THE KENYAN DREAM

Every year thousands of Kenyans fly out to realise the ‘American dream’, which mainly entails studying, getting a job or hustling in that paradise of an economy. America and other first world countries may be riddled with their own economic problems but they surely tower above the rest when it comes to creating opportunities for their people and good environments for their businesses to thrive in. They have some of the best schools in the world, a proper education system, fantastic roads, not to mention their all-conquering media and entertainment industry.

You would surely forgive them for their ignorance and pride. Whilst their forefathers were busy struggling to build a nation, ours were somewhere seeking hands in marriages, littering the villages with kids, and consequently being colonised. Colonisation may have been unwelcomed but had the British not invaded this country I would probably be somewhere in a forest hunting for my family’s night time meal and not sitting behind an Acer laptop screen on a cold Sunday morning. Definitely a cloud with a silver lining.

As for the other 44 million of us left behind every year, in the famous words of Samora Machel “A luta continua”. The Kenyan youths simply refer to it as The Struggle. Piss poor pay, bad roads, demanding girlfriends, broke boyfriends, corrupt political representatives, sexually transmitted grades, high rents, drug lords, money launders, gambling, just to mention a few of the problems experienced by us Kenyans. Us poor Kenyans. We middle class Kenyans.

On the surface plenty might have changed thanks to a handful of Kenyans but sadly a majority of us still have a comfort mentality. The same mind-sets that made our great grandparents comfortable in the warm Sub Saharan region is the same one which makes our current generation comfortable with just going to school and getting a job and pretty much achieving nothing meaningful in their life besides building other peoples’ companies and siring children. But that’s the majority.

A small minority of young people are full of dreams and ambitions some of which are realised whereas the rest remain pipe dreams. After the GES 2015, hosted by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta and American President Barrack Obama, everyone now wants to be an entrepreneur, which is a good thing. We cannot all be business leaders but at least the young people are thinking about creating wealth rather than just falling into employment once they are done with school.

So what happens to those of us who want to live the Kenyan dream? To those who are patriotic no matter what? To those who choose to grace the Kenyan media industry? To those who support our National team despite recurrent poor performances? To those men and women who want no one but a Kenyan partner for a spouse? To the young entrepreneurs currently entering a particular market? To those men and women who work their asses off 9 – 5 so as to put food on the table for their families? To those musicians who despite the little they get, they still give us great music? To those who expect their government to make the country a better place for business and pleasure?

As young kids we jump into a cruel education system. A system that is rigorous. A system that only praises the best students and admonishes the rest. A system that teaches us to be lawyers, engineers, doctors and bankers. A system that teaches us to be good employees and not good employers. A system that teaches us how to work hard but forgets to teach us how to think smart. A system that does not teach us how to create opportunities for others or ourselves rather it teaches us to be dependent on others for validation. A system that praises the end result and not the effort put in. A system that focuses on success and not mastery. And with the new sexually transmitted grades, our educational system is now valueless.

From there we are supposed to join the job market and be the good employees that we were taught to be. We tarmac.  We send CVs. We find a job outside our speciality, we take it up and build our experience. We look for other jobs with better pay. All this while we forget about creating opportunities for ourselves. We are focused on impressing our friends. We have social media a platform to show off where we have reached. Many brag about their jobs and turn ups but none ‘brags’ about starting a company or creating opportunities for others. Maybe its because those that are actually creating opportunities are too busy to be on social media or too humble to brag. But they understand that Kenyans love the spendthrift and not the frugal. We die without having achieved much.

Then we have the rich. They build flashy hotels, top notch companies, state of the art malls for the middle class to stream in and spend their money. They run our country. Not the politicians. The politicians are puppets. The rich work with the politician who will give them favours probably in return of small political campaign money. We need more rich people than we need middle class and poor people. They create opportunities for many. They may not all get there cleanly but their empires dictate whether or not our economy will be better or worse.

As for our politicians, they don’t make the country any better. Kenya can probably do better without any politicians. Politics should be made into a profession and taught in schools. Maybe that way our leaders will know what to do when in office besides just stealing huge chunks of moneys and sharing with their families and friends.  Political leaders should be well educated people of high integrity and not just anyone with a following.

Leaving room for any idler to represent well educated people is a recipe for disaster and corruption. It is the only explanation behind the Eurobond thefts and politicians bickering daily in political rallies or funerals about who is the real deal. Politicians scurry off later on in their big cars with young beautiful girls yet the fool with a wife and kids at home is busy preparing for battle against a fellow Kenyan pauper. That is where mediocrity takes us.

With all these endless negatives in our country right now, you can’t help but weep for our young ambitious, up and coming Kenyans. But diamonds surely go through extremes before they become diamonds. Pressure creates diamonds.

Michael Odhiambo

University of Nairobi, School of Law.

michaelaodhiambo@gmail.com

 

LADIES … NEXT TIME MAKE SURE HE WEARS A CONDOM

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            Women though … so my pal hits on this chic … pretty and everything but the chic doesn’t give him a chance despite him giving her every reason to date him. The girl does the obvious mistake of having unprotected sex with some random K.U guy who she calls a very good friend. As expected she gets pregnant and tells this K.U guy. The guy simply goes AWOL … never texts back or calls. The only time he texts her he tells her that he isn’t ready … and can’t take care of her and/or the coming unborn baby.

            Surprisingly this chic goes on a spree of looking for men who hit on her previously so as to see who will accept to be her boyfriend. Trying to pull an ‘Adele’ … “Hello, can you hear me?” She consequently texts my pal and asks him to be her boyfriend. At this point in time my guy doesn’t know that she is pegged and he becomes elated and thanks the Lord. The recent lovey dovey texts they had been exchanging will surely count for something.

            Well if it’s too good … it’s probably too good and murky. So she sends my guy a disclaimer and tells him that she has given several men the opportunity to be her guy but once she discloses some personal information they run away or rather opt out. So we rack our brains out trying to contemplate what that that personal info is? Does she have HIV/AIDS? Does she have a penis? Is she a lesbian? Does she urinate on her bed? Did she undergo FGM and is sexually unresponsive? Is she barren? Is she from Nyeri? Well No. She was pregnant. And here she was begging a former potential to take her back with her pregnancy from another man.

            I was keen to point out that whatever it was that made other men decline her advances chances are my guy will be no different and would also run away. Thing is no man is ready to take care of another man’s baby. At least not in Africa yet. Especially a young man who has a sea of women who have never been mothers to choose from. Unborn children abandoned by their parents can become great men and women of the society, a case in point is Steve Jobs who was technically unwanted. However, some kids are the exact opposite. Once born, they might become daft like the father, maybe irresponsible, or worse. So no man is willing to take that gamble.

            So to any woman out there don’t fall for silly charms. Make sure the guy is genuine. Date him for quite some time, talk and consent as well. And make sure he wears a condom. Walking out of such situations without STDs especially the much dreaded HIV/AIDS is pure luck. No need to mess up your life at such an early age. And also read between the lines … some guys are good. Genuinely good. If my guy was the father of that kid I can bet my life that he would have taken full responsibility, and if not I would have knocked some sense into him.

            An insight into the peeps mentioned here … for the lady she was one of those women you knew was principled. You wouldn’t have expected her to get pregnant … at least not while this young. As for my guy he is the ambitious go getter with big dreams and serious goals some of which have already been achieved while the rest are underway. It begs the question, why would the chic not give such a chance? Overlooking him for some irresponsible noob in K.U. The men that society don’t need. Men running away from responsibility. As for the kid I pray that he/she becomes the next big thing as Sauti Sol insinuated in ‘Nerea’

With sex it’s that serious. It’s always serious. A baby should be a bundle of joy not a source of anger and regret. Make sure he wears a condom.

KILIMANI CARS AND THEIR PRETTY DRIVERS

It’s a cold morning. Cold mornings always get you thinking. Thinking about life. Thinking about your future. Thinking about your next move. Thinking about getting warm. Everyone seems gloomy, everyone seems devoid of energy. You would be forgiven to assume that they are all probably pissed off at someone or something. But you have things to do, goals to achieve, and deadlines to meet. Knowing that a bad weather is never a good enough excuse for anything, you rush to the bus station hoping to find a nearly empty bus so that you can sit next to the window, and at least avoid the headache of people squeezing their butt cheeks against you as they try to make their way further back in the bus.

Your watch knows that you are already late, and with traffic mounting at strategic places en route your destination things can only get worse. But you were lucky enough to land the much coveted seat next to the window. You have a clear view of the world. A clear view of the Kenyan people. Men and women, young and old, rich and poor. A stark contrast between either sets of people but all with the common goal of putting food on their table. The driver fires up the engine, momentarily distracting your train of thoughts, before forcing the massive machine to take off.

The pretty women are a sight to behold as they walk up and down. Well clad in a variety of clothes, some short, some long, some scanty, some tight. All seeking to enhance the ladies’ beauty and physique. You are baffled the most by those who are scantily dressed as you fail to fathom how one would embrace such a dressing in such a cold weather. You then remember that the weather is immaterial when it comes to looking good for some people.

With all these ladies flocking the street your relationship status can’t help but remind you that you need a lady to hold down. You wonder when you are going to get lucky. To find ‘the one’. Most of your friends are in good relationships and you obviously envy them, others are in complicated relationships but you still envy them because it’s better than nothing anyway. Better than not being in a relationship. You however, convince yourself that there is no need to rush to get into a relationship, and that should you get into one your missus will be nothing but this pretty, sexy, light-skinned, ambitious, intelligent, probably God-fearing lady that will be the envy of all your bros.

The traffic lights change to red and the bus comes to a halt. You can’t help but admire the cars and wish that you had one. That Toyota, that Nissan, that Mazda Demio. You envy the drivers. You look at the driver’s seat of the Toyota Auris next to your bus and you can’t help but feel some type of way when you see the young pretty lady behind the steering wheel. Her dress is trying its best to expose her thighs for you to admire. You can’t help but desire. A metre or two behind is a young guy probably approaching his 30’s groping his steering wheel anxious for the green lights to come on. His new model Nissan bluebird is a sight to behold. Normally, he would have a young pretty lass on his co-driver seat but that is usually during the evening. For now his source of warmth is his air conditioner. His windows aren’t tinted. A supposedly intentional move for all and sundry to see the guy behind the wheel. His type is in high demand by the young campus women and he knows it.

The lights turn green and the odyssey continues. You never miss out on the rich men’s cars. The Range Rovers. The Land Cruisers. The Mercedes Benz. The BMWs. Most are tinted. Heavily tinted. You can’t see the person behind the wheel. Consequently you can’t tell if the mdosi is the one driving or he is somewhere tucked in the back left trying to make sense of his company’s recent financial statements. Sadly they are usually mistaken for sponsors. Basically an old rich man with undying fetish for young, voluptuous girls.

The hallmark of these voluptuous girls being a light skin, an above average pretty face, and most importantly a serious behind. Truth be told these men at the helm of serious companies barely have time to mess around with young girls, ‘spoiling’ them with serious money. They know that they have loving wives at home and a beautiful family to take care of. So if you ever come across a sponsor driving a Range Rover or a Land Cruiser it should probably be a car hire or a car bought with a car loan and the loan hasn’t been cleared yet.

As for the real sponsors, they rank among the middle class and upper middle class thriving on high salaries. Their priorities in life being misplaced and the cars they drive range somewhere within a second hand Mercedes or an affordable SUV. Their favourite being the Lexus sister to the Toyota Harrier. They lack a proper financial mind and end up with ‘surplus’ cash which they can’t seem to find a suitable place to invest. And since they are on a 9-5 job which automatically comes with stress and fatigue, they automatically resort to spending their free time and money on women who rightfully by virtue of nature belong to their sons. But in this world everything is earned so the best society can do is to frown upon them, hoping they will be men enough to handle their domestic problems instead of running away from them by lying that they have a business meeting in Naivasha which only turns out to be a sexcapade.

The gracious old bus bursts along the Argwings Kodhek road and you make your way along the bus alley towards the door. You alight at Kilimani. You can’t help but notice the myriad of classy flats in the area. The rent they say, for some of these flats can be as low as Kshs 100,000. You remember where you live but you muster your courage and stride along towards your work station. The cars here are nothing short of expensive. You can tell that you are in a completely different part of Kenya. A part where only the crème de la crème of the society can afford to live.

Kilimani. It is here where you are greeted by young, beautiful, 20 something year old, Kenyan females of different backgrounds driving fancy cars. Some of them are probably foreign. White girls, muslim girls in their fancy Hijabs, arabian girls, and the sassy Indian girls. All without a doubt beautiful. Beautiful and driving. From the Porshe Cayenne, BMW X6, to the Mercedes SLR. When trapped in traffic they unleash their expensive gadgets to toy around with as they buy time. These are women who are not sponsored. These are women who are go getters. These attractive women are ambitious and hungry for success. A rare kind. They understand their money, and know where to put it. Their taste is refined and exquisite. You can’t help but feel attracted to such. But your fancy suit is no match for their lunch money. Your Legsus or Footsubishi can’t compare to her SLR’s smooth leather furnished and wood coated interior. She probably comes from a rich family, but that is immaterial.

Across the road Kituo cha Sheria’s gate stares back at me. As I cross the road a BMW X6 approaches, slowly and graciously like a horse. The young arabian, lady allows me to cross the road and I smile back gratefully. She smiles back and drives off. At that point in time you can’t help but feel good about yourself yet at the same time you feel equally bad about yourself. The standards Kenyan women are setting nowadays are too high. So it’s only wise to work smarter and aim higher. Coming from a humble background (middleclass family), I realise that I will have to move mountains to at least be in the presence of such. She is genuinely wealthy and her standards are not there to put you off rather they are there to motivate you to push yourself to the limit.

As I sit down behind my desk getting ready to serve my 1st client of the day, I clearly see where I want to be. But I realise it won’t be easy.

DON’T BE A MAN OF HOPE, BE A MAN OF FAITH.

They say faith can move a mountain. That’s the power of belief. Believing in yourself, believing in your dreams, believing in your goals and believing in your visions. Faith should be the first ingredient anyone should have in order to cook success. Arguably the most important time to have faith is usually when you are at your lowest points in life. Faith will do the trick, not hope. Faith will keep you going not hope. Faith is for those who strongly believe in believing strongly, hope is for the faint hearted. Faith is for the ambitious, hope is for the complacent. Sometimes though, life might boss you around so bad that the only thing one can cling on to is hope. Those are moments when something is out of your control and you can barely do anything about it. But when something is in your control, have faith. Believe.

It’s only natural to fail and to not achieve what you intended to achieve, but whether you will give up or continue fighting on is up to you.

It’s only natural to lose the trust of those who once fervently believed in you and your abilities, but whether you win back their trust or not is up to you.

It’s only natural to make mistakes that you honestly regret, but whether you chose to learn from those mistakes or repeat the same mistakes is up to you.

It’s only natural for people to look down on you and not really give you a chance, but whether you will prove to be a better person or not, is up to you.

It’s only natural for people to promise you the world then suddenly let you down, but whether you will stay down or rise up to the occasion is up to you.

It’s only natural to love and fall out of love, but whether you will fall in love again or not is up to you to decide.

It’s only natural to habour hope when all faith is lost, but whether you remain despondent or come back stronger is up to you.

It’s only natural to have faith and lose faith sometimes, but whether you will replenish that faith and keep fighting on is up to you.

It’s only natural to doubt yourself and fear the unknown, but whether you will alleviate those fears and kill that doubt, that’s also up to you.

The power in you is overwhelming. Sometimes the only motivation a person needs is belief in him/herself. The power any individual possesses is too great, and whether that power will be harnessed into something great or not is totally up to that particular individual. You. And it all starts with believing in yourself. Have faith in you.

KENYAN MEN ARE NOT THE PROBLEM LADIES, YOU ARE!

TALES OF THE SILENT

Arguing

I once read about one Emmy Kosgei getting married to a certain Nigerian pastor honcho almost double my old man’s age. And they called it love.

I also read somewhere that it’s some West African oil tycoon bankrolling Vera Sidika’s bigger than life lifestyle. Chic posts flashy new pictures every second on Instagram like it’s her job yet she can still afford a half-a-million-shilling weave, a quarter-million-shilling pair of heels, a supposed fifty-million-shilling surgery, three nights at the prestigious Villa Rosa Kempinski and a holiday in Dubai – if gossip sites are anything to go by these days.

Then I read again that one of my celebrity crushes, Habida, had gotten [I don’t know if that’s the word am looking for] married to an Igbo mofo and relocated to the West.

That Avril has committed to a Zulu man and wedding bells are lurking in the shadows.

That Jolene of…

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THE KENYA’s MIDDLE-CLASS NIGHTMARE!

Entrepreneurship is the real journey to financial freedom. There will be murky waters but surely nothing good comes easy.

Mark Maish

10-practical-travel-tips-black-business-lady

I’m seated on a wooden bench under a makuti shed located at a vantage point deep in the heart of a national reserve watching a herd of elephants grazing peaceful below, oblivious of the chaotic world out there. A fortnight ago I handed in my final year project which marked the end of a 5-year pursuit for my Undergrads. Faced with the biggest dilemma of my life, I traveled down to this remote camping site in south coast to strategize on my next step. The decision I’m about to make is to either take the job offered or turn it down and instead follow my passion which is unconventional.

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Njaanuary to Valentines.

            Njaanuary !!! Most people call it Jan, and this time around Jan hit hard. Jan became synonymous with njaa. Everyone was complaining. Wallets were dry, stomachs were hungry, bodies were tired, and the sun unforgiving. If it gets to the point where a man backtracks on his promise to take a girl out on a date, Jan really is bad news. But the thing is problems are relative. Not everyone misused their hard earned money during the festivities. Others still eat and sleep well. Their bank accounts smile back at them. Yet you will still find them complaining. They remind me of the few smart high school chaps who would join in to complain about how difficult the test was only for them to ace it.

          January was quick to announce itself with the death of the son to the former Prime minister of Kenya. Fidel Odinga. It obscured the atmosphere and set a somber mood in the nation. The saga was given plenty of media coverage, friends and foes came together to celebrate a man who knew no boundaries. That was normal because he was a royal guy. But for other fallen soldiers who passed on and were not celebrated as such, you forever remain etched in our hearts. It hurts to lose a friend especially one who was so full of life and ambition. I find that unfair and I always question God why? Young peeps don’t deserve to die. But as most people would say it is for a reason and life must go on. So till we meet again Teddy.

          Away from that, it came to my attention that a certain crop of people usually have cars but only drive them during the beginning of the month. Now it beats logic to keep a car in whatever basement you keep it only for you to unleash it during the first week, which is preceded by payday, then use public transport for the remaining bit of the month. People should learn how to invest their money right. Buying a car is an investment but a bad one if it takes money out of your pocket. Instead make that car an asset that puts money in your pocket to make you some extra income. So there it is, free advice. If you have some cheap car, as Njoki would put it, wasting away in a basement for a good number of days you can hire it out or employ a taxi driver and add something to your end month salary.

            Teachers and nurses were up and about again, striking and moaning about how they deserve more pay. In my honest opinion they don’t deserve any salary increment. A salary increase never really solves problems, it might ease some pressure but one will eventually want more pay due to one reason or the other. It is high time our youths and old people as well learn how to invest. When one is young they should focus on making more money rather than buying fancy property and getting married. Apparently getting married in your 20’s is like leaving a party at 8 pm, so no need to rush enjoy first, there is someone for everyone. A man is usually judged by the amount of money he makes in his youth. Hustle and avoid getting caught in the rat race.

            The rat race. Any millionaire or billionaire knows this term well. It was coined by scientists referring to the lab rat that runs around through an endless maze without managing to come out. For humans the rat race simply refers to being trapped in employment. The question usually is what next after employment/retirement? It is doom and gloom if you have no investments. So be smart and don’t wait for weekends to squander your money on alcohol or waste it on women. Women come and go. Filisika ujue mkewe. If you want a lady in your life look for one good woman to walk the journey with you. Basically a relationship. A shoulder to lean on. Court her then marry her don’t take her for a ride then dump her for some lame reason. Financially, you don’t have to make it big like Chris Kirubi or Vimal Shah, just make sure you have that extra source of income.
   
           Keter and Birdi saga – These two politicians showed us the level of impunity in our government or should I say any government for that matter. The thing is you never really win any fight against a government. Same way you dare not mess with the police. Unless you are willing to put your life on the line, and even after you die for whatever rights you were fighting for Kenyans will probably forget you after a day or two. Am sure a few bloggers can relate, somewhere in jail, afraid to drop the soap. They say some stories are better left untold. Keter was just unfortunate to go to the front line and fight the battle thus putting himself in hot soup, but he will likely walk away unscathed. Politicians are in politics for the money, and protecting our own interests lest we die. So we must respect and fear them as they can make and reverse laws at whim. And Keter is a big fish. If his antics were done by a newbie he/she would probably be out of government by now.

        Valentines is around the corner. It spells problems for anyone as long as you have a heart and a head. If you are single you are probably looking for a date so that you fit in. If you are in a relationship you are probably wondering if your guy will take you out and if you are the guy you are probably worried about how much you will have to spend. Again this is relative as for some money really isn’t a problem. For football lovers the excuse is usually the UEFA Champions league. This time around it is the English Premier League since it will be on a Saturday. For players there is always that number one chic. For mpango wa kandos it will be a long lonely weekend as the main chics will be treated with all the dignity that they deserve. But if she is worth it why not? Else some other team mafisi jamaa will take her out and eventually get some. Golden rule: If she’s young she belongs to anyone. A lot more than love is required to keep a woman. So start saving for Valentines lads. Hire that chopper and take her for a retreat, or better yet book a flight and take her to the alpines, or is it France or Spain? Masaai Mara just doesn’t make the cut because it is cheap. Who am I kidding.

        Besides that we can only wait and see what February has in store for us. Goodbye January 2015.

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