Operation Get Maoga A Smile

This post was originally posted by savvykenya here


To understand why I am doing this, please read this post: I Need Your Help.

Maoga is a young man from the previous post who had his jaw removed during surgery to remove a lymphatic tumor.

Maoga with his mother before surgery

After the surgery, I visited him at Kenyatta National Hospital.

Maoga at KNH after his surgery

Today I have spoken with his father. He tells me the surgery to replace his jaw will cost Kshs. 150,000. Yesterday night, the informal settlement he is staying at in Nairobi was demolished by the authorities.

Even if I do win the Kshs.50,000 (I’m told votes alone may not be the judging criteria), we’re still short by Kshs.100,000.

It is because of this that I have decided to ask for your help: MPESA. Send to the number 0727 832685, it’s my number. I will give you a full report. If 200 people reading this send Kshs 1000, that’s Kshs.200,000. If 1000 people send 200 bob each, that’s still Kshs.200,000.

P.S. If you are a blogger, please REBLOG and let’s commence operation Give Maoga a Smile.

For other readers: RETWEET, SHARE on your FB walls, send your 2 cents, do something.

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?


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.


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.


Luo Cheering Song by Alffie

Alffie starts us off on Keeping it Kenyan with this Luo Cheering Song.

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

river nyando is not navigable…….  tero buru x2
but lake victoria has got hyacinthiii….. tero buru x2

nyoyo mang’ich oknyal melt BB….. tero buru x2
agwata motuch oknyal twomo nyuka…. tero buru x2

akala motuch can make kutho chwoyi….tero buru x2
long moyiech can make nyako weyi…  tero buru x2

small tp oknyal yweyo sianda…..  tero buru x2
but steel woolu is very pain fullu… tero buru x2


Rate this Cheering Song on a scale of 1 to 10 in the comments section


Find More Writings by Alffie here

Appreciating our Cultures

The Alternative Focus is all about YOU, yes, YOU who is reading this. This is why we are giving you a chance to be a part of it. If you have anything you would like to share, all you have to do is write an email to the.alt.focus@gmail.com and we will publish it. We are even taking things to a different level.

Most literature in Kenyan blogs is in English, a little in French and very little in Swahili. I am yet to see a post entirely in Kikuyu, Luo, Kalenjin, Maasai or any vernacular language. Our ancestors were known to pass valuable lessons to their children in the form of songs, riddles, proverbs, poems, short stories etc. These were letter passed on from generation to generation. However, there is a risk that our generation will not be able to pass these to the next generation. Instead, we will pass foreign literature. Something has to be done about it.

In that light, here is a forum to document and at least help pass that chant, song, riddle, proverb or poem to generations and generations to come. In the process, we will be able to appreciate our different cultures. As Patrick Lumumba once said, “Culture is the celebration of diversity. Let us therefore not deny our origin; but instead celebrate ours as a cultural mosaic not a tower of Babel, but a power of Babel!”

I kindly ask you to send any literature available/existing in your (or any) mother tongue (and hopefully with a translation). If you can compose, then that is great, if you do not know your mother tongue, you can get your folks, uncles, aunts or any relative to write you one. The idea is to interact with fun literary works of our various cultures, nothing too serious. If you are wrong on the translations, I am sure someone will be happy to correct you in the comments section and we will all learn something. As if that was not enough, gifts will be given to the best piece every month, how cool is that?

Well, get that old chant, poem or story, write it on a Microsoft word document and send it as an attachment to the.alt.focus@gmail.com and lets appreciate our unique Kenyan culture. In (again) Patrick Lumumba’s words, “I refuse to believe that this country must run on the wheels of negative ethnicity where ones ethnic extraction is the touchstone of ability; that is a veritable tower of Babel . But worry the least – I have a perfect recipe for national cohesion. Let us combine the energy of the Luhya with the entrepreneurship of the Kikuyu, with a little dose of the Wakamba and Miji Kenda humility, the Maasai’s zeal and zest and the Luo’s quest for perfection and the beautiful qualities of all Kenyan nations and what looks like the tower of Babel will become the power of Babel!”

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