23 March 2014


Ever been arrested? Either for the right or wrong reasons? Well if you have never, I beat you to it. Last evening to be precise. You may wonder why I’m so happy to write about it, just wait and see.

So, it’s Saturday evening, Skater Boy and I have come from training in Thika, we are now in Nairobi. We go at a hotel to have an afternoon snack as we watch a game. Here my already bad day got worse. See, I’m an arsenal fan and I had so much faith in Wenger’s boys for this game. Skater boy is a Manchester united fan (yeah makes the perfect couple). If you all watched that game you know too well how it went down. So, as we linger in there a bit longer as I drown my sorrows in food (we ladies know that food works so well, despite the source of sorrow). 

By the time we leave, it’s a bit dark. We decide to head to Central Park, which is at the center of Nairobi. The flood light at the center of the park is shining bright and the place looks too tempting. Wrong thought. Skater Boy and I are quite crazy, you see, so we agree to stand below the light and we start dancing. (Blame this on the “dance like no one is watching you”). It is a park, right? And people are walking past the park hurrying home. Us; no we had to. The day had been long and hard and laughter and fresh air was all we could think of.

We all know that all movies and books/novels list chasing each other across a field as a moment of…well, you know; a perfect moment.

Well, not in this one. We challenge each other to the nearest pathway and the winner gets to buy the loser some ice-cream (I was hoping to loose, but he beat me to it). At the end of the finish line that is the path, we find some people, cuffs at hand, waiting for us; talk about a bad victory reception. Just imagine Usain Bolt finding such a party at the finish line….sad.

So that is how we got arrested. We cooperated and they did not cuff us (thank God Skater Boy did not get very aggressive, you see, he is also a professional boxer). So we are taken under a tree where we find about 50 other Kenyans, some in cuffs. SB (Skater Boy) and I find ourselves a bench and we await the vehicle supposed to take us to a police station. We are all told that we were arrested for being in the park at “ungodly hours”. We are informed that people are not supposed to trespass the park past six; as he speaks, people are still passing by, but it seems like they had arrested enough people.

They tell us we will be taken to a police cell, expecting the men to resist so that they find a reason for arrest. Strangely enough, we all agree and we state that if the arrest is legal, we would like to record statements. They panic. See, these men introduced themselves as policemen warning us that they will fine us all. A lady at the back starts crying saying that her guy is not Kenyan, that he does not know the rules in Kenya. SB and I laugh. We take out our phones and start recording everything. We knew those guys were people extorting money from naïve and innocent Kenyans.

We pass by Kenyatta avenue round-about and our fears are confirmed. See, if you are to be taken to the police station/ county council cells, you do not turn right, as we did, and headed to Uhuru Park. Several of us started asking which police station we were being taken to and all we got was a “kuna wengine huku, mtakujiwa na lorry hapa” (there are other people here, a police lorry is coming to pick you up).

So we get to a place and find other 50 like so Kenyans sitting there, also waiting for the police lorry to come. Now, the retards that SB and I are, we go around greeting people asking them why they are there; all this time recording (thank you Sony Xperia for having a larger internal memory space). So by now it’s around 8 pm and no uniformed policeman has come. The leader of the gang tells us that they are willing to help anyone who does not want to go to jail. Here you see Kenyans who do not value their hard earned cash. Why do I say this? Some were giving bribes as much as 20, 000 to be let free. SB and I are still recording all this.

One of the “police men” suspects that we are doing this and asks us to sit in a secluded place. Thank God for friends who have friends in high places. I get the number of one of the anchors in Citizen TV and explain our situation and where we are being held; in a gated store area at Freedom Corner. The reporter gives Nairobi OCPD my number and he calls me. I explain the same thing and in a few minutes uniformed policemen are at the gate. Our other police panic and order us to get out, while those who want to “get assistance” to remain behind. We decide to go with the group that wants to be taken to jail.

Now we are two groups, half remained to “get assistance” and half of us knew our arrest was false and we wanted to get justice (and finish our recording). We demand to be taken to a police station. Instead of being taken to a police station, they start taking us upwards, towards All Saints Cathedral, several of our group run away and the fake police leave them. Now, funny is the conversation I heard between the uniformed police and the “police” who arrested us. This was actually a deal between the two!!! The other police even had walkie talkies that communicated with the actual police. Sad.

All this time I am informing the OCPD where we are being taken, and he gives an order for all of us to be released. Half of the group being “taken to jail” is let go. SB and I choose to remain behind. SB and I tell the remaining group not to give any bribes; our escorts hear us and we are pulled out of the crowd. At this point, we have gone round Uhuru Park and we are at Parliament road.  One of the “police” gets us aside to question us; why we were arrested, if we want any assistance. We tell our tale. He tells us he is forgiving us because we look innocent; we laugh.

He tells us to disappear and not get caught again, but we were not going to let him go that easily. We demand to see his police badge and he suddenly gets busy and his arms start shaking. SB and I look at each other and smile. He gets tensed up and gets his wallet out. He starts explaining to us that he is busy calling and we tell him we are patient. Now its a few minutes to nine. The uniformed police are busy taking bribes from other people in the group we were picked out from. The guy starts explaining how I don’t know who was killed where in the park, who was sleeping where and gibberish. We remind him that we are waiting to see his badge; he pulls out a number of cards and picks one out, one with his blood type, no name and no police number.

SB and I laugh and tell him that we know what they are doing and that he should let everyone go if he wants to be safe. Realizing that he has been busted, he gives an order to his people to let our group to go. They do. As we are leaving; His arms are still shaking. I tell him to be careful, some Kenyans are watching and they are talking. Our recordings are with us, a reminder of what innocent Kenyans go through.

It’s now 10 pm; SB and I walk into a hotel for coffee. Now his Manchester united game is over; and we never watched it. But they won, damn!! oh and I lost my precious ear rings in the process :-(

Now I am left to wonder; how many other people walk around masquerading as police men, extorting money from innocent Kenyans, as much as 10 to 20 thousand per person (real police men included)? And us Kenyans, when will we know our rights? Stop giving bribes for crimes you did not commit!!

17 March 2014


“A great man is always willing to be little.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I write this I am in a hurry, in a hurry because I am supposed to attend a seminar by some scientists in a few minutes. Now, a few minutes ago it was tea break where I work. Well, I have been here a few weeks so I am still getting accustomed to the place and the people. Where was I? Tea break. See on Friday mornings, they give free tea and snacks. For the past few weeks, I missed the FREE tea and snacks. This week I vowed not to (I even set a reminder and an alarm at 9.50 so that I begin my journey to the cafeteria at that time). so I grab my tea and the snacks provided and sit by myself at a certain table. For these who know me well, when I find myself in an environment where I do not know most of the people, I prefer to sit by myself and have a chat with my many imaginary friends (I know you do too).

On this day, they served some boiled maize (which I love by the way) and I am there, waiting for the weekly brief by management. As I am sited there, a young (well, she had a few grey hairs, she is not that young) casually dressed woman comes and sits opposite to where I am and we start discussing the maize that has been served. I praise the cob I was holding so much that she decided to get herself one. She is not taking tea, I observe. She gets back to our (yeah, now its ours) table and starts eating the maize. A few minutes later the cafeteria in charge brings her a plate with a few other cobs. In my mind I register she is one of the many visitors that frequent the place and we listen in on the brief, which has started by now.

As the briefing went on, someone made a report and the easy lady across me becomes tough and makes tough comments. At first I am surprised but then I tell myself that it must be the open door management policy of this place, and I start making mental notes. After the brief, the lady leaves and I go back to my conversation with my imaginary friends. Someone next to me says to me “I like how DG is tough”. Oh, so that’s her name, DG. What could DG mean? In my mind I make up the funniest of names that DG could mean (Danielle Grant, Densely Gael and many other names). “She’s DG?” I ask him. “Yeah, Director General” he says. 
 *Brain Freeze*
You mean DG means director general? She is the apex in the organization? I couldn’t believe it! I was chatting casually with the boss, and I am just an intern!! How can she be so humble? Can you imagine, the “top boss” sitting at a table chatting with a two-week old intern? Where? When? If it were some of us, we get a little power and we ensure everyone knows who we are. We go bossing around people, addressing people as if you are the reason they work there, giving people the “do you know who I am?” look as you walk around. Sitting in secluded places with “special seats” that no one dares to sit on because “It belongs to our boss”. Surely!! 

Humility and success go hand in hand. If you want to rise, lay the first foundation that is humility. After all, “Pride makes us artificial, humility makes us real” – Thomas Merton.

Have a humble day now, won’t you. :-)
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6 March 2014


Recently, a controversy broke out about a church poster that was termed as “not fit” for not only Christian viewing but also general viewing.  There have been talks, debates and all that hullabaloo about it. The church came out in defense of their youth course (though I did not hear them support their answers with scripture as is expected of any religion follower accused of going against their faith). But that is not what makes me angry.

“What brings you to church” I asked a youth man in an un-named city church. The young man laughs and glances around before saying; “The hot girls, of course. I realized that it’s actually easier to get sex in church, because many of these young people are rebellious, they come here to mask their behavior. They are the wildest group I know of; most are just pretenders,” he confides.”

This was an excerpt from a local daily that was investigating on the same. Now, before you get judgmental and all, I am a born again Christian, who believes in certain values, and above all, HUMAN. This does not mean I am “holy”; I do make mistakes, I do sin, but by the grace of God keeps me safe from most evil and sin.

Now, back to my anger. I am left to wonder where our Christian values, those values our parents taught us, and brought us up with; where are they? Where are we headed as a Christian nation? We are at a time and age where gospel artists no longer give content that is based on the scripture (and none of them seem to care). Where a Christian artist goes ahead and gets models for his video and publicly says the sees nothing wrong in appreciating beauty (as they dance erotically). Where worship leaders spend the night at drinking parties and in the morning they are leading worship. Where we Christian youth are getting married to cover up some pregnancy. What happened to no sex before marriage? Where dancing styles like “bend over” are danced in church, at the pulpit mind you, and the church leaders just smile and say “the youth are dancing for Jesus” and “our youth are talented”, as they look at the congregation with pride seeing how young people have flocked their church.

What explanation do they give? “We are attracting the youth to church”. “Times have changed; we have to give something that is attractive to the youth, to lead them to Jesus”. 

1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the compassions of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, [which is] your intelligent service.2 And be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of [your] mind, that ye may prove what [is] the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1 and 2

Where are we headed? Where have our Christian values been buried in the name of “attracting people to Jesus”?! Call me old school, but such are the values that we need back. It is as such moments that I echo my colleague Dickson Otieno’s words; as he put it here

If there was a time we, the youth needed prayers; it is now.