village lady to the city and from there you will have the town girl you have been trying to avoid. It is for this reason that I think people should be judged by their natural character not by where they were brought up.

Date rape

This is an issue that has been talked about for a long time, but I wonder if there anything like date rape. I decided to write my views and also asked a man about his views on this issue.

I believe this happens when a girl or a lady visits her boyfriend in his house, then one thing leads to another. To be exact, the lady is forced to accept a sexual act with the man against her will.

The issue was discussed on Classic Fm radio recently. Interestingly, a man called and asked what does a girl come to do in my house, to watch TV? Does she come to sleep on my bed because there is no bed in her house? This clearly demonstrates what men think when a lady friend visits them. They expect something to be done to the lady; and that is what has brought the lady. Surprisingly, that thing according to men is sex.The man knows that the lady expects that to be done and even when the lady says NO to it, the man would take that as a YES. Men believe that if the sex is not done, the lady will question their manhood and may take them as incapable. What a misunderstanding?

Ladies on the other hand does not know the mindset of their friends as they go visiting. Of course mature ones know this.A lady will visit a friend and expect to talk to him, visit places, discuss issues etc.The sex is at times not in her to do list during such visit. The lady does not consider sex as a compulsory act anytime she meets the man.

What should we do if these are the brothers and sisters that we have? Should the ladies stop to visit the sex- minded man till she is ready to have sex with him? Should the men have a changed mind that sex is not all that makes man-lady relationship?

I think we all have different answers to these questions. My take is that a lady needs to study her man and make a judgment when to visit. If you have a man who cannot take a NO for an answer once you have come, then simply don’t go if you are not ready for that.

The study does not mean that you call him and ask him; “I want to come darling, would you promise to behave today?” Men are very cunning, they promise this and do the other; no wonder they think a NO from a lady means YES. The study am talking about is where you go, say NO and mean it. If the man persist even after telling him NO and he leads you to do what you had said NO to, then that man is the one to visit on safe days when you are ready to say YES.

Men of course will not say NO. They are ready at all times. It is the readiness of the lady which is at stake.

Lastly I appeal to men please see your lady friend as a friend. It is not bad to make those advancements but once you have been told NO. It is that. You may beg but don’t force. This has led to unwanted pregnancies, break of relationships and date rapes that the ladies hate to remember.

Friday, September 14, 2007

What do the rains have to do with Nairobi jam?

It took me 3 hours to get home yesterday from Industrial area, a journey that can take me 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the route I take.

With a colleague we decided to go round Likoni road, Jogoo Road, to town then Valley Road to Ngong road because Enterprise road we normally use to Nyayo Stadium was terrible and from previous experience we thought the other route would be better.

We reached Landies road when it was already dark, many people where walking to Jogoo Road to catch Matatus (public transport). After passing the City center the other side of town was ok. Enterprise Road has become a nightmare making getting to work and out of Industrial area a major problem that should be sorted out as soon as possible.

The other problem with the rains is pedentrians sometimes walk on the road because the side walks get maddy.

When will this nightmare end?

Village Vs Nairobi: Where would you choose to live?

I have stayed in Nairobi city since my childhood and whenever I visit my home village, many villagers simply accost me to assist them come and live in the city.

Firstly, what is so fanatic about Nairobi that makes so many people want to come and leave here? Well, the obvious reasons come with basic things readily available in the town for those that can afford. There are good houses with nearly all the modern things that you may dream of; electricity, hot shower water, swimming pools, security alarm system and many others.

And indeed there are the other luxuries of the town that are readily available. Needless to say, there are job opportunities so long as you can compete well in the job market. It is in Nairobi that we possibly have the best competent personnel in the whole country. The schools in Nairobi are also good, good hospitals, entertainment sites, vocational centres, churches, good roads and the list is endless.

I want to emphasise that all these goodies in the city comes with a price and the price at times is very expensive.

Having said that, what is there in the village that may attract us there?

The village life is simply a cheap life. In the village you will be able to have a watchman, maid, bodyguard, shamba boy and all sorts of private workers at cheap price. The village has its own fun as well. In the village there is no traffic congestion that is a daily nightmare for the Nairobians. The village has minimal threat of security, cheap food, plenty of land, fresh air and of course cheaper comfort of life. It is true that chances of getting money in the village are slim, but given the same amount of money in the village as you have in Nairobi, life would be cheaper, enjoyable and comfortable.

Our Nairobi life is deterioration day in day out. The infrastructure is inadequate to cope with the ever increasing population of this city. The insecurity has become a scaring menace and the public facilities that we would otherwise enjoy in the city are depilated and abandoned with poor services.

Many Kenyans have come to the city to realise their dreams but end up living a worse life than what they have left in the villages. The slum life is a good example, where we don’t have toilets, running tap water, roads, hospitals, good housing and many others. The condition of living there is extremely wanting.

I want to conclude by saying that you should not be so convinced by Shakespear`s description of a good home as an “other Eden, demi-paradise”. The grass might be greener in the city, but it is not completely free of weeds and dangerous forests. Nairobi has its own challenges and some are very extreme.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

My new Template

I decided to change my template to Scribe by Todd Dominey because I feel it looks better and easier to read compared to the previous one Thisaway Rose by Dan Rubin.

Though no one complained about the previous one, I hope this is much better now.

What do you think?

Where is Mr. and Mrs. Right

Looking for someone to have a relationship for life is normally not an easy task. People have made various mistakes as they try to get the right partners of their life. However, the decision to get married at times becomes irreversible. People normally start to notice problems and the reality of what they have got themselves into far much later in the relationship. Most of the times this happens when the children have come into the family and possibility of separation becomes remote.

People choose there partners for various reasons but some of these reasons are regrettable. We know of ladies who had turned many relationships down for trivial reasons. Such ladies had laid down a yardstick for what they will go for and they are not willing to compromise this. We all know ladies that have stated key economic parameters that they are looking for and that the man of their dream must have. This is where the big problem starts.

Well it is good to have an economically stable partner but I don’t think that is all we should look for. Life is not made of money and goodies alone. Money can obviously not buy every thing as one man once said “money can buy a good bed but not sleep”.

My point is that Mr. Right is not clothed with economic strength but a genuine love for you. How many of us entered into marriages or intend to go into it driven by love and not economic status of the partners. How many have pretended to love in order to encroach in to their partner’s empire of wealth.

I strongly believe that money on its own cannot sustain a relationship. It must be blended by a strong love. If you are in it because of money you will leave it because of the same.

We have seen friends that have decided to remain single as they wait for Mr. and Mrs. Right. However, the attribute of such a person in most cases is sited to be a rich man, stable employment, financial stability, independent, good profession, adequate investment etc. These are what some of our ladies and gentlemen look in partners to be.
I want say that men make money but money don’t make men. Hope you agree to that?

That is were we have all got it wrong.

Think twice as you look for Mr. or Mrs. Right.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Political attacks in Kenya

First I will start by condemning the night raid at Orange house where ODM have their offices. Computers and hard disk containing the movement’s confidential data were stolen.

This makes me wonder what were the motives of this raid, I can only imagine it is political but the police say it was a normal burglary. As usual there will be investigations that may not yield anything.

The other political attack I would like to condemn strongly is that of Ms Flora Igoki Tera, a parliamentary aspirant for North Imenti constituency by a five-man gang.

This was obviously done by a political opponent most probably a man who felt threatened. This was a very cowardly attack, did the person have to send all these men to attack one helpless woman.

Such attacks are common in Kenya during elections. In 2002 Yvonne Khamati was beaten up during 2002 elections, a male aspirant threatened to undress her in public because of her political ambition. This did not stop her from doing what she felt was her right. Beth Mugo’s convoy was one time stoned as she campaigned in her constituency and many others.

This could just be the beginning as we are nearing elections. There could be more attacks especially on women, since more women in Kenya have been encouraged to participate in politics this year compared to other years. There have been lobbies for more seats for women, political parties and the Government promising women more seats.

However I must say that such attacks are not only limited to women aspirants alone, even men aspirants also get attacked by opponents or their supporters.

I believe Kenyan women aspirants are determined and will not be derailed by such cowardice attacks on their political ambitions.

Exporting Crime to the neighbouring countries

This is an email from my friend working in a neighbouring country, who feels that Kenyan’s are exporting crime to other countries.

A Tanzanian colleague once told me that it is Kenyan’s who introduced crime in Tanzania. I could not believe this because I think crime is all over the world.

I hope you have been keenly reading this. Kenyans are now declared criminals. They have been stealing all over the neighbouring countries: Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, and many others. They have been actually robbing violently. Recently there were also cases of forgery by Kenyans in the US and other crimes. These are very shameful acts that must be addressed by our leaders. I personally condemn this act in the strongest term possibly.

Those involved though some are now dead, are tarnishing the name of our beloved country, making people view us working in these countries badly. This would greatly jeopardize revival of EA community. They have left a smelling wound in the relation with our neighbours.


My question is why so many crimes lately?

The month of September

September is a month that I regard highly compared to other months, its historical and my lucky month.

These are some of the reasons why I say it is historical and my lucky month:-

1. I was born in September
2. It starts with the letter S as my name.
3. 3 of us in our family, my sister & my only brother were born in September
4. My first son was born in September. I nearly got my daughter in September when she was due 1st week of September and decided to come earlier in August.

There are other events that took place this September that caught my attention, the main one was Orange Democratic Movement in Kenya decided to choose their Presidential candidate on 1st September, may be it was also a good month for them, everything went on smoothly despite disagreements they had earlier, causing a break up with ODM K.

On the other hand there is an historical event that took place in the month of September that makes me wonder why these people chose September.

Todayis 6 years since September 11 bombing attacks in the USA. . This left me and many wondering why these suicide bombers decided to end their lives together with thousands of innocent people on this day and especially in this month.

This brought a dark cloud to September a month that I have always considered very bright and full of hope. Despite what happened to the people in the US, I still regard this month as very important to my family.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Is Africa a continent of beggars and whiners?

Yesterday’s preacher in Church mentioned in his sermon that Africa is a continent of beggars and whiners. We like complaining a lot and depend on foreign aid too much yet we have many resources that can be exploited to improve our lives.

Most African countries borrow from foreign countries to meet their development needs, Non Governmental Organization also depend on foreign donors to run the projects especially in the rural areas where poverty levels are higher.

All we do is complain about poor governance, poverty levels, inequality and other numerous problems we face instead of working hard to change our standards of living.

I agree partly with this preacher that Africa has many resources that can be exploited to improve lives. However I do not agreed that people are to blame for most of the problems we face in African.

To me the main reasons why African’s resources are not exploited properly or why most Africans have been reduced to beggars and whiners, is because of wars/conflicts, poor governance, dictatorship and discrimination.

When an African country is led by a dictator like Robert Mugabe, how will the people’s lives improve even with all the resources they have, instead they have been reduced to whiners and beggars in their own country and cannot do much to change to situation.

How will Kenyan’s stop whining and begging when we still have many problems more than 40 years after independence. When public funds are looted like cases of Goldenberg, Anglo leasing and the latest we heard about the leaked Kroll report, Land grabbing, we have squatters in their own country, when we are tribalists and have tribal clashes. When majority are jobless, our MPs decide on their pay packages and hefty pay offs after 5 years term.

Governments have the machinery and the resources to tackle the major problems that majority Africans face. Some African leaders are yet to embrace democracy, most of them are greedy, dictators who like clinging to power even when age does not allow them, they are also discriminative against women. They cause conflicts and ran away leaving their country on fire, with mainly children and women suffering.

Where there is smoke there is fire, African’s cannot be whining over nothing. The preacher should have highlighted the root cause of Africa begging and whining and how to solve it.

At the end of the sermon he should have advised people to pray that God helps us to elect the right leaders that will help improve our nations and not greedy leaders who only think of enriching themselves and their people.

May God help Africans who are suffering under dictatorship and help Kenyan’s in this coming elections to elect the right leader who will bring complete change to this country so that we will only right and talk about our achievements and stop begging and whining.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Public transport in Nairobi

Public transport in Nairobi especially in the evening when schools have opened is terrible, particularly during weekdays.

Many people have complained and I have also experienced it in different parts of the City center and its outskirts.

This leaves me wondering, is it caused by the jam, the Police, shortage of public transport vehicles or population rise in Nairobi city.

The jam towards the City center and outside is bad in the morning and evening. Many motorists working outside the City center avoid roads that pass through the city center but at times one cannot avoid it. Public transport drivers in most cases also avoid coming to the City center. They fear being caught up by police for breaking traffic rules.

Most of them say even when their vehicles are perfect, they have all documents required and the full uniform, Police will always look for reasons to apprehend them. Making them part with a lot of money to secure their release through the court, police station fines or bribes. Hence they prefer taking short distances where they will not encounter police officers

Instead most Matatus (mini buses) decide to turn at different stops away from the City. They will turn at Ngong road, Kenyatta hospital, Nyayo stadium, City stadium, Serena, Westlands etc… depending on where they come from.

This leaves passengers waiting for them in town stranded or jostle for the few vehicles that reach the City center. Those who cannot push wait until late when the situation improves from 7pm onwards. Some routes have queues others don’t, hence the fight for those vehicles that go to queues at different bus stops in the city center. The queues are also normally very long.

The same problem applies to public transport buses and mini buses plying upcountry routes. You will notice people with all kinds of luggage waiting for vehicles, one would wonder if they would get transport.

This situation is the same in all bus stops within and around the City center. Kencom, Ambassador, Bus station, Machakos Bus station, Railways, Globe round about, Bomblast, Agip, St. Peter’s, City stadium, Fire Brigade, Commercial, Tusker,Nyayo stadium Etc…

From City Stadium to Landies Road one will notice many people walking from the City center or even as far as community to City stadium to get Matatus and buses to Eastlands, others from the other side of Nairobi walk to Kenyatta, Nyayo stadium etc….

The situation in the evening is pathetic. At least in the morning one can leave the house or home early to catch a bus or a matatu to get to work early. However this is not possible in the evening because one cannot leave work early. It is sad when you see women and children with luggage stranded, especially those that arrive in the evening from upcountry and even school children.

The truth of the matter is that the situation got worse when public transport rules were effected; this was a good move because matatu crews were very rowdy before (at least some of them have improved), however there have been no signs of improvement in public transport since then. This saw Kenya Bus collapsing, in its place came City hopper whose schedules cannot be predicted like the former Kenya Bus. They don’t also ply some routes I wonder why. At least now Kenya Bus has been revived but they are few and they are not in full operation like they were before.

Train operations seem not to have picked up since Rift Valley Railways Consortium took over from Kenya Railways Corporation. Trains can carry a lot of passengers and improve the situation.

The Matatu industry has taken advantage of this situation to hike fares. The few ones that come into town and find crowds of people waiting will hike their fares because they know people have to go home in the evening. This leaves people with low income with no option but to walk home.

Many people are moving away from City estates to centers in the outskirts of Nairobi like Ngong , Athi River, Ruai etc., due to congestion or to their own homes. Many depending on public transport to those places really suffer. Some of these places are not densely populated as city estates, with no street lights making some places very insecure at night. So getting home late due to shortage of public transport is very risky for many.

It is my wish that the current government or the next government could come up with strategies to solve this problem.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

HIV/AIDS positive couples weddings in Kenya

Of late there have been many HIV/Aids couples in Kenya coming out in the open to wed in full view of the media. This is a brave and encouraging move.

This is a positive way to fight the stigma; it has also got to do with Church strict rules that couples have to declare their health status before the Pastors officiate marriages

However some couples avoid going for counseling because of this issue, they go ahead with their wedding preparations as usual only to be stopped by a strict Pastor for not having completed their counseling.

There are many cases of weddings that have been stopped by Pastors when couples did not follow this new Church requirement. The Pastor is obligated to stop the wedding even on the wedding day when everything is set and guests are already in Church.

This would be a big loss to the couples after going through the nitty-gritty of organizing a wedding, which involves, the bridal gown, the man’s suit, invitation cards, hiring or fueling of vehicles, catering services, brides maids, flower girls, page boys clothes, taking care of parents and relatives if they depend on the couple. Video coverage and photography etc.

Nearly in all Churches couples have to go through counseling by a Pastor, 3 announcements have to be done according to the law. It is during the counseling that the pastor will insist that the couple go for test to know their HIV/AIDS status.

The couple may later decide to go ahead with the wedding after completing the counseling and accepting their status.

I support the fact that all things should be sorted out prior to marriages. This is a positive move to save all those innocent young ladies or young men who would enter into a relationship blindly assuming their partner is well.

Though there are some Pastors who are compromised and perform weddings before counseling or advising couples. It is because the purge of corruption is also in our Churches. Churches gain from such functions from the charges and collections, so a greedy Pastor would rather ignore such obstacles. In extreme circumstances, they are practically bribed by the beneficiaries of such weddings.

We all need to appreciate the advantages to pre-marital counseling and status testing. It brings enhanced meaning in marriage because the marrying parties would have full knowledge of each other’s status.

Monday, September 3, 2007

ODM elections review

Last week I did a post on ODM elections and added a poll on the right side of my blog with the five candidates. I promised to review it this week.

The results of my poll were as follows:

Mr. Raila Odinga – 80%
Mr. Musalia Mudavadi – 10%
Mr. William Ruto – 10%
Mr. Najib Balala – 0%
Mr. Joseph Nyaga – 0%

It is now 3 days after the election, as many of you know Mr.Raila Amolo Odinga emerged the winner with a very big percentage and is now the Presidential candidate.

This did not come to me as a surprise because Mr. Raila Odinga was like a leader of Orange Democratic Movement. He is more popular at the grass root more than the other candidates, for his political achievements over the years and his fight for democracy. According the poll that was conducted earlier by Infotrak Research and Consulting Read more

The speeches by the five leaders were really encouraging, my expectations as a Kenyan is change and ready to support anyone willing to bring true change to make this country a better place for all regardless of tribe, religion, gender and race.

Just like it was said, this is just the beginning, the battle is still on. The ODM Choir Master Mr. Otieno Kajwang and his band sang their anthem bado mapambano (the battle is still on). However I wish the choir master could come up with new hits, my be his band is working on them, something that is not common or from a church chorus like I mentioned on this post Campaigning Kenyan style

I wish them all the best in the tough journey to State House.