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.