Danger Lurks in Darkness

Danger Lurks in Darkness
Danger Lurks in Darkness

Son, sit down and let these words sink

Deep in between your ears

Get wisdom so long you may live

To overcome all your fears

Son, don’t stay out too long in the night

For in darkness nothing happens right

Lost souls hover, dark angels scavenge

Preying on innocent beings for revenge

Remember you left your wife at home

No blankets, bed sheets torn

Won’t you save her from cold?

Your chest is the only warmth she’s ever known

Son, your child has stopped suckling breasts

You should be home making another baby

And your wife, didn’t you see her shaking her legs?

Late night drinks are for the impotent and the lazy

Son, didn’t you hear the hyenas laugh

And leopards are not friendly to strangers

Your wife has still kept the lights on, come home, come home

You will be safe in her arms

For danger lurks in darkness.

Emeli Sande on a Sunday

Land of MirrorsI 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!

Ladder and Music

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.

Emeli SandeYou 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.

PHOTOS:GOOGLE SOURCED

Lessons on BEDminton

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.

housewives telling stories

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!

Sex coach

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!

Am I really Doing Better?

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.

WIN_20140915_160035I 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!

Am I doing better

MONEY ISN’T THE ONLY MOTIVATION.

 

Money being a crucial factor in employee motivation has been given much preference by employers who want to motivate their workers, needless to mention it is a crucial factor that job seekers check on keenly in situations of dilemma, when they have to choose between two available jobs.

But I would wish to emphasize that money isn’t the only motivation and it is a great mistake for employers to think that well paid personnel are satisfied and motivated.

There are several factors that employers must consider in order to motivate their employees as money alone isn’t sufficient. These factors include:

Work Environment-Every employee wants a conducive, safe and tolerable working environment to be able to be motivated in the job he does. Physically the environment should be clean and spacious. In case of an office, it should be well ventilated and has the necessary furniture to enable him work well.

Sanitation- Sanitation in a work environment is equally as important as every meal served. Toilets and toiletries should be available in a work environment, drinking water should also be availed for the employees and all these should not be paid for by the employees. In a situation where the employees can’t have these services they lose the sense of pride in the company and this will make them view the company negatively even if it pays well.

Appreciation and gratitude- Every human being will love to be appreciated for a job well done. When the sales team has surpassed the month’s sale target they expect to be given recognition, to be mentioned in a staff meeting, be given a round of applause for their achievement or better still to be served tea with the Managing director and chat openly in a rather casual meeting. I bet this gives the employees a feeling that they are a valued asset of the company and this motivates them much more than the commissions they would have earned without “a good job done, keep it up” comments from the Managing Director.

Opportunity for Growth- Every employee always to be on top on the career ladder so they tend to seek those jobs that have bigger opportunities for growth however humble the beginnings might be. For instance, Company X may be offering a permanent job that pays well but it has no steps through which an employee would navigate up the career ladder while company Y maybe paying peanuts but has a well structured growth plan that every employee is quite aware of and wants to achieve. Must workers will consider working for company Y as it promises them a better future in their career.

Employee involvement- Employee involvement is a good strategy in employee motivation. This involves the top management consulting or better yet brainstorming with the employees in cases where certain changes are to be introduced in the organizations. This leads to implementation of changes that the employees feel part of and this gives them pride in themselves, they feel their expertise is valued by the employer and this motivates a lot. In cases where the employees are not consulted when critical changes are made, they get demoralized and lose their self-worth and this goes against their motivation even if they are well paid.

Employee involvement also equips the employees with the necessary leadership skills, gives them exposure which is a very valuable asset in every career.

Team Work- people working in teams are more motivated than those working as individuals. The brotherhood that comes with team cohesion and the team dynamics is a bond every employee would not be willing to break from. Teams work synergistically to achieve a purpose, with different expertise from the team members, problems that would have been a source of frustration to an individual becomes easily solved with lots of fun.

Job Rotation- “If you want people to do a good job for you, give them a good job to do”-Fredrick Hertzberg. Through job rotation employees gets to do jobs of different nature and by this they finally find a job that they can thrive in despite the challenges. Everybody who thrives in a challenge becomes highly motivated in the work he does.

Job Rotation also makes them all round skilled personnel for the job market so that even if the job they do currently ends, they can still easily get hired by other companies. The thought that the skills they acquire in current job equips them wholly for unknown future makes them motivated to work with the company.

Delegation-This ensures that junior employers are given part of work that would have been done by a superior, this is an indicator that the management has seen the capability and has confidence that the worker can accomplish the task he has been delegated. The feeling that the management trust the ability of an employee is an immense motivation factor.

Delegation also gives the employee hopes of being a leader in the future as he will assume that the employer is preparing him to take such roles in the near future. Who isn’t motivated by promotion?

Healthy competition- Even in schools healthy completion is a great motivation for students to work hard. In work place different teams can be created and given similar tasks to accomplish with the best performing team being awarded. Every team will be motivated to achieve much so as to be honored.

Get Together Bash- Some companies have different branches across the country or in a larger scope, different continents. The management can always organize a get together bash for the workers since they don’t see each other frequently, this is a great opportunity for friendship to blossom between the workers, Tell me if there is anybody who will not be motivated by the fact that his company has made it possible for him to meet a colleague that has been in Rwanda for two years, sharing the same table, sharing a bottle of Amarula while listening to cool music.

Exchange Programmes- For diversified companies like Unilever, exchange programmes between the manufacturers of different products can be an awesome way to motivate the workers as they get to learn beyond what they know. In schools symposiums were a perfect way for exchange programs and if I don’t lie I still remember those days with nostalgia. It motivates.

Exchange programmes can also be done with competitors say P&G and unilever. This lets them know the strengths as well as encourage healthy competitions. It’s also good for networking.

Interdepartmental games- Games are an opportunity for workers to exercise their hobbies and having it done at the work place is amazing while having a trophy tied to it is so motivating to the employees.

It also places the employees at the same level with their employers due to the informal nature of sports. This makes the employees open up to their bosses releasing their pent up emotions and viewing your employer as a friend so motivating.

Employee Birthday Celebration- This doesn’t mean that the whole company stops the day operation to celebrate the employee’s birthday like some sort of a holiday, but pinning a note on the notice board recognizing the important day and encouraging the other employees to give gifts to their colleague is surely remarkable and goes along in motivating the employees.

Workers’ Family fun day- The employer can organize family fun day for the workers, where workers come with their family members to their work place and these family have refreshments, know each other and network. This may be done yearly as it makes the workers’ family feel honored by the organization. This is a great motivation to the employees.

End year party- An end year party is quite a crucial event as it will allow the employees celebrate for having achieved various milestones for the company and the thought that their efforts have paid off is a motivating factor.

 In conclusions based on the above arguments, it is evident that money isn’t the only motivation, nevertheless no amount of money can equate the zeal and passion that a person has for a job, in fact the more the employees are paid the more their quest for salary increment is inevitable and if you think this is a lie then keenly look at the incomes of those who are constantly in conflict with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission, Aren’t they well paid? Are they motivated?

 

 

 

 

 

 

BY GRACE I LIVE

GradPic 530
For years I thought I lived by my Strength
When I did everything I planned so well
I thought I even owned myself
Needless to mention, my breath

I always struggled to put things in order
In my success I felt even bolder
With praises I got, pride came my way
Little did I know this was the beginning of my gloomy days

Pride, pride, pride
You’re the root of torment in a person’s life
You’re such a liar, you told me to expose my claws to scare my enemies
How could I know this was your plan to change my destiny?
And when the fight began I was so defenseless having lost my claws to my enemies’ tricks

When it began raining on me you brought me shame
You left me alone to wallow in my pain
And then sadness became my uninvited company
Throughout all my days of agony

I have always hated to lack
But need I say it has made me learn?
That I am powerless to live on my own
Even if I had the best of place to call home

And no one does believe this or not
For your life is in the hands of God
He who had your destiny known
Long before you were born

Do you doubt this?
Think of Nebuchadnezzar
Would you live a life like his?
Dear friends your life is just but a God’s treasure

Sometimes I wish I lived like the biblical Job
He who had unwavering faith and trust in God
And with all his wealth he never knew pride
I wonder if we still have such people alive

If we live by our own strength
Then, Why can’t we find water in our wells?
Why do we hunger?
Why can’t we quench our thirst for more wants?
Why don’t we have peace in the world?
Why? Why? Why?…………….’tis endless whys

I believe I live by his grace
He who knows me by name
If I cry in this life
My tears he’ll wipe.

-George Agak

ROBBER’S PRAYER

ROBBER praying
ROBBER praying

Our Father in Heaven
I accept I am such a reject
But my only Father is you
As long as the skies are blue

I am a teacher by profession
But this job gives me no satisfaction
It drove me into a pool of debts.
Debts. that may take away my breath

My wife needs a fridge
My daughter is home for fees
My son needs new shoes
Ooh Lord, Would you save me from this noose?

Father, you are the king of provision
But sometimes it’s rather hard to reason
You have all the wealth at your palm
Why must my life be so hard?

Is it because I don’t go to church?
Isn’t a prayer just enough?
Why must I go through all this pain?
With nothing worth to gain?

Ooh Christ the most holy
You are the one and the only
Who can lift the lowly to glory
My cry I bring to thee
That you may uplift me

Father before you I bring my weapons
Weapons, necessary for my mission
But with all the weapons I still need your protection
To accomplish this mission

Protect my family in my absence
And to every premise give me access
To the police give the best of sleep
That I may get all I need

And now for my mission I leave
When seen give me the speed to flee
If caught don’t let me get lynched
In court give me enough bribe to set me free

Remember I have mouths to feed
So please, avail my every need
I ask all this in the name of Jesus Christ
AMEN
-Agak George

These Days Are Gone But The Memories are still Strong.

I guess  Its too early to start with these old men cries of ‘ I wish time was a tape recorder that you would rewind until you  have listened to the content to your satisfaction’ but in life there are some moments that you begin to yearn for barely a minute you depart from the scene.

To bring this point home let me welcome you to bits of my past life. I grew up in the countryside where vehicles rarely came by,tarmacadam roads were not in existence and a flying aeroplane was then the holy spirit (we thought it was a link between  man and God) but then there was all we needed to make our daily lives move on well if not better!

We had a large herd of cattle and grazing after school was more than a hobby to me – it was a necessity. The fields where we went to graze was a platform where very many talents were perfected, they brood runners, footballers,fighters  and needless to mention very aggressive Casanovas.

I loved to graze but just as everybody has a reason for why they leave their beds everyday i too had Mine.

Firstly the fields gave me a sense of belonging as we did everything with lots of cooperation, we made stories, narrated old tales, played hide and seek, shared lunch that we even ate from the same pot,played football (ours was made from polythene bags bound by strings) and all these activities created a very strong bond between us nurturing the feel of brotherhood between us.

And mistake we Made and troubles we got as if we went hunting for them . I can vividly remember one day when we had all our attention on the match and forgot that we were herding, the cattle invaded our neighbors cornfield and nearly consumed everything to ground , what followed was a shower of strokes from our uncle who had earlier  made playing football when herding a taboo.

We even went hunting squirrels and hare, we even hunted birds and laid a special trap (kithar) for them. Our grandparents were an epitome of love, they gave us all the affection they had left and nyatiti we played and danced and that music never grew old..Ooh I cant narrate all these stories now but all i know these memories are worth remembering at least for the sake of healing and finding the lost souls.

THE WORLD AIN’T FAIR-FIGHT FOR YOUR SHARE

When born they called me Georgesick mother
But that ain’t the reason i am known
Growing up they called me Agak
living up to date is quite a luck

She looked at me in the eyes
Her palms as cold as ice
And as if she saw the end of time
she said to me: son
The world ain’t fair
You’ve got to fight for your fair share

The meaning was hard to unravel
Not knowing how close she had to travel
Before she ate the gravel
she said to me: son
The world aint fair
You’ve got to fight for your fair share

Losing every tear
Confirming all my fear
For a destination not so near
Son
The world ain’t fair
You’ve got to fight for your fair share

I remember being in streets
The thought of that makes me sick
With wounds too deep to heal
The touch of death i still feel
Son
The world ain’t fair
You’ve got to fight for your fair share

And now to all my friends
Who hustle for their daily bread
The like of Ken and Ben
The world ain’t fair
You’ve got to fight for your fair share

We’ve got to part it’s quite a shame
But who am i to take the blame
when all of you were part of the game
lets meet there when you rise to fame
For The world ain’t fair
You’ve got to fight for your fair share

George Agak

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