Tuesday, June 15, 2010


The world cup is here and there are a few things I expected to find that would make it “proudly African”.

We know it’s a global event and it is therefore expected to adhere to international standards but it is our world cup right?

We have used the vuvuzela to make the global event even African, meaning nothing can stop us from applying African nuances to it. Time, for instance. I don’t understand this funny business of matches starting on scheduled time.

Why do you think they say “African time” when referring to people who are late? This is something we have perfected over the years. Why should we lose it just because England, Italy and America are here? They are our guests, they have to play by our rules.

I want a scenario where the referee arrives at a match 30 minutes late, saunters to the centre of the field, looks at his watch and says: “Boss, hiyo traffic leo ni mwenda. Mmepitia wapi nyinyi?” (That traffic is crazy, how did you guys manage?”) He should do this knowing very well that the roads have been closed for the benefit of teams and officials . Just as he is about to start the match, he gets word that one of the goalkeepers is late.

Everybody is on their phones trying to reach him but he is “mteja”. The keeper shuffles in after one hour looking amazed at what time it is. The ref is now so pissed you would think he slept at the stadium. “I didn’t expect the kick off so early?” he protests.

If the game is supposed to start at 4pm, it starts at 6pm or is altogether cancelled until the next day. You can imagine England and their timekeeping culture getting to the stadium at 2pm, two hours before kickoff only to find an empty stadium.

Worse, even the stadium keeper, the guy with the keys is not around. So they try raising the African World Cup officials and their phones are off. Whenever they ask passersby what happened to the match, they are met with: “What match? Ohh, that one, if it has not started by now, maybe tomorrow.” Rooney and Co cannot believe it but it looks like they are the only one who did not get the memo.

During the match, preferably just before a penalty is taken, it is very ok for a boy to cut across the field, phone in hand yelling “Daddy, it's mum, where did you keep the bedroom keys?” The embarrassed ref, excuses himself and takes the phone and can be heard saying: “Under that Safaricom rug .” After an eternity, he returns and the game continues.

Since when did Africans play football in a “carpeted” area? This green I am seeing is not African. If we wanted an African team to advance, we would have let the grass grow with cows grazing on either side of the pitch.

What is a referee doing with a whistle? Give the damn guy a vuvuzela, secure it on his back like a rifle and let him run around with it. You can imagine when he is blowing to signal a penalty.

He stops, retracts his vuvuzela and blows it as much as possible, gesturing wildly. I doubt the players who are complaining they can’t hear the whistles will have no problem with the vuvuzela.

In a perfect world, that is how a truly African World Cup should have been. But then again, if horses were wishes, they would trample on the dreamers.

Monday, June 7, 2010


I have heard people accuse me of bringing the industry down with my constant advise and observations. People like Nameless are always complaining to my colleagues and fellow artistes that this column is the reason the industry is down.

Well, I would like to offer my sincere apologies. Apologies because this column is the reason artistes go into the studio, spend lots of time and money only to finally come out with a sound that can only be appreciated by cats.

My sincere apologies to all actors, producers and writers of shows like ‘Nairobi Law,’ which has no flow, probably the second worst acting ever exhibited on Kenyan TV after ‘Cobra Squad.’ I am sorry that this column has picked up those things that everybody else seems to be thinking but are afraid to voice.

Please accept my sincere apologies for being the reason a very promising (allegedly) comedian like Omosh is off air. I solely accept that this column was the reason he was unfunny, uncreative, boring and nobody watched the show. You may not know this but this column is to blame that this boy’s hair wasn’t combed as well.

I hope you will find it in you to forgive me, the writer of the column, that I am hard to please and I demand the best from an industry with people whose sense of high quality is as sharp as that of a sheep.

I feel really bad that much of radio has gone to the dogs. I feel the column is to blame that radio presenters no longer have any meaningful content to share with the listeners. That all they do is give us a couple of boring sex or relationship stories then ask us to call is completely on me.

My dear readers, this column accepts the stories by Kenyan artistes that I influence you on everything I write. I am sorry dear artistes that you expect your fans to swallow everything you spew because they should be supporting everything Kenyan, no matter how stupid it is.

So allow me to finally say that Kenyan artistes are the best in the world. They are perfect, full of talent and if I ever said they had done something wrong like producing some useless track, I was wrong.

So here’s to the artistes who want to be the best in the world but don’t you dare compare them to the best. That is how best they are!
Sincerely yours

NB: This article ran on the SN BUZZ Magazine's HEAT column on Sunday 06/06/2010

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards: Brave Hearts

Going to an AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia duel requires a lot of spine. The fans were known to be the leading cause of stone-related injuries in the country and, even though statistics show the trend is slowly taking a dip, you never know when they may decide to rekindle those memories.

If you ask me, Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards were formed during a fight between the Luhyas and Luos and in between they decided to engage in a soccer match. Remember how the Spartans in "300" fought in the shade of arrows? I think that's how these two teams played back in the day when soccer was played by real men.

Anyway, I decided to throw caution to the wind last week and headed for the Nyayo National Stadium for a thriller between the arch-enemies. In the company of a die-hard Gor fan and registered AFC member, I felt safe — and figured I could claim allegiance to whichever side that showed promise in winning the stone fest.

The atmosphere was as I expected: electric. How these fans group themselves in the stadium remains a mystery to me. You’ll never find them mixed, ever.

So I found myself a space in the ‘VIP’ section of the arena, the part of the establishment where the ‘neutral’ masses follow the proceedings in their sparkling dark suits and sparkling mineral water at the ready.

Don’t, however, let the suits fool you. They guys can — and will — descend upon you should you be foolish enough to try some nonsense ... like blocking the guy behind you. You only get a warning that lasts a staggering three seconds before you are grabbed from behind and ordered by a hundred guys to put your bum down.

“Ketisha mwili chini buana! Ukitaka kusimama nenda huko!” comes the chorus of barking, angry mouths. Question, where is “Huko”? That’s their preferred dismissal word. You start coughing, “Enda kohoa huko” somebody lets a stinker rip, “Enda nyambia huko” You can’t win against these fellows.

Not even the coaches of either sides dare ignore their demands. These people run the show, including calling for substitutes and ending the match (sometimes in a hail of stones).

If you think rugby has the best cheering squads ever, you have never been to a Gor vs Leopards clash. Man, if you are a hamstrung player in the field, you pray that you don’t lose the match, otherwise you will be eaten alive.

And, speaking of losing, this is the biggest test for the fans. I don’t have a choice team in the Kenya Premier League although I was forcefully given a team, Thika United, after one of my pals announced I didn't support any of the two. Soon, words like “Nyinyi watu wa mananasi mutaenda huko” were being dished out.

I decided to cheer both teams ... but forgot my neutrality when AFC scored. Engulfed in the spirit of the moment, I stood up and clapped long enough for AFC fans to see I was with them, but short enough for the Gor diehards not to notice.

I was still smarting from my momentary lapse of judgment when the stadium started to echo with a supremacy battle between the Luos and Luhyas.
“Obama! Odinga! Oliech!” shouted the Luos, to whom the Luhyas replied: “Musalia! Marende! Mariga!”

Call it whatever call it you may, but this maniac loyalty to one’s tribe is the best display of positive ethnicity I have encountered in recent times.
Most people where I was started finding their way out five minutes before the end to avoid the flying stones trilogy.

There was no sense of order, it was a free environment and I loved every bit of it. That is why, me and the "Mananasi express" (Thika United) will be at the stadium when these two bulls meet again.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hanging Out With Celebrities

Being a celebrity looks like lots of fun to us ordinary folk. Know what's not fun? Hanging out with them.

For some strange reason, people zone out in front of celebrities. I mean really zone out. You might as well be their well-endowed naked brother; the fans will not notice you even if you were swinging youryou know what like a noose. (No wait, they will notice that)

I say this because I have been in this situation several times.In case you are wondering, I don't hang around celebrities; it’s the nature of my job, that's all you need to know.

The few times I have been in their "hallowed" presence, my self esteem has taken a beating. Not because of the people I am around but because I look like every other hanger-on and groupie whose space I have taken up, albeit momentarily.

Posers have a wretched past. MC Hammer had a posse of around 45 hungry illiterate men and they are the ones who managed to "touch this" and sent the guy and his parachute trousers tumbling down to the land of bankruptcy. I do not want to be associated with that kind of history.

I feel like there is some parent thinking to themselves: "What a waste. Is that all he could do with himself? What does his mother say his son does?" I should warn you I have a very proud mother—proud of how she raised her children, and when I am around a celebrity, I feel like I am dishonouring her.

Hanging with celebs means you run the risk of being the guy picking his nose at the back when their picture hits the press. If you are on the picture, the caption reads; "Celebrity blah, blah poses with an unknown admirer...." You cannot win I tell you.

I need to make one thing clear. I am not dismissing celebrities. Some are brilliant people with great minds and attitudes, and we spend time together on a regular basis. There’s a big difference between hanging out with and spending time with. Got it? No? Too bad; maybe it’s just an excuse.

The bouncer tag was attached sometime back, I was with a what we call in entertainment circles, a “celebrity couple”. We were walking into a club when, out of nowhere, some girl screamed as she staggered, okay, let's say she ran, towards the celebrity duo.

I never knew drunken people had such speed and balance; her screaming would be grounds for divorce if I were the boyfriend. But did she care? I have seen rioters with more decorum than she had.

After all the running and screaming, she gets to the couple and guess what she says? "Oh my God, I am speechless," Really? After all the screaming? She could have fooled me.

The couple are basking in the midnight fan love and adoration and are all smiles. I am at the back looking on with my hands in my pockets totally disappointing my dear mother who still wonders what it is I do when I’m awake at midnight.

She still demands answers whenever she calls me and I tell her I am "out". "What are you doing out at this hour? Do you have a sweater?" The love of a mother!

Back to our groupie. After what seemed like years, she finally asked: "Can I hug you?" (Not me, the stars) It’s a yes, and she squeezes the two like they are cute puppies. Then decided she needed an autograph, and that is where drama began.She had some paper but no pen.

She fumbled through her "Guchi" handbag (I kid you not, looks like the House of Gucci is expanding fast and catering to the local market), but there was no pen.

Then it happened. It was a light bulb moment for her. She looked up, froze for a second then stared me in the eye, and like a scene from a karaoke gig, I could read what she was about to say before she said it.

She turned to me and ordered: "Bouncer, bouncer, give me a pen!"

I saw it coming, but once it left her mouth, it still surprised me. She grabbed me and looked at me like I was the dog that ate the homework. Her grip was tight and with purpose; she wanted an autograph and not even the lack of a pen could deny her.

I just walked away wondering what it was that made her not see I was just a friend of the stars and not a bouncer. With all due respect to bouncers, I am not built in that way, I have a "soft" stare, and my voice is friendly.

Oh well, the joys of hanging around stars.

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