POACHERS & OUR POACHED VALUES

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This is my second article on this blog precisely delving in to the poaching menace in the country in what I want to imagine is the height of our’poached values’. A part of me feels very strongly against this parochial and selfish acts. Every time I stumble on some news regarding killing of our precious wildlife, am completely shuttered. The big five have brought so much fortune and envy to this country but more importantly we should appreciate wild animals are also sensitive and in fact have feelings.  Watching images of their carcasses only makes one sympathise with what must have been cruel deaths.

Why are we wiping out our heritage left, right and center? What will the posterity generation think of us when they ponder on the glaring statistics on poaching? Our biggest flaw is that we don’t give a damn on anything that does not affect us directly. Our so called vibrant youths with acres of energy are never sensationalized by national issues which directly affect the economy of this country. Where is the activism from social media? Our biggest preoccupation is on which socialite stripped where or dates who! Social media is a mirror of our national discourse and Kenyans perfect the art of turning a blind eye to issues which are not sensational. How can we appreciate poaching is at an all time high when even watching news is a problem?

Tourism will sink deeply very soon if we are not cautious but that is not more tragic that telling tales to our grandchildren of the phenomenal wildlife we once had, from the elephants to the rhinos all the way from Masai Mara to Laikipia plains. This poaching madness should warrant the same level of anger we vent to insecurity and high cost of living. Less than two months ago, a 46 year old elephant commonly referred to as the mountain bull by wildlife-conservationist enthusiasts, was killed in  Mt Kenya forest last month. This is the same elephant that inspired the ‘Save The Elephant’ charity in October 2012. The six tonne bull made poachers salivate for many years as conservationists outsmarted them for this long. In fact they built a wildlife corridor previously blocked by human development where elephants would move from Mount Kenya forest to the northern rangelands in Laikipia safely, fitted with GPS tracking devices. But it seems poachers had the last laugh after the towering elephant’s carcass was found eight days after its death.

As if that was not enough, another bull was killed mercilessly, a 45 year old elephant in Mulka, Taita Taveta by poisoned arrows and its tusks found missing. More sad news would come few days after, when a renowned conservationists Paula Kahumbu broke the news on twitter about the death of Satao a 50 year old bull arguably the oldest elephant in Kenya killed in Tsavo East National Park. “Of all the elephant deaths that have happened, these are the hardest to bear. The grief in Kenya at the killings is translating into floods of tears, emotional poems, and outrage,” said Paula Kahumbu

We all know China is the biggest importer and beneficiary of ivory tusks from Kenya, but wittingly, instead of banning these products , it gave Kenya a funding to ostensibly go towards anti-poaching fight. And a naive Kenya government humbly accepted it, from where I sit, this is a futile approach and a PR gimmick by China. The same zeal we showed in rallying the entire continent behind us in matters ICC should be applied in fighting poaching. But this will be a tough call since its an open secret that poaching cartels have infiltrated governments of the day, in fact they are as powerful as drug lords in Mexico. My hope is that the United Nations Environmental Assembly that has been going on this week in Gigiri even graced by UN boss Ban Ki-moon will not pass as another mere talk shop. World leaders must step up and also compel governments to do more or face sanctions if they do not curb poaching.

THE WORLD OF SOCIALITES

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God forbid one of this days your small niece, cousin or granddaughter will not innocently tell you, “I want to be a socialite when I grow up”. Its the newest career in town, especially for the ladies ‘who lead from behind’  quite literally, in other words the well endowed and ‘bootifully made’. These are ladies who will leave every normal man tempted to ogle even when in the company of their other half. Since Kenya is a country of counterfeits, some ladies will go all the way to have fake butts at whatever cost, after all, its very hard for anyone to differentiate a fake from the ‘genuine’. That’s a must have asset in the world of socialites game, in a fast growing industry which ostensibly transforms a lady from sheer oblivion to stardom.

Who calls the shots in this lucrative industry at least in Kenya, well, very informed sources tell me Corazon Kwamboka is the most valuable and envied woman by Kenyan males having outpaced the infamous Vera Sidika even after heeding to Kimaiyo’s orders by removing her tint, and the rest follow.kwamboka The list grows every new day, in fact this week, I happened to watch in the news, a self confessed lady from University of Nairobi publicly admitting she only dates older men. Thanks to fat bank accounts of the said men, this lady and many others manage to afford affluent lifestyles in and out of campus as their parents probably in up country are oblivious of the on goings and would likely attribute all these monies to a good job.

In international circles, Kim Kardashian is the most popular socialite. She actually launched her career by leaking a sex tape with her then boyfriend Ray J. This is the same lady who broke all the records by divorcing a basketball player after 72 days of marriage. This is precisely what we call first world problems. In my opinion, the second ‘global socialite’ can only fall to Rihanna, she will attempt to push the envelop in matters dressing in all her public appearances. This is a celebrity who will pop into a party dressed in hardly anything if its not a transparent dress. Two days ago she stole the show when she attended CFDA awards in a see- through gown, no bra and nothing else but a petite inner wear. The annual event is held to recognise outstanding contributions made by fashion gurus in America.

So how does one become a socialite in Kenya, for starters, get in touch with a popular blogger, have him or her leak a fake story about you, linking you to influential personalities from politicians to celebs in all dirty activities especially sex escapades. Social media is always hungry for such fodder, after the reactions rise and fizzle, circulate semi nude or nude images all over the internet. Let people vent their anger on you and throw tantrum from Twitter to Facebook and hopefully wish it trends for some weeks. Finally deny deny deny, throw a blanket condemnation to all bloggers for prevaricating the truth, mud-slugging your beautiful name and family to unnecessary anguish, blame them for all the malicious fabrications, innuendo, distortion of the truth and primitive tendencies. That is a career launched, Kenyan style.

Which void are socialites filling in Kenya? The most important component of an ideal society is the family, and unfortunately its crumbling everyday. Good parenting have gone to the dogs, good values have been replaced by vices, our priorities are now upside down, money is toppling every virtue endeavoring to survive. Churches are the worst hit, a good number of pastors are molesting, defiling and exploiting the congregation left, right and center. Normally in such an ambiance, evil will prevail and society will embrace it overwhelmingly. Socialites are just an extension of whores only that they do it ‘professionally’ of course with a good marketing strategy carefully targeting a particular niche and clientele.

MAYA ANGELOU; SURMOUNTING FLAWS

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“…The caged bird sings, with a fearful trill, of things unknown, but longed for still, and his tune is heard, on the distant hill, for the caged bird, sings of freedom.” A transcript of the last paragraph of Maya Angelou’s popular autobiography, ‘I Know Why Caged Birds Sing’ best captures the depth of creativity and life experiences of this legendary woman. Caged by poverty, childhood abuse, firsthand racial prejudice and discrimination from an early age, really sharpened Maya to a strong woman who dared to confront and surmount her insecurities in the thick of things.

Her parents divorced when she was only 3 years, later living with her paternal grandma together with her brother, raped at 7 years, her uncles killed the said perpetrator, and a traumatised Maya went mute for close to 5 years. Her subconscious mind made her believe her voice heard killed the man and she thought she would never speak again as her voice would kill anyone. Relationships came calling during her teenage life and at 16 she was pregnant, by 17 she was already a single mother. 

Am amazed by the fact that Maya did all sorts of odd jobs to put food on the table, not even life challenges would overwhelm her. And before delving into writing and poetry, she was an actress, singer and a dancer. Having started by putting pen to paper on her life story, she fell in love with her new passion and this can be attested by her numerous laurels she received through writing. Did you know in 1968 she stopped celebrating her birthday as it coincided with the assassination of her close friend, Martin Luther King Junior. She would instead send flowers to Luther King’s wife, Coretta for 26 years until she passed away in 2006.

Maya was a typical woman brought up by a struggling family, faced a myriad of challenges just like many African girls from poor backgrounds go through. She made mistakes like everybody else, ultimately she conquered her flaws, she was no longer a ‘caged bird’, she had tasted freedom, nothing from then could be an impediment between her and her dreams. In a world that craves for perfection from bleaching the skin to appear lighter, dying our hair to conceal any grey hair, Maya was a simple woman who used her tough past life to inspire and glow hope to many a people across the globe. May her soul rest in peace