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Category Archives: Discourse

7 Bravest Kenyan Whistleblowers


Since there are always as many scandals as there are potential scandals going in Kenya at any one time, it is hard to pick out a few whistleblowers from the many who go unnoticed.  It takes bravery to expose the system, especially when it involves the powers that be. The problem is that there is no reaction beyond a mere grunt from the populace, with the occasional twitching of the conscience that is quickly covered up with layers and layers of political sycophancy and apathy.

#7 The Grand Regency 11

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In 2003, 11 employees at the Grand Regency Hotel volunteered information to the KACC on alleged corruption within the five-star hotel. It was at the time owned by Kamlesh Pattni. The hotel subsequently fired the employees.

Their testimony is said to have contributed somewhat to the decision by Pattni to surrender to hotel to the government. It did not, however, stop the fraud that took place when it changed hands to another owner. When the hotel was handed over to the state, the Receiver Manager reinstated the eleven back to their jobs but they were physically ejected and locked up at the Central Police Station.

#6 Kipkemoi Arap Kirui

Anyone who followed the 2007 elections remembers the man who the opposition party brought to the platform and whose introduction was ‘My name is Kipkemoi arap Kirui and I am a Clerk Assistant at the National Assembly working at the Table Office. I am a lawyer.’Some of the issues he raised include the suppression and reduction of results in some constituencies, and other irregularities.

Kirui’s information exposed the sham that was the counting and tallying process that was the ECK. It provided fodder for the opposition party to claim that the electoral commission had skewed the numbers in favor of the incumbent. While nothing tangible was ever done to correct the mistakes of 2007-except the cosmetics of course-Kirui’s courage in the middle of corruption and fraud is admirable.

Like many of the individuals on this list, he was forced to go into hiding as the country slowly sunk into mayhem and violence. Some of his academic work points towards a brilliant thinker on parliamentary procedure and democracy. 

 #5 Catherine Gicheru

One of the lesser known whistleblowers, Catherine Gicheru is a practicing journalist who wrote a series of explosive reports before the 1992 elections. Her scathing articles touched on two things, the involvement of KANU’s power men in the assassination of Ouko, and the corruption schemes to siphon off millions of dollars into a private housing development. Basically just exposing what KANU did whenever any of its leaders was concious enough.

Gicheru was harassed and threatened by thugs but that was pretty much it.  The KANU government banned the Nation from covering the Electoral Commission at the time. She was later awarded Courage in Journalism Award by the International Women Media Foundation.

#4 David Munyakei

munyakei

A brilliant clerk who passed a chance to enter the military as a cadet for a job in the CBK, Munyakei blew the whistle on the Goldenberg Scandal. He noticed that Goldenberg International was receiving massive sums of money for alleged export of gold and diamonds. He leaked official CBK documents to opposition members of parliament and so initiated a series of clusterfucks that were the reactions to the multibillion scandal.

He was arrested, released, and then fired from his job at the CBK. He fled to Mombasa where he hid for four years. Within that time, he converted to Islam and married Mariam Ali Muhammad Hanii.He emerged from hiding in 1998.

After the NARC mistake took over in 2002, they used him for PR and he testified before the Goldenberg Commission. Munyakei died in 2006 a poor and dejected man. The scandal for which he sacrificed what would have been an illustrious career is still a blemish for which justice may never be achieved. Everyone received a slap on the wrist, a few went to prison for months, and everyone but the Kenyan taxpayer went home richer.

Munyakei’s heroic story is serialized in Billy Kahora’s book ‘The True Story of David Munyakei.’ 

Although the two were most likely unrelated, there is said to be some link between his troubles and the death of his mother.

# 3 John Githongo

gstatic dot com

Another famous whistleblower, Githongo made headline news when he quit his position as the Ethics and Governance Permanent Security and accused several power men of Grand corruption.

The scheme involved a $600m contract to Anglo-Leasing, a non-existent company. Some of the contracts in the scheme predated the NARC government but the new government had furthered and increased the money-stealing scheme. Githongo named Chris Murungaru, David Mwiraria, Kiraitu Murungi and Moody Awori, and Kibaki, ostensibly the most powerful men in the country at the time, as the people behind the scandal. He subsequently fled to London for a few years. His story is recorded in Michela Wrong‘s book It’s Our Turn to Eat: The Story of a Kenyan Whistle-Blower.

A former journalist, Githongo first founded the Kenyan chapter of Transparency International in 1999. The London-based New African Magazine selected him as one of the world’s 100 most influential Africans in its June 2011 edition .

Like the Goldenberg Scandal, the Anglo Leasing (Fleecing) Scandal remains a crude joke in recent Kenyan history.

#2 Oscar King’ara and Paul Oulu

These two were human rights activists whose work investigating police brutality and extrajudicial killings led to their public execution. Oscar, a lawyer by profession, was the founder and director of Oscar Foundation Free Legal Aid Clinic. Oulu, a former University of Nairobi student leader, was his assistant.

The two had played an extensive role in investigating police extrajudicial killings. In 2008, Oscar released a report that accused the police of killing and torturing 8, 000 people during a crackdown of the Mungiki gang. He also contributed extensively to The Cry of Blood — Report on Extra-Judicial Killings and Disappearances. Oscar had also given testimony to, and assisted UN Special Rapporteur, Philip Alston.

Assassins, almost definitely government operatives, ambushed them on March 5, 2009 during rush-hour trafficThe aftermath was even weirder. University students moved Oulu’s body into a hostel. When the police tried to retrieve it, they fired live rounds, killing one student. The police answered to the call a whole two hours after the shooting despite the nearest police station being a walking distance away from the crime scene.

The image above of Oscar’s body slumped in the driver’s seat in his white Mercedes remains a constant reminder that the dragon of police brutality is alive and well.The man who had spent his adult life fighting police brutality, was killed by what was ostensibly an extrajudicial killing. 

Addition 24 January:

Oscar and Paul’s story is featured in the 2013 movie, The Fifth Estate, which features the Wikileaks quest to expose the corruptions of power.

#1 Elias Njagi Kavanda

Rusty Corruption. Image Credit www.bbc.co.uk

Rusty Corruption.
Image Credit http://www.bbc.co.uk

One of Kenya’s unsung whistleblowers, Kavanda investigated and exposed corruption at the Kenya Railways Corporation in 2003. Kavanda was dismissed and his family subsequently thrown out of the government house.

Kavanda was employed at Kenya Railways in 2002 as the Senior Security Officer in charge of Central Kenya. He was the number two in the security department. Kavanda stupidly believed that his bosses were interested in ending corruption and over the course of his yearlong employment, investigated and reported cases of corruption.

Their first solution was to demote him to a small station at the coast. Here, he discovered a racket to smuggle new spare parts that would be later sold as scrap metal. Unrelenting as ever, he also discovered that his corporation and the police were in cohorts to steal bags of sugar in transit. Between February and July 2002 alone, over 1, 500 bags of sugar were stolen.

Even after his request for funds was denied, Kavanda investigated another fraud, this time involving his bosses. This one involved the movement of empty containers from Malaba to Kilindini where certain individuals would pocket the money. Other scandals included the corrupt sale of Railway land plots and houses. 

He started filing his reports at the Office of the President from where it was later leaked to his bosses. His bosses fired him and threw his family out of the government house. Luckily for him, he had backup copies of all his reports to defend his actions. The gravy train continued unabated, however, despite his relentless bravery.

Owaahh, 2014 © 

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2014 in Crime, Despair, Discourse, Events, Kenya, Lists, Pages from the Past

 

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7 Most Famous Kenyan Wild Animals


It is probably not a surprise that most of the animals here are more famous outside Kenya than within. It is the same story with human Kenyan celebrities such as Lupita and Mutu, we never really give you time and space unless an outside validates you first. The cuter animal friendships are grouped together, while the one with psychopathic tendencies gets an entry on its own, as does the slithery one that might roll up under your bed tonight. Please check before you sleep.

#7 Nicky the Blind Rhino

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With rhino poaching having wiped out the larger part of the population in Kenya, it is something of a surprise that the most famous one is a blind baby rhino called Nicky. He is a gorgeous rhino inflicted with cataracts since birth that cannot be treated by surgery. 

Rhinos generally have poor eyesight, relying more on smell and sound than sight. Although there are two blind rhinos, Nicky from Lewa Conservancy and Alfie from Ol Jogi, Nicky is the more famous of the two. He was saved by Mike Watson, the Lewa Conservancy CEO after he was spotted bumping into trees and straying away from his mother. 

Nicky has two full time minders, Yusuf and Tonga. He is a diva who enjoys his mudbaths a little too much, and hangs out with a Yellow Labrador in one of those animal friendships that flip at the natural order of things. 

#6 Odd Wild Animal Friendships

— Owen the Hippo and Mzee the Tortoise

When the tsunami waves hit the Kenyan coast in late 2004, they dragged back with them a young hippo out to sea. He was stranded on a reef from here he had to be captured using nets, ropes, boats and cars. As if this wasn’t enough, it took a rugby tackle by a volunteer who does not watch Animal Planet enough to bring the hippo down. In recognition of this act of who-cares-if-this-wild-animal-goes-apeshit-nuts, the hippo was named after him, Owen.

Most likely due to space issues, Owen the hippo had to share a habitat with a 130-year old Aldabra giant tortoise called Mzee. The two struck an odd mother-son relationship, bathing together and sleeping together. Owen would lick Mzee’s face and become protective if anyone approached the tortoise. Apparently, he had called dibs on licking the old tortoise’s face just quick enough to be faster than its reaction. Mzee learnt to live with the crazy young hippo, or maybe took too long to plan his revenge.

"One day I will definitely kill this fat guy. Yup! I love him and all, he is fun and all, but he pisses me off so so much." Image Credit www.blekingenaturfoto.se

“One day I will definitely kill this fat guy. Yup! I love him and all, he is fun and all, but he pisses me off so so much.”
Image Credit http://www.blekingenaturfoto.se

They had to be separated in 2007 as Owen grew bigger and Mzee’s safety as he ran the risk of being smothered with just enough smooches and love by his bigger but younger sidekick to kill him. He was introduced to a female hippo called Cleo while Mzee was introduced to another tortoise called Toto.

Sidenote: Who names these animals? They deserve a presidential commendation.

— Gakii the Bushbaby

All levels of awesome and mushy. Image credit Veronica Marchina www.pinterest.com

All levels of awesome and mushy.
Image credit Veronica Marchina http://www.pinterest.com

When Gakii, a three-month-old bushbaby was rescued in Nyeri and placed in the Nairobi Animal Orphanage, no one thought she would find a mother figure outside her species, a yellow baboon nonetheless. The odd friendship between the primates dumbfounded animal experts as they are not considered socially compatible. Yellow baboons live on Savannahs while Galagos are native to continental Africa. It has been implied that the baboon in question has better maternal skills than Casey Anthony.

—Omni and Digby

In another charming animal friendship story, an abandoned rhino calf christened Omni struck an odd friendship with Digby, a warthog. Omni and Digby started a talk show and became comedy hosts, they got wasted together and then exchanged the last letters of their names just for fun. Okay they didn’t. Wait, are there talk shows in the animal world? Or is it a King Julien kind of tyranny all the way?

Their friendship was apparently not founded on looks as they were Perhaps not the cutest couple, but heart-warming nonetheless.” Every night, Digby the warthog would sleep on the back of the Omni the baby rhino, both covered by a large blanket. Tell me that did not get you all mushy mushy.

#5 Mountain Bull, MT Bull

Among farmers whose crops have been ravaged by MT Bull, the elephant is a nuisance that should have died years ago. The bull is a hero among his peers, having forced everyone to reconsider the true origin of human-animal conflict. I don’t know how they fete heroes in the elephant world, but this guy deserves whatever is the equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize for calling BS on human settlement.

The 46-year bull is a celebrity for his utter dedication to using traditional elephant migration routes. MT Bull, like the rest of his kind, is motivated by the three “s”s: Sex, safety, and sustenance. His instincts drove him to snap fence wires and crash gates in a bid to follow those migration routes, bringing him in direct conflict with the human beings who settled on that course. MT Bull became that guy, yanking fences, opening gates, tearing down things, throwing a proper ratchet party. Alone. Sometimes with company. Like a Boss. An Elephant Boss.

Lewa Conservancy spearheaded efforts to protect the famous elephant from his instincts, trimming its tusks in 2012 and tracking him using Google Earth Interface. His Mafia days gone, MT Bull’s efforts almost single-handedly led to the construction of the famous elephant underpass which took a decade to build and is the first of its kind in Africa.

You can tell that elephant at the back is all about the ladies!

You can tell that elephant at the back is all about the ladies! He is checking out the ratio.

He did not use the underpass for two years, only using it first in January 2013; he was evidently waiting to see whether it was worth his time.

"Hhhhmm, this is not so bad. It would be better with a transit stop over, a bar maybe, anyone?" Image Credit www.Lewa.org

“Hhhhmm, this is not so bad. It would be better with a transit stop over, a bar maybe, anyone?”
Image Credit http://www.Lewa.org

MT Bull was featured in the BBC’s  “The secret life of elephants.”

#4 Kamunyak, the Blessed One (Lioness)

If there ever was a sociopath among animals, it would have to be Kamunyak the Lioness. Her given name means The Blessed One in Samburu. In 2002, the lonely lioness was spotted cuddling up with five baby antelopes she had cradle snatched from their frightened mothers.

She adopted at least 6 oryx calves who should have been food as soon as she met them.  After securing a newborn, the lioness would lie down next to the baby and, like any protective mother, ward off strangers, antelopes and antelope-eaters alike.”

This was so strange that one animal behaviourist said of KamunyakThis lion has to have a mental disorder. To understand this, we’d have to study the history of this lioness. We’d have to put her on the couch.”Coincidentally, that’s what they say about people with psychopathic tendencies. She was all nutcase for the festivities as ”local newspapers have noted that all three adoptions occurred on significant days – Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Good Friday.” 

It turns out she might have been playing with food the way we poke around the sheep right before we kill it. Or let the chicken run so we can hunt it down like our cave ancestors. Kamunyak ate one of her adoptees shortly after the young oryx died of starvation. Another one was eaten by other lions who knew better than to play with food, while another was taken from her care before the Blessed One starved her to death by loving her and not feeding her.

Kamunyak was last sighted in February 2004 and has never been seen since. She either went the Raymond Reddington way or was killed by a professional Oryx hit squad known as…you know the answer to this question…the Oryxes! Bam! Her story was featured in the film Heart of a Lioness.

This phenomenon has happened elsewhere in Uganda but that is now thought to be a strategy by lions. All cats are psychopaths, FYI.

 

#3 Ahmed the Elephant, King of Marsabit

Image Credit madamepickwickartblog.com

Image Credit madamepickwickartblog.com

Arguably the most famous elephant in Kenya, Ahmed the Elephant died in 1974 at the retirement age of 55. The male elephant was born at the Marsabit National Reserve sometime in 1919. In 1970, as the threat of poaching to extinction became more grim, President Jomo Kenyatta placed Marsabit’s royalty under his protection by presidential decree. Ahmed was thus declared a living monument to be protected by at least 2 armed guards day and night. 

Rich and famous elephant, all he needed was a limo and love. Image Credit www.itungai.wordpress.com

Rich and famous elephant, all he needed was a limo and love.
Image Credit http://www.itungai.wordpress.com


When he died in 1974, a cast of his body was made, leading to rumors that he was actually preserved in ice to be resurrected later when elephants are either extinct or have evolved a third tusk that shoots back at poachers.

Ahmed’s full-size replica still stands at the Kenya National Museum today. 

#2  Elsa the Lioness (1956 to 1961)

Incredibly Photogenic Lioness? Image Credit www.fatheroflions.org

Incredibly Photogenic Lioness?
Image Credit http://www.fatheroflions.org

Elsa the Lioness was a film and book celebrity. She was also a lioness with a really really hot name, and a penchant for the camera and the red carpet. Brought up by Joy Adamson and her husband, game warden George Adamson, Elsa is the subject of the movie Born Free (1966). She and her sisters, Lustica and Big One, were adopted by the couple after George shot and killed their mother. The two sisters were sent to the Rotterdam Zoo in the Netherlands, while Elsa became a superstar. Lustica sounds like a stripper’s name, doesn’t it? But Big One is even worse, WWE, anyone? Anyway, little is publicly known about their life’s history in the Netherlands.

Elsa first became famous in 1960 when, following a visit by BBC Presenter David Attenborough, the book Born Free was released. The book sold 5 million copies and was translated into 24 languages.

It was turned into a movie Born Free, which  features Joy Adamson’s efforts to train Elsa to live in the wild. In Living free (1972), a sequel to the movie, Elsa becomes a mother to three cubs, Little Elsa, Gopa and Jespah. She is also featured in a 25 minute-long series of footage called Elma and her Cubs.

Such badassery has never been captured in Kenya before. Image Credit www.fatheroflions.org

Such badassery has never been captured in Kenya before.
Image Credit http://www.fatheroflions.org

Her humans were both murdered; Joy Adamson in the Shaba National Reserve on 3 January 1980 and George 9 years later in the Kora National Park.

#1 Omieri the Serpent

Image Credit  news.bbc.co.uk

Image Credit
news.bbc.co.uk

Omieri the serpent strolled into Benta Atieno’s home in Wasare, a village on the banks of Lake Victoria in early 2003, causing a media flurry that brought the 16-foot python to international fame.  Thought to be a harbinger of good tidings in traditional Luo folklore, Omieri is not a specific snake but a manifestation. She has reappeared many times before 2003 and 2006, the most controversial being in 1987 during the controversial burial of criminal lawyer SM Otieno.

In the 1987 case, there was a furore when Omieri was airlifted to Nairobi for treatment after her bush nesting place was set ablaze. Residents demanded that she be moved back to Nyanza as the SM burial case pitting his wife Wambui Otieno and SM’s clan became headline news. Omieri was moved back to Kisumu where she died. She was given a proper burial, with a condolence book placed at the Kariokor Social Hall.

In the 2003 manifestation, government authorities were more sensitive to the community’s connection with the snake. Kenya Wildlife Service sent officers to assess the situation and recommend proper foods the nesting female snake was to be fed.

"If you could add Cola, some rum, and let my guy Nyakach and I meet from time to time, that'ld be nice." Image Credit www.blekingenaturfoto.se

“If you could add Cola, some rum, and let my guy Nyakach and I meet from time to time, that’ld be nice.”
Image Credit http://www.blekingenaturfoto.se

Other people wanted to make a meal of her. According to some reports, there was an offer of a very tempting KES 20, 000 by a crew of foreign engineers who wanted to turn Omieri into a cuisine. It was, of course, turned down. Her eggs began to hatch in May and she disappeared back to wherever she had come after surviving floods said to have been caused by rain she had brought. She resurfaced in Ombeyi village in Kano, Nyando District, in February 2006.

Among the Taita, another snake, christened Sadu the Serpent god, is the custodian of the Taita culture and wealth. 

 

Owaahh, 2014 ©


 
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Posted by on January 22, 2014 in Adventures, Animals, Causes, Discourse, Kenya, Lists

 

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7 Kenyans who made it In Hollywood Before Lupita Nyong’o (Part 2)


This list is partially built from the comments on Part 1. There are some stark omissions such as an exhaustive character list for Out of Africa and The Constant Gardener for obvious reasons (that you know them already). This list focuses on the largely unknown Kenyan actors, and tries to straddle Kenya’s 50 years of independence, with the earliest role on the film being in 1967 and the most recent in 2012.

#7 Edwin Mahinda, Kitchen Toto

Kitchen Toto (1987) is a British drama film set in Kenya in 1950. The movie’s lead character is a young Kenyan boy called Mwangi, played Edwin Mahinda. The story is told from Mwangi’s viewpoint, with an impressive portrayal of a British household in colonial Kenya. A British administrator, takes the son  of a murdered priest as his kitchen servant.

 The lead character’s story is actually tragic. The freedom fighters infiltrate the kitchen staff and then plan an elaborate attack when the man of the house is away. They drag his wife out and in the confusion, the son of the house accidentally shoots her as he is trying to save her. Suspicion falls on Kitchen Toto and he flees his adopted home. To track him, the DO enlists the services of Maasai trackers who catch up with him and kill him on a bridge.

The movie has several other Kenyans credited in the cast; Paul Onsongo, Ayub Ogada, Job Seda, Ann Wanjuga (Mwangi’s mother), Nathan Dambuza Mdledle (Mwangi’s father) and Nicholas Charles.

Mahinda’s other film roles include The Lion of Africa (1988) and White Mischief (1987). He seems to have disappeared from acting after that, and very little is known about his life after his three roles.

#6 Lenny Juma

Before he became synonymous with Shuga and Mali series where he was the casting director, Lenny Juma cut his teeth as an actor in Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life. Juma plays the Turkana elder who Lara, played by Angelina Jolie, approaches seeking information about the Cradle of Life where the orb that leads to the mythical Pandora’s Box is said to be hidden. Juma doesn’t stare at Angelina’s chest the whole time, at least not on camera.

Lenny Juma has an impressive filmography that includes The Air Up There and the Constant Gardener. In Indiana Jones Chronicles, he plays the witchdoctor, anad Colonel Bao in Banged Up Abroad. He currently plays a gym coach on the AfricaMagic Entertainment series KONA. 

Bromance with Papa Shirandula. One of this men has been in physical proximity with Angelina Jolie. You can turn green now.

Bromance with Papa Shirandula. One of this men has been in physical proximity with Angelina Jolie. You can turn green now.

#5 Raymond Ofula

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It was the TV Series Better Days that thrust Raymond Ofula to fame locally but he was already a big name internationally. Ofula plays a Village Leader in Tomb Raider, the same one that Lenny Juma appeared in. He had one previous role in To Walk with Lions (1999) as Chief Haji Abu Jibril.

His filmography includes roles in White Maasai, the Constant Gardener. He has acted in several local TV series other than Better Days such as Changes, Tabasamu, Mali and Nairobi Law. He also featured in the South African-Nigerian hit Jacob’s Cross. 

#4 Damaris Itenyo Agweyu

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Between 2004 and 2005, Damaris raked up four credits as an actress and then simply disappeared from the art. She acted in The White Maasai (2005) as Asma, in The Constant Gardener as Jomo’s Wife, in Project Daddy, and in the Transit as the Public Clinic Doctor.

Her character husband in The Constant Gardener, Jomo, is played by Bernard Onyango Oduor. John Sibi-Okumu plays Dr. Joshua Ngaba in the film.

#3 Karara Muhoro

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Karara Muhoro is the ultimate Kenyan hustler. He is an actor, a scientist, and former  former US Army National Guard.  The chemistry professor has three movies in his filmography; in Phone Booth (2002), The Legend of Tillamook’s Gold (2006) and Congo (1995) and the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (2003). He is also a voice actor in the video game Resident Evil 5 (2009).

In Phonebooth (2002), Muhoro is the toy seller operating the toy robot that the caller (Kiefer Sutherland, yes, Jack Bauer) shoots when Stu (Colin Farrell) doesn’t believe he can shoot him from wherever he is.  The toy seller is credited as Nigerian but he speaks Swahili, which is one of the biggest goofs in the movie.

"Isn't it funny?You hear a phone ring, and it could be anybody...but a ringing phone has to be answered, doesn't it?"

“Isn’t it funny?You hear a phone ring, and it could be anybody…but a ringing phone has to be answered, doesn’t it?”

Karara Muhoro is now a chemistry professor at the Los Angeles City College. 

#2 Charles Malinda

Charles Malinda plays Sampson, in the 1967 movie Africa Texas Style. The 109 minute color movie was the forerunner to the TV series, Cowboy in Africa. The TV series was based on a similar premise spread across 26 episodes.

In the series, Sampson, Malinda’s character, is played by African-American actor Gerald Edwards. Samson is a young orphaned Kikuyu boy. He marks Jim, the cowboy, as his adoptive father and does everything he can to become the son of a ‘world championship cowboy.’ Jim promptly adopts him and spends most of his fathering time trying to nurture him into a proper man.

Malinda’s role, like Mahinda’s in Kitchen Toto, feels stereotypical. The Samson role is worse because it feels unnecessary”  “he’s cute as a button, but serves no real purpose other than to pad out the running time which, at 109 minutes is about 108 minutes longer than it really needs to be.

Charles Malinda was the foremost character played by a Kenyan in the film. There were several other Kenyans, including Stephen Kikumu, Ali Twaha, Mohammed Abdullah, and the awesomely named Honey Wamala as Mr. Oyondi. Stephen Kikumu was one of pioneer broadcasters in Voice of Kenya, now KBC.

 The soundtrack, featuring the song Harambee, was written by Daudi Kabaka. He is uncredited in the film.

#1 Belinda Akinyi Owino

In  Quentin Tarantino’s award-winning movie Django Unchained (2012), Belinda Owino plays one of the house servants in Candyland. She is uncredited for that role as an extra but is credite for her role as a Stunt Performer in the movie.

According to Belinda, working with the madman of Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino, was  the best role yet.

Belinda plays Candie's (Leonardo Di Caprio)'s house servant. www.sivrisinema.com

Belinda plays Candie’s (Leonardo Di Caprio)’s house servant.
http://www.sivrisinema.com

In the span of three short years, Belinda Owino has built more impressive filmography than most of the actors on this list. She also has one credit as a writer on Everyday Advice for an Optimistic Life (2012)

Belinda’s mother was also an actor. Joseph Olita, the man who plays Idi Amin in Amin: The Rise and Fall (1981) is her great-uncle.

Owaahh, 2013©

 
 

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Quit, You’ll Never Catch the Phantom Pooper or see Cats Shag


Nobody I know has ever seen cats fuck. Once, as a child, I thought I saw our pet cat at it with a stray but it ‘all happened so fast’ I am unsure whether it wasn’t a product of my at times hyperactive imagination. It seems a phenomenon only known to nature and the participating felines. 

You will hear them moan at night though. They congregate outside your window in the deep of the night. And they moan. So loud sometimes that you think it’s a band of crying infants. But you almost never ever see them do it. By the time the flashlight beam hits their romp, probably a groupie, the female is nowhere to be seen. The male glares at you, embarrassed. Planning your death. You cockblocker! For half a minute you two stare each other down until he decides you are not worth it and runs off to restart the courtship you just ruined.
If indeed my informal analysis result that no one has ever seen cats at it is credible, is there something we don’t know?
They come together to come. You feed them yes, but you are not invited. not to this party anyway. Walk away and pretend you didn’t just see the snail trails being left on your couch. Just turn and go. You are not invited to these orgies, all you are expected to be is silent and permissive. Ask no questions, make no testimonies, and all 
shall be well with your soul. Life, I mean.
But at the back of mind you know what’s going on, the noises are graphic, as is the evidence of claws where erotic scratches were made yesternight. You know it, your neighbor who gave you the kitten knows it. The dog knows it too, and he is traumatized. All of you are witnesses to a horrendous crime of nature and victims of not-so-subtle threats by a guy with whiskers.

I engaged an invisible friend into a conversation about recently.

YOLO!

Unless you are a cat, of course.

Hehe, are you?

Maybe, Maybe not. The theory of parallel universes gives space for such a possibility as me having fur, whiskers, and a soft threatening purr.

Depends on where those whiskers are!

Why? Does that change my species or just what specific feline I am?

Makes you an interbreed.

Sounds like a bore, an interbreed. Have you ever seen cats fuck?

I have not, why?

Because, they are mammals. They must shag sometimes. But almost no one has ever seen it happen.

True, nobody knows.

I think cats kill off all the witnesses.

Or turn them into other cats?

Or clean out their memories.


The threats are delivered by those intriguing cat eyes. They scare the hell out of you and incase your light is ever faster than a female feline fleeing from a fuck feast, your fate is no longer yours. Those cats will most definitely murder you. Or wipe out your memory. Or eat your children. Or make you clean after the kittens that result after the romp. You are a slave. Your master is much smaller than you, much weaker than you, owns less than you do, has nothing on you except eight lives more. You are a pawn in the cat’s procreation activities and it owns you. As your master it makes you pay for everything, including the STIs it might contract during the mating seasons. Feed me, it meows. Feed me and don’t you forget who your pimp be! Also, I pooped earlier and threw up behind the couch, your favorite couch, would you be a darling as to clean those excreta up? No? How about if I promise to kill you, and the dog? Yes? Good boy, good. Meow.
You see things. You hear things. You elect things. You vomit things. You complain things. You Witness things. You should never talk about them, if history is any lead. 
Your cat is planning to kill you. That has never been in question.

cat-standing

Talking about things one does not see until the next morning, thieves broke into the supermarket on the ground floor of my apartment building the other day. Three thieves, scrawny young men, or at least as I imagine it.

Our robber antagonists were after the money of course, the millions stored in a safe within the premises. They chose Sunday, the day in the week when all the cash collected over the weekend is stored in the safe. So our thieves were sharp, and lucky. A thief thieves, right? But these guys were not done just yet…

After cleaning the safe, they went downstairs and raided the cake and pastries aisles. They ransacked all the food aisles, leaving behind a telling tale of a man in a nipple factory. They helped themselves to delicacies galore, carrying very little and eating most of it there and then. Of course they drank soda and juice, almost half a bottle of each. Only one soda was missing from the fridge. It seems that ice cold drinks are not a thief’s drink of choice.

I can see why. Imagine trying to combine a heightened adrenaline rush with the feeling of an ice cold drink. Brain Freeze! Unless of course they drank the cold sodas and then replaced them with the others on the aisles. So the supermarket would have enough cold stock in the morning. When gentlemen were thieves.

Anyway, they ate. Stole and ate. Pooped too.

There was a mound of shit in the office the next morning. Several hours old, already past rigor mortis. And stinking. Stinking as the distinctive smell of a well-preserved colon of pooh can be. It was right there in the open. Just one mound, apparently only one guy had the urge to take a dump in the middle of a heist.

I know it smelt because when I heard the story two days later and (still) went to shop there, I could still smell it. I think it was in my  head, but I smelt it all right.

I looked at the manager with a pitiful face. His, not mine. I wondered what he must have gone through the morning after. Even after you have wiped away the physical evidence, and sprayed several cans of air freshner (because it is a supermarket, I imagine you spare no expense), you still know that it was there. So, you have to work inside there long before your brain has enough distractions to forget that there was excreta atop your table or floor some hours prior. Yet you must, like a general who strolls into a war zone the day after the armistice. Or a president visiting ground zero. If they bomb the president’s house while he is away, he has to visit as soon as that shit is in control-pun wholly intended-to convince the populace that he is hurt but not conquered. That work must continue.

Well, there are objective thieves, and then others poop in your office. Poop as a weapon of psychological intimidation. Like when we replaced the loaves of bread in our school dining hall with poop. We, because when it came to paying for the damages caused during the strike, we all had to pay for it. Poopers and non-poopers. The distinction was never made. 

What damage can a comprehensive mound of excreta do to a stainless steel sufuria? Or rather, what damage that a good disinfect, a prayer, more disinfectant, and handing said sufuria to a neighbor, not do?

They never bought new sufurias. The phantom poopers were never caught. They left a ‘series of smelly situations’ and got away with it; we paid the price. 

Neither were our three thieves of whom only one felt the dire need to take a dump right there in the supermarket manager’s office. Imagine the giggle. How genius the idea instigator felt.

“Man, we should raise the stakes and poop somewhere in this supermarket.”

“(Giggling) IKR? Waaaah! We so should. Thief #3, do you feel like taking a dump?”

“Guys, how do I always end up being the kinetic energy for your insanities”

“Don’t be a party pooper #3, you lost at truth or dare last night, remember?

“Consider this a dare.”

“But what if I don’t feel like dumping right now?”

“Its okay, we can wait a few hours, eat a few more cakes, maybe make alien messages with the rice.”

“Until the urge comes of course, there’s tissue here too by the way”

“Please guys, let’s not poop in the supermarket, what if they do those CSI things and my pooping ass is hauled in jail where big burly guys with lice colonies make me a pipe shitter?”

“CSI shit don’t work in here. Plus we’ll pour salt on it to burn off your DNA…”

“Okay, just let me choose the spot, okay?”

There was the other time we filed to one of the bathrooms to study a mound that had been left on the edge of the toilet bowl. It wasn’t a normal mound.

Picture a log of wood. A very wide and large log, like one you would use for a support column. Placed from the edge of the toilet bowl towards the door, as I reconstructed the grime scene then. It doesn’t make sense for the log to be placed from the door towards the bowl, there is no logical explanation for that. For the former, however, Newton must’ve been on point! A propulsion! The very very very large and wide log being dumped propelled its owner in such a way that he took off like a witch on a broomstick. Or Quidditch players.

The mere circumference attracted an audience. It was a concerned audience; so much so that had the  logistics of forcibly helping the victim, we would have subjected each other to a stinky strip search. The phantom pooper who might have needed reconstructive surgery was never found.

 

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7 Most Outrageous Things Ever Done to Win in a Kenyan Election


Kenyan elections are never boring events. They are the equivalent of gladiatorial fights, complete with an arena and a euphoric audience. In fact, often, as in Rome, winners are determined by who can better use sharp objects and who can transform euphoric chants into motivation. In such an environment of blood and paper, it is often hard for anything to stand out but once in a while, something sure comes up.

#7 Hire a Militia

sunray22bWhat would a good election in Kenya be without a series of small, unacknowledged massacres and ‘ethnic displacements?’ Boring and bad for the economy, that’s what! Kenyan life revolves around elections, stopping every five years to decide on who to hate for the next five years. Its never much of a choice really, your surname pretty much tells the observer who you are voting for, but not why; the reasons are often blurry but the numbers, tyrannical. So how does a good Kenyan politician make sure he or she wins decisively, or by 2 votes, or by none, but is declared the winner? Simple! Hire a private army, a small ‘ragtag militia’ to win you the election with weed, machete, and halitosis. I don’t know about the last one, its always the image I get whenever I hear of gangs, guys with unkempt hair and no knowledge of how emancipating a clean mouth is…

Colgate, untapped market (hint, hint)

Colgate, untapped market (hint, hint)

The logic is pretty simple and begins years before an election.  In places where a majority might not be as defined as to provide the necessary tyranny of tribe, politicians employ militia to start a war against ‘the other tribe, ’ referred to as ‘madoadoa’ as recently as 2007. Not only does a private army give you clout, but it also means you never get to lose a brawl again. You get to determine who lives and who dies, who gets raped and who doesn’t, who gets to give birth and who gets to miscarry. You are the evil overlord of your small electoral conquest, ruling from behind the shadows, conveniently away from the frontlines to not die in the counter attacks but always making sure your troops pass the message. If we didn’t know better we would think you a deity.

Pick any multiparty Kenya elections and someone somewhere had a militia ‘campaign’ for him or her. Tribal politics have led to ‘tribal clashes’ during elections which begun in earnest with the 1992 ethnic cleansing strategy in the Rift Valley, Baghdad Boys in Kisumu, the Kaya Bombo raiders and other militia in 1997, Mungiki in 2002 (when both leading candidates were from one tribe) and then hit a climax in 2007. Jeshi la Mzee, Jeshi la Embakasi, Nganda Nyenze’s ‘Ndeteleka Group’ and other ‘private armies’…the list is so long that one needs to only point to a spot on the map of Kenya to locate a place where a militia exists or has been. All the ones mentioned in this previous list were at some point used to win someone an election.

Up until now, every militia in Kenya has been constituted on ethnic and gender lines; can’t a good militia also be an equal opportunity employer.

#6 Bring in the Mossad?

Not pictured: Said spy agency...

Not pictured: Said spy agency…

It is impossible to say enough bad things about Moi, formerly Citizen #1 without using all possible negative adjectives. Never has one man does so much evil in less than quarter of a century, oh, scratch that, the man has peers.

To be fair to the man, Kenya was never much of a country to begin with, just a small country with cobbled up diverse groups that had to learn to share a national cake that belonged to the 1 percent. Other than its strange borders and rampant avarice, Kenya had had more than a few massacres already. The national numbness was (still is) a dictator’s dream and the women wore miniskirts to church….the good old days.

 Upto 1990 at least, Kenyan elections had been simple cases of who was the better sychophant. Moi opposed multipartyism vehemently, even going as far as having his VP at the time, Kibaki, fence sitter extraordinaire and the slowest Head of State ever (Paraplegics do not count in this comparison) make sure ‘one-partyism’ waslaw; arguing that it would bring tribalism and division. When he realized that couldn’t win, he jumped onto that train-the tribalism one, although he had always been on it- like a boss, in fact he was the boss.

Lets go vote...

Lets go vote…

The earliest attack in the lead up to the 1992 elections was an attack in October 1991 on members of the Luo ethnic farm in Meitei farm in South Nandi District. Over 300, 000 were displaced in the resulting attacks and counter-attacks. KANU blamed the clashes on the opposition, and the latter blamed it on the former, then everyone went back to their Muthaiga homes and laughed maniacally.

The never-released (at least officially) Kroll report (Thanks Assange, hope you get some sun soon) suggests that the 1992 clashes were the work of Moi’s right hand man at the time, the ‘Total Man’- whose feeble attempts at clearing his name are often hilarious- and ridiculously expensive. More specifically, one of the Total Man’s ‘business’ associates, a Mr. Danny Vardi. said to be the same guy behind the disappearance of key Dr. Robert Ouko murder witnesses. Vardi is thought to have been a link to the Mossad although the claim is largely unsubstantiated-but given how unsure we are about the truth in what we know, not entirely implausible.

#5 Rape your Opponent?

Immediately after the 2013 elections, the Kenya Women Parliamentary Association accused some unnamed male aspirants of using threats of sexual violence to force the female candidates to back down. While they did not name and shame the misogynists, their assertions were not new…or even surprising.

Elections in Kenya have always been more testosterone than adrenaline, more where the meat comes from than if it is even safe for consumption. In such a state of cultural misogyny, political office is seen as a man’s world, and the few women who have balls (I had to) to run for any office find themselves the targets of attacks and sometimes…rape and death threats.

The current levels of intimidation of female candidates in multi-party Kenya can be traced back to 1992 (again, this must have been the year of all shenanigans) when the political stakes went beyond simply being friends with Mwananchi #1-and throwing yourself prostate whenever he was around. Before 1992, if the Big Man said you were running, you were running, and winning, gender being inconsequential. From 1992 however, it was open season. Everyone woke up one day and realized would never be any progress without getting female candidates. The resulting interest in female candidates ‘threatened men’ when their campaigns drew mammoth crowds, the commonest way of gauging how effective your witchdoctor was. So politics went to the strays, predictably.

“ For a good part of the campaign period, the media reported some of the most unlikely election tales. Married women candidates were accused of neglecting their families for personal gains. Widows were accused of having been the cause of their husbands’ deaths. Divorced women were accused of having loose morals.”

The TJRC Report, Volume 2A p 736, 86 contains an excerpt on unnamed female candidate who tells the story of how she was raped and beaten by a group of thugs who told her that she ‘troubling men.’ She says “One of them suggested that they leave because I was not proud. Then another one asked what they were going to say. That is when I realized that they had been sent.”

You think we left this curse in the 1990s? That TJRC witness is talking about the 2007 elections and the KWPA was talking about events of less than three months ago…and a related one from 2013.

#4 Outsource Witchcraft

No African election is complete without a half-dressed guy sitting on your head-and presumably farting on your face as he utters incantations and makes you regret going for aromatherapy. He also has to make you eat peppery things as he jumps around you and yells things to ‘bless the ballot’ and make you ‘invincible at the vote.’ If you are not sitting on a three-legged stool in a smoky hut talking to a guy who does not shower much, then you are probably doing it wrong. If you have a smoky hat and a three-legged stool and are not already advertising services for the byelections, you are also doing it wrong.

There is a sequel by the way...its called Handkerchief 2.

There is a sequel by the way…its called Handkerchief 2.

A few days before the last elections, Moses Wetangula, then a candidate for Bungoma Senator, claimed that he had concrete evidence that his rival was using witchcraft to ‘bind voters’ and “do funny things at various venues.” The funny implied here being not ‘funny ha-ha’ but ‘funny hhhmmm WTF?’  While it is almost impossible to ignore the BDSM connotations in the choice of descriptors of said goal of witchcraft, it turns out that the ‘witchdoctors’ in question had been outsourced from a West African nation. We have all watched enough Naija films to know that a handkerchief, with the right amount of magic, can get a personality and an evil, almost electrical laugh followed by exclaims and unnecessary handclapping.

The candidate in question was Musikari Kombo [he outed himself to clear the rumor that he was part of said BDSM] who clarified that the alleged witchdoctors  in question were actually Nigerian MPs. He said that the MPs had accompanied him during his campaign rallies (and implied that West African legislators cannot good withcdoctors make… Naija filmmaker, over to you). It turns out witchdoctors might be one of our largest expatriate population for the duration of the polls. Tanzania is kind enough to furnish us with the much needed expertise, and if the advertisements nailed to the few remaining trees all over Kenya are anything to go by, being a Tanzanian witchdoctor is an added advantage.

But its not all lost, just last year, 105-year-old John Dimo predicted that Obama would win re-election and surprise surprise, BO won! Who would have thought? Maybe this thing works guys, but can it be used to choose a wife?

I am become Gallup yawa!

I am become Gallup yawa!

In one scene in the two part-video above (and below), the witchdoctors’ rate Dennis Okari’s chances of victory (his star is “…at 35 and it needs to be at 58…). Does anyone know the criteria for this rating, maybe it is more reliable than our opinion polls but then again, the witchdoctors in the expose never figure out that Okari is the same Okari on TV. Wait, what’s that? Maybe they too do not watch KISS TV? Oh, yes, no one does…

 I am not sure how the ass-sniffing is necessary, but I would go for the being carried around and jumping over horns. It looks like good fun for the man and for the heart.

#3 Mlolongo System- The Dick-Measuring Contest

Why is that guy even impatient, its not like the queue is supposed to move...

Why is that guy in the middle even impatient, its not like the queue is supposed to move…

Entry #6 up there already discussed how we should blame Moi for all that ails this badly drawn map. Still, if you think the man did his worst in and after the 1992 elections then you probably do not know about the joke that was the 1988 KANU elections. KANU was ‘chama cha baba na mama’ and the symbol of the party was (and still is), the cock, or cockerel, if we insist on writing the long version to avoid the hilarious ambiguity. Since winning the KANU nomination was winning the election outright, there was a lot of haggling and murdering and bribing whenever the nomination elections were held. There was also comparing Mwalimu #1 with the Christ in Christian and letting him know that he was your monarch through and through.

The Mlolongo voting system was a queue system where party members lined up behind the photographs of their preferred candidate. These elections were actually part of a larger plot; on February 5, 1988, Moi had announced the release of nine political prisoners followed quickly by a snap general election on March 12 that he christened the ‘big broom.’ The National Assembly had been expanded from 158 to 188 seats with 12 members appointed by the Father of the Nation, the man with the wand. Any candidate who won 70 percent of the nomination would go straight to the August House. 

Dramatization...voting for the water.

Dramatization…voting for the water.

The idea behind this seemingly bad joke is that, ideally, the candidate with the longest queue wins the nomination and thus, the elections. It is sort of like how young boys choose opposite teams before a football match, only this were the actual elections. You can see the returning officers coming out of their stuffy offices, shielding their eyes from the sun to ‘see far’, and then declaring someone the winner right?

Like all dick-measuring contests, it turned out that length wasn’t the only thing you needed, the girth of your queue, and presumably vigor of your sychophancy, also played a part.

“KANU made sure that whoever it wanted was the winner –long queue, short queue, it didn’t matter.”

If the line above does not sound like the typical dong-measuring contest then I don’t know what does. It was the same the election that gave us the professor of mathematics and the man with his legs on both sides of the political divide, both former vice presidents, both dead, one politically, the other literally and politically.

#2 Stage a Fake Kidnapping

22563_158-628x250

In 1997, Uhuru Kenyatta (Now Landlord of the Nation) was a thin young man with a bad taste in suit jackets and zero knowledge about why you should wear your party colors during a campaign. His mismatched suits were just beginning to feel the pressures of being a feudal prince with a dynasty to propagate. Despite his otherwise unappealing prospects, Mkenya #1, HE Daniel, had seen something in him (dynasty!) that no one else, including the State House operatives, had not.

So Moses Muihia, UK’s erstwhile rival for the Gatundu South seat was more than just a simple parliamentary candidate, he represented the hopes and dreams of those who wanted to quash UK’s political brand. This was a typical Kenyan election, you could kill the man’s supporters, begin a tribal war, hire the Mossad, or even simply pay off the man to quit, but why would you when several pints of blood and a river could do the trick? If there is a medal for this kind of thing then these guys deserve one, a podium finish, even if they are the podium.

Well, 1997 was a different time, there was no internet in Kenya just yetand news was still pretty much oral…read, spread by the single guy in the village who could afford the newspaper. UK was a strong candidate alrightand he had the support of Mkulima #1. Working with the knowledge that Moi was running in his last elections-which he had already won even before the ballot papers were printed-his Kitchen cabinet decided to frustrate the young prince’s chances of succeeding him.

Nothing to see here, just winning an election is all... www.usnews.nbcnews.com

Nothing to see here, just winning an election is all…
http://www.usnews.nbcnews.com

So they hired a group of former University of Nairobi’s student leaders to make sure the young prince lost the election…on election day!

Muihia was ‘kidnapped’ in a stage-managed plot that included plunging a car into River Thiririka and pouring some pints blood (from a nearby slaughterhouse) into the river. Then the town crier-equivalent made sure everyone knew about the ‘kidnapping’ of the Kenyatta rival. What did the voters do? Of course they voted for the guy whom they thought dead or kidnapped, a concept known in sham democracies as a ‘protest vote.’ At 2 pm the ‘victim’ appeared conveniently and told voters (who had just voted for him) that he was still alive. He had already won the election…and added to the infamy of Comrade University,

Fake kidnapping, winning unwinnable battles for men since forever...

Fake kidnapping, winning unwinnable battles for men since forever…

#1 Amend the Constitution!

The age-old adage "Constitutions are paper, bros are forever"

The age-old adage “Constitutions are paper, bros are forever”

While Kenyatta the Elder had his failures, this entry will show that if nothing else, he was the best wingman a man could ever have. The wingman, as described in the Bro Code, is a sacred role that is occupied by only those who can handle such responsibility. It turns out that if you’re the successor to the Queen, you can make quite the wingman… Plus, who knew the Bro Code is greater than a country’s constitution?

During the 1974 elections, Paul Joseph Ng’ei prevailed upon his rival, Henry Muli, to withdraw from the race. Muli later filed an election petition against Ngei’s win claiming that “… he (Ngei) had bound Kangundo voters to back him by administering an oath.” The high court ruled that Ngei had indeed committed the electoral offence, nullified his win and disqualified him from the consequent by-election. When he realized that this meant he couldn’t eat at five star hotels and point the waitresses to State House when they presented him with the bill, he turned to the man who still owed him a lifetime of favors.

Hhhhmmmm...what do you mean the constitution is sacred too? The Bro Code is sacred!

Hhhhmmmm…what do you mean the constitution is sacred too? The Bro Code is sacred!

Mzee, ever the Lannister, made Njonjo and Moi (who had been part of the efforts to ‘finish’ Ngei politically) come up with a solution that had to be passed by Parliament in 12 hours. Since Parliament was scheduled to go for recess, the Head of State and Government, Landlord of the Nation and Protector of the Tribe declared that the recess was conditional; they could only go if they enacted the amendment…which they did with Moi proudly declaring “I support this amendment because we know that the President is above the law…” He would know. 

Ngei’s hold over the Man with the Fly Whisk is said to have begun at Kapenguria where he saved the man from getting beaten by his jailers several times, and even foiled Kariuki Chotara’s assassination attempt on the future president. When a man saves your life and even takes a beating for you in prison, that man owns you! He can walk into your compound anytime and eye any of your wives, and the implied Bro Code demands that you must comply. Ngei spent most of his time cashing in this blank cheque and pissing everyone off, once taking a Mercedes from a showroom and refusing to pay for it (aaaahhh…the good old days). He ‘test-drove’ it for 20 years.

The result? Constitutional Amendment Act. No. 1  of 1975, or as it is colloquially known, the Ngei Amendment. This seemingly harmless amendment extended the presidential prerogative of mercy to include annulment of the result of an electoral court (where an offence had been proven).

Even more proof that this is the most outrageous thing ever done to win an election? As soon as the amendment had served its purpose (annulling the nullification of Ngei’s election), it was repealed..presumably so no one could abuse it, no one else at least [sic!].

“[O]nce demagogy and falsehoods become routine, there isn’t much for the political journalist to do except handicap the race and report on the candidate’s mood.” 
― George Packer

 Owaahh, 2013.

 

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7 Myths about the ‘Mau Mau’ War (Some are TOTAL BS)


The 1950s are Kenya’s curse. No one cared to correct the myths because they fit into a certain context which romanticized the Mau Mau while keeping them subjugated to their new lords. While they died off in abject poverty and a society that blamed them for Operation Anvil, a different set of myths took root and became the mainstream stories…

Oh, and the tale of pseudo-gangs is not comprehensively explained on this list but you might want to ask your grandparents which Mau Mau exactly they really were on by the end of the rebellion.

#7 MAU MAU? Mau Mau? Mau? 

Depicted in British Culture as a group of savages www.maumauhistory.com

Depicted in British Culture as a group of savages
http://www.maumauhistory.com

Basic Kenyan history huh? You could answer this one while overlapping and texting on the phone and not endanger anyone on either lane, right? Well…what we have are ideas, guesses, too many to be sure…it seems like we forgot to ask Sir Evelyn Baring’s predecessor before he left. Dedan Kimathi’s assertion in the KFLA Charter notes that the ‘Mau Mau’ was a synonym for terrorists and that the movement was called the Kenya Freedom (and) Land Army (KFLA). If it was propaganda (and quite effective, given that it is now a brand and a term used to indicate brutality), where did it come from in the first place? It clearly has roots in some African language, more so Bantu, but which one and/or why?

The group originally called itself muingi [masses];Other possible sources of the common name include the ‘Movement of Unity’, the Kikuyu Maranga African Union (KMAU); or, as Bildad Kaggia claimed, the secret code muhimu. Some accounts even claim that the name could have been taken from the Mau, the range of Mountains in the Rift Valley. In 1963, another claim emerged, this time arguing that young Kikuyu boys would say ‘Uma Uma’ [‘Get out! Get Out!’] during initiation.

The murder that started it all...

The murder that started it all…

Another myth (well, I warned you there are many) 2claims that it came from the first ever prosecution of a member of the Mau Mau, that of Magroui Ole Kedogoya, for attempting to recruit his supervisor into a secret society.  He allegedy said (as quoted in Kinyatti, 1992) “ndingikwira maundu mau mau nderirwo ni kiama.[ I cannot tell you those, those things that I was told not to tell you by the movement.] This version claims that the wide coverage of the case by the colonial press grasped the words ‘mau mau’ (those, those) and assumed they meant the secret movement.The group later made due with the brand as ‘Mzungu Aende Ulaya. Mwafrika Apate Uhuru’ (No, not that Uhuru, the feudal prince one, although come to think of it….)

There is one other plausible source…

 It is likely that the name came from a mishearing of a Kikuyu or Swahili word, and ‘ muuma’ seems like the most likely candidate. Some factions of the freedom fighters refered to the movement as ‘Muuma wa Uiguano’ (Oath of Unity). Could it be that the loyalists, in attempting to explain what the Mau Mau oath was and why it was so strong, never noticed that the British colonial government heard something completely different and seemingly retarded?

The name itself was not exactly unique as it formed part of Sojourner Truth’s mother’s nickname ‘Mau-Mau Bett.’ Truth’s mother was an enslaved African from Guinea. She (Sojourner) died in 1883.

 #5 Obama’s Grandfather 

The guy in the background knows, he does...

The guy in the background knows, he does…

In Dreams from My Father, Barrack Obama claims that his grandfather was detained and tortured by the British.  Sarah Obama, according to multiple accounts, says that when he came home he was thin, dirty, and injured. Hussein Obama had (supposedly) been suppling weapons and information to the freedom fighters.  Sarah has further been quoted as saying that Mzee Obama’s testicles were pressed and he had been whipped by his African oppressors twice a day…because, of course, the British and their cronies had an unhealthy obsession with pliers and testicles. Obama claims in his book that his grandfather was held for 6 months, and Sarah claims he was held for 2 years, it was the 1940s/50s anyway, time was a blur…

 The only would-be corroboration for this story is that of Tim Symonds (3rd Last Paragraph) where he says

 “During one mission in the bamboo forest he captured a 50 or 60-year-old insurgent named Obama who spoke perfect English. That is clearly not a Kikuyu name and Tim has written to the American Embassy trying to discover if this was the grandfather of U.S. President Obama.”

Why its BS…

An Obama biographer, David Maraniss critically assessed this claim and came out with nought; he got multiple accounts from Hussein Obama’s friends who worked with him and who noted would obviously have known. There is also the curious fact that at the time when Obama the Elder was supposedly in prison, his son, Obama Sr. (father to the current POTUS) was studying at Maseno National School (1950-1953).

Waaaaaiiiiiit.... www.telegraph.com

 At least he didn’t come home and say ‘I was swallowed by a whale’

http://www.telegraph.com

 

It is likely that Obama was a friend of the founders of the group, then running the militant wing of the KCA, the Group of 40 but it is unlikely that Obama ever became an active member of the group.  Tim Symonds’ story implies that Obama Sr. was an active fighter, a seeming discrepancy from the other myth that he was a secondary participant in the war…

One of Obama Sr’s daughters, Ayuma, gives a more logical explanation; that he had been kidnapped by thugs and the story had been weaved through generations to claim he was a freedom fighter. 

#4 Lari Massacre, The Night of Long Knives

Kenya’s poster-child case of how a counter-massacre is the generally accepted response to a massacre.

On March 26th 1952, a group of Mau Mau fighters attacked and massacred entire families yanking children away from their mothers and hacking them to death. Anywhere between 70 and 100 people were brutally murdered in a single night including Chief Makimei and his predecessor, Luka Kihangara.

Lari Massacre

The counter-massacre began when the homeguards returned and found Luka’s, Makimei’s and other homes ablaze. As they gave chase to the fleeing Mau Mau fighters, they began a counter-massacre that eventually outdid the initial crime. Lari DC at the time, John Cumber, made the situation even worse when he ordered that all male suspects be rounded up (which, if the chronology of state massacres is anything to go by, means virtually any male in the vicinity).

Luka's Homestead, where all hell broke lose... www.ugpulse.com

Luka’s Homestead, where all hell broke lose…
http://www.ugpulse.com

In Volume 2A, Page 165/6/7, the TJRC report vividly explores the counter-massacre that made the first massacre look like a joke. The Commission refers to the massacre of the early hours of 27 March 1953 as “Little-known, little-discussed, little-acknowledged and yet undeniable...” Although almost all historical accounts hold that the 70 people died in the initial massacre, over 200 bodies were strewn all over Lari on the morning of 27 March. In the East African Standard report sometime after the massacre and counter-massacre, the government acknowledged having killed 150 people. This is generally agreed as the lower limit of the fatalities of the counter-massacre, and does not even include the over 70 people who were later hanged for the initial massacre.

The Lari Massacre of the loyalists and their families was just the one that received the most attention and the one which the Colonial government milked for propaganda. Photos of the initial massacre appeared on numerous pamphlets and news reports, and was used to show the Mau Mau as savages. I guess when you call dibs you must take all the blame…

 #3 When the Mau Mau war ended

A Propanganda pamphlet distributed during the war www.psywar.org

A Propanganda pamphlet distributed during the war
http://www.psywar.org

Officially, the actual war began to subside after Kimathi was captured in 1956. In truth, the Mau Mau war ended in 1963/4, and not without the characteristic massacre that the KE Government uses as a signature strategy to solve security issues. Mwariama -shanekeven dot typepad

The Meru faction of the insurgency survived the decade. Field Marshal Mwariama and General Baimungi (People’s General) had been in contact with Kenyatta as early as 1962 when he (Kenyatta) gave Mwariama a 15-acre plot of land which was, in truth, a loan he and other similar recipients had to pay back. Baimungi went back to the forest in Jan 1964 with ‘200 fighters’ (reffered to as ‘thugs’ in this Times article). Mwariama is the dreadlocked man in the famous photos with Kenyatta. He was good PR. 

At Ruring’u Stadium in Nyeri, Mau Mau fighters including Field Marshal Muthoni, Kimathi’s ‘Weaver Bird’, surrendered their weapons to the government. FM Muthoni left the forest in 1963/4, according to her own account but was first cleaned up and dressed well. General Baimungi, clearly not a known-giver-of-fucks,and his group were massacred on 26th January 1964 and their bodies (Baimungi and Chui) paraded in Meru Town for three days.

The exact reasons of his refusal to surrender are unclear, G. G Kariuki here asserts the popular myth that he demanded that the Mau Mau be given control over the Kenya security forces. His wife,Evangeline Muthoni Baimungi, later said that he (Baimuingi) had been given a Land Rover by Kenyatta and a flag to fly on the car. He used the vehicle to transport about ‘seven 20 kg containers full of cash’ he was holding in trust from the oathing fees. Mau Mau veterans agree there was cash, but argue instead that Baimungi used it to buy the Land Rover. 

Very little is known about what happened to Mwariama, although this account tells us that he died in 1989 due to ‘complications from snake venom he had sucked from the leg of a friend who was bitten during a visit to Ukambani’; the man who enlisted both he and Baimuingi died in April 2013.

#2 Who was Field Marshal Kaleba?

Sydney Morning Herald 1954 2

Sydney Morning Herald 1954 2

I KNOW, you have also never heard of him have you? Neither had I when I first set out to research entries for this list.

Sydney Morning Herald 1954

Sydney Morning Herald 1954

To understand who ‘Field Marshal Kaleba’ was, or was supposed to be, let’s first describe the Gray Leakey Murder, perhaps the most gruesome of all known assassinations during the course of the Emergency.

Arundel Gray Leakey, cousin to the more famous Louis Leakey, and known as ‘Morungaru’ was a white settler farmer in Central Province. He was the brother of Nigel Gray Leakey, a badass World War II soldier who jumped over an Italian tank and shot all its occupants except the driver. He (Nigel) was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest award of gallantry that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces, albeit posthumously (he was killed when he tried the same stunt again).

In October 1954, the less accomplished Leakey’s home was attacked by 60+ Mau Mau freedom fighters who killed his wife and force marched him to the Mount Kenya forest. Almost all available accounts of his murder indicate that he was buried alive after being tortured and disembowelled. The murder was reportedly sanctioned as a human sacrifice to appease the spirits, but embarrassed the colonial government and forced it to look for a scape goat.

"Go catch someone, anyone!" The Courier-Mail Brisbane

“Go catch someone, anyone!”
The Courier-Mail Brisbane

A ‘Field Marshal Kaleba’ was the man the colonial government hanged for the gruesome crime. True to character, they paraded him before the media as a ‘Half-Kikuyu Half-Somali’ savage who had led the murder and sacrifice of Gray Leakey. The link above claims that he was captured with two bodyguards, a girl, and most importantly, Gray Leakey’s revolver. Some just named him as a leader of the Mau Mau, although no corroborating evidence exists on who the man was. He appears in no literature post-1954…

So who was he? We know from multiple accounts that there were the only Field Marshals were Muthoni, Mwariama, and Kimathi. So, again, who was ‘Field Marshal Kaleba’? Was the sacrifice of a government that needed to show some success in its fight? Well, we might never know, given the fact that the colonial office must have disposed off of those records to cover up for the fact that they picked up a random guy and gave him a rank and a crime. 

#1 Mathenge, the Tragic Hero

Not pictured: Mathenge

Not pictured: Mathenge

Shenanigans!

A tale weaved over the course of fifty plus years, and hardly ever questioned, that General Stanley Mathenge led a band of fighters to Ethiopia in 1956 and never came back. Kimathi and Mathenge were something akin to rivalling siblings. Kimathi usurped power from the uneducated Stanley Matheng’e and declared himself Field Marshal while Mathenge remained a mere general despite being older and more experienced.

The competition led to the creation of two main ideological factions within the group, one which was aligned to Kimathi and was called ‘Kenya Parliament’ and another called ‘Kenya Riigi’ which had a less defined hierarchy but was led by Mathenge and Kahiu-Itina (Gen.)…and no, the last one did not get his name from stabbing people in the ass, he used to sheath his sword around his waist such that it rested on his buttocks.

By 1956, the ideals of the Mau Mau had pretty much changed from those of a war for freedom to a civil war. Waruhiu Itote and others had turned and were giving valuable information to the colonial government. The colonial government, through the pseudo gangs, reached out to Mathenge and the broader ‘Kenya Riigi’ to change the rules of engagement.

A typical pseudo-gang...  How long did it take you to notice that there is a white man in the photo? www.psywar.org

A typical pseudo-gang…
How long did it take you to notice that there is a white man in the photo?
http://www.psywar.org

General Kassam Gichimu Njogu gives a more plausible version of what really happened.Kimathi was pissed and ordered they (Mathenge and Kenya Riigi leaders) be court-martialed for treason. “Mathenge was bound with six fighters loyal to him to nearby trees as the court proceeded. A Wambui wa Nderitu from Mirangini in Nyandarua supposedly cut the ropes and Matheng’e and his group ran into the forest.”

Or posed with the corpses.

Or posed with the corpses.

Two likely scenarios? Kimathi or the British government caught up with, and killed, Mathenge. It is unlikely that the British government did because, from what happened during Waruhiu Itote and Kimathi’s own capture and trials, they would have made it into a propaganda victory. This leaves only one ugly but more likely event, Kimathi’s side of the Mau Mau re-arrested and executed him and made sure his body was never found. 

Kimathi had more to gain by portraying Matheng’e as an uneducated coward who had abandoned the cause than by admitting he had had him killed.  It was akin to a sibling fight for survival, and everyone lost, except in popular culture where Kimathi is almost deified and Matheng’e tucked to an incomplete part of history. Somewhere in the Mount Kenya forests lie the remains of Stanley Matheng’e and other prominent members of the Kenya Riigi.

“War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.”
― George Orwell, 1984

Update, 6th June 2013.

A keen reader noticed that entry #6 is missing from this list. I apologize for the oversight and shall add the entry soon. As you were…

Owaahh

 

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3 Proofs that the Kenya Government believes in Magic


Do you know how difficult it is to dupe the government into buying fake things? The government has entire institutions dedicated to detecting fake things, police to investigate any fraud, and killer gangs to settle scores…and of course, your taxes to play around with… Apparently, its not harder than convincing your two-year-old that you have stolen her nose.

#3 Mahindras with Low Self-Esteem

MahindraBrave

What we asked for…

You probably remember Mahindra’s from the series Renegade, the police officer with a pony tail called Bobby Sixkiller had one. Apparently, that was all the KE police needed to know they needed one, make that more than 1, 000 units.

Chamanlal Kamani figured out something every Kenyan knows at birth, the government is all-seeing and all-powerful…ish. Through his company, Kamson’s motors, he tendered to supply 1, 000 units plus of Mahindra Jeeps at the cost of Shs. 1 million each to the Kenya Police…for cars that would not be charged duty, and were cheaper in local showrooms. It turns out that the government would have been better buying several flying brooms and pointed hats than buying the jeeps. Since you do not see any of the more than 1, 000 unit that were bought, well, at least now you know. Or they were sold off, who cares anyway.

what we got.

what we got.

…and if you clicked on the link above then you know the Kamani’s didn’t stop with the faulty Mahindras, they are the guys behind Anglo Leasing, CID forensic laboratory, and a few other scandals we wear on our lapels with pride.

Or was Bobby Sixkiller’s car a Hummer? Its not like we are experts or something…

#2 Bomb Detection through Sheer Will Power

What we asked for...

What we asked for…

Remember that one time you were carrying a bomb in your bag, ostensibly for work or some party, and then the police stopped you and magically known you were carrying a bomb? Then the big obese officer went directly for the bag and now is why you are in Guantanamo? No? Well, neither do I…but you remember how you would grab a butterfly or moth at its pupal stage and then make it do silly stuff? Like pointing towards where Nairobi is? Given that it could only wiggle in four directions, there was a one in 4 chance it would point to the right direction, right?

What we got... Alternative Caption...the belt doesn't look so bad, maybe it was a bargain...

What we got…
Alternative Caption…the belt doesn’t look so bad, maybe it was a bargain…

The government of Kenya has a magic wand that uses the same logic and not only that, it much works in the same way as Moses’s staff, wiggling around until it points towards the place where the would-be terrorist is hiding a bomb, or drugs, or a gun, or used condoms. This small Hogwart’s-stick-of-an-antennae can do pretty much anything if you have the right card. I am not joking, it uses cards which specify what you are looking for, and then you grab onto it as it seemingly pulls you towards the would-be offender.

Here it is in action (warning, the video below contains proof of magic, if you are a non-believer, please skip it).

The ‘maker of that magic wand‘ is already in court for lying to gullible governments which did not have any experts and it would seem, common sense, or Google even, to ascertain whether they really work…and where the other 2 entries are from 1995 and 1997 respectively, the video above is from April 2013, last month (*cough*cough*)

Since there is no scientific evidence of how the magic wand works, we can only guess that it is proof of what you can achieve with sheer will power.

 #1 TRANSFORM, or Jesus’  First Miracle

What we asked for...

What we asked for…

The ultimate proof that the government believes in magic and if we are Christian, then that Jesus did indeed turn water into such good wine that the groom woke up next to all the bridesmaids.

In 1997, the government, okay, to be fair, the City council of Nairobi, decided to procure chlorine for its three treatment plants. The tender went to a Kenyan called Kimani Kongo who decided that he knew something more effective at disinfecting water for the capital city…guess what he supplied?

You know this one…

Trust me, you do…

Think…if you won a tender to supply chlorine, and you intended to supply something cheaper, a joke maybe, but something powdery, what would you supply?

I am waiting…

Why are you acting like you haven’t been to school?

You know it…

Didn’t the teacher’s chalk disinfect your illiteracy?

Here is a hint, the answer is the sentence above.

CHALK!

Yes, he supplied the city godfathers with enough chalk to disinfect the entire water system, or, maybe, he intended it as a practical joke to show them they needed to go back to school.

Meanwhile, in Kimani Kongo's lab...

Meanwhile, in Kimani Kongo’s lab…

What did he do with the Kshs. 70 million they paid him? A good patriotic Kenyan this one, he bought a home in Muthaiga and a Mercedes Benz, returning most of the money to the economy…and of course he was a politician, accused of murder and grabbing land and houses in Woodley Estate, but none are as symbolic as chalk dust. 

Since the CCN paid him for the chalk dust (despite the blatant denial by the responding minister in the link to the Hansard record above), we can only assume that he told them that the water to be disinfected was the primer of sorts. That ‘dormant chorine that changes when you put it in water and pray” is better than all other colors of chlorine…but at least it was just the once...that we know of…

Hogwarts

Hogwarts

Seeing that we haven’t gotten any ‘dissolved’ chalk dust in our water systems since, and there has been no massive dumping of chalk, we can only assume it is what was used to color the City Council headquarters.

Owaahh, 2013.

 

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