Romance is Un-African and Valentine’s Day stories

Show me proof that you love me?

This is the question many unfortunate men will be grappling with on Valentine’s day, to prove to the chosen lass that, she and only she was worthy of his affection.  The poor boy child will be forced to engage in an elaborate love dance, all in the hope of gaining new status as a romantic. Valentine’s day arrives with the flair of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. Lord forgive the ignorant, for we poor native children in the tropics once believed that a man with a woolly beard wrapped in a red fur coat riding a sledge pulled by reindeer through the snow, would be squeezing his overweight self down our non existent chimneys to leave gifts under a Christmas tree, decorated with bits of cotton wool to represent snow. There were no reparations for this blatant lie sold to wronged children. The illusion of Father Christmas continues to get passed down, from one generation to the next like electoral fraud in Kenya.

Of Angry Youth And Our Election Cycle

The common denominator for men and women of my generation, born before 1980, was that no one was above a good beating. Our parents were from the school of hard knocks. They swore by the words,  ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child”. I grew knowing my parents wrath came from a place of good intentions. The punishment was structured and one even got to fetch the cane that would be used to inflict pain and deliver a lesson. When disciplining was over, we were reminded that the world would not be so kind. That is what good parenting entailed.

The Hyenas Have The Last Laugh

Misgivings have been expressed about the registration of the Team Mafisi Foundation by Non Governmental Board Chief executive Fazul Mahamed. I thought it was a joke. It did not help that the Mafisi foundation is led by a comedian known as Jaymo Ule Msee, who made his name doing parodies on Nairobi’s dating scene. The registration of Team Mafisi foundation at a time when Human Rights organisations are facing harassment and threat of deregistration, is to say the least, another puzzling Kenyan peculiarity. The bounds of absurdity have no limits in Kenya.

If you have no idea what Team Mafisi is, here is the condensed version. Fisi is the Kiswahili word for the spotted hyena, probably Africa’s most vilified animal after the warthog. The term gained traction with social media memes, to make fun of men caught ogling at shapely women in public places. It was harmless chiding in the beginning but unlike fleeting social media trends, it morphed into a mafisi sacco, a group of self identified ooglers who made the hyena their mascot and lust their binding creed. Now there is a legit foundation called Mafisi.

Why Kenyan Men Need Anger Management Therapy

There are too many angry men in this country. I won’t mention names but President Uhuru has been throwing tirades in public and the heat generated by the spurts of anger has had a ripple effect across the land. Anything said in anger will be remembered. In the movies the warning line is, “What did you just say?” and then things get really ugly. A quote attributed to American humorist Evan Esar might be apt for the moment, “Anger is the feeling that makes your mouth move faster than your mind”. But this isn’t about the President. It is about the watus.

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.