Monday, November 30, 2009

Heart Wrenching

My good nephew the King sent me a number of pictures two weeks ago. I have struggled to keep my eyes open any time time I look at them. There were only a few I could and decided to share them with you. I must warn though that they are not for the faint hearted however sharing them is the only good way to make known to the world the true state of affairs in Sudan.

Its clear that that the north controlled government of Sudan is hell bent upon trying to annihilate the poor south. My teacher for history told us in form one about two decades ago that annihilation was a folly. History has shown that it never works and has never worked. Hitler did bizare things to the non-aryans in the last century. But he never came close to succeeding in stoping the estropiƩs leave alone the jews.

These photos further remind us that people haven't learnt from history and that they still believe that their life is better off if they were alone in this world. Contrary to this fact we all know that human is social and if you were left alone with all the music, with all the gold with all the land, forests, oil and the like they would simply not make any sense until someone else was available to either buy them or share them with you. For us Kenyans, we must prevent this from happening to us.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Of Safaricom and Revisions

The current rally of the Safaricom shares has reminded me of the adage that all men are equal by their greed. Over the past one year I have been consoling and encouraging and sometimes dissuading many of my friends who had taken loans to buy the stock. They have been paying the loan begrudgingly and some have actually defaulted. In fact am told equity which was one of the most bullish in the run up to Safaricom IPO are facing the highest percentage of non-performing loans in this category.

Most of these friends promised themselves that the moment the share price only but covered their outstanding loans, they would cut their losses, sell, repay in full and take a 'boltish' flight. There were many other options for investment than Safaricom.

Well fate had it, the price started moving north inch by inch. Each day, my friends revised their sell by level. It moved from 3.50 to 4 bob with reasons that the interest must be covered. Then the limit was moved to 4.40, when the price hit 4.20 early this week, they conveniently revised their target to 5 bob and said should it ever touch the IPO price, they would surely sell. Well it did yesterday and all of a sudden the options had to be revised all over again. They are back to the proverbial drawing board and now the discussions are if and when the share price will ever hit 10 bob since at 10 bob, loans are fully covered, down payments for dream houses can be made, and the range rover can finally land!

But the other questions am being asked is what I feel about the 'greed' of the MPs from Rift Valley regarding the Mau. Well my thoughts are that Mr. Ruto and his friends have behaved as expected of any Kenyan politician. Any (Kenyan) politician who hasn't used this opportunity to gain some mileage in the Rift Valley is not worth his salt. What of Raila, will this affect his career? Well I don't know, the man always makes mind boggling blunders every time in his career and from each one of them he somehow comes out stronger. Every body saw the end of him when he merged his party with Nyayo. At the end of the day you can never tell what he has up his sleeves.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What About Kenya's Needs Jameni?

Last evening after watching two Kenyan men one Mr. Wathika and one Mr. Kutuny give their divergent views about the constitution and what they wanted of Kenya, I was grimly made acutely aware of what has gone wrong with our country. I was in fact reminded of how our one time progressive youth group was brought to its knees and eventual death some years back. The group had been founded by a brilliant young catholic Priest from England. Even though it was based on Catholic faith, he had actually taken into consideration all the issues that affected the youth including vocation, training,Sports and Culture, self employment, jobs , reproductive health and even horning of leadership skills. The group was to say the least what any young person would need especially in the difficult years of adolescence and post adolescence.

However for some strange reason, the young priest was suddenly recalled to England and was given higher responsibilities meaning he wasn't able to manage the group anymore. He had groomed a few people to lead us when he was gone but that was the beginning of the end. Almost everyone started scrambling for the resources that the group owned. Everyone wanted to be a leader, a trainer or even a facilitator of the many workshops that it held. (Even people who could hardly express themselves in English!) The issue was that no one was giving, everyone aimed at gaining. Every single person was focused on what they could get from the group and not what they could give. inevitably the movement collapsed.

What of Kenya? Every time you watch the news or listen to people its all about what these people must get. What those people have already gotten and how those others are unfair in distribution etc. What we should be asking is distribution of what? No one seems to be caring about Kenya and thats why they all talk of what they want OF Kenya and not what they want FOR Kenya.

Away from Kenyans and their demands, November sure does have great tidings for me. Somehow most people close to me were born in or closely around this month. starting from King Mswati, Higher Power, The Kilo Watt Man, Hawi and even my last born. Happy Birthday to you all and Happy November too!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

..two steps back

That the it has taken Kenyans a real long time to write a constitution would not be news. In fact whole careers have been made and others destroyed because of the one thing called Katiba. Finally it has been apearing though that we are finaly having a general consensus on the supreme law of the land. However yesterday I was appalled to note that as part of the new law there were proposals to divide Kenya into regions. Well nothing wrong really about having regions instead of provinces. What shocked me was the criteria used. I saw the proposal is that those of us in Ugenya and those Migori will be in one region while those in Kuria (who are closeset to migori will be with those in Kisii district in one region! The whole of western province will also be one region in spite of its size and population. Its like taking two major steps back in terms of trying to get unity of purpose in this nation. Why would you divide the country on tribe basis if you wanted to unite it jameni?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Its KCPE Time

Today is when more than 750K children will be sitting for their first ever national exam. The rehearsals were done yesterday and when I had gone to buy my daughter her clip board, I found they were out of stock. Its the one time that parents go out of their way to make life as easy as possible for the candidates. Even if they are from Kavunyalalo primary school where kids learn under a tree, am sure the stones on which they sit would have to be made more bearable.

Actually nothing much has changed since I sat my own version exactly 20 years ago. they still shade the choices, carry with them 3 pencils (for 5 exams!) an eraser and a set. Bofa set has remained the most affordable brand but the quality has taken a thorough beating!

However cheating has gone a notch higher with kids employing all sorts of tricks. Maybe its coz they have seen from their parents and leaders the importance of short-cuts and quick wins. Its all about saving time.

And talking of saving time, last weekend I learnt that time was scarce even for courtship in the eastlands part of the city. vis

boy to girl: 'mazee yenyewe mimi nimekunice sikufichi na we pia use? useme. unanipa au hunipi? coz sitaki kukuwastia time ya? yako na mimi pia usiniwastia time ya? yangu'

But on the western part of the city also known in local lingo as 'kwa ma sources' (kwa wadosi aperently is old) vibe goes thus:

Boy to girl: I sooo wish you yaani, si we hook up and catch pints?

There you go no time for the long deliciously flowery letters we used to write themdays. Time is money!

But seriously, how on earth are those kids of Kavunyalalo who learn under trees against the wind and other elements supposed to compete with the ones in Makini?

Thursday, November 05, 2009

A Frog Hoping Out into the Sun...

In my tongue they say that you can never meet a frog hoping out of the pond and into the open unless things are very bad whence he comes. In fact it was common when I was growing up in Masiro to take to your heels if you met a warty toad or frog hoping in a hurry to what seems like nowhere. There could be a snake! Problem was when it was in the open, it made an easy meal for a hawk up in the air.

And I thought of the same yesterday when the ever blissful Wako came out for the first time in my memory of him to defend himself against accusations of sleeping on the job and also deliberatively aiding the people of power and influence to perpetuate impunity. Many people say Wako is a brilliant lawyer which explains why his tirade yesterday against the mighty America was like a the frog hoping hurriedly to nowhere.

Some people have argued that you can eat, dine and be merry even if you didn't have a USA visa. After all like Isaac Ruto said Wako's office is not in New York. But thats not the point. The point is that its very difficult to perform your duties as a senior govt official without this Visa given that the moment you lose it, you also most likely lose Visas to most European countries. And since most of our governance is based on foreign support which basically implies foreign trips and so on. It means you cant travel for these overseas meetings which means your assistants who may not be decision makers have to represent you etc etc. That basicaly translates to you not performing the duties you were hired for.

My thinking is that denying an official visa is a way of firing the official on behalf of the President! And thats why Wako came out like a frog.

On another note, I couldn't help but notice that so far the US has already forced out 2 people they have always had problems with. A. ringera, and M. Ali. Wako is probably next because I don't see Kibaki backing him. The man will most likely not comment but Wako will also probably not get access to him which is his silent way of telling you to take a walk! Kibaki is the kind of sonko who cant bear firing anyone even if you were stepping on his toes but he will just silently ignore you or avoid eye contact!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Failing...To Succeed

Just after reading cracked's article on people who made their failure a personal success, I got home to news that one Ngangalito, the young man who stole the fame during the last tusker project fame show had actually got success and will be running his own show on the dynamic Citizen TV.

Its quite a shocker I must say. I disliked the boy from day one. I was fearing that he would do a Hemedi once again and I kept on wondering what EABL was trying to achieve with such non-talent's in the premier show. However as the days wore on, I started seeing the other side of Nganga. One trait that endeared him to everyone I guess was his never say die attitude. He took all criticism in his stride and added a warm smile to every apearance. Nganga probably knew what none of the contestants knew. That the show was not really about talent. Such shows are about viewaship since they are just another mega advertisement. Neither EABL nor Citizen will care if you choked as you sung as long as people are watching and drinking!

So much about Nganga and his Italians. Yesterday, I was rather taken aback watching one truly talented Usain Bolt jokinngly touch our president on the shoulders as his senior ministers looked on like kids. I felt bad. It didnt help that he was towering over the old man and patting his shoulders like those of a small boy who has been given candy.But we already agreed that you never look a gift horse (goat) in the mouth. So that too will pass.

Such gifts would not have been necessary if we were more proactive in managing our internal affairs. The Excellency would have protected our sovereignty by not standing in line to receive donations from a 23 year old '3rd Worlder'. But that would only have been posible if we shuned shortcuts to reaches.

Shotcuts like the ones used by teachers and students to get ahead and pass the national exams. All because they fear to fail in life while they should just be referring to Ngangalito above on how to succeed in spite of failure!