Nearly a month ago, a West African and former lecturer at Moi University but now a resident in a Western European city exchanged emails with me about the immoral uses of hands in Kenya. As a typical Kenyan whose staple diet is politics, my mind raced to the famous handshake of friendship and reconciliation between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga in March 2018.
I was, however, sorely disappointed because the next sentence in the very first email simply catalogued the many obvious and negative things hands have done in my country. She placed Kenyan hands on so many issues I can’t exhaust here but only summarise.
She said, for example, that Kenya enjoys a long history of shooting dead and dumping their politicians’ bodies in the bush. He cited Robert Ouko’s case in 1989 and the preceding ones. Perhaps more gory, he said Kenyans spend a lot of energy on spouse-bashing, shooting, throat slitting and male and female genital mutilation.
I had not intended to make the conversation public until she later sent late-night emails and WhatsApps a few hours after the catastrophic landslides took tens of human lives in West Pokot County. She thought Kenyans were taking too long to respond and rescue their stricken compatriots despite their nearly universal penchant for demonstrating intimacy and sense of caring by shaking hands almost as many times as the hours that add up to a day.
In retrospect, I recalled her irritation with Kenyan culture and practice of shaking hands every instance familiar people met at the workplace or elsewhere. As for women meeting one another, shaking hands and hugging repeatedly, she thought they should be roundly condemned for “shameless public lesbian love making”. People should do such things in absolute privacy and secrecy, like Gikonyo and Mumbi, in Ngugi’s A Grain of Wheat, she always opined in the Senior Common Room.
That was decades ago when, as a self-confessed fan of Ngugi wa Thiongo’s writings and ideas since high school, she had tirelessly argued that the Gikonyo-Mumbi love affair was one of the best illustrations of positive political, social and economic relationship anywhere in the world. She attributed the couple’s heterosexuality to godliness and, therefore, a divine example for Kenya.
I still remember that she couldn’t shake hands with known or rumoured gays at the university because they were being “evil and unnatural”. As far as she was concerned, all acts implying or denoting homosexuality were satanic and Kenyan women were particularly guilty.
Secondly, she marvelled at how Gikonyo and Mumbi love and hate one another in equal measure but finally seek reconciliation and achieve an intimate relationship that symbolises Ngugi’s vision for a united Kenya at peace across gender, ethnic, economic and political differences. It is this kind of relationship she wished Kenyans every time they fought and killed one another over land and political issues.
Third, was the natural ambience in which the love was brewed, and climaxed. “The earth held them together and glued them in the bush until Gikonyo carved a wooden stool of reconciliation and reproduction of human life. Theirs is a life of struggle and sweat unlike their Member of Parliament who literally steals land without working for it,” she wrote in an unpublished high school essay she showed me in the mid-1990s. According to her, Kenyans simply didn’t know how to respect, exploit and seek inspiration from nature.
Thus, and not surprisingly, she accused me and my compatriots of being “unnatural” in our slow response to disasters. And disasters like landslides need not be there in the first place if only we could share the safe terrains equitably. Only a few people had “stolen” the best chunks of land and abandoned the majority to the vagaries and whims of nature.
As if rejoicing and mourning in one breath, she celebrated Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai for warning Kenyans that nature would hit back one day if we persisted in abusing the environment. We had gone against nature and God and whatever had happened in West Pokot was a practical affirmation and retribution for moral laxity and would be replicated all over the country.
A few days ago, she said, alluding to the non-existent diamonds the State once paid millions of shillings for, that we had lied, not only for our country but had defiled her.
And for the tenth or more time, she cited the Mumbi-Gikonyo tryst in Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s novel. In the love triangle, Karanja curses and fumes with rage on reaching the railway station ahead of everybody else only to realise that, in spite of being the fastest and therefore a hero, Mumbi is far behind in the bushes and writhing on the grass with love in and between Gikonyo’s “rough carpenter’s hands”. He believes he deserves her most because of his perceived higher class in life with richer tender hands. Or so is the reading by my former colleague, who maintains that Ngugi is ahead of the few Kenyans who fearlessly tell the truth about the yawning class divide in Kenya.
Thus she claims that when Ngugi fled Kenya in the early 1980s, he left a huge moral vacuum in the country in general and the university system in particular. His stature and commitment to the production and packaging of knowledge that would mould an egalitarian society cannot be disputed.
The intelligentsia are, however, a total let-down for her. Unlike Ngugi, they are bereft of nation-building ideas. Most try to be more English than the English people by defending and trying to speak and write the Queen’s English and parrot medieval British mannerisms over 50 years after independence. All they do is harvest air or nothing and expect to earn for it.
She, however, reserved perhaps the worst and most damning statement for the latest email. First, she attributed her confinement in a wheelchair to the surgical carelessness of a very experienced Kenyan doctor she refuses to name.
The old surgeon didn’t care much for her life so long as he got his millions of shillings. She proceeds to claim that most of his patients die in the theatre but that he detains corpses for long periods until he is paid. For her this is like being rewarded for murder, while in her case her employer paid for attempted murder. She insists that the doctor typifies the corrupt Kenyans who thrive on earning for doing nothing.
And on sighting a fully trained doctor on social media acting as a hired goon for a politician in the October Kibra by-elections and aiming boulders at an opponent, she concluded that in a country where some health workers can maim and kill, there is certainly no value to live by. When the selfsame doctor remarks that he dare not run away from an uncircumcised man, implying that such a person isn’t human, then there are no morals left in the country and the brains have sunk and drowned in the loins.
I insist, though, that my country isn’t totally amoral, having personally survived five surgeries by my compatriots over the years. The country can still be redeemed by the Gikonyos and Mumbis who believe in honest and creative living.
Singer speaks after attacking lover at WCB signee Zuchu’s star-studded concert
56 minutes ago
On 18 July, there was fanfare at the Mlimani City Hall in Dar es Salaam as WCB signee Zuchu held a thanksgiving concert months after her debut EP, I Am Zuchu. The event dubbed ‘Ahsante Nashukuru’ mainly featured performances by artistes from the WCB stable and attracted the whos-who in the Tanzanian entertainment and political scenes.
However, singer Gigy Money who also performed made the headlines for the wrong reasons after getting into a scuffle with her lover during the much-publicised concert.
READ ALSO: I was bewitched by a friend – Gigy Money
Peaceful arrival, later chaos
Moments earlier, Gigy and her Nigerian man were seen arriving arm in arm at the event whose highlight featured Zuchu receiving a brand new car from WCB head honcho Diamond Platnumz. Donning matching outfits, the couple was spotted on the red carpet as the paparazzi scrambled to capture the moment. However, all hell breaks loose later and viral videos depict the visibly angered Nigerian arguing with a bouncer at the entrance. After a tense confrontation, Gigy’s man is seen being led by the screaming bouncer towards the exit. Shortly after, a similarly irritated Gigy emerges and follows the pair.
“Gigy! Wewe Gigy wewe!” a woman in the background is heard dissuading the singer from pursuing them but the singer pays no heed and heads for the pair.
“You want to beat me?” the boyfriend is heard asking an approaching Gigy as the bouncer acts as a barrier between them. The bouncer manages to steer the incensed man towards the exit as Gigy follows behind, hurling obscenities.
At some point, a barefoot Gigy turns into a sprint before throwing one of her shoes which hits the man who then responds with an insult. Another bouncer finally intervenes and the two are separated. Gigy then asks for her vehicle so she can head home before warning the press against sharing videos of the incident.
Though the cause of their tiff is still unknown Gigy later made reference to the shocking incident in a social media post, hinting that alcohol had a part to play in the fracas. In another post, Gigy shared a photo alongside her estranged lover writing: “My mad man looked handsome before his demons arose and mine arose too.”
‘Running over Ali Kiba’
Gigy is not new controversy and recently said she’d run over her ex, singer Ali Kiba for breaking her heart.
“I will knock all of them down, I mean I will kill them. In fact, I will flatten them like chapatis. The first person I will knock down and kill is Ali Kiba. Actually, I don’t need a weak car, I need a Fuso so that when I knock him down I will be sure he doesn’t survive,” Gigy told Ayo TV.
Dating Kiba brothers
Gigy had in the past admitted to dating both Ali Kiba and his younger brother, Abdu Kiba. She solely laid the blame on Chekecha singer for pursuing her despite knowing that she’d been with his younger brother. Abdu expressed being heartbroken after learning the two had a fling, prompting him to marry.
“I was very hurt on hearing that Ali was dating Gigy Money because I dated her first before she became famous. But it’s alleged that Ali didn’t know. It hurt me for a while till when I married,” said Abdu.
Defunct Nairobi County Council Nurses Go On Strike, Citing Discrimination By The Government
Why Jahmby Kokai is happy her TV anchor dream never came true
37 minutes ago
Popular media personality Jahmby Koikai narrated how her first attempt at auditioning as a TV host backfired and she was sent home on the first day of the audition. Reliving her prime days, Jahmby narrated how she was determined to follow her dream of becoming a news anchor after completing her degree.
“There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro FM. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it.
“Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu?” she posed.
According to the endometriosis survivor, she went ahead to audition for the position despite the warning and was the first contestant to be sent packing.
“So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said some of us have to go home.
“My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news,” she narrated.
Later, Jahmby auditioned for another TV opportunity only to miss out as well.
“Then came another opportunity over 10 years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. I didn’t get the job.”
However, due to endometriosis, Jahmby was forced to put her dreams on hold and concentrate on getting better. According to her, it is as though God had better plans for her and is grateful to not have gotten the jobs.
“I battled severe endometriosis in silence for over 19 years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilized all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant.”
There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro Fm. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it. Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu? Nikasema zi. So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said, some of us have to go home. My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news. Then came another opportunity over 10years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. As you see in this pic, I got my hair done at Ralph’s Hair Salon, new suit etc. I didn’t get the job. After KBC, I never got to anchor the news again. I’m grateful I did not get the job even though I felt dejected at the time. I battled severe Endometriosis in silence for over 19years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilised all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant. There are many people like me who are bound by chronic illness and cannot do the things they love. I share your pain. But there’s hope. I’m grateful to God for His reminder that He will restore to you all the years that the locusts have eaten. Also Jer 29:11