Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sunday musings

Today morning as I bummed in bed I did the usual Sunday thing, I watched TV.I got to watch the Village directed by M Night Shymalan. I must admit that it was not as bad as I thought it would be.I did like the twist at the end of the tale.The fact that the monsters that kept them in the village did not exist and were just made up by the elders who lived in the outside world to prevent the people from leaving.Plus the fact that the people chose to live a life resembling that of early 20th century frontiersmen eschewing electricity and other conveniences (resulting in the needless death of a child) when access to all those things was just a few miles away.What people won't do to run away from their problems?
Other then that I am plugging away doing some article reviews for one of my courses.The problem isn't reviewing the articles but typing them. For some reason it just feels like an uphill task but it's one that I have to do.
I read about this miraa bust in the States. It seems some veve lovers will have the shakes in some weeks to come. I must confess despite living in a neighbourhood where there were many miraa users, I have never ever tried the drug. The whole idea of chewing those stalks for hours on end, while exchanging endless tales as I wait for the buzz to kick in never appealed to me at all. I used to know arab families where everyone from the parents to the children were users. Call me sexist but I always saw a chic chewing miraa as a major turn off; it was sloppy enough with the men already.
The Sunday Nation also had this well written but brief commentary about the plight of Kenyans in the diaspora.The writer highlighted the stress that some of them undergo that leads them to crime.These lines do say alot.

Kenyans in the Diaspora are faceless in many ways. While they still write and miss home, the same is often not the truth save for their being missed for remittances and other funding.
The cow gives milk and little thought is ever given as to how it lives. Yet the pressures the Diaspora endures just to survive is great. More often than not, we do two jobs just to eat. Less speak to pay the rent, support our own.

I am not in any way saying that all Kenyans back home have their arms open waiting for hand outs but there are a large number who are.Many people back home see life abroad as paved with pounds and dollars, I remember when I was leaving the country one of my friends asked me to leave him one of my favorite pairs of shoes that I saved for a long time to buy with the words, "You'll buy another pair when you get their." The fact is that for most Kenyans out here things are not that simple but since the people back home sacrificed to send you abroad, it is only logical that you do what you can to help out. But at times the requests can become a bit much.Lucky for me, my mother has been out here quite a number of times so she knows how hard things can be so she doesn't ask for too much. But the story is different for most people, due to this mindset doing business from abroad is a headache and a nightmare. First of all the price of everything is jacked up spectacularly, I mean take a look at the price of subscription to the East African Standard and the Nation; they are more expensive then subscribing to American papers and magazines. A blogger who tried to buy stocks in Kenya said how it took so long that by the time the stocks were being bought they had already rose in price, defeating the purpose of buying them in the first place. I was once told this story about this Kenyan dude in the UK who had been remitting cash home to his family so that they build him some apartments.He forsook the finer things in life and sent the money home diligently even overstaying his visa so that the project may be concluded. After working his fingers to the bone to overcome the reported hiccups of the project, he decided that he had tired of the drab European lifestyle and returned home to manage his investments and live in peace. On coming home and going to the purported site he found that nothing but weeds existed on the land, he confronted his family members who just led him on a wild goose chase.He tried to seek legal redress but the family members involved used the money they had gotten from him to pay off the law, with all the stress and despair surrounding the issue he promptly lost his mind and eventually took his own life. I know not all cases are as extreme as this but such things do happen. Despite all this their are still muppets who find time to write articles like this.
So people back home, unless the person you know that is leaving has been hired by some big corporation or the United Nations to work abroad, life for them isn't as easy as you think it is. Have a nice Monday (If that's possible!)


Archer said...

Hi Kagz!
@Aco: pole sana 4 degrading ur blog 2 a personal competition.

Archer said...

The article in The Standard is by far one of the stupidest that I've ever set eyes upon. I can criticise it on so many levels but this phone won't allow me the space to do so. Lemme sit back and see what others think.

Kagz said...


gone to look for food. i'll be back.

Kagz said...

I'm back :)

Just like Archer, i've too much to say but.....

However, i do not see why people come to the US via fundraising yet there are good schools in Kenya.

I have NEVER dished out even Ksh 1 for any such HARAMBEE. Why pay & you're not sure if the person will the many Kenyans i know.

Girl next door said...

I haven't read that article yet; you've raised many good points about challenges facing Kenyans in the diaspora. Life is a struggle and there's always a trade-off. That subscription rate that Nation started pisses me off! Ati $60/yr? I understand every business needs to make money but news needs to be accessible to the general public.

acolyte said...

@ Archer
I do agree the Standard article was a load of bollocks.
@ Kagz
Hope you enjoyed your snack.At times I don't think it is the issue of school quality that pulls people here but the promise of a better life after school.I am sure you know about Kenya's high unemployment rate.But I do agree that those harambees don't do much as you have 4 years of school, not just one.
@ Girl Next Door
I do wish I could have done a better job raising those points as my writing skills are somewhat wanting.But the Nation and the Standard rates verge on financial rape.

Darlkom said...

If I hadn't watched The Village, I would totally hate you for spoiling it for me. First time visitor,by the way, loving it.

acolyte said...

@ darlkom
So sorry for spoiling the movie for you!I thought I was one of the few people who hadnt watched the movie.Thanks for passing by!

Joseph Walking said...

i just read jerry okungu. i must say kenyans we are very talented. in trues standard newspapers fashion execellent work of fiction.This guy rivals wole sonyinka brilliant i say simply brilliant. Know jerry can you get down to reporting news instead of fiction

acolyte said...

@ joseph
I agree with you, Kenyans are very talented; and having know quite a few journalists I must agree that there are alot of good fiction writers masquerading as journalists out there!

POTASH said...

Uhhm...that veve bust, man it is too close to home, for me to comment. I was actually planning to blog about Ramstein to New York with hand luggage veve back in the summer of '99; not sure I will though.
It used to pay 1000 dmarks (35,000). Deal for a somali guy that used to chew at Kirichwa before he set up a veve base in Germany...mad vibe we seen, mad places we been....

PS: i sure do hate the habit... chewing, that is.

acolyte said...

@ Potash
The veve biz sure pays well but with the clamp downs in the UK and now the US are making it hard to make cash.You really must blog bout that adventure!