August 13, 2012 9 comments

Dear readers, Joey is constipated. He has been since last week. It’s so serious a vein is about to pop on his temple. Okay don’t get disconcerted yet; my bowels are fine, it’s my mind that is not. See over the past week I have been unable to translate my thoughts into writing. A week ago I had what could possibly be the best weekend of my life and I thought I had a wonderful story to share until I placed my fingers on the keyboard and my mind froze on me. It was extremely frustrating. The only person that can possibly relate to what I was going through is Pamela Jelimo. In the Olympic 800m finals she thought she had it until her legs faltered.

Last week, on my Facebook fanpage I promised to post something midweek and on Monday evening I took out my laptop hoping to bang a few words. Sad thing is, I couldn’t even finish the first paragraph. At least Jelimo seemed promising in the first lap. I was not hard on myself that evening. I actually empathized with myself. I was like, “It’s okay Joey don’t be depressed. That happens once in a while when one is exhausted. It doesn’t make you less of a man”. So I put my laptop away and hopped into bed; I still had Tuesday.

Like Jelimo, I thought I’d put up a strong performance on the last lap. She’s done it before and so have I. On Tuesday last week I excused myself from work early since I wasn’t feeling so good. I spent the whole afternoon in bed, woke up at 7pm and had my lunch/supper, then switched on my laptop. Unfortunately, the cycle repeated itself. My mind simply refused to function. I felt like that ass (I could have used the word ‘donkey’ but I am not so proud of myself)… So I felt like that ass that obdurately stops in the middle of the road and refuses to move an inch.

On the second lap, not only was the Russian closing in fast on Jelimo, but the finish line seemed to be moving further away the closer she got to it. She could feel the gold slipping out of her fingers. And that ‘Oh shit I’m screwed’ look she had on her face, Joey knows it too well.

After the Russian whooshed past Jelimo and went for gold, our athlete must have thought she could still get the silver. Likewise, on Wednesday (it was my day off) I knew I wouldn’t be able to post in the morning but I thought I would have something by midday. But all I had were hard, dry thoughts that were refusing to come out. I pushed and pushed but nothing came out. It hurt like a b!@#$. I was so angry and frustrated.

There’s a scene in the movie 8 Mile where Eminem walks to the stage and after being handed the microphone he chokes on seeing a myriad of frenzied eyes staring at him. He does not utter a single line and what follows are jeers and callous remarks of derision. In my mind I could actually hear those hushed curses from my audience. The same way Eminem turned away from his audience, I couldn’t bear to look at my stats over the course of last week. I was embarrassed. For the first time I hoped that people would just forget about Joeytales for a week.

I was a troubled lad and on Friday I considered ditching the pen. I told my colleague that I didn’t think I could keep this blog going. His response, “You don’t have to write.” I liked that remark. It was exactly what I wanted to hear. I am not paid to do this. Joey and Joeytales do not share an oath.

In the wee hours of Saturday morning, I lay awake in bed. Sleep had deserted me at around 4am. And as stared into the unnerving darkness, it dawned on me that I cannot quit writing because it’s something I love to do. I thought about the wonderful romantic moments my mind and fingers have shared. I realized that writing to me is like a fulfilling romantic relationship. Even in the best of relationships there are those moments when partners do not see eye to eye. Regardless, more often than not they share delightful moments that leave them breathless. Moments they wouldn’t trade for anything.

I enjoy writing. I am always laughing with my laptop. I could be busy typing away when a thought crosses my mind and I just burst out. There are times I even question my sanity. There are times when my mind thinks of something so silly my fingers blush as they type. My mind and fingers just need to tie the knot already. This relationship is not about to be broken!

Thing is, I act on whims. I do not always finish things that I start. Being a tech guy there are countless times when I’ve made a resolution to teach myself a new skill, gotten myself tools and tutorials and even made a schedule, but deviated a few days later. I thought about blogging many days before I got me a blog. I wondered if it was just a whimsical endeavor. But when I made up my mind to blog, I made a pact with myself that I would keep it running for at least one year.

When it comes to blogging, as much as I enjoy writing, I do it for the masses. I am like that greedy pastor who revels at seeing his congregation grow week after week. One day I might just pull an Esther Mwende on you people. Anyway in about 10 months this blog has managed to attract a small gathering. Hundreds of loyal fans drop by every week. I cannot bear to disappoint you guys.

On my first week of blogging I was expecting to get about 100 views. To my surprise, at the end of the first day my first post had 354 views. That week the blog attracted about 800 viewers. I was elated. I thought I was right on track. I felt like that shaky, amateur artist who gets onto the stage for the first time but performs so beautifully he leaves the audience in awe. But the only reason I got so many views was because I had left a comment on a popular blog and people were curious to see what I had to offer. I took a shortcut.

There was a dip in the week that followed. The total views didn’t even get to 400. In fact, in the weeks that followed, I would get less than half the views I got on my first week. I was frustrated. But at the same time I was pleased to see that there were a few people that actually thought that I was doing a great job.

Presently, on a good day I will come up with something brilliant that will be shared across the social media and attract scores of readers. But that does not happen too often. I am never on a winning streak. It’s all hills and valleys up in Joeytales. On average, my views are still in the hundreds. I appreciate those among you that drop by week after week. I am not going to quit on you.

Last week on Friday I was introduced to this awe-inspiring blog. 5pm rarely finds me on my desk on Fridays but at 5:30 I was still seated with my eyes fixed on my laptop screen. The writer of this blog calls herself Noelle and I had been reading her blog posts all afternoon .She is brilliant. Her writing is sublime. She seems to have the right word for everything and her imagery is unmatched.

At some point I even felt like Noelle is misplaced. I am not sure she belongs in the blogosphere with the likes of Joeytales. To paint the picture vividly, I would say she is like that graceful violin maestro that dresses the part and plays gloriously before a stupefied audience. The audience gets lost in her music as they watch her performance. On the other hand, Joey is that guitarist in dirty jeans and a t-shirt written ‘U Dig Me?’ playing a guitar that’s a little out of tune. In short, Noelle humbled me. Thinking about it now, I am more energized to improve the standards of this blog.

I just realized this post is a little too long. In summary, Joey seems to have lost his mojo. But I have a strategy. I will look for Jelimo and the rest of the Kenyan athletes that performed dismally at the Olympics and we will sit together for a group therapy session. We will appoint David Rudisha as our therapist. I imagine I’ll be sitting somewhere in the circle and as guys introduce themselves my turn will come and they will stare at me because they’ve never seen my face and I do not look like I can run for shit. And I’ll politely introduce myself and make them understand that as much as I’m not as prominent as they are, I can relate to what they are going through.  I imagine the ever modest Rudisha would say something like, “Guys don’t beat yourselves up too much. In life, sometimes you win and sometimes you fall. When you fall, you to dust yourself, you ngarisha your fiatu and you work on improving yourself.”

PS: I put up a few photos on my Facebook fanpage that summarize the story that is causing the tension between my mind and fingers. You can always like the page and get updates.

Categories: Reflection

A random trip to Embu!

July 30, 2012 14 comments

Like any other working human, there’s that awesome feeling that envelopes me every week when Friday 5pm is looming. So last week on Friday at around 4pm I was sitting on my desk trying to look busy when a colleague walks up to me and excitedly tells me that there’s a plan for Embu. “Is there transport?” I ask. That’s all that mattered. See I’m one of those people that were born ready for whatever. If a plan sounds solid, as long as I’m not in the ICU, you can count me in. So when he confirmed that there was transport, Joey was game.

Embu couldn’t wait till 5pm so I had to come up with an ingenious emergency exit plan. My manager sits a few steps from me so there’s no way I was going to walk out with my laptop. The plan was to switch it off, lock it in my locker and bolt, claiming that I was going to a department on ground floor. Sounds easy right? It is, as long as you do not forget to mute your laptop before shutting it down. Yap the genius in me forgot to mute the damn thing so as it was shutting down that Windows tune sold me out! My boss looked up and I was like, “For some reason this thing keeps restarting itself. Must be a virus.” I had to switch it on again and re-take the whole thing. The second time around everything worked out and I was on my way downstairs ‘to see a colleague’.

Joey was free as a bird.

Funny thing is that even after cleverly pulling a disappearing act, we were not out of the office until 6pm. We passed by Total, bought drinks and peanuts then set out on our road trip. The driver was drinking sprite while the rest of us drank something that had a little sprite and too much Gin. We were a bunch of five boys in that vehicle so you can imagine the kind of stories that were being shared. Especially a few kilometers later when the drinks started taking effect.

At about 8pm we got to Embu and headed straight to the famed Izaak Walton Inn. When we got there everything was just chilled out. The music was a bit low and people were seated in small groups discussing their bosses while sipping on pint. We picked a table and ordered for drinks. The guys just had to do it the Kenyan style. You know where one guy does a round of two for everyone and suddenly his peers feel the need to return the favor instantly. In the end the table ends up looking like a mini bar.

The common name for the joint is Kenol (t’s adjacent to Kenol petrol station). I’m told it’s the place to be around there. For the Embu peeps, Kenol is like Rafikis, Sailors and Skylux all rolled into one. Okay the chicks do not exactly dress like the kind you would find in these joints but you get the point. Heck they do not even sound like the ones in the aforementioned places. A few misplaced Rs and Ls made it very clear that we were not anywhere near Nairobi. But at least no one was drinking their beer using straws. Anywhere up in Embu, they know that if you plan to have a fun night, Kobil is the place to be.

My eyes wandered around the place as revelers trickled in. As usual seated in a corner was a lady that was constantly making calls and shouting angrily on her phone. I suspected she had been stood up. Girls in this region are well known for their flaring temper so I was vigilant just in case a beer bottle comes flying over.

By 10pm the club was packed and the dance floor was a beehive of activity. By 3am some revelers had blacked out on the tables while one or two would even throw up after their insides could no longer hold in the toxic substance. But the dance floor never cleared up. Embu folks like to get down. And they have amazing endurance. There were folks that danced for seven straight hours!

I was leaving for Nairobi at 11am. Mind you I was meant to be in the office at 9! And the journey even became longer because the ladies I was traveling with would stop at every town to buy whatever the inhabitants offered. From rice to papaws to tomatoes. Heck I even thought they might try to purchase a child from its mother. But I have to admit that food is ridiculously cheap in those sides. There was a woman that walked up to us with a bunch of so many papaws and when we asked her how much they go for she said ksh150! For a minute there everyone was confused. You would think she’d answered in Mongolian.

Traffic was crazy a few kilometers to the CBD. I think it took us longer to get to the city center from Ngara than it had taken us to get to Ngara from Embu! We sat in traffic for so long I could feel my beard sprouting. We were so frustrated no one was uttering a word. Well apart from the occasional Nks and Mscheews from the girls. Then I spotted something very fascinating as I stared out of the window:

In case you are reading this from the phone and the photo is not legible, it reads:




At first I thought I was so exhausted and so sleep deprived that I was seeing my own things but then I confirmed with a friend. As in that’s the name of a freaking nursery school. I took out my phone and took a photo then sat there wishing some kid would walk out of the gate so I could stop him/her and politely enquire where s/he goes to school. How does a three year old get that name into his/her tiny head? I mean by the time the teacher gets to the third word the kid is probably thinking about teddy bears and his mommy. Any child from there that can state the name of his school is a genius. He should just go ahead and apply to MIT or one of those Ivy League institutions.

Anyway it was an eventful weekend for me. Save for the fact that I do not foresee the employee evaluation going in my favor this time around. I guess this is where the hedonists say YOLO!

Categories: Places Tags: ,

Proud to be Kenyan!

July 25, 2012 21 comments

In this post I choose to be optimistic. I choose to see the glass as half full.

Kenya harbors some of the most talented people in the world. If you don’t believe me, you wait till the Olympics kick off. You will believe me as you watch Kenyans sweep medal after medal. You will believe me as you watch our Kenyan Athletes stand majestically on the podium as our National Anthem is played over and over again. If you’re not a Kenyan and you’re frowning at this, you will believe me in a week or so when you find yourself humming the Kenyan National Anthem as you take a shower in the morning.

Our Kenyan athletes make us so proud. The epitome of a proud moment is when Ezekiel Kemboi won gold in the 300m steeplechase in Daegu then took off his shirt and exposed his skinny frame before proceeding to do a comical jig. I imagine ‘a great feeling’ is not a good enough description of the feeling that goes with being the best in the world. Heck some of us never became number one in a class of a few guys let alone win anything noteworthy. These Kenyans top the whole damn world! Isn’t that awesome or what?

My pal toured Brazil after winning the Guinness Football Challenge and he came back with a very interesting tale. He told me that one evening as they were strolling about, some Brazilians walked up to them and asked where they were from. On revealing that they were Kenyans, the Brazilians were so excited that they called their compatriots to come over and meet these Kenyans. The thrilled Brazilians then challenged our boys to a sprint. A Brazilian guy won the race and from what my pal told me, the guy leapt in joy. He was ecstatic. He couldn’t believe he had outrun a bunch of Kenyans (Albert, kutuangusha hivi). Dude was in a state of euphoria. That could as well be the proudest moment of his life. I am sure he found a new pick up line as of that day. That story alone is enough to get him into the Brazilian national athletics team.

That’s how proud our athletes make us whenever they outrun everyone else on the track. By the way what’s up with those snail-paced folks that get overlapped before the whole world? Are these folks really the best in their countries or were they selected randomly – maybe based on how long their legs are? How do you even go to an international event to get humiliated like that? Have you seen the look on their faces as a Kenyan whooshes past them (for a second time)? If look closely the look says, “What the hell dude my wife and kids are watching!” Jeez man if someone was so mean as to overlap me at the grand Olympics I would reach over and smack him so hard at the back of his head he would turn around and start running in the opposite direction.

Team Kenya, make us proud in London!

Right here in Kenya we have a spectacle that is one of the Seven Wonders of The World! I am talking about the spectacle that is the Annual Wildebeest Migration. I am still not sure why people enjoy watching hapless wildebeests getting their asses bitten off by vicious crocs. I guess humans are naturally sadistic. But no one can argue that watching this phenomenon leaves your jaw hanging just above your thighs. By the way those wildebeests are either extremely starved or extremely dumb! I wouldn’t dare step into that water if I was promised free supply of KFC chicken for the rest of my life. Those crocs are so damn huge and they don’t mess around! Anyway the fact that Kenya features in the Seven Wonders is enough to make us very proud of our motherland.

Any journalist worth his salt already knows that Kenyan journalists are topnotch. Last week our Journalists made us proud by bagging numerous awards at the 2012 CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards. Not only did two Kenyans (Tom Mboya and Evanson Nyaga) bag the top prize, several others went ahead to win in various categories including the Sport Award won by Waihiga Mwaura and Jepitha Mwai Mwangi; the Television News Bulletin Award won by Nimrod Taabu and Charles Kinyua and the HIV/AIDS Reporting Award won by John Muchangi Njiru! Our boys ran the show in Zambia and we are so very proud of them. These folks do not do guess work in front of the camera/print.

Did you know that our very own Tusker has won fifteen gold medals at the prestigious Monde Selection International Beer Awards. Tusker Lager is brewed right here in Kenya using the highest quality malted barley grown in the scenic Kenyan Rift Valley. It’s no surprise that you will see a tourist enjoying his tusker at 9am in the morning. As a matter of fact, Sainsbury’s, the third largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom stocks the famed drink. In a bid to support our local brand, I propose employers approve that on Fridays we are served Tusker instead of the 4PM tea.

The blooming of mobile money in Kenya is also a source of national pride. It has given our country a remarkable global profile. Even Hillary Clinton wondered why this “brilliant innovation” is not available in the USA. Some time back, MIT researcher Nathan Eagle regaled the audience at some conference with tales of technical innovation from East Africa. “Kenya has some mobile phone services that are years ahead of what we have right now,” he said. If you doubted that we have brilliant people in Kenya, now you know. There are approximately 60 million mobile-money users in the world meaning almost 1 in every 3 is a Kenyan, and half of all these mobile money transactions take place in Kenya.

God knows I love my country. I really do. But the truth is that Kenya is no utopia. We still have a very long way to go. Here’s to hoping we can all work toward building our country and making it a better place. Joey is proud to be Kenyan!

The man himself: Miguna Miguna

July 18, 2012 29 comments

In my early years of primary school we had this class prefect who was a huge pain in the ass. He was like that boil that rests menacingly on the buttock. This kid always had a long list of noise makers which he never hesitated to present to the teacher even when not asked. And like the Raila’s name on Miguna’s book, my name always featured in those lists. More than once I tried to win him over by sharing my break. Little Miguna would munch on it as we exchanged niceties and still go ahead and hang me out to dry. But even that little snitch has nothing on one Miguna Miguna!

For the past two weeks or so, the talk of town has been one Miguna Miguna and his snitching prowess. If there ever was a Snitching Award Miguna would sweep all categories. The mouth on this guy is phenomenal. I have never seen a bigger snitch – you can take that both literally and figuratively. Come to think of it, that class prefect back in primo might actually be related to this guy. If I can remember correctly his head was shaped like Miguna’s. He would never back down even when we threatened to kick his ass after school. Plus he never wore underwear. Ok the last point might have nothing to do with Miguna bit it’s worth mentioning.

I have not yet read Miguna’s book, ‘Peeling Back The Mask’ but I have read each one of the excerpts on the papers. You’ve got to admire the audaciousness and malevolence in his writing. Dude is not holding back. As I read those articles I could picture him sitting upright with a laptop on the table before him. I could see him sitting there with the sleeves of his shirt folded up. I could see the mist forming on his glasses as he let out heavy breaths that reeked of spite. I could almost hear the sound of the keyboard as he furiously typed away. I have a feeling the first laptop he used ended up in pieces after he smashed it against the wall when the Space bar got stuck after succumbing to the heavy punching.

I suspect he always had a glass of Fanta Orange by his side. I imagine that’s the drink favored by snitches. I can almost see the smug, glaring look on his face as he typed away. Once in a while he would get carried away and get infuriated and that’s when he used the insolent, injurious words that shape his writing. What he said about some MP called Elmi got me in stitches! I laughed so hard I added two more years to my life-span even though the comments were a little out of line. How do you go ahead and call a grown up shallow and clueless? If I were Elmi I would prove him wrong and write something too. Even if it’s a magazine. Or just start a blog. Anything that would redeem my image. Someone please introduce the brother to WordPress.

As humans, we get the urge to exert revenge when wronged. I for one would plan and strategize on how to get back on someone depending on how far that person crossed me. The impulse to retaliate and cause harm to someone who has aggrieved us is innate. But there are limits to which you can cause detriment to somebody. The first rule in the book, Rules of Vengeance states that in the line of revenge, you do something that will harm your offender just as much – or slightly more – than he/she harmed you. Do not go overboard. It further states that thou shalt not reveal secrets that were once disclosed to you in confidence.

Okay I might have made up the better part of that paragraph but I believe my rules fall in the broad category of common sense. Any sensible person knows that when someone trusts you with intimate secrets you are not allowed to spill even after you’ve fallen out. Find other ways to get back at your offender but do not stoop so low as to start exposing the skeletons.

Personally, I have no regard for Miguna Miguna. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against whistle blowing or doing what is morally right. If he had come out and spilled the beans while he was still working with the PM then I would not have any qualms with him. My problem is that he is now doing it out of deep-rooted hatred and malice. He is spilling out information that he had once sworn to take to the grave. And that in my opinion makes Miguna Miguna a big-headed, loud-mouthed sissy. Someone not worth being applauded.

During the launch of his book and during his interview with Jeff Koingange, Miguna exuded so much confidence and ferocity. He breathed fire and appeared indomitable. Big words were used. “Miguna Miguna cannot be intimidated… I have taken out my gun and fired in the air… I dare them to come after me; come baby come” Miguna emphatically threw down the gauntlet. Little did we know that it was just a charade. One day later, the guy fled to Canada in the dead of the night! I must admit I was a bit disappointed. I felt cheated.

See Miguna Miguna had made me believe that he was the modern day Gladiator only to take off with his tail between his legs. I was looking forward to seeing Miguna going all Terminator on his adversaries. I had already pictured him standing his ground with a bazooka on his shoulder firing away while taking bullets to the chest but refusing to fall to the ground. That’s a great picture right there, isn’t it? Just replace his bishop-like robe with bad-ass armor. Sarah, if you spot him sauntering around the streets of Toronto tell him that Joey is very disappointed in him. He’ll probably be hiding beneath a huge sombrero and a dark pair of sun-glasses so please stay alert.

All in all, the circumstances in which that information has been brought to light does not negate the fact that the PM has a case to answer. As much Miguna might have blown some things out of proportion, not all the information in his book is sheer BS. Some stories seem credible. It is amazing how people can lead double lives. How does someone get up in the morning and spend his day preaching reforms while they have so much dirt under their beds? How do they even sleep on those beds? Oscar Awards organizers need to broaden their scope. Such talent should not go unrecognized.

There are some big lessons that can be learnt from the Miguna Miguna’s saga. For starters, I have learnt not to go offending people. I am not sure what the PM did to warrant such bitterness and hatred but damn, it must have been something very cruel. I suspect there’s more to the whole story than simply firing the dude. And if it’s just that, then Miguna is indeed loco. I mean if I got fired today I might get tempted to disparage some people but going ahead to write a whole book to uncover everything? That’s crazy.

As proverbial saying goes; keep your friends close and your enemies closer. It seems like RAO does not take his quotes seriously now does he? He needs to pay as much attention to sayings as he does his parables. The people who came up with these quotes were not just blabbering. They knew what they were talking about after experience taught them a lesson. Whoever came up with that particular quote must be very disappointed with RAO.

It seems like not everyone has read and understood The Rules of Revenge. It is imperative that people read those rules. That way lines will not be crossed so grievously. If you want a copy please holler at me. As a matter of fact they should let me do a draft so they can put it in the constitution. You cannot go disclosing people’s secrets and tarnishing their image anyhowly. What Miguna did is not only a total disregard of The Rules of Revenge but is also against the Bro Code!

Lastly, never trust a man whose second name resembles his first. He’s probably one loose cannon.

When life happens

July 9, 2012 17 comments

My neighbor has this adorable daughter that’s delightful in so many ways. I am fond of this kid because I’ve seen her from the time she was crawling and talking in gibberish to the present when she can run as first as her little puppy and her vocabulary has grown considerably (the first time she called me ‘uncle’ I was tempted to steal her). So you can imagine how shocked I was last week when I heard her yelling, “puuuush, puuush”.  Mind you this is a kid who has not even started baby class. Her midwifery skills are already better than her alphabet.

I like this child though. She represents all that is good. In her I see a lot of potential. She is like a bonfire that has just been ignited. A bonfire whose flames will burn fiercely and incessantly. This little girl is like a ship that is departing from the dock for the vast, infinite waters of the ocean. The world is hers to explore. At her tender age she still has a lot of zest and enthusiasm.

Just like this little girl, while we were toddlers we ate life with a big spoon. We did not feel the need to pretend. We cried our eyes out when things were not right and we laughed our hearts out without a care in the world whenever we were happy. But even when we cried, we would let things go as soon as our tears ran dry. We would let things slide and keep our eyes on the prize (which was mostly boobs). We never hang on to unpleasant experiences. We kept no grudges.  We did not walk with downcast eyes. We did not keep hatred in our hearts. We were not ashamed of who we were. We never felt the need to please people. We were not judgmental. We were not spiteful. We did not feel the need to follow the crowd. We were always eager to learn and we had so much potential.

What happened to all that gusto?

It’s unfortunate how we let experiences shape us. We let our set- backs suck all that succulence from our lives leaving us frail and worn out. It is unfortunate how we let people define who we are or who we ought to be. It’s unfortunate how we let hatred and pain consume us. It is unfortunate how we let the world corrupt and damage us. It is unfortunate how we pursue the wrong things in pursuit of happiness. It’s unfortunate how we endeavor to please others at the cost of our own happiness. It’s unfortunate how much we complicate our lives.

No one can claim to be an expert on living. There’s no handbook on how to live this life. We are all a work in progress. But that is not to say that life cannot be simplified. It is in this regard that I share my two cents on making life manageable:

1)      Your happiness should always come first. Stop trying to fix everyone and everything. This is not to say that you should never go out of your way for the sake of someone else. But the truth is, some people are just damaged. And very few among us have the patience that Jesus had (or Mother Teresa for that matter).

2)      Do not hang around bitter, unhappy people. These people are always full of skepticism. Nothing is ever good enough or doable from their point of view. If you have a friend that’s always complaining and speaking negative of everyone and everything, it’s about time you ditch him/her or else that negativity will rub off on you.

3)      Do not keep grudges. I long realized that more often than not, people will disappoint you. We live among humans, not angels. You will disappoint people and you will be disappointed. Learn to forgive and move on. Hate is consuming. You don’t want to look like President Ubaks (or God forbid, his wife) by the time you are in your forties.

4)      Have the courage to tell someone off. If someone is constantly crossing the line and you can’t take their crap anymore, feel free to tell him/her to piss off. Do not let anyone take away your happiness. You do not owe anyone anything. Unless you are a Siamese twin, you came into this world alone. That is not to say that you should be petty

5)      Know yourself well. Life is so much easier when you know your weaknesses and strengths. You will save yourself a lot of time and you are more likely to hit the jackpot. Just imagine if David ‘Fiatu Fyangu’ Rudisha had tried to be a news anchor.

6)      Know whom to trust. Do not get attached too easily. Don’t go opening your heart to everyone you meet. Guard your heart. It harbors your life.

7)      Learn to live with people. No man is an island. No man stands alone. As much as you may possess the ability, people will get you where you want to be.

8)      If it will not add any value, don’t say it. Well of course unless it’s funny.

9)      Respect others. Do not look down on people. Just because you are up there does not mean you cannot fall. Sometimes the person that lends you a hand in a time of need is the one that you least expect.

10)   Take risks. Like they say YOLO. You can’t live in fear all your life. If you think something will make you happy, as long as it’s not harmful go for it. This is no license to be stupid though. Don’t go doing silly stunts.

11)   You do not have to be like everyone else. You don’t have to do it because everyone else is doing it (I know Nyambura will like this one). In that regard, if you are reading this and you have that dreadful Mohwak on your head (because you saw it on Sean Paul), please visit your nearest barber.

12)   Don’t take things at face value. Learn to question. Don’t believe in crappy sayings! Like the one that says that if you love something, let it go and if it comes back then it was meant to be yours. Seriously genius?

13)   Have a relationship with God.

14)   Lastly, have a sense of humor. You’ve got to have a sense of humor. It’s never that serious. I am sure even Samuel L. Jackson laughs in real life, no?

Categories: Uncategorized

Men too, get sentimental

July 2, 2012 17 comments

I was sitting with my laptop staring at a blank word document (that was just as blank as my mind) before Tyrese came on tv.  Is it just me or is there a big incongruity between how Tyrese looks and the genre of music he does? See when you look at a guy like Bruno Mars and you hear him sing his hit Grenade, it makes sense. Tyrese on the other hand looks like one of those unruly, hardcore rappers. You know those that rap about shooting n*ggers and smoking weed. The bad ass character he plays in the movie Death Race fits his look better than the singing. I’m watching him sing his heart out as he performs one of his popular hits, SWEET LADY. Despite the tough guy look this guy is as sappy as they come.

Unlike Tyrese, most men would rather walk on red-hot charcoal than reveal their sentimental side to the masses. We walk around acting like we have little skulls where our hearts should be. We act like tough emotionless creatures who never pay attention to matters of the heart. You are more likely to get a crook to confess to theft than to get a man to admit that ‘he is in love’. The L-Word is not a part of our vocabulary. But most often than not, the tough guy look is merely a façade.

Men might not be as emotional as the ladies. We might not need to remove our hankies to wipe away tears at the end of a sappy story; we might not find soap operas enthralling; we might not have Westlife on our playlists, but each and every man has a story. And there’s always a chick somewhere that can tell that story. Every man gets whipped at some point in his life; and a whipped man is a man saturated with emotion.

You can always spot a man that’s whipped. He is tame and gentle when around the object of his affection. He looks at her when she speaks. There’s that smoky, sultry look in his eyes. The tone on his voice is soft and low. He will sit as close as possible to his lady and will keep touching her. Not one of those lustful touches but an innocuous, subconscious one.

While I was out last week I witnessed something interesting. A few tables from where I was seated, I discerned a whipped man. He was seated next to a very pretty, chilled-out lady. I knew the man was whipped because he was trying really hard. I could tell that it was intense over there. The guy did most of the talking while the chick listened on. Occasionally he would stop talking and stare at her, probably waiting for an answer. She however didn’t seem to give him the answer that he wanted. She was not being snobbish; she just seemed to have a different stand-point.

I could see that the two were having one of those serious talks that shape people’s futures. At some point the guy even took off his spectacles and I couldn’t help thinking that he had literally seen the light. Unlike many other boys in the club, this one was not just trying to get laid. He was seeking something deep. He would put his hand on her arm as he spoke and he looked at her like she was something out of this planet.

That’s a guy that was ready to do anything for a chick. I suspected he’d spent the afternoon with her in the salon as she was getting her hair done. He looked like he was about to go all Tyrese on her and start singing Sweet Lady. Heck he looked like he might burst into tears and weep into her bosom. I couldn’t help feeling sorry for the poor guy.

A man’s true nature is revealed, not when in battle, but when alongside the object of his affection.

Isn’t it funny how a man will act all macho in the streets but go all soft when he is with the lady he adores? It’s amazing how a woman can strip all that bravado charade and reveal the raw emotion veiled within. In that regard, I have come up with a list of DOs and DON’Ts for the men out there who might find themselves in this tricky situation:

  1. Don’t beat around the bush. Just say it as it is. Don’t shy away from telling her why you want her in your life. Fungua roho.
  2. Sell yourself while at it. There are countless other men out there who have also noticed her. Make yourself special. Just be careful not to appear conceited.
  3. Flirt with her. Look for that distinct quality that makes her stand out. Be careful not to seem like you are simply after sex.
  4. Get to know her. Take interest in her. Ask her questions and listen attentively. Remembering something that she told you some time back will go a long way.
  5. Impress her. It’s not that hard to impress her once you’ve gotten to know what she’s into. Get to know what she likes/dislikes and you will come out as thoughtful.
  6. Show her that you care. Open the door for her; pull her a chair; ask her if she’s freezing (and hope she says no because you will have to give her your jacket). Actions speak louder than words.
  7. Don’t get worked up when she doesn’t respond as you want. Do not lose your cool and start banging the table. Stay calm and you might just win her over.
  8. For God’s sake don’t threaten to do anything stupid. Telling her that you will hang yourself if she doesn’t take you is not advisable.
  9. Don’t be too needy. Give her some space. Desist from texting her every 5 minutes to let her know that you’re thinking about her.
  10. Be yourself. Don’t feel the need to appear sophisticated. Good table manners are in order but you do not need to flaunt your French proficiency.
  11. Do not try to win her over by spending big. Don’t spoil her too much in the initial stages. You want her to fall for you, not your money.
  12. Don’t be a sissy. You do not have to start watching her favorite soap just so that you can have something in common. You do not have to sit with her at the salon. Don’t carry her handbag.
  13. Don’t talk/act like one of her girlfriends. That’s how boys end up in the friends zone.
  14. Do not believe in crappy sayings. Like the one that says that if it was meant to be then it will be. You go and make it happen.
  15. Do not stalk her!
  16. If she’s worth it, don’t give up easily. At times a chick just wants to see that you are sincere. Remember, persistence breaks resistance.
  17. Lastly, if she’s a soft one, you could try shedding a tear. You don’t want anyone else to see this so ensure it’s just the two of you. Ladies like a man who can show some emotion.
Categories: Behavior

How about we go kill some lions!

June 25, 2012 12 comments

Chuck Norris has nothing on a spear wielding Maasai Moran. Not even if he teamed up with Jack Bauer. See last week a team of Maasai Morans confronted a pack of lions and speared six of them to death. Now these guys did not go lion huntingbecause the wild cats had invaded their village and made away with their children, no, they went all macho because a pack of lions had attacked and killed a few of their sheep. Talk of being spiteful!

Just to be clear, we’re talking about six grown ass jungle lions here. Not the ones you would find sitting on stools in the Circus. Nah! These are lions that had grown tired of buffalo meat and were seeking some sheep cuisine! Those Maasai boys are not your usual blokes. That’s a tough bunch right there. Even the Alshabaab in Kismayu would drop their RPGs and run for the hills if they got wind that Kenya was sending over these Ninjas. I mean who wouldn’t?

I know a thing or two things about the Maasai culture. For one, I know that they treasure their livestock. They live, eat and breathe their cows, goats and sheep. A Maasai gets out of his shack in the morning, looks at his herd and he feels like freaking Richard Branson. In the Maasai community, a man doesn’t need to drive a Range Rover to feel like a boss. If you have a sizeable herd, then you might as well be Rick Ross. Anyone who tries to unjustfully take away a Maasai’s animal risks being speared dead. And Mufasa is no exception.

If a lion attacks a farm animal, then according to the Maasai constitution, it should be hunted to the depths of Maasai Mara (or Kitengela) and speared to death. No compromises. If the unfathomable happens, a group of strong and energetic youth is mobilized and they set out to seek revenge. I suppose there is an enlisting process. And I have a feeling boys there do not need to be begged to enlist. I imagine they show up in large numbers, each eager to serve his community. Each eager to shove a spear up a lion’s gut. I imagine the boys who are deemed unfit walk home with downcast eyes. They feel like they’ve not only let themselves down, but their sheep as well.

I am glad I wasn’t born in the Maasai community. I can’t kill a lion. Not even with a sniper rifle. Heck I only show up at goat eating parties after the goat has already been converted to meat. If I lived among the Maasais and killing a lion was the rite of passage that would usher me into manhood, I would pass. I would rather go fetch water with the ladies. No way in hell I’m I coming face to face with a lion.

I suppose constructing an impregnable barricade to protect their herd would only cost each family like what, four cows? But no. Maasai folks don’t think along those lines. They believe in respect; even from wild animals. I imagine as soon as one of them saw the sheep massacre that morning, he yelled, “Oh no they didn’t!” He then let out a loud piercing cry that woke the entire village.  A war cry for that matter not a sissy cry.  Men raced out of their Manyattas with spears in hand ready to face the enemy.

It must have been a gloomy day in the village. I imagine people were engulfed in sorrow as they mourned their dead sheep. They thought of the pain their beloved animals had gone through at the paws of the lions. And they swore to revenge. I imagine the village elder had a difficult time trying to make some men understand that they would not be part of the lion hunting party; that they didn’t make the cut. And I imagine these men felt like they had been dropped out of the Olympics dream team.

Apparently during the lion hunt one Moran got his arm mauled by a lion. I do not suppose he as much as let out a cry in agony. From what I hear, the guy talked down on the beast. He looked the lion in the eye and bellowed, “Is that all you’ve got b!tch? What are you trying to give me a love bite? My teething daughter bites harder.” Then he proceeded to shove a spear down the lion’s throat.

These guys are so bad ass, the government did not intervene because they feared for the lives of the villagers, they intervened to protect the lions. The government official was like, “I’m sure we can work something out folks. Those lions didn’t mean to kill your sheep. Maybe it’s the sheep that provoked them. Anyway the lions have learnt their lesson so please don’t go killing any more of them. Deal?”

There’s a video by BBC where three Maasai men snatch prey from a pack of fifteen lions. That’s right guys you heard me right. And it’s not like the lions were lying on the ground basking after having eaten to their fill, they were actually tearing into their brunch when the men rudely interrupted. More like the way a bully snatches lunch from a wimp. I mean why spend your energy hunting and chasing after game while you can have the lions do it for you?

In the video, the men walk briskly towards the lions. They do not falter even when the lions pause and stare intimidatingly, probably thinking ‘Who the hell those, do they know that we run shit around here?’ But as the men draw nearer the lions see the unyielding looks on their faces and they realize that if they do not make a run for it, they would be someone else’s dinner. They therefore take off and watch from a safe distance as one of the men cuts off a chunk of meat and places it on his shoulder. The men then saunter away, probably thinking ‘what a bunch of pansies’.

Now that’s gangster!

These guys deserve one of those honorary badges that are given to brave men after wars. I bet they sit and wonder how come it’s taking so long for the Kenya Defense Force to oust the Al-Shabaab in Somalia. If I was driving and I happened to knock dead a Maasai’s sheep, I’d relocate to a foreign country. I wouldn’t wait to see my fate. Not from a guy who has slain a lion!

White folk, don’t try that stunt. Please don’t. If you’re sitting there thinking you are tough because you’ve got a tattoo on your neck, think again. The lions will make mayonnaise out of you.

Categories: People Tags: ,