Of The Baron And The Lady Boys of South East Asia


I arrived in Vientiane the Capital city of Laos on bike from the northern Thailand town of Nong Khai. I was on an ambitious “off the beaten track” journey through parts of South East Asia along the Mekong. The Mekong river forms a natural border between the Northern Thailand and Laos.

The customs officer on the Thai side of the border kept me waiting for a long time. It seemed he had never seen a Kenyan passport. Unable to find anything wrong with the validity of the travel document, he resorted to interrogation, flanked by two mean faced colleagues. ‘Mister! which country you from?”aka must be somewhere poor! I found them more amusing than annoying and an hour later I got my departure stamp. If one is Black and not carrying an American passport Thai Immigration who do not know much about Africa assume they are Nigerian (therefore crooks).

What Happened To All The Serious Jokers?

I grew up at a time when it was impossible to go through life without picking up a nickname. The name was never a compliment. It served only as a reminder that no one was above a good roasting.

There was a guy in my high school called MC, short for MC Hammer. Not because he was a good dancer, a fashionista or had a way with the ladies. The back of his head protruded outward like a hammer.

One day someone observed, “This guy’s head is shaped like a hammer, he should be called MC Hammer”, the boys laughed and MC became one of the most popular guys in school because he did not take it personally.

Of Bullying In Schools and The Alpha Complex

A long time ago, there was a student called “Keep Left”. Three years after Keep Left completed high school, his younger brother joined form one, in a different school. One afternoon, footballers from Keep Left’s former school who were the national champions, arrived for a friendly match. The visiting side was dominant and after the game, the young lad joined the queue to greet the champs and introduced himself. “Do you guys know Keep Left?” The mere mention of the name, caught the captain’s attention and when they realized that he was indeed, Keep Left’s younger brother, the visiting team fawned over him.

Keep Left was a real life character. He made his name as the fist of fury in his school years in the late 70s, a boxing champ and the kind of brother they said could rearrange your dental formula. All the juniors followed the laid down protocol and avoided his right side. That was his good side, the hand that he used to eat or punch anyone who gave him lip.  Even in the mid-80s, almost a decade after he had left the school, his rep only grew bigger. The new arrivals who came swaggering in, desperately tried to live up to Keep Left’s larger-than-life image.

The Blind Boda Boda Biker

Tambo could hear two voices speaking loudly from the direction of the kitchen. He reached for his phone.  It was 8 am. He had slept like a drunk. Tambo was an early riser, a go-getter, a disciplined man but whenever he retreated back home to the village, the pace of things, sedated his sense of urgency. Whenever he returned to the rugged green hills and valleys of Marenyo, he slipped back to the true pace of life, where there was time to experience its essence.

He sat his tall lean frame up on his bed, determined to not succumb to the temptation of lazing in bed and listening to the orchestra of natural sounds ushering the morning sun. He looked around the room, the same room he had been sleeping in since he was a child. It had a fresh coat of paint and a new ceiling board to replace the previous one that was stained by a large brown patch from a roof leakage. Throughout his teens and twenties, the patch had served as a contemplation spot whilst lying in bed.

Tambo was as old as the house. The house was in much better shape. This was what 34 years of constant improvement looked like. A mature bungalow with character, warmth and rooted in history. Tambo on the other hand felt drained by his success and he wore the exhaustion on his face.

Of God And The Culture Of Narcissism

I am humbled that you can find time to read this post.

As you well know because I have said this severally, I am humbled to be a prosperous Kenyan, one of the few millionaires in dollars. And at such a young age. I like to remind those who question my wealth that I came from humble roots.

I was born poor however, my God is able and demands that I celebrate my blessings. I have heard some people complaining that I should hide my blessings and all I say to them is “are you high?’ and then I humbly ask them to turn to the book of James 4 verse 2 that reads; “You do not have it because you do not ask God”.