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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Hate speech on Social Media: A Case of Misplaced Locus of Responsibility


Social media only features on our daily plate of bad places to hate on each other because it is sexy. It is sexy for the government to be seen as working to inculcate (not restore, we have never been united) true national cohesion and the warm fuzzy feeling of hating each other beyond  tribe and gender. Social media offers the older bureaucrats a chance to show the younger online generation whose boss. The sad thing is that in our peace lobotomy, we have validated it. We feel that the limits of the Bill of Rights apply to situations where we have a responsibility to be responsible. Incitement does not shift the locus of responsibility from the actor unless he or she is a young child or has a mental disability. The end decision of whether to hate your fellow man lies with you and your environment (and if you are religious, your respective deity).

African governments are scared of social media. Social media brought down Hosni Mubarak in less than three weeks despite his desperate attempts to block its use. So now African governments, beginning in Malawi, Zambia, and now Kenya, are now seeking to follow the China model, with less glamour and innovation (The Chinese have the decency to provide Baidu and other alternatives  to control ‘subversion’).

You don't say?

You don’t say?

Hate speech assumes that the reader does not have a responsibility to decide whether to pick up a machete and slaughter his neighbor and burn a church full of people. It assumes that you, as the reader, do not have a choice to decide to stop reading this and close the tab. I owe you a responsibility to be politically correct and to be sensitive to what might read like revolutionary material. You owe me as much responsibility for understanding this, for example, as I owe you for choosing these words. They would be ineffective if you could not understand them, contextually.

In the ‘Mau Mau’ War, hate speech took the form of propaganda pamphlets that were distributed by both sides, and included many forms of expression, including the content of oaths and war songs, this evolved into the implied hate speeches that drove the intrigues of the first government under Kenyatta the Elder, and was perfected under Moi. We lost the script when society kept quiet as Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Koigi wa Wamwere, Wahome Mutahi and others were detained for ‘sedition’ and other such ridiculous crimes. To the people, the state was not to be questioned, peace and sustainability (read self-preservation) were king, the same thing we are going through right now. Until the Second Liberation took place and we all temporarily realized that the ones who say ‘bad things’ need protection. Our view is largely libertarian and communitarian. Libertarians believe that the right to free speech may be limited only for compelling reasons such as fighting words. Communitarians believe in the community’s ‘well-being.’

We all know what happens when we let the government, or anyone in a position of power, infringe on the rights of a few people. At first, it is all bliss and calls of ‘JAIL THE TRAITORS OF OUR COSMETIC PEACE AND NATIONAL COHESION!’ ‘JAIL THOSE MYOPIC BACKWARD PEOPLE WHO ARE ONLY TELLING US WHAT WE THINK OF IN THE COMFORT OF OUR OWN HOMES AND MINDS.’ Before long, all is lost, and now a typographic error that accidentally connects someone’s name with the word ‘stupid or incompetent’ qualifies as a capital offence. Is this it? This cannot happen? It already is at an advanced stage. The press is now too tainted by corporate influence to matter, the civil societies are no longer civil or focused on society, the government is just being well, the government (the garb has changed, the body is still the same despite going on mandatory ‘cabinet lift and devolution’ cosmetics). We have so much coffee we should be waking up to but we are busy uprooting it to build gated communities. Voltaire said that if you want to know who controls you, just check whom you are not allowed to criticize.

Grumpy cat needs no caption.

Grumpy cat needs no caption.

Are we saying that it is okay to think this things at home and probably kill your neighbor while at it, but never ever post it online? It is the same misguided logic that has validated misogyny in rap culture; the idea that the representation owes more to the source than the source does the idea. We have a personal responsibility in how we relate to the rest of society. However, numerous studies in cognitive influence have shown that we all tend to move towards what the environment offers. We need to move from what is the influence of social media on Kenyan culture to what is the role of Kenyan culture in influencing and shaping social media. We are so afraid of ourselves that we are willing to risk making hardcore criminals of everyday Kenyans who need therapy in diversity and forgiveness.

When a blogger’  was hauled in the courts for allegedly mentioning ‘specific names with specific allegations’, we all kept quiet and validated it despite the subliminal warning. The King’s courtiers know how powerful a tool it can be  and will now use it to gain mileage and traffic

In the letter alluded to in the link above, the NCIC supposedly wrote “You have been posting threatening messages on your face book account which are intended to cause hatred/violence among communities in Kenya.”  A lethargic NCIC  is now considering going after those using ‘sign language and symbols’ to “..spread offensive remarks that could lead to violence..” The operational word there is ‘could’,  because that is what our peace lobotomy has come to. It also means that before long, someone will be standing on the dock answering to charges of showing another the middle finger. Who knows, maybe someday we will jail the dead victim too.hate-speech

Being responsible is two-way. It does not only mean reporting those you do not agree with-however myopic, backward, stupid, and wrong it might be-it also means controlling what you read online. The mark of the free mind is whether yone can read without being influenced. You do know that no one is coercing you to ‘Read More’ or hit ‘Share’ or ‘RT’? Better still, no one is holding a gun to your head to prevent you from blocking anyone who posts things you do not agree with. Actually, that is precisely the reason those buttons exist. Ours is partly due to the fact that we are all Moi Orphans, education-wise, and we feel like we now have too much freedom. Social media offers us all an outlet, but it is just that, an outlet. The real hate speech is in our minds, in our homes, in how we secretly think of each other.

We need not look further than the people whose government structure and social habits we have so blatantly aped. The US Supreme Court in R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul (1992) ruled in favor of the youth who had burned the cross-sign of the KKK on a front lawn of a black family. It ruled that by prosecuting him on a law that limited free speech rights, the state of Minnesota had violated his rights. The implication? The court did not rule on the act, which was criminal and should have fallen on the class of ‘willful destruction of property’ but ruled that the law cannot focus on motivation, the thinking that results in criminal behavior.

The truth about hate speech

The truth about ‘hate speech’ on social media

While we have hurled about 10 people in court for hate speech on social media, whatever that is, we have prosecuted one person for the (modest estimate) of 1, 100 deaths in 2007/8? …and I really want to point out our validation in the recent elections, but I know you are already thinking it. Had we already punished any of the people who committed the 2007/8 genocide, because that is what it was, perhaps we could have asked them if they were ‘driven to kill by hate speech’ or they are just downright brutal and senseless murderers who are still walking free. In no time, we will not breathe online on any social policies that are poorly implemented for fear of being on the wrong side of political correctness. Make no mistake, if this were the 1980s, we are on the government side, cheering on while it starts by plucking out, with our help, people whose only crime is perceived stupidity, as it rubs its hands and prepares to tell us how much we don’t need these freedoms we enjoy.

The joke is that most of the people spewing hate speech on social media are actually Kenyans in the Diaspora . What are we going to do, wait for them to disembark from JKIA and haul them before our lethargic justice system? Are we going to block them? We should, but are we helping anyone? Won’t they just adopt other pseudonyms and call us names? Most of these people live in countries where ‘hate speech’ is not what we think it is, expression is everything. The governments of most of those countries have followed a different model, choosing instead to be efficient in how they deliver services to the people, focusing less on cosmetic surgeries, and investing into efficient propaganda machinery.

Keep calm.

Keep calm.

Free thought/speech is not love, it is not about feeling the warm fuzzy feeling inside for your neighbor or brother. Free thought is not about supporting the government or the opposition, or simply opening your mouth to avoid halitosis. It includes these, but it is not all about them. Hate is as much a part of free expression as love is. Hate cannot be washed away by shocking the ‘hater’ into silence by jailing a few ‘like-minded’ individuals. Hate is taught, it is acquired from our environment, our educational process, our social and political history and structures.

So, go ahead dear reader, think about killing someone, and hating them, and hating the politicians they support and the way they conduct their everyday lives, hate on their cultures and the way they breath but do not post it. That is the new Kenya for you, think it, but do not say it (you can do it though, we do not care much about that).

 Owaahh

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10 Tools to Show your Bananas that You Love Them


Bananas will take over the world. Bananas will live forever, even aliens and cats will bow down to bananas.

Proof of evolution, and the official mascot of the list

Proof of evolution, and the official mascot of the list

Most of the tools described here are meant for children below six and psychopaths, and since your mother has allowed you to access the internet, and your mother is a responsible woman then it only follows that you should be reading this on your way to therapy.
#10  FC-305 Banan Plantain Slicing Machine, Pepper Slicing Machine (FC-305)

This is by far the heaviest tool here, and the most expensive, and the least nifty.

Trust this one to come from China, and from the comments to that video, there is a big market for this slicing machine also named by the laziest person ever. Since this is made in and marketed from China, we can guess that the below minimum wage branding guy felt that removing one vowel was enough. What should worry us more is that an exectutive or gang of them agreed to the death of a vowel. granted, someone must have thought the ‘a’ appears one time too many.

You probably need a license for this too...

You probably need a license for this too…

This tool goes for USD 1350-USD 1750, depending on…it is 100kg and has a capacity of 500-800kg per hour.

#9 -Banana Slicer

all-in-one-banana-split-tool-6
You need this tool because, well, because you will need to slice bananas really fast when the Zombie Apocalypse makes human settlement impossible. You will need to slice them while on the move, and this tool can make that task easy.

Its a quick, painless death, why should the bananas suffer?

Its a quick, painless death, why should the bananas suffer?

“Slice an entire banana with one quick motion. Kids love slicing their own bananas. Safer than a knife. Made from dishwasher safe material.”
Mrs. Toledo here who will tell you how much it has helped her marriage
Mrs. Toledo
or user SW3K here who will attest to how much the banana slicer 571B links with the criminal justice system.
it even has a military endorsement

Roswell, now you know what the aliens brought.

Roswell, now you know what the aliens brought.

Although some are not satisfied

We might need species specific slicers

You can view more reviews here.
There are very many other models in this class of banana tools including the Amco 3 in 1 Banana Split tool  that does more than just split, it also peels and cuts your banana so you can save time.

 

#8 Chef’n Banana Banana Slicer

You might need to put this in the pre-nup.

You might need to put this in the pre-nup.

Apart from being named by the laziest creative on this line of branding teams, this tool is unique because all you need to do is ‘hold over a bowl and squeeze’ and slice bananas in seconds.

Chef bananza” A hole in the device has been manufactured with different species and sizes of bananas in mind, so that any one can be slipped inside to undergo systematic slicing.” (Sir, its okay to say you were experimenting and you sliced off something that should not have been in the Chef in the first place)

#7 Banana Peeler

First, I don’t mean the slang, urban-dictionary sanctioned meaning of the banana peeler.

Calm your bananas...

Calm your bananas…

Or this one whose function I am either too stupid to understand or someone in the brand team was too lazy to think up something unique
If you have a habit of not unseeing things, do not watch the video below

#6 Koziol Bananenschäler Fips transparent rot/Koziol Banana Peeler Fips transparent red

First, stop whatever it is you are doing with your life and know this, you need this tool!

It will change the way you understand your banana...

It will change the way you understand your banana…

When you click on that link, google translate will tell you that the line
“Der kleine Affe knackt die Banane , hilft beim Entfernen der weichen Streifen und kann auch noch die braunen Stellen weglöffeln.” directly (contextually) translates to “Ideal for children . The monkey (Contextually, the banana ‘opener’ is designed like a monkey) breaks the banana , helps remove the soft stripes and can also weglöffeln the brown spots”
it comes in other colors.

Gizmodo doesn’t think it is cool but Gizmodo is wrong, except the part where they say bananas are ‘Mother nature’s most perfect food.

Meanwhile, outside your kitchen window...

Meanwhile, outside your kitchen window…

#5 The Banana Saver Clip

Cock your banana, save it from oxidization!

Cock your banana, save it from oxidization!

If there’s any entry that has made it here more for being cute than because of any functionality, its the Banana Saver Clip (we can find about two legal uses, and five illegal ones, for entry #1).

The Banana Kamasutra...

The Banana Kamasutra…

What is interesting about the Saver Clip is not that it helps keep half eaten bananas fresh by posing as the complete banana but that it has an economic angle.

Buying this will save the world economy...

Buying this will save the world economy…

It belongs to the line of fruit savers, saving us all from wanton spending, one banana at a time.

#4 Banana Measuring Device

I call this the ‘banandom’ because, well, see below…

The How To Manual for this one must be PG-rated...

The How To Manual for this one must be PG-rated…

You should not be cheated into buying shorter or longer bananas again! Get this, and no, a condom with random markings will not work (we checked and discovered that in addition to not being functional, it also makes the bananas impossible to peel).

#3 Banana Protectors

This is different from the banandom, just check

We have now escalated from protection to the real thing, okay, the real replica of the thing..

We have now escalated from protection to the real thing, okay, the real replica of the thing..

Banana Guard does two things, it keeps your bananas from bruising each other and one of them even glows in the dark. I will go ahead and say here that a glowing banana is creepy but cool, and there’s also the fact that it looks like something kinky.
The guy who created it, David Agulik, is an emergency room doctor, which makes this product the more suspicious. What is it that he has seen in the course of his work that made it a matter of life and death to have the BananaGuard?
There’s also the Banana fruit suit  “Protect your banana and it will be grateful; that is, until you eat it.” The evil laugh at the end is implied….

It is called the Banana Bunker, which just sounds like a yet-to-be released Durex line...

It is called the Banana Bunker, which just sounds like a yet-to-be released Durex line…

In this family you also have the Banana Bunker whose designer was a tad bit too inspired by something else
You can find it in different poses, colors and designs at the official website.

Here is how to use it

#2 Dazzling Banana

Trust the Japanese to try and spoil the party by making something that is more functional than everyone else.
You know how the Japanese like to throw the word ‘psuedo’ around because it ends with a vowel and its a model of something real?

Bananas in Japan seem awkwardly short too, hhhmmm, the Japanese gods are allergic to length?

Bananas in Japan seem awkwardly short too, hhhmmm, the Japanese gods are allergic to length?

Dazzling Banana does not peel bananas,heck, its not even the real thing!

It just “…creates the sensation that one is peeling a banana, and that’s not all, it has sound effects to go with the sensation….”
This crazy contraption actually simulates peeling a banana, it has a built in speaker which makes the experience more realistic.

Japanese designer, this how true banana look like. This how 2 real banana look like, look, learn, bow.

Japanese designer, this how true banana look like. This how 2 real banana look like, look, learn, bow.

#1 WikiHow
Yes, we have a DIY website as a tool.

Dramatization...

Dramatization…

There is a whole WikiHow page dedicated to the art of peeling a banana.
There are 9 (known and legal) ways to peel a banana and surprisingly, using the other tools on this list is not listed as one of them.

15991_10152776024310393_2018958885_n

…surprisingly, no mention on how to peel ‘boneless’ bananas…

You can learn how to do it like a monkey
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nBJV56WUDng

The fact that video above has had 4 million views should count for something (ignoring the fact that he is wearing monkey pants).

The Throwing Method takes the cake, sorry, banana.

LOVE THY BANANAS!

 

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7 Most Eccentric Kenyan Politicians


The thin line between eccentricity and insanity is riddled with money, and power, and political office, and balls.  In fact, if you the common Wanjiku were to try some of the eccentricities here, there would be a ‘Get Wanjiku to Mathari Hospital Campaign.’

#7 Kamwithi Munyi

In an age that was characterized by sychophancy and national asskissing to win favor with the big man it is hard for anyone to stand out, but this man did. Everyone was ‘toeing the line’ which is just euphemism for kissing the man who lived in the house on the hill’s ass.

Kamwithi Munyi would wear “… two wristwatches lest he missed a presidential function, nodded at every word the president uttered as he judiciously took notes”

Kamwithi, seen here reincarnated....

Kamwithi, seen here after reincarnation…

That’s it, Munyi wore two watches because he didn’t trust either to be correct. He believed in ‘The Synergy of Many Watches and the ancient art of asskissing’ [citation needed] Or perhaps no one told him about Segal’s Law “A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.”

People wear two watches for different reasons, the more apparent of which is stupidity.

#6 Dixon Kihika Kimani

Where Peter Oloo Aringo was the court poet, Dixon Kihika Kimani was the court jester and he owned that with unmatched awesomeness.

Kihika Kimani Live? Anyone? NTV?

Kihika Kimani Live? Anyone? NTV?

Most of his quips were in vernacular but the meaning cannot be lost to anyone.
He holds the record for being the only man to ever represent three different constituencies. You would think disappointing three different electorates would qualify one for the list but this man did more, or rather sad more.

When a Nakuru trader, Mbugua, expressed interest in a car he was selling, he laughed off the whole idea and told him in Kikuyu: “Ukwenda gakari gaka nduire thuragiria? (You want this car, in which I have been farting?)” Well, that is not exactly a sales pitch, sir.
Interviewer (when he saw the 70-year old Kihika with a 6-month old boy): “Ona gaka no gaku mutongoria? (You have fathered this one, too, mheshimiwa?)

...and he might have succeded, meet his gorgeous daughter, now the Nakuru County Assembly Speaker...

…and he might have succeded, meet his gorgeous daughter, now the Nakuru County Assembly Speaker…your argument is invalid.

Kihika: “Tondu niwe undeithitie gugaciara?” (Have I asked forhelp from you on that matter?).
“Hata sasa nikitaka naweza kuchukua wanawake tatu, nne, niende nao kwangu kwa sababu nina mali (Even now, I can take away three or four womenand marry them off because I have wealth),” he would say.

He was elected in three different constituencies, a fete no one has achieved before or after him. He is also famous for having his six wives run in different constituencies, giving new meaning to the art of spreading your luck.

# 5 C M Njonjo and his pinstripe

Meet Sir Charles M. Njonjo, the Duke of Kabeteshire. Njonjo is almost always seen ‘…Clad in his trademark three-piece custom-made pinstripe (with his initials “CN”) suits with a watch on a golden chain dangling down his neck.”NjonjoHe is a man who is known for his British mannerisms, although we cannot confirm whether this is as cool as having a British accent (which has been scientifically proven to increase one’s chances of getting laid exponentially). Njonjo is credited with giving us Kenya’s Machiavellian prince, also known as the giraffe of Kenyan politics, and hence triggering events whose effects we are still seeing now. If kids do not get their free laptops.in the next six months, you know who to blame now.
Everyone knew Sir Charles was stylish and more obsessed over his pinstripes than the government he was supposed to be advising on legal matters. The truth about the pinstripes, was captured in the Miller Inquiry when so many snitching on the man that it held the record until Michael Vick was tried for holding dog fights [citation needed].
The Miller Inquiry ended up being more about the man’s vanity and narcissism than the accusation of treason. THis was the same man who had accused people of ‘imagining the death of the president’ so…karma.

The age before zoom?

The age before zoom?

“In January 1981 he (senior superintendent of police Essau Kihumba Kioni) discussed with a Mr Todd, an accountant in the revenue section, the issue of excess baggage weighing 270kg that had been flown in by Njonjo from London. When it was confirmed with the London authorities that Njonjo had not paid for the excess baggage, the chief accountant discussed the matter with the airline’s Managing Director, Lord Cole and Njonjo was invoiced Sh36,272.50 on January 21, 1981. On January 29 the same year Kioni was summoned to Njonjo’s office, where in front of Lord Cole and Simon Mbugua the then permanent secretary in the Ministry of Transport, the former AG expressed his disgust at the police officer.”

270kg of what most certainly were a bunch of suits and for which a lowly officer got to see the AG’s office.

You raise us tyranny and a suit, Hosni? We raise you consistency!

You raise us tyranny and a suit, Hosni? We raise you consistency!

Now, even common folk like you and I get clothes that are tailored somewhere-the difference is whether they are tailored in a sweatshop in China where one of the company policy rules is to not get frustrated and jump out of the window, or in London where the cost of thread can feed a family for a few weeks.

Njonjo wins this for consistency, having worn the suits for almost as long as he has been posing for photos.

#4 Martin Shikuku and the early grave

In an age where sycophancy was real, there were those few blessed with tonnes of bollocks the size of Saturn complete with rings of badassery and nongiveanyfuckatall-erely (citation needed). One of those few was Martin Shikuku.

KANU  might be dead, Shikuku, but it had already sired enough....

KANU might be dead, Shikuku, but it had already sired enough….

Shikuku dug his own grave actually he had two of them dug and labeled clearly so no one would bury him in his wife’s grave. Then he bought them coffins and placed them in the house. You can relax now, married guy, suddenly your oily spanner on the kitchen table sounds like child’s play. If she ever brings up that or the dirty socks on the coffee table, point her to what Shikuku’s wife had to go through with two coffins in the house, maybe even using them as a book case.
Shikuku made his funeral arrangements in 2004 (Including no religious rites and political speeches), which is pretty weird because his chances of being assassinated had gone down exponentially with the fall of the ‘official’ KANU in 2002. He is most famous for saying that KANU, the mother and father of the republic, the cockerel of the land was dead.

"Yes, I need two levels in the grave too, in case I decide to ressurect"

“Yes, I need two levels in the grave too, in case I decide to resurrect”

Everyone knew it, but you couldn’t just tell the king he was naked. Simply calling the cock (ignore, for the next few minutes, that the last two syllables of his surname alluded to poultry) dead does not count as a qualification to be on this list-there are enough men having to tell their girlfriends that everyday-but the cock in question here was the only cock in the whole nation (I don’t know why you are thinking of the cock that is not the cockerel that is only male poultry. You might need therapy), But my guess is that there are two places you couldn’t say ‘the cock is dead’ and expect to be treated the same way after between 1965 and 1991 and that’s Kenya and the Playboy mansions.

For eight years he walked past his own grave most likely even jumped in a few times to get a feel of his body’s eternal home. You figure he most likely covered it or something, more to prevent the occassional four-legged domesticated animal from falling in and forcing everyone to throw ropes at an ass.

#3 Mutula Kilonzo, the Lion herder

So you own a pet, or pets,yes? You do, of course you do, you are most likely reading this with your feline lord straddled across your lap, and you are stroking her with one hand as you scroll down with the other…any lubricant and I would ask you to first finish off the creepy business before reading on! Or you own lolCats, the internet equivalent of these living deities. Still, you own a pet, even if its just the cockroaches now walking across your carpet simply because someone whose pants you are trying to decode is seated across….whichever the case, your relevant lane on the road of pet-keeping is a damp weather road with potholes compared to this man’s.

No, not this one of his hobbies...

No, not this one of his hobbies…

Meet the other Mutula who lives in his Sh2 million cage called “The Hague”. The other Mutula is not a learned friend, he is a friend with a mane, a lion (Dear dyslexic, we all have loins, if we had wanted a list about loins we would have written one. So, lions it is, unless your lions are roaring in which case, stop reading this and go get checked by someone, preferably a witchdoctor with proven experience and no front teeth….trust me, you do not want to know why). 2 million bob, you that read right (but you that read wrong, this too…again, twice, too easy?).

That’s the price of a decent family home in most parts of KE, or a campaign if you want to win a parliamentary seat in Meru.

The politician is rearing three lions and has named the dominant one after himself (ofcourse). The lions and the cheetahs (one named Mutula and the other Ocampo because …well,because subliminal) are fed on beef and goat meat from his livestock, but only five days in a week so they don’t become obese-no one wants momo-lions.

At least this Hague knows how to do its work....

Two Mutulas, one owned by KWS, the other by KRA.

One lionness is named Sis and the other, Nduku, after his wife. Now, given that this are the only three lions on the ranch, and that they most likely mate (although they are orphans), this could actually be a representation of a man’s threesome fantasy cum incest cum adultery with le sister and le wife cum everyone at once. [citation needed]
Now you have to clarify which Mutula you are talking about, is it Mutula the Simba, Mutula the Wild Pig, Mutula the Cheetah or Mutula the  former Mbooni MP (you would think representing a constituency with such a name would be enough).

Naming a wild pig after yourself is not exactly subtle is it sir?

#2 D. T Arap Moi and his baton
Its the way he shamelessly fondles it in public (for over three decades, the horror!) that should tell you who we are as a country. We are queer, we like to watch…

See how he holds it?

See how he holds it?

It looks somewhat like a dildo, something you would see in a grotesque porn movie with a lass on heels on one end and a jerk on the other. In this scenario, only the lass is missing.No one knows whether he sleeps with it.
Moi is an obsessive man, as this profile on his sense style suggests . He is well-dressed for a man his age, and looks quite healthy but it is impossible to find a profile of the man that does not mention the “elegant gold- or silver-tipped ivory rungu.”

He referred to it as his fimbo ya nyayo- making you dear male reader, not the first one to name something you own and fondle ‘fimbo’, in fact, take a number, this one might have copyright issues.

We know he used it whenever he was angry; sometimes shattering it in which case another rhino or elephant would have to die for a replacement baton- unless all the rungus were made when the first one was killed, poachers, are two tusks enough for…say, 30 presidential phallic symbols? This is a safe environment, you can answer at the comment section…(the worst that can happen is a 30k fine if they catch you).

Is it just me or is the head on this one bigger?

Is it just me or is the head on this one bigger?

During a visit to Australia in 1981, Moi accidentally dropped and broke it.   He was so distressed that aides had to arrange for a replacement to Down Under (See what I did there?)

Eddie Murphy once described Moi as a bone carrying head of state . If Eddie Murphy had been Kenyan, Eddie Murphy would have had Eddie Murphy’s balls between a pair of rusty pliers in the basement of Nyayo House for sedition and making fun of the father of the nation. The man was Machiavellian to the core, a giraffe and a tyrant now celebrated for being old and clairvoyant.

Seen here definitely not describing the size of the real one

Seen here definitely not describing the size of the real one

Should it worry you when everyone talks about the pointy thing you carry around everywhere? Especially if you don’t work in the porn industry?

Yes, the taxpayer paid for an eccentricity because you don’t want your president to be distressed that the thing he holds on to is now broken. Because we never heard it after, in the next 20 odd years of leadership, we can assume he improved his grip, learnt how to….hold it better with dropping it…if you catch my drift.
It seems to escape our national conscience that we have phallic symbols in the capital city and a major town and we are not worried about its impact on morals (come on clergy, when do you start hating on this one too?).

Your Excellency, if you would please toss your rungu in there too, and maybe stand closer to the fire?

Your Excellency, if you would please toss your rungu in there too, and maybe stand closer to the fire?

The irony did not seem to dawn on anyone that the guy burning 60 tonnes of ivory  to discourage poaching was holding a baton was made of ivory.

Closer...

Closer…

..but when you are the president you can even add the phallic symbol to the currency....

..but when you are the president you can even add the phallic symbol to the currency….

When yours truly tried it, carrying around a stick as a boy, there was a fully-fledged, state-sanctioned, family intervention because everyone thought he was exhibiting masturbatory behaviour (holding the/a stick all the time is not exactly subliminal is it?)

No one said it out loud but he knew, or rather he knows now why it was thrown into the latrine.

I dare to start hitting on women in the club while holding a baton suggestively. Well, Moi can get away with that but you my friend can’t… This can only work if you own stuff and you make shit happen.Some life advice? Whatever your eccentricity is, don’t carry a baton unless you are high in the police hierachy, unless it can get you laid then always carry a baton, in fact, carry a pair of balls too!

When you are president you can even immortalize it, and add a mountain just for kicks...

When you are president you can even immortalize the phallic symbol, and add a mountain just for kicks…

#1 Dr. Taita Towett and a host of eccentricities
Any list here at Too Late for Worms that Dr. Towett appears in is bound to have him as the most of anything… because  was weird and he owned it….like a bawse, before it was even cool to be short and not give the tiniest of F-words for what anyone else thought. Taita Towett is here because if he wasn’t rich or powerful, he would have simply been a madman.

So you think you are awesome? Tell me more...

So you think you are awesome? Tell me more…(see the specs?)

Now, one understands why a man with 26 children, five marriages and two divorces would make everyone keep time. You don’t want a whole polling station yelling ‘give us money, give us money’ at the same time. As a Kenyan politician, Towett knew the ancient art of keeping your constituents waiting, ensuring you could break their will one by one.
When everyone was clamoring for multipartyism from 1988? Towettwas advocating for a party-less state-which would have saved us from our legendary political prostitution. We also know that he was a linguist, and a tribalist, by today’s standards for having not pretended he wanted ‘other tribes’ in the Rift Valley in the 1960.

Research Endeavors
Long before Robinson Githae told us we were dying of hunger because we are stupid (not exactly in thos words), Towett had already tried to figure out how eating moles (which he paid catchers KShs. 15 for) affects the eater’s sleeping habits.His hypothesis? That rodent’s have heavy sleeping habits and most likely affect how the eater sleep? This would have been important research and might have, to some extent,, provided Githae with the scientific evidence he needed to validate telling such a proud goat-and-donkey eating nation to eat rats.

Plus there would have been a clash of personalities, cats do whatever they want too...

Plus there would have been a clash of egos, cats do whatever they want too…Feline Towetts

He had first wanted to use cats for the study but abandoned the feline animals because he discovered their ineptness. The cats were naturally heavy sleepers and he settled on the moles.

That’s right, this guy stayed up watching rodents sleep. Which makes sense, to some level, because you want to wake your cat up when the mice are asleep, or to take shifts waiting outside the mice-condo in your wall (we have watched too much Tom and Jerry, clearly).
Why we don’t have the journal article? Well, he’s research couldn’t really have passed the scientific tests of validity because of several reasons. One, he was his own sample population, okay, he and the moles he caught and booked one of his wives to cook for him were the sample population. Being the guinea pig is not exactly sharp is it?

(Singing) SOMEBADY SAAAAAAAAAAVVEEEE ME!

(Singing) SOMEBADY SAAAAAAAAAAVVEEEE ME!

Two, even if we were to accept his self-experiement, there is also the other matter of his WhiteCap. Anyone who knows Queen’s O’Clock knows that it is the ancient cure for insomnia and is so effective that it most likely made the moles look bad.
Another one of his many research endeavors was the effect of alcohol on sexual performance in men. It just sounds like a ruse to get an orgy from your five wives doesn’t it? You would think owning a harem would increase your chances of getting laid…

Mashimoni
It is said that his Ngata house farm was invisible until one got really close to it, and no, I am not making phallic allusions as I was doing in one of the previous entries. The house, known as ‘Mashimoni’, first made it to the national news plate when the Standard carried an article in 1987 of how weird Towett was.
When the journalist asked him why he dug out so much soil and built a bunker excuse for a house, his response was:

I can even wash my hands in the sufuria and wear a suit with

I can even wash my hands in the sufuria and set the style standards for Mike Ross. (and how to not forget where you placed your glasses for everyone else)

There is no such thing in the world as ‘below ground’ because even if you dig a hundred kilometres into the ground, you will still be stepping on ground. I have built my house below grass. You will appreciate that grass only grows at the surface of the earth. My house is, therefore, ‘below grass residence’.

Plus below grass sounds like euphemism for being baked.
If you think you are eccentric, dig a house below ground level and call it Mashimoni (the name is so graphic, but I figure he had a crisis because he wanted to call it Shimoni but couldn’t because it would have alluded to something completely different) and spend a few months watching moles sleep, or socialites, whichever tickles you.
The Passenger Seat
Towett’s greatest eccentricity was not even watching moles knock it off or even making barbeque sticks out of their tiny internal organs. His greatest eccentricity was that he thought the inner design of the car was stupid, and he set out to offset the imbalance. How? First, he took out all the back seats and placed a bag of sand in the back (Of all his cars). Then he removed the passenger seat and reversed it to face the back so the passenger could face the driver in transit.

His justification for removing the back seats? “I am not running a taxi service. One seat is enough for me
For turning the passenger seat? “I like to see who I am talking to, as we travel… most people are so linear in their thinking you waste time looking at them directly in the eye

Dramatization

Dramatization

But sir, you had a family of 26 children, what you needed was as many seats as those in a Nyayo bus, not less. The rationale here was probably not ‘putting all your eggs in one basket.’
Coould it have all been a ruse to get head-it must be easier? Or to be straddled when driving without the whole, shift-gears-first-so-I-can-move-thing. It makes sense, especially in a car-chase, plus also gives new meaning to head on collision.

Which means that at some point in NRB’s notorius jam, a bored driver would look at the next car and see a man seated on the passenger seat, facing behind, not giving a fuck about anything, and just being awesome and weird. That man, giving a whole new definition to riding shotgun, and perching his spectacles on his head because why not? It also means that guy who drives a ‘pimped out’ Vitz with Christmas lights on the outside and a spade on the excuse of a boot suddenly looks sane.

Owaahh, 2013.

 
 

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7 Most Elaborate Cons ever pulled off in Kenya by Foreigners


Hunter Thompson quipped “In a closed society where everybody’s guilty, the only crime is getting caught.In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.”

Wanjiku, the taxpayer who watches soap operas every evening and takes the 9 O’clock news for truth, expects elected leaders and the media to do due diligence and not be stupid and gullible.

History shows that more often than not, they do exactly the opposite. Many of the cons were successful because we have a tendency to believe foreigners, and often approach interactions with them with ‘half-closed eyes).

#7 Lamine Diack’s ‘Son’

The (almost) Sucker: Maina Kamanda, then Minister for Sports
You are also forgiven for not knowing Lamine Diack, or why someone would masquerade as his son to swindle a cabinet minister. The would be sucker, then Sports Minister Maina Kamanda had a stroke of luck, and figured it out before he lost his money.

Do something, like call a Minister and say you are the Second Coming.

Do something, like call a Minister and say you are the Second Coming.

The Ruse
Imagine you are a cabinet minister and you receive a call from the head of an international sports organization claiming his son, Mohamed was carjacked and is now stranded Kenya. He needs more than Shs. 300k to find become ‘un-carjacked.’

Chances to have the head of IAAF owe you one? Those do not come easily, do they? You can already sense the excitement as you call your bank to see whether they can loan you the money (you are a cabinet minister, of course you are broke, your over 900k salary a month notwithstanding). Kamanda later said “I…alerted my bank to see if they can lend me the 4,000 Euros.”

The taxpayer should be taxed for this scenarios, right? As an allowance for ‘international assistance, networking and asskissing.’ To make sure that whenever a political leader needs to do a favor, he has the necessary funds to handle the bills and buy a favor.

Sir, did you get a reimbursement for the Liddos part?

Sir, did you get a reimbursement for the Liddos part?

As your bank sorts out the money issue, you ask your secretary to call back Lamine so you can see ‘what more you can do for him.’ Get the son into Liddos, perhaps, because he might need striptease therapy after the carjacking? Only that this time, you are talking to real Lamine Diack and he swears he knows nothing a son in Mombasa or Kenya, and probably calls your mother names and tells you to quit weed before hanging up on you.

You call the police, trick the guy and arrest him. Then you hold a press conference to express your dismay; underneath it all we know you are cursing the lost chance to be a sucker.
The confidence man who wanted the $5, 100? Nelson Banda, a Zambian national (and no, he is not, to the best of my knowledge, related to the former president).

#6 The Artur Brothers

The Sucker (s): The Kenyan media and public, and almost everyone in between
You have probably heard of this saga so much in the last nine years that you can recite it better than you can the second stanza of the national anthem. The two brothers with similar first names and weird last names, one with a full-time smug on his face that tells you he knows things you don’t.

This is a case of what Johnny Depp’s character in Dark Shadows describes as being ‘so overt it’s covert.’ It is the art of hiding by not hiding, being so much who everyone thinks you are that it can only be a lie. Its what Mike Sonko does by displaying such stupidity that we are just glad he wears clothes.
The Ruse?
It all started with the seizure of a 1.1 metric tonnes of cocaine haul in 2004 at the port of Mombasa that upset the drug business and triggered background power fights, and put the corruption machine into full gear.The Artur brothers were brought in as ‘investors’ and in private circles ‘security consultants (in a way, this is true, just not precise).

The smug look on their faces! Who shaves them anyway? Is there like a mercenary barber?

The smug look on their faces! Who shaves them anyway? Is there like a mercenary barber?

In 2005, Raila Odinga claimed that they were assassins brought in to kill him.
….before the Arturs said that they had been hired by Raila and ODM to bankroll a regime change (wait, paid to pay for something? Okay…).

Actually, for the lazy reader who hates clicking on links, the main point there is that they ‘…met with Kalonzo and Raila who wanted US$41 million to support the ‘No’ referendum campaign in November 2005 to bring down the Kibaki government. They claimed they had loaned Raila $1.5 million in cash.

In 2010 they claimed that Kibaki knew about the Standard raid. Didn’t anyone give this people a job description? An entire bureaucracy and no one thought to at least think up a JD?
Like a good number of the entries on this list, they were accommodated at a five-star hotel in Nairobi (Which the taxpayer almost obviously paid for) before moving to ‘their’ Runda home (where they invited the same media they later raided-well, supposedly). Maybe they were the fangs of the rattle snake to which Michuki later alluded.
They were ‘assistant commissioners of police’ with state ‘protection’ (that we still paid for…happily… and just to show them, well, that we can afford mercenaries).

Again, the smug look...what's with these guys?

Again, the smug look…what’s with these guys?

On the mercenary issue one of Arturs (I was too lazy to check which one) said: “if we were mercenaries, Kenya could not afford us.” I don’t get these people, insulting our ‘national pride’ by claiming we do not have enough taxpayers and lenders to pay two mercenaries, we pay over 1, 900 of those already-we brand them ‘politicians’ though, it’s easier to spell. (I am tempted to switch to full vernacular mode, what Sunny Bindra calls peculiar lingo and ask ‘ii nikii we!?’)
In the end, no one even knew whether they were Armenian as claimed or Czech as claimed by the immigration ministry. For such an incompetent government, at least they got the Eastern Europe part right.

…Or even why we deported them to Dubai and not Armenia where they claimed to have hailed from.
That claim of an assassination threat? A claim that matches their recent appearance in Maldives just a few days after Mohammed Nasheed, the ousted leader, expressed similar fears.
Now Maldives is scared of falling for the same con job with the president even saying he doesn’t know how to pronounce the first name (Neither do we sir, we just think of how some people would read ‘A tool’ and take it from there. Catch up, ignorance is no excuse). Then this press statement.

#5 Grace Aluma Ondonga, The Woman who ‘sold’ International Life House

The Sucker (s): An MP, diplomats, top companies
The Ruse

Grace Aluma offered to sell International Life House and all of its 15 floors to a group of rich and powerful dudes who drive around Nairobi looking for buildings to buy. Her first pitch was that she was a uranium dealer with the American government, and that she had over $100 million to invest in Kenya.

Sold, to the stupidest bidder!Source www.netagecars.com

Sold, to the stupidest bidder!
Source http://www.netagecars.com

Granted, this was the age before the internet so it’s not like you could just Google-search a person and go through their Wikipedia page (stop opening a new tab, she doesn’t have one).
Grace, illiterate as she was, was most likely inspired by this guy, the con artist extraordinare (if they write books about your crimes, that’s a good thing, right?) Lustig is known as the Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower in 1925 (date is key; we don’t know how many other times it’s been sold, France loses many wars).

He became famous for this one act because of the sheer balls it took to ‘sell’ such an iconic piece of architecture and never be prosecuted it for it because the scrap metal dealers he swindled were too powerful to be embarrassed but not bright enough to not see the con. Granted, they were French so, doesn’t really count as a great con Lustig, resurrect, and try again!

Cool move Ondonga, now try sell the most notable piece of architecture in a country and you qualify as a pro...

Cool move Ondonga, now try sell the most notable piece of architecture in a country and you qualify as a pro…

Her most prominent suckers? Then Bahati MP Fred Omido, Dr. Victor Johnson (UN Consultant from Sierra Leone). She also collected money from Westland Motors (now Toyota Kenya), Swissair (defunct) and Kenya Commercial Bank. Of course, it makes sense for big companies to want to own buildings, the fact that the seller is illiterate being less important than the fact that its such a fair deal.

Omido was later accused by Charles Njonjo of helping Aluma escape.
Like Count Lustig’s ruse, the exact suckers are not named in the media reports, perhaps to save them from the embarrassment. For the simple fact that they are not French, this ruse took balls!
She and her accomplice, Dr Simon Ngoye Mulopwe were arrested in 1984.

#4  Debra Amelia Kasambura nee George, The Queen of Sheba of the Nubian Empire

The Suckers: Government officials (of course), businessmen, Kamlesh Pattni (Someone got even for us? Have we feted them yet?)

If you Google the Queen of Sheba, you are more likely to land on pages about the Queen of Sheba of the Nubian Empire, alias Debra Amelia Kasambura Nee George than the real saphosexual who travelled to get some from King Solomon.

First, just because someone has a pompous title doesn’t mean she’s legit, okay rich and powerful guys? Especially if the title of her Kingdom ‘Ra Nubia-Sheba Imperial Queendom of Sheba Throne’ sounds like someone was trying too hard and couldn’t find time to edit out some kingdoms.

Royalty? Where is the purple?

Royalty? Where is the purple?

She claims to have
“… studied law [sic!], psychology [of course] and international marketing [explains everything]… practiced law while running a clothing and design business and also ran a consultancy firm.” (Because….superhuman!)…to have married Adam Sheikh Thabit Kasambura, the self-declared King of the Nubian Dynasty which, according to her, stretched to Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Egypt in 2001.’

How lucky were we, that one year later she decided to grace our capital city with her royal presence?

The Ruse
In March 2002 (everyone was confused between 2000 and 2003, it seems), she arrived in KE and commandeered the Presidential Suite at the Grand Regency Hotel (owned at the time by the one man who deserves a list of cons all to himself) all to herself for what she termed as a ‘working holiday’. Like good lapdogs, many senior government officials and businessmen advanced her goods and services … because, well, because royalty!

She demanded special treatment and made government officials run at her beck and call organizing a meeting with President Moi and doing all things pertaining to ass-kissing. She raked up a Shs. 3.4 million bill at the five-star hotel that included medical bills the hotel had paid for her when she fell ill.

This is not her, but who knows...

This is not her?.

Like all other entries on this list, this one thrived on the pathological greed of the Kenyan politician, civil servant, businessman, hotelier (I am resisting the urge to say society in general). Her carrot was a purported Shs. 15 billion she wanted to invest, and she was open to ideas because who wouldn’t believe a pitch for so much money with no ideas? For someone with so money, it would make sense that she hadn’t paid a coin, and never did, for the suite or the medical bills, wouldn’t it?
Why they should have seen it from the start?
First, as a country with a sizeable albeit marginalized Nubian community.  (she wasn’t lying on that part at least, they are the guys that ‘own’ Kibera), Kenyans should have known, or at least even asked around, about the ‘Nubian Kingdom.’ Or even simply ask the Kenyan Nubian Council of Elders (it exists). Why, someone would a marginalized people have a queen with so much money?

That lion though...

This is the King of the Jungle of Sheba and Lubia, Mufasa.

Her ruse is now widely known, at least in crime-watch circles. Here the author says ‘She’s as much the Queen of Africa as I am the Prince of Wales‘ which points to her symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Like most of the individuals here, she was never charged although she was ‘arrested’. The authorities were, as this article puts it  “Mortified at the ease with which she had pulled her con” because you shouldn’t make a con look so easy that it would look silly on the charge sheet.

Plus you conned Pattni, Kenya’s own Lustig, that should get you a Head of State Commendation or a spear of some sort, at least.

#3 Michael Otieno, the Diamond Dealer

The Sucker (s): William Daniel Marrow, James Edward Harreland Jurgen Robert Ahlmann.
During a recent ‘Twitter war’ between Nigeria and Kenya, Team KE kept bringing up the issue of Scam 419, a legendary and infamous ‘internet scam’ where you get an email from a ‘distressed Nigerian prince or princess’ and it activates your Prince/Prince Charming buttons to rescue her by sending her your bank account details. It turns out we might have some shared history…

Disclaimer: This is only a hypothesis, the would-be sample population is not exactly forthcoming with data...

Disclaimer: This is only a hypothesis, the would-be sample population is not exactly forthcoming with data…

The Ruse
First, Michael Otieno was not really ‘Michael Otieno’, he was Augustine Azubuike Nwanga  alias Ahmed Suleiman. He and accomplices Johnson Chukweuemeka Obasi (stop! Don’t be lazy, read that middle name before we can continue),

….alias Suleiman Ahmed, and Felix Ibioma Anosike, alias Prince Felix (could this be him, the infamous one) carried out one of the most elaborate and detailed Scam 419s ever, right here in Kenya.
It all started when Nwanga contacted Marrow in September and told him of about a $9.5 million diamond investment in Kenya. One can see why that would be funny right now but these were different times, people thought Africa was full of diamonds.

After corresponding with Nwanga by e-mail (of course), Marrow decided to visit Kenya. He arrived Jan. 27 and was met at the airport by Nwanga and a woman- who is thought to have been his wife. The others arrived in Kenya on April 14 and were held for 10 days for a ransom of $200 000.
Ahlmann and Harrel said they came to Kenya to meet Nwanga and discuss shipping fish (of course, ‘fish’, is that what they call precious gems now?) to Europe. He sent them plane tickets (always invest in a con, lesson number one in con school), and when they arrived April 14 they were taken to the house  in Golden Gate (how apt) estate  where Marrow was still being held. Marrow had been held for four months at the time, which leads one to suspect his family and friends didn’t like him much and might have already rented out his room.
The victims were chained hand and foot (Marrow claimed his private parts and legs were burned with cigarettes and candles) and fed bread, rice and tea, and sometimes Coca-Cola.

Coca Cola, feeding kidnapped people since...let me get back to you on this

Coca Cola, feeding kidnapped people since…let me get back to you on this

The men phoned their wives and requested the ransom payment (requested is the word used in that article, it sounds so pitiful, right?)

The Nigerian had lived in KE for 12 years at the time (Probably called Oti by his bar mates when he wasn’t busy burning someone’s balls with a candle), had a Kenyan family and worked in cosmetics.
Nwanga was lured to a Western Union office to pick up part of the money, but instead he was arrested  charged and convicted to a seven-year sentence. No mention of whether he was ever reimbursed for the plane tickets…
…and one of the victims, Harrel was later awarded for his stupidity- Okay, not really, he was given a letter of commendation ‘for surviving the ordeal.’
I don’t get why the ‘lawyer’ in this similar scam is writing in caps, does that make him look more legit? Someone should research on whether writing in caps makes you more believable. In that thread, when the swindler is ‘caught’ (the would be sucker’s financial advisor decided to Google, oh Google search, saving lives since 1996). The conman then goes like “You are just making false imagination against me” (How apt!)

#2 Dick Berg and the 4th All Africa Games

The Sucker (s): The Government, the media, and if you believe his side of the story, Henry Kosgey.
You are a third world country, you want funds for a continental tournament. You need money, hire first world consultants, right? Sounds logical, yes?

Okay, reverse back to 1987 and you are the Minister in charge of Culture and related shenanigans under President Moi, a scandal is in the offing, of course. The taxpayer doesn’t pay enough and as an elected leader, it is your duty to correct the situation you ensuring you oversee at least one scandal.
The Ruse
Dick Berg convinced the government that he could procure a Shs 10 billion loan yet there was no record of his work, nor did he own or run a financial company…

H. Kosgey, seen here not being duped by a foreigner.

H. Kosgey, seen here not being duped by a foreigner.

Berg, claimed he had marketed World Cup tournaments in South America and Europe, and even the Olympics. Granted, this was more than a few years before the internet and before Google became everyone’s best friend, but still, someone should have done due diligence.

To look legit, Dick Berg ‘rented’ an entire floor at one of the five star hotels in the city-don’t be fooled, the taxpayer paid for that too. He promised to bring in top American artists at the time and, to show everyone he was legit (when someone tries too hard, something is brewing) he brought in Jermaine Jackson.

Jermaine, for the lethargic reader, is one of the less famous Jackson brothers, and given that this was at the height of the Jackson years, no one really knew any other Jackson other than the one with an undecided skin tone and the voice of a fetus. We must give him one for effort though, his hook was quite legitimate.

Because the GOK runs on a system of trust, goodwill, faith, gambling and other such systems of probability, it paid him Shs. 22 million as a commitment fee then after he disappeared claimed that there was no money to renew the maintenance service for the presidential jet.

They could have sold the staff instead...or the man holding it...

They could have sold the staff instead…or the man holding it…

The man disappeared after placing only one advertisement in an international magazine (One, a single one? You were cruel sir, you could have at least placed three, just to give us back some of the money).

Henry Kosgey ‘launched a search for the man’. To date, nothing has been seen or heard of Berg, not that anyone ever expected him to be found. Which would not have been a problem if the entire floor mentioned earlier, and the Jermaine Jackson trip, were not all funded by the Kenyan taxpayer (US $2.6 million). On the bright side, at least they got a Jackson to visit, any Jackson was good enough, right? The bigger crime here is believing a man with a name that describes the entire male organ, okay, only one of the two ‘Bergs.’
The Dick Berg hoax was such a successful (although not new, Lustig had done it too before) con job, and elaborate that it has copycats in Uganda.

#1 Ato Lemma Ayanu Hiyeyi

The Sucker (s): Everyone.
In 2002, the new government felt the way people feel when they finally lose their virginity, as if they can take over the world one screw at a time (a 40-year old virgin? There was no way we could botch this…)

One of the first acts of government in 2002/3 was to decriminalize the Mau Mau, (Yes, for 40 years since independence the group had still been proscribed, Kenyatta the Elder had first ignored it, then everyone seemed to simply forget the same guys who had fought for their freedom…)

The Ruse

Like our virgin at the beginning of this analogy, the over-excited government sort to unscrew every screw of being largely unscrewed for four decades. Anyone who goes on such a rampage is bound to kiss a few frogs, right? The frog in this case was Lemma Ayanu, you everyday grandfather…or, if you were the suckers we call political and media bigwigs, General Mathenge.

Lemma, seen here not pretending to be General Mathenge.

Lemma, seen here not pretending to be General Mathenge.

It all started with Joseph Karimi, a journalist for the East African Standard in 2000 who wrote that Mathenge had been found in Ethiopia.

The man who found him, a George Milimo said he had met ‘an old man who had more than usual interest in Kenya and the goings-on there.’ The only qualifications needed to be a long-lost freedom fighter? Milimo said Lemma Ayanu answered in the affirmative when he (Milimo) inquired if he was the general in question. In court we call that a leading question, a question that has the expected answer in it…
Milimo claimed that Ayanu had regaled him with tales of his exploits in the liberation war and that he (Ayanu) was keen on visiting Kenya again, albeit briefly…it seems he had other things to do rather than tell us how he fought for our independence and disappeared before we could neglect him too.
The media fell for the story!

The Standard paid for Mathenge’s wife and son to go Ethiopia. Karimi reported that his wife had positively ID’d him sayingthis is the man. The nose and set of teeth are his‘  (a wife would know her man’s teeth and nose at least, right? Even if she was senile and had not seen her husband for more than four decades). Even Mau Mau (spell check thinks the second Mau is unnecessary) war veterans who met him at the airport claimed he was the one, never mind that most of them were already in their 70s and 80s and senile.

So the NARC government did the only sensible thing and through ‘his MP, the President of Kenya’, sent him an invitation for the Madaraka day celebrations in 2003. Ayanu, who died in 2010, brought Kenya to a standstill, and was accorded state security, high-class accommodation and celebrity status. He had been found, he was old and he was frail, and he was good PR. There was no way this could have gone wrong, right?

Everyone believed the government had found, and returned, General Mathenge– a commander in the Mau Mau independence movement. He fled Kenya in 1956 after the nominal leader of the movement, Dedan Kimathi, who is thought to have usurped power from the uneducated but experienced Mathenge was captured and executed by the British colonial power. He had the rank of general bestowed on him after he returned from service in Burma in the Second World War. He and 28 other fighters fled to Ethiopia, with the hope of getting support there, but they never returned. “dedan_kimathi
They need not have waited four years for the DNA results to tell them Lemma was not Mathenge.

The man couldn’t speak any of the national languages, and even said he knew nothing of the Mau (he called it that, he probably thought we said the second ‘Mau’ because we were retarded, seems my spellcheck agrees).
.. Or the fact that the man who recruited Mathenge  into Mau Mau (Harkman Muiruri) cast doubt the moment he saw the man.

There was also the age issue, when Mathenge escaped in the 1950s, he was 37 and would therefore have been 84; Ayanu was 72 at the time.

Other issues included the fact that he didn’t know ‘his’ code (Mau Mau used codes in the forest) nor was he tall (he was shorter by at least a foot) and had a gap, or a scar on his nape.
.. Or the fact that he admitted he knew nothing of the Mau Mau [“I have no idea what Mau is as I was not involved in the liberation struggle] which raises doubt that some of these stories of his ‘excitement and anticipation’ were either lies on mistranslations. Well, most are misunderstood, some are mistranslated.
Ayanu owned huge chunks of land in Ethiopia. “…Sellassie offered Mathenge Ethiopian citizenship along with a 1000-acre farm, an offer the Kenyan accepted after marrying an Ethiopian woman. ” This just sounds like a weak redoing of the Shashamane story (Jamaicans, Rastafarians etc etc).

The dreadlocks are awesome sir, but what did you say you code during the struggle was?

The dreadlocks are awesome sir, but what did you say you code during the struggle was?

Karimi was nominated for CNN’s African Journalist of the year Award in 2000 but later disqualified because of issues surrounding authenticity. He had shielded journalists from interviewing the man-argued that he wanted to hide his Ethiopian identity. Some claim he might have been too embedded in the narrative and “… became  a participant in the developing saga.”

. Once it was clear it was a hoax, and possibly a con, it made international headlines. Appearing in The EconomistNewswire and the BBC. Some saw somewhat of a silver lining in it (optimists, such ready suckers!) and some saw lessons.
It was one of the few times that the government accepted it had been conned. A moment to be relished, although I suspect it’s because the taxpayer didn’t want to look bad for judging the government for paying bills for an old man anyway.
The trick, dear reader, is to never get caught, and if you must, make it so big that everyone will be embarrassed about it and they will just let you go, or elect you to Parliament.

Owaahh

 

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Musings on the FriendZone: The Abyss of Unrequited Love


If what you are seeking is redemption and an escape strategy from Amicus Plaga (Friend of the zone?) , there is a dedicated Wikihow DIY page for that.

The Amicus Plaga

The friendzone is a cold and dark place where one must, unless they be blessed with a nice set of teeth, good vocals, a good vocation and the right pedigree and more than an average share of luck, live at some point in their lives.287943728_fc4c21e8c0The friendzone is the proverbial limbo; it is the one place where one must put aside all hopes and dreams of ever throwing small rocks at the other party’s window for anything but a friendly chat.

The zone is cruel, it is where unrequited love goes to fester like a wound and the heart becomes gangrenous. It is where all hell refuses to break loose or even boil over, nothing much happens  once this is the status quo.
The shift to the zone is normally called, and rightly so, relegation.
The stages of grief apply in Relegation. In the first few hours, the man contends that the zoner is merely playing and is not keen on adding another house to an already teeming housing zone. After a while, he attempts to negotiate a compromise that would see him defined within the spectrum between serious things and friend zoning limits. DD-FriendzoneWithin this spectrum, he can enjoy the perks of serious things without really offering the services required, except the primal ones.
Unrequited love is too general a term to adequately define the friendzone and the latter can only be, at best, a subset of the former. The rationale is that the zoning commission shifts the locus of responsibility from wholly being on the zoner to the one who expresses love and emotions. The friendzone is not a sexist term, albeit the cultural tendency to assume only one sex is friendzoned. This cultural tendency is an evolutionary bias which increases the chances that more often than not in human relationships, it is the male species hunting down the female species.

094-FriendsZoneNo male will ever friendzone a woman he would not go further with, and he will harbor constant temptations to get frisky. Even if the woman is not in the man’s taste, as long as she has the right organs, and even then not always, he will always either harbor or later develop sexual feelings towards her. It is what is famously known as the Mermaid Theory. The Bro Code might be in our DNA. Men might actually be biologically wired to friendzone their friends’ lovers and spouses, and our gas goes now to protect us from falling into the projections of the Mermaid Theory.

Evolutionary Role of Amicus Plaga?
Living within this zone demands that one identify their utility and stick within its lane.
The zonee must contend with his new found status, and must always act as if the testosterone levels are not spiked when she raises his arm to her breasts to get his opinion on her new bra, or the perkiness of her assets. fzoneShe now sees him through a sexless lens, where he is a valuable asset that cannot be core; he fulfills a certain cause which might be an emotional, financial, social, or simply convenient crutch.
He has to contend with constant barrage of questions about his own species, and the rules of the friendzone demand that he must side with her in all wars pitting the sexes. He must constantly snitch on his own species, and strategize on other males without feeling as if he is crossing into the sexuality spectrum. In this zone, the zonee must see beyond his own sex, see himself, or herself, as women are fraught to be zoned too, as being sexless.

The zonee must neuter his own interests and take an advisory role. Within this defined limits, the one must be ready to provide pro-bono services. He must form an opinion about the man with a big forehead and visible halitosis who makes her laugh as he watches from a creep corner.
I suspect that this has gone to the level of outsourced voyeuristic services where the zoned man must observe her and the one she chose not to send to the abyss in a romantic act and offer an opinion.mario1 Unlikely you say? I will point you to the fact that in the preceding analogy, I drew an image of the zoned man peeping through the window at his woman in a coital act with another (the lucky bugger) man, or woman, in case the zoner’s interests are that way. In the mental image you had, you saw the act and could even smell the blooming flower of the bush behind you, couldn’t you?

How then is this different to the man who must listen to fine details of a sexual act in which the zoning female was involved, and then form an opinion about certain things? Such things include but are not limited to the size of certain organs used during the act, certain motions and styles of getting it on, and whether or not the groan and cry-tears, with sniffling-at the time when the train left one station for the real world, is normal. Isn’t that man a voyeur, hired to provide a non-professional opinion about an act to which he initially saw himself as a player?friend-zone1

The zoned man has the inherent duty that millions of years have placed on his species, but without the benefits a boyfriend or spouse would be entitled to. He must answer the calls where she is crying of heartbreak in the middle of the night and most importantly, perform all automotive functions for the woman.

Breaking the Chains?escape-the-friend-zone

Any attempt to break away from its chains is bound to be countered with the manipulative, emotional-genocide worded in the questions “I thought we were friends?” There is no standard or advisable comeback to this rhetorical question. The only way is, if you are a king like the biblical David, to send all her suitors to the combat front lines and offer them as a sacrifice. Once one is placed within this district of despair, it would take more than just a prayer to prophets of all three major religions, and to the agnostic skepticism and atheistic belief in action-reaction, to get out of the zone.

If within the vicinity of each other, zoned individuals will immediately be suspicious, hostile and jealous of each other, at least individually, but will warm up to each other once they notice the common despair that haunts their eyes.2012-01-30 135. Friend Zone-83369bd5 They will play along, like good pets, to the zoning female, and help each other pretend to have lost all sexual interest. In cases where the woman is recently single, whether by choice of Force Majeure, the competition in the zone will rise exponentially.

The zoned individuals inherently know the Bro Code cannot apply now, and that there is a small window of opportunity to be kissed drunkenly and then apologized to frantically in the morning [an unnecessary act of self-preservation]. The Rebound Card is in the wild, but it is a potent one and should only be played when one has a sure hand…and, a hand in the bush is worth two elsewhere.

Owaahh

 

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