Thursday, August 20, 2009

Clinton's visit to Kenya

The coming of Hillary Clinton left me with mixed feelings. First we were told that she came for a meeting which annually introduces the acronym AGOA, which is almost always followed by EPZ and then they disappear until the following year.
Experts claim that they are about trade but even Hillary had to talk about TJRC because, if you are talking about trade, surely there's gotta be a T somewhere. From the way she spoke of a wide range of topics, I honestly think she had come for the wildebeest migration. But you know Americans are strict with their taxes, so she couldn't have possibly hopped on a plane and announced like our MPs announce, 'Hi, I am going for the annual gnu migration in the Maasai Mara in Kenya on ya taxes!'
I could be getting ahead of myself but it might be that that was not Hillary. Rumour has it that for every congress person in the US there are 200 look alikes - most of whom are drawn from the marines. So it is very likely that our enterprising councillor who swore his undying love for Chelsea could have been professing his love to a Hillary Clinton look alike US marine hahaha! My reasoning is that it was just too easy for 'Hillary' to accept an offer for her daughter's hand in marriage to a complete wedding-ringed stranger, you know. I guess the real Hillary would have had him dealt with as swiftly as the Iraqi journalist who had the audacity to throw his shoes at former President Bush. Any mother would have.
As for the councillor, my only prayer was that there was no electricity in his house because the only thing that could save him that night from his wife was the KPLC Stima Loan application forms!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mat Mad

MAT MAD!

Are we sliding back to the matatu madness days? If you have answered this question, I suggest that you go back to pre-school and do research on rhetorical questions and write an essay on them. Then keep it for future reference. Of course we have slid back to the matatu madness days.

When Hon John Michuki fished us out of the matatu madness sludge, we suddenly developed this urge to go to and from work. We became a working nation. But not anymore, courtesy of one Ali Mwakwere, who treats the public transport docket as if Michuki carried it in his shirt pocket to the Ministry of Internal Security. As well he should have. Mwakwere brought in the diplomacy docket to the Ministry of Transport.

Atleast Dr. Murungaru brought in some notable changes like for example breaking the yellow line. With Mwakwere, there is absolutely no change.

The City Council also seems to have signed a MoU with the route 44 operators, where they fenced the stage so that all passengers along Thika Road are herded into underground tunnels. At first, we Thika road passengers had been duped to believe that these were ordinary safety measures. But it has turned out that the tunnels are traps to trap us into matatus. This is how they work.

A person emerges from the tunnel and finds a route 44 mat parked at its mouth, so that the only way to go is into the mat. Some local tourists just touring the city find themselves in this situation and so try to fit themselves into some small spaces that the matatu leaves on both sides of the tunnel. The touts are always on the lookout for them and they grab them and hurl them into the mats where they find terrified passengers cramped in the mat. Regular passengers on other Thika road routes have learnt to use the windows as exits to their respective matatus. The lost tourists are hurled right out once the mat reaches its capacity. I don’t know whether they find their way out of that man-made hell.

Leaving the bus stage is another tedious bureaucratic experience that we would appreciate to do away with. Vehicles are parked in front, behind and besides each other which results in reversing, hooting, banging into other vehicles as touts shout insults at each other for upward of an hour before we can leave.

As all this is going on, the driver plays very loud music and added to all the noise outside, one’s head is usually inches from exploding. The music causes the fillings in your teeth to vibrate and your ears to stop. One will once in a while try to lift up their head to see how everyone is coping and your eyes rest on a graffiti with this sound advice ‘If it is too loud, you are too old enda shags ukalime’ (another City Council connection).

There are those of you who still think that fastening your seatbelt in a mat is a safety precaution. Don’t do it on route 44! Those who do are driven straight to Mathare Mental Hospital , where you are kept under observation for the whole night.

Another thing you don’t do is ask for change. Do not give anything less than fifty bob and if you give any amount above it, kiss it goodbye. The typical response for those who think that Kondas are employed to do their math is that they are grabbed by the collar and dangled out of the vehicle for five minutes. By this time the vehicle is cruising at speeds that need only two passengers seated at the windows to stretch out their hands on both sides of the vehicle for it to convert into an air bus and fly. The driver also makes sure that the vehicle is balanced on its left side wheels because he has to drive on the road reserve bordering deep trenches because he has no time to waste on the infamous Thika road.

The Konda then brings in the passenger and drawls, ‘Do you still need your change?’ No one has been courageous enough to find out what other steps would be taken if your answer was yes.

Since we don’t see any help coming from the Ministry of Transport any time soon, the Ministries of Tourism and Sports can work together and promote route 44 as a tourist attraction. The Londoners would especially love the thrill away from their mechanical train and bus hours.

SOUND PARTY SAVING RECOMMENDATIONS

SOUND PARTY SAVING RECOMMENDATIONS

IT IS OFFICIAL. THE PARTY OF NATIONAL UNITY (PNU) HAS MUTATED INTO A PERFORATED NEW UNIT and, with lots of exaggerated preamble. The worst part about it is that some of the members are acting the way gazelles pretend to be startled by cheetahs when filming documentaries in the Mara.

All along the gazelles are aware that there are cheetahs and lions and wild dogs and other gazelle-eating animals in the tall grass and then when one appears they take off as if their eaters don’t try to eat them every five minutes.

Or their ancestors the wildebeests (actually they are grandparents of the gazelles), which go to drink water in places where they have a terrific view of crocodiles – nostrils, ears and the whipping tail, and then go right ahead and drink from a few meters. I think that the crocodiles are just usually going about their business like basking and are not usually waiting to eat the wildebeests. They probably just react to the lack of common sense displayed by the wildebeests, prompting them to grab one by the nose sending the others clambering for the walls of the Mara River and falling right back, compelling the crocs to just eat them. And they have done this since the Big Bang. At least that is what some scientists who were in the Big Bang have told us.

Now some PNU members have borrowed this leaf and are behaving as if they have not been part of the president’s cheerleading squad and campaign strategy, which is to hound politicians into a little known party around October of the election year. He then forms a cabinet that ensures that the country remains in election-campaigns mode for the next five years.

The recent bickering, we have been informed is about inheriting his job. Rumour has it that he (the president) has his eyes set on one Uhuru Kenyatta. Now, this is a guy who, even if I am not a politician I find too lucky. Apart from being the first president’s son, the second and third president’s have doted on him as if he is the only one whose blood has tested I AM PROUD TO BE KENYAN+VE.

This bickering has become pretty much like the Biblical Tower of Babel where the whole world came to a sort of a town meeting and agreed to build a tower that would take them to heaven. Now, if they had been as technologically advanced as we are, they would have known that their tower would have deposited them on Venus where they would have found scores of women and then be scorched by the sun to death. Unfortunately they didn’t and they ended up wasting their time and energy and God decided to help them by giving them foreign languages.

So a guy, who probably was 200 miles off the earth, working hard at the tower, probably asked his trusted assistant for more nails and the assistant in his new language heard milk, and ran off to bring milk.

In those days milk was not packed in sachets. It was packed in silverware or earthenware. So the guy brought the milk and his boss was so pissed off that he threw the silverware or earthenware carrying the milk into his assistant’s face forming a small crater on his face and sent him rolling down the tower. Of course this angered the rest of the workers who started arguing in foreign languages and at the same time wondering what was wrong with everybody else and the work on the tower halted.

What this uncalled for tidbit of information seeks to accomplish is to get PNU out of the gridlock that they have put themselves in. First, they need a preacher who is committed to the good book and one who will download to them all the wisdom he/she downloads from the book. That preacher, and as I am objective as I can be, would be me.

Apart from the expertise I have displayed above, I have experience and other qualifications – many of my colleagues would bet their malnourished wallets that I am a member of PNU. Their basis is the name I was given by my parents way before it had entered into the hearts of PNU members to form their party.

There is one who is too obnoxious for me to believe that we belong to the same species. In his belief that I am PNU damu, he brought me most of the party’s campaign paraphernalia which coincidentally proved to be quite functional for me. I am talking about caps and T-shirts and pens and others whose purpose I am yet to figure out.

I would like to state in print that I am party-less. This is because I am incapable of selling political parties in the usual manner that our politicians do. I am incapable of telling the voters that I and our presidential candidate are committed to forming a government that will provide three meals per day per family, free education and roads and then deliver wind pies for five years.

Instead, I channel my energies and a part of my measly earnings to the betterment of the youth, specifically in music. I sponsored one of them to produce an album and this is what he produced;

Kamanzi kananipatia ganji

Dum dum dum

Ati kameni – fall- ia

Tererere tererere X 2000

You can imagine my jolly pride at the launch and my telling everyone that I had sponsored the artist to produce the number. I have however observed that since the launch and every time the song plays on FM stations my colleagues give me dirty looks. I am starting to think that they are either jealous or that they know something that I don’t, considering that the song is in a foreign language.

I am therefore offering to be PNU’s official preacher and will not mind if they bring along some of the top athletes in the country.

Be Fashionable at own Peril

BE FASHIONABLE AT OWN PERIL

RECENTLY I HAVE BEEN HIT BY THE FASHIONISTA BUG. I found myself suddenly having the urge to read fashion columns and before I knew it I had started to believe some of the stuff they write.

The one that really caught my eye was an interview with a local model who said and I quote, “It is a shame for any woman not to have a pair of 4" stilettos”.

This came as a big surprise to me because all my life, I have assumed that stilettos were another name for leggings (or trouser stockings) and 4" was kind of bizarre to me. So I looked up the word in the dictionary and my first inclination was to take rat poison.

I have used my ‘meaning’ for stilettos with people I would have liked to impress and all this time making a fool of myself. I have also used the word on my friends and nobody corrected me. Either I have overly diplomatic friends or they know nothing about fashion or they don’t have dictionaries. My saving grace probably has been that they too are worn on the legs.

So I went ahead and bought myself a pair of yellow stilettos and kept it for the organization’s end of year party.

As many stiletto owners will tell you, lifts do not appreciate stilettos and so they break down as soon as they get you to your destination – mostly on double digit floors, ensuring that finding your way down is not effortless in the ‘must haves’.

The lift broke down on me during the party and I needed a sixth sense to get to ground floor with my toes in ten pieces or else they would be puréed when I got down.

My mind worked fast that day, which it rarely does. I feigned a sprain on my leg and Kimwaki (translates into bonfire), a colleague of mine helped me down the stairs 18 floors on his back holding my pair of yellow stilettos in his hands. I had forgotten the sprain by the time we got to ground floor and he found out that I had duped him. He is still mad at me.

He has attempted his revenge on me twice on the streets by trying to set me on fire with a cigarette in the name of a hug. Fortunately the city council has banned cigarette smoking in public places and he is yet to figure out another way of teaching me a lesson.

Our IT geek Wuod Nam (son of the lake) has promised to bail me out. He has warned Kimwaki that if he does not give up his obsession of setting me on fire, he is going to reconstruct one of his pictures from a fully dressed executive to one in boxer shorts and sell it as a front page photograph to major newspapers. He has already removed his blazer and shirt on the computer. I suggested that he punches holes into the boxer shorts.

News or No News

Thursday, August 6, 2009

IS IT SHE TIME OR WHAT?

WHEN MARTHA KARUA ANNOUNCED HER AMBITION TO BE KENYA’S 4TH PRESIDENT, my reaction was hahahaha, ending the debate within me whether she was a serious contender or not. I consider myself a politics whiz-kid even though I only carry out my political analysis on my mother who has made it her life purpose to be on the opposing side of my political views.

So I was surprised when I saw some seasoned politicians including the president take her threat seriously.

The most amazing reaction was by Hon. Kiraitu Murungi who decided that he will be carrying out his conversations with telephone poles as a result instead of using his mobile phone. That means that if he wants to call his CDF committee, he will just be walking out of his office to a telephone pole, mutters a few words and bam, his message is delivered. But I have misgivings about this. Can he tell the difference between a telephone and an electricity pole? Of course, what is wrong with me? He is the Minister for Energy and by now he must have developed deep relationships with individual electricity poles. He might also want to send Pesa through the telephone poles where he will need to dig a hole in the ground at a telephone pole and put in some 2 million bob for the CDF. You know that I will be following him very closely.

My advice is that he should keep his activities in Nairobi only. Such acts of muttering to telephone poles might not be taken very lightly in Meru where his political enemies might want to brand him a witch. Hey you linguists, I am aware it is wizard but the computer has done something wimpy to the word and given it a completely different meaning and you agree that I am giving the Minister advice that could save his life.

Apart from Hon. Kiraitu, there are others who are hiding their fear of Martha’s political rising star behind the idea of forming a political conglomerate that will counter ODM. Now Martha, they have told us themselves, is not fooled by their gimmicks and doesn’t believe it has anything to do with ODM but to snuff her vision in favour of some politicians whose political strategy is to sit and cheer the president to retirement. The president will then show up with a gourd of Muratina which he will sip and spit on one of their chests, after which they will hit the ground running- state machinery and all. Martha assures us it has happened before.

Apparently, Martha is convinced that she would never in a jillion years have such good fortune, and if she did, we would frown at the idea of the spitting ceremony in her favour because she is from a different sex from that of the president.

She has adopted a strategy that has become common with the second liberation agitators which is to tripe everything the president says. This translates to waiting for the president to call for a strategy meeting to form coalitions that would strengthen their party, after which she heads to Parliament buildings or the flower party HQs and calls a press conference. She waits for the Big Question. What do you think of the president’s suggestion? And she goes Booh- meaning it is just another of the president’s wise cracks, a synonym of ‘upumbavu’.

Another development with Martha’s proclamation is the announcement by Hon. Mungatana to run for PM – which I think is driven more by his diet vs. the PM’s and not that the fact that he can lead this country. It might also be that he sees far and actually believes Martha will be president of this country.

I want to state that I don’t laugh at the idea anymore, because if it is giving seasoned politicians queasy stomachs and woozy feelings, she might be a serious contender. What vexes me is that the cheer leading group of women, who were singing songs of praise to her when she suggested that we should have 50 of them in Parliament, by virtue of the fact that when they were born, the doctor inserted (F) where it reads sex on their birth certificates, is now in hiding.

I would want to support her bid for the presidency, except that as soon as I heard that Mungatana was aspiring to be her PM, I thought of running for PM and I am currently looking for a presidential candidate. I expect the race to be a complete walk over for me because Mungatana will do the campaigns for me. This is how: ‘Ninasikia kuna haka kamwanamke ambako kanaandika maneno ya kiupuziupuzi kwenye magazeti, eti kanataka kusimama kiti cha PM. Kwani hakajui mimi ni nani? Mimi hula mamba wakati kanakula githeri ya kobole huko Korogocho. Kataniweza? (I hear there is this woman who writes stupid things in the newspapers who wants to run for PM. Does she know who I am? I eat crocodiles while she ingests five-shilling githeri in Korogocho slums. Can she beat me?) To which the crowd shouts in unison ‘Hapana’- No! No- informed and fueled by the sight of a few bales of unga and lessos perfectly displayed at the dais. In the evening when the rest of Kenya watches on the news, I gain a few hundred thousand sympathy votes. At least this is my strategy.

As for Martha, I say go Gal go and if you make it, how about giving me the Government Spokesperson docket?