FUN IN THE WILDERNESS

rallyI hurriedly lock the house, making a dash seconds later to the agreed rendezvous, obviously am not a morning person, I sigh. No sooner I arrive than my ever speeding boss pulls over. We join Nanyuki – Meru highway cruising at over 100kph, he is constantly on phone finalizing on logistics and racing against time. Destination Turaco Farm, an export horticultural firm, the starting point venue of Day 2 rally.

This was two weeks ago, when Mt Kenya region had honours of hosting the seventh round of this year’s FIA African Rally championship, the 62nd KCB Rally held at the picturesque, humongous farm fields, combined with alluring grazing wildlife. Nanyuki was the nerve center and being a relatively slow town, was awoken with buzzing sounds on this long weekend. Excitement from the deafening exhausters was evident from all and sundry. Batian view which overlooks the iconic Mt.Kenya, about 2 kilometers from Nanyuki town, serves as a spectators’ site as well as the award ceremony venue, was filled to capacity. It is one place that brings together the paupers, middle class and the very affluent to mingle freely together. Music, beer, stylish ladies, youngsters documenting every unfolding via I-pads and smartphones; and mad fun were all in galore, dramas notwithstanding. Not even the light showers could dampen the spirits. Kids danced their hearts out at the sheer close glance of helicopters. Meanwhile catfights from visibly drank ladies over a not so bothered chap caused a stir to many who had thronged the event. On other typical days, Batian works as a deserted, valley endowed grassland for the local inhabitants.

A day would commence by setting up tents which ordinarily is not a cup of tea for everybody. We had to learn the whims pretty fast though. My colleagues who were all ladies in fact did more technical work of putting together the timing system; I found that to be incredible. It’s during the long breaks that we were to prepare lunch. We had to light a jiko, funny enough, a few young men from the private farms assembled by to offer help if need be, shied away from preparing nyama choma. I found it weird and hence had to take the challenge under the watchful eyes of the ladies. Nobody complained afterwards, so I assume my job was above board, thanks to the pragmatic ‘tutorials’ my late dad inculcated in me, early in life.

Arguably Laikipia is the second county after Lamu endowed with many vast ranches. Unlike previously when rally cars would transverse through village roads and occasionally get distracted by oncoming traffic along the highways, this time round things were different. Much of the competition took place in private ranches with controlled spectators’ sites and closed roads, which ostensibly is what the rally fraternity has been agitating for. The World Rally Championship emphasizes of these preparations for Kenya to get the green light of hosting the global circuit again. While flagging off the cars at KICC, President Uhuru Kenyatta said his government would work towards ensuring that the Safari Rally returns to its prestigious status of the old days.

As life becomes more expensive due to soaring inflation and what have you, further worsened by lots of negative stories happening across the country, it’s very fulfilling when one takes a break to savor what is there in life to celebrate about. It’s on this note, that my boss who is a well-connected guy, at least in this town, who also happened to be one of the organizers, invited a couple of my colleagues and I to be part of the ’junior officials’ in this well attended event. Speaking of the organizers, they work more or less like a cartel; drive well-oiled machines, are deep pocketed and seem to be what I would term as the crème of Laikipia County. Members cut across all races; majority being white settlers in Kenya, Asians and a few natives (read Africans).

Motor enthusiasts had a field day cheering their favourite drivers for the three days. Cut throat competition was witnessed between Carl Tundo and Baldev Chager where the latter would emerge as the overall winner. Veteran driver Ian Duncan a big gun in this spot dropped from the race on day 2, making it a big blow to his fans. Mitsubishi Evox was the common car outpacing the popular Subaru machines, perhaps for its powerful engine. Some teams seemed more prepared than others as some were more friendly and courteous than others. At the end of the day, I got to learn a skill or two, laughed my heart out, met old friends as I made new ones; which is all that is needed for all rounded self-growth.

LADIES TO BE WARY OF

ssq2“…Hapo zamani ukiambiwa unapendwa, waamini…unaimani…” Words picked from Elani’s latest single which loosely translate; in the past when somebody said he/she loves you, you didn’t have any misgivings. I miss the good old days, when love was love. Nowadays when a lady whispers to you words of love, you get bewildered, you juggle between confusion and excitement. Reason being, times have changed, so have love and people. Relationships are breaking even before they start.  Welcome to the microwave generation, where when people meet today, they want to be in a relationship like yesterday. We never give friendship a chance, thanks to the many soap operas all over our T.V screens.

Fellow men, we are the most affected, ladies are capitalizing on our gullibility, big time. Our casual nature serves as good fodder for ladies to apply all the tricks on our face so effortlessly. Women cheat and they cheat so meticulously, unlike men. If a girl by day 2 is already calling you ‘babe’ and you guys have only met on WhatsApp, think hard, summon yourself and quickly get an exit strategy. If by day 5 she claims you are the sweetest honey pie she has ever stumbled on, do not even try to hide, please run and run fast, for your dear life. If on the second week she is trying to borrow some money from you, consult your instincts, prudent people don’t approach their new friends for financial help. Ladies who party five days a week, are a no go zone. If her dreams are vague and neither here nor there, do not contemplate changing her, you’ll fail miserably. If you visit the kitchen more often than she does, you’ve cooked yourself in hot soap. A real man will prefer a lady to cook for him than being frequently surprised with dinners all over town.

Am referring to subtle and highly smart ladies who possess this guileless demeanor. Guys, it’s advisable to randomly check how you have been saved in her phonebook, lest all her friends will refer to you as the small or big bro depending on you stature. If by the third month you don’t even know how many siblings she has, if she is always amorphous when it comes to her discussing where she comes from, think twice, somebody is being duped. These sorts of ladies are very economical with information; they in fact can’t trust you with their phone, not even when going to have a shower. They will insist on a sleep over within the first one month after you meet. For you, it will seem like winning a jackpot oblivious of the fact that, the devil is in the details. Chances are, she is already pregnant with another man involved, but as time progresses she’ll make you believe, you’re responsible.

Let not naivety distract you, take your time. Infatuation is normal and decisions based on it can be very misleading. It conceals flaws that could have been easily spotted with a sober mind. It’s okay to say no to a lady, but how often do we utilize that word. Many a time, ladies call the shots in relationships as men are lost in trying to please them. It’s through this naivety, that mistakes are done through the thick of things, before you realize, you are already so hooked up to a lazy, narcissistic lady who does not even fall close to your dream girl. Beneath the make up on her face, her expensive weave, well-manicured fingers, you meet her true ethos.  Baggage is the only word that can describe her. She will only pour out her heart, her insecurities and emotional pain after she has ‘used’ you. By then, your conscious will have been compromised and so will be your judgments.

The controversial page Dead Beats, to me is just déjà vu and delineates how family set up has disintegrated into small pieces left, right and center. Such pages go viral for few months and the sensation fizzles out with time. No amount of blackmail will bring solutions, it’s self-defeating and myopic. Do not be surprised to find out more than half, of men ‘ashamed’ in that infamous page, are actually victims of tricks women use. What will happen when ten years from now, the said kids find out their images were uploaded to the internet to solicit a certain man to take responsibility? We have better channels to forward your grievances like Children Court of Kenya or organisations like FIDA which backed by law can compel men to take responsibility. Uploading somebody’s photo on a funny Facebook page only depicts how stuck you are on a man who was even below your caliber. Move on bravely and he will chocked by guilt to his deathbed.

Fellow gentlemen, be watchful as you chase the elusive love, please don’t judge a book by its cover, the devil is a liar, Rick Ross can attest to this, all so well!

FAMILY DISENFRANCHISEMENT AND THE UGLY DEATHS

sh.I visited my village last weekend and what I saw was not only annoying but devastating. At the local shopping center, intoxicated old and young men were staggering and causing drama to the amusement of the ever idle crowd. Across the country, from estates in the urban to small towns deep in the up country, the script is the same. Alcohol dens have surpassed the number of schools. Nobody is questioning the anomaly, in fact, inversely; we do not give a damn.

What this means is that kids have no role models. When a society hardly has good role models, it means the rain started beating us and the first casualty of this mess is the family set up. Family love has evaporated as dew does every morning. Consequently, people are killing their mothers without a blink of the eye. Churches have been infiltrated by adultery, teachers have taken advantage of innocent kids, women have been raped and some even killed after the ordeal, as they go about their businesses trying to make ends meet. Men have been battered, humiliated and lampooned by their wives in public. In Naivasha, people kill and sell dogs’ meat to unsuspecting customers so casually. Relatives defile kids left under their care. Lazy brothers kill their dads for not distributing land, for them to bequeath.

Post-election violence is the bigger picture of a badly ruined family set up. When youths gang up and strategise on how to kill their neighbours, lit their farms on fire, maim livestock, it means values have been thrown out of the window. When alcohol scourge persistently wipe out youths full of life, when some women in Kiambu work in cahoots with villains to eliminate their husbands, when rogue border officials permit terrorists to the country; we should go back to the basics, the family values. Disenfranchisement of these basics is tantamount to burying our heads in the sand and naively hoping things will one day get better. Things cannot improve if we are heading in the wrong trajectory. How would that be if hardcore criminals are buying their freedom courtesy of selfish prison warders, or when ineptitude cops shoot dead a matatu driver for not parting with a sh.100 bribe.

When Kabando wa Kabando mum was killed by her son, the media made us to believe drugs influenced the ugly death. Kenya media does not interrogate beyond that and peculiarly, we moved on. What they do not tell us is that there is more than meets the eye. Regardless of whether the sibling was the family’s black sheep, was it appropriate for the family to leave the late mother with a mentally ill son, all alone. Has the society done enough to mitigate these grave behaviours. Each new day, many youths get acquainted to drugs, in the end they pose more danger to their close relatives and the society at large. Sadly, law enforcers are hell bent and part and parcel of these problems.

As the talented gospel singer, Bahati puts it in his latest song ’ Visa’, watching news nowadays is tense and scary, there is no positive stories to look forward to. Disillusioned spouses have been killing their partners all over the country while nations are at hammer and tongs. We must go back to the basics, harness that family love that we’ve ‘killed’; sooner than later the society will be safer and more peaceful, kindness will be witnessed in our neighbourhoods, patience will dawn to motorists and smiles will be marked on our lips. The opposite is also true! Decisions should be based on the bigger picture. Let’s bring back that family love. The good book says, he who kills by the sword will die of the same.

SEX AND HIV

10460336_10154603818885533_2699079453162350035_nThat ladies are spreading their legs to every Tom, Dick and Harry is no longer surprising, it’s a reality we are slowly and inadvertently accepting. Men on the other hand are taking advantage of the lowered standards to lay down a lady at their wish. It’s easier now to sleep with a girl than it was 10 or 15 years ago. For ladies, the toughest age group to be is between 15 – 24 years. According to government statistics, it’s the most vulnerable as far as HIV is concerned. This age group account for 21% of the new infections. Culmination and ultimate meltdown of principles nurtured and preserved since childhood is lost within this period.

Recall the infamous Masaku sevens where sex was traded so casually by intoxicated youths. Technology has complicated things even further, kids as young as 10 years are sex texting with their peers all day long. Phones have become inseparable from their hands. There is nothing wrong with buying your teenager a phone at this day and age, but when the said phones persistently distract the kid from doing his/her chores, then there is a big problem.

For starters, Kenya has the 4th highest number of AIDS infections in the world after South Africa, Nigeria and India. At least 1.6million Kenyans are infected and 100,000 continue to be infected annually. 89% of sexually active Kenyans don’t use condoms with people who do not know their status. 65% of these new infections are highly prevalent in 6 counties alone, Homa Bay, Kisumu, Siaya, Nakuru, Bomet and Turkana. Nairobi bears the burden of most people living with HIV/AIDS infections as Homa Bay has the highest new infections rate. Further, 65% of new infections occur to women aged between 35 years and below. Married couples are three times likely to get infected with HIV than a sex worker.

Teachers and some men of the cloth are busy outdoing each other in impregnating if not raping young girls, left, right and center. Mainstream churches on the other hand are struggling to cover up sexual relationships grappling their members and leaders. I once heard of a bill which was meant to provide a framework on protection and advancement of the reproductive and health rights of women. The author of the bill, one Senator Judith Sijeny partly advocated for making available, of contraception and family planning services including contraceptive options and information to children under the age of 18 years. It further permitted termination of pregnancy with the consent of the mother. In a nutshell what this means, contraceptives and abortions will have found a new lease of life, in fact it’ll be backed by law if the bill goes through.

It is through this bill that the few values loosely holding the society fabric will be out rightly eroded. Debauchery is the order of day with Kenyan youths, poor or affluent, challenges seem to be the same. Guys are crawling from one lover’s bed to another with so much ease and hardly any iota of guilt. As schools open, dramas around the estates on weekends and evening hours will at least cease for now. I fear for these high school kids, they pretend to know much when it comes to gadgets, but that’s where their wisdom starts and ends. HIV is so real and so are the statistics.

Parents are not any better. Marriages are being crippled down by many cases of infidelity, cheating in marriages is at an all-time high. The only glue, sticking them together is the children who apparently take cue from them. They piece together words and deeds they see every day from their parents and breathe life to them. If it’s the case of absentee parents who have to crisscross between work and school, house helps and grounds men fill the vacuum and take away their kids innocence.

HIV is killing big time and if you are lucky to escape it, STIs will catch up with you. But ignorance is convincing us otherwise, we no longer want to apply the basics, we want to have the cake and as well, eat it. We are juggling between what’s ‘cool’ and what’s faddy. Can we dare to go against the grain and please stop conforming to the ‘new norms? ‘After all is said and done, all we be said and nothing will be done, ask Juliani. Let’s compare notes next time.