Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The House That Kurji Built

Songs are influenced by events of the day. Nursery rhymes too, although am not sure what inspired the cow to jump over the moon, probably mad cow disease, but I would have laughed too if I was a dog and saw such fun. 

As I passed jukistopia this morning I overheard children Rhyming away this gem (of theirs) while surprised parents commented "Ngai, haki watoto wa siku hizi!"

This Is The House That Kurji Built.

This is the house that Kurji built

This is the

Friday, 2 December 2016

Soi In Rio

“When you live in a glasshouse don’t through stones”. I first heard that from Peter Macintosh. Later I heard that if you sell eggs, you must not start a fight in the market place.

You remember in season one of the series Soi in Rio, the supporting actor, Ben, snitched on Soi, the starring actor in the series. This was by Ben casually mentioning that

Thursday, 1 December 2016

NYS Monkeyshine

Never judge a fight by the noise it generates. I learnt this lesson as fresher in the School of Hard-Knocks, Kawangware.
I was standing at the bus stop, quite pleased with myself for being ghetto savvy. But how much pleased? Perhaps you would understand if I told you I had just bought myself, notwithstanding the condition, a pair of sand-washed wrangler jeans and a denim shirt with an upturned collar.  Now all I needed was to practice a smile and tomorrow I will cut the image of Ray Parkerjr.  That is how I happened to be at the bus stop holding a well stuffed green paper bag (the ones with a calendar printed on the side), and rehearsing a Ray Parker. Well, in Kawangware people are everywhere so I did notice the two ruffians on my paper bag side until they started quarreling among themselves. Rapidly the grumbling turned into a slugfest with quite some noisy blows traded. Soon, the fist fight turned into a melee in spite or because of some more ruffians joining to separate the two. When it finally died down, how uncanny! I was minus my luggage. Then as I prepared to board the bus, I instinctively checked my pockets. My wallet was gone too.
Many years later, this trick is being played on me at a grander, better choreographed and more colourful scale. Picture this, It is more than one year since the “whistle blower” announced that she had spotted a mischievous hand in the NYS cookie jar thus kicking off the greatest monkeyshine of the Jubilee administration. The mischievous hand, she said, had not stolen anything yet, but she had called in the sleuths to check anyway. Since then the clowning has attracted so many characters that it is impossible to identify the original plot or theme of this tragicomedy. Fists are flying without hitting any targets. Mud is being slung around generously but aimlessly. The police arrest the belligerents selectively and plead with them to appear in court.  Meanwhile others, taking good care to keep away, are flinging missiles into the heart of the fight without being invited.

But mark my words. All the heavy blows you are witnessing are all fake. The gloves are stuffed with thick foam and feathers. They are calculated to cause a lot of noisy puff and dust without causing any injury. When the show is over, your money will be long gone and the trail will be so muddled up it will be impossible to follow.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Homework Strike

Parents in Spain, in protest to 6.5 hours of homework a week for their children, have urged their children to go on a “weekend-homework strike”. They argue that the burden is too great, places too much pressure on pupils, and eats into family time. Supported by the Spanish Confederation of Associations of Mothers and Fathers, they are calling on children who attend Spanish state schools to boycott weekend-homework in November. The parents say that schools are passing on tasks to families that they shouldn’t be, thus making them into second teachers.
Moreover schoolchildren have to fit their homework around the school day, leaving them little time for playing.

But, some parents feel their children ought to be counting their blessings as they have it easier than they since they don’t have as much homework as the parents did – 6.5 hours a week as opposed to 14 hours a week. They have time to play, which is the most important thing. They need to study, but they also need to have the time to be kids.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Speed, just put up Bumps

Once upon a time, before Equity came to save long suffering bankees (I suppose that is what you call bank customers), we,  the then customers, complained to the management that the banking halls at Haile Selassie and Queensway branches were too congested. The situation was such that queues were snaking into a never ending coil inside the halls and sometimes overflowed into the streets. I particularly remember one cold July morning. This morning, while in such an end-month queue I had to suck-in my public opinion (that was getting more and more public) not to impress the ladies, but to make way for a Kenya bus. The bank was very responsive. A couple of memos were exchanged. One went to UK. Another came back. Within one year a novel idea to end all banking hall congestions was mooted. That is how one afternoon, the premises officer, in his dark-blue suit, a carnation on his lapel, and a thick brown folder under his arm, smoked a State Express 555 cigarette into the CEOs office with the plan.  In their wisdom, and quite helpfully I must say, the big blue bank enlarged the banking halls to accommodate the long meandering queues and voila! the congestion vanished.
I sometimes wonder whether they ever got to figure out that they could have achieved the objective by increasing the throughput at the cashier service counters.

I remembered this this morning when I found that someone, too clever in half, has erected bumps on Mandera Road, Kileleshwa and for a good reason. The genius behind this decision I am made to believe is because of the bumps on Oloitokitok road. 

You see, the new Oloitokitok road came equipped with numerous bumps that have made driving on that new road a nightmare (daymare too if you may). Now, many drivers have been complaining that in the section between Kileleshwa and Valley Arcade, it is faster to use the meandering Mandera/Othaya roads than the straighter and shorter Oloitokitok road.

So to correct the imbalance, Oh, how clever of them, the new Speed Bumps Authority, sometimes also called NTSA erected equalising bumps (I hear the constitutionally correct name is hump) on the Mandera/othaya Road circuit. I am sure you won't believe this but the problem was solved instantly - it now takes longer to drive on Mandera Road than Oloitokitok Road.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Nairobi to Experience a four month cold spell

The Meteorological Department is in a class of its own. Not only can they predict that the weather will be unpredictable, they are able to predict the effects.  They have warned Kenyans to brace for the cold until end of August when they expect a raise – in pay not temperature and if they don’t, the wise weathermen and weatherwomen will extend the foul weather to September. Meanwhile they singled out the following for advice:

1.       The Young and the elderly – These are advised to keep warm by wearing heavy clothes. Weighing is free at any met station if one requires the service. This will keep the chill away to avoid respiratory diseases such as pneumonia and flu.
2.       Those living in poorly ventilated houses - Are warned that a charcoal burner can cause suffocation especially if placed under the bed. Therefore they must cook outside the house.
3.       The chief – Due to increased cases of people preparing meals outside, the weatherman predicts that there will increased cases of stolen ugali and or jikos/stove. The chiefs around Lavington west, also called by haters Gatina Kanungaga, in Kawangware are especially asked to be on the lookout for this vice.
4.       Hospitals - to lookout for increased cases of Malaria. Amos Quito is not keen on spending the night out in the cold, dark, night. He or she will want to share your cosy house and make a meal of you too.
5.       Travellers - Travellers using public transport will notice increased cases fellow passengers snuggling next to them even when there are empty seats all around. This should not necessarily be taken as an infringement of “my space” as guaranteed in the 2010 constitution (if it is not guaranteed it should be and so it is). The snuggling must be encouraged to save on heating costs and this brings us to maternities.
6.       Maternity -  It is predicted that these facilities will notice increased activity around October and November and therefore should anticipate a three month business boom in the period March to May 2017
7.       Fashion police – The #fashionwatch buffs are advised to consult a counsellor in advance. The streets lamenting on TV. See a doctor.
will be replete with women donning unwieldy boots, trench coats, and football stockings. If you are the kind to suffer PTSD due to such sights don’t wait to go
8.       Social etiquette police – It is predicted that the “eskimos” discussed in 7 above may want you to shake a dirty looking glove instead of a hand. Don’t take it personally. If a glove can get dirty the palm is worse.
9.       Undertakers – All undertakers and other morgue attendants must be vigilant. It is predicted that some days will be so cold it won’t be possible to differentiate the cadavers from the staff. To protect themselves from each other they must wear some identification, such as a very sensitive bell.
10.  Pastors and other men of the cloth – The forecast shows that people are more likely to sin. Not because the spirit is not willing, but because the flesh is cold. When the flesh is cold, then scaring them with fire and brimstone is not a deterrent at all.

11.   KRA – now that the statutory authority has been granted the moral authority to collect tax from proceeds of equity and iniquity alike, KRA must not celebrate too early. The forecast shows that the pole dancers, lap dancers and strippers in the ubiquitous albeit clandestine (though everyone knows where they are) strip joints will not be keen to take off their clothes. Ditto the K-street traders. It is also predicted that a number narcotic drug user and abusers will go mad in the cold weather. Collecting tax from a mad person might is not worth the effort.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Piece of the Pie

In Kisii, (Kisii in Thika not Abagusii), a man has inspired his followers to earnestly wait for their pie in sky while he gets his right here and theirs too.

Having read Ephesians 4:10 twice, and after conversing with “the one who ascended”, he concluded that the saints needed more than just apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers a.k.a five-fold-ministry. He appointed himself Chief Apostle. From then on the trappings and blessing of being a Super Apostle started flowing.

Such are his revelations that he has inventively interpreted a number of biblical verses including the following
Eph 4:17 you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do (but walk in such a style or manner as the super apostle will demonstrate)
Avoid adultery – Marry someone elses wife or husband for the weekend, or week or two.
Ephesians 5:11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness. No participating in family gatherings
2 cor 6:14 don’t be yoked with unbelievers – No chamas with non-members of B.of.C.F.I (Body of Christ Fellowship International)
1 Corinthians 14:34 Women should remain silent in the church – but they can sing and dance to the delight of the prophets and apostles.
Ephe 5:9 children of light don’t play with children of darkness in school

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Trust your Instincts

Some recent events and the recklessness with which we are starry-eyed rushing to hug the “acquitee” reminded me of the story below that my grandmother used to tell.

It goes like this:

During a village dance in Jukistopia, a stranger enchanted the village girls with his glamorous dance moves. As the night went on, one of the lassies, absolutely enthralled by the charm of the man, decided to follow him to be his bride.
The girl followed from a distance and noticed that although the man was built like an ox, he left no footsteps where he trod. A little red flag flashed in the girl's head but she quickly brushed it aside. By and by, the man noticed that there was someone following him. He sang;

“Young girl go back
Young girl please go back.
I am no man but a river monster
That washes trinkets and beads by the river”

But the girl replied.
“Oh! No.
I shall never go back
Wherever you go I shall go
Until I see your footstep”

And so on they went.

They came to small stream. As the man jumped over to cross it, the locks of hair covering the back of his head parted and the girl thought she saw a mouth at the back of his head. A bit shocked she stopped and looked the way she had come. Then the man sang again;

"Young girl go back
Young girl please go back.
I am no man but a river monster
That washes trinkets and beads by the river”

But the girl replied.
“Oh! No.
I shall not go back
Wherever you go I shall go
Until I see your footstep”

The man went on. The girl followed on.

After walking a while, they startled some flies feasting on a mound of human dung. The flies took to the air with a loud buzz. As the girl covered her nose, she she saw the man catch a couple of flies with his tongue and eat them with relish. Was she dreaming? Was this an ogre? She thought of going back. But what would the other girls say? No. She had come too far to turn back now.

"The man sang
Young girl go back
Young girl please go back.
I am no man but a river monster
That washes trinkets and beads by the river”

But the girl replied.
“Oh! No.
I shall not go back
Wherever you go I shall go
Until I see your footstep”

The man looked at the girl and smiled. And the girl thought the man’s teeth looked like the fangs of a snake, but she ignored it.
When the duo reached the edge of the forest, where there was a clear river with trinkets and beads washing on its shores, they knelt down to pray.

The girl thanked her god for providing such a hunk. And a hunk it turned out to be because as she opened her eyes, the fine man had turned into a huge, one eyed, two mouthed ogre. The ogre thanked it’s god for providing such an easy prey, then took the girl, put her into its pocket, and disappeared with her into the abyss of the river.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Parenting is not easy

William ole Betty thinks the worst thing to happen to him was to be rescued from a children’s home to be brought up lavishly in the leafy Karen. He wants to be deadopted! Unadopted! antiadopted! contraadopted! or whatever you call the process of rescuing someone from Karen to Mukuru.

Peter Kairu, 21 years old scores an A in KCSE. Somehow, he doesn’t proceed to university but instead takes to passing time by battering his 52 year old mother - a kick here, a knife stamp there, a burnt house. The mother did not deem it necessary to take action against him. Four days to Valentine’s Day, he finally killed her.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

La Mujer De Al Lado

According to today’s paper, in Huruma (what Irony as we shall see later) a man decides he must watch English football (you know that game of and for hooligans) just as the wify’s La Mujer De Al Lado was getting to that scene where Roberto Idiotez is about to start kissing with his son’s wife Rebeca Mofulish who doesn’t know whether the pregnancy she is carrying belongs to Roberto’s brother,  the police inspector or to the local priest. For some reason, the Huruma man has forgotten that the wife comes from that region where women don’t like their husbands growing horns and so a scuffle for the remote, that would otherwise have be avoided, ensues. By and by an eight inch kitchen knife joins the scuffle aimed, bila huruma, at the same place near but below the buckle where knives have formed a habit of being aimed at these days. Luckily, the knife misses but unluckily plunges fatally into his belly.

Moral of the story: If you don’t want your wife behind bars watch football in a bar.