Posts Tagged ‘USA’

My twin brothers, Adrian and Andrew (From left)

My twin brothers, Adrian and Andrew (From left)

Yesterday, as I was leaving for work- I have no clue how they always manage to wake up before I do- one of my twin brothers, Andrew, (his twin, the evil one, is Adrian) wanted to have a taste of my coffee. Naturally, my mother would not stand for it and in her words, “Kahawa ni mbaya kwa watoto!” So I backed off. She then decided to make him something milder; chocolate in this case. But then, she forgot the golden rule you never forget when dealing with children’s beverages: Make sure there is plenty of sugar in whatever it is you’re trying to get them to drink. Naturally, Andrew, who’s recollection of chocolate only goes past a bar of brown stuff that was purchased at Uchumi, did not understand how my mother could possibly have procured chocolate that fast, yet he hadn’t seen her leave for Uchumi, nor was there a paper bag labeled Uchumi. To make matters worse, this so called chocolate was in a cup.

But then, like all kids his age, curiosity got the better of him. He decided to go have a taste of this so called chocolate in a cup. He had a sip.

“Yuck!” he frowned, “Mummy wewe pea mimi tope!” he exclaimed, utterly disgusted. He proceeded to take this now labeled ‘tope’ to his twin to have a taste, who equally disgusted proclaimed “Tupa tope.” And he emptied the contents of the cup into the sink without further ado. I have never seen the rascals happier to eat their porridge, without my mother having to threaten them “Ngukuringa uume ndogo!” (I will beat you up till smoke comes out of you) as she usually threatens them. Needless to say we were in uncontrollable fits of laughter by then… my mother, God bless her soul, later swore she felt a slight headache from the laughter. For us all, and even more to her, it was more than a memory. It represented the culmination of her efforts to raise her sons wonderfully up to until the stage of their lives they were in.

The whole thing, as amusing as it was later caused me to reflect on my own life. I am now 24 years of age; a full grown man who’ll no doubt have his own family in the next few years (Bae, she’s given me a deadline for our firstborn btw). 24 years ago that woman clothed me, breast fed me, wiped my tiny ass whenever I shit on myself and changed my diapers. She rocked me to sleep and sang to me to stop me from crying for hours like all babies do and carried me on her back and sat me on her lap even when I didn’t need her to. She watched me take crawl and heard my first words. She devoted her entire adulthood into ensuring that I received proper education, the best she could afford. She was there when I passed my KCPE and joined Starehe Boys Centre and was still there when four years later, I passed and qualified to join University and eventually graduate as an Engineer and a useful member of the community. A journey that started 24 years ago when she was still in campus and barely able to support herself or us both for that matter.

Her love never weakened, didn’t dim as love usually does. And it’s not like I never did anything to test her or to get her really mad at me and upset. Trust me, I was a handful. And most of them usually ended with me on the receiving end of a painful, merciless, but loving beating.

This one time I don’t think I will forget any time soon, she literally tied me up – you know, like how they show us the CIA ties up suspected terrorists and beats them up senseless in a bid to discover why they were plotting to attack the USA. Which quite frankly doesn’t really make sense because well, they are terrorists. To be fair, I did deserve that one. I was 9, if I remember correctly and in class 4 and yes, I was a little cheeky, naughty boy- people who know me will attest I was an extraordinarily gifted kid at finding or making trouble if there was none. Anyway, being the bright kid I was, I always had a passion for learning. And since at school the teacher always taught us using the blackboard, I thought, hey, why shouldn’t I make my own blackboard and teach myself. That way I don’t have to go to school. I did just that.

We lived in a second floor apartment back then and it so happened that the landlord was adding yet another floor on top. So one day I got my chance when they accidentally left black paint in one of the rooms; they didn’t have doors yet so it was easy to get in. I painted my blackboard and stole chalk from my mother, coincidentally happened to be a secondary school teacher. For the next few days I was happy. Blissful. Till the the landlord showed up at our door demanding compensation for damages. That a 9 year old was responsible for. Naturally my mother argued but you cant really argue with the testimony of all the other kids in the apartment who claimed I had been teaching them Mathematics on our board. In addition, the landlord demanded that we move out. So here we were; with an eviction notice, a dent in the already bloated monthly budget in the form compensation, and an angry landlord. I will spare you the details of what ensued, but you should know that my blackboard did make my wish come true. The next day I was too sore to go to school.

Regardless, I still loved my mother and she still loved me. Today, I appreciate all those hard (painful) lessons, her sacrifice, her love, all of it. She still does. My point is, if your mother is alive and well, why should you have to wait for a single day called Mothers Day to celebrate her? Why not remind her every opportunity you get that you love her and you appreciate her? Send her an SMS, call her, visit her every once in a while. If you haven’t already done so, buy her a decoder so she can watch her favourite channels now that we’re already doing the #DigitalMigration? Because the fact is, you’ll never get another mother, not one that loves you more unconditionally than flies love the smell of shit. To me, she, and not Martha Karua or Margaret Thatcher will always be the Iron Lady in my life.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of England

Well, my dear friend ***Joshua was earlier this week prepared for Obama’s loss to Romney and he decided to take the liberty of drafting a letter for the Queen of England, her majesty Queen Elizabeth. It was a good plan, except Romney lost and spent the day trending on social media networks with a bunch of MEMEs finding their way to his doorstep in form of subarus, shortly before returning to his home state- who did not even want him in the first place, mind you.

Anyway, here is the letter Joshua wrote:

To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II:

In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately – you should look up ‘revocation’ in the Oxford English Dictionary.  Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except North Dakota, which she does not fancy).

Your new Prime Minister, David Cameron, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed. To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

  1. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘colour,’ ‘favour,’ ‘labour’ and ‘neighbour.’ Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters, and the suffix ‘-ize’ will be replaced by the suffix ‘-ise.’ Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up ‘vocabulary’ too).
  2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as ”like’ and ‘you know’ is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter ‘u” and the elimination of ‘-ize.’
  3. 3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
  4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can’t sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you’re not ready to shoot grouse. T
  5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
  6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
  7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol- which you have been ridiculously calling gasoline- of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.
  8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.
  9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. South African beer is also acceptable, as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth – see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.
  10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialect in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one’s ears removed with a cheese grater.
  11. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).
  12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.
  13. You must tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us mad.
  14. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due. Backdated to 1776.
  15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries- with cream- when in season.

God Save the Queen!


*** Reblogged***

Sam Childers, the real Machine Gun Preacher, whose character is played by Gerard Butler in the 2011 film, The Machine Gun Preacher.

The baby wasn’t so ugly that both his parents feared to show up for his birth. He wasn’t deformed either. With every fiber of her being, the new mother lifted up her newborn baby and said a quick thank you to her God for the boy before she passed out from exhaustion. In the years that followed, the young boy was perceived as a blessing; he truly had a bright future laid out for him. Both his father and mother were farmers in the little Ugandan village of Odek, but that didn’t stop him from dreaming of great heights. He wasn’t the typical classroom genius per se; in fact, he was more popular for his humor and excellent dancing skills. And his dark side.

The boy slowly gained a reputation as a violent but charismatic person, who could use his tongue to sway the masses. Sooner or later, he expressed his desire to be a leader and the easiest way to do that would entail a little more training. He enrolled as an apprentice for a witch doctor and his mentor was none other than his brother. Then disaster struck when his fellow tribesman was ousted from the presidency by an aspiring Ugandan called Museveni and his aunt Alice Auma a.k.a. Lakwena , who led an occult neo-political movement known as the Holy Spirit Movement, was killed in a protest against the new government.

His life was never the same. He soon declared himself a prophet of his people and he built upon his aunt’s former movement to come up with his own in a bid to regain control of a world that was fast spinning away. Once a naïve boy and now a full grown man, he found himself the center of attention and it wasn’t long before his movement was outlawed when he started hitting back at the government. He turned against his people and began raiding them when he realized the declining state of the resources at his disposal. His people, the Acholi, turned against him in bitter and equal response.

A few months later, he claimed the Spirit of the Lord spoke to him in his dreams and ordered him to kill people and marry 88 wives. Yes, kill people who stand in your way, including those that eat and rear pork. Also, rape the women and force them into prostitution. If you can’t convince them, confuse them; he brainwashed people with his ideals and they followed him. He started raiding villages on a large scale, the beautiful women he took for his own, while the ugly ones were shit out of luck. Those were either killed or forced to be his prostitutes. The kids, he had other plans for. The girls were sold off as sex slaves while the boys, he handed Kalashnikovs, rather, AK 47s. His newly recruited soldiers, the young boys, he sprinkled holy water on to convince them of divine protection from bullets.

That man, if you still have no idea who I’m talking about, is Joseph Rao Kony, one of the ICC’s most wanted criminals responsible for abduction of 104,000 children, displacement of over 2,000,000 people and the cold murder of about 1000 people per week. He is the outlaw the USA has used to invade Uganda on the premise of humanitarian aid. And the movement he formed is now the terror group known to many as the Lord’s Resistance Army. Most importantly, he is villain in the movie, the Machine Gun Preacher, a movie based on true events that tells the story of a criminal who is turned into a preacher who devotes his life to protecting and rescuing young African kids from people like Kony.

A long, fairly intense movie if you ask me, although  the Machine Gun Preacher doesn’t contain lots of computer enhanced grotesque images like its counterparts ‘Hotel Rwanda’ and the original ‘The Exorcist’- the one shot in Kenya. No, it builds its plot from empathizing with kids who have lost everything who look up to a former convict for hope in a land where chances of dying from a land mine explosion are higher than chances of dying from AIDS. It is in fact based on the true story of Sam Childers, a man who fought Kony without ever actually having met him. For me, the kid that had to kill his mother to save his little brother before being abducted to serve as a child soldier did it for me.

For those that haven’t watched it, I’d hate to be a party pooper so I will not ruin it for you. That is hardly my style. On the whole, the movie tells of a man who is released from prison and is faced with the daunting task of rebuilding his family; he is married to Lynn, a former stripper, with whom he has a young daughter but his care-free thug life and drug addiction are his biggest challenges. All this changes when he coldly murders a man, no, slaughters a man and he finds himself pulled closer to God courtesy of his conscience. On a voluntary trip to South Sudan, he encounters pain and terror first hand, especially when he witnesses a young boy blown to bits by a land mine. On realizing his calling is here, he starts a church back home and an orphanage in war-torn Sudan for the kids he intends to rescue from Kony’s grip with the help of a handful Army Officers on his payroll. It earns him a visit by the late Dr. John Garang and eventually, a handsome bounty on his head offered by Kony.

This isn’t deja moo; no you haven’t heard this bull before. I may not envy fatherhood, but that movie made me realize I love kids; it depresses me to watch kids suffer or know that they will never get the same opportunities afforded to me by God through my parents. Sometimes I’ll walk through the streets and see a kid in dirty, badly stitched remnants of clothes with a bottle of glue on his mouth and it will take every fiber of my being not to do anything. Deep down, I want to walk over, lift him up, get him cleaned him up, buy him food, take him for a medical checkup then put him in school so as to give him a decent chance of making something of his life; but I don’t. I hope somebody who sees the situation as I do and has the resources to do it does what I cannot do.

The real question is what can or have you done to make a difference? For my part, I will devote a day per month to visit a children’s home and anyone of you reading this is and wants to tag along, please feel free. No matter how much the cost of living goes up, life will always remain popular, even to those kids that struggle to make it through life without the support or guardianship of an adult. The least we can do is making it a worthwhile experience for them. I have accrued enough bad experiences arising from multiple bad judgments to know that for once, I will be doing the right thing. To those that think it is a waste of time, please support bacteria; I fear it may be the only culture people like you and Kony have.

(Watch Video below on Sam Childers)

Yes, bad TV will do this to you.

One of the most touching stories I ever read went something like this if my memory serves me right:

An old man was sitting with his 25 years old son in a train, which was about to leave the station. As the train started the young man, who was seated next to the window, was filled with joy and curiosity. He put his hand out of the window to feel the passing wind and he shouted, “Papa see all the trees are moving past us.” The old man smiled and acknowledged his son’s feelings. A couple seated beside the young man, listened to the conversations between the father and son. They felt a little awkward with the child-like behavior of the 25-year old man.

Again the young man shouted, “Papa, see the pond and animals. Clouds are moving with the train”. The couple again felt embarrassed with the young man’s behavior. It started to rain and the rain drops touched the young man’s hand. He was filled with joy and he closed his eyes. He shouted again, “Papa it’s raining, water is touching me.” The couple couldn’t help themselves and asked the old man, “Why don’t you visit the doctor and get your son treated.” The old man replied, “Yes, we just came from the hospital. Today my son got his eyes for the first time in his life.”

Most of you will agree with me, I know; it is a powerful story, the moral of which is supposed to be ‘not everything appears as it is on face value’. But no, I am not a motivational speaker no will I ever be. Rather, the story got me thinking. Imagine if the poor fellow opened his eyes and the first thing he saw in 25 years was a typical Kenyan television show. The shock and dismay he would get equals that if he regained his eyesight and the first thing he saw was Chelsea beating Barcelona courtesy of a Torres goal after Messi messed a pelanty.

So, I compiled a list of the top five worst things ever to be aired on Kenyan TV, so without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, drum rolls….

5. Naija Movies

I really do not want to sound cliché. Nigerian movies to say the least are tedious and unending. The plots of all movies are basically the same and I suspect they have one national script writer, much like our very own Naomi Kamau who came up with the once brilliant likes of Tahidi High and Mother in Law. It unnerves me that every sentence for some reason has to start and end with “oh”, more or less like Kenyan TV anchors tend to think every sentence in an interview has to start with “now”. They have badly choreographed cinematography which involves the all too familiar scene where the killer begs for permission to kill his victim beforehand just before you hear “Afro-Cinema continues shortly”. On the plus side they do have impressive 4D effects; Disturbing, Disgusting, Depressing and Disappointing.

4. Papa Shirandula / Inspekta Mwala / Tahidi Highs

I couldn’t decide which is worse. These shows have a palpable similarity. Badly suited actors, bad sound quality, forced humor and usually, non-existent story lines. I do not know whether the actors sign an “act like a kid” contract because I find it really hard to believe that most of them are capable of behaving like adults. In my honest opinion, Machachari is a way better show because at least the childishness depicted is at least acted out by children. These three shows have adamantly refused to end despite being long overdue and the worst bit is, they have no seasonal breaks and the actors look like they crammed their lines on the spot, if any exist that is. God knows even Mike Sonko with his missing brain would do a better job.

3. Weather forecasts

Some of you will dispute why this is ranked third on my list. But if you can answer this question for me I will gladly take it off the list. So here goes, if it’s zero degrees outside today and it’s supposed to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold is it going to be? Wipe that sneer off your face. I’m glad you now see what I mean. The point is, nobody- not even the weather men- can predict the future. I can assure you the only way to not get rained on in town is to avoid anyone called Wambua, Wambura or Nyambura but just in case it does rain na unyeshewe, I hope you remembered to carry Always with you and or condom shoes. And an umbrella.

2. #TheTrend

NTV’s The Trend. What trend? The only thing I see trending when it airs is boredom which is unfortunate since the show is presented by one James Smart. The sad irony is that James Smart isn’t even well dressed to start with. His questions are lame and un-smart and he picks topics on events that happened decades ago, for instance bringing Robert Alai on the show. I do not refute that he probably saved mankind with his famous scream that reportedly rebuffed an Alien invasion; or that the US thought the self-proclaimed ’22 year old’ was the human version of Power Puff Girls, who also have a cute but formidable Super Sonic scream. But why bring back something that happened and trended months ago? I will forgive anything, except typos and backward people. The trend is the latter and the fact of the matter is #TheTrend is a tragic imitation of Aljazeera’s #TheStream.

1. Q TV

The biggest washout on Kenyan TV is undoubtedly Q TV. For once, a TV channel other than **KBC managed to irritate people. I tried giving Q TV the benefit of doubt because I thought they had one or two watchable shows. Nothing. Nada. Niente. Nulla. Let me try Swahili, HAKUNA. The entire channel is unwatchable. I agree with whoever said that Q TV is the fifth horseman of the apocalypse, because the fact of the matter is, Q TV is enough to make anyone commit suicide. Even a cat with its nine lives wouldn’t survive it. In fact, I heard the government is working on a deal that will allow in-mates in Kamiti to swap their Jail Time for Q TV. Yeah, it is that serious. Someone joked on twitter that they are ISO certified; they are eye-sore certified that is.

**Please note that for the purposes of accurate and fair ratings, just like tax, KBC was excluded on basis bankruptcy. Also, should your TV screen break, please do not try to fix it with video TAPE. It doesn’t work, trust me, I have tried and failed miserably. Have a good week people.