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!

 

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My 5 Links

This was an initiative started by Egichomo here. You simply post five links to certain posts as done below then tag about  five bloggers to do the same. Here goes:

Most Popular Post: Why a Kenyan Revolution will Never Happen

This post was written a few days before February 28th. If we can all remember, The Arab revolution was sweeping through countries such as Tunisia and Egypt. Back home, people sort to come up with something that would make Kenyans stand up and tell the political elite that enough was enough. February 28th was chosen as the day in which we would sing the national anthem at 1PM. This post by cdooh sort to explain why a Kenyan revolution would never happen. As we speak, I do not know what became of the Kenya Feb 28th initiative, but I suppose, as a country, we have had to address other more pressing issues.

Post That Did Not Get The Attention It Deserved: The Journey

This is a poem by beenduta. I leave it to you to interpret it as you deem fit.

Post Whose Success Surprised Me: Review: Twitter App LMAO!

This is a review of the twitter API LMAO! that was made by Amasy. The reason why it’s success was such a surprise is because the person who wrote the post, greatrnk, is not such a tech person. As a result, the review was more of an ordinary review rather than a technical one.

Most Controversial Post: The Unspoken Rules of The ‘Kalocal’

This is not a controversial post, since there has not been one written here yet. However, I believe this post by Deestinguished will win if a poll of the most controversial post is done. This is a post which gives some rules on how to conduct ourselves when visiting our various ‘kalocal’

Post I Am Proud Of: Martha aka Thatcher Karua: Is Change Here?

This was the very first post on this blog. It was written by Justalffie just after Mike Sonko and Kabogo had been elected Members of Parliament in by-elections.

I tag the following (who are more than five. Rules are made to be broken!)

Cdooh who blogs at Private Thoughts of A Young Kenyan

Greatrnk who blogs at The Greatrnk

Justalffie who blogs at In His Mind

Deestinguished who blogs at Life In Paragraphs

Beenduta who blogs at Bee Illustrated

Pre7amer who blogs at Pre 7’ame’ers Blog

Ascofu who blogs at Ascofu at Work

Antwarogue who blogs at Rogue Blog

Choose a Side – Duplicity Isn’t an Option

By Justalffie

Over the past couple of weeks or months, morality as a code to live by has been brought to the fore by certain occurrences, acts and events in the country and their subsequent backlash.

We had the Gardens, the tapes, the swaggerific (the name itself should tell of its vanity!) and also the recent outcry of the deplorable radio show. [The listing is not in any order]. There were scattered outbursts pertaining to the earlier 3 (& probably others I’ve not mentioned) but as pertaining the radio show this article certainly provoked a lot of outrage that was obviously just bubbling under and, triggered by the article, found an avenue to break free!

I wouldn’t use the same language used in the article but I share the disgust of the show’s content & more so that every public vehicle seem to be glued to it every morning almost religiously!!

So what many were saying essentially is…..

 It’s clear that some degree of morality or at least the appearance of holding morality in high regard is still alive in a time when none of it seems to be of value or talked of as valuable! This gives a glimmer of hope for the future, at least for me!

But that is not the point of this article!

This article is really pointing at the blatant duplicity in the argument for morality (or lack of it!) When I talk of ‘morality’ I’m addressing those that subscribe to a moral code/law which to the greater extent happens to be those who have strands of faith in a moral law giver i.e. Christians, Muslims, other theists and even the atheists with a weak faith in their beliefs. An atheist should in no way be bothered by any of these issues as to them ‘anything goes’ so long as it’s good for you! A case of “it depends” or subjective versus objective issue, right? So I doubt this concerns them.

So here’s the point (FINALLY!!)

 

How can you very eloquently voice your disgust of/for the degrading of morals by the radio show then turn and support a blog that talks of prostitution like it is some glorious achievement or calling?

Really??!!

What exactly are you saying because it seems what you are disgusted by is the “how” rather than the “what”!!

Like Oscar Wilde once said:

Morality, like art, means drawing a line someplace.

If your problem is the fact that such erosion of value is on radio as opposed to being blogged about, then please STOP! The line of morality is no respecter of art or literature form – it cuts across all that! You either denounce all or none at all! The how, I believe, is not where the “Oscar Wilde line” is to be drawn nor is it where he thought we would interpret his words to mean!

But this is an ethical issue? You can’t bring the issue of morality in this! Really?

Well, I’ll let this answer that:

The difference between an ethics and morality is that the Ethical man knows it’s wrong to cheat on his wife while the Moral man actually wouldn’t (cheat on his wife!)

So which side are you on? Ethics devoid of morality or ethics evidenced by morality?

C. S. Lewis once put it in great wording when he said (wrote actually in his book “The Abolition of man”)

We make men without chests and expect from them virtue & enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst!

Here Mr. Lewis had just made a case that it’s unhealthy to be a man “with a head and a stomach but without a chest” simply put, you can’t be just working with logic (head) and what I’d loosely interpret as ‘greed’ or ‘what’s in it for me’ approach to life (stomach) and without a heart (chest) which if I can employ the Hebrew understanding of ‘heart’ would include emotions & morals! We need more “men with chests” if this is to change!

Judging by the growing popularity of the blog, I have two conclusions: either the ‘author’ is a great writer or people are just interested in some guilty pleasure without dirtying their hands! If it’s the former, then she can definitely write on other issues and leave the ‘life choice’ right? If it’s the latter, then we need NOT be surprised if all hell breaks loose on radio, TV, music shows and events now, do we?

Juliani, who in some sense like other musicians is a philosopher on the account that art (music being very much part of it) is considered the 2nd level of philosophy, a couple of years ago (close to 5years ago) said this;

Bedroom inaletwa sitting room, vipindi kwa TV… not a joke!”

Safe to say that we are way past just being on TV… We didn’t heed his call then and are clearly not now which means it’s going to get worse, especially with the double standard approach we have to such issues.

Stand for something or fall for anything” someone said that but I say, “Stand for something, the right thing, or fall. (Period)

P. S. (or Disclaimer) This is no way attacking anyone but merely making a point on the basis of principles and thought and maybe to some extent of worldview.

What Have You Done For Your Country

By Justalffie

What are you doing for your country?

WHAT ARE YOU DOING FOR YOUR COUNTRY?

In what could be one of the most elaborate & stinging quote as pertaining to patriotism & a citizen’s responsibility to their country from one of the most recognizable leaders, John F. Kennedy said:

“Ask not what your country can do for youask what you can do for your country.”

This is what came to mind after the ‘country’ became incensed, frustrated & even disgusted when the Ocampo 6’s return was welcomed in what can be likened to a ‘Hero’s welcome!’ The media did not make it any better with all of them turning their attention to Uhuru Park while at the same time purporting not to support them!

It’s this that I believe brought about the “I Support Ocampo 6 Media BlackOut” (#ISupportOcampo6MediaBlackOut on twitter) movement and cry all over the cyber world (read ‘Kenya’) and then came the petition to collect signatures in support of this cause. (Sign the Petition)

At this point I wondered how exactly this will help; so the petition is signed then & a HIGHLY almost METAPHYSICALLY IMPROBABLE turn of events that the media blackout is effected; then what? Don’t get me wrong, sign the petition. It’s a worthy cause but here I ask what good is a ‘good cause with no effect”?

Allow me to illustrate. If you were in unfamiliar territory and were lost and along the way you meet a native of the area who happens to know the area, ask him for directions. Assume with me, that he goes ahead & tells you how dangerous the path you are on is but doesn’t tell the right path to take, of what help will that be to you?

That’s how I feel about this move. Media blackout is well & good but what is it that we’ll be doing in the meantime? Inaction is just as bad as bad action, if not worse!

For too long we’ve complained about these politricksters with their politricks (as Peter Tosh would put it). What they are doing is hardly new to us or new at all! They’ll still come back to the voting public with the now famous “90 day roadmap” to do whatever including relocating the IDPs!! What nerve?!! Malcolm Muggeridge, a great in the media industry put it this way;

All new news is old news happening to new people.”

So in essence we are being REACTIVE in airing our frustrations which we all know will avail little to nothing! It’s time to be PROACTIVE. Talking about what they should do then get angry when they inevitably don’t do, is pointless. This is what Albert Einstein referred to as insanity when he defined it as;

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

But in terms of offering a direction to take, maybe Confucius said it best when he said;

“Better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.”

Cursing the darkness (what we don’t like about the politicians & maybe the media) will not make it go away. Shining a light on the other hand will kill the darkness! This is the focus of this post… WHAT TO DO, not WHAT AND HOW BEST TO COMPLAIN ABOUT WHAT IS NOT BEING DONE!

 

I’m not going to suggest aggression because I’m of the same school of thought as Dr. John Lennox who once said that, ‘In the country I come from (N. Ireland), Aggression is usually linked to weakness of argument.‘ I believe we have strength in our argument.

What can we do as the media fights for these leaders’ attention or the other way round or is it a symbiotic relationship?!

I offer a suggestion. Using twitter as a sample, we have corporate, sober media personalities, influential members of the business, music industries, event organizers, bloggers… the list of these movers & shakers, so to speak, is endless!

Twitter has more than 70,000 Kenyan users – about 50,000 active users but for the sake of this argument allow me to use 20,000. If for example, in a month, these 20,000 tweeters give only 500 each, we’ll have a total of 10 Million!! How far along can this go in the pursuit of aiding our brothers & sisters who were displaced during the PEV?!

That’s just one month. How much more can we do in the next 12 months, that is before these politricksters come back to tell us how they promise to resettle them in the now famous 90 days?!!

Just recently, there was the 1% drive that helped raise 100,000 in 8 hours via social sites! 8 hrs!! We can’t honestly say we can’t effect change now can we?

Events can be planned, drives held etc… nothing can really STOP A UNIFIED PEOPLE!

Remember Kenya Feb 28?

 

Many have different opinions concerning this initiative some even see it as a waste of time. I, however, see it as an initiative that achieved its objective – Unite Kenyans in singing the National Anthem which doubles up as a prayer or hymn as some see it! Without the “endorsement” of the government we, Kenyans, came together for a positive cause. If that’s not a testimony that we can do much more I don’t know what is?!

 If we, in our various capacities (still using twitter as the base of argument but not excluding other forums) including the corporate in these platforms, ACT we’ll have achieved more than just going on about “righteously advocating” for an Ocampo6 media blackout or whichever other blackout!

I say WE CAN DO THIS!! We always chant KENYA NI YETU! WE ARE PROUDLY KENYAN!

Well, it’s time we walk the talk, and to borrow from Johnnie Walker tag line… “Keep Walking”..

You want an Ocampo 6 (along with others) media blackout, good BUT don’t stop there, in fact don’t even give them your time. Instead effect change. It’s common knowledge some of them will want to ride on your cause down the line.

For the media, maybe these words by Caroline Mutoko address you best:
Let’s STOP the madness” 

The Oterosexual Manual


Growing up, several things were ends that were given; A boy grows up to be a man. “Boys will be boys” meant just that! Now you can’t even say that without giving exceptions!!

Somehow somewhere, things changed and now a boy can grow up to be one of several options: the Trans i.e. a woman, the un-straight, the bi, the Metro-sexual movement (check this post by Chiira ) a trend that, in Kenya at least, seemed to blow up in 2010, and there is, of course, the traditional man (which is the focus of this post).

I’m not sure where all this is headed but clearly one has to belong in one or the other, scary as it may sound.

A good friend of mine, Michelle , coined the term Oterosexual to describe the man who is & works hard not to be remotely confused for the other categories. It was, thus only logical to use this name to refer to the “Traditional man” for this article.

Walking along the streets, I can’t help wonder what some really intend to imply by their demeanor. Grown men make me turn, not out of admiration but amazement & wonder and sometimes just fright & horror!!

Below is basic manual for the Oterosexual man.

  • No skinny jeans. I don’t quote him much or ever but Jay-Z once said; (Paraphrase) “if you wear the same pant size as your wife then who’s really wearing the pants in your house!” Unless you are putting on biking, swimming pants, or you are Michael J. Jackson (which you obviously are not!) tight-fitting pants don’t really make Otero-sense! Fit into your clothes don’t let your clothes fit into you.
  • The hairdo… Mohawk is a no go zone! Sure you look hip, Goth and the in-thing but you also look like a cuckoo bird! And this fake dreads made of knitting thread (not sure) just looks bad across the board! A fade, Afro, corn-rows (sometimes) or even well maintained dreadlocks will do just fine. Leave the hair-glo to Drogba!
  • A man purse! Seriously?! This won’t even be discussed!
  • Little, very little to no pink! Keep your being colorful to a minimum; it’s the ladies, who are referred to as ‘flowers’ because they attract with their beauty! Basic test; if a lady tells you, “You look cute”, change how you dress! If she doesn’t particularly like it …., good! Keep it up. Think about it, a lady likes something that they relate to i.e. dressed like them!!
  • I understand many guys iron their socks, t-shirts and even jeans. I personally don’t. I believe casual means no strings attached, in this case, no crease un-creased. A little history on the origin of jeans: When the American workers were getting uncomfortable with leather pants (especially the cowboys as the story goes), a dry goods merchant by the name Levi Strauss & his tailor friend, who became his business partner, came up with what we now know as jeans that was from then on embraced as working wear. I doubt ironing was part of the whole idea! That’s just me!
  • Another “just me” issue is the shoes. The colors of shoes do not go outside the basic shoe colour scheme of Black, White and brown! All these greens, yellows, purples as shoe colors coupled with matching t-shirts, skinny jeans, maybe add the Mohawk & glasses – that a lot similar to the 3D glasses – just make guys look like some marvel comic super hero!
  • Manicure, pedicure, facials, mascara, nail polish are not to for you! Full stop. Massage is acceptable, depending on whom the masseuse is. Makeup gets a nod only when it’s a job thing, going on TV or the like otherwise NO! Why make yourself pretty? Be rugged & by this I don’t mean dirty & not presentable; I mean manly.
  • An artist (musical artist), actors, footballer (in the pitch) or a clown; these are the groups that are allowed to dress in anything no matter how impractical it looks.
  • All those fashionista shows, the likes of America’s Next top model, Project Runway etc that recommend hideous clothing as fashion are not for you. You DO NOT follow fashion, to borrow from the greatest of them all – Makmende – Fashion follows you! You have style that is unfazed by time or passing fads and crazes!
  • Have at least one sport you ‘religiously’ follow. Know the stats (basic or otherwise), buy a team jersey, flag or even key holder or something i.e. be loyal to a team; sometimes even irrationally support that team. Be willing to die for the team. NOTE: Be willing to but DO NOT die for the team. If it gets to that point of dying for a team, it’s ok to run – like a scared little girl if you have to!!
  • You don’t get hooked on senseless Reality TV shows! TV series like soaps, Glee, Gossip Girls and the like should not even matter to you.
  • Have at least one lady TV host/personality with whom, to you, any show is 5 star rated! For many it was Esther Arunga before she was ‘fingered’ out of the equation! Currently, for me, it’s Teroo & Isha Sesay. Enough said.
  • Never concede that another guy looks handsome… wait! How do you even get to gauge that another guy is handsome?! On second thought, don’t answer! I don’t want to know!!
  • That “Get in touch with your feminine side” Oprah & Tyra stuff, forget it! You have no feminine side! The only feminine side you may have is your wife or spouse or sister or mother!
  • Justin Bieber, & boy bands are taboo – ok, some like Boys 2 men & greats like the Commodores, Earth, Wind & Fire (if you can call them boy bands) get a free pass. No explanations and/or reasons needed here!

To be continued… on the comments posts!

 

 

KiKenya

Today is Thursday, the day we have decided will be used to appreciate our cultures as Kenyans. We call it KiKenya. And on that note, Alffie who gave us this Luo Cheering Song

Tero buru
I don’t know exactly what this means but my sketchy Luo tells me that “buru” is dust. This is actually the same word used in “Buruburu” estate. Not sure how that came about either. And “tero” (NOTE: it’s not Teroo the presenter with a lovely smile ) means “to take” so I would directly translate this to mean “Take dust” which I would imagine implies something to the tune of “Eat my dust”. But as I said, my Luo is sketchy at best so if you can or know someone who can interpret this, please ask them to!

koriko gi koni kendo koriko gi kochaa.. tero buru x2

(I have no idea what this means!! Someone please translate)

river nyando is not navigable……. tero buru x2

but lake victoria has got hyacinthiii….. tero buru x2

(This should be straight forward I should think.River Nyando is a river found in Luo Nyanza. Hyacinthii is just hyacinth)

nyoyo mang’ich oknyal melt BB….. tero buru x2

(nyoyo is githeri, mang’ch is cold, oknyal is cant, BB is Blueband. If you were in a Kenyan High school you understand how we add margarine to githeri)
Translation: “Cold githeri can’t melt Blueband”

agwata motuch oknyal twomo nyuka…. tero buru x2

(Agwata is a calabash cut for use as drinking container. motuch-that has a hole. Oknyal-can’t. twomo-serve,carry nyuka-porridge.

Translation: “Agwata that has a hole cannot serve porridge.)

akala motuch can make kutho chwoyi….tero buru x2

(Akala-local open shoes/sandals made of used car tyres. motuch-that has a hole. kutho/kudho-thorns. Chwoyi-prick or pierce you.

Translation: “An akala that has a hole can make thorns prick/pierce you)

long moyiech can make nyako weyi… tero buru x2

(Long-adaptation from ‘long trouser meaning just that.Moyiech-that is torn. Nyako-lady/girl. Weyi-leave you.
Translation: A torn trouser can make a lady leave you.)

small tp oknyal yweyo sianda….. tero buru x2

(tp-Tissue paper. oknyal-cannot. Yweyo-wipe. Sianda-*behind.

Translation: Small tissue paper cannot wipe your behind.)

but steel woolu is very pain fullutero buru x2

(This a little direct.Translation: but steel wool is very painful!)

*’behind’ is a friendly translation

 

If you do not agree with the translation by Alffie, educate everyone with the correct translation in the comments section.

If you have a song, skit, chant or anything in any mother tongue, you can send it to the.alt.focus@gmail.com and let us appreciate our culture. Moreover, you can win a price.

 

Matatu Etiquete by Alffie

Most Kenyans have or have had many encounters with this iconic Kenyan means of transport. But like many things, they are prone to abuse & disturbing trends. The matatu operators-some not all-are incorrigible so I won’t talk of them. My focus is the passengers. This is addressed to most of us I suppose.. If you see yourself here…let me put it this way; someone is watching & not liking the view.

Do not play music on your phone (China or otherwise) on loudspeaker! We board matatus with no music for just that reason: no music = quiet! It’s not rocket science. Take the hint!

Receiving phone calls is inevitable but you can control what conversations to have where. CCK categorizes phone calls as private conversation, so please don’t torture others with your endless & LOUD calls! No one wants to know how many chicken you have at home or that you take hot showers in the evenings!!

A prelude to an annoying call is, more often than not, a just as annoying ring-tone! Worse still you let it ring for so long like you want everyone to hear it! The vibrate feature on your phone is a feature to be used.. it wasn’t just a marketing pitch!! On the off-chance that your phone doesn’t vibrate or may have valid reasons not to use it, please don’t let it ring more than 3 times or beyond the count of 10! As a side note: An “I’m a Barbie girl” ring-tone?! You are a grown man, what do you want us to think? That you are a … or a … A ring-tone says a lot about u! So choose your ring tone wisely!

Someone else’s phone is their own property and by extension, their own business so DO NOT SNOOP to find out what they are browsing or texting or posting or tweeting! I never say this but GET A LIFE!!

Worse than playing loud music from your phone is singing! Why would we want you to sing? Unless you are Mary J Blige, Cece Winans, Chrisette Michelle, Lauryn Hill, Dela, Atemi, Nanjira or the like.. PLEASE DO NOT SING…ANYTHING in a matatu!! We don’t want to hear you KILL music. Men…don’t even think about trying to sing!

When you sneeze in a matatu, please cover your mouth and open the window. After H1N1 and the likes of TB, we’d like to still be healthy when we get home. Always carry a handkerchief – a dozen costs only 200!!

You know those seat belts you see inside? They are not for aesthetic value. They are actually for your safety so use them! (Plus it’s the law to use them!) Don’t go shouting at the driver every time he hits a bump and you don’t have your seatbelt on!! *This depends on how well fitted they are so choose your matatus wisely too!

The matatu driver is doing his job.. he didn’t come to your office to tell you how to do your job so stop giving him directions as to the best & presumably shorter short cuts you think he should use!!

Do not disturb..*now in caps* DO NOT DISTURB a passenger with earphones (or headphones) with your uncanny ability to talk about the mundane details of politics, weather & of course..the road construction. They are listening to music or maybe even audio books so that they don’t chit-chat with you or people like you! So please, get your own music box or just fall back!!

You don’t have to see everything along the road you are using so stop craning your head every time the matatu stops like you want to save the day. Newsflash! That pilsner Ad on TV is just an Ad! You can’t help clear a jam like that! Plus, you use that route almost daily, what new thing can crop up along the road in 8-10hrs (time within which you are at work)..in Kenya?!!

Ask the fare cost before you board. Causing drama and throwing tantrums when the *kange gets to you when everyone else has paid the default amount doesn’t make you Rosa Parks-you are not fighting anyone’s right other than your own right…to look stupid!

The *kange is not in the least bit psychic or telepathic to know where you are to alight so inform him when you are about to reach your destination instead of sitting back and going into fits of vain rage when you are clearly to blame when the matatu doesn’t stop at your stop. Your outbursts just make you look psychotic & telepathic*

Removing your shoes, picking your nose, teeth plus all the other “Ushenzi” behavior should be a common sense thing not to be done in a matatu (among many other places).

If you like to sleep in a matatu and you can’t keep from leaning on your neighbour & even drool, get yourself a neck-brace! That should keep your head upright! Or just don’t sleep!!

Your cologne or perfume should be just enough! The point is to make sure your natural odor (read ‘sweat’) is kept at bay not to suffocate people so that they don’t get to smell your odor! Subtlety is the key in choosing the cologne/perfume for you. The other extreme is just as bad if not worse!

Learn to keep your cool, understand what a quarrel between a passenger & kange is about before you publicly display your ignorance because contrary to popular belief the customer can be wrong & often times is irrational!

So you know you are supposed to pay fare so why do you wait to be asked & give the kange a puzzled look like he’s bothering u? You didn’t think it was free did you?!!

So you board a matatu with a friend or 2.. your escapades are your own so keep your chatting A.L.A.P – As Low As Possible! Other passengers are not really interested to know!

*kange – Derived from ‘Makanga’ a variation of ‘Manamba’ which is equal to ‘conductor’ or ‘tout’ which points to the person in the matatu responsible for collecting fare from passengers, signaling the driver to stop the bus for passengers to alight & sometimes act as a co-driver.

Disclaimer: These are just what I’ve seen & experienced. I’m sure there are many many more.

 

Find More Writings by Alffie here