Finally In Thailand
When: Sep 7th, 2008 8:01:31 am - Subscribe
I'm feeling: SOO!! Excited
Talk, Opinion, Music, Life, Stuff: Life, Stuff

I am finally in Thailand, after a grueling 15hrs of air travel. I got to South Africa on 5th September and of course hit the mall to look for grapes. Unfortunately they are not in season at the moment, but they will be when I return in October. On Saturday 6th I left for Thailand thru Hong Kong. After the contortionism I did on the plane to fit in the seat of the plane, I now know why economy class is called Economy. Skimping on space, and quite possibly, food!!! Tall people like me need to be taken into consideration, maybe make and upright bed to use all that space above our heads.

When I landed in Thailand, the heat of the place is what hit me first. I thought that I could handle heat because I am an African, but was I wrong!!! This place is like a steam bath, only that you are steaming yourself in public. But it is great, and I am looking forward to moving around in the coming days.

BTW, Thank God for Kenyans, because I happened to meet one on the plane and he visits here often. So he helped me change my money and get a taxi at a reasonable cost, saving me from probable extortion (seeing that it is obvious I am not from these parts). The roads here are very good (point to take home) and we drove and drove till I got to the hotel.

As my friends had already told me, their grasp of English is miniscule at best, and so I was freaked out that I would be taken to a different part of the city. But I was able to communicate with the driver, and I can finally sleep, in a bed that considers my dimensions.

So far, the only thing I have not gotten, is some sunshine. I am african, and I expect the sum to be out. However, It is cloudy, and I am irritated. I just want to see proper sunshine, not sunlight!!!


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My Liberation
When: Mar 20th, 2007 6:20:42 am - Subscribe
I'm feeling: exstatic!!
Talk, Opinion, Music, Life, Stuff: Life

Joy comes in the morning, precisely Sunday March 11th 2007, when I got on a bus and started my trip from Nairobi to Capetown, by road. After months (2) of intensive planning, I started a trip of a lifetime.

I have taken leave off work to go off galavanting around Africa to see places we study about. The highlight has to be my day at the Victoria Falls. The falls are the most majestic thing I have ever seen. Because of rains earlier in the year, the falls have a lot of water pouring down the gorge, with a mist that sprays water kilometers into the sky.

You can have different views of the falls and view them from different angles, On the Zimbabwe side, the falls are not obscured by the bushes, but views from both countries are AWESOME!!

After going round the falls and taking pix, I went to the bridge over the Zambezi River that joins Zambia and Zimbabwe, and did the craziest bunji jump on the planet. I have never been that excited before, the blood rushes to your head, and after the first bounce, you have to scream your head off.

But the bunji is not to be repeated because you lose the excitement of the first time. As Sade sings, its never as good as the first time, and I am not gonna spoil it with another jump.

I will have to upload pix asap!!!

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The Marriage Breaking Association - Higher and Higher Education
When: Jul 29th, 2006 5:43:27 am - Subscribe
I'm feeling: Amused

Just when I thought I had finished my education! I always thought that life is like a book with distinct chapters, you finish one and move to the other. With a full stop, you close one chapter and move to the next. But it is not so with education, especially nowadays! Increasing competition for limited spaces and a globalising economy has pushed people who are past school age back to school. To manoeuvre through out-sourcing, Wi-Max, techno-stress, and other heavy English words, you need to go back to school and get an MBA.

Enrolment to this club is at an all time high, especially where I come from. The high expectations for productivity at work have pushed people back to school, in an effort to improve their careers and pay check. Some go back to school to improve themselves, while most go back because of peer pressure. Adults suddenly regress to their teenage years and do things because everyone is doing it. The statistics are staggering! In most universities, the number of mature students is almost equal to the real students (those who go to uni right after high school)

I was informed that among those who are married, the quest for more knowledge has mutated the harmless Master of Business Association into the Marriage Breaking Association. People use the MBA as a convenient excuse to avoid confronting the issues they face in their houses. If it means more education, then so be it. As a result, spouses rarely see one another, because they are both tired from term paper research and work. The poor children eat supper alone and grow up like weeds because there is no one to provide direction and discipline.

As a result homes are split in the middle as each party pursues separate interests. They both grow in different directions, driven by one more nail in the coffin, or bed if you must. Children become more demanding and undisciplined to get attention from the parents, which drives the parents up the wall as they try to deal with them. Eventually, we have a tired couple who sleep back to back, dreaming of the peace at work and class.

I remember hearing gossip about a couple of mature students in the evening classes at my uni who were planning their affair. (NB. They are both married to other people.) The woman was telling the man, "you can’t come to my house today, my husband is coming home."The man says, "Then let’s go to a hotel for the weekend”. What are they going to a hotel for?

Take it or leave it, an MBA is almost mandatory. Learn from this piece of gossip and finish school once and for all. The cost of education is very high my friend.

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Ghana Rocks
When: Jun 23rd, 2006 5:56:47 am - Subscribe
I'm feeling: Ecstatic
Talk, Opinion, Music, Life, Stuff: Life

The World Cup is on!! As we approach the second round, all of Africa is ecstatic that Ghana has made it thru. The other teams have proved themselves to be stong contenders which makes me happy.

Now that Ghana is thru to round two, i hope they can make it past Brazil, who seem to have woken up after a rather dull start. All the best to Ghana! Go out and kick Samba butt!!

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The World Cup is here!!
When: Jun 9th, 2006 2:46:53 am - Subscribe
I'm feeling: ECSTATIC
Talk, Opinion, Music, Life, Stuff: Life, Opinion

Finally, in around 12 hours I get to watch the first match of the world cup with the rest of the world. Research shows only 8% of women will watch and I guess I am part of that group.

The most important match as I have said before, is Portugal vs Angola. I hope it is like the Senegal vs France match of 2002. What better way to teach your former colonisers one or two lessons. I want an Angola win so badly!!!

Concerning other teams, I will be the first to say that Brazil may not get to the finals, because the hype 4 that team is too much! I make it my mission to support the underdogs, but I really dont know who I want to win this cup. One thing is certain, I dont want England, Germany, Italy, Spain, or any other of the "favourites" to win, but lets see what happens on July 9.

Another intersting thing is thow the whole world is ecstatic about this event except America. In 2002, while studying in an American university, I remember only 2 Americans watching the USA matches. The rest of the crowd(and we were many) was composed of everyone else, Kenyans and foreign students. Alot is said about that in these articles and and

When all is said and done, LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!

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Decoding and Recoding the Da Vinci Code
When: May 25th, 2006 2:44:18 am - Subscribe
I'm feeling: woozy
Talk, Opinion, Music, Life, Stuff: Opinion

There has been a lot of hype surrounding a certain book called the Da Vinci code. Apparently, it contains information that will “shake” the foundations of Christianity. (Here is where I say YEAH RIGHT!) I somehow can’t picture Jesus crying and complaining to God, (like a son complaining to the father about bullies) “Look at what those people you sent me to die for are saying about me!” Instead, he intercedes for them. (For non-religious people, intercede in Christian-ese means “pray or petition on behalf of.”)

Anywho, the movie was released worldwide on Friday, and movie theatres here in Kenya stopped screening other movies to show this one. Somehow, the poor reviews it got at the Cannes Film Festival have not eaten into its box office earnings. It has grossed lots of money, which is good for the business people involved in producing it, but will confuse a big number of impressionable people. Poor things! But does Hollywood care?

My premise is that the book rehashes controversial old tales, and with skilful authoring, has become a best seller. No doubt Danny Boy is a master at weaving a story, regardless. But who hasn’t heard about the theory that Jesus could have married Mary Magdalene? If I was controversial enough at the time I heard it, I could have written the same story! But Danny Boy beat me to it. Dang! I’d be rolling in money.

I don’t believe that it will shake the foundations of Christianity. Why? Because through out the history of the church, there have been other teachings, that were predicted to “shake the foundations of Christianity”. After some time the hype died, much like ripples in water. Another example is the Gospel of Judas. One month after it was on the front cover of National Geographic, who is even thinking about it? So Danny Boy’s book is nothing new, just the same old, same old, as we say here.

Gnostic writings like this gospel were rampant in the three centuries after Christ. The early church trying to establish itself faced a problem with subtle, under-the-radar teachings that didn’t quite deny the existence of Jesus. As the Bible says, there is nothing new under the sun, and this book saga is proof. The same ideologies recycled to ignorant people will provoke a crisis of faith, in the early church and now, which is unfortunate.

So what do we do with people whose faith is “shaken” by these passing clouds? I say, get informed. Read about church history and theology. You don’t have to go to a seminary to do this, there’s enough information in a library for you. Don’t just accept worldly teachings as the truth, Christians are told to test everything to make sure it is of the Lord. You have no excuse to be swayed if you are able to read, and you should take the initiative to countercheck the claims that he makes in the book. Ignorance is no defense. Just don’t rubbish his book without any facts to support yourself. Take this is an opportunity to learn more about your faith, and grow deeper in it.

A movie-goer was asked about his impression of the movie and said that it is interesting that people can write anything about Christianity, but wouldn’t dare write anything about Islam (remember the cartoons?) Which is why Danny Boy can get away with what he has written and make madd cash while at it.

When banning the movie in the Philippines, a resolution was passed saying, “the movie is undoubtedly offensive and contrary to established beliefs, which cannot take precedence over the right of the persons involved in the film to freedom of expression”. Nuff said!

I’ll try to save up some money to buy the book, seeing as I am damn broke! Hook me up!

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The Almighty Shilling
When: May 19th, 2006 5:43:34 am - Subscribe
I'm feeling: Rich, Like A Million Bucks
Talk, Opinion, Music, Life, Stuff: Life

Excitement was in the air as the largest IPO (Initial Public Offering) in Kenyan history was launched (The government selling 30% of its stake in the electricity generating company KenGen.) Kenyans, being the people we are, came out in large numbers to buy the shares. I am part of the group that decided to do the patriotic thing and buy into an indigenous company (even if it is government owned.)

What is interesting to note is the large number of subscribers and the places the subscribers came from. For one, the IPO was over subscribed by 337%. The IPO is valued at 7 billion shillings, while the total amount placed was 26 billion shillings. The receiving bank has started the process of returning the extra 18 billion shillings to unlucky investors.

The applications for the IPO came from all corners of the country, and even from outside the country, because of the well coordinated advertising (which was very classy for a government institution). Even those in the remote of remote areas of the country were not to be left behind. Every one I know from all over the country, whether employed or broke, seems to have applied for these shares. Share applications also came in from people and companies outside Kenya, from as far as Bermuda, Singapore, Denmark e.t.c.

The interest in these shares is good because it shows that Kenyans are willing and able to invest in their stock market. It has been suggested that the country needs a second stock market because there is an interest and a market for shares. The Nairobi Stock Exchange actually has one of the highest return on equity investment (say what?) in the world, after the exchanges in Zambia and Uganda. With Nairobi as the financial center of East and Central Africa, it is a good proposition to increase the market space. (It will go a long way in allowing Rich Dad wannabes like me finally reach our dream of financial plenty)

The shares started trading on the exchange at 10 a.m. on 17 May, and was it a free for all, capitalist fight. In a short time, the price had risen from KES 11.90 to 60-something, and then down to 40-something. Clearly, I need to visit my broker to discuss selling strategies.

I have been trying to read on how the stock market works, so I may soon be the next billionaire. Show me the stock exchange!!

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High on Speed
When: Apr 10th, 2006 3:37:23 am - Subscribe
I'm feeling: wonderful
Talk, Opinion, Music, Life, Stuff: Opinion

I love cars. I love fast cars. As a matter of fact, it is my ambition to own a Mercedes Benz in the next 5 years. I told a friend of mine that I saw myself driving one, with my three (yet to be born) children. There is no better feeling than that of a car accelerating in response to your step on the pedal! But the speed I am talking about is not cars, but the strange phenomenon called speed dating.

Like a scene from a horror movie, I heard an advert on the radio saying there is a speed dating party going down at one of the trendier night spots of Nairobi. I’ll bet you the place will be crawling with yuppies. It is good that there are so many new ways to meet people like internet dating, single bars and speed dating, but I see a bigger issue here.

In Africa, there is no shortage to the social gatherings where people would be able to meet potential dates. From weddings to family gatherings, funerals (yes!) to work, and religious assemblies to social areas, heck, you can meet anyone anywhere. In Cameroon, there are inter-village wrestling matches where men and women meet potential partners. As an African, I cannot complain that there are no places to meet men.

With the wide range of social gatherings we have, how did some of these foreign dating methods find a way into our society? Not that they are bad, but I hope the people attending this function have exhausted all the other avenues open to them for meeting partners. (Considering that the Nairobi yuppies will be in attendance, it is probably an effort to look westernized.)

Maybe people are trying hard to erase any trace of African-ness by abandoning the “traditional” dating methods and adopting western ideas. I listened to a feature on the BBC where girls at an inter-village wrestling match said that they do not go to scout for partners but would rather date. Apparently, checking guys out at one of these functions is backward, traditional and out of date. Dating and going out is the in, hip thing! Sorry girls, but those sweaty hunks of meat are what you will come back to after speed dating fails.

What's more interesting is what happens to those who try these new methods of dating. They end up finding their partners using traditional methods like an introduction from a friend, work related activities or that fine ass dude sitting in the pew in front of them at church. We look at new ideas in the hope that they will solve our old problems, but it seems that the answer is always right in front of you.

I {sincerely} hope those who attended this party were at least able to get phone numbers.

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The Aliens Have Landed
When: Feb 25th, 2006 5:10:01 am - Subscribe
I'm feeling: SUPER PISSED!
Talk, Opinion, Music, Life, Stuff: Opinion

There's a new species in town. OK, not new, but it is strange all the same. It’s the yuppie i.e. Young Urban Professional Person. The profile reads like this: Young Kenyan, earns a whole lot of money, drives a car (or rather rolls in the ride), lives in a "high rise" apartment on the richer side of town (furnished with imported furnishings), dresses in Remron or Prada shoes, sports a Rolex, reads international magazines like Time and Economist (only), and will not be caught dead in a disco or using public transport. These new age Kenyans live for their career, friends and image. They could care less about their family.

Not that there's anything wrong with spending money you have earned through hard work. I would buy myself Manolo’s any day as a reward for hard work (just as soon as I get that job). But I have another name for these types: Eggplants - Black on the outside, White on the inside. Why do I call them that? They have the melanin of an African, but some mental traits of a white person, like individualism.

The fact that they don’t really care for their family makes it worse. This individualism is not African. But then, they become yuppies to distance themselves from their African-ness. I don’t know about you but I can’t marry someone who doesn’t care for his own family. What's to stop him from leaving you and the yuppie-ling in the high-rise apartment, to go discuss investment plans and mutual trusts with his fellow eggplants? You become part of the expensive imported furniture, another trophy on the shelf of yuppie achievements.

Some of them earn huge salaries but are in debt. My cousin told me of a person who earns 200,000 Kenya shillings p.m. (which is big bucks here) but is broke 2 weeks later. What a loser! They try so hard to fit in with their peers that they overshoot their budget. So on the outside, they look real good, but are a walking financial and emotional mess.

To make matters worse, I don’t like the furnishing these people do in their houses. I have worked in a furniture making business, so I can tell the different types of timber and their quality. I cringe when I see yuppies showing off their "imported" furniture made from 2nd rate wood products. This type of furniture is made from material that looks like wood, but is obviously not the real thing. I can tell the difference between real and fake mahogany, so imagine my infuriation when someone announces that their imported leather couch has mahogany, when I can see that it is made of synthetic wood-ish material and generic leather. The wood finishing of the apartment is also synthetic material like MDF, so I secretly know that there’s nothing to brag about.

Well, these yuppies are also part of the "MBA movement", a generation of Kenyans who must do MBA’s. I will start mine in September, so I will have to meet them at uni. Two things can happen, either I become a yuppie by osmosis or I remain amazed at their shallow definition of themselves. Who knows what the future holds? And how do yuppies in other parts of the world behave?

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When: Feb 25th, 2006 5:06:43 am - Subscribe
I'm feeling: Soo MADD!
Talk, Opinion, Music, Life, Stuff: Opinion, Life

Eventful does not capture the happenings of the past few weeks, both in the personal and political arena. What with job hunting and revelations of scandals!! After finishing my degree course requirements, comes the realization that I am never going to be a child again. Worse still, I am going to be an adult for the rest of my life. If I look at my time line for the next 50 years, all that remains is to be an adult. Adults are not my favourite people at the moment, considering how much suffering people who are supposed to be "grown up" have caused. After this realisation, I felt myself growing a Peter Pan complex, but quickly decided that I can be different from the useless adults I have seen.

If I look at the political situation in the country at the moment, I see a bunch of adults, who really should know better, stealing money, threatening others on tape, and abetting blatant corruption. If they are so dubious, what moral values did they bring up their children with? Well, it is a common stereotype that the children of politicians are a bunch of spoilt brats, but the dubious parenting skills of adults got them there. Ask me, I went to school with them.

I volunteer at a school where I have seen the end result of bad parenting in my little students. Volunteering with kids is great, I must say, but I feel like rapping the knuckles of their parents. Many children, I have discovered, do not do well because parents are not involved in their learning process. I guess they assume that the teacher's job is to teach, so they leave the teaching to the teacher. The parents do not follow up on their children or even check on their homework. At the very least, these teachers are paid by the taxes the parents remit, so the parents should check to see where their hard earned money is going.

I remember as a child, I would read the paper to my dad in the evening and as I grew, I read a wide range of material from whichever source I came across. Not everyone has to be sneaky and read steamy romance novels in class like I did, but parents should enforce good reading habits from childhood. Reading is something close to my heart, and that's why I get infuriated when I see children who have a problem with reading. What are the parents doing? Can't you take some time to read with your kids? (I am on a roll right now, I am spewing bile, I can't even see straight.)

Anyway, I decided that I will remedy the situation. I won't wait for Oprah to come and "save" us, so I want to start an organization that distributes books, especially to children from less fortunate backgrounds, and get parents involved in reading with their kids. Most parents need to expand their reading repertoire from the daily newspapers anyway, so I can kill two birds with one stone.

The moral of the story is, think hard before you have children, and if you can't handle the responsibility, don't have sex. Then teachers won't waste precious nation building time trying to do your work.

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  • Finally In Thailand
  • My Liberation
  • The Marriage Breaking Association - Higher and Higher Education
  • Ghana Rocks
  • The World Cup is here!!
  • Decoding and Recoding the Da Vinci Code
  • The Almighty Shilling
  • High on Speed
  • The Aliens Have Landed
  • B-Mode
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