Category Archives: R&R

Odds & Ends

My struggle to be”significant and articulate” continues.

Paying Tax

My sympathies are with Mr. Wesley Snipes. After spending the better part of 3 years trying to keep the taxman off his assets he will be spending the next three trying to keep the ax man off his ass. Now let’s see if just like every other rich white celebrity, he’ll be on his merry way after a couple of days after a slap on the wrist. Somehow … I don’t think so. Blade will now have mundane things like dropped soap becoming a lot less mundane.

Merus Hoyee

Looks like Kiraitu Murungi and the Njuri Ncheke must be doing something right for the Meru Community. I was amazed to see this ad on my gmail


My Man Wally

I don’t read Dilbert for Dilbert. Wally is just the guy!


The Age Of Innocence

30 years ago this comic panel would not have raised any eyebrows


Barber Shop

I earlier today cut my hair. This may seem fairly mundane to you but it is a big deal to me because the last time I cut my hair was two presidents and a prime minister, one decade and 3 elections ago, in the last millennium. Yes sir, I last sat in a barber’s seat in 1997. Vox populi has been split between disbelief and mirth, weighted heavily in the direction of the latter. I must confess since the haircut to feeling a tad lethargic.



I’m thinking of getting a nice 21 speed mountain bike. This is Kenol Koinange Street. Kenol, BTW, consistently have the highest fuel prices in Nairobi, the greedy doofi. Only gunpoint can inspire me to fuel at a Kenol/Kobil


Like Midnight Mugithi I find the Hummer a particularly ugly monstrosity that only a mother could love. The other day I found myself driving behind one of those eyesores. The reaction from folks can only be accurately described in film



I came across this driving school the other day while en route to visit the missus. So fascinated was I by the sign I clean missed the turnoff. It certainly looks like an interesting establishment. If only MPs would pay a visit!


Groan Of The Day

Religious women have no business making coffee. The bible clearly says Hebrews.

Roberta And The Garage Part I

[Special Shout Out to Salome]

Unlike most of my brethren, my interest in cars begins and ends in their exterior. We can debate whether the VW Touareg indeed looks better than the BMW X5, or whether the S Class looks better than the 5 Series.

Once you pop the bonnet you are pretty much dead to me. I know the general principle  of how a petrol engine works vis a vis a diesel engine, but after that I don’t give a flying rat’s ass precisely which bits do what. I cannot tell you a V8 from a V 12 from a VW. I cannot tell you the difference between mineral water and battery water. I don’t know a piston from a pistol.

Petrol station attendants across Nairobi can attest to some wild haired, wild eyed feller in a RVR who after filling his tank waves absently in the general direction of the front of his car, pops the bonnet and cheerfully gives vague instructions to “Have a look see.”


This fly by the pants approach invariably is doomed to failure and this Monday Roberta began to automatically switch herself off whenever I shifted to a lower gear. As you can imagine it is a very merry drive coasting down the highway with a car that is off.

As Kenyans, the definition of a split second is something we can claim as our own.It is the period between something going wrong with your car and the jackass behind you letting loose with his horn.

Kenyan motorists did not disappoint.Very sure that I have a death wish and that I am switching my car off deliberately at inopportune moments, like negotiating a roundabout, they let loose with their horns and flashing lights.

Being a man committed to fellowship with his fellow man, I did not want them to feel as if I was ignoring them. I did my best to respond to each irate hoot. FIDA, Maendeleo Ya Wanawake and Maendeleo Ya Wanaume will be glad to know I did not discriminate. My right arm worked overtime. If you hooted I saluted.

But I am but a human being and cannot attend to all of you at once.

So if you were hooting at a stalled green RVR on Monday morning and somehow did not receive acknowledgement, my apologies. Here it is:

In case you missed it

After much gymnastics and coaching, and close to 7,000 one fingered salutes, I limped Roberta into the garage closest to the office.

Friendly Lady: What seems to be the problem
M: (Alighting from Roberta and massaging sore right arm) Keeps going off. I think I need more battery acid.
Friendly Lady: You mean an engine tune up?
M: Right. What did I say?
Friendly Lady: Err …
M: While you’re at it, have a look at the Mzima, GWs, amniotic fluid …
Friendly Lady: What?!
M: What did I say? I mean springs, bushes, battery fluid,  and all that jazz.
Friendly Lady: Aha. No problem

Still massaging my sore arm (sticking it out the windows repeatedly in salute is harder than it looks) I strolled to the office and an hour later I was summoned to receive the report of things wrong with the car.

Listening to the friendly lady talking took me back to days of yore, standing in the hot sun listening to the headmaster going on and on and on and on like 3 energizer bunnies. Reading from a sheaf of papers stapled together, she listed at length all the things wrong with Roberta. Finally, after several breathless minutes, she was done, and then she and the 3 mechanics looked at me expectably.

“Oho,” I told them finally. “Well,” I continued philosophically, “Let me look on the bright side. Did you find anything wrong with the radio?”

“The radio?” Friendly lady said. “No. The radio’s fine.”

“And the body? Do I need a new body?”

“No, no!”

“Excellent. At least there’s something in that doesn’t need to be replaced.”

I then pointed to a bump and some scratches on Roberta’s flank, the results of a disagreement she had with a wall. I take full responsibility, and i admit i was responsible for goading Roberta into trying to park in a very narrow inclined parking between two solid walls, with the solid experience of a single driving lesson. Needless to say, Roberta lost the argument to the wall.

At this point the boss, a gentleman who can trace his ancestry to the Indian subcontinent stepped forwards and after much holding of the chin and murmuring to himself wrote me a quote.

Panel beating: 7,500
Front plastic mounting: 8,500
Front door painting: 8,500
Rear door painting: 8,000
VAT: 5,200
Net total: 32,500

Santa Claus could have taken lessons from me on how to laugh heartily. The mechanics and their bosses watched in disbelief as a son of his father laughed until tears rolled down his cheeks. Finally I wiped the tears and addressed my new friend.

Cannabis sativa
Cannabis in full bloom

“My son, cannabis sativa is not your friend. Really. It is bad for you. First of all, why does it cost more to paint the rear door than it does the front door? And secondly,The only time I’ll pay 35k for panel beating is if you are panel beating my personal Aircraft Carrier. Until then I suggest you take that quote, sprinkle it with chili, a bit of cheese and some tomato, roll it up tightly, season it delicately with pepper and aromat, turn that bad boy sideways and shove is straight up [THUNDER STRUCK AT THIS POINT], m’kay?”

“So,” friendly lady said, “About the repairs…”

“Ah yes, about that. You want me to get two rear shocks, each at 12,500?”

“Er … yes, those are the best.”

“Indeed. And apart from making my car feel like a Roman chariot, do these shocks do anything else? Play piped music? Solve Sudoku riddles? Transform into Autobots? Do the crossword? Sing ballads?”

Kwik Fit’s Magic Shocks

“No,” she said grudgingly.

“Then let us revise that preposterous figure.”

After much discussion I left them to work. They had promised to be done by close of Monday but i told them “take your time, my friends. Take your time. I will collect Roberta tomorrow.”

And the following day I did collect Roberta, who was even freshly washed.

And less than an hour later I was parked on the side of Mombasa road, turning the air blue for miles and startling birds away from their roosts as I expressed myself firmly at considerable length to the Friendly Lady.

Because the garage had completely wrecked Roberta’s engine … CONT’D

Technorati tags: , ,



 Lupe Fiasco & Jill Scott – Daydreams

Awards 2006

Person Of The Year

He may have passed away but my man of 2006 is David Munyakei. Not because of anything he actively did in 2006 per se but because of the example he showed us, that no matter how inglorious, no matter how thankless, no matter at what cost we should always do the right thing. Because that is the only way we will change our country.

In this era of greedy, self seeking politicians of loose integrity and even looser morals, David Munyakei is a shining example to all of us of what it means to be a good patriot and a good man.

Rest In Peace.

Ass Of The Year

Without a doubt this goes, yet again, without contest to the Kenyan Politician. A more thoroughly deceitful, conniving, lying individual cannot be imagined. When not agitating strongly for increments of their own salaries they are orating from raised platforms calling us idiots, giving us pompous advice about how we should work hard and continuing to sow the seeds of nepotism and tribalism that further divide this country.

Ladies and gentlemen, may you all take a long walk off a short pier.

Special dedication to MP Paddy Ahenda who told stunned Kenyans that women actually mean yes when they say no

Foot In Mouth

John “The Snake Charmer” Michuki has the dubious distinction of winning this one, romping home in first, second and third position

  1. Organizing and sanctioning the ludicrous raid on the Standard Newspapers and KTN offices
  2. Having the temerity to tell Kenyans (who employ him and pay his handsome salary) that if they play with snakes they had better prepare to be bitten
  3. Suggesting that the Kamba’s only occupation is dancing

Surprise of The Year

Maina Kamanda has been a pleasant surprise. Being elevated to a full Minister has done that gentleman a world of good. He no longer expresses himself in articulate Homo Habilis. He now walks upright most of the time and no longer peppers his grunts with speech. Quick on the uptake, he now firmly resists the call of bear skins and inclines towards Savile Row suits

Windbag Of The Year

Winning handsomely by a mile is Musikari Gabriel Kombo. Cocks in the Kombo household do not crow. Nor do crickets chirp. Nor do mosquitoes whine. This is because when the master is home, his voice filtering through the curtained windows puts man and beast alike to immediate and very deep slumber.

Hot Airbag Of The Year

Head, shoulders knees and toes above the competition is Aaron “Indefatigable” Ringera. This man produces enough hot air to generate his own electricity. Several years later only traffic policemen have been charged in court.

Chocolate Teapot Cliche Of The Year

This distinction goes to the statement whose meaning is conspicuous by its absence. The finalists there year are

Government of National Unity“, from Messers Mwai Kibaki and co

Spreading Negativity“, from the travesty of Acolyte being kicked off the aggregator

Clowns Of The Year

For the second year running the Kenya Football Federation take this one again by a mile. The people involved appear to have a collective IQ of 1 (if you round off to the nearest whole number). Our soccer team has willing and talented lads but spectacularly incompetent officials that would have difficulty finding their own backsides with a torch and binoculars.

WTF Of The Year

Kiraitu Murungi, who was caught on candid camera tape trying to convince anti-corruption czar John Githongo to “ngo srow” so they could “ngo srow” on his matter is back in the cabinet.

And so is George Saitoti who seems to have Goldenberg tattooed on his forehead. So much for no sacred cows!

Information That Adds Least Value To Our Lives

The composition of the First Family. Kenyans quite frankly do not give a flying rat’s ass who the members of the first family are. Really! Will this be the year we get a press release divulging whether the first underwear are y-fronts or boxer briefs?

Woman Not To Cross Of The Year

Rachel Dawson

Groan Of The Year

Carolers with obsessive compulsive disorder performed this past Christmas

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle bells,jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle bells,jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle bells,jingle bells, jingle bells,jingle bells, jingle bells,jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle bells

Quip The Most People Didn’t Get

Try again! Which is Martha Karua’s favourite Series?


With regards to that meetup — those of us who were there can attest to this. My man Aegeus’ jeans were sagged so low that at every careless turn the guy made, people at the table would turn into werewolves! Boss, be careful!

Awards 2005

Outkast – GhettoMusick

Randomize IV

Mzalendo Buzz

Having mentioned in Wednesday’s Daily Nation has led to a flood of feedback that has certainly shown that there is keen interest in what Ory and I are trying to do.

Which is pretty much empowering Kenyans with regard to their own Government.

You have a right to know just how your MP represents you. You have a right to know how they voted in certain bills. You have a right to know how they express themselves. You have a right to know what sort of questions they ask on the floor. You have a right to know how government representatives respond to questions.

It is your right!

If there is one thing we’d like to become clear to anyone, everywhere it is that

Your representative

Works for you

and not the other way round

That having been said, a minor gripe here. It would be nice if newspapers checked their facts before they publish. Really.

  1. Ory is in fact a woman, and not a man as the story says
  2. Contrary to what the headline says, neither of us is in the United States, and we cannot imagine where the notion came from. One is not sure whether to be amused or annoyed at the notion that anything of substance must come from overseas

That last bit of disinformation forces me to now say, for the record, that I am NOT in the United States but am very much in Kenya. When I talk about events and issues in Kenya it is from first hand experience and not through proxy.

But as they say — publicity is publicity. If anything it will force us to up our game still more :)

Of Titles

President Kibaki has been at the coast over the weekend dishing out title deeds. Last week he was merrily doing this wearing a loud shirt that gave the impression to those who could not see him directly that he was wearing chain mail on a windy day.

Personally, I find the notion of  a President physically handing out title deeds a colossal waste of valuable time that could be better spent elsewhere.

Now, handling out title deeds, according to a distant relative who works for the Ministry of Lands, is clerical work for the most junior of officers. It is not like giving out a Doctorate.

It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that Baba Jimmy is scoring political points.

Who’d have thought that impending elections would drive the legendary lethargy out of our Leader!

Gangsta Nation

There was a shootout last Sunday. There are generally shootouts at one point or another in this country, but this one was special because it took place right outside my back gate, on the road I use to get to Mi Casa.

It was equally more special because it took place 5 minutes before my whistling person was strolling down the road wondering where the heck everyone was and why there was a crowd further down the road.

Let’s just say the 4 carjackers are having their names looked for in the Book Of Life

Charity And The Snake Charmer

A very angry and very determined Health Minister Charity Ngilu led a large group of equally angry women to the doorstep of Security Minister John “Python” Michuki to demand an apology to slights made to the Kamba culture and the Kenyan Woman.

I did not watch the news in full yesterday but from the little I could deduce, he had somehow found more room in what is turning out to be an ample mouth to put his foot in, with some choice remarks to her about her reluctance to join NARC-Kenya.

That Charity objected strongly was very clear. As he slithered out the back door of his office it was clear what his views on Charity were. Charity may begin at home but he was quite willing to leave Charity behind.

Pic Of The Day

Whatever this guy is thinking, I doubt it is pure and pious!

Randomize III

Barack Obama

Barack Obama, the Senator of the good State Illinois, made a tumultuous welcome to Kenya late last week. Everyone, and everything, from the man on the street, to livestock, to stray cats and dogs, to insects and grubs, to pond scum all the way down the politicians fell over (it/them)selves to see and shake the hand of the Senator.

Each time he has spoken, he has done so eloquently and intelligently. By virtue of his roots (his father was from Nyanza), Obama has a grandmother here, and he fondly refers to her very warmly as granny.

You can her the gears spinning in the grubby eyes of our politicians as they start to mentally trace their family trees looking for any live grandmothers, or ancient relatives that can fit the role.

Within a few weeks puzzled grandmothers, grandaunties and grandcousins will be receiving long lost potbellied relatives who will suddenly pop up at their doorways and insist on hugging them and calling them “granny”. Under the full glare of camera lights of course.


The SafariPod is a Kenyan one-of-a-kind hand-carved renewable

Are you the owner of a computer, a PDA, or, an iPod? Are you an Apple Computer fan? If so, SafariPod probably has a product that will make you smile… today, and every day. You see, SafariPod is the real thing: a true handmade crafts house. Not a single item here ever touches a machine of any type. Each art object here is not only useful and beautiful, it demonstrates the unique artistry of a specific Kenyan craftsman… the man who made it just for you with his bare hands.

The jury is still out on whether to buy this or not. (In every sense of the words)


Some guys met and decided that Pluto is no longer a planet. Don’t they realize that planets have feelings too?

Now millions of Malkiat Singh books have to be recalled and gameshows will forever be riddled with controversies when the question of how many planets comes up.


Google continue to astound me by the day. If you enter a search for “miserable failure” here’s what you get:

Hmm …

Yes, that’s Internet Explorer 7. Much as I’m a Firefox fan I’m not a fanatical yahoo. A test drive is in order. After all, a mind is like a parachute — it works better when open.

Airport Security

It’s jolly hard to get past airport security with nail clippers. And apparently now it’s impossible to board a plane with a laptop computer, or orange juice

But 1,000$ to the individual who can convince airport security to let him board with this sucker:

You can get one cheap at only 1,200$

More Google Fun (Hat tip Muthoni)

Googling “liar” also gets you some pretty interesting results:

Angie Stone – I Wish I Didn’t Miss You


Only in Kenya, I tell ye, only in Kenya!

The Kenyan Member of Parliament is the quintessential schmuck. Really. Politicians, in their true sense, have proven that even if they had only one leg they still would have nothing to stand on. 

I mean, take a cursory look at last week’s events. The very very same politicians who wanted constitution reforms no longer want any, and those who did not want constitutional reform suddenly want it!

I find it very hard very difficult impossible completely impossible to take a Kenyan MP seriously, from the tips of their pitchforks to the tips of their tails.

It is such displays that prove that the MP is no usual human being. You and I would feel very foolish, and would blush completely contradicting ourselves on national television!


Memo To President Kibaki

There is no bloody place in Kenya called Naikuru! And if there is, it’s not where you think it is!

Whoever is in charge of the Presidential Atlas is sleeping on the job. Or maybe the page is question was obscured by presidential Cerelacâ„¢

Question Of The Week

Just how many breaks have our extremely well paid MPs taken? 

WTF Moment of the Week

A week ago some university professors at some ubiquitous forum expressed sentiments to the effect that anti-retroviral drugs where a bad thing. Imagine listening with stunned amazement to someone who has studied for some 20+ years saying that: 

Anti-retrovirals are bad because people with HIV don’t look like they have the disease and are therefore dangerous.

This is without a doubt one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.

Pic Of The Day

India.Arie – I Am Not My Hair

Ask M II


If you could only give your children three things, what would they be?

– Thirst for knowledge
– Compassion for others
– Strong characters

In 20 words, give what you think is the best advice you can to anybody reading Ask M

Everything, no matter how complex, is made up of a bunch of simple constituents

Your reaction to seeing someone you love cry?

Acute distress


Would you consider living/working outside Kenya if presented with a phenomenal opportunity ( and for how long)?

Of course! But not indefinitely

Any place more appealing than others?

Somewhere with a beach. Like The Bahamas

Have you had/do you have political aspirations, and what office would you run for?

No aspirations. But if I did – Minister of Planning or Minister of Information & Communications

Are there any african leaders you think are doing a commendable job, and who would they be?

Paul Kagame. Dude is turning around Rwanda

(If we’re really nice) would you consider doing an ‘ask M’ more regularly – perhaps on issues around Kenya etc.. and less personal?

Sounds like a plan :)


Having Identified the electorate as the problem, what leadership style would you think would get the ‘assified fossils’ working?

If they were forced to account for everything they did, and all the decisions they made things might turn out differently.

What can we do to ensure a smooth changeover from the ‘assified fossils’, besides waiting for nature to take them from their seats?

The youth taking an active interest in leadership and politics. Right now there is a vacuum precisely because of this.

If you were the presidential adviser, how would you differentiate the government for political and economic prosperity – besides cleaning out the fossils?

Professionalism. Government should be run like a company, with the ethic of the company. Realizing that decisions have repercussions and ramifications. That resources that are spent come from somewhere, and must be accounted for. That officers exercising their duties must deliver results, and be accountable for each of their actions.


When did you shave your curly kit?Why did you shave your curly kit?

Continue reading Ask M II