#KenyaAtWar: “Have We Already Lost?”

On my way to work this morning, I glanced at the paper and two stories caught my attention. One was about Paul Muite suing someone on Facebook, which I thought was hilarious. I don’t remember the details, but Muite was demanding an apology from someone who claimed he coached ICC witnesses. According to the story, if the apology doesn’t come in 7 days, things will go to court. I found the whole thing hilarious and wondered why I hadn’t seen it on Twitter. Apparently, the story did break online. Last week.

The second story that moved me was the one about the war. Yes, in case you haven’t heard, we’re allegedly at war with Somalia.

I didn’t want to write this piece, because it’s a weighty issue, and I don’t like approaching weighty issues with a lack of knowledge. I don’t have all the statistics about the number of troops, the reason behind the war, the ideology at work and all that. But as I trawled my timeline, I felt everyone was missing the point. Continue reading

Lest We Forget: “The Bomb Blast, The Famine and The Upcoming Elections”

“I’m thinking I should be a politician.”, said my boy out of the blue yesterday. We were just about to descend from the matatu into town.

“Why?” I asked.

“I think I’d do quite well in politics. Essentially, all I’d be doing is socializing and pointing fingers, right? It’s like a career game of chess.”

We was right but I couldn’t outwardly agree with him so I asked him what he’d do for the mwananchi once in power.

He stopped walking and laughed. “Kenyans are a funny bunch. They have a very limited attention span. They will watch you intently and then watch someone else intently and forget all about you altogether.” He coughed and got serious. “Put it this way, whether I did good or bad, there’d be resistance. So since Kenyans seem to know what they want, I’ll just go with the flow and collect my day’s pay. They won’t remember me anyway.”

“Yeah they will. They…”

He cut me off and pointed to the people walking around the corner: “They don’t even remember the people that died there and they’re going to remember me?” as he pointed at the August 8 memorial, where people unceremoniously walked past without a second thought.

How many of us forgot yesterday was the 13th year since the August 7th bombings? I know my mother did. She actually asked me to Google it after seeing it on the late night news. Continue reading

#KiberaRoadTrip: Be Part of The Solution

It all started with Trey Songz’ tweeting one fateful morning.

The backlash was ridiculous. People immediately assumed the worst,took this as an attack on Kenya and retaliated accordingly. There’s no need to point out how fallacious that logic is. That horse is long dead and has been beaten to no end.

As our brother from another blogger, Archer, was on radio that afternoon, he said that maybe people needed to actually stop screaming at Trey and start redirecting their efforts towards bettering their community. He explained that he himself hadn’t been to Kibera, at which point I suggested that I’d gladly take him there and show him some of the things we can effortlessly do to help. The idea caught on and, with the help of @AKenyanGirl and @VisionAfrica we were able to plan out the first of what will hopefully be many trips to Kibera to come.

The name may be a misleading misnomer; the aim is not to tour the slums. What we want to do is to help people direct their efforts exactly where they are needed, to pair each person with a suitable cause so that we can all make a contribution towards bettering life in Kibera. Continue reading