Trust by Alffie

In one of my favorite movies-The Italian Job-Donald Sutherland’s character always said this one line that has stuck in my head ever since:

“I trust everyone; I just don’t trust their demons”

The Russians on the other hand have a saying;
“Trust but verify!”

 

Looking at the world right now, you have to agree with me that trust is one thing lacking in almost every sphere of our daily lives.

 

Allow me to cite several things that have come to my attention to support this notion:

 

  • There was one a time when restaurants offered tomato sauce for free…but nowadays, well let’s just say you pay for everything!

 

  • Sticking with food; French fries a. k. a ‘chips’ are eaten with toothpicks! You could think the Chinese are not only flooding the country with their products & services but now even attempting to bring in their ‘chop-stick eating culture’ (starting “toothpick” small I suppose) but no! The reason is that, simply put, no restaurant is willing to risk buying forks every waking day!

 

  • And just to rub it in your face that they don’t trust you, you have to pay first before you eat…seems we all have the potential to run without paying our bills!

 

  • To say we don’t trust our politicians is a foregone conclusion yet somehow we trust them enough to keep voting them back in every other time!

 

  • The Matatu touts can’t afford to let you ride first and pay when you get to your destination; there was a time this was possible but not anymore!

 

  • Need to rent a house? You have to first pay a 2 and sometimes 3 month rent advance! I guess the landlords have had enough of people deciding to move out at night to avoid paying rent!

 

  • And just recently, the technology revolution just took this to a whole new level-an earth’s core low-level!! In comes Juju where you can spy on your spouse’s cell phone communications. Protecting your “investment”? I think not! Just another lack of trust scenario!

 

  • And the cheating in schools by young minds? Well, in a bid to ‘curb’ (read ‘we don’t trust these students/pupils’) we now have exams in the mornings only and education made ‘less tasking’ by allowing use of calculators and reduced subjects to study!!

 

All these measures will in no doubt continue so several questions arise:

“Where did the old fashion trust go?”

“Are these measures a consequence of our untrustworthiness or is our continued untrustworthiness a result of these measures?”

 

The answers to these and many other questions may never be conclusive but this one thing is certain trusting anyone, or anyone trusting us may be ill-advised! So to rectify this as Mohandas K. Gandhi said
“We have to be the change we want to see in the world”.
Or as one of my favorite artist DJ Nicholas puts it:

 

As a big automobile starts with key,

And Paul & Peter start with “P”

A revival (read ‘a revolution, change’) starts with (you and) me!!

 

*( ) my added interpretations.

What these men are saying is simply to bring back this virtue, don’t ask of it from another person before it’s in you first!

Be trustworthy!!

 

Find More Writings by Alffie here

 

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An Open Letter to Telkom Kenya Chief Executive

Dear Ghossein

First of all, I would like to thank you for the wonderful work you are doing at Telkom Kenya. I can now call other networks (with my Safaricom line) at a shilling less than someone with an Orange line can. I would also like to thank you for leading a group of people who were responsible for one of my worst Saturdays of this year. I will not forget to thank your staff for teaching me how not to treat a customer if I want him to come back again. I have written this letter to your info mail and reported the same to your twitter account. I am sure you will probably never see it but I wrote this for that little probability that you might stumble upon it. I had to write it here so that, that one person who will read this will not be treated as I was by your staff!

It all started early last week when I wanted a modem. After asking around (me and technology are not tight, I had to seek expert advice), I was informed that safaricom modem is the best but it is way too costly. Orange is the second best and cheap. I decided to buy the orange modem. Sir, you should understand that I practice brand loyalty. I always buy a certain soap, a certain newspaper etc and not any other. When it comes to whether to use Safcom, orange or Zain, my loyalty is with Safaricom, despite everything they have made us go through. However, I decided to give orange the one chance to change my loyalty from Safaricom.

On Wednesday, I tried in vain to get an open Orange shop so that I could purchase a modem. All shops were closed as it was a holiday. I could not fault your staff as they had to celebrate Mashujaa Day but more so because Safaricom shops were also closed. The following day, I called your customer care and I was assured that your shops close at 6pm. Since I could not make it to any of your shops by 6pm, I made a note to myself that through thick and thin, I will have to get the modem on Saturday. It happened that I had some function to attend on Saturday and so I had to excuse myself and leave early, all in the name of giving your organisation some business, albeit little.

The first shop I visited was your Ex-telkom House shop. To my horror, they had no modems. Not even one! The attendants were unresponsive and they seemed not interested in addressing the questions I had. As patience and me are sworn enemies, I decided to call your customer care guys who had all along been helpful. I was advised to visit your GPO center where I would be assisted. On inquiring if by the time I got there the center would still be open, I was assured that your shops close at 6pm. It was a few minutes past 4pm. Had I any idea of the ordeal that awaited me at Teleposta towers, I would have gone back home (and even save myself from the rain and traffic on that Saturday.)

The shop at Teleposta towers (second floor) had been closed several light years before I got there before 4.30pm. I asked the guards at the reception on ground floor and they told me the shop closes at 5pm. It was not yet 5pm! It is then that I called your customer care guys and the one I talked to was pretty sure that the shop is supposed to close at 6pm. I talked to the guard at the door and he was dead sure that the shop closes at 5pm. I pointed to a city clock that it was not yet 5pm. I did not know who to believe, your customer care guys or the Radar guards (even though both of them were giving me inaccurate information). I called your customer care guys again and the one I talked to inquired for what seemed like eternity and a half before telling me that he has confirmed that the Teleposta shop closes at 5pm and there were people ready to serve me. She even went on to tell me that I should register the modem line etc.

The guard at the door, who had heard the conversation seemed unhappy that I had to confirm with someone else. I went in and told the receptionist guards that I had been told the shop was still open. It is then that all hell broke loose. The guard at the door came in and started calling me all sorts of names (most of which I cannot print) because I could not trust them. “Wachana na aka kajinga hakataki kutuamini, kanafikiri tulianza kufanya kazi hapa jana!” is probably the only thing that I can print. (You can use google translate to find out what that means). Since arguing with a fool only results in the smart guy being beaten by the fool’s experience, I decided not to argue with the guard and proceeded to the lifts. “Wacha kaende kapate kumefungwa,” one of the guard who was at the reception told her colleagues.

Unfortunately, the shop was closed, as I had found it earlier and unlike one of your customer care guys had said. On reaching the reception, the two female guards (who had transformed your reception into a salon) and the door guard proceeded with a laborious laughter before joining forces in calling me all sorts of names. I immediately called your customer care guys and talked to one Nancy. If you actually record those conversations for training purposes, I recommend you check the 3 minute 54 second call from me to your customer care attendant called Nancy at 4.38 pm on 23rd October 2010.

Sir, I know the above story probably bored you to death, but there are a few things that you should understand. First, how many people will go to all the trouble I went through in trying to give you business? Second, I am one of those people who have a slightly bigger than small ego. Being called names by a guard whose salary at retirement will be less than what I was given as my starting salary when I was employed is the most bitter pill I have had to swallow this year. The embarrassment was more than I could bear and I would not wish it on my worst enemy. If I had been called names by you, I would have understood because you are the CEO of a company, but guards of a little known security company called Radar Security wearing ugly uniforms? That was inhuman. (no offense to other guards). Thirdly, had your customer care attendants told me all shops are closed, it would have saved me a lot of trouble. How come they do not know the time your shops close? What else do they not know? Do they even know that your official colour is Orange? Do they know that your firm made a super huge loss in 2009 and they should do all they can to ensure that they get as many customers as possible?

Finally, Mickael (coincidentally you are namesakes with Safcom’s outgoing CEO. I hope you are a genius like most Michaels), I will buy a Safaricom modem on Saturday. I know I will not encounter the problems I did in trying to purchase yours. Is there anything you can do to make me feel better? No, but me not seeing anyone with an ugly Radar uniform within one kilometer from your premises will be a start. I am fair, and so I will give you a right of reply. Hit me on the.alt.focus@gmail.com. I will post your reply here, but then again, you will probably never read this.

A distraught would be customer,

 

PS: I stumbled upon this: This orange internet ad is hate speech to wakale – TheKimutai

 

Find More writings by greatrnk here

Sometimes

Sometimes I force them
Sometimes they flow easily
Sometimes they do not flow at all

They make you happy,
At times they make you sad
They make you angry
They make you resigned

Sometimes they slip out
Sometimes I force them to stay put
Sometimes they cheer someone up

These thoughts of mine
They are a pain
They are a joy
They are what they are
My thoughts

Find More Writings by Bee Illustrated here

This is why I Blog by cdohnio

So this is my first post on The Alternative Focus. Wow!! Awesomeness!! Why? Well first of all I haven’t been blogging for to long, about 10months, so to be asked to be part of a team was a heady experience, despite the fact I’m the “oldest” blogger here in that I started earlier than every one else. Second I’m the youngest here so being asked to join with adults…that heady feeling. Also, though I’m not sure this was considered, that someone actually thinks my writing is good enough to be part of their team…well you know…heady feeling 😀

So I agonized over what I’d have as my first post here. Perhaps a description of me, the blogger, and how awesome I am? (Thus giving away the size of my ego) Or maybe I could port one of my more sensational posts here to get people talking? Or I could write about something I’ve been thinking of for a while: Why I started blogging and why I keep doing it.

I wrote this post for my own blog but thought that it would be a good one to have here first

I started blogging first of all to prove that I could. A friend of mine started a blog and flossed about it to me, how he was “ahead” in these things. I told him starting a blog ain’t really a big deal and immediately went out to prove it. My first blog was on Opera (No you can’t read it). I’m rather proud to note that my friend doesn’t blog anymore while I still do.

I started blogging because I wanted to be in the paper. You know for the celebrity. No, really. The first blog I saw, or rather noticed, was @savvykenya’s Dairy of a Kenyan Campus Girl. I saw her blog featured in one of our Friday magazines and thought ”I wanna be here too” While my work has been featured in the paper (the same one) my blog hasn’t yet.

I blog because I have something to say. I write about anything and everything I feel about. I use my blog, and now this one, as part diary, part soap box, part venting spot and part noise making joint. I write about the stuff I hear and see, that I feel and experience. Some things maybe stupid, nonsensical or just plain boring but I always feel that you need, or may want, to know about it.

I blog to entertain. I don’t know if I’m a writer, I don’t think I am. Calling myself that feels like being a pretender to the throne or something. You know like a wannabe. While I may not be a writer, I’ll always try my best to write stuff in a way that makes it worth your while reading, in a way that entertains, keeps you at the edge of your seat and all that. I do think that I’m getting better with each post. I read on writing skills and stuff when ever I can. I also read other people’s blogs to get a better feel for writing on the web.

I blog because it’s fun. I like writing. I never thought that I could write stuff, didn’t like composition much in high school, but here I am one like my 50th post or something. I like that you read what I write. Every time I go check stats on my posts I see digits, not high ones but digits non the less, and that gives me massive high, a thrill that you care enough to check out what ever I decide to write for you( BTW since I started my blog, about 10 months ago, I’ve had over 5000 hits and about 1000 visitors, yay me!!). So I expect the same here. Okay, really I’m hoping for the same here.

I blog because you care. There’s once I asked if you really gave a damn about what I said (among other stuff) and the resounding answer was yes. You comment on my posts. Because you care and I don’t want to disappoint you I blog.

I blog to learn. Really I’ve learnt so much from here it’s staggering. I’ve learnt about several new things I wouldn’t have know or bothered to find out if I wasn’t blogging. I hope to tell you about them with time.

I blog to meet new people. While this may be more because of twitter than blogging I doubt that I’d know half the people I do know there if it wasn’t for blogging. I’ve made several new friends because of it. I could even be adding you to the list soon.

I blog because it enables me to do awesome stuff. I can’t really explain this one but I’ve done some things I wouldn’t have been able to with out being a blogger. Really.

There several other reasons I can’t really think of now but are still there. There was time a while back that if someone asked my profession I’d probably think, not say never say, blogger because of all the time I spent thinking about it and writing.

So know you know why I do this. I think that was a better than trying to describe myself or rewinding a sensational post, right? But don’t worry I’ll do those another time. This was more insightful, right? In the meantime let me end this post in a non-selfish way and thank @greatrnk for putting all this together and for asking me to be part of the team. It’s really awesome to be part of a team, isn’t it? Let me know what you think in the comments, talk to me. Peace!!

Find More Writings by cdohnio here

 

Where are We Headed? by Alffie

Nowadays people care only for

The plant not the seeds

The outcome not the deeds

The wants not the needs

Do you know what that means?

Pepe Haze – We’ve lost it

So one of our fellow Kenyans who was in the Big Brother Allstars recently came back home. And the reception, as I see it is one almost befitting a hero or heroine in this case. The question that sticks out for me is: What exactly did she do to deserve this?.. Well, some say that they are proud of her for ‘representing Kenya well’ in the reality TV show!

Wait!! ‘Representing Kenya well?!!!” Really? Are we really to be proud of her actions in the TV show? And if we are, why are proud of it? Is it that she reflects us as a nation- Which I very much doubt- or us as people of the nation? I don’t see the need to get into the show’s antics but what does this say about us?

Then not so long ago, there was this drama about the lady who got “busted” by a radio show for having been involved with her boss. The husband suspected that the affair was going on and turned to the show which confirmed this suspicion albeit in unconventional ways.

Several reasons why this show is such are:

  • Relationships are full of deception these days
  • Controversy, ‘juicy’ cheating stories seem to attract more listeners than morally upright issues.

More to that, the story gets picked up by the morning show where ‘relationship’ advice is given.

When did we stoop to getting advice about relationships from the radio presenters?

When did we start to gauge our morals by standards portrayed by the media?

Where are we headed:

When we praise the ones that portray everything that is wrong in our society?

When are we headed:

When trust is out of our fabric as relating humans?

Where are we headed;

When our guide to life are media personalities?

Is the media a reflection of our society or the other way round or is it just a vicious cycle?

Whatever the answer, something needs to change.

In that great piece, Pepe Haze closes with this:

It was then that I realized,

We are not free!

Things have gotten worse,

Our sons (and daughters) worship

The system that’s killing us

If you cannot see this, you are probably in the picture!

“You can’t see the picture if you are in the frame” ~ MOG Showtime

It’s time you take a step back, get out of the frame!!

Chapisho La Siku Ya Mashujaa na Alffie

Kwanza ningependa kumpongeza aliyependekeza kuwa na Jumakiswahili (yaani siku ya kiswahili kama vile Jumamosi ni siku ya kwanza, Jumapili na kadhalika) kwa mtandao wa mawasiliano kwa jina “Twitter”. Ni pendekezo hili lilinifanya niamue kuandika chapisho hili kwa lugha ya taifa ya Kiswahili. Shujaa ni mtu mashuhuri katika jambo; bingwa, shupavu, mshindi, stadi kwa jambo ama mtu ambaye alifanya jambo ambalo linatambulika na watu fulani kama kitendo cha kupewa sifa. Ni kwa sababu hii siku ya Mashujaa imefanywa kuwa siku kuu. Nami leo ningependa kuwatambua baadhi yao na kuwapa heshima wanayostahili.

Ee Mungu nguvu yetu

Ilete baraka kwetu

Haki iwe ngao na mlinzi

Natukae na undugu

Amani na uhuru

Raha tupate na ustawi.

Kwanza, nitaanza na mashujaa ambao walikuwa hai wakati nchi hii yetu ilikuwa inapigania uhuru ambao tunaosherehekea sasa na kuishi, wakati mwingine bila kukumbuka kuwa wakati mmoja hapo kale haukuwa!

Sita Waliofungwa Kapenguria

Dedan Kimathi Waciuri

Kuna wale wajulikanao sana kama Bildad Kaggia, Kungu Karumba, Fred Kubai, Paul Ngei na Achieng’ Oneko ambao waliwekwa gerezani na rais wa kwanza wa Kenya ambaye sitamtaja hapa kwa sababu ametambulika sana. Sura yake iko kwa hela zetu, mwanawe ako serikalini, ana mali (na mashamba!!) kila mahali – nadhani amepata heshima ya kutosha!! Dedan kimathi Waciuri kwa ujasiri wake na kuifia nchi hii. Sitawasahau akina Tom Mboya, MAU MAU na wengine wengi waliopigania uhuru wetu lakini hawajapata kutambulika. ASANTENI!

Amkeni ndugu zetu

Tufanye sote bidii

Nasi tujitoe kwa nguvu

Nchi yetu ya Kenya

Tunayoipenda

Tuwe tayari kuilinda

Evans Wadongo

David Lekuta Rudisha

Ngugi Wa Thiong'o

Evans Wadongo CNN Hero kwa kuchukua jukumu la kufanya mabadiliko mahala aishipo na mahala usaidizi unahitajika bila ya kumtegemea ‘mheshimiwa’ fulani. Ngugi Wa Thiongo kwa kusimama wima akitetea anachokiamini hata baada ya kutiwa gerezani. David Rudisha kwa kutuonyesha kuwa hakuna rekodi ambayo haiwezi kuvunjwa tena na tena! Timu ya raga kwa jina linalofaa la Shujaa pia ni lazima niwataje kwa kuweza kuipa Kenya sifa zinazoenea hadi kona zote za dunia hii!

 

Shujaa

Kimani Muruge

Kimani Maruge kwa kutukumbusha kuwa umri si jambo la kumzuia yeyote yule kufanya kile atakalo kulifanya na ana nia ya kuifanya! Maulana aiweke roho yake mahali pema peponi!

Kwa mashujaa wengine kama Wangari Maathai, John Githongo na wengine wengi tutazidi kuwapa heshima wanazostahili na kuwaunga mkono panapohitajika. Mashujaa wa Kenya ya leo ni wengi lakini nimetaja hao kadhaa tu. ASANTENI! Natujenge taifa letu

Ee, ndio wajibu wetu

Kenya istahili heshima

Tuungane mikono Pamoja kazini

Kila siku tuwe na shukrani Shujaa nitakao wataja sasa ni wewe na mimi yaani Wakenya kwa jumla! Mtu yeyote yule anayejitambua kuwa Mkenya ni shujaa! Mengi tumeyaona na kuyapitia; mengi tumevumilia na kujivunia; mengi tungependa hayangetendeka lakini yalitendeka lakini bado tupo wima. Hata baada ya maovu ya watu fulani, bado tulijitokeza kwa wingi kuipigia kura katiba iliyopendekezwa na hata ingawa kulikuwa na tofauti ya maoni kuihusu katiba hiyo, hapakuwa na uhasama!! Kwa sababu hiyo.. kama wewe ni MKENYA,WEWE NI SHUJAA!! Heko kwako!

Hii ni kazi ya "Dozart Designs" (Alisha Picha)

Hii ni kazi ya “Dozart Designs” (Alisha picha)

Kwa hivyo kama wewe wajivunia kuwa Mkenya..jipongeze na uedelee kujivunia!

Hii ni kazi ya WordTracer(www.twitter.com/Wordtracer) pata picha hii ya kuweka kwa kompyuta yako kwa kuailisha picha (clicking on picture)



Find more writings by Alffie here

Solace

There was a rose that faded young,

I saw its shattered beauty hang,

Upon a broken stem,

I heard them

say, ”what need to care?

With roses budding everywhere?”

There was a bird brought down to die,

I saw its limp body fall,

Upon a distant plain,

They said a hundred fall off the sky,

What need to cry?

There was a girl whose lover fled,

I watched her grieve and felt her hurt,

But i did not wait the while,

For i knew what they would say.

” There’s many another lad,

What need to be sad?”

© Ado Yiembo

Copy and pass “Solace” around to your heart’s content,
but always post my Copyright notice above, correctly, both as  courtesy and as a legal necessity to protect any writer. Thank you.

 

Find More Writings by Dyiembo here