Rikki Stein was Fela’s friend and manager for 15 odd years. He spent a decade with Fela’s blessing, digitally re-mastering and releasing his entire catalogue and was involved in the creation and production of the Broadway musical Fela! This is the obituary Rikki wrote about his friend, following Fela’s passing on August 2nd 1997.
Timothy Murere Njoya is a retired Presbyterian minister, a human rights activist and a theologian. During the repressive Moi regime, Njoya turned the church pulpit into a platform to demand for political and social justice reforms in Kenya. Njoya was among the leading lights in the 80s and 90s from the church who mustered the nerve to speak out against the brutality of Moi’s government. He is also a prolific writer and as I came to learn, an ardent student of philosophy. Njoya is the personification of courage and purpose.
I was eager to grab a copy of Timothy Njoya’s memoir, We the People, published by WordAlive, that was launched on July the 3rd at Daystar University in Nairobi. Unfortunately, there were no copies for sale. Njoya in his address claimed that the book had been delayed deliberately by saboteurs. 30 years on, the words of this small bodied man with a wicked sense of wit still makes the authorities tremble. It was a compliment to his work that some busy bodies in government had to go through such extreme measures to stop Njoya’s ideas from spreading. The publisher reassured us that the challenges at the port would be resolved…soon.
By Mark Karanja
Traveling while African can be a pain and it all starts with visa denied.
I am enraged by my position, because this is the second time I am here.
I dared believe that I was somehow different from those I stand with in the land of the undesirables. Those of us who hold the all true blue Kenyan passport, that repels Western visas like no other.
I will start from the beginning.
I am a social introvert. Simple social encounters are reduced to managing awkward stares and inappropriate questions often hurled at me. So over the last couple of years I have found myself relying heavily on the internet to form connections with people all across the world. It is easier there. It is a wonderful world of possibilities online. I have formed meaningful, even long lasting bonds with digital penpals turned good friends.
You finally got your dream posting to Kenya and you cannot wait to post pictures of your first Safari adventure in the Kenyan savannah. You bought a copy of Obama’s “Dreams of My Father” and finished it on the plane to Nairobi. The excitement as you step off the aircraft onto Kenyan soil is palpable. You loved “Out Of Africa”, bet on Kenya to win the 3000m steeplechase at every Olympic game and think Lupita Nyong’o is absolutely gorgeous. You can feel the connection and cannot wait to visit the Maasai Mara to meet a real moran and the Kibera slums.
Jeff Koinange is without a doubt, Kenya’s most celebrated journalist. As host of the popular JKL show on KTN TV his industry remains unmatched and his ability to find connection with all types of people has elevated Jeff to an undisputed position, as a voice of influence in our times.
Jeff was the first African in history to win an Emmy and notably the first African to win a Peabody, and the first African National to be awarded a Vernon Jarrett and the Prix Bayeux.
The “Bench” a moniker for Jeff Koinange’s JKL show hosted by Kenya Television Network has become an institution warranting the title “the voice”. It is where talent is unearthed. It is where issues of contention get aired providing a weekly catharsis for dedicated viewers. The “Bench” helps us by constantly calibrating national events and contextualizing issues, thereby birthing a more informed audience. The bench will clock 9 years in November 2016 and it has provided a platform to more than 3000 guests. This is what is considered good journalism.
But it what does it take to consistently operate at this high level? Does Jeff have a life outside the bench?
I invited Jeff to my bench and this is what he had to say…