Last week, Nyeri Jubilee party nominees made a damning attack on independent candidates who abandoned the party after losing the nominations. The smug nominees called a press conference and crowded behind their spokesman, wearing stern faces and announced in one voice that anyone who ditched the mother party was a rebel and would be considered a friend of the opposition. How things have changed? In the old days, the rebel tag was a compliment.
Kush Asher is a Jamaican storyteller and perpetual student of the film inspired by the Most High. He is based in Kingston, Jamaica but he has traveled around Africa telling stories and spent six months in Kenya making movies. He has done music videos for Grammy winners Sean Paul, Damian Marley, and Reggae legends Big Youth and the Mystic Revealers. His television work includes a fashion reality show, Mission Catwalk, and a business reality show, NCB Capital Quest (Produced by the LAB International; based in Kingston). Kush has also made a series of films with Spielworks Media, an independent film, and production company based in Kenya. His most recent project is a feature film called 50 Days in Afrika. These are the books that influenced his life and work as a storyteller.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Yet most pictures, tell a lie. Images are enhanced, filtered, photo shopped, staged and framed to make the subject more glamourous than they actually are. When you look keenly, the picture is often marketing or promoting some product or the other. But once in a while, you run into a picture that makes you think. My picture of the past week was a human moment captured after the 2017 London marathon.
It was a simple picture of Prince Harry, posing with the elite men and women winners of the marathon, Daniel Wanjiru ( no relation to the late Olympian Samuel Wanjiru) and Mary Keitany. Prince Harry was standing in the middle with his arms wrapped around the Kenyan athletes, at ease in manner and dress. On his left side, Mary Keitany with a radiant smile enhanced by her high cheekbones and a left running shoe heel raised, God knows why. An elated Daniel Wanjiru was on Prince’s Harry’s right side leaning into the shot, both his hands occupied. One hand holding a gift bag and the other an open box a gift watch in it.
With all the drama that has dogged the Kenyan education sector, it is hard to imagine what schooling was like in the 70s. Our nostalgic correspondent Ochieng Kochidi, takes a trip down memory lane to a different era when students used fountain pens.
I attended Primary school in Nakuru during the 7-4-2 -3 era, which was characterized by seven years of primary school, four years of secondary school, two years of high school and at least three years of University for the undergraduate degree. Around 1985, the Government transitioned to an 8-4-4 system, which consisted of eight years of primary school, four years of secondary school and at least four years of University for the undergraduate degree.
One of the things that I remember quite clearly is the textbooks issued in school. Yes, you heard me right! Textbooks and even notebooks (we called them exercise books) were issued free to students in primary schools all over the country regardless of which school you attended.
What is in a song? Over the years, certain songs have influenced and had a major cultural and political impact on societies and served as catalysts that brought widespread change and defined historic moments. Kenya has its fair share of songs that helped define its national image and introduced the Kenyan sound to a global audience.
The Kenyan hall of fame contains Fadhili Williams, Malaika, Daudi Kabaka’s Harambee, Harambee, Them Mushrooms, “Jambo Bwana, Ayub Ogada’s Koth Biro and Eric Wanaina’s “Nchi ya Kitu Kidogo”. They were songs associated with patriotism, a new identity, safe to some degree even as they pushed musical talent to new heights but in 1997, 20 years ago, one song emerged that would radically change Kenya’s urban music scene forever.