As the winds pass through the whistling Cyprus trees, My heart warms at the mention of your name, As a Dog loyal to its master I bet I’ll be true to my feelings, As the heat of the scorching sun gets stronger by the day, so do my love matures. But wait a minute will you take my hand? Will you stay when fate conspires with the universe to make life even more unbearable? Will you ever say ‘I DO’?
Every person needs good nutrition to have a good health. Other basic needs that are always given much attention are shelter and clothing but the need for a fulfilling relationship between partners in love can never be underestimated. Every lady needs a caring and loving man for a husband and to be frank such men are not yet endangered species, if you need a caring and loving man I guess you won’t have to look anymore, they are plenty who knows? Maybe your next door neighbor is that type. The problem has always been finding a trustworthy partner. Those who will be able to resist the temptation of drawing water from strange wells and stick to the springs in their own Gardens of Eden even if the water is salty.
The search for such a partner may take long if at least you are lucky to find one. Really, why do people cheat in relationships? Several factors contribute to the evil habit of cheating in relationships. To begin with, it is good for both partners to know that it takes the two of them to make a relationship work. In case one partner has sacrificed much to a relationship and the other is not willing to reciprocate, he/she will find it necessary to look for someone who will be willing to devote more time and energy to a relationship. Poor communication between spouses also create suspicion that he /she has divided attention and therefore may begin cheating when such slight opportunities knock their doors in pursuit of revenge.
My keyboard is an epitome of aridity. With all the consonants I still can’t make up words right enough to describe what I have in mind. And my mind is still not able to fully perceive what the maker of this lovely planet unfolded before my eyes today. How am I going tell this story? Simple, I am going to close my eyes and scribble anything related to this event on a page in any language that my tongue can roll to. That said. Where do I begin?
Africa U Night, the event that had trended (maybe is still trending) on twitter since the week began was finally here. Mavuno church was the destination and if you had never set a foot there like me there was an option-you could miss lunch and begin your search for the venue much earlier lest you miss some of the performances. To be honest, events will come and go but Africa U Night will still remain as a reminiscence of what good poetry is all about. For the first time I saw poetry escape the lips of the talented poets, hover in the room and finally encaving us in some sort of a dome filled with euphoria and bitterness. The event presented by the ARTEAST HUB had much more than just poetry. I tell you the poets deserved the tittle not as common these days when anybody who can create simple rhymes like Embrace and Empress call themselves poets. They had content and nobody had to be told to listen- the words themselves were powerful enough to arrest the attention of the audience and journey with them in that poetic adventure. There was also music. I still can’t compare the vocals of PHY to any other artist. She is the Kenyan Version of Emeli Sande.
Fast forward, the first performer was Le chatelier and it seemed the price of disappointing the audience was too high for him to afford. His comprehension of the Queens language was exemplary. His piece was short and very informative. The MC Poeta equaled the task shooting his sick punch lines in the name of Kujichocha. You just had to pendaa his stuff.
Vanessa Ombura took the stage and froze the audience to a pin drop silence. The words strictly lined with the theme left the audience screaming at the end of the performance. Poeta had to beg the audience to stop screaming such crazy chants like Thitima! Thitima! And allow the next poet to take stage.
L7 Empire is a cohort of Murderers-they killed it
Comprising of four artists: Virusi Mbaya, Cilabies Mgonjwa, Muarab and chief Kaddif, L7 Empire is taking Kenya by storm. Their lyrical prowess is out of this planet added to their sound content and mastery of their pieces-you get a free ticket to wonderland and they are not bragging about it!
They performed two pieces mheshimiwa usinigei doo that spoke of all the ills that we Kenyans are subjected to by the so called waheshimiwa. The other piece: bila madeni mafan wanatudai that spoke of the contributions of artists in fighting the societal ills. L7 empire will continue to rule because of one thing, they speak of the problems we encounter everyday not only in Kenya but in Africa. Their choice of words is excellent they use words so weighty!
The only prince in the ghetto, Ronny proved he is no longer a poet but a prophet. He prophesied that soon Obesity will also be a disease in Turkana. He also echoed the cries of the real Kenyan heroes felled by political bullets: TJ Mboya, Pio pinto, Robert Ouko and JM Kariuki. He prophesied that soon the hunger of these fallen heroes will be over as they will be served justice. Where do people get such creativity? Maybe only prophets like Ronny Prince are able to create such powerful words out of carcass of fallen heroes.
Shanky Abbs and Shikz proved they are not merely pretty but are pretty creative. Forget about the serenity in their dressing that depicted true African women. Their performances took us to a soul hunting mode. You only realize you didn’t carry your hunkies after such a performance. Tears rained and reigned.
The event was one of its like, an event worth every cent and second spent. Even after spending part of my time reporting about this event I still believe I should apologize to all the artists who performed everybody who attended this event and the Arteast Hub for failing to find the appropriate words to tell all about this event. In short the artists frankly lit the room with words. Set it ablaze.
Finally today being siku ya mashujaa I celebrate the following poets as my heroes:
L7 Empire Crew, Shanky Abbz, Ronny Prince, Le Chatelier, Vanessa, Poeta, Femi, Shikz, Vince, Murathe, Kennet B and many more. I celebrate you as my heroes because you have been the light of this society, always rebuking the wrongdoings of our leaders without fear while embracing the efforts made by fellow citizens to rebrand Kenya. May you live long to inspire the next generations.
How do I begin writing about this? The cursor is still blinking and I remember I am not always very good at retelling historical stories as much as I am with creative writing but the thought of how many times we have been lied to hurts me much and it overweighs my inability to tell historical facts and I am here scavenging for the words right enough to communicate my thoughts.
Having to live in Kenya, a country where what you hear is the exact opposite of the reality can be the most disgusting experience this planet earth could serve you. I was born in this country and unfortunately I have never lived outside this place so I may not know how it feels like to be living in any other country. This is a country that was once (and maybe) still is every tourist dream destination. We have all that a tourist would need: the rich culture, the game, the beautiful natural sceneries, good climate and many more. What else would a tourist ask for?
However, this country has been brought down to ruins by the very people who claimed they loved this country. To me I do not trust everything I hear coming out of the lips of these leaders who are blinded by greed. I refuse to be blinded by the sugar coated shit they speak on political platforms to convince us that we are doing well or at least they have good plans for this country. Unfortunately majority of the Kenyan citizens have refused or are not able to read between the lines and unravel the mystery of their real intentions-their wicked intentions. Unfortunately they have successfully divided us along tribal lines and so we are busy fighting ourselves while they marvel and reap hugely from our ignorance but this might just be a story for another day. Back to the topic.
Who are the real Kenyan heroes?
Tell me any other name but do not tell me that Jomo Kenyatta is a Kenyan hero. Tell that to any other fool blinded by tribal politics but not me. For one, how can you call someone who used other freedom fighters to help him end colonialism and thereafter establish a political dynasty based on tyranny a hero? A political era characterized by political assassinations. I can say authoritatively that most of the people we celebrate as Kenyan heroes were the real enemies of Kenya. People allergic to any form of progress. Why did the Jomo Kenyatta government have to KILL the people who were fighting for liberation and economic progress? Here are the real Kenyan heroes- you may add whomever you think should be in the list.
Kariuki was a true patriot who fought for equality of all the tribes in Kenya. Kariuki was worried of the widening gap between the poor and the rich and dedicated his life to fight for economic independence, a fight that was not welcomed by the Jomo Kenyatta government that had led in improper distribution of lands in Kenya. Kenyatta himself being the biggest beneficiary of these land related injustices after grabbing all the white highlands and other lands that belonged to MAU MAU fighters. He used lands to reward those loyal to his government.
Kariuki was the only KIKUYU who set foot at Rusinga Island to attend the burial of TJ Mboya at a time when the gap between the Luo and Kikuyu’s was widening.
Kariuki was assassinated and his body thrown in a forest. His eyes were gouged and his hands chopped off by the regime that purported to have the interest of Kenya at heart.
His famous Quotes
“Political independence without economic independence is like having a wedding without a bride.”
“In Kenya today, I can only see the dawn of a June morning rising majestically from the white oblivion into the serenity of life.”
“If we forget these people (the youth), we will find ourselves surrounded by rogues who are rogues not because they want to become rogues but because they are hungry and this leads them into temptation.”
“It is this greed that will put this country into chaos. Let me state here that this greedy attitude among the leaders is going to ruin this country.”
“Kenya has become a nation of 10 millionaires and 10 million beggars.”
“Every Kenyan man, woman and child is entitled to a decent and just living. That is a birthright. It is not a privilege. He is entitled as far as is humanly possible to equal educational, job and health opportunities irrespective of his parentage, race or creed or his area of origin in this land. If that is so, deliberate efforts should be made to eliminate all obstacles that today stand in the way of this just goal. That is the primary task of the machinery called Government: our Government.”
“We fought for independence with sweat, blood and our lives. Many of us suffered for inordinate days – directly and indirectly. Many of us are orphans, widows and children as a result of the struggle. We must ask: What did we suffer for, and were we justified in that suffering?”
If there is anybody AMERICA should be grateful to the he is TJ MBOYA. He changed the history of America. Were it not for TJ MBOYA could we be speaking of OBAMA?
He organized airlifts that took bright Kenyan students to study in the United States and that is how Obama Senior got his way to the US giving rise to the Current American President.
His selflessness was evidently displayed when he let his chances of being the next president (as Kenyatta was grooming him) go as he chose to rebuke the leaders who were enriching themselves at the expense of Kenyans. He was also felled by the Kenyatta govt. And Kenyatta did not even attend his funeral. I think he deserved a national burial.
This was also another prominent leader whose eloquence saw him speak on behalf of the president in many international forums. At one time he was mistaken as the Kenyan president. He served in the government of Kenya from the colonial period through the presidencies of Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi. He was a member of the National Assembly for Kisumu and a cabinet minister, rising to the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation by 1990. He was murdered in Kenya on 13 February 1990. His body was found by a herd’s boy at the hills of Got Alila. Forensic evidence suggested Ouko had been murdered, near to where his body was found, killed by a single shot to the head, his right leg broken in two places and his body left partially burned. His murder is still unresolved. This is what they did to true lovers of Kenya.
Another Kenyan Hero felled by political bullet
Pio Gama Pinto
In conclusion, if opposing the injustices of the reigning government makes you a renegade, a public enemy that deserves nothing less than death then we need to redefine what it really means to be a hero. And if I have to support a corrupt government led by those who think with their stomachs instead of brains, those who grab lands that rightfully belongs to Kenyans and marvel at their own riches while killing those who are fighting for equality is your definition of patriotism then count me out. I never want to be a patriot.
I got to bed at about 5 am this day and that means I never slept a wink on Saturday, So I wasn’t wrong to expect a very boring and tiresome day for a Sunday. I woke up at 9 am and my eyes still deprived of sleep I had to squint to protect them from the venomous rays of the sun that was already up. Breakfast wasn’t any better, having a mkate mkavu (Is this what they call unleavened bread?) with a dilute cup of tea is the last thing you would need for breakfast on a Sunday morning and worse still it was cold-My brother Steve will never find the flask. I couldn’t find a match box to light the stove to heat this beverage and so I had no choice but gulp it down like water. Unfortunately my cup of tea gets empty before I finish my share of the mkate mkavu and that only leaves me with one choice to eat it like some sort of fruit but its dryness proves so torturous to my digestive system it feels like somebody is scrubbing my throat with some sandpaper and so I grab a glass of water to wash it down and a thought strikes me- this is the price you pay for failing to fill gas!
Sundays are always my best days. I don’t work on Sundays. It is a day I give to the creator, beginning my day with a church service is my ideal Sunday after which I spend the rest of the day in the house reading or listening to music but this was not an Ideal Sunday, far from it. As it turned out, it was even worse than any other day of the week. It was a day for thorough cleaning. I don’t even know why it is called so but I tell you I hate it. From dusting off the cupboards to removing the cobwebs to washing the utensils to mopping the floor nothing can be more draining. I was done by noon and I had no energy left to prepare lunch so nilikula njaro (airbags as we named it in college) for lunch.
So bored and lonely I turn to this book I have been reading for the last two months A land of Mirrors by Alfred Coppel for solace. I have only read one paragraph and my intestines are proving too rebellious to let me continue. I wish I was fighting against hunger, maybe I could have won but fighting a rebel from within has never been very easy so I give up on Alfred Coppell and turn my TV on for some music and wow! I couldn’t have made any better choice. It was SOLD OUT on KISS TV and guess which song was playing- Daddy by Emeli Sande. My hunger subsides and my attention is divided between the beauty of this singer and the rich content of her lyrics. Give me any other job but don’t ask me to describe Emeli Sande, I will fail. I can’t find the right word but there is something about her lips that will make you envy the microphone that seemed to be siphoning the radiance from her face and the alluring scent of her breath. Her eyes radiating love yet you can still read vulnerability of a lamb in company of wolves deeply seated in her pupils. Her vocal prowess is a story for another day, neither will I touch her hairstyle no, not now!
I haven’t bought a decoder and my TV is not a Samsung flat screen and so the images at times become rather blurry. This calls for aerial check, I never do this but for Emeli Sande I was ready to break some laws to watch her perform Breaking the law as she did in London recently. In haste I go for the ladder, within no minute I am on the rooftop twisting the aerial in a 360 degrees spin. If you have a TV like mine you will know that you need a second person to be checking whether everything is clear while you are on top of the roof setting the aerial. I was alone, so I had to change the direction the aerial was facing and climb down to check whether the images are clear, Thank God I didn’t have to climb to the rooftop the 11th time. Everything is clear, young man sink in your sofa and watch Emeli Sande.
You won’t find him tryna chase the devil For money, fame, for power, out of greed You won’t ever find him where the rest go You will find him, you’ll find him next to me
Next to me – ooh hooo Next to me – ooh hooo Next to me – ooh hooo You will find him, you’ll find him next to me
The lyrics of this song is tight, I couldn’t just close my mouth and watch in silence so I brought my coarse voice out of its hiding and began singing along. Don’t hate me I was only doing what my mama told me; NEVER stop singing. The microphone was still in its place enjoying its rewards for being humble. These are the women worth catching a grenade for…next to me- oooh my voice is a hell of a treat but the song was getting deeper in my soul replacing boredom and loneliness with euphoria. A once dull Sunday turning lively. I leave my seat to swirl my hands in the air in synchrony and right then the worst happens…..CHEEEEW! electricity! electricity!…I have serious beef with KPLC.
You may not like what I am about to say but it is the truth. Housewives speak about ‘bedminton’ most of the time. The nature of my work has allowed me to spend most of my time with the housewives mimi ndiye mwanaume peke yake anayebaki kwa ploti so most of the time their conversations are right under my nose and I don’t need to eavesdrop to get to listen to their stories, they talk so loudly that I can even smell the scent of their stories and I tell you they are nasty, nastier than the Nasty Thomas of the kinyaunyau fame.
I was here busy trying to beat a strict deadline, I really had too much to do and yet these women were here having conversation on a very sensitive topic. This topic is not very good for a mhuni like me. I don’t like this topic for two reasons; one, it reminds how lazy I have been in searching for she who is using my missing rib. I don’t always love to have this thought because it leaves me so hollow yet so exhausted to keep up with the cat and rat chase. Secondly, this topic is a distractor, you may pretend to have not heard other conversations but with ‘bedminton’ you will find yourself listening even if you didn’t want to. It is rather funny hearing women declare their expertise in the sector thought to be majorly dominated by men.
Today they were all there, the three of them. Wameweka kikao right outside my door (they might have had some wicked intentions). The “bedminton” stories began with family planning issues. One of them, Mama Melani was on the opposition, she did not want anything to do with contraceptives and she wasn’t ashamed to say that watoto huwezi pangia kama bado unakula keki, kama hutaki watoto afadhali usikule keki ( you can’t plan for children when you are still eating cake, if you don’t want children then you better stop eating cake). She continued to dominate the conversation, haki sijawahi jaribu hizo vitu na hata Baba watoto hawezi kubali (honestly I have never tried those things and I know the father of my children cannot agree) they laugh and she continues hata saa hii sijui kama nina mimba (I don’t even know if I am pregnant now). That’s how ignorant some women are, I conclude and grab the little attention I have got left , the pursuit to beat the deadline resumes. Before I could finish a single paragraph , Someone knocks at the gate and immediately the gate is opened a new conversation is began straight away. Mama Eddy sells, bed sheets and she had brought some for her customers, I bet if that woman fails to make profits from her business then she will become a sex coach just like Getrude Mungai.
She has terminologies! She calls the act a Manchester united and Arsenal match. She not only has terminologies but she knows how to lace her lessons with humor. Here are some of the lessons she taught.
Bed is the foundation of marriage. Ukitaka kutengeneza ndoa unaanza kwa kitanda, she begins. When you are good at bed then your husband cannot have any problem with you and neither can he have a mpango wa kando (Mistress). Wash the bed sheets after every two days when there is no match between Arsenal and Manchester but when there is match wash and replace the bed sheets every day. She says this is necessary because of the lotions they use. Unajua harufu mbaya hutoa appetite ya game! . She knows too much!
At this moment I faked a cough to let them know I was not asleep but they seemed too involved in their stories to mind my inconvenience. The lessons continue. Sometimes you also need to change things she says toka kwa kitanda mpeleke kwa kiti. At this point mama Miano interjects amidst laughter kwani watoto wako wapi? and her reply left me torn in laughter watoto usijali wewe tengeneza ndoa hata ukianguka kwa mguu ya mtoto endelea tu si wao watasema baba na mama walikuwa wanapigana…hahahahaha I coulnt stop laughing and I couldn’t continue learning the same lessons with the experts. Need I say I lost my demanding client!
It may sound rather stupid asking yourself such a question but as those who lived in this godforsaken planet said- don’t judge a man until you have walked for a whole month in his moccasins, please do not rush with your how-the-hell-does-it-concern-me attitude.
I am but a humble young man who is trying to make a honest living. I have people who I should be dependent on or atleast they think I should be dependent on them but I chose to toil, sink my fingers into the swampy world of writing to make something of my own. To be honest If nothing is going to change about my current working situation then I am sure I will never be rich or to be optimistic I guess I shall stop writing and seek formal employment. lot said already, my job situation is not the problem am facing now or atleast I have got used to it. My biggest problem is the belief that people have that I am living well, the moment a person hears that I am a writer and I earn online his whole perception of me changes. In his mind I become more than a friend, something sort of a donor, an ATM that they can rush to whenever they need cash! its quite absurd.
I have friends who do not believe I can lack money , they think I am a miser; I just save but I don’t spend. they think I live in the slums just because I like to portray myself as a hustler but the truth is I am just that – a broke fellow who lives from hands to mouth with hopes that soon things may go better and I will be able to pick my shattered dreams off the paths tread by losers.
I am not trying to say that no friend should call on me for help, I just want you to know that I am not doing any better, I am just like you! so when I tell you I don’t have enough to spare please believe me!
When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses... We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth. — John F. Kennedy