Monday, August 31, 2009

Not Another Christmas

Fireplaces and the unforgettable scent of dry Cyprus
Laughter and stories of days long gone
And Pilau cooked from the olden fireplace outside
Are just but some memories I have of Christmas
Memories: because last, and the year before
You were not there to collect acorns with me and spray paint them in golden hues to place atop the Fireplace,
As the warmth of Christmas soaks in
With Jim Reeves playing in the backdrop of togetherness

I want new memories that I can sing about and sink into
The season's slowly coming,

but... Not another Christmas without you.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Giving up is not an option

Mid Morning today I read a tweeter update from Bankelele about “Diaspora’s giving up on Kenya”.

I read it, and I felt terrible about about what it means for us as a country.

I posted to him a smaller & edited version a response to his blog..


It begins:

In the Media, Bad News is great news.

I hope you realize this aspect of reporting as you and other Kenyan’s in the Diaspora make decisions about home.

It is always a crowd puller to report about 1000 people dying from post poll violence than it when 37 charter flights resume their flights to Kenya.

Don't allow yourself to be a victim of Mis-directed reporting, one that doesn’t care about a continent that is still represented by a thin black child holding out his hands to relief food.

The grim images on TV are true, so much so that they became a label of what Kenya is about, but that can and will change if someone stops talking and starts acting. That someone is us. Someone who has a platform to inspire Kenyans towards change, in tiny little ways that may not seem tangible, but someone’s got to do something, and running away is not an option if we can learn to be passionate about our country.The media has a role to play..but that's a story for another day.

Guys; if you don’t have hope about your mother-land. Who will?

I may seem like a dreamer with massive blinders on, so as not to see what's going wrong. I know There’s plenty going wrong. I live in Nairobi.. from Corruption, to multiple institutional challenges, poverty, political upheaval… and so much more.

But we can do something about it. That’s my take and I am sticking with it.

There must be a reason why our telecoms sector is among fastest growing in SSA.There must be a reason why our stock exchange is still attractive, There must be a reason why tourist are trickling back in, there must be a reason why the name Kenya still has a ring to it....

What our country needs is reverse brain drain, Diaspora Kenyans with international exposure who are BRAVE enough to want a better country. Not those who have warmed up to Western Bliss and forgotten where they came from. We need Kenyan's who will find motivation even as weapons from Somalia trickle in through our porous boundaries, We need Angry Kenyans who are tired of a dirty city....We need an overhaul in our thinking; and we need to stop talking and start acting..even in the littlest ways possible.


One of the biggest challenges is the gap between the Rich and the poor. If Kenya had more people meeting their basic human rights, then there would be less people to fight for greedy politicians, less hungry Kenyans to receive bread in exchange for a voter’s card, less infant deaths because they can receive healthcare, and less crime, because they have their basic human rights.

In my own small way I am ready to make a difference. We, Kenyans allow so much to happen, when we as individuals and families can educate & support even our employees to have a better life. We owe to ourselves to make a difference.

I was at Church this weekend, and we asked this: What are the dreams of your house girl?

Does she have a medical cover?
Does she have a savings account?
And one of the little ways Kenyans can encourage a saving culture with our home staff, and encourage them to get medical cover (NHIF) 160 Ksh per month. We will have gone along way in bridging the gap between poverty & wealth.

Every Sunday my Nanny goes to Kibera to spend with her extended family, and at Christmas, she travels to Kakamega to be with her Child and her Mum.
What do you think her child wants to be when she grows up? Perhaps a maid; so she can wear pretty clothes and live in the city, get a meal from a fridge and microwave it, use a real toilet that flushes, and Even watch TV (make that DSTV) while comfortably sitting on a sofa set.)

I began to ask myself, how many of us can afford to pay our house girls better, get them a medical cover, or even assist in taking their child to a better school, especially if they are up country? This is not the Government’s responsibility. Your employee is your responsibility.

By giving your girl a chance to healthcare, however simple, and teaching them to save, we are in fact giving them a lifeline.

We, Ordinary Kenyan's have a role to play as well.

But you have to make that decision first. You need to realize your place in the Kenya you want, and work backwards from there.

Giving up is not an option.

I hope you, your missus, and your readers can begin to look at Kenya as a country you owe hope to.

That’s all I am asking, don’t give up on us…. just yet.

Monday, August 10, 2009

THE MISCOMMUNICATION OF NEW MEDIA


Photo:courtesy of misingmama.com

I would perhaps be the worst person to write a headline like this. What with my broadcast media background and where new media has placed entrepreneurs keen on exploring the possibilities that digitalization comes with.

But I am writing from a very personal perspective, about things that mean much to me now, and how much the digital age has erased the little romanticism still lingering on the corners of this earth. I am on one of the corners, the biggest one perhaps and hold so much value to flowers, cards, letters & even postcards, yet I am in the cast in the middle of SMS, email, twitter & Facebook.

Is long distance relationship the same as online dating?

Online dating is the route through which one finds someone on a social relationship site. Several times, it’s intercontinental, and Communication here is based on in-boxing within the site, and when either Party is comfortable, then they move on to email, then to personal cell numbers & eventually a meet up, and a “relocate” if they are agreeable to leave one’s country to Join the other. It happens. I have proof that it does, however much of a debate it could draw.

So how about long distance dating? Is it still called online dating, based on the pure fact that only new media bridges the gap.

For partners that been together for a while, perhaps online dating would be a bit over emphatic, but if it’s a new couple, recently met, I battle with the right way to describe it.

I’m I in a state of miscommunication?

Friday, August 7, 2009

ARE WE SUCH A SORRY LOT?

I think It's a Kenyan thing.

We like to say sorry about everything.

I wonder, because I hear it everyday.

Is it the way we are socialized? Does it reflect our personality traits. Are we so attuned to being the first to apologize about everything and anything?

"Sorry" here,by the way means a totally different thing from " I am sorry" especially in reference to Partners (spouse or other)...here we harldy say sorry:-).

You dont think you say sorry enough? Ask a Non Kenyan, you will be shocked! Sorry subsitutes for everything.

You only need to look up the word sorry to relize just how badly we use it.

It's not World Sorry Day, and I am not saying sorry today.

Even when I should..checking synonyms now...

Mad Love,

TC

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dear Ms Clinton


Ma'am,

Now you know why Kenyan ladies have a reputation for looking good :-)!

Your hair looked lovely too. Welcome to Kenya. (But the traffic jam we got here...another story for another day)

I listened to your speech today, intently.

You asked Africans to get to the basics of Responsible Governance.

But, here, you know there is no such thing as a Responsible Government.

You see, Responsibility comes with Maturity, but look here, we only a 45 year old Nation, and still growing. Pardon the Pun, I have been told by my dear friend Vuzi I am the product of over colonization.

You say Greed & corruption are the common currency.

You know by now about the book “It’s our time to eat”, the people we put in power have 5 years to get rich quick. But comparing this with currency is actually a tad of an over emphasis. Some of us actually work for a living. The Majority of us at least, that majority here means about 95% of the population.

Tough talking or not, we have made great strides in pushing our economies forward.

But we also know that we need to get it right from the Top of the Political Pyramid.

The Private sector has fought the good fight, and there is no other reason why Africa is still posting growth when the US & Other developed markets are stunting.

The US is over 200 years old, your government had time to grow and mature into a country that’s learnt from its mistakes. I am not saying we are right by being corrupt, greedy, irresponsible, warlike, rapists who care nothing about women.
The issues are deeper, and we are learning as we go along. Cut us some slack.

To my fellow Africans :

This is probably the most incoherent blog I have ever posted, but, I am just saying. Man, why do we have to be told what we already know anyway? Why do we clap in joy when Patronizing sentences are said to us? We know what our country needs? Where is our pride?

( Honestly, I feel like our Top Three need to read the “48 laws of Power”)

This is the voice of a Proud African Child, who does not like being told to “Shut up & eat your food”.