Wednesday, December 31, 2008

' 08 is going happy new year 2009

The sages of coast (wahenga) are the ones who told us that if a kid cried for a razor, you had to hand it gladly to him but the sages of England retorted that fire was be a good toy (read servant) but a terrible master.

The year 2008 was the year that most African leaders learnt the hard part. the same people who made their careers crying about democracy and its close relatives got to know that democracy was indeed a very good servant but that the shoe did hurt real bad when it was on the other foot. Everywhere from our own infamous fraud president Kibaki, to Mbeki down south , to mugabe, name it. Everywhere the men are realizing that democracy is a curse and hell is bent on snatching the cookie jar when the bitings are crunchiest! I thought I would easily forget these sad happenings at the beginning of the year. But all our media stations are falling over themselves with sad and gory reminders of those dark days.

Whats more, Ghana, the country of our would be savior is replaying our script word for word in another election. The world watches and waits. the world that reacts only after people are dead. Even in that country of eminent African Kofi, democracy is proving to be a red hot rod!

But the year also showed us that a man whose name is both Muslim and Kenyan (luo in fact) could beat the odds and become the president of the free world. For this matter, I salute Americans for showing the world why they are the only superpower.

The pictures that I would however like to remember are those of Usain Bolt (a name suspiciously close to Husein again! )bolting ahead of everyone with the ease of Sunday morning. Also those of our harambee stars moving ahead in the Africa championship. But the absolute best was that of the non-smiling Pamela Jelimo tearing away ahead of a crowded pack on her way to become not only a millionaire in dollar terms but also a living legend.

In the coming year , I hope not to see any more pictures of the IDP camp, nor kenyans demonstrating coz of hunger, oil vendors hoarding the commodity, nor the stock market going any direction other than up. I wish my friends here a brilliant enlightening 2009 full of forgiveness love and acceptance.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Its a Merry Xmass again

This 23rd of December has ushered in a feeling of holiday, of celebration and cheer. At this time the Kenyan spirit goes on the overdrive, becomes forgiving , joyful and generous. This xmass will go down as one of the most difficult yet in the country's history. I saw yesterday that even the malls are not as packed with funfair as the yesteryears when we were experiencing a boom. The media houses have also done well to highlight the plight of those who urgently need our help. especially the IDPs. In fact me thinks that such exposes are some of the reasons why media houses are having problems with the MPs. No one wants to be reminded of his torn underwear when he has a smart suit on. No one wants to be reminded of the louse in his hair when he has just colored his hair. Like Kodhek told me many years ago, people will always hate you if you make them soul search and feel guilty. But showing IDPs every day keeps on reminding us all that we have critical unfinished business.

I was especially touched when I read that the IDPs themselves had organized themselves to donate food to some abducted children. Its the highest point of generosity and human triumph.

This xmass period of giving also reminds me of an old woman in Kisumu's Nyalenda whom we used to visit and support with our youth group. She was listed as one of the very needy people in the church parish and every Sunday there was a ration of food and drink for her upkeep. Every so often we used to visit her, clean her house, sing and pray with her and so on. She was very needy and did not have close relatives. However when she died and we went to arrange for her burial, we were shocked to find close to 10,000 shillings in 100 /= notes, stacked away under her mattress! Many people were actually annoyed and called her mean, greedy and many other uncharitable names. However I learnt from the lady one vital lesson. that material gifts were all very good but that's not all that one needs. Probably the lady showed the poor side in order to attract attention and get company every so often. This Xmass may just be a time for that. yes inflation has eroded our power to give material support to those who need us but our time or ear for them may just be much more valuable.

I wish you all a merry xmass celebration in whichever way you want to have it and a happy new peaceful and booming year 2009.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

shocks of my time

Three events in these recent days have left me bewildered. one is when a certain smart man, dodged presidential security detail to seat himself right behind the president in a national ceremony. He then heckled the head of state during a state function. In my culture, you don't interrupt even your own dad when he is talking to guests or before guests unless you are suicidal or insane! But indeed desperate times call for desperate actions, the man must have been pushed to the wall.

The second event was when the two principals (president and prime minister ) took a walk down the streets of Nairobi and were met with blank, derisive stares from wananchi. They say, the most difficult thing for a politician is to be ignored. people ignored the two. Only wondering why they had bothered to disturb the town's life by stopping traffic

Then there was the journalist who could not stand the international pariah president Bush, whose reckless belligerence thankfully led to us have the first ever black president elected in the US of A. I am trying to imagine what went through the head of that guy as he hurled the shoes at Bush. And you cannot say it was a spur of the moment since he quickly got another shoe. It means it was premeditated and he had probably removed his shoes prior to the action. It all shows that arabs cannot be stopped. last time they turned an airplane into a bomb now they showed the world that even a pair of shoes can be turned into a deadly arsenal!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Media bill: Where do bloggers stand

The protests against the media bill and the rhetoric of the MPs are indeed a deja vue. In fact am not entirely interested. Like the wicked sages say, men always make their beds to lie on them. The same people who made all the bad laws against multi party in the 80s were the very same people who suffered in subsequent years due to trained authoritarianism.

What am more concerned about though is where this places us bloggers. I have read of bloggers in china and other places being detained without trial. Does it mean that after the bill becomes law, I will be required to seek editing by government before I publish my thoughts here? Or that before you comment on a particular company , you find out who the owners are and so on?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tailor made

This world never ceases to amaze me, just when the puritants and catholics were putting up their bravest fights yet to stop human clonning and organ germination , one 33 year old Le Trung was creating for himself a custom made girlfriend. and i mean literally!


The super chick is made to be able to read for her boyfriend, clean, and even do accounts. She even speaks two languages! Awuoro

Thursday, December 04, 2008

MPs and Tax: We are Missing the Point

Of late the Kenyan MPs have found themselves in a very awkward receiving end. The media is replete with calls for them to show leadership and pay taxes. now those two words are not words that the MPs are used to seeing in one sentence without a negating word between them. even the proponents of the grand opposition are again missing the oportunity on this one and instead leaving it to one Muthamia to bask in the media glare and glory.

Kenyans are very unhappy in the wake of high fuel cost , high food prices, reducing wealth in the Stock exchange and so on. All these problems when some of the most well paid people in society adamantly refuse to pay their taxes. But i have always argued here and elsewhere that we are missing the point. I argued that the clamour for MPs to reduce their salaries was misplaced and I also hold that asking them to pay taxes is misplaced.

Lets start with the salaries. at 800,000 the MPs do not even earn what senior managers in blue chip companies earn in this country. They cannot even start to talk about the perks. But why is it that we allow leaders of our publicly listed blue chips to earn so much money yet we do not raise a finger? Why do we agree that they could take home so much money? It is because they are equaly expected to give as much in terms of performance. So by demanding that they lower the perks we are actually puting the horse before the cart. The real issue here is performance and what we should be doing is insist on them to deliver on their KPIs. If the MPs helped strengthen our economy, better our national unity, increased our collective pride, it would not matter to me how much they earned. Just like no one bothers what the blue chip chiefs earn as long as the wealth is created for shareholders

secondly on the taxes: After being close to 3 aspirants in last years election, I understood why they MPs are under preasure not to part with even a single cent. The whole exercise was extremely costly. since am a scientist, I believe that nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could. So when these guys use so much money, its only clear that the money will be expected back. be it loans, or savings or even donations. the same favor would be expected. further the MPs are expected to maintain a certain societal status. For that matter they will jalously gaurd what they have. Our solution therefore would be to control the expenditure during campaigns and have the MPs declare their source of funds. One other way of doing it is to restrict the campaign period to maybe 3 months.

Additionaly, the MPs may accept to pay the taxes after all but pass on the favor back the other kenyans. how would they do that? by increasing their allowances to cover the tax deductible so that the net remains 800,000 as before. What will stop them?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Kujivunia kuwa mkenya

Are you having really big problems feeling proud to be Kenyan? I agree with you and I feel you. but I also may be having just the required remedy for your situation. why not take a deserved free drive to Kericho. Yes you can since Shell has now reduced the cost of fuel by a whopping 15 /= (15!) meaning the third rate petrol vendors will have to reduce it by 20 at least in order to compete.

Secondly the road has been fixed beautifully all the way from Naivasha to Kericho. Indeed when the books are written about Kenyan governments, the grand coalition govt will be feted for doing a brilliant job on the roads. The last time I used the stretch between Gilgil to Kericho, I fell sick from the fatigue and frustration from motorists, dust and if not dust then mud. This time the ride was supa and I had time to look up and enjoy the great scenery. This country is indeed beautiful. The rolling hills, the wide plains, the brown, the gray and the green complement each other so beautifully like a wide canvas painting.

This time we were going to Kericho to witness the wedding of my long time friend Ngetich.( people still wed in spite of the world economic downturn! surely love is the most defiant of all emotions) The ceremony that was to start at 10:30 at the scenic Rays place in Kericho was delayed till after 1 in the afternoon but it was all good and we were happy that the man lived upto our expectation of him. Ever since I knew him, Ngetich has never kept time and we used to joke during the committee meetings that he would be late for the wedding and he was. I hope he will also be late when he is called to heaven. Beautiful ceremony full of color, song , dance and mursik! And the heavens held their peace and never poured like they do every day in this sweet town.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Urenga School update

This is an update on the last posting bragging rights and action plan. I have finalised the fund raising and submitted to safaricom foundation. I wish to sincerely thank all of you for the great encouragement and especially No Spin and Florence for the contribution. I am not only forever indebted to you but also tutored by your kindness, generosity and trust.

Here is the full list of contributions:

Friday, November 28, 2008

Watching your mouth

Its often said that what you don't know does not hurt you. That's a common catch phrase for those who believe that ignorance is bliss. But in corporates its clear that what you don't know really does hurt and can hurt real bad.

My friend narrated to me a story how he had sneaked out of office during the busy hours of mid morning to attend an interview at a leading firm in industrial area. He was running late by the time he got to the notorious Haile Selasie round about. There was this bully in a menacing Toyota landcruiser who kept on pushing him out of the road and sometimes cutting him in the chaotic traffic jam. He felt belittled and slighted. But he knew that his small toyota corolla would not stand a chance with the bullbars on the landcruiser. However he insolently dodged the guy and managed to get in front of him but that was not enough , he stuck his head out and threw some f** words at the rouge driver and even asked him who he thought he was to bully people like that on the road. Not getting enough of his rage out. he showed the guy his middle finger before dashing off. By the time he got to the Nyayo round about, he was clear of the bully and the rest of the drive was without any drama. Got at the venue 10 minutes late, hurried and harassed. Organized his papers and thoughts and got to the reception. the sweet receptionist confirmed his name knowingly and to his relief told him he had to wait a few minutes as the main interviewer who would be his CFO hadn't arrived. After what seemed like 20 minutes he was ushered into the large plush boardroom for his panel interview and who was sitting right at the head of the long table??? The bully! and he was wearing a queer smile!

The poor guy experienced what we used to call in college a brain lock and simply failed the high profile interview. The big career leap evaporated before him like rain water in the Sahara.

But this is not the only time such things happen. In the corporate world sometimes, employees bad mouth their bosses mentioning some unutterables not knowing that the listeners may themselves be going to bed with the said boss. such careless talk can not only be career limiters but also career assassins.

A colleague of mine never utters anything controversial until he is sure of the associations of all the people around him. Else he will just throw in a generally accepted remark here or there.

However on the other hand this kind of thing may also be counterproductive since people then become prisoners in a free world. mostly all that is required is have your facts and be confident about what you are saying without making hurtful comments.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mentoring

Today I was asked about how to be a good mentor. the person in fact wanted a mentoring manual. She has been invited to mentor young professionals in Nairobi and thought I would provide the best insight.

Well lets just start by saying that the inquiry really did massage my ego! I have been a mentor to a couple of people but even I at the beginning sought out manuals and articles on mentoring even in the internet. I got quite a bit of information but did not feel really satisfied.

However after swimming in the joy of being considered a man of such high wisdom , I gave my friend just three things I thought were worth considering when it came to mentoring:

That 1. a mentor is very much like a counselor. Your duty is not to provide answers or direction but to help the mentee see clearly or with another eye, things that may be obscure. The mentor may also help the mentee see these issues from different angles. eg if it involves job development, to be able to see it from the managers perspective. 2. that the mentor must start with what the subject knows and build with what he has. There is no point telling the person that 'you know what lets talk after you acquire a degree'. or lets talk after you get 3 years experience. 3. That at the end of the relationship, the mentee should be able to say she/he made the decision, or he achieved this or that. If she says you helped her or held her hand or showed her this or that then you shall have failed as a mentor.

Finally i thought time with a mentor needs to be as brief as possible. I normally meet with my mentor for less than 20 minutes at any time. I normally initiate the meetings and I always come out feeling I drove the meeting and made the decisions. My mentor often asks very few but thought provoking questions and his examples or pointers are normally very brief but sharp. He often has an easy eye contact and is often looking quite at home with anything I say.

Having said that, mentors are great people to have since they actually give you a great shortcut in life, they help you see the ditch which may have been veiled as a soft landing patch. they help you see the thorns in the greener grass yonder and so on.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

dadhood bliss

I have not been to a formal (read public) function for a long while. most of the functions i attend are private or informal ones where people don't have to glance at their watches yawn or doze off. jana i was at my daughter's graduation from nursery school. and boy did she look lovely. The function should have started at 12:45 so i made sure my desk was clean by 12 and all delegations were made in time and then braved the jam to the school. got there just before 1 and got podium seat. The place was packed. Faces aglow and sweet marashis all over. animals sure do love their young. But the wait was too much, the function just couldn't start and music after music was played until my belly started to show signs of wanting to be filled. i wondered what was cutting as my smile slowly turned into a frown. after asking around i learned that the guest of honor was the one keeping the ceremony. he made us wait a whole one hour, then when he came we were told to stand up and clap to show him respect.

shortly the entertainment started and again i was simply shocked at what those kids were able to do. my small girl also recited a poem you should have seem me struggling to control the excitement in me as she went through the lines and the crowd clapped and oooed in approval while cameras clicked. 'she is just as sharp as the dad', i told myself. only problem was that somehow almost everyone here was a paparazzi and after a short while, we who were sitting could no longer see the kids performing, the cameramen and women had taken up all the view and we were left with their tired backsides to stare at. even the guest of honor whome we had awaited for all that long wasnt spared!

But becuase kids are loved so much, everyone wanted to cash in. unsolicited cameramen who produce prints as the ceremony is going on were selling those prints for 150 /- instead of the usual 50. the teachers had charged us 500 /- to hire a graduation gown for the small people and on top of it we were required to pay a further 1000 /- for a suvenir framed picture of the baby in the graduation atire replete with cap.

The function however ended on time as per the program even the guest of honor did us a favor and did not lecture us for too long. After that the satisfied parents with wides grins on their faces were treated to snacks while others like us took our babies home for real big party!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Staff Motivation and Fraud

I have been thinking a lot lately about staff and demotivators. really the kind of things that drive staff to levels of risking their very employment to call for strikes, sit ins and general lethargy or go slow. this is also in the wake of business threatening strikes being reported from Kenya Airways and the likes. the teachers strike for pay is now almost part of our own culture as Kenya.

A number of things get said about motivation and employee moral but none ever gets to to be specified about the role of moral hazards in the part of senior business leaders in companies. The one thing that does get ignored by managers most times is like parents do with their kids they assume that their junior staff do not see what they are doing. that the staff aren't aware of reasons why this manager is keen on getting this project complete as opposed to the other. or why this thing is being pushed etc. Employee gets demotivated when they realise that while the senior manager or CEO refused to give a raise or refused to approve a training, conference or overtime citing cost cutting or cost leadership, the same manager signed a huge over priced tender since he had a major cut in it. from that point that staff will go on a go slow or engage in his own fraud at his level. such staff then start to look for any means possible to get advantage from the company and may even start stealing from customers. We have seen how this is capable of bringing down companies.

In the past i used to think that what ails our nation most was tribalism. Well i still think this is a major problem. but a much bigger issue is really the acculturation of fraud. the vice is so in the blood of Kenyans that they don't see it. they only see the ones highlighted by the media in the scale of anglo leasing etc. I was talking to someone and he could not see that buying goods at staff price to sell outside at market price was actually defrauding the company!

Last Wednesday i left work feeling extremely low after i realized that a colleague i respected so much was actually defrauding the company i work for and making big money out of every contract signed. i got to know that he was the force behind contractors who keep on getting contracts in spite of repeated mediocre service and permanently delayed projects. I felt like strangling the stupid villain. but he is quite a rich dude now and i was made to understand that he is a hot live wire. touch at your own peril.

But driving home, i couldn't help but see other forms of fraud, like the driver who cut in front of me, or the one who disrespected the lights or even the one i met head on on the wrong lane also known locally as overlapping. All this to me is fraud but it appears we have become so accustomed that the person who avoids such things is the abnormal one. Its a real sad state of affairs

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thinking of Faustin

In the quantum of solace, the villain coerces a former dictator to sign off rights to own what appears to be a wasteland in his country. his reward? being helped to take over his former position as the country ruler. His loss? someone else will sign and he will be killed. The wasteland in question turns out to be the only source of water for nearly half of the South American continent. In short the Villain is seeking to control the water source serving a whole continent and he is going to get it courtesy of a single signature of a man whose only desire is to rule.

That story resonates so well with the sorry situation in DR Congo and indeed most parts of Africa. Today am thinking so much of my dear friend Faustin. Faustin is a Congolese whom i met when i was a religious guide in Nairobi. He had come with his half brother to Nairobi to seek treatment for the brother. They did not have much and he told sad stories of the senseless war and displacements in Congo. I like Faustin for his passion, hard work and focus. within 3 short months, he was able to learn English and Kiswahili and be able to get jobs teaching french privately and doing simple translation in Kenya. after a short while he managed to get scholarship for a Masters course at Daystar university and even landed a job as a journalist. in the meantime he could write short articles on the life in Nairobi for sale to some publications in Canada and Belgium. Today he is a doctoral student in Swansea university in UK.

Yesterday i got a long mail from him outlining how the war in DR Congo is planned , executed and perpetuated. We see women and children running and hear gun battles but Faustin asks how the poor rebels, some of whom do not even have formal education are able to get those sophisticated and expensive weapons. I hear even a simple shotgun is very difficult to aim and fire. how have they mastered these great killers. Someone is playing quantum of solace with the poor greedy leaders of Africa who are willing to mortgage their whole nations for leadership opportunity. This blog entry is dedicated to Faustin and many people like him whose energy, intelligence and passion is being wasted due to a useless war and due to visionless greedy and myopic leaders of our time.

Faustin, looking at the history of great people in the world and how small efforts changed whole generations, do not despair but continue to believe in every small step you make. Knowing that bit by bit fills the bin

Monday, November 10, 2008

Arduous argument with Q

yesterday i had a lengthy and tiring argument with one of my friends. Let me call him Q. Q believes that in this world you cannot get anywhere unless you know someone 'strong' somewhere he further believes that knowing that someone aint enough, he must help you get some strong deals in high places for you to make supplies. We even went into argument and he strongly believed that Obama won coz he had some strong pple backing him. now this was different from what i thought coz i thought the man was disadvantaged from start. it was Hillary who had the strong backings , strong name etc. Obama won coz he had the small people in mind but Q told me i was too naive. That nothing is ever black or white, that there are several shades of gray. Now i have several problems with that school of thought.

one, because am one person who does not know strong people. so by telling me that, it only goes to tell me that i am headed no where. i wont take that!

two, because i believe immensely on the goodness of people. i have seen it here in this very blog. people i hardly know and who hardly know me sent me money for our project in Urenga. All due to good will. People in urenga probably think i know some people in high places and that's why i have been able to put up those classrooms and pay school fees for disadvantaged girls but they are wrong. very wrong

third, coz i think this mentality is to blame for all the problems we have had as a country. I even believe that the presidency is often fought for like that in Africa since its supposed to give you free access to strong deals, read corruption opportunities

fourth am angry because these kinds of corrupt people are the ones who have messed up the NSE for us honest investors. Everything was going on well till 2005 when lazy rogue brokers who loved shortcuts came into the market and started to manipulate it with abandon. This very blog was started inspired by the NSE. but later the market could make no sense at all due to all that greed. I have since painfully and regrettably reduced my participation in the NSE and even comments on the goings on have reduced on this blog.

Q is also actually geneticist (sorry if misuse the term) who also believes that success is genetically passed on. He believes that Kelenjins are genetically wired to run long distance races. Somehow he has funny facts to prove it! Even he tried to prove that the genetic make of Brazilians is tailored towards footballing agility! I hate such beliefs since they make me feel helpless! unfortunately Q is one of those people bless with power of speech and is very convincing.

Friday, November 07, 2008

of Bond stunts and Rain floods

Every time i watch a James Bond movie i always come out feeling smarter and tougher. after watching Quantum of solace yesterday, i couldn't help but feel fully equipped to handle all the nasty villains of this world. getting back home to find a major blackout, i felt heroic opening the doors and flashing my mobile phone looking for bad smart men who could be hiding there. i always feel i could kick like that, jump , run and turn my pens into lethal weapons like James Bond. Its the feeling we used to have as young boys in Kisumu after watching the open air (walk-in he he) kung-fu movies brought by factual mobile cinema or Kenya film corporation. the following day all the boys would be black-belts with deadly blows and flying kicks. But bond movie stunts are normally a pure genius.

And even though the movie is just that, movie, the concept of hologram that was done by CNN during the coverage of this years elections in US was way out of this world. tele-posting reporters from Chicago, arizona and the like to a central studio was a masterpiece of television. It added much spice to the whole thing.

But yesterdays bond movie did not help me know how to drive through the floods that blocked my way back home. It had rained like the heavens very life depended on it and our south c with its black cotton soil, portholes and poor drainage could not handle the water. even today there were families whose houses still had flood water. It reminded my wife and I of Kasagam in Kisumu. but Kasagam floods were good since the water mostly came from burst river banks and if you were lucky, you could get fish trapped behind when water retreated though also left behind would be snakes, and all sorts of debris.

However apart from the floods, the broken submerged cars and traffic jams i normally just love the coming of rain.


PS. one annon has told me to stop pushing it but i have to share this forward sent to me by w friend:


OBAMA DEFEATS MCCAIN


Chungwa Moja Ni Maisha Bora

(the fonts were in orange! )

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Obamic Inspirations

A lot has been said about Obama's blackness and the significance of his being the first African-American (Luo-American according to my friend Ken) in the highest office in the planet. Most people have said that what Obama will do as president is not important rather than what he has already done as an underdog winner. But I suppose Obama is a lot of something to very many different people.

first being an orphan, am sure it resonated very well with millions of Kids. His having been raised by grandparents is something many kids in his Siaya and kogelo village alone can significantly identify with. Am sure the same is shared by those million Americans who shed tears on our screens yesterday.

Another thing is that he was initially also raised by a single mom. and there are many like him. kids of single parents some of whom may feel that they are disfavored just for that simply reason. Further that his parents divorced at such an early age. Divorce is a major problem in America and elsewhere. also that he was son of a drunkard who could not settle on any one woman as wife. Many people find themselves in such situations and his win will encourage them that 'Yes They too can!'

But there are other similarities like his 'wrong' name Husein,Barak and even Obama. The fact that Barak could stop smoking and abusing other drugs with the support of his wife must give great courage and inspiration to many people who are caught in this addiction and any other major addictions.

But all in all my major lesson from the new president of the universe again to quote Ken is that if you are so down and so low then you have to work real hard , real smart and real different.

Was his life story that of fate? isnt it fate for all of us. In all the stories, i coulnt help but miss the mention of another great Luo brother Thomas Joseph Mboya. Whose briliance could not be stoped even by the bullet. More than 3 decades after he was felled by chauvinist coward evil men of the first kenyan administration, the
bye-product of his great vision is being toasted as probably the greatest president of the world ever!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Congratulations Obama

It was a historic moment, historic speech and historic win. i was part of that moment. I congratulate you for being a fulfillment of a dream, being a beacon of hope, taking such huge responsibility to fulfill the expectations of a world in crisis.

And congratulations to your family, friends managers and also to Mccain not only for accepting his defeat but really accepting that your time had come. For being a gentleman. More also for making you big by being so big himself. For to win is great but to beat two great people; Hillary and McCain in the process of beating a great history of odds ,of pain , of discrimination is greater far than most things.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

demolitions and good roads

What do you make of the demolitions of the buildings along thika road? The government says they must be pulled down to pave way for 10 lane superhighway. tres bien. But does it show that the government has finally decided to act on illegal allocations or does it mean someone is not thinking out of the box? Who said that a thika road must pass through Thika Road (???) i mean must we expand the current one? why cant we just put new thinking into it and do a completely new road through somewhere else?

But if you have driven to Nakuru in the recent past then you would appreciate the goodness of a well done road. Naivasha is done so well it looks like cherembes or majuu (a term my sheng pal uses to refer to a first world) with clear markings, good width, good grip. its just pleasure. But you have to watch out that you are not overtaken by that pleasure, policemen with speed guns hide just after the last hill towards Naivasha, and if you are doing anything more than 100km/h you either pay a cash bail of 4,000 or go to court. yes even if its 101km/h! Of course there is always a third way. the bribe way. i think those cops there are making a killing. am sure they take home upwards of 20,000 Kshs per day in bribes. so much for they 15K monthly salary.

I used this road last week to attend a funeral in Nyahururu. after the branch off at gilgil, you don't meet too many people and you can go at good speeds thought the road is a little challenged at this point. Driving on this expansive flat area, i couldn't help bu notice the beauty of this country, no wonder people were willing to kill for it last January. We passed ol kalau ( refered to as orkarau localy) before orjorolok (lol). the land and even climate and atmosphere of nyahururu reminded me so much of my rural. Even the soil and roads look strangely familiar. We celebrated the life of a man who has lived a very long and fulfilling life having even been taken to the concentration camps during mau mau. I felt like asking him to pass my regards to my relatives who had gone up there before him but then i wondered if they would understand each other. those guys spoke luo. What language is spoken up there?

On the way back , the lure of Nyahururu falls (thomsons) could not be resisted and we had our lunch at the lodge against the backdrop of its roar. beautiful place with nice grass. i saw many lovers in twos on the grass. it costs you 50 bob to spend quality time with your soul mate on the picnic grounds. So for 2000 bob you could actually do a season of picnics. there are even cameramen to take you spectacular photos the ones that come out as if you are drawing water from the fall , washing your hands or swimming against it!

the magic of the place made us leave nyahururu towards 6pm. and we stoped several times along the road to buy vegetables. nice succulent carrots, cabbages and potatoes sold so cheap that we wondered loud if they were real.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Oh No. I hope not

Yesterday was a sad day for me. the day when our MPs decided in one voice to reject the Waki report and throw away the baby with the birth water. It was sad because the violence not only cost people friendships and families but also lives. It was sad because the main reasoning for its rejection was only to save a few careers. But it also taught us great lessons. What we don't know is what may happen next. was January the worst? I surely did not expect Raila to agree to the rejection of the report. We should not allow people to kill with such abandon and let them go free.

This violence especially in the Rift Valley is somewhat historical. And by choosing to protect the guilty , Raila shall have inherited the culpability of the killers of '92 , '97 , 2002 and so on. Even those who fed Kikuyus to the crocodiles in the Kerio Valley in '97. For a man who has spent his whole life fighting for justice and common good, it would be a sad way to conclude a career. Was it worth it? Is that what you get for being the most politically detained man in the history of the country? Its sad like Kibaki, spending more that 40 years of a brilliant career building a rare image of a gentleman politician, only to throw all that out for 5 years of presidency. sometimes people really fail to see the trade off. That now through history Kibaki will be remembered as the man who failed to unite the country, refused to accept defeat and led Kenyans to near civil war and national collapse. As a man who brought us to the lowest levels of tribal considerations and created the deepest divide. Yet for more than 40 years he has been known as the gentleman of politics. All for a miserly 5 year term!

I still hold on to hope that Raila will see that he would rather lose the next election or indeed the current PM seat than block the justice for the over 1300 dead Kenyans and those thousands of IDPs. I hope he will be the golden boy of Kenyan politics. In another chat we were having with a group of friends, i was told that you do not gain anything from good history. so what if people remember you as a thug or murderer. after all you achieved your personal goals and lived the life you wanted? But that to me is a very uncultured argument of uncultured people and Raila, having been brought up by cultured and honorable people, should not buy it.


And yet the report is not only about punishment or justice, its also about what has gone wrong with our systems. our police force, our culture of greed and tribalism, our pride as a people. It gives serious recommendations on the constitution, governance and so on. But politicians will simply look at the one thing: That it threatens their own career ambitions!

Am sad.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Waki - opportunities

Political entrepreneurs could right now be laughing as they draft their business plan. The Waki report that has hit hard on some key pretenders to the crown has provided an unmatched opportunity. That's why i keep wondering where the proponents of grand opposition are holidaying. there will be no other time to show their relevance like now. This is the time for them to stage an Obama and upset the apple cart once and for all. Normally opportunities to rewrite history don't come too often. But what presented itself to Raila and Ruto in 2002 to put paid the career ambitions of the likes of Saitoti, Biwot and Kalonzo, being the clamor for constitution and change is now over and the likes of ababu have a new great frontier to exploit. they can now push the idea of Grand opposition and take the game to Raila and Ruto by pinning them down on integrity and accountability. With this report, it will be an uphill task trying to revive those careers of the likes of Uhuru and Saitoti especially if it goes to the Hague and that's how Martha too will get her big break.

However Ababu Namwamba and his colleagues of the Grand Opposition have not even hinted a position since the Waki report came out.

By the way, what happens to the awards of honorary doctoral degrees awarded the other day to the principals after Waki revealed that death and destruction in Naivasha and other places were planned in state house?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bold Waki did us proud

The man called Philip Waki and his team actually did me proud. when he was appointed, i told myself that nothing concrete would come from him. He would try to make the principals happy so that he could land a fat job maybe like a chief justice for example. after call Chesoni had a similar fate. My eyes were instead focused on Kriegler (sp. Who i supposed being a foreigner (and white :-( ) would have a non-biased approach and give us a true report of the issues. But instead its Waki who has shown character and said the hard things that Kriegler could not say. while the old man chose to play court poet with the principals, Waki went for the throat and told even his direct reports that they were squarely directly individually and severally responsible for the near collapse of our nation. He touched all the taboo subjects and accused even sacred cows. To me Waki has shown us himself he showed that he gat balls. He managed to do what the other older man Kiviutu could not do.

He did not protect us from the truth but rather brought it out loud and clear knowing full well that its truth that's sets a people free.

Another bold man is Pastor Nganga of neno evangelical centre. he said that the Bible said women must not wear men's clothes but rather wear long dresses that cover the knee. short skirts and trousers are not African and definitely not Christian. I wonder what made him think that long dresses were African in the first place. i thought we never put on dresses and that's why in traditional dances, we always put on those skimpy short sisal or leather skirts. he further said that women in minis distract men in worship and invited rapists upon themselves. to start with rape has never had anything to do with attraction or lust. it has always had everything to do with power and domination. most rapists are sexually codependent people or persons with low self esteem.

secondly what i would find distracting in Pastor Nganga's church would be those women who normally roll over the floor when he is 'blowing his healing and exorcism spirit' the way they roll over and kicking in all directions to me would be more distracting in a church setting than a woman in a trouser. and the bible says men must never put on a woman's dress and vice versa. But during bible times there were no trousers when did those become men's clad?

However i may agree with him on the mini-skirts and tight trousers but for a completely different reason. being that by exposing their thighs,cleavage and behind too much, women have denied men the excitement of mystery ,imagination and discovery. One of the rules of power states that you must be scarce if you want to be powerful i think the same applies to the power of attraction. no wonder men are these days very lukewarm when it comes to these things.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Your Parrot Died By Lance N.

Laughter is good. I found this joke in askmen website and literally fell off my seat:

A man is sleeping in bed when his telephone suddenly rings.
“Hello, Senor Rod? This is Ernesto, the caretaker at your country house.”
“Ah yes, Ernesto. What can I do for you? Is there a problem?”
“Um, I am just calling to advise you, Senor Rod, that your parrot, he is dead.”
“My parrot? Dead? The one that won the international competition?”
“Si, Senor, that's the one.”
“Damn! That's a pity! I spent a small fortune on that bird. What did he die from?”
“From eating the rotten meat, Senor Rod.”
“Rotten meat? Who the hell fed him rotten meat?”
“Nobody, Senor. He ate the meat of the dead horse.”
“Dead horse? What dead horse?”
“The thoroughbred, Senor Rod.”
”My prize thoroughbred is dead?”
”Yes, Senor Rod, he died from all that work pulling the water cart.”
“Are you insane? What water cart?”
“The one we used to put out the fire, Senor.”
“Good Lord!! What fire are you talking about, man?!”
“The one at your house, Senor! A candle fell and the curtains caught on fire.”
“What the hell?” Are you saying that my mansion is destroyed because of a candle?”
“Yes, Senor Rod.”
“But there's electricity at the house! What was the candle for?”
“For the funeral, Senor Rod.”
“WHAT BLOODY FUNERAL?”
“Your wife's, Senor Rod. She showed up very late one night and I thought she was a thief, so I hit her with your new TaylorMade Super Quad 460 golf club.”
“Ernesto, if you broke that driver, you're in serious trouble!”

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

of belts, bellies and beers

In the days when Zambia had a copper belt, Kisumu also had a belt. but it wasnt a mineral belt but rather a beer belt. It was actually a shopping center near the social hall otherwise known as wanainchi. the name stemmed from the fact that the area was surrounded with several bars, restaurants and 'lodges' (actually just sin rooms) Wanainchi was incidentally close to our estate and in the night we could hear the likes of Owino Misiani belting their benga away into the night. The Gor Mahia songs were very popular and i could hear him sing them over and over. in these joints the patrons often ask for an encore after parting with a small amount the musician can even put your name in the song if your pocket smiles nicely.

Well that was then. But last Thursday i saw another beer belt. this time in the heart of Nairobi. actually just at the Nairobi West shopping center. I have never passed by the center in the evening or night. and this day i made the blunder of blunders by trying out a short cut near the shops. Cars were packed till the road with only a small passage left for pple like us to pass. Invariably we got into a gridlock since another car came from the opposite end. being Kenyans where road courtesy went for lunch and has never returned, neither of us was willing to yield ground and we stayed there for like ages before another young man who washes cars there came to our senses.

All the pavements and even part of the parking lot had patrons downing their favorite drinks and enjoying hearty chat music and nyama choma. Kenyans will not divorce nyama choma even though cases of gout and related issues are increasing by the day among young upwardly mobile.
what shocked me was that the place is like a sea of bars some small with a few patrons others having patrons spilling out onto the streets like a defiant beer belly.

But i was not interested in that beer belt of nairobi, i was instead looking forward to taking my wife for some good music near nyayo. the place is not your ideal joint. seats are hard to come by and even walking space is a luxuryy given the size of the crowd. But from the cars packed outside, you can tell that this might even be above your class! The musician called Omondi Refa was doing his best belting hit after hit. mostly originally done by others. but his style is unique and he is a young man dressed like a teenager. its difficult to associate him with ohangla. from his dressing he should be singing the likes of "...watuuu, munajua ni aje ?..." yet the patrons were people above middle age whose mid rifs have already formed a permanent grand opposition.

Even though we weren't able to dance since the place was packed to capacity, we enjoyed watching those who could, try their styles out. Now when watching those young Congolese dancers on Citizen, you would think dancing is an easy thing. maybe they should be warning pple not to try that after a certain age or size. it was simply hilarious watching those not so young men and women try to shake their heavy waists around and throw their arms in the air like Koffi Olomides dancers. funnier yet was odd couples of very old men trying to impress some gals who seemed as old as their last born daughters. yet on the other side i could see rather slim guys with partners of the plus size. truly opposites attract!

But Refas efforts are not in vain and his music at the stadium has actually created a small economy. beer sales seemed to be doing well even though world economy is in a coma. and Obama shirts, badges, capes etc were also going like hot nyama choma. just outside, newspapers vendors did good business as did sausage vendors, there was even chicken roasted on open fire and you could get it with ugali, chips etc. Even the favorite nyama choma was available. Maybe Akina McCain could learn a few tips on economic stimulation from the musician.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Researchers and Research methods

Lets just start by stating that am a scientist by training and inclination. However lately science and science researchers have been leaving me rather dumb founded. My having an advanced training in statistical analysis and probability only makes it worse. I have read a number of science research results with a lot of shock.

sometime in the '90s . I think early-mid '90s, when i was actively involved in AIDS awareness campaigns, we were one day shocked when one researcher gave us his results pointing out to the fact that the virus' spread was accelerated by consumption of believe it or not , fish. He had very detailed analysis replete with figures and examples. he pointed out the luo, luhya, iteso , and some communities in uganda, malawi, tanzania where HIV was prevalent and whose main dish was fish based. Well i was just dumb founded. but i cant remember how that research went.

then just recently i read again another research where the scientist was trying to explain men's dalliance with prostitutes. his hypothesis and conclusion was that men who frequent prostitutes are actually men with stronger genes. so he said that those men were simply under pressure from the natural law of selection to propagate those superior genes for greater common good of human species survival! He went on to state that if you look around you will see that most prominent men , who he assumed posses some of these superior genes either had multiple sexual partners, wives or concubines and/or also used services of sex workers. He had figures and examples to support that.

Another research revealed that water was not good for your skin after all. guess how it was performed. the researcher took one pair of twins (since they share most of the DNA) one was made not to drink water at all while the other took the recommended water ration of 10 glasses a day. the experiment took one month after which the researcher tested the skins for moisture content. he found out that there was no difference. ok lets not even start with alpha being a non biased estimate of theta!

and late '90s early 2000s, a friend of mine told me of his participation in a study in Kisumu. the study was based in Kisumu's Lumumba dispensary and was financed by Bill-Melinda gates foundation. a group of them were asked to get 'cut' and then continue being sexually active. they were not encouraged to use condoms during the period of the study. however they were to visit the clinic every week for check up during which visit they would get paid 200 shillings allowance. additionally they got free medical care whenever they fell sick. After a few years , just about 6 short years, the study concluded that HIV spread is reduced by 60% through the cut! Raila gave his great support the other day and story goes that men in that region are trooping to the centers for the magical circumcision. Never mind that Africans are the most 'cut' people in the world and is generally leading in infection rates.

ok lets forget about scientists and researchers for a while. This years home expo at the KICC was both very encouraging and revealing. one, that Kenyans though faced with tough times are still very innovative and full of hope. most people were asking a lot about solar systems meaning the energy thing has hit all of us real hard. secondly that most people i met seeking information on home purchase and mortgages were young ladies either in their late 20s or early 30s. Like Moi said last week men be afraid be very afraid!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

cutting off your nose to spite your face

Why did the H of Rep shoot down the bailout plan in US? I don't get it. some people have argued that at 1M USD a month, the corporate leaders wages are obscene and i concur. but then do you throw the baby with the bath water? in any case can it be objectively said that the market crush was caused by salaries? hardly. tough economic times in the world have been caused by among other things good economic times! indeed when you want to know your weakness look at your very strong point there in lies the weakest link. the boom is what made people spend like crazy, buy guzzlers, pay huge, walk into everyone's mess and try to solve the problems of 6 billion people with the same template. I just continue drawing parallels with the African scenario. just over there in SA, why did they sack arguably their best economy manager ever? to spite their face! just funny decisions like over here at home when we decided to shove the bomas draft to spite one man. the man whose family fate has been intricately intertwined with our collective history. the aftermath has been disastrous.

But how is it helping, the two protagonists shouting themselves hoarse accusing each other of sabotage while the average tax payer continues to lose his 30, 40 or more years of savings each passing day. for what gains? What were those guys thinking? i have been looking for some strong argument. something novel, a debate regal and purple like the great drapes of Roma to support their decision. Nix!

on other matters, the local media houses seem to have had me in mind for some time now and they have included more local content in their repertoire. Artists are being paid better and its very refreshing to watch locally produced shows every day. my absolute favorite right now is Wash and Set which comes on NTV every Thursday now moved to wed. it even beats tahidi high in terms of relevance, casting, production and research. i wish these opportunities were there back then when we used to perform plays for bread and fanta!

and the Sunday Sation is trying to clone whispers son of soil and they have promised hefty salary for someone who can fit into his shoes. bad idea. you can never clone talent. just let someone else provide his own style the way jalango had done in kiss. he never cloned nyambane who , phew , resigned at last.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A few Bush truths

Every cloud has a silver lining so the sages say. and in every bush there is a flower. Well that should count true for the American Bush as well. 8 years of his misrule, most Americans and indeed most of the world is not just sore but desperate as well. However we cannot wave the guy goodbye without relishing the few lessons he gave Americans and indeed the whole world.

1. That America is not that strong after all: the initial raid on Iraq that was meant to end after mere shock and awe, has dragged on to date with countless American families crying over wasted years, dangers faced by their sons and daughters and increased hatred by the world

2. Democracy is the not the panacea: its telling that American citizens are weighed heavily with crippling debt. most of which are given by China. Now when it comes to governance, America is the exact opposite of China. and for years they have never seen eye to eye. yet its said every American now owes china an average of 6000 USD . so whose policy aint working?

3. We are all human red or blue: The American election in 2000 and also the current campaigns have shown that there is no difference between Africa and the west. we are all greedy for power. and we can stop at nothing to achieve it. We all discriminate others on the basis of their differences etc.

4. That America is not as clever as believed : What do you say when one man constantly eludes a first world and gets away with one murder after another. all the scientists, investigators, professors etc are unable to get the dude! the 'great' nation has now turned to the third world to get foot soldiers to fight its funny wars in the poppy growing land

5. That you cant bite the hand that feeds you: as long as oil continues to drive the world economy, it will be difficult to beat the people who literally dig for money. whether you push them shove them or toss them

6. Time is up for world bullies: as shown by Kibaki and his like minded friends. if they bully you in the west, go to the west , south , north else Libya

7. You can only rule a person who needs you: Its proving increasing difficult to control a world which is fast becoming independent in every sense of the word. Most leaders no longer look to Bushland and threats just don't work!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Kenyatta

Today's screaming headlines in the major dailies left me in shock and wonder. That the old Man Kenyatta who had as many lovers as he had haters met his death in a very sorry neglected situation. it reminded me again of my friend Kodhek's assertion that no-one ever thinks of a rich old man's health but rather his wealth. its dangerous to be rich and old or sick in this country then. That his most trusted and close aides never bothered even when the president withered away with age and disease is very disturbing. And the declaration they had made earlier that even speculation about the presidents health was a treasonable offense may seem to have been orchestrated to actually send the man to his grave painfully and slowly. since the 'king's' nakedness could not be mentioned in public, he was left to face the embarrassment alone. that story does makes seriously sad reading indeed.

The raw greed for power and wealth that those men showed in the post independent Kenya is what made my colleague angry after he came from Lisbon. He talks of how he found it painful to discover that while in 2008 we still don't have a solution to our transport system, those guys already had a sailing school in the 12th century. trams were in use already in the 18th century at a time he reckons that his grand ancestors may still have been fighting with bows and arrows in congo!
But what pained him more was how Kenyatta and his colleagues messed the post independence goodwill to unite the nation and concentrate on development. instead they went into a grabbing spree, thinking only of themselves. this same attitude is what informed his handlers when he now faced imminent death.

But to err is human, to forgive divine, problem comes when you err again and again and completely ignore history.

The story in today's dailies and even my colleagues rants after his eye opening visit to Lisbon really mean nothing. In 2002 only 5 years ago we were faced with a second lifeline, to correct what went wrong in 1963 and even in 1978 but again Kibaki against every ones expectation, bungled it. Early this year Kenya paid heavily for that greed. With the Kriegler commission, people expected a new beginning, to find real answers to this age old problem. but its now seeming rather clear that Kriegler was here to do what Bosire did 5 years ago with the goldenberg commission. which was to sanctify the sinners. look for a cheap scapegoat, sacrifice the poor soul and let the culprits free. In goldenberg case, Pattni took all the blame and everyone else including Saitoti were declared clean. this time, we are being told that even the ballot box stuffing which have been reported by Kriegler were just mere 'mistakes' of the ECK. so Kivuitu shoulders the guilt for the death of those 1200 + dead Kenyans. All those IDPs must blame Kivuitu. But the old judge has said one thing more , that the wrong person was sworn in. that the man did not win! neither did Raila Win according to the judge so we have a country being run by impostors!

But to me the commission's report gave me one more thing to ponder about. What if it were true that no-one actually won? What if it were true that there was a tie? then what? does our constitution have any provisions? This may be the time to put the 50% +1 requirement. ie that the winner must garner 50% of the vote plus 1 more vote. This would save us in future.

Looking to the future though, i saw a posting in a website mostly frequented by young people which made my heat leap for joy. This post is a rarity in Kenya!

Going back to Njiru's press statement 30 years late. I think if this be the trend then one Mr. Daniel Toroitich Arpa Moi should be very afraid. All those atrocities, wrongful detentions and torture will come to light and poor man, he seems to be going strong by the day and those things will be revealed when he is still alive!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Reality Check: Error Intolerant Professions

Early into the Kibaki administration, we were shocked to hear of a tragic demise of one of the past great second liberation fighters. he was a man of great courage wit and focus. he however fought in a very unique style- using humor. his name was Wahome Mutahi alias whispers. he was a man i had read since i was in my primary school. the days when he partnered quite skilfully with maddo another pencil-great man . i was sad to learn that the man would not enjoy the new found freedom he so galantly fought for. i was sadder though that his death was unfortunate given the fact that it was by a botched operation.

a year after Wahomé's death, we got our last born and in the week of being around, the guy fell seriously ill. he just withered away like a shoot in the scorching sun. we rushed him to hospital and were told that he had to be operated in the stomach. his bowels were to be cut and reconnected! i looked at my son and wondered what the doctor was talking about. What was he going to hold while cuting him! i was utterly depressed. we were between a rock and hard place. the doc said it had to be done immediately else he would die. the operation was meant to be the following morning. our luck came when another doctor who was doing rounds in the evening happened into the wards and asked for blood and stool test after which he prescribed a drip laced with an anti-biotic. the gentleman never went for the operation and he is growing strong.

my neighbors case was similar but he took his kid to Gertrude's hospital where he was operated but never survived. just last month, my siz was told to undergo an operation to remove a fluid based goiter. the cost was 70,000 kshs. we sought a second and third opinion and eventually paid just 2000 for a jab to remove the thing!

i read the issue about misdiagnosis in the media jana, i also remember many stories where doctors have either killed or maimed patients for life due to wrong prescription. one may call it negligence, but am thinking its more driven by the financial rat race. it starts with people cheating in exams to go to medical school. then it goes to high school failures taking medicine since they can afford to pay parallel degree. you wonder how someone who does not even get the cut to take the simplest course at the university can qualify to do one of the hardest courses. it then ends up that for you to recover your money fast, you gotta go on a 'cutting' spree! surgery is very lucrative in the medical circles.

coming close to doctors making mistakes, are pilots felling planes 'kila uchao' what am persuaded to think is that there are some professions like politics and law where 'errors' can be accommodated. but in some, qualification is very important since one simple error is equal to one human being's life. We must just decide to lock out certain professions if at least to protect oursleves.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

of beauty and brawn

I downloaded Google web browser for trial. i like it for the beauty, the novelty of treatment of tabs, history and even its ability to auto-configure. But like they say most beauty is often used as cover up for certain fundamental flaws. like they say academically challenged people get beauty at birth as a cover up for that fatal flaw. With chrome, the Google browser, i find am not able to log in to google mail! of all the pages. even this blog entry is not possible to make when using chrome. i am not even able to go to the comments page. further, even though its sold as optimized for web embedded videos, the thing does not work when you are behind a firewall. it just hangs and looks at you like a beautiful fool. Ok lets be fair, Chrome is still in beta, meaning its still not officially released but i wonder why they made this trial at the same time that mozilla Firefox was releasing a new improved version of their own web browser. the new version is cute, fast and with several likable add-ons.

more on beauty, my colleague is back from a 3 week visit to Portugal. he reports to us that Lisbon is probably cleaner than the inside of his own house here in kenya. Everything works, people respect you and everywhere you go you feel alive. That story is similar to that of my cousin coming back from a visit to to The United States. Trees are alive and beautiful, everyone drives, life works and effort is very small. Those stories are great, compelling and inspiring just like what i want to make my Kenya to be in my own small way.

That the NSE has fast lost investor wealth is not fodder for any prime time news. and Kenyans are probably having a love hate relationship with Safaricom. its like the feeling you get when you marry your beautiful(or handsome) teenage heart throb only for reality to hit you when you realize, kids must be fed, clothed, schooled and disciplined. and that beauty is only meant to attract the best suitor, happiness is what you work on.

Seriously though, the Kenyan market is doing much better than most global markets. there is a general slump and the current despair or anger is very much misplaced. some people are saying they could have been better off buying land which is assured. Speculation on land is largely responsible for the looming food insecurity in Kenya, water shortages lack of expansion land for roads etc. speculation on land is not creative capitalism.

Is there anything like creative capitalism? Bill Gates thinks so. its a break away from the traditional way of donating huge chunks of money to charity after making money irresponsibly through obscene prices like those of petrol and electricity in Kenya, environmental pollution and sinfully low wages and long stressful working hours, to a humane approach to business which is basically avoiding the need for charity in the first place.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

more uplifts

Today must be one of the best days for kenya. after watching Pamela Jelimo win her and Kenya's first ever jackpot in athletics , the 1 million dollar golden league series, another Kenyan Vivian Cheruyot won the 5000 meter race beating the opponent just at the finish line, the brilliant day ended with Kenyan soccer team Harambee stars show casing great talent poise and skill to take down the much fancied Namibia team. The Kenyans were fantastic. the most refreshing thing to me was the break away from Ghost Muleis media antics. the new tactician Kimanzi is a very reserved man. rather relaxed and humble. But his charges are what make you want to look at the man again. It was very uplifting watching the indefatigable Oboya doing the runs around the field. he was found almost everywhere. Noah Ayuko in goal was hardly test as the back line was tightly manned by opiyo and Ochieng. Two other greats were Njoroge through whom the penalty came and highly skilled Mohamed.

Monday, September 01, 2008

uplifting the soul

Two things happened recently which were very uplifting. one was seeing a young Kenyan woman beat a crowded pack of experienced athletes to bring home the first women Olympic gold. However the Kenyans who take part in these races normally depress me as much as they uplift me. Seeing someone sprint like that to the finish line after soaking up 1500 meters or more is depressing in equal measure as the joy of seeing the Kenyan flag doing the victory laps after such a tough race. The Kenyan athletes show me that it can be done but they also remind me how unfit i am.

the other uplifting event gave me the same feeling. The speeches during the democrats convention in Denver. All the speakers surprised me in a very uplifting way. first Michele giving an address which would have been fit for the nominee himself. then Hillary Clinton stressing with a smile and conviction that everyone should rally behind the candidate who denied her her own chance to write history. Then came Clinton the man who put to rest all doubts that anyone had and declared clearly his support and thereby showing his own courage and strength as a man. But the icing was watching Mr. Obama take the world through arguably one of the most soul lifting speeches of recent times. it looked like he was talking off his head and heart. it was not a written rehearsed speech as i guessed. Even McCain had to stop and congratulate the man first!

However the Colorado convention had its own depressing reminders to me. for one that if it were Kenya, Michele would not have addressed the gathering, Hillary would have defected to republican or worse formed her own party. Bill Clinton would have fronted Chelsea instead and McCain would have called Mr Obama all sorts of unprintables.

The fortunate thing is that the encouragement i got from those two great events is far greater than the other realities that cause discouragement. It was even more uplifting to see nyahururu residents give their son a fitting welcome.


By the way, how are people handling the electricity tariffs? apart from buying energy saving bulbs etc. am actually actively looking for a good solar installer. the energy bills are obscene!

I have said it before but it doesn't pain to say again: I wonder who the producers of Tahidi High in citizen come from. How come that show is so far ahead of the rest in the same country. Success should be copied. the other teams have no excuse to keep on showing mediocre series when we have such talent around.

Monday, August 11, 2008

inflation beaters

I have always wondered how Zim guys manage to live with that kind of inflation. i keep on wondering how they still manage to drive, go out, pay school fees, feed families etc. Well, like the swahili say, camels must not laugh at cows hump. Back home inflation is bitting hard and deep. savings are eroded, investments fall apart and good clothing is slowly becoming a luxury. they say luck favors the prepared mind but maybe inflation too. however for those of us who were found flat footed, serious Structural adjustment plans as well stomach adjustment plans have been put in place.
For one to get good clothes, just brave it and take a matatu number 9 to eastleigh. shirts which retail at 1000 bob in town are actually got easily from the famous isich for just under 400 shillings. trousers go for as low as 500 and you can even get suits for 2000 bob. and even those traders are facing the inflation music since they have become quite aggressive now. before they used to just sit back and wait but now if you enter any stall they try everything in the book to make a sale.

and in south C one tomato can go for as much as 10 bob, to beat that, just go early to markiti (city market) and buy wholesale. for 2000, you can get enough tomatoes, onions and carrots to last you a month. they wont be that fresh when you are using them, but again the times don't give that much luxury. to beat bread price, i just got a lot of peanuts from my shamba in nyanza. Nyanza produces some of the best groundnuts in kenya. highly nutritious and sweet. secondly peanuts are more filling than bread apart from being healthy as well. on top of that i got 1 sack of maize which somehow can last close to a year given the sedentary life of the city. lentils all obtained from shags.

Other ways of beating the curse is walking to church on sundays instead of going to the mass with the best music. using a matatu as much as possible. carrying packed lunch etc. and if you have a small backyard, you can just squeeze some mbogas in between the flowers. eg amaranthus vegetable is quite beautiful and can pass as a flower, even managu (osuga) or akeyo. Actually even tomatoes are quite flowery.in fact who says you cannot even have them as potted plants if you dont have a backyard? so you will be having your cake (flower garden) and eating it too. literally!

However every cloud has the proverbial silver lining, the situation has provided the best stock investment opportunities in a long time. pple are getting out to cut their losses. but i think this is the best time to take advantage of under priced stocks.anywhere you ever wanted to get in, here is the moment.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

driving the bulls to a fight

I was made a class prefect when i was in class five. There were two problems in this. one was that prefects were very much hated people since they wrote down names of noice makers for punishment. second mistake was that i was fairly new in the school having joined only a year before. In fact my appointment i suspected had more to do with my brain and none to do with my leadership abilities or anything like it. prefects were always given one-ten (or wanted). my day came when this tough looking guy called leo gave me the dreaded wanted. I didn't want anything with him, in fact, i never wanted to put down his name. i would have allowed him to make all the noise he wanted, if only to save my skin. but my other friends urged me on. they said that Leo was only looking tough on the outside but he would not be a match to me. Even though i knew myself better, i went ahead and gave Leo's name to the teachers. My wanted was on!

Leo met me a few meters from the school compound. after 4PM when i was on my way to the national library. he was in the company of some friends. some of whom were also in my list. i was also with two friends. It was always difficult to start a fight so the 'friends' played a very crucial role, fanning the fire, reminding the aggressor of the reason for the wanted and egging on the other reluctant party. so they put some grass between us and declared that who ever was stronger would step on the grass or cross it. i of course didn't mind being called a coward since this was Leo we were talking about. the guys noticed this fast and pushed me past the grass. now it showed i was stronger than leo. his blood boiled, he moved with speed and landed some strong punches on my unguarded face. It was fast brutal and heavy. before i knew it, i was on my back with leo all over me and people cheering. even my friends were cheering Leo. by now a crowd had gathered including the girls. The prefect was being punished and everyone was celebrating it. Thankfully a woman who was passing by came to my rescue and chased Leo away. i went on the library with my mouth full of blood.

I thought those things only happened in primary school when people were young, but i was wrong. I saw it again clearly when in 1992, the media created a small rift between jaramogi Oginga and Matiba. it started as a joke but with every new day , there was continuous talk of Muthithi House and Agip house factions. it went on and on until the hitherto great friends and freedom fighters who both risked their lives and those of their families to free us from the nyayo error and curse could not see eye to eye and had to go separate ways. I believed then and even now that the differences between those two great men didnt warrant what happened. but there were friends on either side urging them to fight... for nothing really.

What of now? I keep on hearing about some war or rivalry between Martha Karua and Uhuru. to be frank, i cant see any war or need for one. but the media keeps on talking about it. They keep on using words such as, clash, war, rivalry, daring etc. To me, i have been looking for any time when Uhuru either mentioned, of expressed interest in the presidency come 2012. I cant see it. I have been looking for any time he said he was at war with Karua. I cant see it. These funny media people played a big part in preparing us to fight each other like we did in January. they were very instrumental too in creating rifts in ODM-K and now they are busy building a mountain where there is none. So far, Uhuru has done me proud and refused to yield any ground, he has refused to step on the grass or even cross it. even though Karua seems to have swallowed the bait together with the hook line and sinker! She is busy expending her energy, daring and shadow boxing everyone

Thursday, August 07, 2008

This 7th of august...

This day 10 years ago, i was traveling back home, after a brief job looking stint in Nairobi. the bus stopped in kisumu and we went into Kimwa grand for a cup of tea. on TV there were vague news about some horrible happenings in nairobi. i must admit i was not fully awake so i did not realize what just happened. when i reached home, my brother told me about the bomb blast at the co-op house in nairobi, but my bro who was a teacher was convinced that the bomb was actually done by president Moi to destroy teachers records! at that time there was a dangerous stand-off between the giant teachers union KNUT and Mr. Moi over salary increases. the teachers service commission was housed in co-op bank house. Mr. moi was known for many nasty and shocking things that he did to remain relevant and most teachers at home were actually convinced that he was behind the whole thing.

However slowly as the day wore and more news came, we started to see the truth as was. that the bomb was actually an act of hate against Americans and that we were merely pawns in a dangerous ego and revenge game. My heart , prayers and thoughts today go to all those who lost their lives, their loved ones and their hopes in that bomb.

Friday, July 25, 2008

pornography ...for breakfast

I heard a story one time of a young woman who was born-again and was getting married to another born-again brother. During the pre-nuptials fellowship, both the families were invited. the girls family as well as the young man's family. after a lot of preaching, worship and singing, it was time for testimony. Testimony in the evangelical worship is quite integral. the story goes that the young woman got up and gave a testimony of how she met the Lord and he saved her life. she went on to give the juicy details of her former life which she called a life of prostitution saying she could not even count how many men had laid her. it was a shocker. even though this was a gathering of saved people with high forgiveness quotient, the mother, the sisters, the aunts of the man could just not reconcile themselves with the prospects of their 'clean' son marrying a whore! the marriage did not proceed.

The story taught me that there are things you can say even if you were saved and there are things you must not say. a human being must have secrets. and private life must remain, mmmm errr private.

fast forward, enter fm stations with young upward mobile presenters and all of a sudden every one wants to discus their private life in public. its getting worse by the day. i normally awkwardly have to drive with my finger on the radio buttons to change channels. the music is great but it stops all of a sudden and listeners are being asked what they think of the caller who had CFA with this man and now wants to dump him. or what they think of this sex style. or which tribe is best at pare pare and so on. everywhere i turn to its the same story. I often wonder who is so keen as to discus live pornography as early as 7AM. initially i heard these shows were aired at night for the benefit of the single and lonely. but now, i hear them throughout the day even evenings. incidentally this is the same time kids are either going to school or coming from school. Surely! and to make matters worse some stories are so awkwardly lurid that even as an adult you are left wondering how someone can say that on national radio! and its worse if you use public transport since you have no control over the radio!

but as radio stations were going down koinange street, yesterday two TV stations performed a first in Kenyan or even world history. I saw them host Prof. Sam ongeri live on two separate talk shows in separate stations at the same time! Ok i dont know if the good old prof has a double or magic powers. after all he comes from the land of the powerful witches.

yet one man who urgently needs more divine power is one Ali Mwakwere. How on earth can you be so laid back when people are dying and your ministry is in such a mess. indeed i now agree with my friend who said that you can be promoted to your level of incompetence. he had warned me against raw ambition. that the higher you climb the more you expose the holes in your cassock. But surely the MPs who showed kimunya the door can help us? yesterday i watched in horror as they showed a ferry almost sinking and killing all on board! The minister was well as expected: mum.

Monday, July 21, 2008

All that glitters

I hate seeing or listening to one man called Wakoli Bufwoli. For no reason at all apart from the fact that he has constantly disapproved my judgment. 'meeting' the man as an MP way back in 2003, i could not help but lament at what the NARC euphoria had brought to us. it was like the waste that comes with the flood after a heavy rain. i predicted that it would be the more eloquent and straight talking Kituyi who would rise above his cowardly and clueless chairman Kombo and become the next president of Kenya (of course after being appointed VP). In fact Kituyi even turned down a prestigious international nomination for office for my predictions to come true. However yesterday it was Hon. Wakoli with his staccato speech giving the direction of the hitherto forceful FORD-K party. defying his PNU president Kibaki on the need to dissolve the party. Hon. Wakoli was just one of the few Former MPs in Western province to beat the ODM wave. not even the VP survived. never judge a book by its cover indeed!

But there is another book that was misjudged and is giving investors sleepless nights. Safaricom was supposed to go up 4 times on day one to enable enterprising Kenyans to sell and buy plots in prime areas. I think Kenyans and land are like Siamese twins joined at the hip!

However one month down the line Kenyans are seeing their loans getting heavier as the price dips further. they are selling in droves and i keep on getting questions like will it ever go back up? What i wonder is, do people really ask themselves this question: If they are selling , who is buying and why? is that buyer the most stupid man in this country of intelligent people?

talking of intelligence. You will probably be shocked to know that one of the latest schools in Nairobi to go on strike pretesting hard exams, Upper Hill SS, is actually one of the best boys boarding school in Nairobi Province and admits only intelligent boys from primary. early this year i was with a distraught parent whose son missed the school by a whisker and was hovering around the primary school looking for help from the teachers. ah well great expectations bring great disappointments. However even after one kid died in the strike, my lips are still sealed as i find no moral authority to condemn the young boys. reflecting on the events of the recent past, i feel all of us Kenyans must be jointly and severally held liable for the mess in our schools right now.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Of TV and jokes

sometimes, watching TV you feel like entering the box and talking sense to the those guys. in fact you can quite relate to those fans who in the '80s used to smash their radios when there favorite team (either Gor or AFC leopards) conceded a goal. yesterday i felt the same watching Loui Otieno live in nyeri. the people participating went on and on about them (kikuyu) being hated since they hate sitting around doing nothing. and every example they gave went something like: "when we get employed anywhere, we don't just sit back and wait for salary, we have to put up a small business or shamba to supplement the income..." ah well but which employer wants someone who also runs a business? i once had a colleague who had business in town. the guy used to have all the excuses in this world to get time to go attend to his many affairs. in the end the job was never done. have we been wondering where the rain started beating us? why services are not given? why you can never get officers in the office? why it takes 3 months to get a passport etc. well it was all on citizen TV yesterday. What actually is fraud? is it not the same as what i was hearing on TV jana? stealing time from your employer is just the same as goldenberg or anglo, etc. and employers are getting meaner even receiving personal mail or browsing non business sites is treated as fraud these days!

Its that same thinking that made traffic policemen also own matatus, procurement officers sell to the same company they worked for and so on. to think someone can be proud of it as to announce it on TV! no funny at all

another thing thats not funny is the kenya comedies. actually each time i see a new comedy come up on TV, i give one more thumbs up to the man called ojwang and co. The monday show on NTV is a case in point. i normally feel forced to laugh. citizen tried with papa shirats but the thing has simply degenerated and jalango's trial at imitating the poor luo kiswahili just doesn't hit home. ok i acknowledge luos are generally less than average in Swahili but they dont mix themselves up that much. the jokes ends up being lost in the farce altogether. Again joking about other people is never funny the funniest joke is always one that make us laugh at ourselves.

But i always wonder how the guys behind tahidi high have managed to hold this long. how come the show is so fresh, well rehearsed, well researched, well acted and well produced? how is that yet these are still Kenyans just like the mwala team?

so much for TV, whats going on in school??? did i hear that some school boys went on strike to complain about hard exams just at the time another was demanding modern music system in the school bus? reminds you of the time nairobi university went on the rampage to demand goat meat or when our own good old KB school went berserk to demand long trousers. oh what age does to reason!

Monday, July 14, 2008

of fences and gates

Jana, i took a walk around south c where i recently moved. actually i was looking for a barber. part of familiarization tour as well. i walked almost around the entire estate and found myself at capital center only to find the barber shop closed. then went back to the shopping center where i got a very good young man to do the head job. I discovered that the estate is actually a conglomeration of mini gated estates or are they courts and that also answered the most intriguing question i have had since i moved these sides.

A number of issues both within and without my control had conspired to move me from the leafy, nay country-side suburbs of lower kabete where we drunk milk directly from the cows teats and woke up to the crows of the fowls, to the concrete jungle of kilimani where traffic never ceased to zoom past and finally to the estate of the traffic jam. that story has already been told.

And that traffic jam has always baffled me. getting out of the estate itself is a nightmare. however yesterday i found out why. For one, the courts are all gated some within a larger common gated compound meaning that there are no bypasses or outlets for cars. it means therefore that there is only one 'freeway' around the esto. So when cars 'pour' out they are bound to get locked in the maze.

secondly, almost every gated court i saw yesterday had at least one or two cars squeezed inside the small compound. which explains why i seldom meet matatus on the road. it means that public transport is very poor.

Third, i noticed that the one road left for all of us is pretty narrow so overtaking even a non-roadworthy junkie is out of the question during busy hours.

But i found other interesting things about the place. one good thing is that the old style houses have maintained their original design and modifications are few and far between. maybe coz most owners appear to be Asians who unlike their counterparts in buru buru may not have been greedy for an extra 3k for an extension. But one thing that is not in short supply is the variety of gates and fences! from the simple designer gates to the elaborate tall gates with spikes or broken bottles to keep off the buglers. in fact from the gates and fences you can easily tell the houses apart. some wall fences i saw, apart from being very tall, had on top of them; broken bottles, electric fence wires and curled razor wire fence! talk of not wanting to leave anything to chance. But the one i found most amusing was one tall walled fence with kayaba(sp) trees planted around it. real security

Another thing i have learnt is that pple in these parts of the world go to bed pretty early. no local bars or 'heng' joints and even though we are normally stuck in traffic during the day, you don't meet any traffic after 8pm and most lights are out. one day i sighed with disappointment thinking that there was a power blackout since most windows were dark only to see a security light on at one of the gates yet it was only 9pm! which is strange given the number of GTV satellite dishes all over the place.

Talking of 'heng', last week i saw first hand who has been hit hardest by the runway inflation. my favorite joint where we used to go early to ensure we got a nice table was virtually empty even though a re-known benga artist was visiting town and playing real live music and not lip sync. maybe inflation is not bad after all since it keeps families together!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Ouch!

I suspected it but never entirely expected it. Mr Amos Kimunya, using the same old tired strategy of blaming 'enemies of the tribe' for his tribulations! I was shocked to hear that on TV. that quote '...you are the ones being targeted! ' i was like 'ouch!' and he had the soft underbelly of central Kenyans to strike. the man knew how to dangle the tribe card. be blamed one Raila Odinga Amolo. it was easy to see why. Raila is probably not very much liked in central province and if Jesus were to come back with a name called Raila (since he said we know not the format or time, all those guys would run to hades) . Now that shocked and disappointed me. i had thought kimunya would have been wiser. which makes me give more credit to kibaki. sometimes it helps to just keep quiet even if you are right. people seem to side with the seemingly voiceless defenseless guy. but when you open your mouth and utter such incredible things you remove all the doubt.

But going back to my earlier post/thought, kimunya surely is a young bright minister. but is intelligence , hard work and youth enough? This thing has reminded me of some young guys who had to be let go from where i worked due to such kind of things. and in the near future, integrity and cleanness will form an integral part of requirements for employment or any other forms of engagement. Thinking of it if i were to employ a house help, it would not matter to me if she/he made the best dinner, sweeter far than those of java house or mercury. it wouldn't matter if her washing was brighter than sunlight or her ironing were crisp like new. No it wouldn't is she/he were also a thief! or if she/he also sold my goods to neighbors.

In other thinking, i would like to watch how kipipiri and indeed the wider central Kenya will react. will they defend a thief meaning that no one better with cleaner hands could emerge from there? or will they act like the meru who showed mwiraria the door? showing the whole world that even from stones, God can raise another meru leader and that if you stole , you were on your own?

Friday, July 04, 2008

Jolted

i have been jolted into action once more by coldi. i have no idea what happened to my blog. but looking at it its more than half a month stale. not by choice though.

some good news first. i got a donation of 7,000 from no-spin towards Urenga primary school. I also learnt that no-spin is actually in California. Thank u very very much. other pledges came from Florence Wamwiri in Nairobi and nyarshady. Am very delighted and grateful. and the kids are doing well in school. the girl in the provincial school has moved up to top 6 and is the leading French student in the school (not just class).

Some bad news; first on Kimunya, actually there are two reasons i haven't commented on this saga:

1. is that people normally say we resemble at least facially. Some pple have even asked whether we are brothers.
2. I think he is one of the brightest and smartest working ministers we got. and his having a youthful face goes a long way in encouraging our young people to perform.
3. I refuse to believe that Kimunya could do such a thing on his own and alone. the man is being fried like the proverbial scapegoat for other people's sins. you never know maybe the Libyans funded the last election campaigns.

one other minister i admired a lot was the man called mwiraria, i was sad when he got implicated in the anglo leasing thing. But he restored my pride when he voluntarily resigned and allowed investigations to be done. the man maintained his cool and gentle nature to the end. my pride was restored.

i will be hoping my 'face sake' Amos will keep our brand great and make an honorable decision.

another sad news, mugabe, ok enough has been said of the man. but am not getting it: How on earth can you stay on as a leader when your country's economy is in such a state. is it not shameful to be a leader of such a 'thing'? and his wife? cant the wife give the poor man some reality check? Why do men marry anyway?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Be inspired

I have been following two great stories of human triumph over difficulties. Two great stories of sons of Lwala from Kenya and another of Kamkwamba from Malawi . Its just amazing what we humans are capable of!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

chase the fox ...warn the chicken

my condolences to the family of the ministers who perished yesterday in a plane crush.

having said that i beg to ask; aren't we having too many plane accidents lately? in an earlier discussion today with a friend of mine, it came out very clearly. in fact he was rather candid. That Kenyans like taking shortcuts, unfortunately, some shortcuts cost lives. However someone said that it was 'their day'. It was God's divine plan for the ministers to perish in the crush. i find that rather lame. but bottom line, something gotta give. we must become a little more careful and do things right.

And of Safaricom shares, what does one make of the scenario. high demand, low supply low price. beats all logic of economics!

another beaten logic has been advanced by lost white chick using one culture to analyze another behavior. its like someone wondering why the turkana go hungry yet they live in the shores of lake turkana when the pokot have decided to become Chinese and added rats into their menu. they will have to battle it out with cats now. I saw however that the people and their kids looked rather healthy. Rats must be good for you. By the way, are rats wild animals? if you kill and eat a rat, would the Kenya wildlife have issues like if you killed a zebra for lunch?

Friday, June 06, 2008

Change is posible

I had blogged here some time in 2006 about my misadventure at the University of Nairobi when i went to pay 500/= exam fees for a friend. That time i could not even get into the compound since i did not have a sticker. well just yesterday, i was back there again, to collect fees statement for my brother. first shock at the gate, the guard was unusually friendly. Only asked for my national ID so that he could record my particulars. Second , shock the parking lot! It has been sweetly paved with the 'cabro' blocks and in between the parking rows, beautiful flowers have been grown. at a glance i could not believe this was the same dusty parking we used to use some 2 years ago. The visitors parking lot did not look anything like a Kenyan University parking lot. maybe more like a company's yard. and mostly a company that respects customers. Ok so i park and start walking to G3 where such statements are obtained. 3rd Shock! on the sidewalks, the lawn has been done sweetly, its so even , green and inviting and flowers planted all around the lawn. then under trees, resting seats have been erected all over the place. it looks like some great recreation park. I could see the lucky students who obviously seem to have joined this institution at the right time, reading under those trees or whiling away the moment. some were lying on the nice grass in the compound. then i get to G3, and guess what, the place is all so different. its open siting for the staff and there is a clear queue for us. there is even a guard who helpfully shows you the correct queue unlike last time when you would be in the wrong line upto the cashier who would toss your documents away and tell you get to the correct one. then unlike last time when they closed on my face to go for lunch, they patiently served me and even helpfully gave me an updated fees structure, bound the thing and wished me a good day. I badly wanted to write an email to the VC to congratulate the dude for the good work, but i don't have his contacts. the different experience made me proud to be Kenyan really.

What did not make me proud though was the allocation for my safaricom shares. oh surely, i didn't think it would be this bad. So what am i to do with all that refund?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

if you rattle a snake ...

...Actualy that to me appears to be Safaricom's reaction to the celtel 3 bob buzz. free all night calls!

Monday, May 26, 2008

same old lie

The news about South Africa(the rainbow nation) and what is now being popularly called xenophobic attacks could also be termed as sad, disappointing and the like. their actions can be termed as selfish, ungrateful , mean and stupid. but in the bottom of all this lies the age old lie that human beings live with the world over and leaders, or politicians as they are called in these parts use day in day out. these kind of wars and conflicts are most of the times always based on a lie.

apartheid was based on a lie that the whites were genetically better than the blacks. that was why even Jesus chose a white skin, beauty was based on whiteness and even lakes and rivers that had outlived humans were 'discovered' and renamed by the white. the story of that fight is known to all. but in other places, that lie was being repeated, that we are better than them, better traders, better sports men, better academics etc. we are genetically superior.

but its not always about being better, there are other lies about the other person. that our problems are caused by those other guys. and so that was the lie told to Africans to risk their lives for independence. independence was then peddled as the panacea for all ills. just like the end of apartheid. now normally when those lies come to light, its often important to form another plausible lie. like that your jobs are being taken away by foreigners. or that your schools are taken up etc. so people choose to chase the foreigners instead of going to college. just like am told some black Americans don't bank coz those are tools of white supremacy.
the problem with these lies is that some people believe them and internalize them. They are then ready to die for them. like the lie that one Raila was unelectable. when that lie came to, people were ready to kill to disapprove the facts. loads of money was used to stop the man to no avail. Armies were deployed and central park sealed off just to prove an old lie! some other lies are told to some people that if you kill an American, you will inherit 70 virgins once you are dead!

but Americans themselves and western media has also perpetuated those lies especially in their movies. showing africans as uncultured apes. so when Etoó dazzles the white 'gods' they cannot reconcile with the reality and hence resort to cat calls, insults and other racial slurs.

The violence in SA may continue and even get worse but at the end of the day, once all the 'foreigners' are gone, if indeed they will, the ruling class will have to do decide, either nail the root problem or spawn another lie