Sunday, May 30, 2010

This Madaraka day

I was going to post last year's Madaraka Day's post but realized that you would catch me in my little plan. This is an undecided year - Yes and No. I thought it would be better to try to be crafty next year. I want to ape former President Moi in his gift of Prophecy and prophesy the following things concerning this Madaraka Day and probably give some suggestions that would save our future holidays.

One, the Committee of Preparing Really Boring Entertainment has already swung into action and they will have choirs that seem like they have landed at the Nyayo National Stadium on UFOs from various towns in the country singing completely out of whack as if they are being controlled by alien beings from space. I suggest that on Public holidays, we can reinstate the KANU regime for only that day after which we can take over and go back to building the Nation.

Two, as always, there will be a protocol issue between the Prime Minister and the Vice President. They will both be rushing to sit on the Most Powerful Seat after the President's. Their drivers should take care not to crash the limos. At least chauffeurs save your limbs. What will it benefit you to break your limbs in the mad rush? It is better for those two to fall off chairs because they have assistants to wipe off the dust from their coats. The reason we are in this state of affairs as a country is because we sacked one mkuu wa itifaki Mutuma Kathurima and replaced him with msemaji wa serikali. So as he semas, the PM and the VP will continue to behave badly.

Three, the employers will as usual be pissed off that you did not go to work and they will have no choice but pay you. Remind them that it is not your fault that we had forefathers who on the sight of a 'mzungu' were so willing to give up their land. "Here" they said, "Have our land." God only knows what they were expecting apart from being pushed to settlements while the 'wazungus' enjoyed themselves at Happy Valley. Employers should actually beg the government to include another holiday that commemorates those forefathers and call it Utumwa Day . It might help them fight the angst they feel against Madaraka Day. They should also thank those generous forefathers who gave them the right to draft us into their companies. Otherwise all of us would be under our own trees enjoying our hard work in our own farms.

I wish all of us a Happy Madaraka Day and just remember that as much as we are free, so do we have a greater responsibility to this great Nation.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

KLEPTOMANIA

Life has a way of disappointing us but it seems solely interested in me, most of the time. Just when I am thinking that I have covered enough ground in many aspects of it (life), it springs a new surprise. The surprise that I had the other day was of a disease called kleptomania which, if you have read the last two columns, makes me want to sue some people because they punished me for being sick. I hate to check words in the dictionary but kleptomania, as hard as I tried to figure it out of context was like trying to locate and swim in the Mississippi river in Kenya. As I have written in this column before, I don't like to use a word and later, when I check out its meaning, feel like an utter fool. This is how my dictionary defines it - 'illness that gives a strong desire to steal'. I immediately checked the calendar to ascertain that it was not April 1 or if you don't mind Fools Day. Several other dictionaries and Thesauruses claimed the same.

The next action I took was to call the WHO offices to inquire whether they were aware of this important disease and whether the UN has a World Kleptomania Day. Nothing. The lady who answered the phone was very nice and she said she would get back to me. She didn't because another one thought, and told me so, that that was the single most stupid question that one has asked since she started working with the UN and that if I called their offices again she would call the police! (I didn't know it was a crime to ask ignorant UN staff questions).

I decided to carry out the research myself, who knows, I might win a Nobel Prize for highlighting Kleptomania. I found out that it was a real disease and there was a recent case right here in Nairobi. Can you believe how close it is to you? I am sure you were hoping it probably is in the US because Americans seem beset with all sorts of ills, both imagined and real.

The guy who suffered from Kleptomania would have his lunch worth Kshs 1500 in a Five Star hotel in town after which he would head for the bathroom and come out with his pockets bulging. After observation by the hotel's security team, they realized that the guy would leave with two rolls of tissue paper worth Kshs. 18. Yes.There is a time tissue used to cost 9 bob. The hotel management had him arrested but later realized that their sales had gone down by Kshs. 1500 daily. They did what astute businessmen do. They 'forgave' him and asked the judge to release him. They increased the price of his lunch by 20 bob. He still stole the tissue.

The second case is of another lady who would buy her mother every latest design of tablecloths and then steal them and buy her mother more. The mother was comfortable with the arrangement coz she got all the latest designs and her house looked superb but she never had more than one set coz the daughter stole the last one she had brought as soon as she brought the new set. These two stories convinced me that even though I share my genetic code with the biblical Thomas, that there might be a probability that kleptomania is real. The concept could as well have been invented by habitual thieves to avoid the long arm of the law.

I remember developing signs of kleptomania in my younger days. You realize that these people have a line of specialization - tissue, tablecloths. My line of specialization would have been mangoes. I went to the market with mom and after buying some, I kleptomaniacked one more. My mom saw me putting it in the basket.

"How many mangoes did we buy?" She asked

"Eight," I answered.

"Count them," she said

"Nine," I answered with every ounce of enthusiasm that I could master.

She asked me to return the one I had stolen to the seller and apologize. I was so ashamed and was hoping that I would turn into a wisp of smoke and disappear before facing the seller who often sold me mangoes at a discount.

We passed at Cosma's shop. (Cosma was the guy who sold belts in our town) and mom Hire Purchased one. Whenever a belt fell into my mother's hands you could literally see it coiling itself into doom. She sent me straight to the bedroom to drive out the demon of petty theft that had entered me. That is the day I was healed of kleptomania. I am not sure how to cure chronic kleptomania (habitual theft in adults) but can you imagine how many Kenyans are rotting in prisons because they suffer from this sickness? It is time human rights activists stopped wasting time on murderous goons and make a case for these these patients.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

GOING HERBAL

I went to town the other day and swore that I will not ride in a 14-seater matatu again. This is because even though the mat is tiny and slummed, it produces music that wouldn't be played in any of our major stadia because it would blow off both the players and the audience out of the stadium. The music started to play and it is the kind of music that you can't tell whether it goes into your body through the ears and on to the lungs and out through the heart. So I figured that my ventricles and whatever other ligaments and tissue that keep my heart in place would cave in and I moved to buses coz there I get to share the noise with four times more people and I hope I will extend my life by the same proportion.

So I took a bus and I promise you except that it was rather crowded, it was quiet. I sat between two men and you will find out the reason I mention them. We rolled off town finally and just when I made sure that the two fellows I was sitting with were not likely to pick my pockets, I clutched onto my handbag and napped off. I had barely closed my eyes when a man disrupted my nap with the introduction of his company whose name had 'Christian' in the middle. At first I thought he was going to preach and pray for us and then ask for an offering and since I had decided upfront I wasn't going to part with an offering, I decided I was going to sleep so that I wouldn't hear what he had to say as in 'No hearing, no offering'.

He must have seen me trying to pull that one on him and he grew louder and annoying and obnoxious about his trade. He wasn't a preacher after all. He was a doctor - a herbal doctor. He finished his introduction at Pangani and launched into his consultancy.

He started by insulting us. He told us that we were walking corpses and that if we did not buy his medicine immediately, some of us would walk back straight to the City Mortuary while the rest of us would have the pleasure of going to bid bye our doctors at the Kenyatta National Hospital. I shouted 'Halleluyah' coz I thought that would be the best thing to happen in the present economic times. Everybody else seemed to think so too and the doc realized that this was a crowd that was not easy to threaten. So he decided to change tact and give us a lecture on the diseases that were killing us. He said that each of us was carrying a total of 56 diseases but that he was going to deal with the top two which were (get ready) Dirty Blood Syndrome (DBS) and Male Impotence. He launched into a talk about how food manufacturers had agreed to exterminate us by adding Potassium Permanganate in all our foods hence the (DBS). He went ahead to do an experiment where he put Potassium Permanganate in a 250ml mineral water bottle and wonder of wonders the solution turned purple! I would have imagined that since he was talking about blood he would have used real human blood. He then added 'his medicine'(which cleanses our blood and cuts short our trip to the city morgue) and the water became almost clear! He said that if we bought his two day dose that our blood would be completely rid of all toxins.

He reminded me of the first time I saw the Potassium Permanganate experiment in class 8. I stole some and became the local magician and charged every child in the neighbourhood a bob. Business picked up immediately with kids coming in droves begging their parents for the money. I was 24 shillings rich when the news reached my mom that I had become a magician and charging a fee for it. You imagine that mom would have rejoiced at the thought of us becoming rich through magic. But no. She gave me a proper whomping and returned all my hard earned cash to the owners.

After the doctor had proved that we had DBS, he launched into Male Impotence. He said that the reason people were not filling the world with little brats is because men have become impotent. You and I know that it is for economic reasons that we are not filling our houses with children. This guy, who obviously lives on Planet Zoog thinks it is as a result of Male Impotence and fortunately for those who are so stupid they believe him, he has a solution. He promised the MI sufferers that he had medicine that would have men's virility shooting to the high heavens and that it costs 300 Shillings but for that day he was going to offer it to the lowest bidder coz he only had one dose. The rest would have to look for him in their office in town. We arrived at the bus station and you wouldn't believe that we couldn't alight because a small clot of people had formed at the exit listening to the doc and bidding. Except that the driver of the bus threatened to run down the doc and his newly found "patients', I probably would still be trapped in that bus waiting for the doc to finish handing out his business cards.

I would have thrown him a contempt card but I wasn't carrying one then. I will sure start carrying some and I encourage you to have yours handy coz you don't know when you will fall into the hands of such a contemptuous person especially when you are accompanied by your family.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

SPOIL OR GET SPOILT

SPARE THE ROD AND SPOIL A CHILD in our days meant that if you kept the rod in a cupboard and let a child run care free, he or she would get messed up and would not become a responsible citizen. Today it means that you actually keep the rod in the wall unit and take your kid out and spoil him which translates into spending money that can feed several Kenyan families for a year at some popular spot.

It is in the 90s when whacking children became a word for the old fashioned, when parents started to behave as if they had been to school to learn parenting that they started to say that they would not use the rod on their children. They said this oblivious of the good results the cane had produced- them. Now their kids have evolved into dorm-burning goons and surprisingly they all agree that it is the Minister for Education’s fault. I didn’t know that one of his capabilities was child rearing!

When I was growing up, strikes were unheard of in schools. This is precisely because actions which were not going to hatch into strikes even if they were incubated for a thousand years were treated as felonies.

I remember a time we picked some heads of wheat during a marathon from a field and the owner of the wheat field spotted us and reported to the school administration. We were sent home with letters of suspension which then was a big word. Today, students have dubbed it ‘Suspe’ (u is pronounced as ‘u’ in put) and they speak about it as if they are talking about sharing groundnuts. A suspension in our days was equivalent to being sent into a war zone unarmed with opponents armed with nuclear weapons. These were first, your parents during the suspension and the teachers after the suspension and the rest of your sweet school life.

So I went home with my suspension letter and on arrival and after explaining what had happened at school, which the headmistress had indicated as gross misconduct which the school will not put up with, my mom’s response was ‘mmph’. Now this was more scaring than if she had just taken a hammer and broken all my bones.

I was informed that I was going to be a guest because I belonged to school for that period of time. Next, I was going to keep to the school’s schedule. That meant waking up at 5 A.M. and taking a cold shower, after which I proceeded for preps. At 6.30, a cup of white porridge was ready in the kitchen and the rest of the day, I spent holed up with books in the guestroom. This lasted the two weeks I was on suspension.

While I stuck to githeri whose only difference with the school one was that it was free of weevils, (my bro, on several occasions suggested to my mom that he knew a place they could buy weevils to add to my githeri), my family went on a chicken eating spree which we have never witnessed again. This was the first phase of the war. They began with the cold war.

Then the day to go back to school arrived. We were ushered into the Headmistress’s office like rogue political leaders to The Hague . We started with the most important business which was to compensate the farmer of the wheat which we had eaten. We were surprised when the farmer was paid for two acres of wheat. We were informed that we were going to be his combine harvesters and we were free to eat the rest.

The headmistress had strategically placed some three Bunsen tubes on her table to aid with the interrogation. Immediately our parents grabbed the tubes and started thrashing us. The headmistress rang the emergency bell and everybody gathered at the assembly ground. We emerged with our parents from the Headmistress’s office still being whacked to prove that they (our parents) would never allow wheat thieves in their homes. The beating was made worse because our parents were competing to impress the Headmistress, who had this subtle way of fueling the beating by saying it was enough.

At the end of it all, with our bodies feeling like they were made of lead and our legs feeling like overcooked spaghetti, we were each awarded a Sun-yellow cardigan which meant that we marked for the rest our lives in school. We were not supposed to remove them even if the sun descended a few metres. The other students treated us like we had the Amazonic flu and nicknamed us egg-shellers or Land-miners because that is how we carried out our business in school. We spent the following day at the wheat field. After half an hour with our teeth aching and our jaws locked, we were relieved of that punishment but it determined the relationship I was going to maintain with wheat in the future. I keep as much distance as I can with wheat unless it has passed via millers into bakeries. A wheat field reminds me of my appointments with the dentist.

If an eggsheller made one more mistake, it led to expulsion. This is a line you did not want to cross because of all the ogre stories the teachers told us if we became unlucky enough to be expelled. First, there was no other head teacher who would accept you in their school. The teachers told us that we would end up married to farmers or charcoal burners with scores of children clinging to our only dress and for the men who would be lucky enough to get to the city, they would push mikokoteni for the rest of their lives.

For dorm burning students, I would recommend that we ask them to build and burn new dorms as punishment. But because we can't, we could send them with those tall jerrycans which are inscribed with a broad 'X' on both faces to the oil wells of Saudi Arabia or Nigeria to get the petrol for themselves to burn the remaining dorms. By the time they get back they wouldn’t know where it was they were taking the jerrycans much less what it was that they wanted to do with the contents because by then they (the students) would be senile! Hahaha. So what we should probably do is to round up the guys who banned caning in school and set them on fire and then reinstate it. Or what do you think?

Just in case you think I lost my marbles, it is second term when the strikes' demon strikes and you had better advise your little spoilt brats that we don't have time for their stupid reactions to mock exams.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

THE WEDDING COLUMN

Last weekend I attended a wedding and just before I settled, a friend of mine who I will call George, because that happens to be his real name, sidled up to me and asked me to write a wedding column. Suddenly I was converted from a guest to a journalist and ended up having absolutely no fun. So, George I would like you to know that you ruined my day at the wedding and I will look for a day that you have set your mind on 'enjoy' and will pay you back with interest.

That was not the first day my day at a wedding was ruined. I guess that weddings hate me because, before this wedding that George ruined, I had several go worse and it had been like eons since the last one I had attended. It happened that most of my friends were wedding and I was shuttling from one wedding to the next and finally, all my friends were coupled and amazingly they started feeling odd around me. So they started trying to hook me up and soon weddings started to sound like job interviews or TV auditions where everyone wanted to know who, where, when and all those journalistic questions they teach you to ask single unaccompanied friends at weddings.

Some very precious friends of mine started to introduce me to their relatives and it almost always went like "This is the second cousin of the brother-in-law of the bridegroom" with a lot of emphasis on 'bridegroom' so that I would be left with no doubt that this guy I was being introduced to was built of extremely marriage-able material.

I once was introduced to this guy who hailed from Othaya. From the way the intro went, I thought that I had hit the big leagues. This is a guy who was from the same village with the President and therefore my conclusion was that he must be Bak's nephew at the least. On our third date I could not hold my curiosity back because I thought that he was just being modest about his uncle, not like some folks who introduce themselves like "I am Phillip, the Sub-Chief's nephew. My mother and his sister are in-laws." So I asked my date how come he used his middle name and not his surname and if I never gouged my eye out with the fork on that day, I probably never will. The guy gave the name of my estranged dad! Oh, I know you think that I am suffering from soap-operiosis but this is the truth. The guy was my stepbrother.

After keeping away from weddings, afraid that the next time I might date my own nephews, I have decided that it would not be the end of the world after all and so I showed up at this wedding that George ruined.

One of the things that I like about weddings is that we church folk kind of loosen up and sing songs like mugithi . Not that we can't sing it in church, it just isn't the kind of song you sing during the Praise and Worship service, which is funny because the song originated in church. I would also feel like a fool singing it at the kitchen sink because traditionally, we sing it clinging to the waists of complete strangers(mostly of the opposite sex)not holding onto a plate or a cup or worse, scrubbing a sufuria. I also got to eat just about everything on offer without thinking about calories and just about stabbed myself in the head with a fork when I checked out the calorie sheet at home because I had gone six times over.

The only thing I think we need to chuck from the weddings are those meaningless speeches by relatives where in they come and review the newly weds lives and re-advertise the bride "This lady we are giving you is well mannered and comes from a good family (after they have ripped the groom's family with an exorbitant brideprice) as if they expect to find another suitor for her at her own wedding. The groom's family also rises to the occasion to say how grateful they are to have a daughter (some mothers-in-law hear enemy to be dealt with) and start to organize a terror group even before the poor bride arrives in her new home.

Next weekend I will be attending another wedding. And George, don't even dare to show up!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

REVOLUTION NOT EVOLUTION

Finally Mother Nature cracked up about being ignored and had us grounded. I could imagine her saying 'Just because they have mobile phones and the Internet they think they run the show? I will once again prove that they are not as independent of me as they have come to believe'. And so the Icelandic Volcano erupted and we, who lost our tails is it over a million years ago? were huddled at airports because an ash cloud had spread all over the first world. Hahaha. I don't know why but it gives me the kick to just write the first world. If I was saying it, I would have said it nice and slow. The (pause) First (pause) World. As if the Icelandic Volcano eruption was not enough, suddenly there was an eruption of experts too - Volcanists and Ash-cloudists.

Just last week I heard on television that they had found another Homo- (didn't bother about the word that followed) in South Africa. With this latest discovery, me thinks it is time we stop digging dirt and think about the future. As the Icelandic Ash Cloud has proved, what we need to know now is not where we came from but where we are going. Really. What I am suggesting is that we start wondering what Homo sapiens will evolve into in another million years. Archaeologists have already proved to us without a wisp of doubt that our forefathers were bent over and hairy and had pea sized brains. And, what good has it done any of us to know that we evolved from Apes?

And do not for one minute think that I don't appreciate Charles Darwin. Of course his findings are very important, otherwise our Biology text books would have one chapter less. Also, he created alternative life pursuits for people who would rather be digging dirt around Lake Turkana than say Investment Banking. But the past is just that, unless of course there is any chance that my great great greeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat Homo habilis grandmother might come to visit me because (i) We wouldn't communicate because she would speak a dead language from Central Africa and (ii)She would scare me to death.

What we should start worrying about is how advanced will the next 'Homo' be? This I guess is not beneficial to us either because what good would it do us to know that they obviously will be more sharp than we are. But again it might do us some good because if we knew what mode of transport they will use, then we can avoid such problems as we have had the last week with Ash clouds and airplanes. As things stand now, we seem to probably have reached the apex of the curve. Look at our our scientists. They are discovering nothing new. They are all in this paddle where all they do is improve on what other scientists have created. We pride ourselves in airplanes but they stem from the same contraption created by the Wright brothers. Cars are also a creation of the Sumerians and the mobile phone, which is our greatest invention still uses Morse Code, only it is smaller, and the smaller it gets the more expensive and useless it becomes. When I say useless I mean in the sense of self defense. The early telephones were a weapon by themselves so that you could use them to crack the heads of people who would think of stealing them. But the mobile phone we have today, you cant even use it to kill a rat.

Probably the only way to go from this peak is down, where we will start going back to Homo erectus then to Homo habilis and finally to Zinjanthropus and on to apes and just back to one cell organisms and finally the earth will finally fold into the size of an atom and will Big Bang again. That is too difficult to imagine but honestly we should consider this line of thought and not leave our Homo habilis children rudderless about dangerous things like bombs. So we should look for some of our remaining artists and lock them up in caves to draw pictures of bombs exploding so that when our descendants the Homo erectus come across them, they will not think they are giant eggs and the 'eggs' go 'KA-BOOOM' in their hands and kill an entire generation, stopping the whole process of evolution. Or is it re-evolution or devolution??.

The airplane will be another thing that will cause our descendants head aches. Can you imagine those that will live around airports and they see these enormous 'birds' just lying there and they (our descendants) shout to one another, "Hey we have giant birds in the fields," and they rush with knives and stab the bird for a week and nothing changes and they decide to just set it on fire and roast it, and the airplane explodes, burning another entire generation to ashes. We can have an artist draw an airplane full of people seated to give the impression that it was used for transport but I doubt our pea-brained descendants would interpret it that way. They might even think the 'big birds' ate their ancestors and again start hacking at the planes all over again.

I guess what I am trying to say in not so few words, and I said it last week is that we are not as sharp as we like to imagine and that when Ma Nature is pissed, it is time to PLANT MORE TREES!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

THIS AIN'T FUNNY

A month ago, I thought that I had penned the last word on the draft constitution. Now it won't go away and it is all I have gobbled the last week and so I am spluttering it out to you my fans. This is a debate I have come to abhor because it has no fodder for Kenyan Humour - sure check the top of this blog, it is Kenyan Humour and the constitution is not funny. It is a serious almost morbid book, draft, document, whatever. It is even more serious than the Bible. At least the Bible breaks into the Song of Solomon after every verse in the previous books (the Proverbs) has depressed you by confirming that you are not the wisecrack you have always believed yourself to be, and Ecclesiastes, in an attempt to lift your spirits, reminds you that 'Life is meaningless, a chasing after the wind'. The constitution gives you no such break even though right now our politicians are telling us that it is 'better'. The only better that I like is the one of 'Better a live dog than a dead lion,' and the current constitution is neither dead nor is it a lion and neither is the draft constitution a live dog.

Let me start with the debate that has left us wondering whether we had a constitution in the first place. The big A. Abortion you are right. It seems to me that the movie makers are more informed and have taught us that a mother's life is given priority in case she is in danger of death. I have also never seen (in a movie) a woman jailed because she has miscarried. I thought it has always been common sense plus the Doctors' Hypocrites oath. So now doctors, who you would hope are well aware of their oath and politicians and a section of the civil society are claiming that now they have discovered the big hole in the ozone layer of women which is pregnancy and they have to protect the women from this climactic change by entrenching abortion in the constitution.

And for the umpteenth time I repeat to the pro-lifers - ABORTION IS NOT THE KENYA GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIZED MAIZE FLOUR! THE WOMEN OF THIS COUNTRY WILL NOT TROOP TO ABORTION CLINICS JUST BECAUSE IT IS IN THE CONSTITUTION. Sometimes I have to speak in capital letters hoping that someone will get it.

I warned you this wasn't going to be funny. It is numbing. That's what the draft constitution is doing. Numb me. So I decided to go and try kick this numbness with a recipe that I have kept in my drawer for the last three years. It is 'Red Hot Pepper Rice with Bitter Herbs'. It was hot I promise and I cried through the meal and will be crying through it tonight because, like our politicians, I don't trash the results of my hard work even if I have to shed another ton of tears eating through the 'Red Hot Pepper Rice with Bitter Herbs'. If I live through it, I hope that this is the last thing I write about the constitution, current or draft or new.

And now onto our politicians. Martha Karua, we are not the moronic society you have always liked to believe we are. The current constitution has a Kadhi's court at the High court. The one you are proposing has a Kadhi's court at every Magistrate's court. And that is different, it is not the same. Ma'am when you have nothing to say, say nothing. Those college door messages of 'If you have nothing to say do not say it here' is a myth and its been sooooo long since you left college I would have hoped that you have figured that out by now.

For the Kamukunji people, the Lord be with you. You have an MP indeed. He boards the Kutuny's NO bus, hops off at some point and joins the PM's YES bus and he ain't even sure whether it is taking him to the Promised Land or into a Pit. And the best of it all is that he doesn't care.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

NO CONSTITUTION PLEASE

People we have been duped! We have the worst draft constitution in the whole wide world and we are being told by experts, to quote Prof. Yash Pal Ghai, that in the circumstances it is the best which means that Kenya is in the pit and that all hope for a good constitution is lost.

I sensed this hopelessness when the Periodic Selective Conformists (PSC) who are now using the euphemism Parliamentary Select Committee on the Constitution went down to Naivasha and came out in agreement. You do know by now that when our politicians agree on anything it has to do with allowances. No wonder they could not wait to go back to Naivasha but their colleagues wanting a share of the 'cake', blocked their return to the capital city of Happy Valley and so they all agreed to troop to KIA to go introduce all sorts of amendments only to withdraw every one of them last Thursday in Parliament, after sitting in the House into the night and interrupting all TV programming.

Finally they have agreed on having 356 of their breed in the August House which translates to increasing confusion and corruption and generally lowering our national intelligence which is already at an all time low by 60%. Can you imagine a house with 60% more of dis-Hon. Mbugua (MP for Kamukunji) who has single handedly taken political stupidity to a new level? I am sure he will be coming right through his computer for my neck but I got to perform my national duty of warning us that we are digging a grave for Kenya if by God we pass this draft constitution.

Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka, who by the way is a lawyer and you would expect that he would know better came right out and piously told us that this draft constitution is the stupidest any country can pass, but it is better to have the stupidest New constitution in the entire civilized world than have an old one. This sounded to me like an extreme sports trainer who tells me 'Flo, this chute isn't 100% safe. It might not even open as you come hurtling down 35000ft in the sky dive which means that you will break your skull and spine and all your limbs and every other little bone in your body not to mention that the rest of you will be mince meat from impact. But not to worry, we have the best doctors and they are well able to join you up all over again.' No, honestly I realize I have used the word stupid more than is necessary but when something is stupid, it doesn't matter how much you use the word - it remains stupid.

If you have been following the making of this constitution, you will remember that the politicians told us that we needed a new constitution because the President had too much power. They told us that we needed a Prime Minister to cut the President down to size. Did they change anything about the President's powers? No. What did they do? Nothing. Thank God for the coalition government, now we realize the PM's role in the government is to irk and to be irked by the President. Then they told us that the post election violence was caused by the bad constitution which I have never set my eyes upon, but I can bet my life that the Lancaster lot did not write anywhere in our current constitution that it is ok to steal an election and then encourage Kenyans to hack each other with pangas. No. These same politicians did it even though the constitution forbid such stupidity (there I go again.) And we are lying to ourselves to think that a new constitution will change our country. My conviction is that we need a new breed of politicians.

And what the hell got into President Barack Obama? Since he was elected President of the USA, he has avoided us like the plague and justifiably so, but how can he endorse a draft constitution that he hasn't even read? Wuod Kogelo this time round you are too way out on a limb about the draft constitution. Sir, you have just hyper-ed corruption and bad governance and brought down the land of your forefathers. The only good thing is that you don't get to vote at the referendum.

For our Muslim brothers "Allahu Akbar" Allah forbid that his servants the Kadhis should sit at every Magistrate's court with begging bowls to collect kafirs' monies, because you, our brothers can no longer support them at the mosques. Allah forbid.

So Kenyans, unless we have acquired the brains of Mogotio goats, as Whispers ole Soilo (God rest his soul) used to say, lets bring down this constitution. I am on my way to get a new voter's card.

For those of you who are regulars here, sorry about last week. I was mourning my beloved country that is why I went mteja but I am back and I am bad, as always.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

WAR IN THE MOUTH

I have a war that has been going on in my mouth for a fortnight now. This is because a section of my dental formula is tired of being treated like dirt. My teeth have decided that their primary duty is to chew food. They started protesting the other day after years of being soda openers and breakers of everything the hands couldn't and they now won't even chew a piece of bread soaked in tea.

One of them is so furious it won't even go to sleep. It works fine during the day but at night when it senses that I am in the usual sleeping position, it starts to ache, at first not too sharp and then the pain crescendos and before I know it I can't even sleep and nothing is at peace anymore. So I tried sleeping standing the other day to fool the tooth but after about 30 minutes my feet almost buckled. This tooth has learnt that the best way to teach me a lesson I won't soon forget is to ache during the hours I am trying to catch some sleep. Once the alarm goes off in the morning, it knows it is the time to stop aching and wait for me to get to bed again.

There is a friend of mine who is now in his grave because of a tooth. The tooth ached so much he grabbed the first thing that he thought would sooth it and he put vodka in it and thought vodka would work pretty much like it works on the brain but lo and behold he was found dead the following morning. I am not sure what killed him, the vodka or the toothache or both and I am not in the least trying to find out with my own tooth. So I decided to go to a dentist to have the tooth removed. You might want to know that I have no more savings because the dentist asked for every penny. But I will make more. Now I need a replacement for the lost tooth and I am told that if my name has not appeared on Fortune 500, it is better to forget the whole tooth replacement business altogether.

Which got me thinking about my cat. First, I am worried that if ever one of her four teeth aches, she will not be able to communicate that to me and secondly, I am wondering whether there are any veterinarians who specialize in dentistry. I guess they would have to be many because different animals have different dental formulas and probably for one to treat my cat, one would have studied feline dentistry. I envy elephants because once a set of their teeth ache, they just spit them out and have about 5 spit outs after which they succumb to toothlessness.

My friend's dog, Simba once had a dental problem. That was in our hunters and gatherers ages of between 10 and 12 years old. The dog had a bone stuck in between it's teeth and what followed was a restless day for my friend, his dad and I. My friend's dad picked a hammer in a great show of manual dexterity but later changed his mind because the situation seemed like it needed compassion which my friend's dad show of it was to repeatedly ask "How can a dog be so stupid?". All this time the dog's mouth was agape and it was drooling and shedding tears. She kept trying to claw the bone off her teeth which only left the left side of her face flayed and bare. By the time it dawned on us that we should take poor Simba to a vet doctor it was midnight and that meant another 10- 12 hrs of waiting.

The following morning we took her to the vet, a lady (I just felt compelled to mention that) and when Simba saw her and remembered that just a few months before the same doctor had pushed a needle the size of a knitting needle on her back side she tried to launch herself out through the closed windows. Apparently she had been in that small room six months before for a vaccine and she just remembered her last experience with the doc and she did not want to have any of it again. We were so frustrated trying to convince her that it is this 'bad' lady who would help with the bone but since she is canine and we are human, and we couldn't get through to her, we resulted to the method we humans know best. We forced her down and held her there while the doc did her job. After inspecting and anesthetizing the dog, she took a pair of pliers and removed the bone. It took around 3 minutes to do what we had tried to do for a day and a half. Since the left side of Simba's mouth was bare, the doc sacrificed a lab mouse and stitched it's skin on Simba's left side of the face. She looked quite comical since she was a German Shepherd but we thought it was better than walking around with a left bare face.

So we should really take care of our teeth because if we don't, our economy will soon fall into the hands of dentists.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

PUSHED TO THE LIMITS

There is a woman whose grey and white matter I don't mind seeing splattered on the four walls of her living room. Oh, you think that is violent? It doesn't sound as violent when an 'endocrined' - What the hell is wrong with this computer????? Why is it putting a red line under 'endocrined'. This word originated with Mrs Esther Timberlake. Surely she can't be wrong.

Forgive me . I am just on the warpath and I don't think I am quitting soon. I was saying that you feel this violent when an 'endocrined' woman shows up at your doorstep shouting at the top of her lungs that you have been grabbing food out of her six months old baby's mouth because her charitable organization type of husband paid for your fare.

So I went to open the door for the woman who was already set on Tigress and she grabbed me by the hair, which was just as well coz I slipped through her hands coz nowadays I wear my hair short. I obviously locked her out and she poured enough vitriol to sustain our country for the next half century. Apparently she had learnt that her husband 'pays' my fare from the loudmouth from Door No.2 who left out the fact that she too had been a beneficiary of her friend's husband's previous evening's benevolence.

Unfortunately I work for a reputable company and I did not want even a whiff of the 'huge scandal' to reach my editor because I would be summoned in the office and he would remind me what a reputable company I work for and so "would I please pass via the accounts office where my last cheque would be ready.'

So I am contemplating switching jobs and join the police. I will join the police for two reasons

(1) Just for fun, when you are bored because the morning will not be coming in the next few hours. you can call out to your buddies and say 'Hey, look guys, it is time to enjoy ourselves since the night does not wish to end. Lets hop onto motorbikes and go spray innocent Kenyans with bullets. (This thought is fed by the neighbour from hell).

(2) My boss to be, Prof. George Saitoti would rush to a press conference to defend me with the now tired, dog-eared tale of guns and machetes being found on murdered innocent Kenyans, and that, after sending a whole battalion of his boys to reduce anyone who as much as tries to protest police killings into what my grandma used to refer to as tuti (pronounced too-tay) wa Kanyenje which when translated from the original gothic language means roach powder.

Now this is a boss I want to work for, at least until my ire with the endocrined woman subsides.

Onto other important matters that hit our headlines, and this is big, 'Mrs Esther Timberlake will be meeting Sarah Palin at the end of the year! This impressed us so much and when I say we, I mean we sisters who have absolute zero interest in politics. Weren't we green with envy? This being the same Sarah Palin who sealed her party's defeat the first time she opened her mouth in a talk show? Authors, book idea! 'In the footsteps of Sarah Palin: The story of Esther Timberlake'

Actually the women Esther Timberlake should be talking to are the likes of Mrs. Beckham, Mrs. Kobe Bryant and Mrs. Tiger Woods. With all the accolades heaped upon her yet to be husband by Pastor Joseph Hellon, and the internet teeming with women who are claiming a piece of her husband, she should be preparing for expensive diamond stones and rocks or grabbing women by the hair. And just some advice girl, 'DO NOT FORGET THE LYRICS'.

'There is a danger in loving somebody too much, talalalalala talala talala, talalalalalaaaaaa .....

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

TRIBUTE TO THE LATE HON. DR KULUNDU

I received the news of the death of Dr. Kulundu with great shock especially because I learnt about it on Monday morning in a 'mat' because we didn't have power on Sunday evening and all the other passengers looked at me as if I had just emerged from Lake Naivasha where we understand there is scarce oxygen when I gasped at as ancient history as 9pm news of the previous night. Here is a column I wrote when Dr. Kulundu had the famed clash with US Ambassador Ranneberger.

MR AMBASSADOR SIR!
I want to echo our politicians for the first time, (note: it is for the first time!) and tell the US ambassador, Mr. Mike Ranne-whatever, who from this point I will refer to as Ranne because his name is difficult to spell, to put up and shut up or ship out!

His behaviour is off-putting. First, he takes up the onus of giving us advice on whom we should elect to office. Just as a reminder, in case Ranne has forgotten or is unaware of Kenya ’s history, we have been electing someone to office for the last forty years. So we know the generation to elect. For your information Sir, we elect the older generation to office because we cannot afford to pay a president’s pension for more than a few years. As you have noticed, our annual budget is what your government spends on your pet food allowance for a week.

Just because your country has young aspirants in next year’s election does not mean that we should follow suit. And it is really not out of choice that you have young aspirants. Rumor has it that the older industrial-era-generation has gone to train in mobile telephony because the elections are skewed towards the young in this information era, and that we should expect them to make a comeback in 2012. Fortunately, we shall be holding elections in the same year and we can’t wait to see which country will be fielding older presidential candidates than the other!

We had of course forgotten his ill advice but since he has to remind us that he is around, he took the opportunity to display his disapproval of our choice of leaders at the tabling of the human trafficking report, whose study his government sponsored. The study was carried out by experts. Dr. Kulundu just read the report. He did not write it. He never writes anything. As far as we know he has read the same speech on Labour Day since he became the Minister for Labour and even that, reliable sources tell us that he borrowed it from his predecessor. The ambassador should therefore direct his anger to experts in human trafficking and not to Dr. Kulundu.

To prove Dr. Kulundu’s innocence in this matter, the Dr. was so happy with the fact that he had a chance to appear on TV a day before dissolution of parliament that he was grinning at his first-rate performance and even thought that the ambassador owed him a handshake! From the gossip columns, we have reliably learnt that workers have been very uncooperative and that they refused to threaten with strikes, hence leaving the Minister with little to do. His area of specialization has been to threaten workers who threaten to go on strike, and it also remained his only ticket to TV.

Thanks to the report, Dr. Kulundu also got a chance to remind us that he is still around. I hope that his constituents will re-elect him and the next president will re-appoint him to the Labour Ministry. This will compel us to declare the Ministry of Labour deceased after 5 more years of boredom. The end result of this will be to declare a public holiday (hopefully on the Minister’s birthday) christened Black Labour Day. On this day we will assemble at Nyayo Stadium and have traditional warriors spear Dr. Kulundu’s effigy and burn it and then the Minister for Public Service will give a brief history on the origin of the Black Labour Day, after which we will all go home happy to be away from work.

Now back to Ranne. Why would any researcher in human trafficking mention the country that put food on his table for a couple of months, list it as an important destination for human traffickers? Naivety I hope; or the researcher just wanted to put our Labour Minister in hot soup.

America , for those of you who did not study the subject of history like me, is the bridge between purgatory and heaven. Human trafficking? An American would ask you with that tone of are you for real? The US is so technologically complex - its navy can detect a human trafficker and his cargo in the ‘land of origin’ and have them grounded or re-routed to other ‘important human trafficking’ destinations listed in the report.

Also, why would anyone in their right human trafficking mind want to traffic humans to the US ? To whom would you sell them? The Americans have machines that do all the work that human traffic does; from cleaning the house, doing dishes, taking care of day old babies and driving the school-going kids to school. And they (Americans) sell sex toys in grocery stores!

I recommend that someone reviews the report on human trafficking. Here are the guidelines for the lucky critic. Your sole intention should be to delete the US from the list of important human trafficking destinations. As for Ranne, he would do well to give his advice on ‘Leadership and Generations’ to his president, especially on appointment of ambassadors- hahaha.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I WANT TO BE PRESIDENT

I am 'PROUD TO BE KENYAN'. Really. And it is not because this adage originated with Dr. Alfred Mutua. No, I really am proud to be Kenyan. Who wouldn't be with all the democratic millions of hectares that we are enjoying compared to the tight rope we were walking a few years ago.

Today, you can stagger right out of a bar with all your pockets hanging out, knees knocking while you are trying to hold onto anything that your hands can find or walk from a church with a weird name like 'Finger of God Ministries' and announce that you want to be the next President of Kenya. If you are lucky and a journalistic ear happens to be around, you join the Raila, Martha and Bifwoli Wakoli bunch and you will be on television as a news story which goes 'Another Kenyan joins the (rat) race'.

The most fascinating thing for us who have eaten a lot of salt is that the President, going about his business, will occasionally remind the guys who want his job that 'job iko na mwenyewe.' President Kibaki dismisses you as a rubble rouser and asks the public to disregard you. Hon. Fred Gumo said it even better when he told Hon. Eugene Wamalwa 'to keep up in his father's big shoes because daddy doesn't mind' - he can't leave the house in them.

A few years ago, it was seditious to say you wanted to be president. There were guys who were known as Special Branch who intercepted your thoughts before you got to declare your interest. They were mind readers who took you to a building that shares the same appellate as a buffalo and they charged at and trampled on you until you gave up your presidential fantasies. If you insisted, they dragged you to the courts and charged you with treason and sedition. I suggest that we start a political museum in this country and hunt down survivors of the Special Branch and mount them in galleries with giant pins. Anyone who supports this suggestion raise your hands. I thought so.

This state of affairs left many Kenyans without ambition to be anything but what the system dictated. The Joint Admissions Board (JAB) determined what you would study. It was not like today where we have a group of persons calling themselves 'career advisors' that can tell what a foetus in it's mother's womb will become. Me, I was JABed into a Wildlife class which for the life of me don't know what I was there for. Of course it was the highpoint of my life, being a domestic tourist on government funds, hopping from one National Park to the next. I later tried to get a job with Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) but the interviews (and I have attended several) always have this question about giraffes; one from Lake Nakuru and the other from Maasai Mara Game Reserve which I am supposed to differentiate.


The giraffes look pretty identical to me, but my interviewers and some of my former classmates who were lucky to land wildlife jobs swear that one of the giraffes is Maasai and the other is Rothschild, which I think is a tribe from Europe. A career advisor would have advised JAB that they were wasting time and money on me.

The other thing that we pride ourselves in is sports. When ever our teams win, we all suddenly ooze with patriotism. Kenyan ladies are now flooding our stadia to watch football matches. This is the fault of relationship columns which advise ladies to love their men's sports to enhance their relationships. I think it is now going too far because the guys would rather their girls go shopping 'because they don't the hell shut up and let us concentrate on the game!' is what a friend of mine told me. He said the girls keep asking questions every time the ref blows his whistle or raises the small flag. That same girlfriend came to impress me with her knowledge of the game and when I asked her which teams were playing, she couldn't remember the team that was playing with Harambee Stars let alone the stadium they were in. And she can't wait for the next match. The boyfriend is bribing me with a weekend out of the city so long as I take the girl as far away from the city as I possibly can. And if you know me, I am in on it.


And hey, I am looking for a running mate and a Prime Minister for 2012. Send me your details.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

THIS EAST AFRICA COMMUNITY THING???

We are soon going to lose Alfred Mutua's 'I AM PROUD TO BE KENYAN' and be proud to be East Africans. I have been wondering whether this is good or bad. One, we shall stop fighting over Migingo island and losing sleep over whether the fish we are eating is either Ugandan or Kenyan. Second, our dressing, our food and every other thing that makes us sooooo Kenyan, like being loud mouths and rude and stubborn over nothing will be watered down by Tanzanians.

And just last year we had a parliamentary debate in Uganda where the MPs were vehemently opposing wearing of miniskirts. Now these MPs should get busy like Kenyan MPs putting their fingers in the coffers because once we go East African, they will never be elected to parliament. I was afraid that the MPs would banish the miniskirt wearers to Kenya and my reaction was 'Oh My God! They will come to muddle our already muddled fashion waters'. Later, I was relieved to realize that what Ugandans call miniskirts are knee length skirts - meaning that they might actually bring some sanity to our miniskirt industry.

By sanity I mean that our Kenyan sisters might hopefully understand that there is a difference between a miniskirt and some pieces of cloth the size of handkerchiefs being sewn together. The handkerchief sized skirts should be used for the purpose of intercepting the contents of a running nose.

I probably shouldn't be so harsh with our Kenyan sisters. Cloth is more expensive in Kenya than in Uganda (because Uganda's MPs don't know how to steal taxes yet) and so the size of our miniskirts is driven more by economic than morality factors. This is the reason we are seeing the hem of the skirt tending more towards the navel and the hem of the top heading towards the neckline.

Let me state upfront that I don't wear miniskirts because of my lower limb formation which some unsympathetic fashion police refer to as matchsticks, said to be endemic in my ancestral home. They are even made worse by an active childhood which left them scarred with bruises and burns and cuts leaving them looking as if someone was trying to brand the political map of Africa on them. I was not lucky to have a Senga (aunt) like our Ugandan sisters, who warn them early in life that they might need their legs in the search for husbands. You can tell from this point that I don't intend to be open minded at all.

How can I be open minded when I have been ran over by awe-struck men who, after passing a miniskirt wearer coming from the opposite direction turn around as if jerked by alien beings from space and the events that follow is that nimelambishwa sakafu (I am licking dust) on the streets of Nairobi. I suggest that the City Council and all Municipal councils add to their by-laws that every miniskirt wearer be chaperoned by a burly boxer (preferably the body building type) who will walk a few metres behind her, into whom awe-struck men who look behind to peek at the rear view of a miniskirt smash.

Another miniskirt related by-law the councils would do us a favour to add is to allow us, especially in matatus and restaurants to use slingshots on any miniskirt wearer who tries to pull the skirt down. The councils could make extra money by selling overpriced mirrors to these sisters or impose a miniskirt pulling down levy.

Though Uganda's miniskirts are way longer than their Kenyan counterparts, Uganda's male drivers claimed that they (miniskirts) were the leading cause of road accidents on Ugandan roads. Now this is a line of defense that Kenyan drivers would not take even at gun point. 'My Lord I caused the accident because I was distracted by a miniskirt'. A male judge can understand and almost sympathize with such proportions of sentimentality and probably hand a guy a minimum of a quarter of a century in jail, but falling into the hands of a lady justice with that straight-out-of-Nollywood-thinking would drive her to burst into laughter, reach out for her handbag, fish out a kerchief to dab her tears and hand the poor guy a life sentence for an attempt to abuse women rights.

In short, we Kenyans have adapted to this miniskirt craze but probably because they are must haves, the manufacturers should manufacture electric ones (in the same spirit of electric blankets) so that our sisters can wear them comfortably at night and during the cold weather. I sat next to one miniskirt wearer in a matatu and apart from her clattering teeth interfering with our thoughts, her body was trembling so violently I reached for my phone twice thinking it was vibrating. Her legs looked liked someone had planted and been watering goose pimples for a long time. They were giving me the impression of a de-feathered pied crow. I have never seen one but I imagine that it has black skin that would behave pretty much like de-feathered chicken's.

So, be the judge. Should we go East African or not?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

JOINING THE FRAY

My creative juices have migrated to my legs which means that I did more wandering than thinking about this column. Since this is where I get my daily bread, and got to eat, and can't fail to post a column, I decided to join the abortion fray which I hoped would give me enough word count for a column. It did not disappoint.

I'll start with a lady from the NGO world who thinks abortion is the next most innovative idea after Albert Einstein's light bulb. First, I think she should have been aborted. Second, she is mixing up issues. She talked of aborting children that are a result of rape as if we can't solve this rape thing. What the constitution should propose to curb rape, is to use a farm implement that has an Italian sounding name - a burdizzo (Sorry you won't find it in the dictionaries because I forget the spelling. Check a Std 8 agriculture text book) and burdizzo one or two men and the rest will think twice before hopping onto an unwilling woman even under the influence of drums of amphetamines.

But the group that won't stop rattling me are the doctors. I mentioned last week that they are now telling us to forget the whole zygote-gamete theory, which by the way would transform Biology into the most boring subject in school. This is the only topic that lights up a class after Classification and Asexual reproduction. So now they want to tell us that children are born after a 'Big Bang' in a woman's stomach where an atom just Big Bangs and a woman gets a baby who starts to live at birth and so we should start walking with caution because a baby can just pop out any minute. Puuuhliz! They are now proposing that in case you find yourself with a baby growing in you, you are free to abort it because after all it will start living at birth. And they are willing to help us do exactly that if only we could allow it in the constitution.

For doctors to pretend that they need a constitution to carry out abortions is humbug. How many foetuses have we woken up to on our dumpsites? What the doctors are asking for is to be allowed to use government equipment, including hospital beds to do what they have been stealing government equipment to do.

Then there is a group of women who 'just find themselves pregnant'. I would like to bring to their attention this new technology known as TRUSTing (which has nothing to do with trust) in which a man loves you so much he wouldn't want to be the father of your children and feels obligated to protect you from the infusion of STDs he has collected from his amoral escapades. If TRUSTing doesn't work, link up with Bishop Deya and provide a baby for his next miracle crusade!

Lastly I wish to address the pro-lifers with their hoity-toity attitude. These are people who have such low opinion of the Kenyan woman that they believe that if abortion is allowed in the constitution, that we (Kenyan women) shall troop to get ourselves pregnant so that we can later troop down to abortion clinics. We sure do troop for government subsidized maize flour and a mandatory third of parliamentary seats. But I swear we wouldn't troop for legalized abortion.

I wish to end my bum arounds at the Coast where I will be rendered bat-like (hanging upside down) for a weekend from a coconut tree to see whether my creative juices will return to my head and hopefully next week I will have a more worthwhile story.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

GRAVE MATTERS

This week has been dry news wise, that is for those of us who no longer consider the constitution debate newsworthy anymore. So I got down to cleaning my house and changing the newspaper covers that have been in the cupboards since the Nyayo Era and I came across some articles which I thought that even though they are ancient history, they are still worth mentioning.

I am not a proponent of AGEISM, but I am going to say something that will unnerve some of you in the reading audience and as always when I say something unnerving I don't give a rat's behind.

Most of our Presidents should be in classes studying the Internet and mobile telephony. I came across this story which intimated that French President Sarkozy had been robbed on the Internet because he can't keep his 'user name' and password safe. It is possible that at his age and profession he doesn't leave many brain cells devoted to memorizing his personal details. Sir, that is why we carry cards to remind us of these details. There are all sorts of places he could hide such important details including tattooing them on his ring finger so that nobody gets the complete combination.

My interest in the whole matter is how the web thugs got such information. What else do they know about President Sarkozy? My take is that he should be very afraid. This theft raises important questions for us Kenyans like - Is our President's money safe? We do know that the former President's money was safe because he carried it all in his motorcade to distribute it to poor wananchi all over the country but what about President Kibaki's? Does he have a bank account? Probably he has a bank Branch at Statehouse with a teller. Does he have an ATM? How many times do you think his card has been 'swallowed'? hahaha

These are weighty questions because I promise you my fellow citizens that if we ever home-grew web thugs that siphoned the President's money we would all be locked up in police cells as investigations are carried out. In the meantime Dr. Alfred Mutua would be holding press conferences to deny

(i) That the President's money was siphoned and
(ii) That the whole country is locked up in police cells and prisons pending investigations.

So I want to belatedly invite President Sarkozy to visit our African Presidents and ask them how come their money is never stolen? They'll first laugh at him (which is a small price to pay) and then advise him that presidents keep their monies in Swiss Banks with user names that would be useless to web thugs because they are changed every two hours.

Away from presidents and their monies, I came across another story that I think should concern us. We have nowhere to be buried! Lang'ata cemetery is full and are we supposed to be afraid? Let me give you my personal opinion about my burial - It is the sole reason God gives us relatives and friends and the government. So I have no need to go reserving a grave for myself. And if we are building skyscrapers why not bottomscrapers? We can have burial places that are several graves below ground. This is just an idea I would like the City Council to explore and if it materializes, all I ask for is acknowledgement, and a free grave!

N.B. The doctors are now telling us that life starts when one is born. Where did they go to school? Weren't we taught that living things grow? That is why I don't discuss the constitution anymore because people are becoming bizarre.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

ADVANCED MOSQUITOLOGY

I am concerned about the rising number of hate mail that I receive every week from people complaining that I waste their time every week as they read my 'nonsensical' column on my blog, if you can imagine. The internet has jillion zillion pages and someone sits at his or her computer, stealing an employer's time, reads this nonsensical column and then writes me hate mail vividly re-writing the parts that did not please him. So I have decided to go back to school and complete what I began to study from the beginning which I believe had nothing to do with human beings. I want to take a Master's degree in Mosquito Psychology. Now keep your hate mail. I am not goofing on this one.

The reason I am taking the course is first so that I may understand how a mosquito's mind has developed and hopefully anticipate how far it is going to develop before I finally get tired of this life and call it quits. I am saying this because today's mosquitoes are not the same insects we knew in the 90s. In the 90s mosquitoes used to hang around marshes and pools of water and rivers to keep us from fishing. They would bite you like ten of them in a row and we used to carry pieces of newspapers and fwaaap! And you would kill all ten with no escapee.

Today, they are in our houses and they get to decide whether we will sleep in our beds or not. We have tried nets and insecticides and just this week I have seen a television advert where they are now being electrocuted! We are yet to test electrocution, but we will all agree that we might be losing the battle. Which is why the other day I went to a blacksmith and asked him to make me a 'STOP' sign - like the one we see in advertisements and put it at my bedroom door hoping the mosquitoes would read the sign and stay out of my bedroom. It turned out that my household terrorists are not as cutting edge as those on the advert. It could also turn out that I have the wrong size of 'STOP' sign seeing us how TV stations are fighting for our attention and I hop from one station to the next as soon as there is even a whiff of an advert coming. I admit I could have missed the whole relationship between the road sign and the mosquito.

The mosquitoes have learnt that we keep them out of our houses by closing windows and doors and now when they go outside to feed on grass sap (apparently they also need vitamins),they feed as close as possible to the house and they get in as soon as they sense that you are about to close the windows. I have tried this trick and now we are down to closing the windows at 9 A.M. after opening them at 8 A.M.

In the house they no longer zing and hang around lamps. No. They now hide on the carpet so that if they get thirsty, they pounce on your feet and are first asleep back on the carpet by the time you think of using the fwap method. Others prefer 'resting blood' and so they hide in your hair and wait for you to fall asleep under a mosquito net and they start gnawing at your head and you can almost hear them laughing at the idea of a mosquito net. You wake up the following morning swearing about suing mosquito net companies that do not have the necessary quality marks. So the mosquito net companies add 'dawa' to the nets and mosquitoes go hungry for a night and they create a task force on the 'dawa' and the next thing you know is that they have decided to invade you from under the mattress and they'll eat it if they have to. I am very afraid of this option and I am weighing the cost of being chewed by a mosquito (bloodwise and discomfort) vs buying a mattress every two weeks and I am yet to make up my mind.

So now you know the reason I am going back to school. Even though I enjoy reading your hate mail, we have a disaster waiting to happen to all of us as citizens of this our beloved country and it is imperative that I take this serious course and even if I might find all of you decimated by gangs of these advanced mosquitoes,I might save myself and the coming generations. I have been assured that where I am going to take the course, mosquitoes consider it the 'Somali Waters' of mosquitoes and they do not venture there unless they be on suicidal missions!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

MWAKWERE'S 2010 PLEASANT SURPRISE

Hon Mwakwere is an entertaining man and should this country ever need the Ministry of Entertainment we shall not need to look far for its Minister. This is a man who gets 'disappointed' when a ferry stalls and 'pleasantly surprised' when a ferry, purely by chance, belches people onto Mombasa Island or the South Coast. Speaking with a smirk on his face about the pleasant surprise of not seeing approximately 5000 Kenyans (a large proportion being his constituents) being turned into fish food within secs, he revealed that it would be no little thrill for him.

Though for Mwakwere a stalled ferry only makes him a little disenchanted, the pictures that go on in the mind of a passenger on a stalled ferry can kill him (the passenger) even before the humongous vessel goes down. He imagines the middle part of his body in the mouth of a shark, a whale zooming straight for his head and a giant octopus wrapping its arms around his legs, making a nice little package of human legs and octopus meat for an on coming sea lion!

Mwakwere behaves as though he has developed a very deep relationship with each of the ferries, as in;

Mwakwere: Hey! you MV Nyayo, you have stalled for the last 15mins and if you don't start right this minute I am going to use this soldering iron on your insides.

'And you MV something, do you see this sledgehammer, I am going to use it break you into tiny little bits!'

'You MV whatever, don't even make me get started thinking about you'.

Then back to MV Nyayo, (which must be the most notorious, hitting the headlines every now and then) 'Look baby gal, I know you should have been replaced 20 years ago and you are honestly overworked. We are getting you a replacement this March. This time 'we' (meaning 'them') mean it. Aren't we lucky to have a career diplomat dealing with the now obviously pissed off ferries?

NOTE: The German government is waiting for a ferry to go down so that they can come and create a dense cloud of jets delivering blankets and food and medicine and stuff for the victims of the ill fated ferry so that 'they can show their solidarity with and support for the Kenyan people during this difficult period'.

I am not expecting the German government to come with ferries and say, 'Here, have some ferries'. No. At least the last time I checked I was not that naive and I know that ferries cost truck loads of quid. So I have a plan. We can give in pledge some of our national assets (read liabilities) to the German government, which even if the Germans held for centuries, Kenya would still run normally. Here is a list;

1) The Minister for Transport and his entire Ministry. Mwakwere has time and again stressed that when it comes to roads and traffic and rules and accidents, we are entirely on our own.

2) The Minister for Finance and the whole Treasury. It would give the Ministry a good break for a refresher course in typing seeing as how they almost gave this country a mass Heart Failure with Kshs9 billion worth of typing errors. And what a better place to train than in Germany with their long words, for example the word dog translates into Deutscher Schäferhund.

3) The Chief Justice

4) The Attorney General

Considering that the German Government is not stupid and might ask for something valuable, we would grudgingly give them the Speaker, Hon. Marende. This will surely cause some ripples in the country because we would be left with a chaotic parliament and lets face it, Marende does know how to reign in his men and women when need arises which is 24/7. And don't even think about closing the parliament for a day longer than the MPs have planned to get back. What with the all important debate coming up as soon as the house opens on increasing the MPs salaries and allowances. So it will be quite a loss to have Marende in Germany until the ferries are delivered but if that is what it will take to deliver properly working ferries to our Coast brothers and sisters, so be it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

THE APPRENTICE IN ME

I love the apprentice show on TV and it is a high time for the TV guys to bring back the programme. At least it stimulates my brain to wholesome thinking, if you know what I am talking about. After being bombarded with local TV programs that to say the least keep me away from my box rather than glue me to it, we need something worth the while especially in a new year. I hope that those involved in the industry will see the point of sending some local programs to hell. I like watching the Apprentice show because it reminds me of when I was once a business management apprentice myself hahaha! That answers some of you who have been sending me insulting emails asking whether I have ever seen the inside of a classroom.

Like many apprentices we see on the show, I was fired before I was hired. That is how I ended up writing a silly column.

So we went to this apprenticeship- six of us straight from college. They told us that we were the best. That we would be trained to become business managers. They promised us that we would never be broke another day in our lives.

We were bussed into some exclusive place. I was excited because I was here not for brains but as a result of a typo. The computer just got hold of my name and it would not let go. We carried expensive suitcases. I kept checking whether mine was still in the bus after every stop. It is the kind of suitcase you want to keep for your children to show them the fruits of 'hard work' so that you can keep reminding them that a good life is not their right. Even though I will show it to them and claim hard work, it is all the fruit of a computer error. And don't you remind me of students who are now taking tough courses at the University because of a computer error with the KNEC two years ago. I got you marked. When I go to see a doctor I will demand that he tells me when he sat his KCSE and if he falls into that year, I will refuse to be checked out by him.

Sorry about that little yap but we can't base our faith in comps that much. Anyway, we were driven straight to the apprentice building and when we got off the bus, we were greeted by this burly and surly guy from up the balcony of the building.

'Hi guys, here's your first assignment. On the neat grass lawn you are standing are a billion bean seeds which you must collect and count and not one seed should be found and you complete the task before dusk'

With such a welcome note, you want to go back and start your Master's Degree immediately and hope that the reception will be more respectful next time. At the apprenticeship, you are bullied not by your colleagues but by the boss himself and there is no where to run to. After the initial shock, we started thinking and one of us suggested that we write a strategic plan for the task, then a mission statement and from there an action plan. I was the only one who was amused by the whole plan because, remember I was here courtesy of a typo and never been to a business class. While he was still on the suggestion, we had already collected several bucketfuls of beans. We thought it better to collect the beans and then count them. But referring to Michuki's encyclopaedia, I said we needed 31 years to count a billion and what a great motivator that was! We didn't obviously finish the task and we were told that the management was not sure there were a billion beans and the whole exercise was meant to test a skill which I can't remember what they called it. Me, I call it the skill of wasting time and believe you me we scored an 'A.'

On our second assignment (get ready), we were going to hawk on the streets of Nairobi, at Kshs1000 some musical cockroaches from Madagascar! We were told that the female cockroaches wax musical during the mating season. We were given 300 pairs per person to sell before dusk. So we hit the road with little boxes of pairs of roaches. Without even knowing whether they were male or female or whether it was the mating season. The strategic plan guy sat to write his strategic plan. I approached my first client along Tom Mboya Street, as cheerful as I could be:

Me: Hi, I got some cockroaches from Madagascar. They make music in the mating season. I will let you have them for Kshs1000

Client 1: You are a fool

Me to client No.2 (hoping that the other guy was just in a foul mood):Hi I am selling these little cockroaches from Madagascar. They sing lullabies for little children.

Client No.2 (looking at the sample): Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack (doing a Usain Bolt).

At that point I wanted out. I thought that if they had given me some venomous little spiders I could at least threaten a potential customer;
'Stand right there or I will let these spiders free from this little cage!' I would shout and the customer would buy as many as I wanted to just get out of my sight. Only the strategic guy sold all the pairs. I now agree that all those strategic things and action plans do work in real life situations and are not just theories.

I have a suggestion for Business Management Apprenticeship. The would be employer would do well to train the young business people how to wear their aesthetic eye glasses at intimidating angles, how to frown at departmental heads who have been doing their thing for decades, when to tap the pen with their fingers and when to roll it, indicating deep thought even when they mean that the departmental heads might as well be speaking Latin or another dead language, when to shout at hapless employees for no fault of their own and when to kick some little furry pets on their sides for no reason at all. After all, Isn't this what managers do?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

WHEN INSECTS MAKE YOU MENTAL

I have these insects that have erected their nests (or what do you call insect housing?) in my bed. They have decided that they are going to eat it down from below and when I discovered how they have been slowly sawing my bed, I was not just unnerved, I became hysterical!

My mind raced through the options and the first one was to call Hon. Ruto, the Minister for Agriculture. I remembered that it is his Ministry that deals with issues insects. The most scary thing that came to mind was what they would do to the mattress and even worse to me when they start sawing through my bones.

So I called the Ministry and when I asked to talk to Hon. Ruto, and explained what my problem was, the person who answered the call advised me to call the Ministry of Livestock. I forgot the name of the Minister but asked to talk to him anyway but I was told he was only dealing with pastoralists at the time. If I tell you that my heart sank, I will be lying. I was alarmed, worse because the government no longer publishes a poster that the former regime used to publish that had all the names and photographs of Ministers. That meant looking for the 2008 newspaper that had the names of the Ministers of this bloated government only to realize that I had set it on fire in defiance of the grand coalition.

If I had not found a caption where the reporter had been kind enough to include the information that the Vice President S.K. Musyoka is also the Minister for Home Affairs, I would have been sawn through by now by the messengers of destruction that were sawing my bed. I was delighted to nail the right Minister since my problem was more of a home affair than an agricultural or livestock one.

By this time I was nearing breaking point. The phone rang several times and was later answered by a kind hearted lady who listened carefully and advised me to order a new bed from Kamiti Maximum Prisons. What the lady was advising me to do was to buy a higher quality bed for the insects to saw through. If this lady had been at the emergency calls when the Titanic went down, she probably would have asked a fearful voyager;

Lady: What is the colour of your seat?
Voyager: Orange
Lady: Get a green one!

The next person I could think of to help me was the Prime Minister but what was his phone number? And with this Mau Forest issue, I didn't want to bog down him with the petty details of my bed. The last person I could think of calling was my mother. Guess what? She was a great help - for a time. She advised me to douse my bed with paraffin and the insects died in their thousands. The result of it is that I was exiled from my bedroom to the living room for the following two weeks by the paraffin.

Two days after I went back to my bedroom, I noticed some saw dust on the floor. The little monsters were back! At night I didn't sleep because they were drilling the bed. I applied paraffin but they seemed to have carried gas masks and paraffin was not working anymore. What should I do? I have a strategy now which is to just let them eat the bed and I will kill them in one swoop when I fall on them riding on the mattress. Hahaha.