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

If We Were Boys…

Justin Bieber is a Girl
Every 6-year-old girl wants to be a 6-year-old boy at some point. Guaranteed. It’s like a compulsory rite of passage. I don’t know why. I don’t know how. I just know that’s the way stuff works. But, hey, you know what? It’s all good. As long as you’re over all such wishful thinking by the time you’re 15. Or 18. At the very worst, 19 and a half. Because, let’s face it, if you aren’t over the fact that you’re going to be a female for the rest of your life by the time you hit 20, you are in a bad way. And I’m not talking bad, the song. I’m talking baddie bad. I’m talking ‘aw, shucks…I’m actually some chick’s mother-in-law’ bad. No amount of good can come out of shirking your femaleness. Trust me. I should know. I’m slowly (but surely) fiddling towards 30 but I still want to be a boy. Badly. Not a Justin Beiber-esque boy, surely. Just a normal boy. A normal boy with normal hair. It’s not the stuff of Modern African Womanity and it definitely never earns me any beauty-and-the-bistro points but hey, it is what it is. Some of us have issues; we are the folks Freud would have psycho-analysed for free.

Anyway, enough about me. Let’s talk about you. Continue reading

Semi Finals what to look out for

Ladies and Gentlemen. The Semi-finals are here , here are some things to watch out for as  we get ready for the games.

1. When Germany plays Spain in Durban, two of the favorite contenders for the Golden Boot will face off against each other: David Villa, of Spain with five goals, and Miroslav Klose , of Germany with four. Villa has been Spain’s only significant offensive threat, and his late goal against Paraguay saved him — and the rest of us — from the agony of extra time. With 14 career World Cup goals, Klose needs only one more to tie Brazil’s Ronaldo for the all-time lead. Watching them play head-to-head? A match made in heaven

2. Klose, known mostly for his ability in the air, has relied more on his ground game in South Africa. That can’t last. If he scores against Spain — when he scores against Spain — watch for the Jabulani to swing off his forehead, not his feet.

3. Uruguay will miss Luis Suarez‘s attack in their semifinal against the Netherlands in Cape Town. He’ll be serving a one-game suspension for his now-infamous hand ball against Ghana, otherwise known as The Greatest Red Card Of All Time. Wherever he’ll be sitting — in the press box, in the dressing room, on the team bus idling in the parking lot — the demonstrative Suarez will make for some kind of spectacle. The biggest game of his young life, and he’ll be wearing a suit.

4. If the Uruguayans are to have any hope against the Dutch, Diego Forlan will need to score early and possibly often. Somehow, the former bust of a player — ask a Manchester United fan, if you can find one, what he thinks of Forlan — has become a credible threat, especially on set pieces. His free kick goal against Ghana was beautiful and pivotal. He’ll take virtually every free kick the Dutch give up within 40 yards of their goal. If Forlan doesn’t score on one, Uruguay will be in trouble, and not just with the Ghanaians.

5. Diego Maradona, still in the midst of a post-elimination bender, will run naked across the field, probably in Cape Town. He knows the Germans won’t let him finish.

6. Iker Casillas, arguably the world’s best goalkeeper, has been uncharacteristically shaky during Spain’s wobbly run. Although he’s made spectacular saves — the penalty stop against Paraguay’s Oscar Cardozo comes to mind — he’s also given up some big rebounds and gone after loose balls with his feet rather than his hands, which betrays a tender heart. Casillas hasn’t made a genuine gaffe yet, but he looks like a man ready to make one.

7. Ancient Dutch defender Andre Ooijer — a Netherlands victory will see him celebrate his 36th birthday on the same day as the final — will be a man to watch against Uruguay. Ooijer was a last-minute replacement for the injured Joris Mathijsen against Brazil and calmed down after a rocky start. In his mind, another surprise appearance in the semifinal could serve as a kind of audition: He was dropped by PSV Eindhoven and is currently without a club — the only interest, so far, coming from a team in Cyprus. Watch Ooijer try to play his way off the island..

8. David Villa has played like a man possessed. Unfortunately for Spain, their other usual offensive presence — Fernando Torres — clearly lost all his strength when he cut his once-golden locks. Torres has looked slow and unsure where to go, and when he has managed to get shots off, especially against Paraguay, he hasn’t come close to the target. After he was substituted early in the second half, he looked frustrated and near tears. A poor game against Germany combined with his not having scored for Spain in a year, could spur a memorable on-field meltdown. Don’t be surprised to see Looserpool letting him go.

9. Lost a little in the chaos that followed Brazil’s exit courtesy of the Netherlands was the terrific save made by Dutch keeper Maarten Stekelenburg to prevent the favorites from going up 2-0. It was on a high, swerving shot by Kaka, and the tall, athletic Stekelenburg displayed perfect form — reaching over with his opposite hand, and with enough sense of where he was to send the ball more safely to the side rather than over top of the goal. It was a textbook save, a save made by a keeper who relied on muscle memory and fundamentals in a time of great stress. Look for him to make a big save against Uruguay, too.

3 Football Greats Who Want To Rule the World

In terms of excitement, drama and tension, the last eight of a World Cup is where the tournament really starts. The weak and the feeble — in other words, England — have gone home and the real heavyweights remain.

DIEGO FORLAN (URUGUAY)

Games: 4.
Minutes played: 360.
Goals: 2.
Attack stats: Both his goals have come against African sides.

Like Klose, he loves the World Cup. Even back in 2002 when he was a laughing stock in England because of his troubles in front of goal with Manchester United, Forlan found that this tournament suited him. Forlan remains the talisman, taking the penalties, the free-kicks and even the corners.

A thoroughly nice guy, too. It’s hard not to feel pleased for him.

He’s a rock star: Forlan helped to end 40 years of hurt for Uruguay as they reached the last eight for the first time since 1970

ENRIQUE VERA (PARAGUAY)

Games: 4.
Minutes played: 388.
Goals: 1.
Attack stats: Paraguay has won every time Vera scores for his country.

Having spent all of his 12-year professional career in Southern and Central America, Vera is not exactly a household name in Europe but at home in Paraguay the 31-year-old playmaker is being credited with being the brains behind his country’s surprising passage to the last eight.

As you may have noticed, Paraguay are not exactly the most exciting team in this World Cup. But watch Vera play and you will see the intelligence of his football and the way that he is going some way to compensating for the poor form of their usual talisman, Manchester City’s Roque Santa Cruz.

ARJEN ROBBEN (HOLLAND)

Games: 2.
Minutes played: 88.
Goals: 1.
Attack stats: Holland have won 11 of the 12 matches in which Robben has scored, drawing with Germany in the other.

The man who took Bayern Munich to the Champions League final almost single-handedly came late to this tournament as he was once again struck down by injury.

Since his arrival as a substitute in Holland’s final group game against Cameroon, however, he has made a sublime and memorable impact. The amazing thing about the former Chelsea winger is that he seems to have one stock party trick… and nobody seems to be able to stop it. Receiving the ball wide — on either flank — he will cut inside on a diagonal course and strike vicious shots with his left foot.

Things That Make Me Go Haiya!


I’m fussy. I could blame it on being meticulous, or melancholic … or female, but the fact remains, I’m fussy.

And I’m fussy in the strangest way. Like, for example, I will insist on my dream car being burgundy – not dark red. But I will forget that I haven’t changed my jeans in a week, or cleaned my carpet in a month. I will obsess against fingerprints on my monitor or glasses, but will happily sit at said monitor when my house hasn’t seen a broom, duster, mop, or any attempt at tidiness in … a very long time. Really, some things just escape my notice. Call it selective fussation.

No, that’s not a real word.

Despite my fussiness, or perhaps because of it, I wonder about certain things. Things like ‘the truth will set you free’ being utter bull, because in most instances, like say, cheating, stealing, comments concerning weight loss et al, the truth will get your rear kicked. Haiya!

Things like humans insisting that patience is a virtue, then bending over backwards to invent endless instant things, from microwaves to nescafé. Things like why bulls**t is a swear word, but cowdung isn’t. Continue reading

Get Rich or Jump Off a Cliff

This is not your secret. Make your own!

I am always puzzled by people that constantly read motivational books. Personally, I have always regarded this eager readership somewhere between drug addicts and religious fanatics. On the one side is a junkie who cannot live without all Robert Kiyosaki’s bestsellers and on the other, a fanatic who subscribes to prosperity like a religion – (“Hi, I’m Bob and I’m a reader, who’s not yet rich”.., “Hi, Bob!!”).

DISCLAIMER: If you take offense with the way the word ‘YOU’ is used here just consider it to mean “the other guy”

Now, don’t get me wrong, knowledge is indeed power, but when do you put down that book and translate that poetic written, hard cash, hard cover ‘my-story’ knowledge into work?

I have seen high school drop-outs move out of their poor dad’s homes and become rich dads just by sweating it out in some informal business (also known as Jua Kali in Kenya) and of course, marrying a woman that can give birth. Rich+Dad = taraaa!!!

I couldn’t make it past the second chapter of a motivational book where the word ‘you’ had been used so many times, it felt like I was getting bitch slapped.

‘It is the purpose of this book to tell YOU how to get whatever YOU (yes, YOU!!!) want. Let’s get it clear: When this book says: “You,” it means YOU (yes, YOU!!!). This book is a complete success course specifically for YOU- to enable YOU to get whatever YOU want. This book is written for YOU, whoever YOU are, wherever YOU are, whatever YOUR skin colour…. THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU (yes YOU!!!)

Note to Self: Return stupid book to Ex’s mother.

You’ve got to admit; motivational books breed lethargy, kill creativity and encourage dependency. Is it so hard to get your lazy bum off that couch without a life-coach telling you how to? You actually think you are far much better living by somebody’s secret just to get richer? No wonder you’ll never write your bestseller! And what happened to creativity and discovery? What happened to finding you own path? What happened to your self-esteem?

No seriously, if 6 billion of us read that book, would we ALL be rich? C’mon, it’s time you grew a backbone. Man up! Work! And remember we’re all heading in that same direction – six feet under: no money, no house, no Botox. Just do this thing called life, and make sure it’s your life, not the other guys.