Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Woman’s Show

I like this show that comes on Citizen TV on Tuesdays because it is about Women’s issues. I must say the program is more appealing to me than other talk shows by women in Kenya, because of the way it is presented by the host Sheba Harst. She is a good presenter and brings participants from all walks of life.

I haven’t watched the show for long, the first time I came across this program when changing channels and got this one that featured a woman in labor with her husband in the room supporting her. I couldn’t believe that this was a Kenyan show. The show was about childbirth, they had filmed the lady going through labor and part of childbirth.

This was an interesting show to me as a woman, having gone through this experience and interested to know how other women feel about it. She had also invited Helen Mtawali a music tutor of Tusker project fame show to talk about her child birth experience and 2 birth attendants from a hospital, who demonstrated how they assist women in labor.

Women have very many issues that affect them in life, labor and childbirth is a very interesting and traumatizing experience that many women like to talk about when they visit one another after getting a baby. We can talk and talk about each others experience for years and don’t get bored about it because it is about bringing a life on earth.

From that time I continue watching when am home on Tuesdays morning, the show is very encouraging with issues like parenting, relationships, marriage etc……. . Many of us are only used to Oprah and Tyra shows. Though there are other shows in Kenya by women, we still need to get our own Oprahs and Tyras in Kenya with more shows on women issues, because it is us women who watch such shows for entertainment, advice and lessons. Sheba Harst is doing a good job, let others follow.

Akinyi washing dirty linen in public

Akinyi girlfriend of former MP Raphael Wanjala is back in the country after being released from jail in India.

The war between her and her estranged Nigerian Husband Chinedu has started again. I saw her on TV hurling insults (in dholuo language) saying it is only in Kenya that thieves like Kabuga of Rwanda can hide and calling her husband thief because he took charge of their property while she was away. She now wants “her” property back and says she cannot share with him.

Her statement that, it is only in Kenya that thieves are invited is so true but only the big fat thieves are protected, the small ones who steal chicken and pickpockets rot in jail. However, since she was married to the “thief” as she calls him I believe they acquired property together hence the guy deserves a part of the wealth.

She needs to tone down, pick up her life after the ordeal in India (with her boyfriend who came between her and her husband). Then she should sort out her issues legally not publicly.

Bad Kenyan roads-in the estates

I like the hard working of Kenyans. Today, a good percentage of Kenyans own their own houses in the urban areas and many more are working towards that.They work hard, save heavily and borrow as well to meet that objective of being a self landlord.If you look around the outskirts of Nairobi (Ruai, Kitengela, Ngong,Rongai, Thika, Syokimau etc) good residential houses have come up.These are individual efforts of hardworking Kenyans with very little direct help from the government.They are private investment and make the city spead faster and of course the cridit will go to the goverment for the development.

My concern is that these developments are in a vaccum. I mean they are on their own without infrustructure like roads, water etc. Kenya Power Co. has tried alot to pass the powerline to these areas and I salute the management of that company. But those concerned with making road have taken a nap. Road are not there at all and wananchi are struggling to make them from the little resources they have.

If the mwananchi pay all taxes as required by the goverment why can`t the government do it part too? This is simply unfair to the kenyan who works hard. We need these roads and it is our right.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I pray for rain in Kenya

For many months now, since the last rains that did not rain much for a good harvest to be achieved, like it was the case years back. It has been dry, dusty and hot, causing many Kenyans and animals to suffer from thirst and hunger, some have even died. The other day a friend told me Metrological Department of Kenya said it would rain today, in most cases their predictions are wrong, but I understand they are just human and only God knows exactly what will happen tomorrow. However this time I hope their prediction is correct and it will rain hopefully in the evening or at night.

I have watched the sky since morning because am sick of the heat like many are, in the morning it was hot as usual, the sky was clear but now I notice some clouds have started forming so I pray it rains and the long rains that usually come at around this time starts so that Kenyans can start planting. I also pray that the rains would be sufficient for crops to grow well so that we get enough food during harvest.

God help us.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What do you do when your husband marries another wife?

A relative of mine living in the rural area wants to walk out of her marriage because her husband has married another wife. When she called to ask for advice, she did not say whether the man is chasing her away.She only says the man is stressing her after marrying the other woman.

It is so easy for me to tell her to stay on because it is common for African men to marry more than one wife. So she is not the first one to be in that position. Furthermore she has four children and it would not be easy for her to go back to her parent’s home with them being jobless. On the other hand the man may decide his kids are not going anywhere, so she will always be worried about them and go back.

However when I put myself in her position, I may also opt out of such a relationship because I cannot imagine sharing my husband with another woman knowingly. Many women put up with such relationships because they find out too late, when the man kept the other wife in a different home or town, but in her case being in the rural area, they stay in the same home and it is humiliating. The man must be getting special treatment from this other woman because she is said a Ugandan while the man and the first wife are both Kenyans.For that reason he ignores the first one. In one of my posts I wrote about Ugandan women read here

I don’t know how to help her; I only tell her to follow her heart’s feelings.

The Kenyan and african woman is surely disadvantaged and in most cases confronted with tough decisions to make.


“I live on my salary and they should also live on theirs”. Good words in deed from Nairobi town clerk John Gakuo as he responds to the allegation that had been leveled against him by his colleagues in the city hall.
As I read this, my question is whether this man is sincere in his statement and how many of our Kenya alludes to this principle. Many of the Kenyans have adopted a corrupt way of living that honesty and straight forward way of life has been shelved. Riches are now known to come from a bit of corruption. Did you know that nearly all corrupt ways are unfaithful, dishonest harmful to other and evil.
I am not jealous of the very rich people. Some have got their wealth the clean way but a good percentage is corrupt. As one succeeds in one case of corruption, he/she is tempted to engage in another.
If only our leaders and Kenyans as a whole would live on their salary and genuinely earned income, we would have been very far. But the truth of the matter is that we have gone the corruption way as the only way to enjoy life. That is not right and let us stop it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

In the name of love

The story appearing on page three of today`s 16th March 2009 Nation newspapers in Kenya is disturbing. A mother killing a seven years daughter to get loved and married. Just how far are we willing to go to sustain/keep being loved. Are we willing to wipe all out our way for this.

Without being bias, I think the ladies have taken it too far just to be in love. We have read such stories before and we are likely to read more in future but I strongly believe that this is not true love.If a man loves the mother but not the daughter of that mother, then something is very wrong.It is like willing to take alcohol and dislike being drunk. To all men if you are in love with a lady and that lady happens to be a mother, my advice is that you love that child too.Love the lady will all that she may be having (good or bad ).Love is just a big sacrifice to share with someone. You have to sacrifice in order to truely love.

Ladies please be sober about the whole issue of love. You cannot force it and you cannot get rid of others to maintain it.Those we try to wrongfully please will definately disappoint us and if they don`t we will lose all that good time that we may have otherwise enjoyed with them as we rot in jail.

This story has brought alot of pain in my heart today.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ban on children’s cough syrup

News on the ban of children’s cough syrup by hospitals in Kenya shocked many parents including me. This is after “Scientists in the United States of America have for the past two years questioned the effectiveness of the syrup and even suggested that it may have been responsible for some deaths among children” according to Thursday Daily Nation.

Many of us parents of today are not patient with a coughing child, when a child’s cough does not go away after two days, we would never think of home remedies like our parents did and because we do not want to have sleepless nights because of our busy lives, we would rush to the nearby chemist and buy cough syrup for our kids over-the-counter because we think cough syrups are not harmful. Chemists all over town and estates also sell many of them over-the-counter without prescription.

Many of these medicines were not there in the past, so parents of those days preferred to use home remedies for children’s cough, they would only take them to hospital if it persisted for a long time. Some home remedies my mum and grandmothers used are honey and lemon in warm water, the other one is lemon and a pinch of magadi soda (from Lake Magadi for making salt) in warm water.

We thought cough syrups were clearing our children’s cough’s yet according to the report, “the mixtures are neither safe nor do they have any curative value”. They are dangerous to infants under two years and not yet clear for use in older children between 2 to 12 years.

So it would be safer to use natural remedies like our parents and grandparents and seek professional medical advice when it persists to get alternative medication.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Civil servants retirement age extended

Civil servants now have a cause to smile after the Government extended their retirement age from 55 to 60, as announced by Minister Dalmas Otieno.

I know of some Civil servants working in Government institutions upcountry, who would get shocked when their salaries stopped coming, only to realize they had reached retirement age after making enquiries at Nairobi headquarters. Majority work in their home environments so they got so comfortable and forget their age (may be they should start the culture of celebrating their birthdays, something that is not common with many up-country folks).

Now they can relax knowing they have more years before their salaries stop.

Historic University demo that never was

Nairobi University students demonstrated yesterday, after being given a go ahead to demonstrate their democratic rights to protest over the killing of a fellow student by a trigger happy policeman and also the killing of human rights activist Oscar Kamau King’ara of Oscar foundation together with his assistant Paul Oulu a former University Students leader last week.

It was historic because PM Raila Odinga supported the planned demo and asked Police to give them protection. In the past it was unheard of for a government official to support such a demo, because student’s demos in the past were not peaceful. Their demo yesterday was peaceful and I thought it is a success that would bring to an end to old times of dictatorship; it was a good opportunity to release their anger peacefully. However things changed when later in the day some resorted to their old ways of breaking into shops, looting and destroying property. This group of rowdy students was a shame to the whole university student’s fraternity and the change this demo was going to bring. At least some had the courtesy to go back to the shops and apologize.

Students need to change with times, they didn’t have to vet their anger on innocent shop owners yet it was the police who killed their colleague.

Prof. Philip Alston's report

Monday, March 9, 2009

Road carnage in Kenya

I am saddened by news of another grisly road accident on Kagundo road, involving two matatus and a lorry. Three people have died and others have been taken to hospital. An eye witness speaking to news agents said it is the sixth on the road this year. There are many others that have been reported in other parts of the country, involving public service vehicles (PSV).

Apart from blaming drivers of these vehicles, I also blame traffic policemen who place road blocks and mostly stop PSV matatus (mini buses). These vehicles have loud music, which will not be switched off even near the police, the driver stops the vehicle a few meters ahead of the police, so that the conductor can alight and go back to where the police are. After a handshake between the police and the conductor were cash change hands, the driver moves on with the journey. Nothing is inspected in the vehicle, they don’t care if the driver has valid documents, whether the vehicle is road worthy or not and if the PSV has a speed governor or not. Speed governors where introduced by former Transport Minister Hon. Michuki, who was praised by Kenyan’s for bringing sanity on the road, only for speed governors to become history when he moved to another ministry. Sometimes I imagine this ministry does not have a minister, only to be reminded there is one Chirau Mwakwere and wonder if he is only concerned with other means of transport, not PSV for mwananchi wa kawaida (common citizen) who elected him?

Apart from matatus and buses being driven carelessly and being un-roadworthy, there are lorries carrying sand, stones and other building materials on such roads that are un-roadworthy. They do not have breaks and over speed with the heavy load they carry. All these pass police checks. Many of them have also caused grisly accidents and nothing is being done about it.

At this trend being the beggining of the year, how many more lives will be lost by the end of the year?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I thought I would not blog again today, but could not help it after it was announced the President would give a press briefing this afternoon. The first thing that came to my mind when I heard this, was that he would brief the press on the country's achievements since the signing of peace agreement, between him and PM Raila Oding one year ago. I thought so because many Kenyan's have expressed their disappointment with the coalition government saying nothing has changed, and life has been worse with fuel, maize scandals, drought and many other problems.

To my shock the briefing that has taken place a few minutes ago, has nothing to do with any issues we citizen's have with the grand coalition government, it is something I and many would have never imagined. I was shocked that the President called a press briefing to remind Kenyans that Lucy is his only wife. I wondered where this was coming from, until heard First Lady Lucy Kibaki standing by his side mentioning KTN. Then I remembered KTN news yesterday, marking the day they were attacked three years ago, and are still asking why they were attacked. In yesterday's news, they said it could be because it was thought they were going to write about the first family.

As usual First Lady Lucy talked like she was breathing fire, when she told the press present to go and write lies again once they leave the venue, she even mentioned she was going to attack KTN last night like she did at Nation Media. The President warned that he will sue anyone who will write such issues on his family.

So we will see no more stories on PNU activist Mary Wambui, being mentioned as part of the first family in the media.


Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination results of 2008 have just been announced by Education Minister Prof. Sam Ongeri, live on TV. It is interesting to note that after many years, schools have not been ranked. It is said ranking of school is a recipe of unethical competition amongst schools. It is disappointing to many who would have wanted to see how their schools or their children’s schools ranked. We will also miss the usual celebrations by schools that were ranked top.

The same has been the case with primary schools results. However I feel not ranking of primary schools is more justified, because we would see mainly private schools topping the list, thereafter parents would get into confrontation with school administration for poor performance, or parents moving students from one school to the other depending on how they rank.

Interesting to note from this announcements is that election violence in 2008 disrupted learning in many schools, especially in Rift Valley and Nyanza where schools were burnt. I remember a nephew telling me how tribal hatred spread in school, a good example was when a student from Rift Valley refused to sit next to one from Central Province and other similar cases. There were a number of schools unrest last year like never before, causing many schools to close down, thus affecting teaching and learning. Hence I feel ranking of schools under these circumstances would have been unfair.

The Minister was especially concerned about gender disparities in two provinces, Nyanza had 39% Girls compared to 61% boys doing the exams, he was concerned because he is from Nyanza and even reminded his Asst. Minister Prof. Olweny that he is also from Nyanza and should do something about this issue. The other province is North Eastern with 26% Girls compared to 74% boys. He said there is need to address this issue urgently to reduce the gaps.

Examination cheating was also reported with some supervisors and head teachers involved. Some students who were caught cheating were charged in court. Just like the case of last years primary exams announcements, schools that were caught will be reported by the media. What a shame! The Minister gave a warning to exam cheaters that his ministry will use all might and there will be no mercy.

Another interesting observation is that male students topped the list, this is a call to female students to be encouraged to pull up their socks. However female students were top in a certain province.

With modern technology (unlike in our days), students can get their results posted on KNEC (Kenya National Examination Council) website and through mobile phones by typing KCSE, then index number through SMS to 2228.