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TODAY I WAS AFRICAN!


Today.....

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. View full article »

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The cops are back on the news for all the wrong reasons. It would be funny if it wasn’t totally sad. Cops around the country are going on a rampage shooting their bosses and it’s making headlines everywhere. I don’t know about you but that would freak me out every time I would be up for promotion. The list of every single dude I’d pissed off would run through my mind and then I’d respectfully decline the offer. I’m guessing the extra money would count for very little when you have a bullet lodged in your brain. Pressure cooker doesn’t begin to describe the situation. While in other jobs, your boss is the subject of idle and angry gossip at the water cooler, in the police force, he is the having a heart attack every single time a car has a loud puncture.

When they come for you......

Then there is the whole thing about the drug haul recovered from the Coast this past weekend. First, did anyone notice how high that OCPD was when he was answering questions about the stash? His eyes were darting everywhere and his sentences made less sense than normal.

“Yes, we found the ndrugs”

“Yes, a lot of ndrungs.”

“Hehe ngoond ndrugs…” View full article »


E! is just one of those channels that makes you feel like you are gradually getting dumber every single time you watch it. I can actually feel brain cells sizzle and die each time my remote somehow tricks me into switching channels. It’s true. It’s actually caused a strained relationship between us. I don’t understand why I would wanna know the effects of Justin Beiber’s new haircut or how Natalie Portman’s baby bump is awesome or whether or not Robert Pattinson is faking his humility. The long and short of it is  that I end up wanting to stab myself with something ridiculously blunt.

But then again you don’t have to turn to E! to get the best of entertainment with respect to reality television. On this side of the globe, we call it the news and we have servings all through the day.  The antics of this great nation are plastered on the half hour shows called bulletins where drama meets stupidity and then the two are introduced to craziness. Place it against all those shows on E! and that stuff looks like it was made for kindergarten. Now, Kenyan reality? That’s for the big boys. That would win a Grammy, Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy every single year. View full article »


Dear Brian,

First, quit freaking out. Yes, this is a letter from the future but I can’t explain how. The details might come later. So yeah this is you from the future. Or rather me writing to myself. It’s ten years into the future and if I remember right, you are in class seven and freaking out about the whole puberty thing. Yeah, well the bad news is that ten years later, it’s still pretty much the same. The growth spurt is as good as it gets and then it will all be downhill from there. Point is you’d probably be able to beat me up if we bumped into each other.

No. We don’t have flying cars and mum still calls you ‘Baba’ when she wants to send you on errands. Don’t wince. It might stop in the next 30 years. Moi is no longer the president but no point in celebrating. The country is weirdly worse. Mats are a bit more comfortable and Americans voted in some jang’o dude to become president. No, I’m not kidding. You’ll see. In a lot of ways, the world is the same.

I know you have so many questions to ask but I can’t give you so many answers because you might ruin things. Ten years later, the one friend you are still close to is Ruth. But yeah she might be getting married soon to someone else. Don’t jump! You are happy for her and not in that passive aggressive way. View full article »

WIKILEAKING……


We love to gossip. The idea of finding out something about someone behind their backs just keeps the world going. Extra points if the ‘someone’ portrays a completely different image of who they are. So yeah it’s less fun when we find out that Jeff Koinange is a massive egomaniac but much better if we find out that he has a love child with Bishop Margaret Wanjiru. Wink wink. I’m not saying it’s true……..

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I AM NOT MY TRIBE……..


Dear Kenya,

My name is Brian O. Koyoo. The O in my name stands for Okinyi which means my first breath was taken early one morning. Despite the O in my name, my mother didn’t go into labour in a boat while fishing in the muddy waters of Lake Victoria. I need a translator when talking to my octogenarian grandmother due to the fact that it takes me forever to translate sentences into my ‘native’ language. I do not plan on marrying multiple women like my ‘ancestors’ or to inherit my brother’s widow. I can tell the difference between ‘ s’ and ‘sh’.

Despite this I am luo. Born into a culture that I appreciate with all its short comings and eccentricities. In some aspects I’m told I am the quintessential luo with my knack for grammatical flourish and an ego to match. My ID points out that I was born in the heart of Nairobi’s Dagoretti Division which I’m told means I have forsaken my lineage. My ID should apparently point out where I come from. Since my father was born in Kasipul Kabondo I am from there despite the fact that I have been bred in the alleys of Eastlands and haven’t been there since his death.

My friends bridge political, social and economic divides. The only thing they have in common is most of them are smart people. Individuals who are able to think for themselves. This would be the generation that would free us from the shackles that our parents placed on us. Never once was I told not to play with that kid or the other because of their ethnic heritage. In fact my dating history has shown an affinity to resist the familiar. Looking around though, I see this promise dying. The dream is being betrayed.

This is not about politics. I do not wake up to have breakfast with the Prime Minister or have a game of tennis with James Orengo during the weekends. Believe it or not, Dennis Oliech isn’t my friend on facebook and I am not in any way related to Barrack Obama. Don’t get me wrong, being luo brings me ridiculous joy especially when I’m trying to  piece together sentences to figure out if my mum is dissing me. When I speak I do so as an individual. A luo yes. But a very specific and particular luo. This isn’t an apology for my heritage.

So this goes out to the members of my generation. If this time around you are still blinded by the myopic views of the old guard then this is your wake up call. I am luo. Not better than you. And by no means inferior. So let’s get past this. My point? My arguments and opinions are not informed by some deep rooted need to have luos rule the world. Pinky promise. So now can we move past this and replace  every single bit that says luo with Kenyan? It’s not going to change any time soon.

HEADLINES IN 2011


The end of the year is typically a time when most people write about how sucky or awesome their year has been while they do a review and plot impossible resolutions. This year we’l do it a little differently. How about we simply get you ready for the best of what 2011 will have to offer.Yes, ladies and gentlemen.I have that kind of power.

These will be the top Kenyan headlines in the coming year. Stay tuned. If you don’t believe me then you are probably smarter than you look. If you do then read on;

2011 renamed to 2010 (2.0). After much deliberation by world powers it will be decided by that 2011 just sounded pretty weird as the name of a year. Thus no one would really want to say it hence the whole planet would skip it and simply repeat the previous year.

Raila becomes PM of Ivory Coast. After being designated as a special mediator to broker a peace deal in the West African state, Agwambo becomes PM in a unity government that doesn’t have any Ivorians in the government. Consequently the country becomes a Kenyan county and is renamed ‘Bondo Coast’. View full article »

THE TRIBE HAS SPOKEN…..


Yeah it’s that time of the year again. Actually yeah I doubt we have ever seen this kind of situation before. Yeah cross makers are burning the midnight oil while they try to fulfill the demand for ministers who want to carry them. Yes it’s the festive season when Kenyans go crazy as they march to either call for the sacking of ministers or in support of others who are ‘obviously’ being sought due to their ethnic background. It is the era where witch hunts are not just limited to the land of the Abagussi.

Parliament’s turned into a veritable reality show where you watch and laugh at the land of alliances and back-stabbing.  Cabinet has an uncanny resemblance to the Survivor’s ‘Tribal Council.’ I can’t count the number of times in which I have imagined that host walk up to a minister. Cue the crazy shifty eyes as each minister looks around trying to figure out their fate. And those immortal words as he smothers the flame the minister bears. The tribe has spoken. I’m thinking Jimmy Gathu can reprise his ‘epukana na ukimwi’ role with a more scary political one where he stares at the political class and in the same scary tone goes ‘Waziri epukana na story za wazimu’. View full article »

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