Saturday, September 28, 2013

Serikali Tafadhali: Population Infantilization

Modern times are a study in the black arts of reducing thinking feeling people into selfish automatons. Thus, the “serikali tafadhali ingilia katikati” (government please intervene) demographic is gaining proportional ascendancy. Gone are the days when do-it-yourself was the best way to get anything done well. As soon as problems crop up, these people lay them at the feet of government.

But this is only to the people’s detriment. The government understands that adopting the people’s shirked problems is really a grab of increased power over the people. Continued over-reliance on government breeds an unhealthy patrimonialism in the governor. Democracy’s power is supposed to reside in the people for the people’s benefit; but the “serikali tafadhali” criers make the government think they are demigods. “Look! The confused rabble prays to us!” And the fruits of such bootlicking ripen in election year, when the candidates compete in giving rambling boastful speeches full of grandiose hot air – promising “favors” their government will do for the people, favors to be purchased by their votes.

No government, not even a democratic republic, drives around in Jeeps distributing constitutional rights to bystanders and passers-by on the street. The people have to know their rights, to take their time and know that government is limited in means and scope, and to keep government from infringing on their rights. However most MPigs and Kenyan politicians believe the best approach to take in any hairy circumstance is to throw money at the problem. To them, the powerful are those who man the tap. Subconsciously this betrays their love of money, that they worship it so, to esteem it omnipotent.

But the love of money is the root of all evil. Because we see our leaders in love with money, we too lust after it. Greed begets corruption, moral and fiscal. And then society becomes merely some people the national boundary enclosed, the national flag labeled and the national anthem satirized. Why? All because some people couldn’t stop saying “serikali tafadhali” about problems they shouldn’t have relinquished to anyone. They made themselves babies and begged the government to be their father and mother.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

What Meaneth This Bloodshed?

Words fail me in the aftermath of #WestgateAttack. I suspect that others like me are dumbstruck with shock. Yet I am a mere armchair witness - I can't begin to comprehend what the survivors, the injured and the bereaved are going through.

Nevertheless my immediate gut feeling is that my country Kenya has been irrevocably dragged into a new chapter, a more advanced chapter than "August 7 1998," both chronologically and substantially. Things will never be the same again. Parallels with 9/11 are inevitable. Just like 9/11 opened a new chapter in the history of the United States, so did the violent Westgate mall attack proclaim a new era for Kenya, by adding a new literal and ideological battlefield to the heap of issues on our plate. Historical injustices and current affairs at home and abroad were enough of a headache before this; even the sweeping of these peeves under the rug must now be put on hold to address the incarnate nightmare.

Before, vague and formless ghosts of insecurity and crime haunted the Kenyan psyche. Now appears a brazen demon called Terrorism, which, in the Westgate Attack, has shattered the average mwananchi's previous mental threshold of conceiving the limits of gratuitous violence. For a few hours at least, the field of play was thrown wide open, the rules turned out to be obsolete, the law of the jungle prevailed.

It's a bad look, it won't sit easy in the mind. Kenyans are already united in grief. The damage is done, the trauma inflicted, closure will surely be sought, beside assurances that worse is never to come. Outrage and indignation, recrimination and retribution must surely lie ahead. Patriots will hector and the media will broadcast it. The sum of it demands some type of efficacious reaction. Somebody will step forward to provide it.

Such an odyssey once already embarked on will unavoidably chart a course for generations yet unborn, a legacy whose meaning we would do well to search out early.

What does this mean? Only time will tell.

Friday, September 13, 2013


Too often during recovery, the survivor of a traumatic experience ends up nursing the pain instead of the person. The same applies to grudges and grievances: by constantly mulling over the turn of events and the outrage of victimization, one keeps a bygone event alive, it loops endlessly in memory.
Granted, certain injustices, heartbreaks and betrayals do not lend themselves to easy forgetting. However, at the same time, "A man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well." 

Fortunately, time heals old wounds. It wouldn't take so long if the wound was left to heal, rather than poked, peeled and prodded at every idle moment. Far better for the soul's health to forgive all wrongs as soon as possible, if not immediately. Whereas many there are that would never humble themselves and ask for forgiveness, nevertheless for such I find that forgiveness works like a text message: once sent, it hangs in the air until the intended recipient turns on their cellphone.

To err is human, to forgive divine. Indeed. Our Lord Jesus Christ, even whilst he was being crucified, prayed for his mockers, accusers and murderers. "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they are doing." And then He died, but when He rose again, He picked up that line of forgiveness right where He left off, by extending the gift of salvation to every sinner who believes in Him, washing away our sins in His own blood.

We couldn't find a better example if we searched all history.

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Slap in Time Saves Nothing

Once a slap is let slap, there is no purging it from the memory. It is violence, even if in microcosm. A slap may betray a halfhearted expedition towards someplace that’s anywhere between corporal punishment and barehanded, homicide-minded assault. Doubtless it is a decided abandonment of words as a means to exhaust or satiate wrath. A slap says to its victim that the regard in which they are held by the perpetrator is subterranean, nay, below sea level. An inevitable insinuation of spite accompanies a solid slap, not to mention flushed cheeks, hot ears and perhaps moist eyes - balancing tears.

But men who slap women are not to be encouraged, lest other injudicious barbaric habits gain the ascendancy in this alleged civilization we live in. Besides, all breeds of feminists are waiting in the wings, crouched amidst the foliage, poised to pounce upon whatsoever imprudent purveyor of “gender violence” may happen to pass by. Fade to black, then to a courtroom scene, in which the complainant delicately sobs “and then he slapped me!” so that an outraged hiss escapes the jury while a stern judge refuses to peel her withering glare off the malignant defendant. The man may swear the woman cornered him, invited the beating and insisted upon it, but it’s still defies the code of chivalry and runs afoul of a few constitutional clauses and plain old political correctness.

Yet all is not lost for such brutes. Certain ladies like “bad guys” who break every rule in the book. I always thought that this was a manifestation of “self-destructive tendencies,” but I finally understand: it’s the movies what’s done it. Far as I remember, mothers warn their daughters to avoid associating with such characters. But the movies portray them in leather jackets and slovenly shaves, to the backdrop of grating electric guitars trespassing on the limits of harmony. Or take the “gangsta rapper” character, whose gun and x-rated language are fashion accessories more than anything else, and a hip hop beat underlines the utter daring in his every swaggering step.

I’m not being flippant here. One recent high profile slap in Nairobi’s corridors of power merely coincided with similar events in the lives of somebody close to my heart. The parallels are however too many to bother narrating both of the tales. Let it suffice to say my buddy’s girlfriend spent an inordinately long time murmuring discreetly, and later laughing suspiciously and uninhibitedly, with a strange-looking bad boy in a dark corner. My friend, who had been stewing in his insecurities the entire time, waited passively some distance away while the apple of his eye had a merry old time with a ne’er-do-well. Eventually it turned out that while he brooded, he had also been preparing his palms for a sequence of hot slaps all the while. So loud were the slaps, and so fast did they succeed one another, that it is still a major scandal to this day among all witnesses and overhearers, and a bit of a relationship dampener to them both. But I’m advocating reconciliation.

The moral of the story is, bad guys are overrated and not worth slapping a woman over. In fact, there’s nothing worth slapping a woman over, even if she “deserves” it.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The surreal truth

The days would be comparatively prosperous if they merely dragged on uneventfully. For one, News Hour would then feature a clueless newscaster blinking sheepishly at the cameras. But nowadays even idly daydreaming of such a dull existence would be asking for too much: these are the last days. Every new day is “more last” than the previous one was; as darkness descends upon humanity, violence, wickedness and upheavals multiply, the drums of war acquire a decidedly martial beat.

The hour is late. The nations are angry, only getting angrier at themselves and one another. I can feel it within my country and outside it as far as America: populaces tenuously straddling crumbling internal fault lines, while maintaining aggressive postures towards other nations. Everything is poised for an all-encompassing conflagration masked as competition for resources.

Certain friends I admire give me hope that all is not lost. These people remain principled, placid, positive and inspiring in this cruel world. But I fear for them: they are liable to become victims of the predatory wickedness that roams the earth today, a heated zeal whose wrath does not discriminate between innocent bystanders and belligerents. Even now the destroyer works to whip up chaos against the children of GOD. But such has ever been their baptism of fire, since the time of Abel’s murder, through the crucifixion of Jesus, and the martyrdoms of saints to the time of the end.

The truth is that majority of the world has believed a glut of lies – the wine of Babylon’s fornication. The clean air of truth cannot mix with the smog of lies and yet be breathed in healthfully. Look, many pastors would have us believe that one can be homosexual and be in GOD’s good books at the same time. That’s called strong delusion. Those who stand for truth eventually disagree irreparably with the established order. Being unwilling to compromise with the devil, they get labeled “intolerant” etc. And then the civil government oversteps its bounds to prosecute such conscientious believers (read religious persecution). But this is the inevitable consequence whenever the laws of GOD and the laws of men contradict. Men will compel the observance of their laws, but GOD values free-willed obedience and liberty of conscience.

Suffering is a constant for all. It is better for us to suffer for doing good than to suffer for doing wrong. If history teaches us anything, it is time for humanity to stop and examine our ways, for individuals to look around them and ascertain which side they are standing on. GOD certainly requires it of each of us, at least while we have His Word within our reach and eyes to see. And it is up to individuals to do this for themselves.

As wickedness continues to part ways with simple decency and common sense, every other day convinces me that we are living on borrowed time. It has been GOD’s grace to give us extra time to seek Him and repent. But the world is fixed in its ways, the world is mad, lost, sick and naked; yet proud, stubborn, unwilling to go to its Healer and be healed for free. The patient refuses to admit that he is mad. Won’t the Healer at length surrender such a headstrong patient to his beloved Babylonian drunkenness?