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Showing posts from 2020

When I became a victim of con artists

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My first encounter with con artists was in 2015 along the Kenyatta Avenue in Nakuru town. At the time, the first governor of the fast growing town that is aspiring for a city status had not began removing hawkers along the corridors of the buildings and in the streets. To say the town back then was a hub of activities especially on the streets as hawkers jostled for customers is not an understatement.   Halfway along the Kenyatta Avenue was a guy selling movies, and was easily identified from far off by his trademark hairstyle that was a hybrid between a box and a trimmed umbrella tree. His name was Kigen, and as is with members of Nilotic tribe persuasion, he was black. His skin was a tone deep black like the bottom of the cooking pot.   As happens when a new customer makes a stop to sample goods on display or make a purchase, any business savvy individual will engage the customer not only to make a sale but net a loyal customer in the process. And that’s how I ended as a repeat c

For Africa, Independence was a Farce

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This book reads like a political treatise that examines the state of affairs of an average sovereign African nation after the independence. Kasanga is a typical newly independent African nation and figuratively a baby learning to walk on its own.   Like most African states, independence didn’t come on a silver platter but was hard fought for. There is a similarity to George Orwell’s fable, ‘Animal Farm’ with the exception that this is a political satire whose grim facts anyone can well relate with. Readers can easily identify some scenarios and replicate them to local political occurrences. Kenya, for instance, came close to cusp of violent regime change th rough the 1982 abortive coup attempt. Bloody coups then were hallmarks of independent African nations where power hungry leaders installed themselves to power through the barrel of the gun.

Of the pious religious lot

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It remains to be seen when coronavirus pandemic is declared contained worldwide, places of worship will be same as before. But given the way many Kenyans are religious to the core, there’s no doubt pews will overfill and aisles overflow as majority throngs the churches. There is also no denying that majority of worshippers do not attend churches because they have faith in God or other deities out there in the pantheon. From time immemorial, Africans have been deeply spiritual before the advent of white man and missionaries to the continent which, after successful brainwashing, saw the converts becoming too religious – and this is the scenario we’ve today.

Book show how the west owes Africa more than an apology for colonialism

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The recent death of black American, George Floyd, under the hands of a white police officer has seen protests spreading across the world demanding for racial justice. And there is a witnessed pulling down of statues of mostly whites who were deemed as racists. And when it comes to reporting about Africa, many western writers and reporters portray a negative picture of the continent. To a westerner’s mindset, Africa is a continent bedeviled by internecine tribal wars, poverty, diseases and inept and corrupt governments.

Reawakening the literary passion and the negative ethnicity

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For long, I’ve been an avid literature lover. Back then, I could read huge tomes as a pastime. Books and I were constant companions. That was long before the advent of smart phones that seems to have slowed the pace as I shifted to consuming digital content – mostly which had little to do with digital books with much of time spent on social media.   Then came migration to digital television content and I was much of a couch potato especially at weekends glued to the screen following European football leagues with movies in between as a premium cable TV subscriber. In short, the books that made me an armchair traveller including visiting and touching distant galaxies became a thing of past. I had lost interest in smut stories, which, anyway, were imaginations of authors behind them, and had switched to watching reality and documentaries in science channels.

And It Is My Birthday!

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Before we adopted the Western ways of life, celebrating one’s birthday in the African tradition was unheard of. Whereas we had age sets groups then, it was not hard for the elders to follow on the growth and development of the youngsters, until they were initiated into adulthood and became integral members of the society. How they kept track of seasons, without a calendar, in knowing one’s age is still a puzzle.    The scenario is different today.   Birthdays are marked with much fanfare that they’re a kind of mini-ceremonies if not full-fledged, elaborate and lavish ones. Notice the layered candlelit cakes with bottle of champagnes to mark such occasions!

Why Are Banks Shying from Offering Moratoriums on Loans?

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In normal times, the government would be looking for avenues to tax us to death to fund the new financial year budget which will be unveiled later in June. It seems that the outbreak of new coronavirus disease (Covid-19) will make it hard to milk extra taxes from the overburdened citizenry given the slump of business activities as companies have downsized or closed shop altogether.   And given we’re not in ‘normal times’ with this outbreak affecting almost all sectors of the economy, it is succinct to say there is less cash flow in the economy. And as such, it is a struggle for many, especially for those living from hand to mouth, to put food on the table.

Of Unsolicited Advice from the Know-it-all Kind

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Sometimes, circumstances may force us down to that level we were at a certain point in life. I like the Kiswahili dictum that states that he who scales up the literal ladder scales down the same. And, figuratively, we too scale up and down life’s ladder one rung at a time. It is not in contention there are lucky ones who, upon scaling up life’s ladder, remains at the apex until they take that worldly final bow. Not so for a majority in a given population who either climbs up too fast, stagnates midway, before crashing down in a cataclysm of dust or begins that slow but painful down climb.   It shocks when those who see your sudden humbling down or fall from grace celebrates. To some, it is like witnessing Balaam’s donkey speaking!

When Your Best Laid Plans Go Wrong

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Anything can go wrong when you think you’ve everything figured out to the last minute detail. And when you’re having that feeling that you’ve dodged a problem or avoided a bad situation, you suddenly find yourself in thick of same, or somehow being confronted by it, rendering credence that even the best-laid plans sometimes do not work out!   My effort to evade public transport, or any mass transport system for that matter, came a cropper and I found myself using the same means I had done my utmost best to avoid! With the coronavirus out there, you don’t know who may sneeze or give a wheedling cough and have all passengers contracting the virus – provided it has spread this far.

Of the Media and Dumbed Down Sheeple

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Whoever controls the media controls the kind of narrative the masses will hear. And where the government has a stake, the sheeple have been dumbed down by well coordinated narratives when it comes to discoursing issues of national importance.   For a full week, the Kenyan media was full of glowing tributes with acres of pages or airtime devoted at lionizing the former head of state. Going by the positive reviews our media gives every politician with a large stature upon taking the final worldly bow, it is evident that all the political sins, both of omission or commission, are whitewashed and the departed celebrated as a saint!

Of Weird Graveside Sanitizations

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That death has morphed into a big industry is not in contention. Funeral homes, crematoriums, carpenters, funeral hire services, to name but a few, are the major beneficiaries. Traditional African setting had a way of dispensing with the dead, and, unlike today, big and elaborate funerals were unheard of. In some customs, the dead were simply tossed in the bushes for the scavengers to do postmortems and inter the remains in their bellies. Not today where the dead are mourned in such a fashion as to leave the bereaved surprised.   Where there is a dead body, vultures will gather. This saying, straight from the Bible, is aptly true when applied to human vultures. Any news of a dead person will bring even those who never knew the deceased to the bereaved home. Real and pseudo mourners will camp there, until the final journey of the deceased into the six feet resting pit.