Archive for November, 2011


Kenyan Facebook was über cool till one day decentralization took place. The cool kids moved onto twitter and the un-cool ones subsequently took over Facebook. It’s alright for people to move on, I mean MySpace is so 5 years ago, same with wearing the made in China high waist-cotton-trousers. However it wasn’t graceful for the kids who took over FB to turn an urban fable into a shagzmodoz phenomenon, hence it’s new pet name, Mukuru kwa Zuckerberg (MKZ). The new personality came with a lot of changes but the most outstanding had to be the MKZ Language.

It’s a breath of fresh air having to give that fly ass brother your number. You are waiting for that call. At least on that text message. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Then, it finally comes, the text! “Hae supuu, itwas gewd 2c u, xaxa wen kan we mit agen? Is lyk u fell 4fm heven.” Now these are the kind of things that render instant headaches! It beats me how such a fly, big, all strong and handsome man can write like that. I mean, if you can’t write to save your life, how can I trust you to save mine? This is my story set about a year ago. I don’t usually pursue on conversations that began on the MKZ Language platform but because this ‘strong tall, dark & handsome man’ was the brother to a friend (who FYI could text in correct English- ama baba alitembea?) I hoped that something would change overnight. Nothing did. After about 96 hours of gruesome texting, I was caught between having to ask him just why he wrote like that and most importantly who taught him to write like that because it had turned me off long before! However, I didn’t have to as our vibes just cooled down easily like the heat on ash after a fire.

His brother, my friend, then told me he said I was too much of a ‘Barbie’ for him, the English and all. Guys, If you are going to stop chasing after a girl because she writes grammatically correct, then you are a certified loser!

Looking for a man who can write is rather petty because you essentially want a man who can provide love, support, advice, care and respect et al but stop right there, MKZ Language enters the dating game as well as the professional world. I have seen a couple of emails in it. I was once going to some dude’s office to pick some tapes and he sent me a text saying ‘Get me a pack of DVDs at D Stalls’. I spent approximately 20 minutes looking for the shop called D stalls. Nobody seemed to know where that shop was located. On calling the dude, he said, “No, I meant THE stalls, any stalls around the office”. So I went on to ask him why he couldn’t have text with ‘THE’ stalls and he said, “Because these days people text how they speak.” Dude please, who says D stalls? Maybe Vybz Cartel, if you ask me.

Nway what good is a man who will embarrass me if he has to write a joint letter/email or just documents on our behalf? Worse still, having to re-read your texts three times to comprehend the message kills the gist of the intended excitement by the sender, so no need. I will not even go into reading Facebook and Twitter messages in the MKZ Language, I just ignore. Well, I have concluded that a man on MKZ Language needs simple schooling. I have only three steps:

1. Do not write the likes of xaxa, hae or bae to mean sasa, hi or bye.

Only imbeciles mean to use short form but in the end use a wrong form of the same number of words. Why are you saving on words anyway? You need to subscribe to the Safaricom unlimited text messages, it’s only 10 bob a day. Texting via Airtel is a bob. There is whatsapp and BBM services so what is your problem? Well twitter 140 characters is a problem, this calls for genius. Or just what are you up to?

2. Why divide your attention?

Colour is a good thing. It can also be a confusing thing when you try to add it the wrong way. When you add the MKZ Language into your general communication, do not expect to be taken seriously in a professional save social platform. Having to think of writing gewd, instead of good obviously had to take away your attention. What you fail to realize is that when the recipient opens that text message, their attention is divided as well. Instead of the text being the messenger, it becomes the subject.  You are however allowed to use other unorthodox languages only if you are the inventor, for who knows? You might be granted some bonus points for creativity!

3. Base your communication on the basic need.

It’s the FB era. What your friend writes is deemed as cool. You don’t want to be left behind as the fashion train takes off. However, if you care jack about communication look at the BASIC need. Otherwise, many probably want to show off those annoying short hand words, for whatever reason i will never know. But if you want to just say goodnight, write it like that. What is gwednit or gu9t?

I think it’s perfectly alright to exploit short hand through the use of certain abbreviations like FYI, SMH, LQTM, LOL ETC. My four-year old nephew just learnt how to write. Sweet litu-man, I am yet to receive his letters … Hope they are good. So guys, just so you know; a real woman wants a real man but he first has to learn how to write grammatically correct i.e. if he hasn’t already :-)

A woman’s prayer …

She wants a strong man, but more importantly she needs one who will be hands-on while building a home. She doesn’t want to be alone in the house so she prays for a companion. In accord he should feel blessed under the union, and not oppressed by anything. He shouldn’t live by any code other than marriage.  A woman wants a man who will encourage her when she is down. When she is depressed, he will pick her up, lift her spirits up because he knows that she is an empress. It’s true that sometimes she is a mess, but she still prays for a good man.

She wants a friend, but more importantly she needs one who will lend her some empathy. She will be looking for a listening heart when she is hurt. She wants a friend whose dreams keep dancing close to hers. A friendship that is guided by the deep enhancing light of telepathy. A path into the sixth-sense, one that is blind to all humanity other than two acquaintances. A woman wants a friend who will help her pick up pieces of life, and bind them to complete the jigsaw despite the strife. It’s true that she hides a lot of things, but she still prays for a good friend.

She wants a child, but more importantly she needs one who doesn’t lie. She is hoping to have an honest child, in addition one who is respectful. One who will cherish the nest under which a family’s tradition is built.  A woman wishes for a beautiful child who will grow into a responsible and dutiful adult. One who will make their dreams possible through the hustle and flow of life. When she is old, low and stressed by the bustle of the city, the child will be her support system. She might seem uninterested but she prays. A woman is a stem off that branch of life, so how can she not pray for a child?

She wants salvation, not from the funny armies. She needs God. Like a nation, she needs His blessings and direction. She is looking for a relationship with the Almighty. She pleads for one that will leave her in reparation for any sin committed. She doesn’t want to be omitted when the heaven’s doors finally open. So she lets God do the tally, but in the mean time she intends to live a daily Christian life. The wrath of a woman has made her hate, even slide from her faith but that only means that she is human. She still prays for forgiveness.

She wants to protect Mother Earth, but more importantly she needs to connect with her. She feels the wind on her skin; this leads her to speak to the desert. It says that the world is an art that only she can understand, because she brings life into the standstill. She prays for a safer world, one that is guided by peace and equality, one that is led by wise men of tranquility and no discrimination. A woman prays for a world free of criminals but liberals. She is just a citizen with no power, but she still prays for a nation that will empower all mankind.

She is a WRITER …

She is not just a writer but a fighter. She will put down her tools of trade to protect you. On your birthday she will walk around town just to get you that gift. On a bad day she will be the one to lift your spirits up. When you’ve had a good day, you will want to share with her. That’s because she is a rare kind of ear. She listens with her heart. Then she writes with an art christen by a certain grace.

She is not just a writer but a fighter. She will be next to you even when you are a dog. That’s because besides the ‘mess’, God knows that she still sees the man inside you. Like a beautiful prose she will serve you delicacies at home. Unlike a lone lover she will have various specialties for you. Take for example, she is like a poem. Ready to give you little measures of her goodness set to leave you breathless.

She is not just a writer but a fighter. She will read you like a good book, cook you good food, $#@! you real good, fix your hood, tuck you in bed, all that and still keep her cool. See she is like a good storyline, she keeps building up on her profile. The plot will get thicker if you will underline the most important phrases. She is not a phase or a face for that matter so watch the thin line. She is the writer and you are the library. Let her stock the books!

There is a building at the well-groomed Kifaru gardens disguised as a house. Inside lies a recording studio, a music cum book library and even picturesque collections of Eric Wainaina’s musical journey. This was the venue for the listening party of his third album titled ‘Love and Protest.’ On that cold night, bonfires lit up the garden’s surrounding. Inside the ‘house’ was a different kind of fire fuelled by three special rooms separated by distinct sounds and tags on each door labeled, ‘Love’, ’Protest’ and ’Groovy’.

Up and about the partitions, guests sampled songs from ‘Love and Protest.’ Notable were groovy tracks like ‘Orutu special,’ a song bordering between the benga genre-fused with the orutu (a traditional Luo one stringed fiddle), this one made us (Wanjeri and I) dance at the first listen. The song ‘Mariana’ was harmonious and sweet sounding akin to the echo of saying that name. Ok, say ‘Mariana’… shhhhhh, hear the echo? Certainly a certified feel-good jam! (alliteration naaaayo! #ReasonsWhyIownThisBlog :-)

Do you remember when the Wainaina-Factor shun corruption using the simple yet brilliant hit song ‘Nchi ya kitu kidogo’? Well the muse behind all that seems to be intact as if frozen by time and now ready to melt again. At the center of his compositions are messages gunning for reform. That Wainaina- Factor has now given birth to the song ‘Revolution’ which was written to give a voice to the disempowered. “There is a Che Guevara saying that goes, ‘All rebellion comes from a place of Love’. Like the rest of Kenyans, I was saddened by the post-election violence. In trying to make sense of the sad occurrence I realized that people protest where there is no love, and that said; protest is just part of patriotism. At the end of the day, after voting we are still one despite the different tribes,” said Eric.

‘The road’ is a song collaboration between friends. Eric and Senegalese world star Baaba Maal who enriched ‘Love and Protest’ by adding distinct sounds of mbalaax, a stamp of a Senegalese music style. “From the look of things Eric isn’t going anywhere. In fact, he seems to be all over the place of late,” that would be Africa’s testimony is she would talk. Eric most recently graced the Umoja festival in Maputo. Just weeks before that he was among a lineup of African musicians performing at the Arts Alive festival in Johannesburg, S.A. In a fateful twist that came to be Eric’s opportune moment to meet Nigerian born songbird Asa, who was also present at the festival. “Love and Protest was actually ready in 2008 but when I heard Asa, her sounds gave me  a whole new inspiration, enough to have stalled the album till now. Meeting her this year was amazing and I hope to work with her on a song in the near future,” asserted the multi award-winning singer, actor and playwright.

So, why don’t I usually get loads of such exclusive invites to listening parties? Kenyan musicians, iko nini? I warmed up to the whole idea and loved the execution, I enjoyed it! Eric backed by Aaron Rimbui on the keyboard and The Mapinduzi Band even gave us a live performance at the ‘house,’ Shukran to y’all! S/O to Nanjira.

BONUS: Love and Protest is Eric’s first self-produced album. It covers elements of reggae, benga and R & B. Eric & The Best Band in Africa launched the 14-track album in DEC 2011. I got my copy, get yours! For more information please visit ericwainaina.com

Too DEEP?

If your thoughts are in too deep that you can’t speak, what’s the need anyway? Just look at me in the eyes, let your pupils say what your heart feels. Let them dilate to the tempo of your heart’s beats per minute. That way I can’t hear you but I can see what you feel … Or are you afraid that I am too deep? Give me the palms of your hand and I promise I will read you through.

If it’s true that you are looking to grow old with somebody, I should let you know that I am that somebody. Hold my hand and don’t let go, or wait! Are your thoughts in too deep that you can’t speak? Kiss me you fool or you will never know how good it feels. I saw you in my dreams wandering by the sea like a lost soul. If you are drowning in your silence, let my lips resuscitate you.

 

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