Thursday, October 04, 2007

selling self

The political landscape is charged! thats what the media says. indeed, yesterday was just another day i was invited to yet another launch by yet another young friend. its amazing many young people i know are really going into siasa. and all of them promising to change the old view of things that has been hopelessly based on tribe, circumcision, dialect, horse trading and many other low things. panafric hotel seems to be the hotel of choice for most aspirants. and this past day there were about 3 of them at the same time. however i was only going to attend Chaacha's launch. it started with a nice dinner. you had to pay 5K at the door, then get a slip with which you go get dinner. on the way to the dinner tent, i met a guy with a plate full of vegie salad, and i couldn't help but hear the guy in front of me congratulating the herbivore: 'Thats very good food. very healthy. in fact thats what am going for. where did you get that?" i waited to see if i could spot another carnivorous Kenyan eat veggy in one night. when we reached the buffet, the man went straight to the sumptuous mbuzi choma, topped it with beef, before pilling choice helpings of chicken drumsticks! so much for the healthy food.

anyway, then i went in to the hall. shock! the hall was packed to capacity. no extra table. i wondered how i was going to eat standing in my immaculate suit. Chaacha is the immediate former group managing editor and so there were many high net worth individuals in attendance as well as several cameras. the place was expensively and deliciously decorated and even the serviettes had the orange symbol on them. i found Mr. James Shikwati the director of Iren Kenya giving his praises of the young aspirant. Shikwati himself is quite young compared to the articles he pens in the Africa executive.

However it was when the man himself got up to speak that i got the challenge. he started with his difficult childhood, then went on to show us the poverty in kuria , his constituency, before letting us know about his impressive CV. at his age, he was Kenya's youngest group managing editor. he suffered a lot in the hands of Kibs govt following some funny stories and was at the helm when the infamous raid took place. consequently he had several sympathizers in the dinner as well. another interesting thing ; there were very many of his classmates who were here and most of them are now professors. (i thought to be a professor you had to have grey hair...)

i was amazed how this man had surmounted this much hardship to become a GME of a leading media house at only 31. and at 34 he is ready to become a minister in an ODM government as he put it. but again come to think of it. Matiba became a senior civil servant at a very tender age. only that our current 'leaders' will not let go even when they can hardly see and have to limp due to age even when walking with a stick.

However Chaacha's speech, even though refined was missing out significantly on action points , timeliness and solutions. he only talked of what the problem was in Kuria, kenya and Africa but no solutions to those many problems.


  1. typical African, I wonder when we will see people who run on solutions, instead of highlighting the problems of Africa. Even a primary level Kid knows what the problems are. All this good things are being said about the Chaacha character but does he have the sense of community (not in a tribal way) to want to make a difference.

  2. I was waiting for you to comment on how you were going to get a return on your 5k investment, maybe a non-executive directorship in the next government's economic agenda courtesy of your support. Ama it doesn't work that way?

  3. @anon, i totally agree. true that we all know the problems. we need pple who will give u practical solutions

    @mwasjd, you just gave me a good idea. but again, i saw pple contributing upwards of 150K to this guys kitty even after paying the 5K dinner fees. so i wouldn't stand a good chance i guess. most of his benefactors did not even want to be named.


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