Thursday, November 29, 2007

Land clashes in Kenya continue

Land clashes in Kenya have not stopped despite deployment of security forces by the authorities. When we enjoy going about our normal life, worrying more about our families, the latest in politics and other issues, we forget about terrible things happening to fellow Kenyans. We are proud to tell the World that Kenya is a peaceful country and that we have enjoyed peace in Kenya unlike other countries in African that have been torn by war for many years.

Then our peace gets disturbed when our news sources brings us back to reality of things happening around us like insecurity, tribal and land clashes, news of clashes in some parts of Kenya, that leave us wondering whether our government has the machinery to deal with such conflicts or not.

Am writing this because I have been saddened by this story in the Daily Nation newspaper of a 4 year old child with her 60 year old grandmother, who were attacked in Kuresoi area of Molo District in Rift Valley.

"Three more die in night attack

Publication Date: 11/29/2007
Three family members were killed in violence-torn Kuresoi area of Molo District, raising the death toll to seven in the last few days.

Four-year-old Sharon Chebet and grandmother Esther Bore, 60, yesterday at Molo District Hospital where they were admitted following an attack by raiders at Ng’arua village, Kuresoi in Molo District. Three of their relatives were killed by the raiders on Tuesday night. Photo/MARTIN TELEWA

The victims were killed as they fled when their home was attacked by arsonists at Temyota-Three farm on Tuesday evening in what residents claimed was retaliation after similar raids in the area.

The family was taking supper when raiders, armed with pangas, bows and arrows, struck. Read more"

Mt. Elgon region in Kenya has also had clashes since December 2006, many have been displaced, people have lost their property and many killed because of land, read more from Kenvirons.

The government has deployed security officers in these areas but violence has persisted. If the authorities managed to stop Mungiki, why not stop these people causing clashes in Mt. Elgon, Kuresoi and other parts of Kenya?

This violence should be stopped to save innocent Kenyan's from suffering as refugees in their own country, then we can be proud of saying Kenya is a peaceful country.

Electoral Commission of Kenya finally releases names of candidates for 2007 elections

I once said this year’s elections will be the toughest in Kenya’s history and also counted up to 18 political parties but mine was not anywhere near the number of registered political parties in Kenya, which I think are over 200.

According to ECK list 108 parties have sponsored candidates to vie for parliamentary seats, 117 parties have sponsored civic candidates. I think the number contestants of civic and parliamentary seats in the coming elections is the highest ever in Kenya. Imagine nearly 2600 candidate to fight it out for only 210 parliamentary seats. That’s means an average of 12 candidates per constituency but in real sense there are as many as 33 candidates in Kitutu Masaba constituency in Nyanza and over 20 candidates in other constituencies. I imagine how that ballot paper will look like, may be a 3 column one will do.

The other issue that I took note of is the number of female candidates in this year’s elections. We have been making a lot of noise about women being the majority in Kenya, we should elect more women, affirmative action for women etc…. but only end up with 269 female candidates out of nearly 2600 for parliamentary seats, it is said this is the largest number of female candidates ever, but is only 10% of the total candidates. At least there are a good number of women for the civic seats 1478.

Women still need to wake up and believe in ourselves, most of us think we are inferior (when will we stop the attitude of who will elect me, I will be beaten up by men opponents, it is for a certain class of women, women are not capable of leading etc…) and instead go to civic seats. Nothing can be done now may be only vote for more women who are good leaders, then change our attitude and the situation in 2012.

The number of parliamentary candidates for every party shows ODM is leading with the highest number of seats at 190, followed by Kenda (unbelievable) one would have expected PNU to follow but they are third with 135 candidates, Kenda also has a higher number compared to 133 of ODM-K which is considered amongst the 3 main political parties in this elections.

Parties in this race have very interesting names, I only took note of these three that have the same initial CCU, which stands for Chama Cha Uma, Chama Cha Uzalendo and Chama Cha Utu, can be very confusing.

With the many contestants per constituency in this race, the race will be tougher than past elections. Though the parties are many there are only 9 Presidential candidates, only 3 are considered strong. I think we will get surprises in the elections from the civic and parliamentary seats, because I don't think many will got for 3 piece like the previous election.

Why do people elope?

I talked about weddings in my previous post and also mentioned that I prefer couples that wed after staying together because they know each other better. However I do not support young ladies who run away from home without getting the blessing of their parents.

Just the other day a cousin who has been under my mother’s care after doing her form 4 exams, meets a man and within 2 months, they are so happy with each other and ready for marriage. She goes to visit my sister with a few of her belongings, then one night she tells my sister and her husband that she is getting married and moving to her new home the next day.

Now if I may ask what kind of a marriage is that? My sister and her husband were really shocked the only thing they could do is to call relatives to talk some sense into the girl’s head. She was not changing her mind and everything we said sounded like annoying music to her ears. They later told her to go back to my mum’s house and get her approval first.

She grudgingly called my mum, agreed to go back and later invite the man that weekend before she goes. The man and some of his relatives came, went through the usual introduction according to our tradition. He later gave some money to say thank you for the food and a token to my parents. Some men think that when they do this, they can take the girl to their home.

My mother told them it wasn’t enough because the girl is her brother’s daughter, her mother died but her father is still alive upcountry. So she advised them to seek my uncles blessings before they move in together, or better still do a wedding. Why hurry when they will stay together for the rest of their lives.

We all felt relieved but it was short-lived because after two days my sister called to inform me the girl disappeared with her clothes, early morning and went to her sweet heart cum husband. That is how my cousin chose to start her marriage.

This is a very common scenario in Kenya and many parts of Africa. It is very difficult to stop a girl when she falls in love with someone, especially if she is a young girl. However men should be able to control a girl’s emotions, show some maturity by performing at least some of the traditional requirements leading to marriage. Give some dowry at least a goat/sheep if not a cow.

It is very sad that she only knew the man for 2 months and got married without my uncle getting even a chicken as dowry for her daughter, I don’t know if they went for HIV test which is very important before getting into such a relationship. We are waiting to see what will happen if he will go upcountry to see my uncle and my grandmother who also took care of the girl.

It can be sad when such a marriage doesn’t work out and the girl has to run back home, who would she blame?

Anyway I wish them all the best.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Weddings in Kenya

I attended a wedding this weekend and was not so enthusiastic because I have known the couple for sometime. It wasn’t a new wedding; they were formalizing their marriage. Though I consider this is a good marriage where the couple has stayed together and know each other properly so nothing can make them change their mind (but in most religions one would be condemned for staying together before officially getting married). New weddings are more interesting because people want to meet the couple.

The other thing that makes weddings interesting especially for us ladies is to see the wedding outfits, the couple and their party. People admire, some come to copy and others just sneer (jealousy). If it’s a new marriage, people from the groom’s side will approve, but in most cases disapprove of the lady the man is marrying. In rare cases people from the bride’s side will criticize the man. There is always whispers and murmuring during the service and at the reception.

I have attended many Christian weddings in my life, but now I feel they have turned to be a boring affair. I don’t see anything interesting whether it’s a Victorian wedding, a mass wedding, a marriage renewal or whatever form of wedding. Unless it’s a wedding of someone whom people felt would never get married or has taken too long and was branded senior Bachelor or “Bachelorette” or one where I have not been involved in the tedious planning and only need to attend with a gift.

I think before the nineties weddings in Kenya were more interesting; most couples organized weddings within their means. I don’t remember many pre-weddings or goat eating parties, which turn out to be harambees (fundraising) like they are so many now. This and many other things have made weddings a boring and exploiting affair for those participating. During my mum’s days as a young lady, the couple marrying and their parents would do everything, including the dresses for the bridal party.

Many couples now don’t wed within their means, even when they can afford a simple wedding; they go for a big one and solicit funds from friends and relatives who form a wedding committee. Some couples look for a bridal and groom team (best couple, maids, grooms men and matron) who are in good financial position to support their wedding. This same group is in the wedding committee; sometimes they also include the best couple and matrons kids in the line up. Making it very taxing for the best couple and those in the line up.

I have participated in many weddings as a maid of honor or best couple with my husband, sometimes the whole family. We were also in the committee and finance heavily so I know what it means. Our duty as the best couple doesn’t end there, the next one-year even up to 5 years, we are like counselors or crying shoulders for the couples when they run into marital and some cases financial difficulties. Some are very petty, that every couple goes through during the first 5 years, but the young couples sometimes cannot take the small issue lightly and even threatening to part ways after a few months of staying together.

So after attending another wedding (at least I was not in the bridal team but had some duty to foresee that things are in order), I think I have developed a wedding phobia, but I will still enjoy some like the ones I mentioned above.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Family matters

As a parent, I like reading LIVING, The Family magazine by Nation media, I find the articles very interesting and educative.

Now I know how to whip up a pizza in my own kitchen from today’s copy, it was also interesting to read about bringing campaigns into your home and the way children know about elections process, have groupings in schools according to the parties they like, “some have learnt to parrot their parent's careless comments about various politics” so true, and that we should teach them about the whole process and good leadership. This reminds me of a post I did on the same topic. Kids on politics and tribalism.

However I was disappointed when I didnt find Fatherhood column by Josaya Wasonga, its one article I have been reading keenly because I got my last baby around the same time as his Pudd’ing. Unless it was mention that last week's article on Pudd’ngs birthday was the last one?

The column that I like most and have also been reading keenly is "Me and Mine" by Ruth, it talks a lot about parenthood and kids. When she talks about her kids thinking she is old fashioned, she reminds me of mine who also think am old fashioned sometimes. When I think am still young and know a lot of fashionable stuff, they can really criticize everything I do or wear.

As a kid I also criticized my mother many times and thought a younger aunt was more fashionable. One funny thing is we do criticize our parents and find that we do some of the things they were fond of doing, when we become adults. A good example that Ruth mentioned is she keeps her money in envelops just like her mother. I was amused because my mum used to do that and still does, I also find myself doing it most of the time to avoid mixing money for different uses.

Kids of this generation think they know it all in terms of technology and fashion, it has become difficult to buy clothes and gifts without their approval. They even criticize what we wear and judge whether its still fashionable or not.

One time I got a whole hour lecture from my daughter(who has appointed herself my fashion watchdog) for wearing a bad outfit during a church function, this was an African attire we chose on with the church group and we felt it looked really nice. They are so young but are very keen on what I wear or buy and can even boycott walking with me if I don’t dress up to their expectations.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

No more uniforms for Matatus touts

Watching news yesterday on the President's campaign in Kangemi Westlands, where Mrs. Betty Tett an aspirant in Westlands made a plea on behalf of Matatu touts over their uniforms saying they need to have seven uniforms for everyday of the week, which is not affordable for many of them and other issue, the President revoked the order and said;

“President Kibaki took his campaigns to Westlands and Dagoretti, where he described his rivals as sweet-talkers promising Kenyans the impossible.
The President, at the same time, revoked the order imposed by former Transport minister, Mr John Michuki, requiring matatu crews to wear uniforms, saying it was costly.

He was responding to a plea by former nominated MP, Mrs Betty Tett, also an assistant minister for Housing, who said the matatu operators lamented that they had been forced to wear uniforms yet they were neither mechanics nor school children.

"Hiyo mambo ya kuvaa nguo nyingi hapana!" (That idea of uniforms must be stopped) he said amid applause from wananchi”.
quote from EA Standard, read more

Many were very happy with former Transport minister Mr. Michuki for bringing law and order in this transport industry that was full of rowdy touts, but the uniform part was not a good idea for the touts and drivers. So many of them will be happy to go back to their old style of wearing whatever they like and also go back to break traffic rules because police are already talking it slow on them this campaign season, the blurring music and overlapping on roads is back.

The good side of this uniform issue is I can now get another dark purple trouser suit, that looked somehow similar to the touts maroon uniforms (some wore purple) or a maroon one, after giving out the one I had when touts started wearing maroon uniforms. A colleague also stopped wearing hers because our driver kept teasing us calling us touts when we wore the suits.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Wakenya wameamua

Back from the weekend and very excited about the just concluded nominations. Though I can say am not 100% satisfied with the results, because some of the former MPs who people do not want are still in the race under the big parties that could guarantee their coming back to parliament.

Though the nominations were characterized of violence, disorganization and accusations of rigging and bribery, generally am happy with the outcome of the nominations. Kenya’s have decided that they don’t want most of former Members of Parliament because of their poor performance, hiking their salaries and other reasons. Many of them fled to other smaller parties after defeat, Kenyans may still reject them in the main elections of 27th December 2007.

Majority of Kenyan’s look forward to a parliament with many new faces and younger than the politicians who have been there since we were babies and some of us where not even born. We are the majority voters and sick of old fashion politics full of fake promises and lies, so politicians should look for a way of leading this “” generation that is more enlightened.

That is why we now have younger generation aspirants like our famous comedians; Mdomo Baggy, Kajairo and KJ joining politics. In fact John Kiarie (KJ) won Dagoretti nominations on ODM ticket and I hope he clinches the sit on 27th December and possibly elected Minister for youth affairs when ODM wins.

Am glad Bishop Margaret Wanjiru will battle it out with Maina Kamanda who has been rumored to have funded Kamangu in a court case that stopped her wedding plans. I hope she will get this Starehe seat. Though am disappointed that Lady Orie Rogo Maduli did not make it in Kasarani on ODM ticket, am happy that it’s a fellow Lady Elizabeth Ogolla who got it.

Kalembe Ndile has proved that politics doesn’t require a university degree or master of English, he was wiser than his boss Cabinet minister Morris Dzoro (who humiliated him in public about his ignorance) to have started his Tip Tip party, he is now receiving defectors who lost in nominations but his former boss had to go shopping for another party after he was kicked out of PNU, he is now in Shirikisho and Kalembe having the last laugh.

On the other hand political parties did not keep their word that nominations will be free and fair, they promised they would not manipulate but politics will never be free of lies and manipulation, so am sad to hear that some aspirants who lost in the nominations still got certificates.

Nominations outcome proves that the coming elections will be the hottest in Kenyan history and steadman polls should not be taken for granted, they predicted that majority of former MPs will not be elected back and we can see it coming.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Kenya political parties

A total of 9 Presidential candidates have presented their papers to ECK chairman Mr. Samuel Kiviutu. Three of the parties ODM, ODM-K and PNU held rallies and unveiled their manifestos with all kinds of promises.

Nominations of party representatives for Parliamentary and Civic posts are on from today. The rainy weather has not been on their side but I can now see some sun and can imagine the campaigns out there getting hotter.

However many are not happy that some parties like ODM and PNU have given party officials direct nominations. I also believe that nominations do not give us the right leaders because very few participate being a working day, so an aspirant can influence the nominations with the few available.

One thing that amazes me is the number of political parties in this election, though there are only 9 Presidential candidates, the parties that I have counted are 18 and could be more.

I call it political mchuzi (spice) mix, though I can say the only 3 parties that make the political dish tastier are ODM, ODM-K and PNU.

Nazlin Umar for President

If you thought Nazlin Umar is joking by submitting her papers to ECK to vie for the highest office in the land, then you are wrong.

She has actually made history by becoming the only Woman Presidential candidate in Kenya's election for the year 2007, with her Workers Congress Party.

How else do you get famous in Kenya?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Kenya Politics getting hotter

I couldn’t believe what someone told me this morning, until I saw it in the paper.

Mr. Kenneth Matiba is back in the race for State House and is expected to present his nomination papers to ECK today after President Kibaki presents his. Its the headline news of Nairobi Star and inside other newspapers Read more

This is shocking news to many and especially to PNU supporters who believe Mt. Kenya area will vote as a block. Apparently many friends of mine from this region would prefer Mr. Kenneth Matiba to President Mwai Kibaki but think he came in at the wrong time.

Other Presidential candidates handed in their papers to ECK yesterday.

ODM - Mr. Raila Odinga
ODM-K - Mr. Kalonzo Musyoka
KPP - Mr. Pius Muiru - I thought he was not serious
CCU - Mr. David Ng'ethe - There will always be small strange parties, I saw Dr. Patrick Lumumbas green posters in Kamukuji with CCU party, now I know its Mr. Ng'ethe's party.

The battle line is drawn and its getting interesting.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Servant Leadership

I will start by religious reference and quote a verse from the Bible, how Jesus described a leader. I do not know what other religious books say about leadership and would be interested to know.

Mark 10:41-45
“Now when the other ten heard this, they became angry with James and John. Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions use their authority over them. But it is not this way among you. Instead whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many”

After reading this verse, our leaders come to my mind and I realise most of them are not servant leaders. I will talk about Kenyan leaders because I know them better and will give examples of Church leaders and political leaders, some even profess to be Christians and attend Church every Sunday, but do not portray this servant leadership that Jesus talked about. Many Church leaders are some of the worst examples of leaders, they preach water and drink wine, instead of being servant leaders they are so filled by their self-importance and forget their duty as advised by Christ. Church leadership, which used to be a calling, has now changed to an employment opportunity. Some Church leaders look at themselves as CEO and even brag about it.

Our political leaders are not any better, they look at themselves as the most importance members of the society, that they forget they should be servants of people who elected them. In other words they are like our employees, they forget that if we decided not to vote for them, they would not be leaders. Most of them are very humble when begging for votes like now, but change after they get the positions they want.

They go to an extent of insulting their employers like Chris talked about on his Kumekucha blog;

“Anybody who has been employed for any length of time knows the golden rule; you never, ever, ever lose your temper with your employer. The minute you do, it is just a matter of time before the sack comes. But you can be sure that it will come. Your employer will of course look for some other excuse to get rid of you, but it will all have started with your tantrum or fit of temper.

The same rule applies to any politician.” Read more

I also came across this interesting Servant Leadership blog by Robert Greenleaf that talks about this subject, the blog description says. "Servant-leadership begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve.......Read more here

Monday, November 12, 2007

Kenya media changes in the years and its effect on the modern child

In my childhood days there was only one TV and Radio station VOK (Voice of Kenya), which is now KBC (Kenya Broadcasting Corparation). Television would start at 4pm, the order of programs was children programs, then a talk show Mambo Leo (current affairs) a talk show on Kenya current affairs, to me it was the most boring program, after that the 7pm news which was to me another boring affair unless there was some unique news like I remember the death of the first President of Kenya the Late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, I was small but can remember watching this on the old type black and white big television. The other beautiful event that I can remember is the Royal wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana; I still believe it was one of the best weddings in the world.

Other interesting programs were documentaries, cooking program like Mke Nyumbani, comedies like Mind your Language (was serialized again recently) and a number of Swahili dramas like Fedheha, Kielelezo, later Tushauriane, etc… On radio we would mainly listened to music, radio drama and can say the music of those days was quality music compared to most of what we have now. Thanks to Classic FM for bringing back those memories. Compared to current media, VOK did not have stuff that would worry parents with kids. I remember a Swahili program Usiniharakishe had to be stopped because of airing a bedroom scene of a woman and man in suggestive dialogue. Come to think of it now, that is nothing compared to what we watch today, the programs aired now have worse scenes. Those programs that were meant for adults were aired after 9pm news a time when most kids were already in bed. That is why we spent most of the day playing out door games. Kids of today and yesterday.

Today the newspapers, the radio stations, TV stations and other publications are so many, they try to compete with each other by publishing or airing all kinds of stuff to attract viewers, readers and advertisers. The advantage of having a variety is one can choose what to read or what to watch compared to the only station we had. It is a great relief especially in a democratic world when one doesn’t want to watch a state funded TV Station like KBC who can be biased. The other advantage is there is a lot to learn from the variety of news sources. The modern technology has also brought color so we can now get a clearer picture of what we are reading and watching.

However there is always a bad side of everything. Compared to the old media, the current media does not think of the impact of what they publish or air on younger readers or viewers. Unlike kids of old days, who never bothered much about newspapers and Television. Today’s kids spend most of their time in doors, watching and reading anything they could find. In the process they learn everything good and bad. Unfortunately the media mainly target adults as their main customers, they forget that the modern child is well informed compared to the kids of the old days. As a result kids digest all kinds of information from what they watch and read.

This makes it really difficult to control kids behavior in the modern day compared to the kids of our time. Kids also want to know what is in the adverts, for example condom adverts, as a parent am embarrassed to explain to my small child what that condom being put on an leaking plastic bottle is for or when he suggest that I buy it for him thinking its a toy. When I refuse to answer his queries, he/she decides to ask a classmate or relative and end up getting answers in a crude manner. It is even funny when a small child thinks it a balloon and suggests to the parents to buy it during a festive season, to avoid this we may end up explaining some embarrassing things to small kids. Am glad this advert was stopped from being aired on TV, it was very embarrassing.

This is only one example, now there are many programs like those I had talked about above, which in our childhood days were only aired after 9pm news. Though they advise the age of recommended viewers and warn about abusive language and suggestive dialogue, they come as early as 7.30pm when most kids are not ready to go to bed. So one ends up switching from one channel to the other or alternatively switch off completely and listen to the radio, which at least would not have an embarrassing scene to watch. As a parent I cannot complain to the media because it is a competitive world, which has got to do with demand and supply.

This just shows how issues related to sex really sell in our modern society, it has also caught up with most industries, adverts and even our musicians, they produce videos copying the west and don’t care about morals or African culture, just to sell more. The type of music on most of our TV music programs and also in our public mini buses (Matatus), is so embarrassing to many especially the elderly and parents with kids.

That’s life in our modern society, at this rate I can only imagine the situation getting worse.

Friday, November 9, 2007

More election goodies

I thought I would steer clear of politics for a while, but couldn't control the urge to say something when there is something to talk about.

Election year is a year of nice things to those who are lucky to be in the right position to receive them. Like now I wish I was a civil servant, I would have got the 16% salary increment that has been awarded to Job group A – N. There is still more, the increment will be backdated to July and will be paid end of this month. That will be some good money for the civil servants (formally referred to civil sufferers for poor salaries) to enjoy the coming holidays.

Why now? Its obvious, elections are at the corner but “Public Service minister, Mr Moses Akaranga, was quick to point out that the new pay had no connection to the General Election” Read more. Which I disagree.

Earlier this year a friend complained bitterly about only senior civil servants and armed forces getting salary increments yet the armed forces have nothing to do so she can now smile.

There have been many other goodies like, women’s funds, youth funds (which has been now increased to 4 billion Kshs), unfortunately men are not getting anything. I think women and youth votes count more than men.

Many other groups have also complained of not being recognized like the disabled, I think those with HIV/Aids have also complained. Am sure these cases are also being looked at, but they can access the women and youth funds.

So I wonder what other goodies are on the way.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Is FGM medically wrong?

Am sure many would think am crazy to ask such a question, I also do not support any inhuman act against mankind. That is why I once wrote about some cultural practices that affect lives of women and girls.

However one reason I decided to revisit this topic and ask this funny question, is because there is a case of some doctors working with women around East Africa, who have claimed there is nothing wrong with female circumcision (referred to as FGM). In fact they say it does not affect a woman’s sexuality in anyway instead it enhances the desire. One also said he had practiced in Kenya and claims that women who have undergone female circumcision go through childbirth smoothly compared to those who have not. They believe it is mzungus(Europeans) who came with the idea that it is bad.

This is shocking to me because many people like me who do not support this, believe it is a brutal act that should be considered a crime. Women who have undergone the practice have also publicly said its wrong.

This also reminded me of a former school mate, who confirmed she underwent through this and would recommend that girls should also go through it for their benefit and I looked at her bewildered.

I also got this from BBC website asking the same.

"Is FGM right or wrong?

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a traditional practice in some African countries. In others, it is banned. Do you think it should be allowed?

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about a 100m women worldwide have undergone the procedure, which happens to 3m girls under 10 every year."

Read more on this story and comments from people, amazingly there are people who support FGM.

Medically wrong or not I do not support FGM because of the pain it inflicts on the victims and there is no medical benefit from the practice like it is said about male circumcision.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Quitting a Job

Making a decision to quit a job after working in one place for many years is a difficult decision to make, especially when one has not got another job. One arrives at such a decision when the job becomes monotonous, boring and nothing to show for it. The other reason could be when one has a frustrating boss. It can be even worse when it’s a one man’s show and the owner runs the company in an unprofessional manner.

When one finally decides to quit their job and decide to inform others. People can make very discouraging comments and remarks like; don’t quit before you get another one, where are you going? seems you got greener pasture somewhere, others will ask what will you do if you don’t have anything else in mind? Will you stay at home as a housewife (in case of a married lady) and ruin your career? Others have stupid thoughts like you will end up being idle and get more kids or are you ready to beg for everything you need from your husband? It is even more difficult for a man especially when he has a family, people will never understand.

What I can say is that very many people are frustrated at their places of work they do not have a choice but to stick for better or for worse (like it’s a marriage). If people had a choice to work for someone or to be self-employed, I believe many would choose the latter. However it is not possible for everyone to be self-employed in this world. It is even worse when one is working for a bad boss who frustrates you because you are desperate, but there comes a time when someone decides enough is enough and decides to quit. No matter what others say, it is only the wearer of the shoe who knows how tight it is. I remember one time a colleague walked out and told our boss, “am not planted here like a tree”.

Having been faced with a similar situation sometime back, I decided to ignore people’s advice and quit a job because of some disagreement with my boss. If I may be faced with a similar decision again, am now more informed and can get ideas from other sources like the web, like this interesting site I came across Career Planning read more here on related topic

Monday, November 5, 2007

Why am counting down to January and not elections

56 days to go

Now that politics is getting hot and elections drawing nearer, our lives are affected by politics, which has surrounded us like air. No matter what we do, we cannot ignore it. Everything around us is political, posters making walls and posts dirty, bill boards, street lights, news, social talks, vehicles with loud speakers informing of political rallies, nabado there is still more to come after parties finish their nominations.

When I come to work and start downloading emails, half of the mails are on political issues. I receive an sms and open it eagerly thinking its from a loved one or my house help asking something, only to find that it’s about politics. Colleagues at work just behave like politicians, one is called PNU because he/she is a Kikuyu, Luo and Kamba colleagues are addressed as ODM and ODM-K respectively, other tribes will be given these political names according to their political inclination. A friend informs me they sit according to their party inclination or tribes in the staff canteen.

After work I return home via the City center and decide to go into the supermarket to buy some groceries, the streets are crowded by hawkers selling all kind of stuff because its campaign time, so no one would dare evict them and loose votes, then groups of people holding small discussions (mainly politics) on the streets (small parliaments).

When I finally get home after a long day, I relax to catch up with the day’s news on the television and it starts with political news. Everyone starts talking about politics even kids, you would think its the latest soap opera. I retire to sleep after a long day my head full with more politics than before.

Sometimes I try to ignore but it is not easy because it is around me like the air I breath and its because politics dictates to our lives in one way or the other. Poor infrastructure, inflation, poverty, hatred and all kinds of evil in the society is believed to be related to politics.

Just like other Kenyans I will wait for election date and vote for my preferred candidate, on the other hand am counting down to January 2008 when politics will start cooling down and I get back to my normal life, whose direction may change for the better or worse depending on the politicians we elect.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Behind every successful man, there is a woman

Mama Ngina Kenyatta, wife of Kenya’s first President Jomo Kenyatta, was still an active public figure even after the death of her husband, though I do not know much about her public life as a First Lady but from information I heard and how I know her today, I can only conclude that she is not very outspoken. After that Kenya did not have a First Lady for 24 years during President Moi’s rule because the former President’s wife Lena Moi lead a quiet life in her farm.

President Kibaki won 2002 elections, we got a First Lady Lucy Kibaki, and within a short time she became an active and outspoken public figure. Kenyan’s keenly took note of her every step, her way of dressing and talking. We were not used to having a first lady for years and I think that is why we became very critical of every move or speech made by First Lady Lucy.

As we are nearing elections, we have started taking note of other possible first Ladies we may have in 2008.

Mrs. Pauline Musyoka wife of Mr. Kalonzo Musyoka of ODM-K party works at Central Bank of Kenya, a very quiet lady.

Mrs. Lucy Muiru wife of Pastor Pius Muiru of KPP party. A preacher like her husband.

Mrs. Ida Odinga wife of Mr. Raila Odinga of ODM, the polls place her husband in the lead, hence there is a possibility of her becoming the next First Lady. She has been through ups and downs during her husband’s detention and political struggles. She runs an NGO that empowers women in leadership.

This time the First Lady and the First Ladies to be are busy campaigning for their husbands. Mrs. Lucy Kibaki was in Western Kenya this week, Mrs. Ida Odinga and two other wives of Pentagon leaders Mrs. Rachel Ruto and Mrs. Nadia Balala were at a party at the Carnivore restaurant to unveil the “Gender Agenda” of the ODM party and asked leaders to vote in large numbers and women to be accorded equal opportunities with men.

Am waiting to see the other two Mrs. Pauline Kalonzo and Mrs. Lucy Muiru joining the campaign trail to drum up support for their husbands.

I can’t wait to see the woman who will bring success to her husband come 2008.

Is Kenyan politics a preserve for the old?

First Lady Lucy Kibaki was in Western province and said.

Viongozi wengine wanataka wazee waondoke kwa serikali, waende wapi? (Some leaders want the old guard to leave Government, where to?)” Read more from EA Standard.

Is Mama Lucy telling us that old politicians have nowhere else to go or anything else to do apart from politics? Even when they have reached political menopause and throw insults like mavi ya kuku (chicken droppings), pumbavu (fool), tutawakojolea (we will urinate on them) etc…. until we cannot call them waheshimewa (honorable) any more, they should just keep leading us as if the young generation are not capable?

Sorry Mama Lucy, it is now time for wanasiasa wazee (old politicians) to retire and leave leadership in the hands of viongozi vijana (younger leaders) for a better Kenya.