Category: Society


Since there is so much heat being thrown around by the media over the Ksh 4.2 Billion (Dear Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta that is read as 4.2 billion Kenya shillings not Kenya shillings 4.2 Billion) I decided to take a moment and reflect. Sam Ongeri has categorically stated that he will not resign over this scandal and his PS is denying that there is one to begin with. (Hakuna pesa imeibiwa)

This morning Prof. Sam said he has no power as a minister to investigate the scam (which is true. He is paid over a million shillings to look pretty in parliament) He has left it to the police who we, as Kenyans, trust implicitly to sort this out in a very short time….like how they have sorted out AngloLeasing, Goldenberg (still hunting down Pattni? Watch him preach on Sunday morning) and even the Samuel Wanjiru debacle. (he he was he is still alive)

But until then here are a few suggestions for the minister and PS to use for when those pesky journalists ask annoying questions about the missing money. This might come in handy.

1. Missing? What do you mean missing? Who is missing it?

2. Kama it’s Free Primary Education then how can there be money to pay for it?

3. Hizi ni story za Hague. Ocampo is out to get us. We are a sovereign nation.

4. Vision 2030 calls for bigger and better things. Hata scams get bigger and better.

5. At least it’s not 4.3B.

6. It’s because we have a gay Chief Justice.

7.Count to 4.2 billion then I will explain.

8. Me no speak English. No seriously, I have no idea what your inquiry concerns.

9.Wait. What’s that? Look behind you. For real. Look.

10. Ati where did my 52 new BMW’s come from? Who wants to know?

Sam I think you are innocent by the way…….I’m on your side. Obviously the money is still there. It is just invisible to the naked eye (read mwananchi wa kawaida or wanjiku.) Stick to your guns. Remember when Kimunya said he’d rather die than resign? Well I have been to his grave lately.



Every morning, I have a checklist that is meticulously gone over before the faulty padlock is slapped on my door and I jump down the ten flights of stairs on the way to the carpool. The list includes my fare (should get a wallet. Can’t keep going around with a wad  of crumpled up wad of notes), phone (damn you Safaricom. Why did I fall for that Ideos idiocy?), phone charger (yes Safaricom still on you) and my earphones. Stuff like dressing is pretty much a bonus.

Walk down the streets of Nairobi and you will find that we have plugged in to the earphone phenomenon. Mine go on for a simple reason; to keep the world away. As soon as they come on, everything drowns out. The drone of the engine becomes the violin solo in “Coming Home”, the woman complaining about her husband is melted into the guitar intro of “ Year 3000” and Maina Kageni’s incessant sex talk becomes “I write sins not tragedies.”

I find myself waiting for those moments alone with my music (my taste has been described as everything from feminine, to “awww Brian you are so sensitive right through to my favourite “Are you kidding?”) One Tulanana Bohela has had to deal with the pain of hearing a song replayed over and over when I’m going through that honeymoon phase. But here is where judgement is reserved. No one knows . It’s just me and my music.


I get cheap thrills from imagining what is on the play list of random people. The prim and proper woman listening to Soulja Boy, the important looking CEO rocking along to Lady Gaga or the tough kid with the mohawk listening to some Westlife. I can’t help but think they are relieved that here in their own little world, they can be who they want to be. Away from the expectations. Where their bespoke suits and below the hem skirts don’t have to point to the person within.


Yesterday though my checklist was forgotten due to my morning haste. The driver was hooting and on the phone at the same time. “Brian, injury time.” And so my ear phones were left on the table as I dashed down the stairs. And from there the torture started. Maina Kageni was on the radio, (I don’t hate the guy. Just can’t help think that we lose brain cells listening to him.), the topic of discussion in the car was also less than savoury (to protect the poolers I will keep that secret). Once in town the morning sounds are drowned out by the hooting and I start craving for the peacefulness of  Sauti Sol’s “I’m Coming Home.

The world is closing in on me before I know it. Suddenly my work colleague wants to talk and the conversation at the cafe at lunch time rises to a din. I can’t hear myself think. But then I start to listen and in that I find a method to the madness. A pattern in the chaos. Feelings here. Deals there. The day goes and somehow the words make sense. Human beings reaching out to others. And just when I get used to it I’m back in my room and staring at my earphones again.

This morning I decided to………listen. To the playlist. The one life provided. Waiting to see what the symphony brings. And that might just give my ridiculously small years (neither my mum or dad had small years hence reinforcing my idea that I was stolen) a rest.

We are a country of whiners. Even you. If you are reading this and you are Kenyan then it is you I’m talking to. We complain a lot. It’s what we do. Who we are. We have that gene that somehow just allows us to go on and on about what is going wrong with our lives and then blaming it all on the government. Rains failing? Naomba serikali………People taking our islands? Naomba serikali…….Athletes committing suicide/getting murdered? Naomba serikali……

The government has borne the brunt of complaining Kenyans who have turned that ‘naomba serikali’ refrain into one of the most popular phrases only behind ‘Haki yetu’ and ‘Tutang’oa reli’. And so we will take a look at some of the things that the government has been blamed for. Usually I play the part of the devil’s advocate but today I represent the defence. And before you as a jury, I will prove that my client, GOK, is not not guilty but rather innocent.

Is that us?

The prosecution has pointed to the high fuel prices in recent weeks. Your honour this is all perspective. While you blame the government you can look at it as the fact that everyone else isn’t working hard enough. Yeah get off your butt, work a few more hours and earn money to  afford fuel. My client was just weeding out the weak. And the fuel shortage? Your honour have you seen how many people have been taking advantage of Terrific Tuesday? People were just getting too fat so GOK rolled out a scheme to encourage people to walk to work. We are now a healthier nation. You’re welcome. Continue reading

Plans for the weekend? Cancel them. The world is ending on Saturday May 21st at 6pm at every time zone. So if you had planned on catching an episode of your favourite soap or going out clubbing you might have to put those plans on ice, FOREVER. The end of the world is going to be an orderly event. Like I said it will be 6 pm for every time zone around the world hence the ones who see the end across the orient will be able to tweet what they see so we can know what to expect beforehand.Harold Camping, a radio evangelist from the United States (the Mecca of all world ending prophecies) has it all figured out. According to him and others who need to see a mental care specialist, it will have been 7000 years since the great flood (that’s in the Bible for the people who are scratching their heads. Bible is the big book thingy supporting the short leg of your table.)

So judgement day comes this weekend. That would have sucked had it been on a weekday like with all the traffic and having to wake up early and work and school…….yeah who wants to be judged in rush hour traffic? As if your day couldn’t have gotten worse, right? I’ll hasten to remind you that Camping once predicted that the world would end in 1994. That would explain why we are all not in existence right now. It’s been non-stop judgement since then. But he blamed bad math on that little blunder so he says he’s got his calculator working right this time.We are so quick to assume he’s a nut. I feel kinda bad for him just in case he’s right. he won’t get the chance to gloat because……well, we’ll all be busy getting judged and whatnot. But if he is wrong he’d better have a planet to escape to. Continue reading

Something about the way she leaned in towards her friend drew my attention towards her. They were to sign in at the tail end of the session and that tiny movement between the two women piqued my interest. As the paper was going around, the next one in the queue shook her head and whispered something to her friend. And then the realisation hit me. She couldn’t read or write…..and it broke my heart.

The week has been intriguing to say the very least. Kibera makes another entry into the pages of my life. The sights, sounds and smells come back in greater detail as the slum becomes a cog in the machinery that is my work place. I find myself seeing things in a new light. While my first visit had shocked me and left me feeling empty, this one opened my eyes to the things I was missing out on.

I find myself weaving through the narrow alleys with my eyes trained on the signs. Every corner seems to have a chemist, shop, ‘hotel’ and NGO to boot. The first foray was all about getting in and out but now I can take my time and take it all in. On the first day we are working near a school. Little children are scurrying everywhere and the uniform is anything but uniform. It’s a mix and match of colours and patterns as the kids run around during their break. Earlier I had listened to them answering questions in that sing song voice that only children have.
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Jaguar’s song has been ringing in my head for some reason. Not because Jaguar is known for his lyrical prowess but because of the “vuka border” bit. We have all started looking at the borders rather jealously. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a proud Kenyan. The thought of living amongst polite, Swahili spewing Tanzanians tickles me. Uganda is not an option. I can’t live in a country where walking to work means I’ll end up in the hospital. I also find it annoying that they try to convince me to say ‘Champala’ when it’s clearly written Kampala. We can read dummies. Fork jembe.

But the last week has just been a sad one to be Kenyan. While everyone was busy awwwing over the royal wedding and high fiving each other over the death of some random guy who likes to play with matches, things started falling apart. We are a country under siege. The Ugandans are trying to steal our islands. It’s like a weird case of toys at the playground. Uganda is that petulant kid who just wants stuff that doesn’t belong to them. Up north, Ethiopians are busy massacring Turkana residents and our response to this is to write a protest note. What in heaven’s name is a protest note? I’m imagining the president tore off a paper from his exercise book and quickly scrawled, “By the way tumejamabout hii story ya kudedisha wasee wetu. Sareni.”

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I live;
In a world in which ones heart beats only for themselves. Where we look out only for number one and the best friends are always me, myself and I. Where the selfless are trampled underfoot and the selfish live to amass more another day.
In a world in which kindness and friendship are words in a dictionary. Where morals are replaced by the lure of materials and the lifetime of a human being is marked by how much they are worth in monetary terms.

In a society where love is a memory; a distant one at that. Where the glint in a loved ones eye is replaced by lust and the warmth in their hands by a clammy claw. Where the wallet is a prerequisite for the heart and flowery words are assigned a particular day in February. Continue reading



A few weeks ago my friends and I sat in front of a television screen and viewed as a panel of eloquent speakers delved into contemporary African ideas on homosexuality. Being an educated lot, we listened with horror as a Ugandan member of parliament spilt vitriol and bayed for the blood of perpetrators of this ‘heinous crime’. At the end of this all, his argument had been simple. It was unAfrican. And this word stuck. UnAfrican. And thus it got me thinking what does it mean to be African?

So today I figured it out. I have the answer. It didn’t come to me in a dream or in some ultimate moment of enlightenment. Despite that, it was a moment. There was no shaft of light from the heavens and neither was there an inspiring chorus from some choir. It was simple. I changed the channel. That was the moment.

The news had begun with the same old rubbish. Some MP’s proclaiming Uhuru ‘King of the Kikuyu’s’ while Raila’s party flip flopped over the ICC issue for the 56th time. I’d had my fill of it all. This was Africa. This was what it meant to be African. Dread. Hopelessness. That focus on all that is pointless and irrelevant. And I had had enough of it. And I changed the channel. That was the moment. Continue reading

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