Kenya: Is There a Lifeline For The Future?

by Neemo

Many Kenyans have been wondering whether the current government is serious about pledges they articulated to the electorate.

For the majority of the past fifty or so years since independence, the KANU party had been in control and was described as a “dictatorial kind of party” that never listened to the peoples problems. The land clashes, embezzlement of funds, the political assassinations, the land grabbing and the murder of clergymen were all characteristics of the former regime.

Fast forward to the 2002 general elections where the NARC party won a landslide victory on a platform of economic reforms, adoption and implementation of a new constitution within one hundred days of getting into power, free primary education and the controversial issue of creating five hundred thousand jobs annually. To their credit, at least they have fulfilled their pledge of providing free primary education, which has given impoverished children a lifeline. But that seems to be all there is to it.

The current government doesn’t seem to have changed much from the previous one. In fact, most of the same people who were in KANU are now in the ruling party. Financial scandals caused by the governments appointment of old guards are raising eyebrows among the youth. Most of them find it unworthy to study when their credentials will get them nothing but a first place in the unemployment line as they watch doddering old men take over the places that are rightfully theirs. It is for this reason that they are asking themselves, “Is there any hope for us in the future?” Continue reading

Simpl-ICC-ity

by SHIRO NJAGI

Maybe I am naïve and not very well-versed with law, especially the Kenyan Constitution and the Roman Statute. I must admit I didn’t read the whole Constitution even as I woke up early that morning and stood in line to cast my Yes or No vote.

Before the post-election violence, I did not even know there was a court called the International Criminal Court that tries war crimes and crimes against humanity, but then again, I didn’t know what Post-Election Violence was until I saw brothers turn against sisters and children get incinerated in a place of worship.

Before the last elections, I didn’t think tribalism was a reality. I didn’t know that bitterness ran so deep in my neighbors’ veins against me. I didn’t know my prejudices and stereotypes against my other brothers ran so deep.

Before post-election violence, I did not know what IDP meant. Internally-displaced person? All I’d ever seen were refugees; people running from their war-torn countries to seek refuge in ours…not people running from their homes within their home country because their neighbors want them dead.

And today, I don’t think I can read and understand the Rome Statute. Continue reading

Of Societal Obligations

BY AKELLOVE

Weddings

With age comes wedding committees. Now there’s a valuable adage my mother forgot to tell me. This could prove to be problematic, seeing as I don’t particularly enjoy weddings. I mean, yeah, the dancing is cool, and maybe the groomsmen will be cute, but it’s just really tiring at the end of the day. Kinda like a funeral. Sorry. (In my defense, in the olden days, black was worn to weddings and white to funerals. There must have been a reason, right? One saying you poor sucker and the other you lucky bugger. Go figure.)

The reasons I don’t like weddings vary in their intensity and depth. Continue reading

Matters of a Superficial Nature

BY ARCHER

It’s a fact, humans are superficial beings, the degree of superficiality varying from individual to individual. When choosing someone to date, sometimes we’re too focused on the physical aspect that we fail to see what lies beneath the surface. Ask yourself how many times you’ve rejected someone simply because they’re too short, too skinny, too fat, too dark, “not your type” or they have a physical imperfection or flaw that you just can’t look beyond. We are all guilty of it. Just look back at your own past and think of that person you didn’t give a second look, only to realize much later that they’re actually quite a catch.

Boys in their late teens and into their early to mid 20s are generally very focused on the physical. All they want is a seriously hot chic to massage their egos and make them look good in public, personality (or lack thereof) notwithstanding. As we get older, we tend to focus more on what lies beneath the surface. We’re more interested in a chic’s intellect, character, principles and other qualities. Are we compatible? Is she someone that I can see myself with one year, two years down the line?

On the other hand, sometimes we’re driven to be superficial, not because of we want to be, but because we feel that we’re driven to be that way by the “expectations” of society.

Where’s this coming from? Well, I’ve had a crush on this chic for about a year now Continue reading

Kenya’s Proposed Constitution: The Good, The Bad and The Ugali

Sometime in the last decade (’97 to be exact), former president Moi rhetorically asked, in one of his infamous road-side declarations, whether filling the vacant position of Vice-President (by either re-appointing Saitoti or appointing someone else) would add plates of ugali to Kenyan homes.

Unfortunately, I’ve heard this same ‘ugali’ phrase being used by some of the politically apathetic/cynical/indifferent/non-voter’s-card-having folk I hang out with vis-a-vis the proposed constitution. If I understand them correctly, this constitutional making process is nothing more than another political game of wits that has nothing to do with creating a new legal and social order for Kenya. Therefore they argue that the proposed Constitution, if it passes, will not make a difference to: a) their lives; and b) to the average Kenyan.

Of course I beg to differ with those propositions. How it will make a difference to all these naysayers depends on them. Does the proposed Constitution provide an environment for them to set up and run their businesses and hence get more ugali? I’d argue Yes. But that also depends on how it affects the ordinary Kenyan.

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KIDNAPPING IN NAIROBI-IS IT JUSTIFIABLE?

not Runda...

Nothing beats a hang-over killing session at Ole Polo’s ( I know I said the same thing about Carni but am like a Kenyan MP-lets jus say I was misquoted). It’s my usual crew-all the boyz plus Pete’s funga from last night, the brother couldn’t get rid of her in the morning — am sure jamaz out there will have had the conversation before:

Boy: (getting outta bed) What’s YOUR plan for leo?

Girl: (looking a bit too comfortable in his bed)ah, nothing much, what do you have planned for us leo?

Boy: (planned for us????) … er er er er actually my granny’s sick in the hosi so am gonna go see her (hoping she falls for that) …

But Pete didn’t manage to shake her off so she’s part of the crew today (I wouldn’t be surprised if she ‘forgot’ one of her earrings at his crib…). As we down the booze and manga some nyam chom in the sun the topic shifts from the analysis of jana nite to the recent spate of kidnappings. It’s a no-brainer, it’s sick and unfair… and those kidnappers deserve the death penalty. But we’re all still hangover and now on the way to getting tipsy again so some of the boyz decide to offer an alternative view.

Before they can go far we point out the obvious…the mental anguish on the kidnapped person and their family (and friends), not to mention the risk of physical abuse on the kidnapped person must be unbearable. But they point out that the kidnappers probably have good reasons for resorting to kidnapping innocent Nairobians.

Good reasons????

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