Tuesday, February 13, 2007

priceless art ...

I went to my broker over lunch time to collect my stanbic certs and also place some orders for the NSE. good news is that i got full allocation, in fact i think all kenyans got full allocation given the size of the share cert book (actually books, they were 3) on the table. bad thing is that this stock thing has caught kenyans so much that even my investment bank , however hidden they are was packed as always have been since kengen. i had to stand in the queue for long something i never used to do at this bank. pleasantly they have employed more pple (young girls really hehe) but still i suppose the demand is just too high. bad news is that they stil do not have a link with the Uganda Stock exchange and so they cannot help in the trade in the secondary market. they however adviced me to go to dyer and blair when i need to sell. dyer and blair has an office in uganda but i hear that bank is crowded like gikomba. better news, the man ahead of me was a very old man. all white hair and stooping, he had several share certs which he wanted immobilized. he was also applying for a cdsc account for the first time. thats not the news though. the news was that he was asking rather animatedly when safaricom will come as he wants to time the issue so that he can benefit from that cash cow. he was asking how he can ensure that he gets as much slice as posible. ok if Kibaki has failed in other ways, at least his term has excited the market and kenyans in a way hitherto unknown or imagined. in fact behind me was another old woman. these two probably octagenerians were the land chasers of yesteryears but now they want their names in the share registers of some of the most modern technology companies in the country. for that kibaki needs another vote

after thinking about kibaki, i went to see an exhibition at the alliance francais. Patrick Mukabi , Jimnah Kimani and Maggie Otieno are exhibiting priceless pieces to say the least. first i went upstairs to see a photo exhibition being run by reuters. remarkable snapshots. the pictures tell you whole stories. very nice snaps of africa, from an enterprising kariuki in river road who makes faces in bars for a living to amputees playing football in sierra leone, to guns in somalia and so on. very catchy snaps about the negativity of africa. why are internatioinal media houses in love with the negative side of africa? even of kariuki they said in the caption that river road is the most dangerous place in kenya! however the snaps are deadly!

i then go downstairs where mukabi's art is displayed. if you dont know, mukabi art is a unique approach which concentrates on heavily endowed women. women with more than enough behind, large arms and large breasts. mukabi does not do abstract or imagined art, he gets those women to pose nude for him. i need to ask him how he manages to get those women lying naked in front of him for over ten hours and even they allowing him to exhibit their paintings. however the naked women do not appear vulgar and they are a welcome relief from the sad photos upstairs. Mukabi makes you appreciate the detail of the body of a large woman. intimate details. some are however clothed but bottomline, they are big, very big. it makes women jivunia kuwa mnono the cheapest piece retails for 46,500 kshs. along side mukabi, Maggie has displayed her sculpture or old men done on wood. very creative i must say. she has modeled them into CD racks , flower stands etc. they look lovely.

how can u benefit from art work? well you can buy and hold just like the stock market. then sell when the value in the international market goes up. art exchange is big business elsewhere in the world , in kenya am not sure, we only get to see art when there is an exhibition. for instance if you buy mukabi's piece for 46K, hold it for 5 years and it goes to 500K you shall have made some decent quid. picasso's art was not worth a dime when he started but now if you hold it, you can even get shot and robbed of it. such priceless art are better kept in vaults in the bank. and indeed if you look around you , mukabi has started making inroads, look at those paintings at Java coffee house, Club Sound and even Deep West club, you see a lil bit of mukabi there as well. am even told that one of his paintings is hung on one of the walls of the new safaricom headquarters. you get the picture now?

Odegle hats off of the day!!!: we were told politicians are paid to talk and not work. well one indefatigable politician has decided to work for his pay anyway. Raphael Tuju MP rarieda and former chairman of Narc-Kenya has got his italian friends to 'water' rarieda constituency at a cost of 350 million. hats off to the man. since he came into 'power' in 2002, he has built schools, brought elec, mobile 'hospital' with 3 doctors, tarmacked roads and now watered the area.

odegle tip of the day ... apart from stocks and art work, people trade in old coins, old foreign currencies, high quality silk, gold , and other precious metals and stones. the idea is still buy low sell high. however these ones do not have splits, bonuses or dividends!


  1. Od...I love how you write your posts. Jivunia kuwa mnono has made my evening. Very funny:-)

  2. Odegle:

    That is quite an interesting piece-actually quite refreshing. The art is very unique, as you said. Kenya is full of such artists tooting lively and upbeat art. But to find one who does that plus whose work gains value like one that you mentioned sounds like quite a jewel...


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