Monday, July 30, 2012

September


I’m glad July is over. I didn’t buy any books, it wasn’t very easy not to peep at all the titles in the streets…. I bought other important things  like food and a sweater that hangs like a mosquito net.
I don’t like August as much but it passes so quickly and before you know it it’s plum blossom and the world feels right again as  the September sun shifts on shades of pink and white, and the millions of stars on cloudless nights reminds you that there’s a higher being, and a creative one too.
In 2010, I witnessed  a rare experience. I had been passively watching the sky, the twinkling  stars, some still some on long journeys. Some a bright orange, others a cool purple. The plough, the only set of stars I know, on one side. Then one evening I looked and,,, the plough was on a different location. The entire sky  had shifted. You always hear about scientists telling about the sky and stars and other planets, but from down here, it’s hard to get it, how massive and expansive the universe is I guess at that moment I realized how small I am compared to the major things.
 This month I haven’t had music at all, after waving my hard drive bye bye, I lost motivation to listen  to music from CDs, coz it hangs, and I hate that. But I got  some Jazz- Dave Coz- the other day in my  flash disk and it was just wonderful. Then I was unearthing my CDs and realize I have two missing CDs and I can’t trace them- Sade and Vic Chou. And I passed by a music shop that had a big sign saying- We put your tracks into your flash as you wait- It’s one of those dusty faded music shops. You will find Hugh Masekela and Stevie Wonder in there. But it’s also one of those places headed for closure so they have eager sales men in navy blue aprons who want to know what you want to BUY the minute you sniff in. I want a  place where once you walk in you find cool music playing and you can listen to your select CD on headphones, at your own pleasure- why have they  got to wear navy blue Aprons?
I’ve been eager for the Olympics to start. I like to watch the gymnastics. And Ice skating. But the opening ceremony put me off kabisa. I had set my alarm to wake up and watch but I slept not many minutes later.
 I guess every other will always be compared to the Beijing one.

 And now that the games  have started, I realize I ‘ll end up youtubing them maybe next year Jan.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Positioning.



You can tell by the way he holds a cauliflower head that a mole has eaten from beneath. Also how fast he  can gather  a bunch of spinach with just the right turn of his finger. He is passionate about farming.
He’s a boy I went to Business college with. He was very involved in growing things  then, and it’s no surprise he has never picked up his certificates from the school. So when I nudged an invitation to see what he’s been up to, I got my camera and set off to Kĩng’eero(that’s the real name of the place) Coming from Kieni where if you decide  to plant cabbage you plant  2 acres of it.

 I was really impressed  by what he has done with his one acre. He has everything. Cucumbers, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, brinjals, tomatoes, cabbage, green peppers, and  everything else  that goes by the  name of veggie for the  Kenyan market. At the market they call him kijana wa kila kitu-  young man with everything. He grows and drives his produce to the market, by 6a.m he is back from selling, with bulging pockets.
-Sometimes I feel like I’ve stolen from them- he laughs. He can make a very quick meal with the produce too. Everytime I spend time with a serious farmer, I feel sorry for all those families living in squeezed rooms in Soweto, earning ksh.8,000 while their father’s land overgrows with Mexican marigolds and datura thorn apple.

On my  way bank I passed by a bank to  ask about opening an account.   Figure if I saved a hundred bob every month, in a few years I will have a bit of cash to take a holiday somewhere sunny.
As I filled the form I asked for the terms and  conditions form  to read  through  before I  signed. She took sometime to find it.  Later  she asked me how come I asked for that- No one has ever asked for that. I said how I like to be sure about things. Then she asked what I do and I said I write. We had a nice  chat that went on close to two hours. She was really interested in me writing about Chinese cabbage growers and Japanese spare parts.

-How did you decide to become  a writer?
 Probably coz my uncle is such a story teller and I love reading.
-I wish I knew  what makes  me tick
But you are doing great in customer care
-Maybe, but all I can talk about is my customers. You are doing what you love
 You have a salary at the end of the month.
We laughed, at both ourselves I left at about some minutes to 7.
 I  was very interested in hearing about her acting when she was in school. Turns out she goes to FCC to watch plays and feels very alive while there. 
-So how  come you are in banking.
 I donno, I just found myself here.
 I laughed  when she told me what course she did in college, basically  something that sounded right to the general population.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

254





Ignorance is a terrible thing, and I got caught out in this. So there is  this song by Rihanna, Ludacris and some rappers. It’s called – this party don’t stop- I’ve been hearing  it on radio since  last year but didn’t pay much  attention. So the other day  at my friend’s house  I asked for some music. I’ve decided to listen to Neo Soul, Lovers’ rock(love Reggae ), and Kenyan music for the next part of the year. After getting the Glen lewises, Norah Jones and Vivian Greens, he puts on a video and you can imagine my shock that that Rihanna song is actually by CAMP MULLA. I was blown away. These beautifu beautifu  (no typo)Kenyan kids making great music, and here I’m thinking I knew all about Kenyan music! I stand corrected, I felt like one of those people who after hearing a couple of Cold Play, Nickle back and Daughtry songs won’t stop telling you how great rock is and how you must listen to clocks by cold play and photograph by Nickle back and you’re thinking, no, I want Owl City, Ben Jelen and Bo Bice.
So, there are,  some good  mainstream music going round. My favourites: Just a Band, Harry Kimani, Kidum, Ken wa Maria, Sauti Sol, John Njagi, That Jazz guy, who plays the guitar and has an unlikely name for an artist, I think he’s Kevin or Mark, I’ll find out. But Kamande wa Kioi disappointed me with his almost inciting song, he should have stuck to his kapusi and belching in church lyrics. Makes me shudder imagining just how bloody the next election might carry on “shiver”
Then there is Liquideep. There are not Kenyan but I want to adopt them, they are South African. I love the beat to their music, they also don’t pimp their video’s much, kinda like –Just a Band- I like that, you get to concentrate on the music. Asa is someone else I’m coming to love, I hear she’s Nigerian, like Sade is but I don’t suppose she records in Nigeria?
 I once sat on a table, and someone bragged about Justin Beiber being his country man, I thought about mentioning Ezekiel Kemboi and Ndereba  and the huge tea estates in Kericho, the white sandy beaches and the delicious avocados, plums and sweet potatoes, then I thought, a no point, let me just have my pork rice in silence, no it was a cheese burger, yes at McDonalds. A place I only went in when I had to, and not alone, after being openly racially discriminated.
I was two weeks sick last month, bad cold with stuffed nose, headache and a cough that would wake up the dead but the great thing is I knew I’d be alright.  It’s just a Winter cold. Not like that time I had dengue fever and didn’t know  what was wrong with me, you could have  boiled arrow roots on my forehead. I thought this was the end, and started wondering, should I be cremated, or sent back in a box and  what would happen to all my picture collection? 

Efficiency, why we must learn to be.

 There are no schools that you will sign up to to learn how to be efficient. Most will teach you a profession or a skill and it's up to ...