Friday, 28 March 2014

#stateofthenationaddresske




Image obtained from president's website: http://www.president.go.ke/


It is still too early to complain
That was the message from the crowd
They said they can wait
They are willing to sit it out
For the president is only young
And his term has been just BUT a year
It is acceptable
The people say it can be swallowed
That our wildlife has been poached faster in a year
Than it has been for the past decade
We accept that the terror attacks happened without our knowledge
And that getting the report endorsed and implemented
Is a privilege
One held by the political elite
We THE PEOPLE ACCEPT
That flying of flags takes precedence
And who flies them where and why is a matter of national concern
Despite the advice from the top man:
“Leaders in different arms of government ought to dedicate themselves to the achievement of the constitution, not the supremacy of their branch of the public service”
A concern that supersedes intelligence
Over increasing number of body bags in our presence
And the accompanying ‘investigative’ silence
We are okay with the increase in inflation
Provided uhunye is at the center of the national portrait
“Na tuko digital”

This is nonsense  
A stupidity that goes beyond the emotional
The physical
The spiritual
This
This is the state of the nation address
Full of promise and lack of premise
I hear you Mr. President orate:
“but let us be careful: in devolving power and resources to the counties, we must remember that to infect our new county governments with the worst vices of the old is to betray the great hope of the constitution and its tenets of leadership and integrity. Such a betrayal must not happen under my watch”
Yet we all saw those that tender typewriters
And software that is available free online
We have found a new way to eat
KUSEMA NA KUTENDER
Masking our deals with business like undertones
Everything is in shades of grey
“and for governance in particular, article 10 calls for integrity, transparency, and accountability”
Including trips to Rwanda
To learn about city cleaning and decongestion
Yet Rwanda is on the record saying they learnt their trade from Nairobi
We too accept this
We accept this and other daylight robberies
Mr. President you rob me
YOU ROB ME Mr. President
Off my civil right to speak against ills
To march and mobilize people of similar opinion
You stood up and spoke in a language flowery
Of how you defend and uphold the constitution
Do you realize our nation is slowly falling?
Accustomed to mediocrity
How goes that Commander in Chief?
Is still at its infancy stage?
Just like civility in this nation
Democracy
And governance
EVERYTHING is suddenly at infancy

We reply to each query
With a choreographed chorused answer
 “This is a new constitution and we are doing everything to make it work. It is not the time to point fingers” *
What is wrong with the laptop project?
“This is a new constitution and we are doing everything to make it work. It is not the time to point fingers”
What is happening to our elephants and rhinos?
“This is a new constitution and we are doing everything to make it work. It is not the time to point fingers”
What happened to the Standard Gauge Railway hearings?
“This is a new constitution and we are doing everything to make it work. It is not the time to point fingers”
Where are we in terms of response after the recent terror activity?
“This is a new constitution and we are doing everything to make it work. It is not the time to point fingers”
What is the feasibility of the uwezo fund, what impacts continue being felt?
“This is a new constitution and we are doing everything to make it work. It is not the time to point fingers”
Do you know the meaning of Inflation?
“This is a new constitution and we are doing everything to make it work. It is not the time to point fingers”
The insecurity is so high 
We invoked the shoot-to-kill directive
What can you say of that Mr. President?
“This is a new constitution and we are doing everything to make it work. It is not the time to point fingers”
 
This is indeed a new constitution

“no great task is easily accomplished ours is no exception

But I would love to see a new president too
Not a puppet and actor like all the rest before him
You had a spine once
Calling out your opponents during the campaign
Has the seat mellowed you?
Or did you just realize
That this job may not be for you?
Stand up Mr. President
And be real with me
Be real with your people
Before the say yes to everything
Including a dictatorship
Be real Mr. President
Be real with yourself
For this was not
The STATE of the nation
Rather




* Only quote not included in the president's address

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

train journeys





I love the sitting arrangement
I get to stare directly at a complete stranger
At least until another stranger stands in line of sight
Staring daggers
Sending chills and shivers
To a person I barely recognize
Oh yes It does
I see them squirm in their seats
And, albeit momentarily, well in my heart it sits
It is enjoyable
Seeking yourself in others
Making up stories of who they may be
And where they could be off to so early
The preacher that shouts more than they preach
Maybe they are compensating for what they cant do at home
A part of a sermon that call for assertion
Or simply a tool of the trade
Of the lady that pouts
Has been pouting it is three days in a row
What can keep one sulking that long


There are stubborn passengers at the front
Or is it back
They would rather squeeze at the entrance
Than find their way to the center
Crammed like screws and wires in a socket
No one remembers the pickpockets
Yet it’s all I thought of from the onset
A congregation of different folk
All with the intent to get to town
All looking outside but no one seeing things the same
A dog lies by the side of the tracks
Blank stares
A drunken man trying to make his way out of a ditch
Blank stares
A couple tearing each other apart
BLANK STARES!
Few grimaces, winces and guffaws though
Little elicits reaction
Even fewer warrant it judging by looks
It is a trained look
Harnessed and perfected over time
Sour grapes and lime
That is the life of constantly looking for the next dime
I try
I try very hard to look at the life that goes on for others
To look at the world from my 200 meter squared frame
In a different way
I force myself to look at something and make a positive
I see a makeshift tin shack
I will cost you 5 shillings = 0.06 dollars
To shower here
Right beside the tracks it must be thrilling
In my naiveté I want to be allowed to think it is


It is easy to get lost in all that is bad
Easy to find where to cast blame
It is easy to find alternate ways to get to the city
But despite the strong concoction of human scents
The lifeless stares that are shared
And the momentary lapse of superpowers over my opposite seating neighbor
I am loving the train journeys by the day


*and I hope the Matatu Strikes continue 

I am just kidding