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The Greater Thief, The Box, Love and a Motivational Book

The Greater Thief
So someone stole money meant for free Primary Education, while other people stole millions of shillings which were under transit. Meanwhile, elsewhere, someone stole someone else phone or chicken. If the long arm of the law decided to catch up with the above individuals, the ones who stole millions of shillings will end up with several months in jail while the phone and chicken thieves might end up with several years or even death sentences.

Most of you will have the feeling that the judgements handed in in such situations are completely unfair, and that those who steal millions from public coffers are favoured.After all, shouldn't judgement and the law be fair?

Lets examine the 2 situations deeper. Let us take a hypothetical situation, where someone has stolen your phone, some poor man has stolen some other poor mans chicken , and probably beat him up during the robbery. Some civil servant also stole millions of shillings from the public coffer.

What is the outcome …

Minding Your Own Business

The other day, I was talking with an upwardly mobile lady. An upwardly mobile lady is one who is doing quite well in life, has a good job, a good lifestyle and has planned out her life in a way that Wycliffe Oparanya, our minister of planning , would envy. However, my friend thinks that am favouring the above lady, and as he points out, an upwardly mobile lady should at least own the keys to a Toyota Vitz. Anyway, as a few of you may have realized, that wasn't the point.

The upwardly mobile lady told me that contrary to popular opinion in a certain secondary school, she did not reach such great heights while others slept. Matter of fact, she told me that they were wide awake, otherwise who would she have bought breakfast from in the morning and who would have ferried her to work? she told me that she had reached to this great heights by minding her own business. It is at this point that I raised a very strong objection. I was of the opinion that those had reached such great heights…

A to Z of Girl Pick-up Lines

Girl, You are like a breath of fresh air, like an outstanding piece of Art in an art gallery There are many things you and me can be, but it puts a smile of satisfaction on my face and a smile of envy on my buddies faces that you both beautiful and bootyfull Either your creator must have taken the greatest care creating you or your cheated your way around heaven, 'coz you clearly the prettiest girl on earth Don't ask why my breathing quickens every time I see you; setting my eyes on you makes me feel like I am drowning in your beauty, I have to catch my breathExciting, Exotic, Elegant, Electrifying; so many definitions in english, but when it comes to the human race, girl, you are the one and only definition of all the above When I say you are fly, it may be due to the sensation of flying off the ground that I get when I am around you.Some girls are beautiful, a few are decent, even fewer got class; I didn't know I could find all this qualities in one girl.Your friends are…

In Kenya, its everybody's turn to eat

Kenya, is a third world country facing lots of problems from a capital city with water shortages, national blackouts, crime to bloody elections. A lot of explanations have been fronted as to the root of our problems.

The politicians have taken almost all the blame, closely followed by our tribes and then other smaller reasons. Careful examination of all of this roots will reveal that you are far from the truth.

As it has been pointed out, Kenya is a capitalist state, and before you jump to a conclusion that that is where the problem lies, it is not. Capitalism merely rewards the smartest and those who have the capital.  In capitalism, every one aims for a chance to be successful, and more often than not, aim to out succeed the rest.

Well, aiming to out succeed the others is not a problem, but like drugs, can become a very dangerous habit. Like a junkie who will go to any level to get the next fix, people aiming to be successful can go to any level to reach such heights. The result of …

Stereotyping

Do you have a  friend who goes by the name of Abednego,Bosco, Fidelius/Fidellis? Does their tribe happen to be Kamba. Well, don't ask how I know, but some names are more commonly used by some communities than others.

Have you been to public campus? did you notice how your roommate/classmate has/had friends from the same constituency. did you notice that even his/her girl/boyfriend comes from the same constituency that they do. did you notice that they used to walk /hang around, drink and have fun with guys from their home constituency; how they used to talk in their mother tongue-most of the times very loudly in case you missed it- punctuating it with loud laughter? Noticed how some guys affiliated to a tribe from Western Kenya talks as if they are forcing their talking from their throats such that they pronounce lots of "eeh"? did you notice how they love wearing shorts?

Sorry about the wait, someone just knocked on my door, and wondered what I was doing awake past 1.00 …

Life in the Public Campus: 30 minutes before class

Apart from been a blogger who rants and complains about everything, like people haven't got problems of their own, I also happen to be a student. I happen to be the not-your-average student in a Public Kenyan university. I have decided that I would be doing several of my readers a favor by occasionally blogging about aspects of campus life.

I am going to narrate a story based on a few lies and several true stories. Its up to the reader to figure out which is which. The story was penned( in a bad handwriting characteristic of a bunch of campus students) slightly more than an year ago, in a boring campus lecture. I bumped into the story in a recent boring lecture(most are even more boring than high school classes) in an exercise book which I had recycled from a previous semester. Been an environmentalist, I discovered that I had various empty exercise books left over from previous units. If you are wondering why they are empty yet I had completed the semester, I researched, and preli…

Wet Cement Part 2

Like the footprint on wet cement, even before my previous note dried up, we are having issues with wet cement again, literally.

This time round, a building under construction came down, killing several people in the process. This is the second time it is happening in Kenya within 3 months. In fact, In Kenya, it is no longer news for a building under construction to collapse. It has become a statistic which we can comfortably account for.

We can even give you a mathematical function detailing the number of Kenyans who will be burried in wet cement in a collapsed building next year, all this within an error margin of less than 10.

As for the owners, they pattern is that they will "go missing" till the event is no longer enjoying high ratings in the news.

Matter of fact, we can even come up with a Kenyan TV reality show titled "collapse". I assure you that Collapse will be quite a successful reality show and that there will be enough grim footage to last you several se…

Wet Cement

Last Week, the school decided to install one more tank as a solution to Nairobi's failed city status via its inability to supply enough water to the deserved recipients. The tank, quite a large 24,000 litre capacity tank, had to be supported on a concrete base, and a concrete apron had been constructed at the tap. The new tank already had water as the apron was been constructed, and the contractor decided to seal the apron area with a paper and some stones as the apron dried.

I was surprised to find some bright students using the tap despite the drying cement.The students had decided that they couldn't wait for the cement to dry well enough, and that the older tank which is a couple of metres away was supplying water at too slow a rate. The bright university students continued around with their watery business, oblivious of all the details on ground.

The contractor, not one to be put off easily, decided to patch up the area damaged by use of the tap on wet cement, and reseal th…

Corruption in Kenya; A brief on causes and how to manage.

So Ringera is finally home, and as a resulty many Kenyans are now happy. The few that were nabbed under his tenure like former Tourism permanent secretary Rebecca Nabutola, are still doing their rounds in court, and will still have to answer to their corruption cases.So will many other non-high profile individuals that the Kenya Anti Corruption Authority nabbed in the same tenure.

Despite this effort by Ringera and his team to fight corruption, many Kenyans are convinced that Ringera would have done a better job. In fact, many were calling for Ringera's dismissal based on his perceived dismal performance.In short, they were convinced that Ringera was not doing a nice job.

What they did not take into account was that Ringera was doing quite a nice job, accroding to his employer. Given that the big corrupt cats that Kenyans want arrested are Ringera's employers, how did they expect him to go after them.

The chances of the KACC going after such people are equivalent to KACC arre…

State of Health in Kenya; Lessons from Death of Friends

Slightly more than a month ago, I attended the funeral of one Anthony Munyao Kamwe. Anthony Munyao Kamwe  was your average university student , in his early twenties, and with a bright future ahead of  him. His life was cut short by stomach cancer.

His burial was at his home,  inside the Kitui National Reserve, a dry area littered by baobab trees hundreds of years old;  an area where portions of the forest are still intact, despite the harsh weather. The area is a 2 hour earthen road drive from Kitui town, which itself is a 2 hour drive from Nairobi.

His death provided us with 2 important lessons.

First is the state of health care in the country. Anthony Munyao was the second friend I lost to health complicated matters in an year, the first been Sylvia, a beautiful girl who succumbed to Kidney failure. Anthony Munyao was diagnosed with ulcers while in high school which was about 7 years ago. He was treated for ulcers , a condition which kept recurring time and again. About 2 weeks befo…

Kazi kwa Vijana and other Idiots

Well, its has been quite a while since I made my last blog post. Well , I decided to take a small break in order to come up with fresh, and hopefully better ideas. During the short break, I made a tragic mistake of visiting the drought ravished ukambani area.

What I saw during this short visit made my heart leap out of my mouth (as my English teacher would have put such feelings that i felt). It made me almost give up on the meaning of life in this blessed country of ours. I mean, whoever came up with "kazi kwa vijana" must have been a big idiot.

Yeah, the roads looked neat with all the work that Kazi kwa vijana had done, but rather than applaud them, their results sickened me. It reminded me of a certain college class in which we covered ethics and the issue of jobs left when machines take over jobs done by people.


I didn't have the slightest idea that I would live to see a day when hundreds of men would take over a job meant for one machine known as a grader, or commonly…

Make a very cheap flat/big screen TV

Over the weekend I happened to visit a friend of mine, who also happened to be a fellow student. On entering her house, I was almost knocked out by her 19 inch television. Of course, been a guy, we are always attracted to the electronics. On taking a closer look, I realized that the T.V. was manufactured by Dell, which further dumbfounded me, since I don't remember Dell ever manufacturing T.V.s.

On taking an even closer look, I realized that it was a normal Dell monitor , but on further inspection, it occurred to me that my friend was using a T.V. box, which is a device similar to(or at times also known as) an external T.V. card. The T.V. box has a VGA output which the monitor is then plugged in. It then occurred to me that we can achieve vision 2030 pretty soon and anyone can comfortably afford a 21 inch flat screen using the same combination.

Below is a photo of a T.V. box.

tvbox1440_c.jpg (JPEG Image, 650x605 pixels) - Scaled (87%)

With New HP flat screen TFT monitors ranging fr…

The Cost of Owning an iPhone in Kenya

After visiting the Orange/Telkom Kenya stand at the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) expo, I was finally able to grab my hands on the elusive full pricing brochure of the iPhone 3G in Kenya. Sadly, the Orange staff did not have an idea of what the iPhone 3Gs is; but they were quick to admit this rather than telling you there is no such thing as most tech people in the country usually do. Here is the lowdown.





From the above pricing, Orange iphone price plans give you 18 minutes of talk time and 10 sms per day.Let us compare this with other providers.

Key :
* split comparisons show within-network charges on the left and inter-network charges on the left
**cost for 250 Mb bundle

As we see from the above comparison , the total ownership cost for an iphone ranges from Ksh. 69, 000 for the 6 month 8 Gb prepaid version to 149,000 for a 2 year postpaid contract on the 16Gb iphone.

After expiry of your contract, your iphone still remains locked to Orange Kenya and you may then move to thei…

News that never is.

I have given up watching T.V. news. Not that it is not dramatic; on the other hand, it is quite dramatic and that is where the problem lies. The T.V. stations have not been showing news, but drama scripts which they write and which are acted by others, mostly politicians.Even on days like Sunday when there are barely enough happenings , we still have dramatic news. The news channels have even learnt to ask for our thoughts on how dramatic the news was, and make an extra buck while at it.

Politicians have been given prime slots in the news , even when they have nothing to say. When they completely lack anything to say, the news channels go ahead and say it for them .After all has been said and done, the same channels will then express their utter disgust at the behaviours of the politicians.They forget that the politicians were acting up for their dramatic script, given that they were guaranteed free prime time advertisement aka news.

Take an example of the small matter of ICC prosecut…

Who are the Mungiki

Welcome to Nairobi, unofficially a city where petroleum is more widely accessible than piped water. It is also a crime ridden city, with high income estates been targeted more than the (mostly low income) Eastlands area. In my last article, we explored crime in the Eastlands in the form of a matatu hijacking.

Following the article, I received feed back of crime in areas along Thika road. The first revelation was that most matatus plying the Nairobi -Githurai 45(and areas in between) will rarely be hijacked. The second revelation was criminals operate matatus on the same route. To expound on this, criminals run matatus which they specifically "hijack" and rob passengers. The third revelation is that the police have little to do with the crime situation(or lack of it) on areas along Thika road till Githurai.

The Mungiki are the people in charge of this area. The reason why matatus will rarely be hijacked and why criminals own their own matatus is because of the Mungiki. Matatu…

Culture of Impunity: The Matatu manifestation

"Kenya is a friendly country, going to the coast or in most upcountry towns, Kenyans will smile with you, say hi and even offer help on your way around". The problem with the above statement is that some Kenyans are not happy with it. In short, they are no longer interested in advancing any bit of friendliness; in contrast, they are more interested in making the lives of others difficult. They do this mostly by illegally taking others own, either directly or indirectly. They do this directly by common robbery while indirectly by soliciting for bribes or refusing to follow acceptable procedures when dealing with the public. This behavior has become so widespread in Kenya that it is now called the Culture of impunity.

This became quite clear to me this week in several incidents. In the first incident, traffic police had mounted an operation to net vehicles flouting traffic rules along Ronald Ngala street. Several matatu drivers usually drive across the bank dividing the two …

Chilling Crime in Nairobi: What Prime Time News Missed

Last night I was watching Prime time news on one of our local stations. As with all other days, there was a buzz word for the day. Yesterday's Buzz word was "hotly contested" or a variation, which was used to refer to several instances of Mayoral elections in different towns in the country. The news caster kept reminding the viewers that each of the elections was hotly contested. This was soon followed by a Swine flu head count in the country and onto other depressing news about crime here and there.

Of late, prime time news has been serving us tales of rising crime in Nairobi, together with the rising stories of Kidnapping, which a friend, Conrad Otieno, says that has been fueled by the coverage local media has been giving it. As we eat supper, we have been having armed robbery tales served for dessert. The same news has been mirrored in all Local media outlets.So far, we have been hearing of how crime has moved from the low income areas to the high income areas, and how…

An idiots guide to Nairobi and it's environment

At this juncture in time, when the City Council is thinking of making major City Roads a one way, we found it helpful to add some sort of guide around the city, based on past experiences.
Crossing the Road
In primary school, we were taught that to cross a road, you looked right, then left, right again, and cross if clear. Well, we revised the rules to make them well suited for the Nairobi environment.This rules are applicable in all city roads, even on one way streets.

Look right,
Look left
Look right again1
Look at the traffic lights
Look at the Traffic policeman
Look for any signs of trouble across the street2

If any 2 of the above are clear, You may proceed to cross the road.
1 You should look right on one way streets, since matatus are known to drive along the wrong side of one way street at high speeds, especially if the streets have little traffic.
2you may cross a street and walk into an armed robbery, or a "Riot police Vs. X" match , where you may become a bullet statistic.…

Pornography & Technology: Buddies for Life?

Pornography is one of the most frowned upon human activities(hobbies), considered by many as a vice. Wikipedia describes it as Pornography or porn is the depiction of explicit sexual subject matter for the purpose of sexually exciting the viewer. Pornography is mostly associated with a male audience, with most men having viewed pornography in their lifetime. Many men will consider someone viewing pornography to be indulging in a vice, however, the same men will view, purchase and enjoy pornography out of public view. The question therefore, is where you view the pornography and the ethics behind the pornographic material been viewed. In fact, pornography is so popular that it has been associated with the evolution of technology, and the adaptation of some emerging technology over some other incumbent form. In some cases, inferior technology has trumped over some superior technology due to the pornographic foot print of inferior technology.

In this article, we shall heavily refer to an…

Demonstrators 2.0

Web 2.0 and social networking has really picked up all over the world. In areas like Africa where internet access is limited, Social Networks have been a driving force towards the adoption or Mobile Internet. Most people begin using the internet in order to use tools like Facebook of to access webmail. In terms of helping internet spread, social networking is close to pornography in the number of people it draws to the net. (Yes, don't frown. Pornography has been the biggest driving force when it comes to adoption of technology, even if society frowns upon it).

With the growth and popularity of social networks like Tweeter and Facebook, a new tend has been developing. The control and flow of information has moved from State observed(controlled/managed) News channels to people managed social networks. This has resulted in the masses having more power in themselves, with cases of demonstrations been organized and managed via social networks.

The most famous of these has been the Iran…

The Nairobi City By-Laws that Never Were

Well, you have all heard about the proposed Nairobi city by Laws, currently awaiting approval by the Local Government minister. The proposed laws seemed to be quite comprehensive, and ranged from simple laws governing traffic-lights-conduct to the outrageous ones which seek to limit the behavior of city dogs. We here at gramware have been having a feeling that some of the laws on dogs were referring to a word used to co-notate the gender of a female dog; and commonly used to refer to human beings with outrageous behaviours.

Still, we think that there are some laws that city hall missed, and we decided to list some of them here. Most of them might be outrageous, and probably a reason why they didn't make the cut. Here they are:


It shall be illegal for a city Resident to stop on a street to stare at a video screen for a period of time longer than 15 seconds. any resident contravening this shall be charged with obstruction.

Pedestrians within the city shall attempt to walk in almost a…

The Unofficial Mascots of Kenya

Of late, Child molestation & other stories related to pedophilia have been having a large share of Kenyan news. Its quite strange that all this stories seem to have cropped up at almost the same time, as if someone was coordinating the action behind the scenes. Above all, the child sexual molestation & homosexual allegations against Father Kizito , a Kenyan Catholic priest of Italian Origin , seem to be leading the pack and gaining the lions share of such stories.

It has gone to such an extent, that whenever the media is talking about anything paedophilic, Father Kizito's photo is shown, even when the story is unrelated to him or does not mention him.
MUDKIZITO1706C.jpg (JPEG Image, 460x234 pixels)

So to say, the guy is now the unofficial mascot of paedophilics in Kenya.

Still on the news & mascots, Kenyans seem to have an in-built gene that makes them have a high affiliation to overturned petrol tankers. This is apparently in the name of making a living out of the spilt…

Twitter? What the hell?

Twitter has been in the news on several occasions in the recent past. It all began with a few celebrities using twitter, then it caught on to CNN and Ashton Kutcher going head to head for who gets a million followers first. Ashton Kutcher beat CNN in what was the first demise of CNN on Twitter. This event was closely by Oprah's grand entry into twitter. It was at this point that many people actually joined twitter. Oprah happened to be a major occasion on twitter, with many geeks anticipating that twitter would be overwhelmed by the interest brought on it by Oprah and her millions (if they haven't hit a billion) of fans worldwide. In fact, we gave a Before Oprah and After Oprah Twitter ages.

Twitter has continued growing, with it been claimed to be the fastest growing social network in the world, with a growth rate of about 1300% per month. Ironically , a Harvard research says that only 10% of twitter users contribute to 90 % of the content on twitter; the content is known as t…

One of us.

So you are one of us? That was a question I was asked by a Human Resource Officer at a ministry which I am attached to. I was doing some maintenance on a laptop in the officers office, when one of her tribes mate came for some catching up. They chatted in their language oblivious to the fact that I was one of them. After I was through, the officer asked for my name. I told her my name, and it then dawned on her that I was one of her tribes mate, or one of theirs. She then proceeded to ask me some targeted questions, which advertisers are fond of asking when doing targeted advertising, such as 'where you come from', 'Where you went to school'.

I have seen organizations(departments) and other workplaces that are dominated by people from the same tribe. Many people prefer allocating job positions to their friends/tribes men , who then invite more of their tribes men. The fact that the organizations human resource is limited to one geographical source contravenes the law of…

When none of your business becomes your business

Martha Karua, one of our most hyped politicians, was in the news again. This time round, it appears her god-like status is now fading as quickly as it came up. Some of her constituents were demonstrating against her; odd it was that they were motor-cycle taxi men, not demonstrating against her motor cycle policies, but against her so called support for the mungiki. It is odd, since the activities of the mungiki do not affect cyclists alone, but the constituency as a whole. This had reeked a strong oduor of hired demonstrators, as she claims.

As for the demonstrators and the planners, they appeared to have made a judgemental error when they claimed that their MP was supporting the mungiki. Martha Karua, been a sensible person and a lawyer, has been against the stance that the government is taking against the mungiki, by allowing other so called vigilante groups to hunt for mungiki and kill them. Been against this method, does not mean that you support the mungiki;the two aren't, m…