ZiAda Heads to Nakuru, Ahead of Nairobi Experience

ZiAda Nakuru POSTER2

On the Mashujaa Day weekend, October 19-20, 2013, ZiAda will celebrate the far God has brought Kenya, and ultimately, the God of all time in the ZiAda Nakuru edition. ZiAda is a collaborative ministry channel comprising of award-winning Christian musicians Adawnage Band, Zidi The Band and Spoken Word poet, Number8. The group will mark its second year of taking the Word to the World through a series of revolutionary musical events intended to spread the love of Jesus Christ to the people of Kenya.

 

In 2012, the team’s inaugural events took place in Mombasa, Nyeri and culminated in Nairobi, attracting audiences of over 3,000 people. This time round, the ZiAda 2013 events will begin in the county of Nakuru with a campus edition at Kabarak University on October 19, followed by ZiAda Nakuru at the CITAM sanctuary on October 20 (See poster details). The planned Nakuru events will act as a precursor to the hugely anticipated climax to the year’s events – ZiAda Nairobi – set for December 14, 2013. 

It’s Time We Stopped Calling it ‘The Jubilee’ Government

Picture from olivermathenge.wordpress.com

Picture from olivermathenge.wordpress.com

By Cdooh

Hey everyone!! Missed me? It’s been a while since I posted on here, even though I can see that the last post here was mine. I like to think that I’m one of the founders of this blog (things that may one day land in my resume somewhere) I do have what was once described as the most popular post here, Why a Kenyan Revolution will Never Happen. I’m afraid what I said then is even more true today than ever before.

Today, I’d like to put to you something that you may have noticed, or not. Whenever you watch news these days and the government is mentioned it is referred to as “The Jubilee Government” which is very accurate as they control both the executive, the legislature (both houses) and, depending on whom you ask, the judiciary too. I can’t really fault the media for reporting something that is an obvious fact but I think it’s time we stopped referring to them as “the Jubilee Government” and just call them “The Government”

There are two main reasons for this.

One is so that we can get out of the election mind-set; the presidential elections have been over for over 3 months and so have the court cases associated with them. No matter what your feelings are on the matter there’s nothing you can do about it until we have our next elections which are in 2017, so it’s time we put them out of our minds and get back to the business of building our nation with single-minded focus. Vision 2030 is not going to happen if we keep this perpetual election mindset.

Second and perhaps more important in the nearer term, is for the sake of unity. I’ve noticed recently that whenever people in my house talk of the government they say “This Jubilee government this…” and “This Jubilee government that…” Whenever this happens I get the feeling that they don’t really feel like a part of the government, there is an “us and them” mentality.

It’s true that this government was mostly elected by two communities, a tyranny of numbers it has been described as by a political scientist more learned in such matters than me (side note: the phrase ‘tyranny of numbers’ has become a part of our national vocabulary if you’re just hearing those words now you need to leave the rock you’ve been hiding under more often) in my house we mostly voted for the main loser, I voted Martha Karua because I’m rebellious like that. Anyway it doesn’t help the feeling of loss when the government that is supposed to serve you is constantly named by the team that defeated you. I think it subconsciously reminds people who voted that this government may just serve the numbers that voted them in and that’s not a good thing.

I’d like to point out at this point that I don’t know how the government will rule and divide resources, but I’d like to think they’ll be fair with it. Also that the President, Uhuru Kenyatta, is an alumnus of my old school St Mary’s Nairobi – greatness by association.

My mum and other members of the household have begun to refer to certain members of certain tribes as ‘waJubilee’ or just ‘Jubilee’ despite my best efforts to stop them, especially in front of my ten-year old sister who I don’t want to get tribal before she’s even experienced life.

This us versus them thing we have going is not good for the stability of our country. There’s a lot of latent anger out there and I feel that the media’s insistence on calling the government ‘Jubilee’ is only adding to it. We didn’t see post-election coming, except those whose job is to look out for such things like the NSIS (though looking back I should have known there was a clear sign). I think we’re at a very fragile time in our history and we can’t afford to stoke the fire any more than it is now.

I’ll be posting this to my own blog soon. I’d like to hear what you think, feel free to comment below and/or hit me up on twitter (@cdooh).Peace!!!

Special Internet IDs?

By cdooh

 

Last week I read a headline in my Google Reader that had me more than a little worried: Special IDs planned for net user to curb attacks. It immediately had me worried about the potential privacy issues this could bring up. Who would handle these IDs? How would then be issued? What data would be collected and attached to them? How long would that data be stored? How will it be secured? What would it be used for and by whom? Also isn’t there already a way to ID devices on the internet, you know the IP address system?

 

Now I hadn’t read the article yet but already I had a bunch of questions about it? I clicked on the link and quickly browsed the article. I was in class so I quickly saved it for future reading and downloaded the key report mentioned in the article, the Kenya Security Report 2012 by Serianu, an IT services and business consulting firm.

 

So I’ve finally read the article and the report and can finally talk about them with a little bit of knowledge. I think, being a computer science student, I can talk about these things with a little bit of authority.

 

First I’ll start with the report. 32 pages long, and a very obvious way to market Serianu, it provides numbers and statistics on various threats on our country’s internet and computers. For instance it claims that about 80% of IP addresses in Kenya have poor reputation scores because of spam. I won’t argue about the numbers in the report since I can’t really dispute them. However, I have gone over the report myself and have a couple of things to say about it.

 

Firstly, well done to Serianu for actually taking time to come up with report, whatever their motives. I’m a firm believer in data driven legislation when it comes to computers and the internet, and this report, and others like it, can be used to inform the government on exactly how far the law can help in preventing crimes and where it would be over reach.

 

Secondly, at the end of every section they give recommendations on avoiding and preventing various threats. While all very valid I can sum most of them down to just one phrase, “DON’T BE STUPID!”. That phrase if applied in its entirety could probably prevent over 90% of system breaches, hacks and malicious software. Recommendations like use firewalls, patch your system, use secure passwords, update your antivirus regularly and limit the number of people who have access to databases and other files by using privileges all fall under this simple rule.

 

Finally I felt that the report only had one mistake of omission, under the sections talking about spamming and the one of malicious software it fails to mention that one of the main reasons botnets and viruses are so prevalent in Kenya is the fact that a very small percentage of the population uses genuine software. The reasons for this are for another post but every computer admin of any sort worth his salt knows that non-genuine software has the high potential to come with security holes. I use a genuine copy of Windows on my PC and every time I connect to the net it patches and updates itself from Microsoft’s servers, this is not possible with fake Windows. The report should’ve mentioned that the use of counterfeit software was one of the main reasons virus are so wide-spread.

 

Now on to the article in the Business daily. After reading it I found that headline very misleading. The government isn’t issuing ID for net users but rather want to have a local Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). This would enable users of basically insecure public networks (like the internet) to securely and privately exchange data and money through the use of a public and a private Cryptographic key pair that is obtained and shared through a trusted authority. Read more about it here. The government wants to move the process locally to reduce costs to businesses working online. That headline should have been something like “Government makes moves to secure online transactions locally”

 

It would behoove journalists and editors to ensure their headline their articles not to cause sensation but inform.

 

Now to end things on a light note here are two pictures from one of my favourite web-comics xkcd on security that should put things in real perspective for you.

CIA

 

 

Password Strength

 

 

 

Finally, read my other post about the government’s plans to play big brother on the internet here. Peace!!

 

 

Who Will I Vote For

By Alffie

The Kenyan Flag Flying High Photo by/Property of Mutua Matheka

On the 4th of March 2013, Kenya will be heading to the polls. Something that should have happened this year but that’s a discussion for another day and by someone else!

The Presidential aspirants are (at least those I know or heard of):

Raila Odinga, Uhuru Kenyatta, Kalonzo Musyoka, William Ruto, Martha Karua, Charity Ngilu, James ole Kiyiapi, Kingwa Kamencu, George Wajackoyah, Peter Kenneth, Raphael Tuju, Musalia Mudavadi, Cyrus Jirongo, Eugene Wamalwa, Moses Weteng’ula, David Maillu, Omingo Magara, Dennis Nzioka

So, who will I vote for?

This is a question thrown my way quite a number of times.

Before I tell you who I’ll vote for, allow me to clue you in on the criteria I used/I am using to come to a decision.

1. Criminal record – By criminal record here I mean whether the candidate has a history with the law – whether they were found guilty guilty or were/are just accused. Right here a number of the listed candidates fall heavily for me. Since many can’t read between the lines, Uhuru kenyatta & William Ruto are accused of a serious crime. I can’t ignore that. Even if innocent, I can’t imagine a president who will be taking trips to attend court cases every so often. This is wrong on so many levels but let me highlight one. If, for example, an accused individual is made the Safaricom CEO, what would happen? The obvious is confidence in the brand will fall drastically and this has nothing to with whether the individual is guilty or not. Being accuses is enough. In the same way, if the president Elect has been accused of a crime, mind this is a crime against humanity, no other country will have confidence in the country as a whole! Who would blame them really??

Another candidate to fall here is Omingo Magara. Won his seat with irregularities and lost the petition. Winning the petition wouldn’t have made it better by the way. Why would we vote for a candidate who’s accused of winning in a way that is a proven spark for the fire of unrest?!

Charity Ngilu – from KNH scandal to Water Scandal … errm, sorry. She’s out too!

2. Integrity – This is a tricky point seeing that all MPs fail by virtue of them consistently increasing their salaries & non of the candidates have turned down the pay rise. So it boils down to working/in office integrity. Who can & has stepped down because of either poor working conditions, for investigation, diversion from office goals. Moses Wetangula showed a glimpse of this when he stepped down albeit only under pressure to do just that following the Tokyo embassy scandal. Musalia Mudavadi on the other hand did step aside but only partially – stepped down from his Local Government Minister post but not as Deputy PM – following the cemetary scandal. If he had stepped down even from the Deputy PM, it’d have made a better case for integrity. The gold star goes to Martha Karua who even without being pressured but out of the famous “inner voice”, resigned her position as Justice Minister citing “anti-reform forces” cutting down her efforts. Something evident today. In summary, being associated with a scandal automatically rules out an aspirant for me. So Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetangula, are out!

3. Track record – past responsibilities. I’m a firm believer in this Confucian Philosophy: “The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his action.” so a speech is only good for me if it’s grounded on what you have done which in essence testifies to what you can do. Here I give the Gold star to Peter Kenneth for his work with CDF. Ranked top more than once!

4. Principles/strength of will – this could mean sticking by & taking responsibility of wrong decisions. Let me say it outright. Kalonzo Musyoka fails on this for me. He tries too hard to be neutral. For a president, I can’t take this as a quality. The fact that he has a party called “Wiper”, a mechanism that works on the principle of wavering from one side to the other and his continuous search for another party to hitch his wagon to just goes on to prove he’s an unreliable character. So he’s out!
When it comes to Strength of will, Raila has that. Hate him or love him, you can’t take that away from him. Having experienced Nyayo house of horror, coup – he earns a level of respect from me. But that’s where it ends. I find his seemingly principled stand to be more of being stubborn than being principled. I know I’m walking a fine and blurry line in distinguishing the 2. I think he’s too focused on being the President he forgets he can be just as influential not being one. This blind focus has made him not to take responsibility for his part of the PEV. The least he would do and that would place him as a true political enigma in my book would be for him to just come out and say, “I may have not called for the violence but I did play a role in it and so I’m dedicating my influence in aiding the IDPs resettle and restart their life. I am, in essence, saying I will not run for presidency in the next election ie 2013!” This would earn him respect across the board, I believe. I know his ego can’t allow him to do this … ergo, he’s stubborn and NOT so much principled! So with this, Raila’s out!
Gold star here goes to Martha Karua. After the 2007 elections, she stood by role despite the view that there might have been irregularities. All respect her strength of will and principle on this even though not all see it is having being a right stand. I doubt I need to repeat the point of her stepping down on working principles as Justice Minister.
Point of note here, being principled is more than just talking of being principled. It has a whole lot more to do with actually being principled. This is why I haven’t mentioned Peter Kenneth here. He speaks the good game but I haven’t quite seen him playing it.

Just so we are together, so far who I’m voting for is NOT Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto, Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetangula, Charity Ngilu. That said, they play no further role in my post.

5. Policy understanding – In this I mean the ability to understand and grasp of the policies necessary to govern a country. Again here, Martha Karua has shown me enough to have given her the gold star. Why? How? Well, she has over the years been able to actually contribute to various motions and debates. Her weekly interactions with social media users in a bid to tackle different issues with her #AskMarthaThursdays speaks volumes to me. Given the hype around peter Kenneth’s speech during his launch, I guess I have to address the fact that his speech was issue based. I have to say, Kudos for that. But it’s not convincing to me to bring this out at a speech. Aren’t speeches written by a team? So yeah, that’s not enough for me but it IS a good start. The reason why Martha Karua takes it for me is because she has a grasp of this anywhere anytime! She knows her stuff, simply put!

6. Constitutional knowledge, understanding & desire to implement it as is – Goes without saying that Martha takes it here! And her stepping down as Justice Minister surely speaks of her willingness to see the constitution implemented the right way. I expect Eugene Wamalwa to be knowledgeable being a lawyer but he fails for me in his desire to implement it – lack of it that is! His endorsing Uhuru Kenyatta & William Ruto, suspects of crimes against humanity, doesn’t scream “Trust me to implement the constitution” to me! So, Eugene Wamalwa is out!

7. Education, intelligence, articulate – As far as I’m concerned, education is a basic requirement. Luckily those in the running currently are sorted in that. So we go over to intelligence which has something to do with education but not necessarily defined by it. When I say articulate, I don’t mean when giving a speech because I know many will point me to Peter Kenneth’s speech. That’s not what I mean. I mean the ability to properly express thoughts as they come and especially when they arise. I think Peter Kenneth and Martha Karua are both equal on this criterion. So gold star to both of them.

I have not put policies as a criterion I follow because this is what I believe: “Policies are more or less the same every election so an election is more about who you believe & trust can implement the policies.” Someone can have the most elaborate of policies but if they have no integrity or are not principled to see anything done or to stand by a decision, they are just blowing hot air.

What about the other aspirants you haven’t mentioned or ruled out yet listed in the intro?

Thank you for pointing that out. I have to confess, I pay no attention to these aspirants: Raphael Tuju (because I honestly don’t know what he stands for), Cyrus Jirongo, Kingwa Kamencu (this lady needs to see a doctor! Underwear free Africa?!! Lady, if you have beef with Victoria’s Secret that’s your problem, not Kenya’s or Africa’s, for that matter!!), David Maillu. I honestly don’t think politics is where they belong.

As for Dennis Nzioka, I think he just wants to make a statement for the LGBTI community. That’s not happening, not in Kenya!

The following aspirants I think need to start small, something in the region of Governor: George Wajackoyah, James ole Kiyiapi. Barrack Obama served 3 terms a Senator before being President & even running unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives! I’m not going to be ashamed to say that info I got from wikipedia. I hate plagiarism. I think these candidates have something to offer but they need to “mature” in this politics and civil servant-hood before being considered worthy of the role, at least by me.

Time to answer the question, “Who Will You Vote For?”

At this point, it’s clear my top contenders are Martha Karua & Peter Kenneth. But judging by my criteria ranking it’s clear my choice is MARTHA KARUA.

Why not Peter Kenneth? Well, granted, he is an impressive candidate and would be considered and outsider or a new face and voting for will be a change, but isn’t voting for any of these aspirants a change in one way or another? “What about his great CDF management?” I think that’s a GREAT & COMMENDABLE achievement. I however don’t think that qualifies him to be a President. CDF management is a matter of getting money and ensuring it’s used well right? That, to me, is stellar qualification for a Finance Minister. A president handles policies, requires principles, strong will, firm hand – traits he falls behind Martha Karua by a mile or 10! Let me put it this way, if the Migigngo saga pops up again, I trust Martha Karua to be firmer in position than Peter Kenneth. He says many nice things hardly takes stands or positions that might be viewed radical or controversial. To be fair, Martha Karua leaves a lot to be desired in light of the CDF issue.

That said, A Karua – Kenneth presidency would be a winning ticket for me! But since Peter Kenneth has launched his solo ticket and we all know Martha Karua is too principled and in this case justifiably stubborn to even consider a coalition, this won’t happen!

So there you have it, my answer. And for the record, this is Just One Man’s Opinion (or #JOMO for those of you who prefer social media lingo or hashtag). Feel free to counter my points.

As a sidenote: “Who will you vote for?” is a question that assumes I’m voting! If you are to ask this question, I suggest you first ask, “Will you be voting come next election?” Many are still hurting and fighting guilt over voting the last time and still need to be convinced to vote. And saying “Voting is your right!” is, forgive my language, a stupid and insensitive reason to give someone who was told that exact thing that last time and it led to the violence. Be sensitive to their doubts and hurts. To be honest, I vowed never to vote again after last election, which happened to be my first time voting by the way, and I’m still not entirely convinced I should vote! Mainly because non of the so-called leaders who are still the same names put out there to be voted back in have taken a hint of responsibility for what happened.. 5 years later!! – and I’m not talking about “lip-service”. I’m talking ACTION. Anything less means nothing! And I’m sure very many are probably where I am.

Objectivity demands that I direct you to other posts that may be taking a different view so … I found this to be an interesting take on the aspirants “Tunawesmake” By moderatekenyan (http://moderatekenyan.wordpress.com/2012/11/04/tunawesmake/)

For the record, the Presidential Debate is a good idea but like I said, they’ll be all prepared with points prepared by teams so don’t use it as the only yard stick – consider it too though because I doubt all teams will be that well prepared. But look for how articulate they’ll be.

Make sure you pick your choice objectively.

Alffie is my name.

And I don’t particularly like politics!

 

I Didn’t Stop Them

By Alffie

I received their hate-texts,
heard their hate-speeches,
and their “anti-them” war cries
Their “they don’t belong here”
and “this land is ours” talks..

But I didn’t stop them!

I heard them talk behind their backs,
plotting and planning to chase them away
Not gently but by force where necessary
Get them going by any means –
on foot, donkey-cart or the back of cargo trucks

But I didn’t stop them!

I saw them chase them
from their homes and their farms
Robbing them of their property and of their land
But perhaps most traumatizing and devastating
Was robbing them of their peace of mind

But I didn’t stop them!

I saw them raise their machetes
Even saw arrows,
I saw them carry kerosene,
matchsticks, torches
Arson was their agenda

But I didn’t stop them!

I may not have joined them
But I might as well have,
Evil prevailed
Because this so-called “good man”
did nothing, didn’t even say anything!

But now I’m guilty of another crime
Forgetting them that I did not defend
Blood stained hands masked by time
Another case of out of sight of mind
I didn’t stop them then
And I’m not helping the affected now!

But I will or at least try to
Speak up and help now!
And for my part then
I am sorry now!
What I let happen back then
I can’t let happen again now
or ever!

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Edmund Burke

Until the “leaders” take responsibility for their role in the 2007/2008 PEV, I have no reason to take them seriously! We all have to take responsibility! And not just take responsibility in word but also in deed!

Gospel Laughs N’ Worship

On 28th October, Cachar Group and Pastor Marvelous host Gospel Laughs N’ Worship at NPC Valley Road from 2PM. Comedians include Erick Omondi, Dr. Ofweneke, MC. Jesse, Joey (U.S.A.), Dr. Shogo (Nigeria), and The Napsta (South Africa).

 Tickets go for Kshs 500 at the gate and Kshs 299 (advance) at Naivas Supermarket.

 Like the facebook page and follow the event on facebook and twitter.

The Vault: October 2012

The Vault

The past Sunday, after church, I found myself rushing to meet up a friend (hereafter referred to as “my friend”) who was supposed to take me to an event I had only heard of just 15 hours prior. When my friend explained that the event was to be at the Kenya National Archives, I gave her that look that is supposed to tell someone, “is this some kind of a joke?” I had been to the National Archives before, and I did not see how an event would be held there … well, till we got there and were ushered upstairs, where I had never been to. What welcomed us when we got to where the event was to be held was half of the people on the dance floor with Ken the DJ playing Lecrae’s More. And that was my first impression of The Vault.

 The Vault is a bi-monthly gospel hip hop event which gives a platform to up and coming artists as well as seasoned artists to perform. It is held at the Kenya National Archives from 2PM to 6PM and the first hour, dubbed the hype session is a session for the Deejays to do their thing and ensure everyone is kept on their feet. It is the brain child of Dangee, whom I had the opportunity to say hi to thanks to my friend. This is my account of the first, of many subsequent Vault events, that I attended recently.

 My friend had a role to play in the event, and as a result, I got to sit at the VIP with her, how cool. Moreover, since – not being a hip hop fan – I had no idea of the artists who were going to perform, I needed someone in the know to break it down for me and she did a great job. The hype session extended till about 3:30PM and I must say, Ken the DJ is a really really great DJ, considering I had never heard of him. The MC, Othole, a producer, also did his best to hype the crowd. Within no time, the artists started performing.

 SPAT were first on stage because they had to leave early. The event could not have asked for better artists to perform. They did a good job with songs like Don’t Listen, Change and Celebrate keeping everyone on their feet. SoReal performed Let Go – a song I was hearing for the first time, like most songs that were performed, but whose chorus is still stuck in my head. What I liked about him is that he used exactly 10 minutes, which was the allocated time per artist. H3, who I got to hear has a Masters in Finance or something performed No Turning Back (which is a very good song) and Freedom. I am waiting for his new single, Fame, coming out this week. I hope someone will hook me up.

 Other performers included Maluda, who has a Barry White kind of Bass. If there is a guy who kept everyone on their feet, it is this guy. And he did it for a whole 25 minutes. We were introduced to a new artist called Sam who performed Amaizing Grace, another song which is stuck in my head. The fact that he came after Maluda did him little justice in that with all the jumping, most people had decided to take a breather. Moreover, I thought the song was kind of slow so people would not really jump up and down. Nevertheless, it was one of the best songs performed, according to me.

 My friend and I decided to get juice from The Vault Cafe which has other snacks like Hot Dogs, Samosas and Sodas. She complained that the cocktail was not too good, and I could say the same about the passion juice I took, especially considering the price. Next time I will take a soda. Also, I hope they introduce mango juice because my friend likes mango juice. We found Dan-Gee on stage performing Not Guilty and later a remake of the popular Sunday School song “If you are happy and you know.”

 What I will remember for a long long time about this event will be the performance of Nasara. He started with beat-boxing and the guy is like super talented. I had never seen anyone do it like that. Point Black, who is a secular artist, and his friend whose name I cannot remember were invited to freestyle. Again, I think the only place I have seen anyone freestyle better was in 8 Mile and I am not exaggerating. He is that good! He free-styled two songs, Nasara beat-boxing for him, and the second song totally blew me away. Later, Nasara performed Like Christ. Unfortunately, we had to leave just before the main artists of the day, Kelele Takatifu performed.

 Perhaps I should mention the good work done by DJ Priestly and DJ Joel, who were working alongside Ken the DJ; and the event’s sponsors Christ Powered Radio, Kelele Republic, xHoodz, Epic Concerts and Try Crew.

 My parting shot is that there are a lot of positives with the event. The only downside is time management, which I think the organisers should address. The event almost started on time, but some artists took more time on stage than they were allocated. At some point, we were given questionnaires on our view of the event, which I found to be a good way of getting to know how people view the event. You can follow the event on twitter, thevault254 and on facebook. It is an event I would recommend any hip hop fan not to miss. Make it a date on Dec 2 for the next edition.

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