My Tribe Is Justice

Zeituni Onyango was Barack Obama’s auntie. Obama writes about meeting her for the first time his best selling memoirs “Dreams of My Father” the story of reconnecting with his roots and finding a sense of belonging in Kenya. His sister Auma had given her ride to her place of work in a temperamental VW Beetle in Nairobi. As Auntie Zeituni was leaving the car for her office at the Kenya Breweries, where she worked as a computer programmer, she kissed Obama on the cheek and then turned to Auma and said, “ Make sure he doesn’t get lost again”.

This was an expression that Obama had never encountered and he asked his sister Auma what his Auntie Zeituni meant by getting lost. Auma explained the two meanings.

Privilege in the time of Cholera

The cholera incidents that flooded the news last week took me on a memory trip to Lamu. I remember the first time, I landed on the famous East African archipelago, Manda island and set foot on the exotic and magical Lamu. The plane touched down on Manda airstrip, a bare bones affair, across from Lamu town. I boarded a boat shuttle for the 15 minute ride across the channel. From a distance the seafront stone dwellings had the dim reflection of the typical urban sprawl that is a common feature in low-income neighborhoods in most Kenyan towns. One of the passengers off the same flight, a young lady from America was blown away by the Lamu Stone town Swahili architecture, the fort like walls and large wooden doors carved with intricate designs. “It is like from another time, Aladdin” which in hindsight was not compliment.

The Kenyan Bridge Is Falling Down

The collapse of the Budalang’i’s Sigiri Bridge linking Bunyala South and North, on the morning of June 26th was not going to be a case of water under the bridge. A bridge collapsing in the thick of a General Election is a metaphor that is too real to be walked over.  President Uhuru had visited the bridge 11 days before its collapse and hailed the project. The Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba, milked the occasion for all its PR worth, terming it as a true symbol of friendship between the residents of Budalangi and the head of state.

It got me thinking about bridges. I had never thought much of them. Bridges are like good parents. Parents spend their lives building children who grow up to walk over them in ignorance. It is only when we look back, or when they are no longer present, that we come to value their contribution to our life journeys.

Women in Politics: Not Just Pretty Faces

The Churchill Show that airs on NTV network is the biggest comedy stage in Kenya. The comedy format show has performed consistently as the highest viewed TV show on Sundays on GeoPoll ratings across the networks, with estimates of 2 million viewers. On the evening of 16th April 2017, the affable host Daniel Ndambuki, known by his moniker Churchill, had special guests. A series of high chairs were arranged on the front stage and strobe lights lit up the background. An excited crowd ushered in the four guests who were aspiring for the women’s representative position in Nairobi County.

Of Independent Candidates And Rebels Without A Cause

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.