The Little Yellow Dress (Part 1)

yellowThe day was dull. Dusk approached fast. Time decided to engage the high gear. Friday was fast wearing away, ushering in a cold and wet Saturday morning embodying all the characteristics of the day before. Affysir had just left the the comfort of Links Place. The depth of his pockets that night would not allow him to stray beyond the Cabanas bypass to the right or the Donholm roundabout for that matter. Every other option was open and worthy of consideration. And on top of that list was Links Place. The sinister yet charming joint that never sleeps, never disappoints and above all, never ceases to amaze!

Having arrived here at a few minutes past midnigt, only amateurs begin downstairs then carry with them the intoxicants in their systems a couple of steps upstairs. Not Affysir, He is a master of this game. Of course, only second to his protege and great buddy, Anasa. The nights always commence at Captains. Here, after a couple of shots and unsuccessful bouts of ‘feeding with eyes’, the hunt is taken downstairs. And here, Anasa is the man! The real deal. His fame here is second only to the title Links Place itself!

Affysir chose to bench Anasa this time around. There come a time when the student has to take the initiative and sit for the final examinations without the prospect of an impending revision. Or was this just one among a series of CATs? All the same, today was Affysir day. And Links just happened to be the den set to test whether the boy had matured into the man.

The bouncers at the door looked at him suspiciously.

“What? Do they think am doing this for the first time?” he mumbled to himself fixing his medium gait in the space left between the two mean looking faces.

“Aah! This is getting interesting!” he thought, spotting a stunning lady at a table on the outer extension of the club. Without a second thought, he tried his luck.

“Hey lovely, can I join you?”

“Am sorry, am here with someone” she responded. That was a much better response than a flat out NO to Affysir. He had reason to be optimistic. The night had just began.

“Oh, sawa, good evening” he managed, grinning respectfully and readjusting his gaze to the sea of humanity milling about the main lounge of the club.

Seated to his left were a few light-skins nibbling at a bottle of Black Ice, obviously hoping for a willing donation of a couple more bottles from an interested companion. Affysir was in no hurry, the evening was still young! To his right was a group of seven crammed around a table meant for four. The center of their convergence was a mixed selection of drinks from a couple of whiskey bottles paramountly occupying the central location of the table to several brands of beer carefully stacked facing their guilty consumers.

Everything else seemed the usual Links Place. The mystery of its attraction to revelers from far and wide hovering about.And of course he had memories of the place too, both good and not so good. The first time he raved at the club, he was lucky enough to land a nice looking lady who just couldn’t wait to get down to business. That always kept him coming back to this low budget easy-to-get-laid hangout.

Then of course the not-so-good memory of when his great friend Anasa had hooked a lovely madam. A bosslady who insisted on buying her own drinks. The narrative changed when upon getting home, the last thing he recalled was gobbling down a couple of eggs. The ‘bosslady’ managed to clean him out of a few valuables including his newly acquired phone, shit in his bathroom and leaving her mess unflashed and the shocker of shockers, make away with all his house shopping, mostly foodstuff. Later on when Anasa told the tale to Affysir, he couldn’t stop the laughter that threatened to pop out his eyeballs! He would not make the same mistake. He was Affysir, or so he told himself.

Having finally managed to land a seat at the exact same place he fancies, he lifted his weight to the ‘sina tabu‘ (long legged bar stool) and ordered 3 bottles of warm Guinness. The first sip of his favorite poison reminded him of his agenda here, getting laid! And he had just spotted the right target.

 

Watch out for part 2 coming soon!

Rights come with Responsibilities: A Message to Kenyan Youth

At independence, our founding father and first president of the republic identified three key hurdles to the sprouting nation in the pursuit of development. These were poverty, ignorance and diseas…

Source: Rights come with Responsibilities: A Message to Kenyan Youth

One Wish.

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If I had one wish
The will to keep you on leash
I would jump on it without a thought
For thinking has eroded all we got
Leaving us nothing but sore memories
Reveries that know not boundaries

I would listen to my heart
And discern all fears of hurt
I would lock them in a safe past
Only mentioning to draw inspiration
Motivation from condemnation

If I had one wish
I would take my time to fish
And draw from the water
The best I can gather
I would rake through pages
Of sages for worthy adages
Albeit to keep you
My entire doings about you.

I would jumping on every hunch
That seeks to keep you drawn
Like a bandwagon I would steer it
Hearts and flowers at every turn
Sweet tidbits that tickle the soul

With that one wish
I would plant on your face
A thousand smiles that radiate grace
Leaving you glowing and vibrant
The traces of lasting mirth

All these I wish
Huddled in my humble abode
For gone you already are
Your gaze fixed on the yonder
Leaving me the poor beggar
With hardly a horse to ride.

Ooko Victor.

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Why you Should Forgive Someone Today

Forgiveness Always goes a long way to ease man’s psychological burden

The Shrinks' Blog

I once had this friend; we were so close. We would wake up to text each other, and call to share our daily experiences. He was the shoulder I leaned on whenever I felt lost and dejected. We would compare experiences and even encourage each other in times of great difficulty. In my mind, he was among the greatest friends I have ever had. Is that not what friends are for? To be there and support each other throughout our moments of joys and suffering? To be there to celebrate with you when you land your first job and still inspire you when you lose it? To share with you the fun around family in days of fair weather as well as the grief I times of a storm? Well, such was our relationship. I called him brother.

One day, this close friend lied to me. He deceived me in…

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Life Comes With A Manual.

Life Indeed Comes With A Manual! Choices as well as consequences that others have undergone and creatively mapped out for us the ideal path towards either sucess or failure.

Drop in on The Shrink’s Blog for this great Piece of Wisdom!

The Shrinks' Blog

One of the oldest ever clichés I have had to encounter says that ‘life does not come with a manual’. Today however, this is hardly the same. Man in his shrewd abilities has over time continued to author and test the ideal manual for every human being at whatever circumstances one finds himself in. There are publications that seek to present to us an ideal way to live our lives. There are publications and advises of parenting, running effective businesses, becoming the ultimate leader or even boosting one health to live a longer life and relating to and identifying with the deity. All these serve as manuals to direct and regulate our day to day interactions.

There are rules that bear consequences. There are experiences chilling enough and at times warm enough to pass as just occurrences of a particular lifetime. All these norms and cultural provisions have served as…

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The Mpeketoni Turnaround – A Call for Reflection.

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The world woke up to yet another startling; heart rending news of the Mpeketoni attack in Lamu County, Kenya. Yet the biggest blow is to us Kenyans. The citizens who live, work, and pay to keep Kenya alive. The thought of just how and why 50 armed masked men ferried in two minivans should and could release terror on innocent civilians out to live their lives like just another day even more baffling! It has happened. Served as morning breaking news in all major news channels in the world. Discussed and exhausted and initiated further dialogs. What next for Mpeketoni? What next for Kenya?

We must first of all acknowledge that this attack has come at a time when the entire country is split right in the middle over political statements and trending issues. Chief among this is the call for national dialog by the opposition under the leadership of Raila Odinga over key issues affecting Kenyans on top of which is Security. The government has over time argued that the country is not in crisis, I bet the situation is enough proof that indeed there is a crisis. The crisis that has always been there ever since the days of the Westgate Mall Attack.

On the other hand, the opposition’s key aim could be to destabilize government. How? By calling on the government to engage the opposition on the way forward to issues affecting every single citizen of the country? Or has the ego and chest thumping of the government and opposition lieutenants gone to the heads of both Uhuru and Raila?
Whereas our minds seem to converge on the wanting state of security in the country; the thoughts diverge as soon as we seek to sit down and find a way forward from the crises?

Reports from Mpeketoni indicate that despite the call for reinforcement having been made at around 9pm; it wasn’t until 1 am that the reinforcement called for actually materialized! Does Kenya even have an emergency response team and especially in the wake of the rising cases of terrorist attacks all over the Coast and Nairobi areas? Really someone must be sleeping on the job somewhere! And Uhuru definitely doesn’t need dialog to see this! He doesn’t need dialog to see that the longer it takes to roll out the Nyumba Kumi initiative the more apparent it will seem that there is an obvious lack of touch and zeal between the Jubilee leadership and it’s appointed policy enforcers.

Watching Tv this morning, I felt the pain of the residents of this ill fated area. And with this world cup craze all over, I start to feel unsafe to even walk around freely in a town I grew up and always called home. This in a country that allocates the lions share of its national budget to security and intelligence gathering! Quite preposterous!

My heart goes out to the families who lost fathers; women who lost husbands and people who lost sons; friends and colleagues.

The attack is a stark awakening that no one is safe; no place is of any less interest to these organized terror groups. And even as pundits argue for or against the Somalia invasion; the fact remains that defense is becoming alien to the local taxpayers. At least until we start pushing the right buttons and holding the right people to account.

Ooko Victor

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Dear Salva Kiir; Dear Riek Machar

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I know that you two are safe and sound wherever you are. Your families, safely tucked away from any risk of harm. That is what fathers do. That is what parents do for their children. Yet safe is a vocabulary to the citizens of your country. The fathers and mothers; the sons and daughters of your great republic. Not many of them can get this platform to talk to you; to the entire world. In fact, most of them are out looking for their lost children or busy trying to shield them from the hungry firearms of your loyalists. Others are not out looking for their children; their children are out looking for them, or their remains.

It hurts me to look at you and call you leaders. I therefore refuse to acknowledge any of you as president. My president would not degenerate to the level you have. History tells me that I came from South Sudan; a place called Bahr el Ghazal. Where I settled and call my home today, I celebrated with you on the milestone of attaining independence. I was confident that the future for South Sudan would embrace the sky as the limit. I idolized the late John Garang’ for his servitude and steadfast commitment. I adored him for his vision for his people. Your people.

How many more need to die? How many more need to be burnt alive whether Dinka or Nuer? And why? So you can fulfil your own selfish egos? Or are you out to rule corpses and humans with memories of a president who sat and watched as their subjects were massacred? Why is it so important for you two to be in charge?

Look at Rwanda, hardly 20 years on and you pick up from where they left! Almost all countries in Africa attained their independence through bloodshed. Back then, we were fighting the white man. We were fighting the colonialist. Whom are you fighting today? What has that neighbor done to deserve death by your cruel hand? Are you guys so proud now that you cannot see eye to eye? Is this how you repay a republic that was optimistic enough to rally around you with the hope of reaching the Promised Land?

I have heard enough. I have seen enough. The pictures of human beings now laying lifeless arranged on various open lands. The humanitarian group now reduced to counting corpses and burying them in mass graves! Was this the only way that we could attain peace? Is this what you had to do to measure each other’s guts?

I wish you could talk to me. I wish you two could be locked up with me in the same room and answer me these painful questions. Questions that one day, the generation of tomorrow will float before you and your successors expecting satisfactory answers. Answers on why South Sudan had to burn by the hands of its own trusted sons. Tomorrow, no one will care whether one was Dinka or the other was Nuer, I don’t care already and neither does the entire world. My worry, the worry of the international community is why the innocent have to pay with their lives to sustain your raw egos. Why after winning back the country, you first of all had to reduce it to ashes!

We are 42 tribes in Kenya. And yet we have survived more than half a century together. You are only two tribes; why can’t you put your house in order? Mr. Kiir, is this the history you would like to have for your people? Mr. Machar, is the sword the only way to air you reservations with the government?

Even as I pen this letter, thousands more continue to perish. Not because of hunger and neither because of disease or accidents! In Kenya, terrorism troubles us; in your country, under your very watch, civilians are murdered in cold blood. Someone will read this letter. I hope one of them shares its contents with you; both of you. I wish you will hear the cry of your children. Your sons and daughters; your brothers and sisters. And I hope upon hope; that you will rise to their cry.

Ooko Victor.

To Rank Or Not To Rank?

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I sat for my O’Levels exams in 2009 at St Mary’s High School, Ukwala. This was after my unfortunate expulsion from the provincial school of my choice, Makueni Boys’ High School back in 2007 following a student’s unrest that sought to oust the then Principal Mr. Nzioka and his Deputy(Teenage issues, I know better now). At 406 marks, I could not join a National School without greasing someone’s palms, therefore I settled for what I got. Deep down, I believed that I had done my level best to be at the level I was, yet, the Education System kept reminding me that I had not done enough. That there was still more I could do to strengthen my final grade! Should I repeat the class? Believe you me, that option was not far away from my mind! The fact that I had not qualified to join National High School haunted me for as long as I could remember.

In December last year, the KCPE results were released and the same trend repeated itself. The release of the National Examinations result consequently portrayed as a matter of life and death. I mean why else would the Cabinet Secretary for Education always be the one to have the honors? Has this become a necessary national ritual that the country cannot choose to avoid? Another important question I would seek to ask is whether this event is really about the students themselves? Examinations have not only become the most important thing about schooling life, it has also become the only thing! It is no longer about testing curricular expectations, it has become more about competing with other similar schools. It has become about setting records and putting the school on the national map. It has become about the teachers and the school boards. The students are only puppets, and many lose out.

When the Senior Principal of Alliance High School addressed his students after the release of the KCSE examinations results, he said …We managed to get 166 A’s, 77 A-, 72B+ na hizo zingine zenye sitataja (and others I won’t mention) yet as simple as this statement can be, coming from the topmost school in the national rankings is devastating to other small schools. We have had students scoring D’s and still making it in life. However, success in life, especially in our country Kenya has continuously been pegged on academic excellence. Can’t we have national examinations without necessarily ranking our students on national media and consequently stereotyping the majority of whom score less than the University cut off point? The hizo zingine zenye sitataja group also have their story to tell. We could instead rank counties and promote the other growing schools in raising their academic standards. As things stand today, the disparity in resources for our various institutions of learning continue to harbor the quest for quality education.

Another point of argument is the increased cases of examinations irregularity. The great risks that various stakeholders are willing to take to excel in their final examinations. This has seen the arrest and prosecution of teachers; with head teachers and principals included, students and even parents. Officials in the National examinations body have also from time to time been involved in exam leakages. A further indication of just how deep the system may be infiltrated. A good number of the National Schools’ teachers are involved in setting the examinations and consequently they share some of this information with their students whether directly or indirectly. Indirectly may be through stressing on particular topics that the examination is set to cover. I can personally testify to having seen an examination material that as apparently sat for by students as a Post Mock examinations only to have similar questions in the KCSE! This is happening for the schools with the means, obviously indicating that the playfield is never level.

We may argue that it matters not where you go to school; yet we keep on grading ourselves as if it is the only thing that matters! Whatever brackets we find ourselves in, motivation is what should keep us going.