Blog

LIFESTYLE, parenting

AN OPEN LETTER TO EVERY FORM FOUR LEAVER 2017

By Victor Von Njagi

Pheeeeew, see how time flies? it has been an overwhelming journey for a straight 13 years and look now, here you are at the top of the world.I know that feeling

I know you are used to letters from your high school lovers, oh I loved them too back in my high school days.

I promise you this is not the end final letter you will receive from this world, but this might be a special one because it gives you a clear picture of what you expect and what the world expects from you from today ends forth.

I urge you that you do not scroll down hurriedly to the bottom of the page as what I am about to tell might sound less interesting but I bet it contains the facts and rules you need on your fingertips to survive on mother earth.

AGE

Yes, you are now an adult, over 18 no more child play there is no room for that in the real world. You are equivalent to a chicken whose mother has let to live on self. Be ready to listen more from your elders, but make decisions on your own.

When people make decisions for you, they create a room for regrets which is not something you need in a near future.

You might feel neglected by your parents and feel like the world is crushing but those are the fruits that come with adult age. You are on your own.

FREEDOM

Sound just right. Never forget that freedom comes along with responsibility. You can do anything you want in life but be ready to bear full responsibility for your actions.

No one will take the blame for your own actions, not even the parents that brought to this world.BE RESPONSIBLE!

SEXUALITY

This was a rather embarrassing discussion to have with you a while ago but let us face it, It is real you are going to college and you will meet with peers of opposite gender and one thing will to another, but let the thing not lead to regrettable and foolish mistakes that will have an permanent effect on your future.

Ever heard of babies getting babies? That aside STDs are real. I believe your biology teacher taught you that in school.

DRUGS

This is a constant debate. It is affecting grown adults with families and has even extended to school going children who are underage. Marijuana alcohol, cigarettes. You add and make your own list of other drugs you know. Drugs do not only affect you but also the people around you .Choose your friends wisely.

BE EXPERIMENTAL

You never know you might come up with the next big invention that will make an impact to the society.

Do not join the university and forget the world around, as they, ask for what you can do for the world and not what the world can do for you.

Most inventors came up with concepts at a young age and so are you. Make it count!!

happy

ENJOY LIFE

Ecclesiastes 11:9you who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.’’

As the holy book says enjoy your youth but don’t count the days let the days count!!!

Yours sincerely

An Elder Brother

 

 

 

 

 

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Education, slum political, Youths

The Faults in Our Stars, Sorry Political Class.

What a crazy time to be a Kenyan citizen!! Less than a year since the general elections that left the Kenyans with holes in their pocket and the politicians, well with a sore throat as a result of the noise they made trying to woo voters.

Since the so called handshake, we have had political comedy centrals at the heart of the nation. A looming referendum, political dancing chairs even when we are at the middle of a downpour that has seen hundreds lose their lives.

Even juicer, last weekend a media house ran a story of what could be another money lost by the heavily funded NYS through tenderpreneurs. Isn’t it just crazy how we get whirled by crazy events that involve taxpayers’ money?

The University Dons strike is still on. Two months later and nobody seemed perturbed by the state of affairs at the higher learning sector. This could be a sign that Kenyans are mere votes and nothing more.

Barely a year since we voted, I believe 90% of university students were involved in the general election and probably their votes even resulted to the win of the current government, but the same voters are still waiting for their lecturers to get paid. These voters are probably so idle that they are hooked to some sort of drugs or even prostitution in some dark alley somewhere at the CBD.

Read also  >>>> Third World Monarchy Systems

We are 3 months shy to a year since the general elections were held and now succession politics have already started creating a storm among the so called coalitions. Why are we bringing 2022 elections debate to a nation that has striking lecturers in 25 public universities? Why 2022 when the just hired ministerial appointees have already getting their hands in the cookie jar?

 

Chairs are seen arranged inside a lecture hall at the Garissa University College in Garissa
Empty lecture halls as a result of lecturers’ which the government is yet to address. Photo/ Courtesy

 

 

County governments are yet to prove their worth at the county level but their showdowns are the only performance they can account of.

A cartel country is a word that has been thrown around and now it is evident that the common citizens are just a means to power and not a symbol of a country that acquired independence through sacrifice from people who wanted power within the people. Now it turns out that power is no longer within the people but within some quarters.

We can always chest thump about our tribal affiliations when supporting individuals, but deep in our hearts we now know that politicians are a class of people who sleep in the same bed. People who would craft a referendum overnight and influence the same people who they have evidently failed to represent in different capacities to embrace a referendum that has no importance to them.

Parting Shot: I am not a prophet but I believe by the time I am done penning this article, some millions somewhere have been diverted to a personal account, after all they eat the meat while we do the dishes, right?

By Victor Von Njagi

 

LIFESTYLE

Nairobi By Daybreak

It is an early morning on Friday even before the first light strikes the face of Nairobi, I have an early morning and therefore I have to leave early for a gig somewhere in the outskirts of Nairobi. Don’t you just love how Kenyans work hard?

As I make quick strides along the road leading to the bus stop I cannot help to note how business has already kicked off barely 6 in the morning. I walk past my Mama Mboga, her kibanda is fully stocked with fresh produce she purchased at Marikiti about 2 hours ago!

The guy I visit every morning to have a taste of his pastry. He sells mandazi mwitu by the roadside; probably they are deep-fried in transformer oil that is why I keep coming back. He has already prepared some and wraps two with an unga paper, and off I hit the road chewing the delicacy.

It is such a noisy morning as the matatu crew is already doing their live performances adjacent to their empty buses with a handful of `passengers’ who are only posing to create the illusion that the bus will soon be leaving, owe unto me.

I board one of the Matatus. It is a bit warm in here, thanks to the humming engine; the cold weather is evident as most of my fellow passengers have a shuka round their neck. It is important to note that a matatu can only have a nice scent in the morning as people are leaving their homes, but come evening it is a mixture of garlic, ginger and other raw spices rolled together into one musk.

Read Also >>>> Third World Monarchy Systems

The Matatu is finally packed and you can hear an argument between the conductor and the decoy passengers, as they demand for their dues.

The driver is playing a popular breakfast radio show in one of the FM stations; this is not even soothing, as the conductor has to wake the passengers up in turns, as he demands bus fare. They are still trying to have a 30-minute nap. (I think people in Nairobi are sleep deprived, they bring their slumber in public places!).

We are already along Mombasa Road and you can see the presence of police officers with their green reflectors along the road. If you are visiting Kenya, remember a cop is either easing traffic jam, collecting bribes or both.

Hii mvua imekuwa too much bana” the passenger seated next to me groans.The city center is flooded owing to the heavy downpour last night.“Na huyu gavana tulichagua ni bure Town inakaa shamba” he further whines. We have the normal raia talk and finally we are in town.

The city center is chaos, you cannot wade through without using a mkokoo.At the bus entrance other taxpayers with mkokotenis and trolleys are eagerly waiting for us to alight and board their state of art ubers.

floods-nairobi7
The floods that have become of Nairobi since the long rains last month photo/Ghetto radio

Some passengers are still in disbelief at the floods surrounding the matatu, but the conductor wants everyone to alight so that he can make another trip and we result to hopping to these uber style carriages.

Ni mbao tu” the mkoko guys says as I board, he takes me to what I would call a higher ground since there are no more floods within my vicinity. I `alight’ and proceed to my destination.

It is sad to see the street families that braved the cold night on the streets verandahs, but that is Nairobi to every Kenyan , nobody bothers about them after all kila mtu alikuja kutafuta.

The famously city in the sun looks like dumping site , clogged drainage systems that even the famous rescue team cannot rescue us from. People are standing at a newspaper shade, trying to get a glimpse of what the not so independent newspaper headlines are trying to sell.

Getting a moment with a newspaper is a powerful weapon to take you through the day as even colleagues listen to every information that you crammed on that piece of paper.

I duck into a café, it is a beehive of activity, and one would think operations in the café ran around the clock, but these waiters report to work before I even wake up. On such a morning, tea is the signature order and the waiter brings the tea even before I order.”Leta na chapo mbili” I request.

The problem with Nairobi tea is that it is laced with a lot of tea, this a proof that we are big tea exporters. I sip my tea as I scroll through a Whatsapp group chat to see which members spent the night online. It is not easy being a Whatsapp admin I guess.

I leave the café immediately after gulping the last amount of my tea, as there are other Kenyans who want to take tea and are hopelessly looking for an empty seat.

The moment I step the streets are crowded with people walking hurriedly, well I guess it is another day to make Nairobi great again!

By Victor Von Njagi

 

 

 

 

slum political

Third World Monarchy Systems

I would openly confess my lack of expertise in writing tributes, especially barely a week after Kenya lost one of the forefront people in the struggle for multiparty in Kenya: Kenneth Matiba, what a man!

As one of the local dailies ran a bio of the late Matiba with a title, Man of many firsts. The article described vividly how Matiba holds a record of being the first Kenyan to venture in various fields among them being appointed the first black director of Kenya Breweries, one of the biggest tax contributors based on their market share.

Matiba is famously known for the saba saba revolution that shook the former president Moi government to the core, resulting to the beginning of Matiba woes.

Any Kenyan living today and witnessed the single party state can talk of the relief that has come along with the multi-party democracy.

The death of Matiba should be a call to every Kenyan to recognize the purpose and the benefits of several parties. Over years, we the electorate have been playing the piper’s tune to political theatrics that have led us in the gutter every time we cast votes.

We have embraced a culture of tribalism as politicians play the divide and rule game repeatedly .Every time there are government appointments every Kenyan is keen and concerned if their tribesman is appointment for a state job, poor we!

The role of a multiparty is to ensure people with diverse ideologies are given a chance to take part in national building through representing the people.

 

sabasaba
A file photo during the height of the struggle for a multiparty democracy,the tree of Multi party seems to be a non favorite for Kenyans.  photo/Courtesy

Last general elections saw the parties with big financial muscle sweep votes in accordance with tribal blocs backing. The excitement brought about by the rise of  independent parties before the election was not felt after the elections, it is a recurring trend of seasonal politicians re-branding the parties and making a comeback despite the fact that they have nothing to offer after long stints milking the public coffer.

It may sound like a reckless statement if we openly agree that we the voters have turned our country into a monarch being run by the elite group families that date back to the country independence days.

This sorry state of things runs from the highest institutions that consist of the Executive, Judiciary and the Legistrature.

Presidential appointments say it all, revisiting the past administrations, individual appointments for PSs, CSs and even parastatal boards consist of bloodlines whose surnames are familiar in the Kenyan history.

Barely a year after elections and a scenario regarding the 2022 election is already taking shape. The most insane thing is that the picture frame consists of the same faces that have failed to bring out Kenya as a superior country among its peers like Rwanda.

This line of thought may have come 4 years earlier before the next general election but we need to see a clear picture of how we are duped by a class that is not losing its grasp in looting and making Kenya a failed state.

It is the high time we thought about multi-party as a clean slate where we can vote National and county leaders based on their zeal and servant ship towards the interest of every common man.

I’m out!

Parting Shot: Political parties are formed to reflect the spectrum of the people’s views, interests, and needs, from their highest ideals to their basest instincts. As the 19th-century British philosopher John Stuart Mill suggests, political parties in electoral democracies generally act together to create a balance or compromise between opposing and differing views.

Just as importantly, political parties have been the means for inspiring and mobilizing voters to support fundamental political change when it is needed. Even in today’s age of dispersed social communications, idealistic citizens seeking change turn to political parties to carry it out.

By Victor Von Njagi

 

 

 

 

LIFESTYLE, parenting, Youths

Here Comes The Millennial

Last week saw Social media flooded with a lot of parental advice coming straight outta netizens after a popular trend on twitter #Ifikiewazazi.

What amazed me is the misuse of the term millennial which is now evident that most of us do not know the meaning of this term.

Who is a millennial? According to the Wikipedia, Millennial (also known as Generation Y) are the generational demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates for when this cohort starts or ends; demographers and researchers typically use the early 1980s as starting birth years and the mid-1990s to early 2000s as ending birth years.

With the above definition, then it is very important we trace back the milestones that we have witnessed for the last 3 decades that have resulted to the generation that is currently of existence.

Wikipedia further reveals that the generation is generally marked by an increased use and familiarity with communications, media, and digital technologies.

Read Also >>>> Higher Education with an Extra High

This additional statements sums it all on why things are the way they are today.

The rise of digital communication has led the world to be a digital village where information, both positive and negative to consumers is easily able to penetrate and achieve the intended purpose.

 

illustration.jpg
An illustration depicting the life of a millennial based on what the society offers.

Social vices that are associated with the millennials makes them look bad while in essence the said vices have taken a deep root across all age groups in the society.

Young girls are criticized for engaging sexually with men old enough to be their father, but no is bold enough to ask why these old men are engaging in the same . Why would a 50 year father engage his daughter in premarital sex talk while he is out there philandering with a young girl the age of her daughter?

Every vice being witnessed in the society is a result of a ripple effect by every individual living on the face of the planet.

The society is experiencing a high rot ever witnessed in the human history. Parents have spoiled their children by not instilling values in them. What happened to `it takes a village to raise a child’? Children are now raised by house helps on behalf of the parents.

From when a child is born to when he is joining high school, he is raised by an average of 7 house helps if not 10.This child is not even keen to listen to the parents. He is typically raised by mother internet.

Internet which we cannot do away with is a major influence on our society today. I have lost counts of the number of time I go to a public cyber in town and found men in their 50s watching pornography (yes pornography), never mind the wedding ring dominating their ring finger. If grown men are hooked to Pornography, then what much do you expect from their young ones.

Let us face it. No single generation is to blame for the craziness strolling in our society, every is playing a role in making this planet crazy and the sooner we come back to our senses and stop the blame game the better.

Parting Shot: Before pointing fingers to any young Kenyan take a step back and think how digital technology has changed your life both negatively and positively. How the evolution of communication has affected your relationships with people. Have you protected the young people around you from accessing harmful information which is readily available ?

 

BY VICTOR VON NJAGI

 

Education, Youths

Meet The 30 Year Old Undergraduate Students


I pen this article with utmost disgust towards the state higher learning in the country. Since last year January, the lecturer have downed their tools for at least three times.

This translates that students who were likely to graduate this year might spend another year walking around the school compound like an adult son who does not want to leave his native home village and settle somewhere else.

The public universities lecturers’ strike is now overdue and it is a worrying situation that should be addressed once and for all.

Since January last year the Dons have been on strike for one calendar year which translates to a whole academic year.

As much as primary and secondary education have had a lot of emphasize being put upon by the government and the taxpayers, the plight of university students needs to be addressed.

University students are on their final stages of contributing to the income tax that the country needs so much in laying infrastructure and paying of foreign debts that have been a matter of national concern. Delaying the graduation of students by over one year is not only putting a strain to the affected students and parents but also to the country as a whole.

 

UASU
Members of the UASU doing what they do best:Downing tools. Photo/Courtesy

The prolonged strikes could likely create a scenario where university halls are overcrowded as a result  a backlog of students who are yet to complete their studies.

The strike is also putting the public universities in bad light as parents may shy away from these institutions and therefore popularizing private institutions where the quality of education offered is always under public scrutiny.

Read Also >>>>> Higher Education with an Extra High

All the agencies involved need to address the issues affecting the all 22 public universities which have over 100,00 youths who are looking forward to seek employment, start businesses upon completion of higher education.

Most Employers are after fully trained graduates who will not be an expense through training upon employment. Recently students sat for their end of semester exams on February after only being in class for only a month, only for the strike to resume again upon the completion of examination.

This shows how the quality of university education has been watered down by the frequent strikes and poor running of the universities. Soon we might have a crop of half-baked engineers, doctors, teachers and other professionals which will in return bring chaos in almost every industry across our growing economy.

Universities also offer a great avenue for innovative ideas and also a room for research in various fields of the economy. Therefore we are looking a generation of youths who might not utilize their great potential in solving problems that are currently a challenge to the society.

By addressing these issues, the government will have solved looming social issues like insecurity, drug abuse and an upsurge of unemployment which is likely to be felt a few years from now.

Let us bring back the lost glory of the university education.

Parting shot: A university student who enrolled to a public university  for a degree course in early 2015 might graduate on August 2019,his counterpart in a public university is done with classwork and will graduate sometimes this year! what a country we live in.

By Victor Von Njagi


 

slum political, Youths

The Making of a Handshake Nation

The famous handshake that the country witnessed some few weeks ago has left every tongue wagging. The handshake between President Uhuru and former Prime Minister AKA the people’s president might not leave the lips of most Kenyans for the next few months or so.

Let us face it all it was is a handshake, after closed door talks which we cannot tell what is cooking in the pot. We need to drop that line that it was a handshake of unity. Politics is a diverse industry and in fact a very lucrative profession. A simple background principle on politics. `There are no permanent enemies in politics’.

That said maybe we first need to sort out our issues that regard to national unity before we make the handshake seem like an infrastructure.

Kenya is a country consisting of 44 tribes and we need to embrace Kenyanism as the new face of Kenya. Unlike the tribal showdowns that we have witnessed for the better part of last year and 2018.

The writings are on the wall, political parties are based on voting blocs which constitute to geographical areas amounting to tribal politics. Visit any bunge la Mwananchi at Jeevanjee gardens or City Hall and this is clearly evident, our politics are yet to mature due to tribal linings.

Read Also >>>>> Revisiting The Shithole Shenanigans.

According to the latest survey by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics indicates out of the 19,000 Kenyans between 19 – 64 years who should be bringing revenue to our debt struck nation, 7 million of them are jobless. The report further reveals that 9 out of 10 unemployed Kenyans are below the age of 35 years.

 

handshake
The famous handshake that has shaped politics in the past weeks Photo /Courtesy

How has the government facilitated the growth of SMEs? SMEs are the future of the Kenyan economy, you cannot guarantee the future of the economy if majority of the startups cannot breakeven within the first year.

Interest capping rates introduced last year has resulted to banks shifting away from high risking borrowers who majorly involve small businesses.

SMEs can take most of the credit for creating jobs for Kenyans and this is a rising trend expected in the nest decades.Joblessness is nothing tribal it is national let us put that in mind.

Economics aside, Kenyanism should be brought about by the need to close the gap between the needy and the sufficient, our political divide is costing the taxpayer billions due to our focus on tribal blocs instead of putting the government in toes as a country. You can almost tell the direction of a political discussion in the streets based by the second name of the people involved in the discussion.

It is the high time we viewed issues facing the country in a national manner, let us call a spade a spade.

National unity cannot be achieved by mere handshakes by politicians who have created a stalemate because of ideological differences. The country is bigger than leaders. Leaders come and go and leave us languishing in debts, you can borrow a leaf from Greece.

Leaders come and go leaving behind no trails of money they embezzled from the public leaders. The system is so rotten that no one bothers to put them in to question. So who is the problem here is it the leaders or we the people?

The unity of we the Kenyans is what will ensure that we vote in leaders that have the interest of Kenyans at heart.

Let us review issues we are currently facing as a country and re think on who is playing who? Are we the ones giving power to the wrong people or is the society so rotten that it can longer produce citizens who cannot change the face our country?

Parting Shot: “Youth unemployment has been described as a ticking bomb, with frustrated young men and women susceptible to drugs, prostitution, or even being lured into terrorism.” Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.

By Victor Von Njagi

Environment, slum housing

I Survived The Floods, Again !

As the English man once said, fool me once the joke is on you, fool me twice the joke is on me.This perfectly applies to every Kenyan who is furious over te heavy showers that we have witnessed for the better part of the month of March.  It seems the month of March is all about marching away from the heavy rains.

Rain is good no one can dispute that, unless you are an alien of which I believe aliens love rains too.  We have been praying for it and our prayers seems to have been answered tenfold.

As I write social media is awash with memes of floods from an advisory from a guy who claims to be the chairman of the short people in Kenya advising the vertically challenged people to take caution of the floods as they are easy victim to floods, to sea estate that mushroom immediately the rains pour.  Besides the humor do we not think that floods should be a thing of the past now that we have been fallen victims every time?

On Thursday media reports indicate seven people died as a result of floods, among them pupils who were heading home from school and other people who were going about their daily business.  Infrastructure like roads and building have collapsed as a result of the heavy rains countrywide.

I remember the former president Moi championing on the construction of gabions to fight soil erosion or as it was called in Swahili `mmonyonyoko wa udongo’, what happened to such conservation initiatives?

Poor planning by greedy authorities in urban areas has resulted to development of high-rise estates in places that should be left off for the water drainage systems, that’s why people living in luxurious apartments have not been spared with flash floods reclaiming what was their path down stream.

Related content >>>A Glass of Rain Water Please?

I visited a close friend of mine some weeks back and a downpour began before I left, as I sheltered there innocently, water started gushing in from the door.  I am a bit embarrassed to say it was a mixture of raw sewage and rain water, i had to join hands with them as we ushered the toxic water out of their house for almost 2 hours, what an odd job for a visiting fellow!

Time and time the discussion regarding our urban drainage systems always comes up, but after the rains fade away, we shy away from the same.  Its simple, we need to loose the large appetite for land that should be left for this kind of emergencies.

The city center is impassable even when it rains for 20 minutes because our drainage systems are clogged, thanks to the County government.  Streets look like a wasteland after downpours because we have failed to collect garbage.

ojijo.jpg
Ojijo Road,Westlands flooded after the ongoing heavy showers leaving motorists at an awkward position. Photo/Courtesy Ma3route

Just this week Embakasi Girls’ School had to be closed indefinitely, after the entire school was flooded courtesy of the informal settlements at Mukuru kwa Njenga that have hived off the river.  When the river swells everything comes to a halt except the flooding water.

The issue of poor drainage systems needs to be addressed once and for all to avoid the inconvenience it brings.  The floods are not only a hazard due to drowning but also a health hazard due to contamination from open sewer lines.  Over 500 slum dwellers risk being infected with cholera and related diseases due to incomplete sewer lines that sandwich the slums in Nakuru County.

The government needs to seriously consider the plight of the people that voted for them barely a year ago.  It hurts to use this kind of word to emphasize why leaders should deliver to the people.

Parting shot: I being very poor in swimming, I know I am not alone in this, I am contemplating to take swimming lessons after watching a video of a fellow Kenyan fighting for his life on Nairobi River.  If it was me, I could barely fight the rage of the swollen river.  Everybody lets take swimming lessons, let us swim together or else we will drown like fools.

 

I’m out!

By Victor Von Njagi.