Wednesday, February 17, 2010


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?