Kenya

The Curious Case Of Anti-Social Entertainers

If you suspect to be an anti-social entertainer, then you are probably in the wrong business and I say this with good reason.

Very recently, Nigerian musician Burna Boy suffered vicious attacks from the #KOT (Kenyans On Twitter) fraternity as well as revelers, for what they termed as a poor performance at a club in Westlands, Nairobi. Turns out that Burna Boy was only making a club appearance and not a show, but the fact that he turned up on stage at 3 am to perform for only an hour or so, thoroughly angered those who had paid to watch him perform.

The said club has since clarified and given their own version of what truly transpired. Apparently, Burna Boy had been stuck in traffic for about an hour and a half and the club’s previous decision to charge an affordable price for the tickets, had seen large numbers turn up. So the club had to be forced not to let other revelers in which of course didn’t sit well with those particular revelers. Okay, I’m really trying to understand which massive traffic was this in the early morning hours of Nairobi, that Burna Boy was stuck in, but I will keep my opinions to myself on that, this time round.

Anyways, I’m more concerned with how the musician chose to react to the situation. The heat must have been too much for him because Burna Boy ended up blocking most of his Kenyan Twitter followers and at some point mentioned angrily that Kenyans were peasants. Now, now Burna Boy, I understand that the #KOT family can be unnecessarily harsh at times and as a normal human being, it is totally in order to show negative emotion when you feel unfairly attacked. However, being an entertainer, I think you kind of have an idea what the price of fame entails.

There are people out there who will attack you for nothing or something just because they are so used to seeing your face, being in the public eye and all, and now they assume that they know you personally. How you choose to react to such kinds of scenarios speaks a lot about you as an entertainer. Are you the divalicious* entertainer whose fame has got into his head or the entertainer whose sole mission, is to deliver to his fans and understands that sometimes he can come under fire from those same fans.

In my opinion, Burna Boy falls in the former. Why in the world would he even think of calling a section of the consumers of his music, peasants, just because he felt attacked by those same consumers?? There is actually no justification for his reaction to all that hullabaloo. And if those so called consumers, were not that interested in Burna Boy as an entertainer, then they wouldn’t have turned up in large numbers, just for a club appearance of his and eventually felt offended when they felt he under delivered. Burna Boy was actually being too petty and immature as an entertainer with his reaction.

Burna Boy. Photo Courtesy of Google Images

However, it’s not the first time that a musician from a different country has shown up on our Kenyan soil and proceeded to misbehave. Yet another Nigerian musician, Davido came to Kenya sometime in 2015 and went ahead to totally act uninterested and rude on The Trend Show hosted by NTV’s Larry Madowo. He walked out before the Interview was concluded. The concert he was headlining in the country, was nothing to write home about with disappointed revelers complaining on Social media of a mediocre 30 minutes performance and an entertainer who appeared drunk.

Congolese maestro, Koffi Olomide would be another musician who would land on Kenyan soil and proceed to attack a female dancer of his at the airport, throwing a kick at her in 2016, while oblivious to the fact that it had been caught on camera. He was so confident that he was going to still perform in the country after the incident, that he appeared on Citizen TV only to be arrested soon after and was eventually deported.

So incidents of entertainers exhibiting anti-social behaviors is not entirely new to us. It is disheartening though to realize, that some of these entertainers tend to quickly forget that those same fans they have since taken to disregarding, are the ones who made them what they currently are. Those fans in turn, expect the entertainer to deliver and will not hesitate in expressing their displeasure, whenever they feel taken for granted.

Burna Boy and all those musicians who turn up in Kenya and proceed to act in unsavory ways, should know that some of those tickets to their concerts that Kenyans pay for, equal someone’s rent for a month or two. I doubt a mere peasant would afford to pay a ticket for something, akin to a club appearance from a musician who is totally convinced that his fans “owe” him for his time.

They should know that their music is given enough airplay on Kenyan radio stations sometimes at the expense of Kenyan music. That should be reason enough for them to at least show some respect to their Kenyan fans. Burna Boy should have waited for temperatures to cool down, before offering a formal statement just as any normal, wise, level headed entertainer who values his fans’ opinion of him would.

But of course in this era where vanity surpasses logic reasoning, such entertainers of the above description are becoming increasingly rare. Perhaps it is time that the Kenyan market started to look within and appreciate the talent we have in the country before looking across borders for entertainers who probably, have no interest in respecting the Kenyan market. Entertainers who selfishly pocket our money, then prance out of our country in a show of disdain and arrogance.

Flashy Weddings And Keeping Up Appearances

Some years back, when I was still figuring myself out and what I wanted in life, I had this Kakibarua (small job) I was doing in my hometown of Nakuru and it so happened, that one of my workmates had a wedding coming up. He was a nice guy and of course all of us who worked with him got invited to the wedding. At the time, it was the advent of wedding shows which frequently showcased flashy Kenyan weddings on our TV Channels. Inevitably in our young, inexperienced minds, we expected such a grand wedding with an evening reception in tow.

The wedding turned out to be farely modest and ended by 5pm. We thought there would be a wedding reception afterwards which of course was not to be. Oddly enough, this is one of the weddings in my lifetime that I have attended dressed in jeans. I mean, literally all of us workmates to the groom who fell in the 20s age bracket, showed up in jeans as if we were attending a casual weekend event. I still have that particular photo on Facebook and it does not look anything like we were attending a wedding ceremony.

He must have been so disappointed in us although he made a good show of successfully concealing it. We didn’t even think of getting him individual wedding presents and only tagged along, to present the collectively bought table as the wedding present from the workmates of the groom. As if that was not enough, in our apparent disappointment with no wedding reception, we decided to spoil ourselves silly with drinks at a pub in town later on.

An African bride with her bridesmaids

An African bride with her bridesmaids

About a year back, I had accompanied my cousins for a goat eating party as we call them in our country. Now this, for my foreign readers, is a coated term for a wedding fundraiser. They call it goat eating party, just to attract more attendees since there will be nyama (meat) and Kenyans are known to love their meat.

If you have ever attended some of these parties, you definitely know how annoying they can get because you have to part with more money, than you had budgeted for. These are the kind of ceremonies where you get fined some amount of money for not introducing yourself loud enough for everyone to hear, speaking while the MC is speaking and just for being there.

This particular goat eating party was no different. And all because you want to fund a wedding that will be grand and remembered for years to come. By the time we left, we wondered why people didn’t simply save for their own weddings yet they could afford to hire an umarpket venue for a goat eating party.

I remembered these two incidents when one Kenyan man, decided to wow his in-laws by arriving in style for the dowry proceedings of his wife-to-be, complete with a convoy of vehicles and a helicopter, that caught the attention of Kenyans and the media. A flashy wedding would cap it all off. Just last Sunday, the guy in question was in the papers for all the wrong reasons. Apparently, he had made his millions to afford such a wedding, from swindling foreigners into buying gold. Well, we are yet to see how the story unfolds.

A wedding venue. Image courtesy of Google

A wedding venue. Image courtesy of Google

Kenyans will agree with me that there has been an over commercialization of weddings in recent times. A wedding nowadays, is gauged by how much money was used in arranging it and not so much on the value of a wedding, for a couple who have decided to spend the rest of their lives together. Kenyans are increasingly trying to outdo one another in just how they conduct their wedding ceremonies.

Since an increasing number of middle class Kenyans earn good salaries and are exposed individuals, a grand wedding is indeed made possible. But because we often have a budget beyond our means despite the good salaries we are earning, the annoying wedding fundraising cannot be totally ignored. So we will arrange for these and have disgruntled workmates and friends attend, some deciding not to attend the wedding out of their dissatisfaction from being forced to help in funding it.

We understand that African weddings are a community affair, but we do not want to part with our hard earned money, yet we can clearly see that both the bride-to-be and groom-to-be, have good jobs to sustain themselves. And so, in the wisdom that I have since attained over the past few years, I would gladly congratulate my former workmate for holding a wedding within his means. None of us was asked to contribute a dime to the wedding and therefore, it was shameless of us to come with our own selfish expectations.

Asking other people to fund your weddings and going overboard with the ceremony, just to make an impact, takes away the initial value of a wedding as a ceremony of being joined in Holy matrimony to the one you love. I have no issue with someone who can afford the helicopters, imported gowns and 10 tiered cakes on their wedding day complete with a honeymoon around the world. If they are making the money with their honest means, then it’s theirs to enjoy. However, it would indeed be a tragedy if stories such as the one mentioned above, came up just when they had settled down to start a family.

It kind of puts a dent in the perfect image that their weddings had created in the minds of the public whose attention they intended to capture. So if you intend to do a flashy wedding and lack the means to do it, why not scale down the budget a little bit? It may not be considered that entertaining or grand of a wedding but in the long run, it is the couple who matter and not what the attendees think or imagine.

 

Advertising For A Wife

Quite recently, I came across an article on the Nairobian, about a 32 year old Nairobi man who had decided to place notices all over the city advertising for a wife. Apparently, he had spent about Ksh3,500 on the whole venture and his notice included the specifications for the woman he wanted and a deadline date of March 30th 2017. Among his list of specifications was an insistence that the woman should not have kids and should be able to work in the farm.

He also made a point of mentioning to the Nairobian reporter who did his story, that he was not interested in Nairobi women as a result of their indignified ways. And that so far, he had started narrowing down to his choice despite the fact that many pranksters including men, had already contacted him. Well, that is the most stupid thing I’ve come across since the year started and here’s why.

I find it very stereotypical when men living and working in Nairobi thump their chests and declare, “Mimi siwezi oa msichana wa Nairobi” (I can’t marry a Nairobi woman). Then what are you doing in Nairobi?! Pack your bags and relocate back to the village where you will find a village woman of your choice! Even more so irritating, when some Nairobi men arrogantly assume that a Nairobi woman, is just like the rest of the “bad” women they have been involved with in the past.

A workmate of mine once asked me if I was married and I replied in the negative. He then went on to ask if I had children and I replied again in the negative. Then the fool said in a huff, “nyinyi wasichana wa Nairobi mnadanganyanga hivyo na mko na watoto nyumbani” (you Nairobi women pretend that way yet you have kids back in the village). Were it not for courtesy, I would have smacked him right in the face. Why was he asking me if I have children yet he supposedly knew the answer?!

Nairobi men I speak to you today, those stereotypes that you have over time developed about Nairobi women are the reasons why you are probably still single in your 30s.

Image courtesy of Google

Image courtesy of Google

For someone to even think of advertising for a wife and with such dumb specifications like she should not have children, I think quite a number of Nairobi men are fumbling in the dark. Those horror stories you were once told about evil Nairobi women, are probably lies from a male relative or friend, who was unlucky enough to date a particular woman lacking in morals. They lied to you and you foolishly believed them and began viewing all Nairobi women as conniving witches only interested in money that you may not even have.

I find it insulting for a grown man to look down on a woman who has a child to show for a past relationship. Would you have liked it better if she had aborted that child and then proceeded to lie to you that she had never been pregnant before? I wonder. Along the way, I stopped being judgmental of single mothers as I have personally been a product of a two parent home and eventually a single parent home. Before you decide to judge a woman for having children out of wedlock, find out what happened first with the child’s father. You are equally not a saint. Or would you like us to believe that you are still a virgin male at 32?

Enough of this nonesense about Nairobi women or town women being this or that. Are you even looking in the right places for the right women? If my memory serves me right, one Nairobi woman/girl if you would like, since we have developed a Kenyan habit of referring to women in their 20s as girls, recently married her Nairobi man in a union that cost only Kshs 100. Before all these other companies chipped in with their contributions of a grand wedding, tiered cake and double honeymoon to Diani in Mombasa and Dubai, this Nairobi woman agreed to be joined with her fiance in holy matrimony, that only cost Kshs 100 for both rings. I repeat for emphasis. She did not exhibit any signs of being materialistic as the stereotype often states.

So if you are working as a security guard at a firm in the city and are busy setting your eyes on a lady professional in the company that you man the doors for, do you expect her to fall for your charms? Don’t you see the disconnect there and that your priorities, let’s be realistic and honest for once, may not align to each other’s? I have been an employee before and I’ve had security guards and other men too not only the said profession and with all due respect, at the place I worked at hit on me. I made it a point to politely make it clear that I wasn’t reading from the same script. Not because I was a snorty, materialistic Nairobi woman then, but because it was the honest truth.

Oh, I understand that some of these women you are trying to hit on and hint marriage at are not even in good careers but still resist your advances. Did you take your time to read the signs of whether she was on the same page as you or you proceeded to simply announce your intentions, assuming that it’s traditional for a woman to readily agree to settle down with any man, who exhibits signs of being serious?

Wake up and smell the coffee! There are rules to the attraction game and you should never proceed with your advances on a woman, who clearly shows the signs that she is after your money and does not even seem to care about you. Because you just know it when someone is golddigging you!

Don’t lie to us Nairobi men, you knew it when she always contacted you when in some financial need. But for one reason or another you chose to ignore all the glaring signs just like we women have a habit of ignoring certain obvious red flags. It’s a human need to want to feel loved and to strive to achieve that. Probably that’s what makes us ignore some uncomfortable truths in our dating life. But hey, I’m no moral judge! Been there, done that!

I simply implore on men who hold onto the mentioned stereotype, to kindly consider changing their views. Not every Nairobi or town woman is no good and you probably just need to work on certain aspects of your life to attract the right people in your life. I’m not sure if this man advertising all over for a wife will be successful but I’ll be honest, it’s just dumb.

 

 

The Sham That Is KooKoo Inn

Image Sourced from Instagram

Image Sourced from Google

Disclaimer: Views expressed in this post are the author’s communicating her personal dissatisfaction with the stated show.

When I first happened to chance on the advert on Maisha Magic East Africa, that a new program with the interesting name, Kookoo Inn, will start airing soon, I was elated. Elated because I have been to Kenchics in town and I knew that such a storyline had a lot that would be interesting. Nobody had thought about the concept, of focusing solely on a fast food restaurant as a TV production in my country in the past, if my memory served me right. So I assumed that this one would be fresh and funny.

I happened to watch the first episode and I must say my hopes were thoroughly crashed. The preceeding episodes that I managed to glance at, did little to change my already distorted perception. Quite a number of Kenyan TV productions have dissapointed in the past. There also seems to be an overflow of Philippines, Mexican and Brazilian Soaps on air, no wonder the milennials increasingly preferring to watch Western shows on their DVDs and Laptops.

Not to mean that we have a shortage of superb actors and actresses in our country. What I mean is that sometimes the scriptwriters of some of these Kenyan shows start with a punch and end with a fall along the way. The poor scriptwriting only serving a great job of shortchanging the actors’ and actresses’ talent.

Now I will tell you what is thoroughly wrong with KooKoo Inn. In a bid to make the show crazily funny, whoever is writing the script and producing the show, only managed to give a dumb comedy effect. Let’s talk a littel about Auntie Boss, yet another Kenyan production that has surprisingly managed to keep afloat in the entertaining aspect.

I’m an avid fan of Auntie Boss and that’s because what the scriptwriters and producers thought was funny and relatable to Kenyan life, actually came out funny in reality without degrading the cast. Save for a few instances when the jokes weren’t really funny. Quite few, I must add for emphasis. I rarely notice that there’s always an addition of new cast members, because the original ones who have stuck enough in the said show, are real comics themselves.

Image Sourced from Google

Image Sourced from Google

‘Nuf said about Auntie Boss. I think the producer of KooKoo Inn wanted the Jim Carrey kind of crazy effect in the show, but failed to conceptualize that crazy funny, can be a bit dicey sometimes and may end up coming out as kindergarten funny. I have never been a fan of Jim Carrey movies in my adulthood.

Simply because his kind of funny began sounding like the funny that a 3 or 4 or 5 year old would watch and erupt in guffaws. That was his area of specialization that worked pretty well for him in Hollywood. But there is the Robin Williams funny, God rest his soul, Eddie Murphy funny, that is still crazy funny but manages to tickle even an adult. I don’t know if that sentence makes sense even but that was the best way I could put it.

The cast of KooKoo Inn surprisingly is a highly talented one, that I have seen their awesome talent in other Kenyan shows that let that particular talent shine. However, I don’t especially find a grown man who supposedly owns a fast food restaurant playing with a water gun, funny at all. Neither do I find grown ass people goofing around like toddlers interesting. Whoever came up with this show’s concept, failed to capture what is relatable to Kenyans about it and actually make it come out funny.

It is kind of an insult to our comedy industry that is thriving and has been for a long while. And if anyone related to that show’s production might read this, take this as constructive criticism from a consumer who feels that, there is so much you can do to improve on the comedic effect.

The Desperation Of A Job Seeking Kenyan Is All Too Real

So you are a young Kenyan of about 25, 26,27 years of age. You’ve just graduated from campus perhaps with a 1st class honors in a degree course, everyone told you was marketable back then when you were campus hunting. Or probably your parents could not afford the degree courses fee and opted to enroll you in a college to pursue a diploma or certificate course.

Or maybe you are that young Kenyan who falls in the category of campus or college dropout. Financial constraints often being the reason for your dropping out. Or in certain circumstances, you just didn’t feel your heart was there and chose to pursue your God given talents. Either way, you are still a 25, 26, 27 year old Kenyan who may just be, currently job seeking.

Image Courtesy of Job Finder

Image Courtesy of Job Finder

It’s a cruel world out here for job seekers, so you will quickly discover. Your parents or guardians who had previously catered for your pocket money needs, will probably cease giving you any money. Their argument often bordering on the fact that you are living and eating at home so you are comfortable and do not need extra cash.

They may not be out to spite you, but it will soon start feeling like it’s spiteful, when you realize that you have to actually explain what that 500 shs you are asking them to lend you, is for. And when you really want to buy something that is really important to you, but you just don’t have enough money for it, you will truly learn the essence of humbling thyself.

Thinking about student loans that need to start being cleared, will only give you ulcers. This is the time, you will begin to value being single, just to avoid extra stress from nagging boyfriends and girlfriends. Who wants to die early?

As you patiently (or impatiently) await any response from the various organisations you have applied for job vacancies, there will come offers from concerned relatives to take up that promotion job. The one where you have to wear that branded T-shirt and stand in supermarket allies, convincing unconcerned shoppers to try this new soap and get a toothbrush for free.

With your first class honors in a serious degree course, you will wonder silently, whether this relative is simply making fun of your unemployed situation by suggesting such or if they are the ones behind your downfall. Fret not, this is one of the realities you are going to face when you are right in the middle of your job seeking journey. Coupled with the regret mails that you will occasionally get, you might start wondering whether that generational curse thing was actually real.

At a time when most 25,26,27 year olds are actively job seeking with not much success, suggestions to attend primary, high school and what not reunions will start coming up in WhatsApp groups, where you have mostly been a silent follower. Judging from the Instagram and Facebook pics you have been seeing of your peers, you will start to believe that probably you are at the lowest of the success tier.

Your inferiority complex will go into overdrive and you may feign an excuse of working on the said reunion date just to avoid showing up. In reality, you will spend the entire day watching a repeat of the Being Mary Jane series you bought last year, with that annoying lump in your throat literally choking the breath out of you.

When the impatience gets the better of you, you will resort to hand dropping hard copies of your CV and testimonials, in those organisations where you think your kind of qualifications are needed. There you will encounter menacing security guards, who will intimidate you with meaningless interrogations, of your intentions to access the reception area. You will end up feeling like a criminal rather than a law abiding, job seeking citizen.

Finally, they might end up denying you access and have you unwillingly, leave your documents with them all the while knowing that, the documents may never land at the reception or HR office. The complete work of the devil, you will be tempted to conclude.

As you traverse the city or town in your job seeking efforts, you may probably encounter Network Marketers. These ones target the hapless job seekers with claims of making big bucks in a month’s period. By now the desperation is all too real for you and you may lack the energy to resist such kinds of business opportunities’ tutorials.

Google Images

Google Images

Your eyes probably too big to hide your anticipation for better days, they will let it drop how last month they had flown out of the country all charges paid, as an incentive by the Network Marketing company they are in. By now, they can actually see you salivating for the luxurious lifestyle. So they will proceed to let you know that with your qualifications and attributes, you can become a millionaire in a year’s period.

As you break into a wide grin that can barely be hidden and actually feels dumb, they will carry on telling you how you will never need to be under anyone and that you are now your own boss. By the time they get to the flexible working hours, judging by how much it is a struggle for you to get up in the morning, you are completely sold.

You will find yourself attending business opportunity trainings only to realize that in your unemployed state, you can barely afford the exorbitant cost of the starter kit. Asking a friend to lend you the money is inconceivable. Asking your parent or guardian to help you with the starter kit fee is even worse. So you will eventually resign yourself to your job seeking fate.

Eventually, the job interviews will start coming, one after the other. You may face stone faced panels that are not easily convinced and end up blabbering incomprehensible answers to their questions in your nervous state. They may right you off for being unsure of your credentials. The stab of rejection will cause you to self train yourself on your communication skills. You will then realize that with each passing interview, you are getting better and better.

The job hunting journey might as well be coming to an end.

Why Online Dating Is Another Form Of Being Lazy In Love

I have logged onto Online Dating sites in the past. I have managed to create an incomplete profile on one. However, I didn’t last more than a day on those sites. One site required that I pay some amount of money in pounds, to be able to read messages from guys who had commented on my profile.

Another site went ahead and matched me with some creepy looking fellows  from my locality. Actually, none of those guys came from within my area of locality. They simply were from the same country as me. So being one with such little faith in Online Dating, I quickly decided that it wasn’t worth the effort. In a country of about 47  million persons as of this year, I couldn’t miss eligible guys to date, so I figured.

Image courtesy of Google

Image courtesy of Google

I find Online Dating to be quite a lazy way of trying to meet potential persons to date. I’m aware of it’s popularity in the West. One person in the UK was gracious enough to explain to me that the reason why he preferred Online Dating, was because of his area of locality. It was a small town, with an equally small population so you literally knew everybody and had already exhausted your options. Online Dating was the only way you could go to find someone.

However, it is a known fact that Online Dating hasn’t quite caught on in the African continent. And for those in especially my country who engage in it, it is largely for ulterior motives. If you were to go the Online Dating route in Kenya, you are bound to meet with many guys online, who are just doing it for fun, looking for a sugar mummy or soliciting for sex.

Most of the women in my country who equally try Online Dating are those who are looking for foreign guys to elevate them. Indeed, there have been numerous cases in the past where Kenyan women met a White guy online, met in person eventually and started dating, only to end up sexually violated, dead or missing. For the few who met genuinely serious White men on the same platform, they only have their lucky stars to thank.

Love has over time taken a different dimension altogether. It is the reason why many people actively engaging in Online Dating, see no problem with sitting at a computer for hours, chatting with someone who is virtually a stranger to them. The most common explanation given for this being that, they lack the time or conducive environment to actually meet someone in their day to day activities.

Men on the other hand no longer have to chase if the Internet can do the chasing for them, by matching them up with women within their localities. Online dating has even made it easier for creeps soliciting for sex to get laid.

I’m very aware of the numerous online dating success stories, but that does not completely erase the fact that, these people were in reality, too lazy to meet someone eligible in person. Online Dating, despite its positives if any, is just but an easy fix for many who do not desire to put themselves out there in the real dating world. They therefore resort to technology that is going to speed up the process for them to get into a relationship.

Nowadays, we no longer value first dates and deep one on one conversations with someone we are attracted to. We do not even care to read facial expressions! I personally do not believe in connections formed via a computer or laptop. How sure am I that the person sitting on the other end is actually a genuine person not someone with ill intentions? How confident am I that if I send him photos of mine, he is not going to use them to create a fake profile elsewhere?

In this generation, we have reduced one another into commodities which can be solicited for, with a few specifications of how we would like them to look and where we would like them to come from. If we finally meet them in person on a date and decide that we do not like how they look or act, we can always relegate them to the back seat and get online once again, to search for another. So in a month’s time, we discover that we have been on numerous dates with people we hardly knew and we call that putting ourselves out there.

In reality, I find this exhausting. If I’m going to be out on dates most days in a week with people I decide I do not like, then I might as well resort to the old fashioned way of meeting eligibles. That way, at first glance and a few exchange of pleasantries, I can tell whether I would agree to a first date with this guy or not. And it is totally free. No payments.

Connections to me, are better formed in the real world. Sadly, we have decided that we do not want to put any effort in our love lives and prefer the easy way out, that is Online Dating. Indeed there is so much we can do to actually meet someone in person. We can decide to go out more, improve on our personal grooming, interact more with others, be more approachable…but we seem too lazy nowadays to successfully achieve that.

We just know that a dating site somewhere, will do all the work for us and we get to sit pretty, as we chat away with someone else, who is equally as lazy as we are. Never mind that you are going to encounter lots of dodgy characters online and suffer unnecessary frustration until you finally, if possible, meet that one person with whom you expect to click.

 

Teenagers and Sex: How Young Is Too Young To Be Having Sex?

Hello Parents, your children are having sex!

Surprised? Shocked? It’s happening. That lanky, innocent faced teenage son is getting some from a sweet faced teenage or younger girl somewhere.

But how would you know if you are a busy parent, who leaves the house by 6 am to beat the jam and gets back at 7 or 8 pm after being stuck in traffic for hours?

How would you know when you firmly believe that your children could not be exposed to sex at their young ages?

How would you know if you consider our parliamentarians to be working for the devil, for suggesting that the age of consent be lowered to 16 and not the usual 18?

Did it ever occur to you that an underage boy child can end up charged for defilement, for sleeping with a girl child who is equally underage and that the suggestion stemmed from a desire to protect the boy child?

But do you care anyway? After all, it is your underage daughter whose innocence was taken so this underage boy deserves to pay, doesn’t he?

Parents and especially Kenyan parents, you need to wake up and smell the kahawa!

Image courtesy of Stanford sexual health peer resource center

Image courtesy of Stanford sexual health peer resource center

When your 15 year old daughter ends up pregnant yet she has been in a strict boarding school for the better part of her life, in addition to residing in a gated community, where the watchman knows every resident by name and you realize the father is a clueless 15 or 16 year old boy from the neighborhood, then you will know she wasn’t raped as she would like you to believe.

She had actually been engaging in unprotected sex with the said young man while popping emergency pills afterward until sh&t happened, the pill failed to work and she is now expecting your grandchild. What more proof do you need that your children are getting it on like there’s no tomorrow and are none the wiser, on what precautions to take while engaging in sex?

Parents, forget the parent lock on the DSTV channels you consider too mature for your children to watch. Forget the forwarding of sexual scenes you actively do when your children are in the vicinity. These children know much more about sex than what you and your spouse have known in your 20 or so years of marriage.

Your teenage daughter could as well be sexting with a teenage boy who is actively looking up pornographic material. I once mentioned that an increasing number of Kenyans are addicted to pornography on the blog. A percentage of this number are teenagers. How do I know without statistics? Most people admit to coming across porn material in their teens. Many were not even actively looking for it but someone in their circle of friends was and shared with them.

Parents, do not for once be fooled by those innocent faces. Children as young as 12 are engaging in consensual sex. Note, consensual sex. So stop crying foul that your underage daughters have been defiled by boys, who didn’t know better when you discover that they are sexually active.

Since most African parents would rather die than listen to their children confessing to have broken their virginity, these children could be doing it with the utmost level of secrecy. And while many including myself consider teenage-hood or younger to be too young to be having sex, I’m not completely closed off to the idea that an increasing number of teenagers are having sex only taking it a notch higher in campus. And in campus, that is where all the sex happens, since they now consider themselves young adults with less supervision.

We are not talking about campuserians today, but the young boys and girls in high school and primary school in your houses. The ones you leave all day long over school holidays with dodgy househelps and distant cousins. Quite a number of boys had their first sexual encounter with the mboch. Yes, and they never reported the incident to you.

Others had male relatives give them unsolicited sex education that involved experimentation with girls in the neighborhood. Some girls ended up pregnant while accompanying the randy mboch to her weekly trysts. Plus the parents of nowadays are buying phones that can access the internet for children as young as 10, 11 or 12. This is where all the sexting and exchange of nudies is taking place.

So when you hear of teenagers nabbed while engaging in orgies reminiscent of the Roman times, do not be shocked. We have sexually active 16 year olds with raging libidos in our midst. And no amount of beating, teen service on Sunday, paraffin in boarding school food to kill libidos and exorcising of fornication demons, can change the situation unless we sit down and have a heart to heart talk with our children. Parents you need to do much more hands on parenting than what you are doing nowadays. Let the househelps do the washing and cleaning but do the raising of your own children for Chrissakes!

Dating nowadays among teenagers is not about exchanging pretty harmless love letters, in bad English with song dedications as a sign off. Dating nowadays among teenagers involves proving your love  lust by agreeing to let this boy or girl make his or her sexual fantasy a reality.

So if you are talking to your pre-teen or teen child about sex, it is time to cast African societal norms aside and ask the hard questions. Is he/she dating? Is he/she having sex? When exactly did they start having sex?  It may be the most unfathomable thing to do or believe, but it is much better to have a knowledge of what you are dealing with, than a horrible surprise of a sexually transmitted disease or pregnancy.

The Bongo Phenomenon: Alikiba and Diamond Platinumz

I was born into a fairly small family. The second and last born of two daughters with a 9 year age gap between us siblings. Which meant that most of the time, my elder sister was away at school while I remained behind. To while away the time, I began developing an interest in music at a young age.

My tastes in music were influenced by my sister who had been a huge fan of the 90s RnB hits from the US and my parent’s love for Rhumba and Soukous. Mum and dad would sometimes listen to loud Rhumba and Soukous music from the DRC on those weekends when they were both home. For a long time, the Kenyan market consumed the RnB hits from the US, before we decided to begin appreciating our Kenyan artistes and playing more and more of their music.

By the age of 10, I knew most of the 90s RnB thanks to my sister by heart, in addition to the new pop ones that came out. I couldn’t quite sing the Rhumba because most of it was in Lingala with a mix of French which I didn’t speak then. But I could identify the ones I liked at that age. I remember my mum once wondering aloud, where I had learnt the music lyrics to many of the songs I sang along to. As you can tell by now, I was gifted in something else (writing), but listening to music was more of a favorite hobby and still is.

Sometime in 2002, Kenyans started being introduced to a lot of Bongo Flava from our neighboring country, Tanzania. At the time, I listened to the likes of TID, Professor Jay, Mr. Nice, Lady Jaydee, Matonya… It was a fresh kind of music that these Tanzanians crooned in the most fluent Kiswahili. It also proved to many, that you could pass strong messages through music. Like I previously mentioned, it took a long time before we began appreciating our own Kenyan artistes. So for a while, Bongo Flava ruled the airwaves together with foreign artistes from the West.

Alikiba and Diamond Platinumz would come a bit later into the Bongo Flava music scene. By then, I was a high school kid and by my estimation, I think these two guys began making hits at about the same time or slightly later for the younger, Diamond. Over time, Alikiba and the then Diamond, who had began with humble music videos, have evolved into two major acts not only in East Africa, but the rest of Africa as well.

Tanzanian Crooner Alikiba. Photo courtesy of Google Images.

Tanzanian Crooner Alikiba. Photo courtesy of Google Images.

I remember us being introduced to a young Ali Kiba singing the single, Cinderella back then. He was a pretty simple guy obviously trying to make it in music.

He would later on go on to produce a few more hit singles before disappearing for a while from the music scene altogether. When he next showed up, it was obvious that Alikiba was a changed man!

In came a polished, more sculpted Ali Kiba, with high quality music videos and even greater music. It wasn’t long before I decided that I really liked Ali Kiba as a musician. I mean, it was hard not to miss those abs in his music videos. His voice was equally a component of his music that I admired. Being signed to Sony Music Entertainment Africa eventually, went a long way in elevating Ali Kiba’s career.

As for the then Diamond, I remember him for Mbagala. It was the first song that introduced me, in particular, to this guy.

Tanzanian Crooner, Diamond Platinumz. Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Tanzanian Crooner, Diamond Platinumz. Photo Courtesy of Google Images

He seemed like just a normal next door guy and I didn’t really like his choice of shooting the song’s video, in the middle of an obvious rubbish dump. He looked nothing then like the polished Diamond Platinumz of today. But like Ali Kiba, he possessed the most beautiful of voices, a bit more mellow than the former’s and it wasn’t long before Kenyans took notice.

I once walked into our hostel’s kitchen while in campus, to find one of the lady caretakers who was an elderly woman,watching one of Diamond’s music videos with a mesmerized look on her face. She quickly pointed out to me that she liked the guy and how he sang. Recently, my own mum would seem highly interested in the Salome hit remake of Diamond’s featuring Rayvanny. She went on to ask me incredulously, how I could miss that beautiful voice.

Indeed, Alikiba and Diamond are the kind of crooners, who can reach all age groups with their music. However, in recent times, Diamond Platinumz is touted as the biggest act of the two.

Going by his personal life, he has got a pretty socialite and savvy businesswoman who is older than him in his life and who has already borne him two children. Plus his PR Team seem to really know what they are doing. Definitely, these things have kept him relevant in addition to his consistency, collabos with numerous African artistes and obvious talent.

There equally happens to be a rivalry feud between Diamond Platinumz and Ali Kiba in the Tanzanian music scene. Some of these feuds in the music industry according to my reasoning, are fueled by the comparison fact and especially if you are in the same genre of music.

Diamond and Ali Kiba happen to be two music artistes who have constantly been compared to each other. For sometime in the past, Ali Kiba did not seem to be getting it right but Diamond was the quicker of the two in revamping his image. Plus these guys were a kind of representation of the Bongo Flava evolvement. If TID had still been active in the music scene he could as well have been compared to Diamond and Alikiba. It is something that sadly, the two have none been the wiser on how to handle.

However, the direction that Ali Kiba’s music has since taken in recent times, was pretty smart on his part. I also consider the consistency of these two guys to be amazing. It’s something any aspiring musician can look up to and try to emulate.

Why Our West African Brodas Will Always Be Appealing To Kenyan Women

I must admit that this is a topic that has fascinated me for a while. These West African brodas( that’s how they pronounce brothers there for those who are wondering) who land in this beautiful country of ours and within months, have managed to successfully date this Kenyan damsel, who had proven outta many Kenyan men’s league for ages. What is it about these men that makes Kenyan women go gaga and agree to settle down with, after the entire society had already written them off as “too old” for marriage? Talk about classic stereotypes.

Please note that after interacting with Kenyan women who are married to or in relationships with West African men and careful observation, I came up with the below list of reasons;

1.West African Men Are Expressive

A Nigerian man in Nigerian inspired attire. Photo Courtesy of Google Images

A Nigerian man in Nigerian inspired attire. Photo Courtesy of Google Images

West African men are quite expressive. From the way they talk to how they dress. One time I was at the Hub in Karen with some of my relatives and this obviously, West African guy that for some reason looked like someone I had seen before on TV or a magazine, was in all white. From the African inspired shirt, to the trousers, to the sandals. In his company, was this tall, svelte, fashionably dressed lady in jeans and heels whom I had no way of telling if she was Kenyan or equally West African.

Now Kenyan men are going to bash me for this, but you rarely get to see a Kenyan man in all white and sandals and still make the sandals look fashionable in addition to looking damn good! Our Kenyan idea of a man being extremely smart is the official suit. Blame “this official suit looking good” mentality on the British colonial influence, but it has taken a long while for us to see Kenyan men play around with color and other styles that are still dapper. Trust these West Africans to dress in all these bursts of color and still look manly enough, for Kenyan women to literally feel like throwing themselves at their feet.

A West African man will not feel less manly, for expressing himself to a woman about how much she means the world to him. Every woman, not only Kenyan, would want to hear it from a man she’s with that he loves her to the moon and back. We have our own cultures back here in Kenya, that frown upon men expressing their emotions and perhaps prevent our men, from going all expressive about their feelings. I don’t know about the West African culture, Ghana and Nigeria and the likes and what they think about an expressive man, but their men are not about to shy off soon from adorning their women with expressive declarations of what they feel about them.

2. They are providers

I’m not trying to imply that the Kenyan men are not providers. As a matter of fact, just so you know, I have never dated a West African man. I have only interacted with a couple. However, the West African man came to Kenya and took provision to a whole other level. Of course there are those West African men who have landed in Kenya while making money in unscrupulous ways, to be able to throw it carelessly on “trivial” things like spoiling Kenyan women silly.

Kenyan women on the other hand have a reputation of being materialistic. We all get lumped in the same category of golddiggers even though some of us, might have no interest whatsoever in the materialistic things a man has to offer. Kenyan women equally have an East African reputation of being aggressive if the number of single women, successfully raising their children on their own while catering for the childrens’ every need, is anything to go by. Plus there’s a new crop of men who simply refuse to provide for whatever reason.

So it’s not like women generally latch onto men for money purposes. However, the feeling that a man can actually provide for your every need and feel no strain nor complain while doing it, is quite refreshing for a woman. And this is where our West African brodas got the script right. They will provide and provide to their maximum abilities. And especially if he is an upright, law abiding citizen, a woman can’t really complain, can she?

3. Their culture is fascinating

African Print Fabric. Pinterest

African Print Fabric. Pinterest

There’s a fascination with West African culture in Kenya. I mean, we consume enough afrobeat music from West Africa already! Do they listen to our Kenyan music themselves? I have no way of telling. It’s a different culture altogether from their accents, food, names, how they dress, how they act. Even the West African man’s physical build is slightly different from the Kenyan man’s. Different is sometimes fascinating to a woman. It’s a mystery that a Kenyan woman would like to unravel. So coupled with the other two reasons, I believe we are still going to witness many Kenyan-West African unions in future.

Thoughts? I can take the stones thrown at me 😛

We Need More Positive African Stories

I’m becoming addicted to watching  CNN. Nowadays, American politics, the war in Syria (as if that’s not depressing enough) and small bits of pieces of News from Europe dominate the channel. A couple of nights back, I was watching the African Voices segment on it and it was refreshing to see Africa painted in a positive light.

There was this Rwandese guy who is a designer and designs really cool, African print bowties among other items of clothing. We saw him drive to the market to buy vitenges(African print material/African batik fabric), visit the barber shop to trim his Patrice Lumumba inspired look and go for a morning walk. And I was happy that the world was seeing a different side of Africa. Not the usual depressing news of war, starvation, terrorist attacks,  political coups, poverty, retrogressive cultures, illetracy and what nots.

Internet Sources

Internet Sources

That’s not all Africa is made up of. The negatives and unprogressive life. I know by now that the Middle East is starting to get pretty tired of all that negative reporting of the continent. The African continent equally got so tired of it a long time ago, that an African would not hesitate telling off a foreigner, who still views the continent through the misguided lense of the Western media. And I think CNN is starting to move away from the stereotypes and depressing stories of Africa. Kudos to them!

There is alot about Africa that the world needs to know. It really irritates me when I encounter individuals on Facebook groups, who still think that Africa is lagging behind in the 20th century, when the rest of the world is so 21st century. You need to open up your eyes to what this continent has to offer, other than what you have over time believed is the real thing.

A lot of foreign news reporters will mostly visit the marginalized areas of Africa or the slum areas or conflict areas and do stories about those. Their intentions may indeed be pure as they would like to bring these issues to the world’s attention. However, most of the time, these kinds of stories only serve to mislead the recipients, who may lack the zeal to dig deeper about the African way of life.

Africa is a progressive continent. There are developed urban areas, improved infrastructure, up to date technologies, learned individuals, talented individuals, exposed individuals. It’s not all about animals and living on trees wearing nothing but a flap of skin to preserve our modesty. As a matter of fact, I believe some of the well dressed individuals come from Africa.

Courtesy of Google Images

Courtesy of Google Images

What many people from the West may not know is that aside from the Maasai culture in Kenya, there are more than 10 other different cultures from the 43 different Kenyan tribes.

For the longest time possible, Western media really concentrated on the Maasai community. And with good reason, don’t get me wrong! This is one of the communities in Kenya and Tanzania that has upheld most of its original cultural practices pre-colonial times. It is a rich culture that tends to fascinate the West and people not from the two countries.

However, it would surprise many that other communities in Kenya despite the Western influence in their way of life, still carry out their respective cultural practices to date. Take this personal encounter, for example. I’m sometimes a storyteller, so bear with me on this.

A friend of a friend was getting married sometime in 2013. So as is synonymous with my country, we do a traditional wedding first before the White church wedding that is Western influenced.

Internet Sources

Internet Sources

I happened to tag along. Now in her community, the girls have to be covered from head to toe in two pieces of a lesso (wrapper) for the hubby-to-be to identify who his wife-to-be is. In our midst, there were two girls who had the same skin tone and similar looking feet.

One was of course the lady getting married. And we had this hilarious moment, advising her to tie a colored band on one of her toes and alert her fiance about it via text, before we came out so that he doesn’t get confused and fined, for picking the wrong girl.

So the older women covered us up, all girls about the same height in the lessos and we were guided outside where the ceremony was taking place. Believe it or not, the hubby-to-be seemed a little confused and nearly chose the girl with feet that resembled his wife-to-be, despite the colored band he had been alerted to earlier missing on the girl’s toes.

I mean, these are some of the cultural practices from other communities in Africa, that the Western media can do stories on other than the usual. Just to show how over time the African culture has blended in with the Western culture.

If you thought illetracy ruled the African continent, you should take a look at the highly talented graduates, from many of our universities. People who come out of campus not with a job mentality but a vision to be self employed and despite whatever financial constraints they may face, strive to achieve their goals. And many times, if they are committed enough to their dream, their efforts pay off.

We do appreciate the genuine curiosity of foreigners who would love to truly know about our continent. But just don’t lump me in the athletics team in campus overseas, just because you assume being a Kenyan, I can automatically run. Not all of us Kenyans have the ability to do long distance running and that’s because we are equipped and talented differently. We possess a diversity.

Being from the African continent and proudly so, I would advice anyone seeking to do an African story to intergrate himself or herself with the African society. Visit the developed areas, watch how the African carries his/her day to day activities and trust me, despite what we may face as a 3rd world continent, you are going to get beautiful, positive stories to tell the world about us.