March 2, 2015

BIKO ZULU: Now let’s bury a Kikuyu

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Let’s say, for the sake of argument (although around here we don’t argue), that this was 1872 and you were a Kikuyu (Yes, including you, Momanyi). Let’s say that you suddenly started coughing and after a few days you developed a fever and your cough got worse and soon thereafter you started coughing blood. Then one day, your eyes just rolled back into your skull and you died right there on a mat in your darkened thatched house. Your body is found by your kith and kin who are just back from tilling their shambas; they walk in and find…

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No longer at ease: Why I stopped being a ‘concerned Kenyan’

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“The scene from his hotel room screen in Nakuru still fills his mind. Let’s call him M. He’s from Muranga, he still drives the Datsun 120 Y that he bought in 1972 when he was a 22-year -old boy, and he’s got a family in the outskirts of Eldoret where his wife runs the family farm (cows and wheat) that he bought in 1982 from a white man, fleeing the coup d’etat that never happened …” Those were the first words I wrote in my story ‘The Road to Eldoret’ almost exactly seven years ago, when Kenya began burning in…

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[OP-ED] Kenya is entering an undeniable democratic recession

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Many Kenyans hold an inaccurate view about the country’s economic standing relative to its neighbours and other developing countries. One sees this in the preposterous but widely cited claim that Kenya at independence bore a socioeconomic status comparable to that of Singapore, Malaysia, or both, at that time. The one area in which Kenya has had a deservedly solid reputation, with tremendous progress, is in the character of its formal political and civil rights protection. Many visitors genuinely get surprised that for all its challenges, Kenya’s political leadership and its people deserve credit for the passage of a wordy, but…

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[OP-ED] Kenya Government Unwittingly Falls into the Al Shabab Trap

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By Dave Nyambati The government of Kenya has unwittingly fallen into Al Shabab’s carefully laid trap. For Al Shabab to even have a foothold in Kenya, they had to achieve two things; remind Muslim Kenyans (particularly or Somali origin) of the historic injustices/marginalization by the government of their communities and to stroke ethno-religious tensions to create separation lines between these communities and the ‘rest of Kenya’. They aimed to create a kinship of hardship to try and make the case for Kenya being party to an organized attack on Islam globally, thus soften Kenyan Muslims who at best would be…

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[OP-ED] SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE; What is really behind the Strip Shaming Incidents in Kenya

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By Penzi Amani in Seattle, Washington It is 2 am and no sleep…instead I am writing. The image of the raping incident is still very vivid; I am unable to ignore the horrific incident, Strip Shaming/Public rape. If you watched that video there is no way you are not vexed. You’d have to be inhuman. It was a horror movie enacted in our capital, Nairobi.   While I am angry and disheartened because I question where humanity is headed, while the woman in me wants every person involved to pay the capital penalty for their actions, I find myself stepping…

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OP-ED: How I became pregnant from a hug

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I have a confession to make. I Have a problem. I ask too many questions,  sometimes. Others too silly, especially to the answerer. I was told things like; babies were gotten from the supermarket. Grandma warned me from whistling my favorite song  at night, that it called the night runners to come by.  She also said if I sat on the cooking stone in her kitchen, mama would die, so I should not try it. I avoided her kitchen whenever we went visiting. I believed all these without questioning, until my brother came to birth. Why did mama buy him…

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[OPED] Hatred for Miss Uganda shows our miserable lives, covered in false hair

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Let’s take a break from the politics, dear reader, and dabble a bit in the social scene, in particular in the kerfuffle that has been going on over the new Miss Uganda. This is an area your columnist hardly follows, to be honest, and it would all have gone over my head if social media did not overheat with crude and derogatory comments about the looks, or perceived lack of them, from the winner. The vitriol spewed towards the new Miss Uganda says less about her beauty and more about the hatred in our collective psyche. Leah Kalanguka, the pageant…

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[OP-ED] Reasons why President Uhuru is a unique president

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That the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, is a man of showbiz cannot be doubted. Unlike his predecessors, Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel Moi and Mwai Kibaki, he is unique. He has sought to demystify The Presidency. 1. He has opened State House to the public by hosting ordinary citizens and personally showing them around. 2. He has held up close and candid interviews with the media. 3. His bromance with the Deputy President, William Ruto, and cracking jokes was never seen with those before him and their deputies 4. He has taken selfies. 5. He has oftentimes put the suits aside…

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A Canadian’s view on Americans’ disrespect of President Obama’s presidency

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America – He’s Your President for Goodness Sake! There was a time not so long ago when Americans, regardless of their political stripes, rallied round their president. Once elected, the man who won the White House was no longer viewed as a republican or democrat, but the President of the United States. The oath of office was taken, the wagons were circled around the country’s borders and it was America versus the rest of the world with the president of all the people at the helm. Suddenly President Barack Obama, with the potential to become an exceptional president has become…

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Why Kenya’s real estate scene is a bubble waiting to burst

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A section of the upmarket Runda Estate in Nairobi. High prices of property in the city have locked out middle-class home buyers, leaving the real estate sector in the hands of few wealthy Kenyans. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP Of all the tasks that make up daily life, I particularly hate shining my shoes. This generally leads to two outcomes: I’m often guilty of wearing smart suits with scuffed shoes. Importantly for Nairobi’s economy is the second outcome — the shoeshiners around Nation Centre tend to have a very loyal customer. I get two benefits out of this:…

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