Thursday, September 24, 2009

New Kenyan Humour

I met Njeri the other day after almost 11 years since our college years together. Well thats no news. Former college mates meet up all the time. The news actually is that Njeri was a scientist who studied wildlife and related issues. She was very passionate about her course and was an excellent colleague. When I met her, I thought I would be meeting a passionate campaigner for wildlife now that we are losing them at break neck speed.

But no, Njeri today is a high riding humor writer. She invited me to her humor blog which has increased my menu of top Kenyan online content where I get that deserved 'tea' break and get a good laugh or a firm node to my self.

Looking at her style, content, enthusiasm, it almost impossible that this would be the same hard nosed scientist who found time only between her studies and researches to visit a few friends. And that is amazing. its difficult to tell whether it the misplacement of students into courses or rather the fact that 844 was meant to make us an all rounder. with bawas (sorry powers) to read and to do all that appertains to the degree. Artistic expression and Science some say are like blood and water flowing in the same body. But from our education, the two were placed as far apart as the twin poles of mother earth. so next time you are thinking of punching the boss in the nose, you may just want to punch Kenyan Humor for a good comic relief!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Lately I have I have become afraid, very afraid. But I should be because only 24 hours after a wilson airport based plane fell and burst into flames only 50 metres from my wifes feat, another fell just about 500 metres from our house! Am more afraid given the fact that I havent heard any policy statement or concern or anything related coming from those with the powers to do what appertains to governance.

But if that was going to make me fear then TV was waiting for me at home to do a closing, coz I saw something close to a horor movie of cows some dead others half alive being dragged on the dry ground and burried in shallow graves. But again those were cows of a higher social standing because their collegues never even got a decent burial. They were just covered in dust! I wonder if cows have feelings like of the fear of impending death. I saw some who were still alive but too invalid to even stand watching in horror as their friends and family were dragged along and burried. I felt afraid on their behalf.

I was even more afraid when I saw one mans job being secured with hundreds of thousands of acres of prime forest land. I feared what will become of us at this rate. Yet that was not worse. What was worse was the fact that similar trade offs are happening right next to me where I get my daily bread. I fear because Ringera's white hair and even Kibaki's stoop and slow walk lied to me that graft was an old evil. However those who are perfecting it are almost 10 years my junior and are still as quick as a dik dik!
I do know fear

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Been-To!

"Good Afternoon sir", "Welcome"
"May I help with your luggage sir"
"thats good now"
"If you may come this way sir",
(opening the back left door of the new Mercedes S class, black leather seats, woody interior finishes et al)
"Welcome sir" (closes the door goes to the drivers seat)
"There is water under the arm rest on the left. you can take a choice of still or sparkling water according to your liking sir. On your left are todays newspapers if you would like to catch up. And right in front of you are some chocos and sweets for your indulgence sir".
"Is the temperature alright? should I adjust it upwards or down? Would you like the radio or the some cool music or should I just turn it off. Do please let me know if am going too fast or too slow ..."

Phew! Well how is that for British hospitality and customer service. But that was what greeted me on my very first trip to Europe the land of many a history (o yea now am an official been-to with unallianable rights to twang and do all that appertains to having visited a first world!)

But I soon learnt that Britain is the most economically stratified society I have been to and there is deliberate discrimination based on your financial status. When I remarked to my hosts on the treatment I was given by the taxi driver, they told me that it depended on how the taxi company was briefed before sending someone to pick me. Had they been told of higher seniority, they would have sent a bigger more luxurious car (more luxurious!!!. Mercs are a dream car in Kenya!)

I actually did see it when I insisted on using the tube once or twice and saw the difference. There was also a train which was higher in class than the tube and of course the train itself had 3 classes. first class for the likes of yours truly (the hosts were hell bent on spoiling me I guess) then standard class and finally the unnamed class for those the society doesn't even care to provide a name to but at least still get transport.

It was nice to see the rural Europe both in Germany and Britain and see how the local folk actually tough it out. But what interested me most was the old Britain with its imperial buildings so full of history. I visited the national gallery and read about those who taught us every little meanness we know today (ok those who colonized us)and kinda understood why its difficult to compare the first economies to ours. Those guys have had eons to make and correct their mistakes. So I have decided to be more lenient to the likes of Ruto who chose to play politics when our people are dying of hunger, thirst and darkness. After all we have been a nation for less than half a century! (excuses lift the soul dont they)

But one funny culture shock for me was the customer service I got from this very beautiful lady who was helping me shop a few gifts for my family. She said she understood the predicament of men when it came to getting reasonable gifts for the wife and kids. She took her time almost a hour walking with me up and down the huge store and showing me options and so on. finally she took me to the cashiers and helped me pack my luggage before seeing me out. I felt 'Kenyan' and told myself she needed to be tipped. Boy! you should have seen the disappointment on her face! she said she was only too happy to help since it was her job.

By the way how on earth do they manage to keep a country that clean!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Of Sweeps and Stabborn Dirt

My good friend who lives and works in a first world (or is it fast world) reckons after the noise generated by the ringera appointment that all of us in this country have got it all wrong and that Ringera is hardly the problem. the problem he believes is with all of us. that Ringera is just a sacrificial lamb when the corruption situation is already cancerous. he says the Kenyan population is corrupt to the bone and will require a miracle to fix. My friend is Kenyan born , brought up and worked under this sun. so he probably is talking from experience, may both as a victim and villain of the vice.

But I disagree. My friend's argument is like the one of the floor sweeps in a company i used to work for before. they would say that once they mop, you must not step on the floor! or rather when they were mopping you had to stay out. which i found baffling since the floor is bound to get dirty. their work was to clean it. Just like Ringera. He was employed to clean the mess and its foolhardy to come round and say the floor was bound to get dirty even if he did clean it. that should not stop him!

That same argument was used when one old Moi was taking the country to the dogs. people said, Moi was good but only his friends were bad and so that made the nation poor. but one pastor told me that in order to know someone, you just need to look at his friends.

But what is posible when citizens are honest and not corrupt? My friend says the roads are clean, transport works, water runs in the taps, Light is available as God ordained it and basically life works. And why cant we be honest then?

But on a sweeter note, England, a team i love to hate made it yesterday to the Worlds greatest show on earth (FIFA World Cup) in style. It was difficult for me to tell whether it was the former Kenya colonisers who were good or the croations who were playing like Kenya's Harambee stars. But I enjoyed the game