Bush Tales

February 12, 2014 § Leave a comment

It’s past midnight at the farthest end of Maasai Mara. Right next to the Serengeti. I have several shots of Smirnoff inside my system so it feels pretty awesome writing this. The funny thing is that I did dream of writing the same depressing/motivating sentences a few weeks back in the sweltering Nairobi heat. It’s cold here. Freaking cold considering I am lodged up in a tent. The vodka in the system wishes that a scrawny underfed lion would brush past the tent and say hi. No fangs. Just hi. Well, the coward homo sapien in me is scared and tipsy wishing Kalawa Jazmee  compilation playing on my laptop does not bring a bull buffalo to the tent. Curious on who is stupid enough to disturb it’s night of after mating beauty sleep.

Let me tell you a short story about buffaloes. These herbivores have the rage of an enraged Leopard. Top this up with a horny and clueless rhino. You have the recipe for a disaster. Buffaloes can maul you in a second. No, they don’t care that you are erect on two feet and holding a gun. They come full speed aiming for your frail body. A good natured, respectful bull will not stop stomping until the grass is gone as well as that deep red colour associated with blood. Your dermatologist would be disappointed. All those years of caring for your damn skin and the good old buffalo won’t stop for how good and blemish less it looks. The bush is just fantastic.

Yesterday driving here I got stuck in Sand River. Sand River is the imaginary or physical border between Mara and Serengeti. Whichever way you look at it. I was driving to my favorite camp as well as my workplace. Cottars 1920s Camp. It’s really exclusive. I won’t delve in to the details. I found the usually dry river flooded. A result of torrential rain I encountered between Mahi Mahiu and Narok. The thick smog did not allow me to see 3 meters ahead and I am 100 percent convinced that fate had to do more with how I got here than precision driving. Fate and coffee from the square. (Remind me to blog about the square and their meager servings of potato chips next time, I have a huge bone to pick with them)

There is a rustle of leaves outside. If I happened to be of a Buick derivation my long Vulcan-like ears would prick up. They don’t, just my heart racing up to my mouth. They have come for me. The elephants I cursed and recursed when they filled my path yesterday and trumpeted arrogantly to the annoyance of my spotlights and my ears. They have come for the revenge. (It’s amazing what good old vodka can do to your brain). The camp was abuzz today with the Masai warriors reporting that the Eles are chasing herders sheep away in various parts of the conservancy. For some reason I don’t know elephants don’t like sheep. I think it’s their ovine characteristics, brainless and trudging along to the unknown. They will chance upon a herd of elephants and keep moving rather than taking a u-turn. If you were several tons in weight and a brainless simpleton brushed at your gigantic feet you would resist the urge to trample them just long enough until your patience wanes. Then go all bulldozer over the feeble backs. Maasais don’t like this prospect. They must protect the sheep the only way they know. Their arrows are poisoned with a powerful concoction which can bring down a bull elephant easily. It’s not poaching. They have no interest in the ivory. Rangers were send to drive away the elephants to a safe distance. I hoped in to the jeep looking forward to the action.  As I said, elephants are not scared of bipedals, or any quadrupedal  for that matter. It takes a lot of effort to scare one off. One is finding a beehive and setting angry bees upon the herd. They will run like hell. This option is just as hard as walking up to them and nudging them while imitating Ludacris  ‘move bitch, get out the way…..’’ You get my drift. The second is shooting in the sky, which is what happened. It is a good thing that they are afraid of gun shots as this enables them to escape the murderers we all loath. Poachers looking to make a quick dime out of flourishing Sino-Kenya partnership. We moved the away from the Maasai herds and I have a feeling several of them earmarked me as the chap who sat there looking out of place. They understand that the rangers were doing their job, but who was I? They have come for me in order to necessitate interrogations. Once again, vodka.

I have to go pee. It’s the thought that comes to my brain. My bladder backs it up.

A brief description of my tent. This is no ordinary camping. I am lying in a four poster bed in a luxuriously furnished bedroom. The decor is of the old. I bet my long gone grandpa would really hate it because of the period it is derived from. I love it, and I bet you would. It throws you to all those history classes you attended in high school and campus. Bringing them to life and if you loved them like me you would not just like it here, you would love. Love it to the extent of wishing you lived here, rolled you bacon here, and sun downed watching the sun set over the hills in Loliondo. The large orange ball is mesmerizing but I digress.


 

The right side harbours the wash-rooms, fully integrated. The other side separated by a tent wall has a living room. Luxuriously equipped than the one you would find in a high end apartment. The doors/entrance? You zip it up. Sort of an old school STD commercial.

The rustle, the scuttle, really hoping that it does not grow in to a commotion.  Maybe they have sent an armature who is not sure if I am that clueless chap unless he finds a way to peek in. This is a small consolation. My heart, or rather the feeling of a lump steadily makes it’s way up my oesophagus. I am not about to throw up but I am sure about to give birth with my mouth. To a timid infant called fear.

Oh! The Joys Of Kenya @ 50

December 10, 2013 § Leave a comment

Have you heard that they are looking for 150 limousines to ferry V.I.Ps during our beloved country golden jubilee? Did you see that 50 bob gold coin our dear supreme leader launched to show how rich we are after just fifty years of independence? Have you seen flags and other shukas paraded all over the city proclaiming the fifty years?  I have heard some guys on Twittverse have been paid 100 grand to tweet about their love, their pride, their heritage, their commitment to a Kenya which is just fifty years young. Why not 50 grand?

 

A rumor goes that the M.Ps are getting 10 M bonuses, once again, why not 50 M? After all they have worked hard to earn it. 50 years of screwing up a country of nearly 50 M people is not a small task. I myself and my whole clan couldn’t do it in a millennium. I know what is on your mind, no, we are not lazy.  They have sank their teeth and wieners in to the good old Kenya without making any considerable mistakes. It’s true every once in a while one of them decides to steer away from the masses and do something else. Let’s say some developments, civil rights activism, fight corruption and some other acts of selfishness which are frowned upon by the members of the August house.  He or she is quickly silenced by the high priest or else he is jeered upon by his comrades until he drops the embarrassing behavior.

I think you have heard that some people have died in Moyale due to tribal clashes.  27 of them and counting. In case you are wondering, yes, this happens often. But what does the good old menopause Kenya do about it? Nothing , it’s not a big deal. The fourth estate is excellent in it’s devotion to licking the ass of the high priest and his cronies. Fifty years on. All of them have the money to sent reporters to S.A for Tata Madiba’s send off but none to make their way to Moyale. Well, the high priest recently decided the licking was not up to the current globally recommended standards. Borrowing a leaf from Mugabe, Kim Jong Il, Ayatolla etc (He sure does have many role models). They decided to add another thread to the screw. It will now include curtailed press freedom amongst other things. The forth estate was brought up to standards by a resounding ‘Ayeeee!!!’ in August house a few days ago. Newspapers were then termed as ‘makaratasi ya kufunga nyama’ . I am at loss why they still lick that ass instead of a fully blown media blackout. The perks of Kenya at 50.

 

The process of retrenching nay sacking 100,000 civil servants is already on the wheels while we celebrate. A good reason given for this is that we can’t afford the wage bill. We are simply too poor. Yes, we can afford to pay M.Ps and their smaller followers M.C.As gazzilions of Kenyan shillings but we are too poor to compensate the hardworking Kenyans. Teachers have been whining since time immemorial, their wage, working conditions and other negligible issues have always been in contest. The government is for the opinion that they are just fine and they should stop making noise over nothing. Teachers think otherwise but still, they have all the reasons to celebrate Kenya at 50.

Health workers will also be on strike while the celebrations go on. Of course this is a non-issue. No M.P can ever be caught dead using the public health system. To sum it up it’s no concern of theirs.   It has now become the norm, rather than the exception for you to lose your belongings or life to criminals every once in a while. This, as a proud country which is past mid-life crisis, we choose to ignore. A product of unemployment and flawed institutions. We trudge on, after all we are fifty. Police officers don masks and steal from you at gun point, they rent out their guns when they feel it’s too cold. But hey, we are fifty, a reason to celebrate.

 

We have an excellent education system, hell, the good old government is even upgrading to schools 2.0. Laptops for standard 1 kids and all. Graduates who cannot perform a single task litter the job places but who cares. The government is digital. We have a new constitution. A fact which makes us congratulate ourselves every day.  Plans are underway to screw it up and judiciary will just be a victim of circumstances. Guys who at the wrong place at the wrong time. Sorry Mutunga and co. Please show up to the celebrations in full regalia, we will have nothing less. Lest we forget, we have Thika Superhighway. The other potholes are negligible. This calls for a toast of champagne.

 

I must confess the euphoria has also sank in to my cranium. You can only hold on to being bombarded by the marketing efforts for too long. I have been dreaming of Madiba passing on the night before celebrations. I am not sure how our dear old Kamwana would have reacted then. It would have been a real bummer. I would still celebrate Madiba’s life, just like I am doing.

P.s I saw my good old senator ‘hanging out with’ Mandela thanks to poor photoshoping skills. Please, Mars take me away.

Sight of Nairobi Underbelly

July 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

Sometimes certain phrases or words seem to resonate more with the ‘others’ than you. You never associate your life with them. Terms like Nairoberry happen to other people who share this sometimes flourishing as well as depressing city. The act of visiting a police station to report a crime seems so detached it’s almost laughable. Then the cracks. You lose your phone every few months in unclear circumstances but you do not consider this a crime. After all everybody has lost a phone, either snatched in the C.B.D or a simple misplacement. It’s a way of life. You go ahead and buy another one, a cheap android until you save up for the next Lumia or Iphone. It’s funny that this cheap replacement is the one that never gets stolen and it’s always there to bail you out after the big one is gone. This happens and the huge spinning circle that is the city continues with the movement.

The cracks widen unexpectedly. At the beginning of last month my backpack which contained a tablet, a laptop and a few books was snatched at Ngara. The notorious, noisy, free for all location. It was all too sudden and bewildering that by the time I came to my senses and adrenaline snapped the chaps were already across the busy highway. I could not even give a chase. I stood there transfixed and watching as my property disappeared in a whiff. I gave myself excuses, as if I was covering for the thieving idiots. The gadgets were already past their sell by date and I was already thinking of replacing them anyway. It just came sooner than I expected. My work was already backed up on Mega, Googledrive, Dropbox and Skydrive. The books? I was sure they were literate chaps, would they read them? Probably not. The sequels of Hunger games, Catching Fire and MockingJay. They had cost me a fortune and they would probably end upon the street to trade for a measly 100/=. If they could only read them. Maybe they would get another outlook on life. They would understand why some districts where unhappy with the capitol, and why it covered up for all its sins. Why it held hunger games to silence the people. They would understand what is happening in Egypt. And maybe, just maybe, they would join us in the next ‘Occupy Parliament’ with the aim of making a change rather than thieving and looting.

Later my thoughts struck me as somewhat stupid. I should have found a way of getting my gadgets back. Not find a way to buy replacements. But that is what happened.

Nearing the end of last month I bought a new laptop and decided to give tablets a wide berth. This was an expensive Alienware machine. This bore the surname of KittyHawk as all my laptops have but this one’s moniker was KittyHawkMonster. A fitting name for the knight. It did cost me a fortune and my resolve was to extremely secure it and work it like a donkey. I hightailed to Google and read on the most fool proof way to secure an Alienware, I promptly did that. I now basked in the glory of this black and colourful jewel. Little did I know that my joy was to be snapped into twigs very shortly.

The last Sunday of the month I woke up, had a hefty breakfast, and made my way to a friend’s place where we were having a meet up. I ended up spending the whole day there due to a little matter of World Of Warcraft. I got home to find that KittyHawkMonster had sprouted some wings during the daytime and flew away. Gaping at the spot where I left him shell shocked I shouted for the gateman to make his way to my apartment. I know I did utter some unlimited number of expletives which would give a nun a fatal heart attack as I sought to know who broke in to my house and made away with my new laptop which was yet to acquire insurance.

The next day I visited a police station in a bid to make sense of what was happening. This nightmare was now crawling in to my day to day life with devastating effects. There is only one little fact I failed to adhere to, and it made all the difference. I refuse to pay for police services when I do so every day with my tax. I did not cough up a bribe to oil their palms and get the investigation wheels moving despite the not too obvious calls of ‘ongea vizuri kijana tusuluishe hii mambo’. I left the station half dejected, half determined man. I knew nothing would be done despite my one to one talk with the O.C.P.D. I knew chances of setting my eyes again on KittyHawkMonster where next to zero. The only comforting fact was that whoever who had it now held a piece of very expensive, ugly or beautiful depending on who is looking at it junk. I had already secured it such that formatting it was completely impossible. They could do with selling the parts. I wished them luck in that.

As I wait for a technician to install spy cameras on my apartment I wonder if I have become too paranoid. I already have a new state of the art lock system. How can I live spying on myself and my guests? Now that I have seen the Nairobi underbelly it’s the price I have to pay.

Cultural Indictment: The New Star Trek

May 29, 2013 § 2 Comments

Originally posted on michaeldstark:

I’ve been a lifelong science fiction fan, especially so of the Star Trek franchise. As a kid, I was drawn to the stories and to the ability to use reason to guide humanity past difficulties and solve complex problems (though I could not put such words to it as a child). As an adult, I more clearly see the philosophy embedded within Star Trek, especially so in The Original Series and The Next Generation incarnations.

Theologian Stanley Grenz testified to the philosophy in Trek many years ago. The opening chapter of his book, A Primer on Postmodernism, examines the shift from modern philosophy to postmodern philosophy as seen in TOS and TNG. That chapter is required reading in my intro to philosophy courses that I teach and it is coupled with an readings from Descartes and different postmodern thinkers (Derrida, Foucault, Lyotard) through the lens of James K.A…

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Insects To The Rescue.

May 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

The U.N, through Food and Agriculture Organization (F.A.O), the body responsible for all the cholesterol full thick and juicy chicken buckets you take has duly advised the world to stop this.  They want every earthling to start seriously considering having insects for breakfast, lunch, supper and your midnight snack. A 200-page report, released at a news conference at the U.N. agency's Rome headquarters, says 2 billion people worldwide already supplement their diets with insects, which are high in protein and minerals, and have environmental benefits. I can attest to that as being a highly irresponsible representation of facts. A Public Service Announcement (P.S.A) is already in the offing with Eric Omondi leisurely consuming a tray of cockroaches at a Diani beach. The punch line is that soon after he steps out in the beach and reveals his now bulging biceps and belly which looks like he is smuggling a python underneath. They are that healthy. I know several facts about insects. They have more feet than they could ever use. Some like flies and butterflies have very many disturbing eyes. Insects are also prone to making creepy noises, take crickets for example. No wonder they have an Indian sport named after them. Other insects will bite and sting you for no apparent reason.

minimalist eric roaches
Don’t get me wrong, I got more than enough respect for insects. Here I mean insects which have the ability of methodolically increasing the mass of my head and altering the shape in a manner of seconds. In order to arrive at this I have a case study. In the backwater village I grew in there were very few bee keepers. Men of valour and gallantry who had the village beauties at their beck and call. One went on to become the village headman before breaking his spine when he fell off a tree while battling a particularly determined honey-badger. Consequentially, honey was a valuable resource. Nearly equivalent to fool’s gold. I use the word ‘fools’ here carefully, fools are everywhere so the said gold might be the real deal. I, like any other hot blooded pre-teen kid had these delusions of grandeur of hoarding my own filled to the brim drum of pure honey. I devised a plan to raid some hives in the dark of night when it is pitch black and the only intruder I can encounter is a malnourished badger.
The first step was a series of consultancy talks on the quickest way to harvest the most honey in the shortest time possible. I eavesdropped as the adults talked about honey and bees in general taking mental notes. I gathered nothing helpful from them apart from the knowledge that they revered bees with divine-like fear. Such a bunch of losers. After realising that adults would be of no help I went for the pure and unaltered wisdom of my age-mates. They had different suggestions so it was up to me to pick out the best. The best solution came to be a process which I shall articulate in a series of steps. For a lack of a more fitting name I shall call it the Super-Naked-Man manoeuvre.
Step 1. Find a cloak which is dark in colour, here I chose my grey blanket.
Step 2. Get a long pole. The length depends on the distance between you and the hive. The longer the better.
Step 3. Gather all manner of highly flammable paraphernalia capable of producing intoxicating smoke. If the  smoke can suffocate you at an open air ground the better.
Step 4. Visit the beehive at one in the morning. Be devoid of any clothing expect your cloak. This provides you with a superman spirit and bees are afraid of midget-sized supermen.
Step 5. Drop your cloak before you commence harvesting. You will pick it up on your way out. 
Step 6. Light a huge bonfire with your combustibles directly underneath the hive. This will achieve two purposes. First it will scare off the owner of the hives. Seeing a naked midget brightly lit on your property at the dead of the night is a highly disturbing sight. Secondly, the smoke produced will stun the bees. Some will recover from the shock and flee. The rest will fall unconscious at your feet. A few lucky ones which might want to sting you will not be able to. You are the super naked man. Bees are afraid of you.
Step 7. Harvest the honey without any intrusion.
Step 8. Pick up you cloak and your honey and go home proudly whistling the popular tune of the time. Go get a beautiful sleep. Tomorrow you will join the ranks of village heroes.
It is suffice to say that step 6 was incomplete and step 7 and 8 did not happen when I undertook the delicate process. They were replaced by extremely painful stings which altered the shape of my body for more than a week. Were it not for the owner who I was depriving of his honey I would have been dead meat in a manner of minutes. Bees are vicious creatures that are very determined in protecting what they produce. They don’t take lightly of Super-Naked-Men. They sting them with conviction with the aim of killing them on the spot. 

I classify hornets in a much worse category than bees. Scientifically it is the order Hymenopetra. This in layman terms means that hornets, including wasps, do not produce anything edible. Therefore they have no reason whatsoever to deface every Tom, Dick and Harry who comes near their nest. They have nothing to protect. This does not stop them though. They will inject powerful stings on different parts of your skin until at last you look like a walking hot-air balloon. I happen to have real life experience of this after chancing upon some small industrious wasps when I was young enough to go hill climbing. They also happen to be very fast having born equipped with impulse engines under their wings.

Do not get me started on ants and their queer ant hills. It is common knowledge that ants live a symbiotic relationship with dangerous and highly poisonous snakes like cobras and black mambas. In a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed eons ago before the emergence of Homo Erectus by King Cobra and Queen ant, snakes will always protect ants from humans and in return ants will feed snakes their prisoners. Highly understandable. Visiting a anthill to gather ants is a huge risk. You never know when a constrictor hiding behind the bushes will slither up to you and crush you.

As you can see, insects are highly dangerous creatures not to be taken lightly. If FAO is serious about the suggestion it should form a special police unit responsible for hunting insects or they will wipe out mere mortals like you and me.

Theory Of Visual Relativity

May 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

(Warning: This post may contain mentions of inner brain workings of certain members of society who possess the ability to sue the crap out of me. It is for this reason that I say, that suit you makes you look extremely dashy sir and is that your hair or did the media lie to us and you are in reality younger than their cameras portray? Damn Chinese parts)

In circa 1923, Albert Einstein, he of E=Mariah Carrey2 came up with a theory which extensive research done by the scientists monitoring the large hadron collider have proved to true. It is the theory of Visual relativity. Apparently, as the universe grows older and the human cranium begins to expand in mass inwards and in rare occasions on both sides, as with the case of leader of majority party in the parliament,  it will become harder and harder to find anything good on T.V or Radio.

It is for my respect to Alberto Einsteno, which is his name in Spanish, or Latin. You can’t be sure of these things. That I decide to return my Sony T.V set to Ainsuma Traders for full reimbursement. I know they might have issues with me having used it as a bookshelf for several years as well as other forms of mistreatment. I remember when I landed a heavy punch on Robin Van Persie after his betrayal to Arsenal and then scoring against us. Sparks flew and my knuckles bled profusely for some minutes. Van Persie was not reported injured though which is a shame. Anyway, I have this covered by possessing a court injunction issued by none other than Chief Justice Mutunga which I have printed from the internet. 

I will not display it here for legal and personal reasons, the first being that it is a matter of national security. If your interest in the said document overcomes the depth of your cranium and you simply cannot find any peace or worse, the sweet sleep in the early morning hours when you are supposed to get up and go to work. Consequentially you find yourself the first person in the office for several consecutive days. Do meet me at museum hill roundabout, right by the river bank on the left side exactly 20 meters from Waiyaki way. Have with you 200K Kenyan shillings for convenience too. Here you will dine and if time permits it wine with the document. While you indulge yourself in that earthly pleasure I will be examining the best vodka to relax my nerves at the Hilton as beautiful, voluptuous African daughters with sharp pointed breasts flank me slowly caressing my short goatee and whispering sweet nothings to my sorry ears.

You may keep the copy you are viewing and maybe use it to wrap some bones for your dog after some Nyam Chom later at choma zone. After all I have more where it came from. You see his Excellency the chief justice is a close and personal friend. Not necessarily in that order. I have also kept a copy in my hard disk and bookmarked the site I customised it from. You don’t need to know this though. You may forget it at your own convenience or if it persists see a psychiatrist. I could help you find one but I posses a mortal fear for anyone who spent several years in a medical school. Several of them have been known to test the power of gravity by attempting to fly without any aid from the top of skyscrapers, or the windows of their hostels. Needless to say, the ground always meets them faster than they thought it will and the results are so devastating that it would take another whole day to describe them. Ironically, they make for very good T.V. I cannot sum them up so fill yourself in.
What were we talking about? Aden Duale and his abnormally large and stuffy cranium? No? Okay.

Dark Forces in Digital Age

April 6, 2013 § Leave a comment

Now that Uhuruto won Kenya has finally got in to digital age, for they are the digital team who can’t tell android from I OS. All In all, it is great gesture as the future wars will be cyber wars and God forbid we have a C-I-C who can’t pull a trigger. That equals to just coding the first lines in Java and generating numerous bugs for our sophisticated virus (weapon) which make it  absolutely obsolete in the end.God help us when the war comes. The high brigade gets to form a highly nationalistic government which does shine bright like a diamond. It is so inspiring it wakes up the long forgotten poetic lines which make unequivocally no sense to the digital heads.

“The bright old day now dawns again; the cry runs through the land

In Capitol there shall be dear bread, in unaligned counties sword and brand

And poverty and ignorance shall swell rich and grand

So, rally round the rulers with fine gentle hand

Of the fine old Kenyan monarchist days, hail to the coming time

I am supposed to say this, am I? I heard from unconfirmed sources that I.D for the lack of a better acronym to his name, the wannabe hacker is now the chief when it comes to monitoring blogs and curtailing free speech on the interwebs. Wait jhsgfs…………………….Sorry, I must have dozed off on my keyboard. Why is there a dart on my neck?  No, three darts on my zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
 The dark forces appeared for the first time in our country when U.K and MaDVD discussed and came in to a pact that U.K was to step down for interests known to him and few people as the T.N.A front runner. A grant gesture if you ask me. Little did MaDVD know that his dream of leading this great country was going to be killed in less than a week. He went on to divulge what had happened to the fourth estate which nowadays has merged with the first and the second estates. The result is that we currently just have the cunning first estate and a highly polarised third estate. He got the shock of his life when the meeting with U.K and the decisions made were blamed on the dark forces which were lurking about in the board room and some courageous enough to infiltrate U.K’s mind and speak for him. Everything which happened on that day was to be forgotten immediately and blamed on the shameless dark forces which nearly led the great states man astray. I had no problem with the dark forces then, I never questioned their intentions as they did not concern me.
Dark forces have struck again. This time whispering to our president-elect his dear wife should hold the bible while he places his hand on it and swears to lead our great nation. This is not the norm, anywhere. If you are pledging your allegiance via a holy book you hold it up and speak. That is what Kibaki did, and Moi and his dad. Excuse me for assuming that dark forces have something to do with this. Wouldn’t this pave way for anybody in a court of law who feel they don’t have to hold the bible fully to invite their wife or husband to hold the bible for them while they just place their sweaty palms on top of it? I know I would do so and cite the precedent being set by our president. Here is another alternative which can defeat the dark forces at their own game. If U.K feels that the bible is too heavy, why not pull the bible app on his iPad and swear with it? After all, isn’t he the digital president? Or maybe he prefers another holy book like the Koran which also has an app. We will not blame him. Questions will only abound if he decides to go a mile ahead and request an Oxford advanced learners dictionary as it possess the same volume as the holy books.
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