That Night a Human Being Died

That night they came
carrying pangas, rungus, mishale, ithanwa;
It was dark;
we were listening to Citizen FM;
we were 175km away from where
the main action was taking place;
we were waiting for Mr. Kivuitu to announce the results;

That night we the young boys were out by the dukas;
the older boys, our dads, our uncles
were all shouting Haki yetu!! Haki yetu!
Then suddenly we heard;
a scream, feet shuffling, people running all over;
Ua!! Ua!! Huyo!! Ua yeye!!
Kamau uka naguku!!
Then we started running

That night we all huddled up inside the church;
we had ran here for safety;
there were all kinds of people but mostly women and children;
I was with my shosho,
she has been my dad and mum since I was 5;
when mami and dadi passed away of AIDS
(because we couldnt afford ARV’s)
but ghafla bin vu we heard a rowdy crowd approaching;
they spoke in strange tongues;
then moto mkubwa ukawaka;
I only heard, “Wachome wote!! Wachome wote!!”
Then I fainted because kuliwa na moshi mingi;

That night
a human being died;
Kamau died. Otieno died.
Cherotich died. Wepukhulu died. Kimeu died.
He was my dad. She was her mum. He was his sister.
They were my brothers
That night a human being died.

Every day I ask “why her? why him? why them?”;
The waheshimiwa only sit and talk about justice and the hague;
Concepts and places I dont elewa and jua;
I only want the truth,

Tell me jirani yangu
why did you choose to act this way?
I only need you to admit and say you did it and that you are sorry.

Though it pains me every day;
To see you,
To see those hands of yours
that are stained with my next of kin’s blood;

I only need you to admit to the truth;
Then I will forgive you.
This is my justice. Give me truth;

Let us reconcile. Let us dialogue.
Let’s give forgiveness a chance.
But remember that night
a human being died.

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To a Warrior

I write this to a fellow warrior,
One not afraid to draw his sword to protect his dreams.
Warrior, Guard your sword upon your side,
O mighty warrior, clothe yourself with splendor and majesty,
In your majesty ride forth victoriously!

Why them? Why her? Why him?

My heart can’t stop asking? I received the news in much shock;
I wish I was there, to sit by your bed and hold your hand;
To watch you sleep and be there when you open your eyes;
To tell you, It’s okay and you will be fine…,
Sad news have a way of startling one back into reality;
Life is precious;

Many are the things I take for granted;
a sound mind, no pain, no white hospital ceilings to watch all night and
wander ‘when is morning coming by?’; For my family, friends and loved ones,
to come visit with me, to laugh with me, to pray with me, to try and cheer me up;
Why them? Why Her? Why Him?

I am far away, but all of you are in my thoughts and prayers;
As the night slowly passes away, I silently stand and stare at the stars;
Wishing that you would hear me whisper a prayer for you;
For your quick recovery;
For nothing I long for than to behold your smile,
your cheerfulness, your optimism for life, your enthusiasm …,
I am glad that He still semas; I am who I am;
I pray that joy and peace will flood your thoughts, mind and heart;
I know it’s a hard time for you now, but I want you to know;
I am says, I am….
Why them? Why Her? Why Him?

UoN Should Embrace Going Green!!

Today in most parts of the world, people are coming to the shocking realization that climate change and global warming is real and its happening fast even as our most distinguished leaders and diplomats seat in air-conditioned rooms debating about these two phenomena. From the rising sea levels, the drying up of glaciers in the Arctic, the shrinking of rain-forests in the Amazon basin, to the increasing extreme weather and expansion of deserts. As of today the term ‘global warming’ is becoming a household term used and understood by even children in primary school.

Most governments today are gearing their efforts and finances towards clean energy, drastic cuts on green house gas emissions and other sustainable uses of energy. These efforts that have been dubbed ‘Going Green’ have become the buzz words and common parlance among leaders and the Wangari Maathai’s of our time. Our very own Kenya was wise enough to join the wagon by signing up for the Kyoto Protocol that was the instrument that was designed to prefect nations into embracing initiatives that would mitigate the threat of climate change and global warming. In this blub I would like to propose a few thoughts and proposals that I think if UoN were to embrace, we would be able to contribute our drop-in-the-bucket-efforts in the fight of preventing further global warming and climate change.

First and foremost I would like to thank the ICT department of our campus for embracing e-technology and for the promises from our admin that soon there will be installed a wireless network on campus. Yani this is great news and the likes of Martin Luthers “I have a dream!” I am very happy that soon UoN will join the rest of the world in enjoying faster, reliable internet access through the adoption or installation of hot spots on campus. It’s quite a shame that other campuses like K.U. have already beaten us at this, but I am glad that our admin has risen to the occassion. (Lakini I can’t understand fully why our fellow students from Juja constituency decided to bring down all the civilization efforts that Prof. Mugenda had brought to their campus. I elewa it was frustration and injustice but there are other means to vent out and claim haki yenu.) Any ways, that’s a story for another day.

I strongly believe that the installing of wireless hot spots on campus will benefit the entire campus and have a great advantage to the Going Green Initiative. One advantage is that as a campus we can reduce more use of paper and save the trees by doing most of our stuff on line. Have you ever gone to the Registrar’s offices on 3rd floor of Ghandhi Wing? Have you ever seen how much piles and piles of papers the staff there have to go through in order to get your request for your academic records. I am sure all the UoN alumnis feel me about this. Imagine if all the data in that office was online? Imagine if you did not have to go through the grueling sight of having to go to the office and meet the not-so-nice staff who work there? For the admin, I am hoping that this will speed up efficiency in servicing the student body. I think this is a great opportunity for the admin to try and utilize e-service systems. For example, SWA can allow students to book for their rooms online and save us the humiliating push and shove (at some broken windows) on reporting day and the feuds that develop from the whole agonizing experience, as every student tries to claim their spot to be served first. My point is that, it can be very time saving for both the students and the staffs when students have the opportunity to check for our academic results online as well as booking our rooms prior to reporting on campus.

Another way that I see we can cut on using paper and save the trees, is if all students and faculty would devotedly embrace using the UoN’s webmail facility. Ebu imagine if our lecturers would allow us to do our term papers on soft copy and hand them in on-line instead of all the papers we waste by printing them out. Take my case, I am a Political Science major and there are like maybe 200-400 of us per year. In a sem we may be given a term paper which is supposed to be 15 pages. First I usually write a rough draft on an A4 foolscap then I type on a computer, then print it out. What if all I had to do was just to type it on my MS-Word program then after I maliza, I e-mail it to Prof. Nying’uro or Lecturer Jonyo. Then he would just receive it on his e-mail, open it with his Word processor, mark it, make his comments using the Track changes feature on most MS-Word 2007 programs and then either send me back with my grade on it or post my results on-line. Imagine that!! (I acknowledge though that as of now the uni is doing well so far on this point, since most of us can access our records through the SMS facility)

Another way is that we can do all the publicity of our events on-line.You will agree with me that on campus we have so much paper posters which not many people even care to read. You will also agree with me that today on average, many students and faculty alike are on their phones every other 5-10 minutes, checking mails, changing facebook or twitter statuses etc. So my proposition would be that with high, fast internet access we can use the UoN website where we have a campus version now (even though it looks like Facebook-though we really hongera the guys who came up with the idea), and use our campus e-mail to send event updates/info, the lecturers could send us electronic materials or assignments. Trust me this will save us not only time but also resource as we embrace the Going Green wagon. This I believe would be a new face for UoN even as we boast of becoming “ A World Class of Excellence” and again with the coming in of the fibre optic cable in Kenya, this would come at a cheaper cost for the admin.

One last idea that I have come to learn about is that the university can decide to generate energy through a clean energy technology. The concept of the technology is that energy can be generated from pressure created by footsteps. Now in UoN we have the advantage that we have an ample resource of footsteps walking from place to place on campus. Take an example of a place like Taifa Hall or the DSTV area before the Library. On a daily basis there are like over 2000 students and faculty who walk into Taifa Hall or JKML library. So the idea is that under the pavements there is a mechanism by which energy can be generated from the pressure created by footsteps. So ebu imagine all the energy that can be generated from all the people who walk by Taifa Hall or the Lib. I think if such a technology would be embraced by the university then we would be in a position to light up JKML and Taifa Hall with the energy generated by the students and faculty! Imagine how much money would be saved from switching from KPLC to this clean energy. This technology has worked in several places but it will cost a lot of money to be put in place but I think its worth in the long run to invest in such a clean energy initiative.

I jua my thoughts sounds kinda crazy and they kinda seem that they will cost a lot of money for the university. And I jua someone will come up with the argument that embracing e-technology will mean that most jobs for majority of the current UoN staff will be lost. I would argue that hata kama we may lose the manual jobs, imagine all the other jobs that would be created for IT guys who are probably UoN graduates too. Tena we can’t afford to just sit by and watch as our earth continues to warm up and the climate changing every minute. These are just my thoughts. What’s your hatua? Let’s Go Green!!

A tribute to Tom Mboya

You were first a Kenyan then a Luo

On a day like this,
he strolled majestically,
he squared up his shoulders
as he pushed and shoved on this street that
decades later would be named after him
He was first a Kenyan then a Luo

He was full of life,
full of so much optimism and hope
at only age 23 he had dined with Kings
he had not even seen the inside walls of a university
but out of a High School education and a civil servant job
he had travelled far and wide
out of the ‘black continent’ to the shores of the ‘enlightened world’
he had even marched with Dr. King
He was first a Kenyan, then a Luo

On this day, he walked to a pharmacy
Probably chatted amicably with the staff
In his usual charming and humorous way
He probably cracked a joke with one of the staff
about how that morning his radio would not tune to VOK
He was first a Kenyan, then a Luo

As he walked out to the busy street of Nairobi
To all the matatu honking, brakes screeching as a driver tries to pick a mteja
To the “Beba! Beba”, “mbao! mbao!, Westi mbao!”
A mkokoteni puller passes him not even looking at him
He smiled, he looked from left to right
he thought of how soon this busy and quickly crowding city
would soon become a world destination
with bustling sky scrappers and a metro subway
as he had seen in the streets of London and in
the streets of Washington DC
He was first a Kenyan, then a Luo

But ghafla bin vu, punde si punde
a shot was fired
people scuffled, screams rented the air
he first stood, looked at his own pool of blood
then fell down
He was first a Kenyan, then a Luo

Soon the nation learnt of it,
wait no! the whole world learnt of it like wild fire
from the white house folks, the folks at the Queens palace
to those in the farthest corner of Asia and Africa
they all mourned you as a father mourns his lost beloved son,
You were first a Kenyan, then a Luo

On the day of your final send off, it rained heavily
we don’t know if it was to wipe away our tears
or it was a sign from Him who gives life
that this was not the end of the revolution you began
You were first a Kenyan, then a Luo

As of today we hardly know who or why
the dream was cut short
we only have speculations and smalltime evidence
we had one Nahashon Njenga who was hanged in Kamiti
on charges of being the assassin
but that does not solve anything
the ‘big man”, probably lives amongst us
We mourn that Pamela Mboya joined you recently
but despite all we are glad that the revolution continues
If I may steal a line from your arch enemy
“Its not yet Uhuru”
You were first a Kenyan, then a Luo

Today I take time to mourn you son of Kenya
Pardon me, it is not befitting of me even to address you as so
because all of Africa and the world claims you
you were a true Pan Africanist
I take time to reflect on how if you were here today
your heart would ache at what has become of us
I beg that on whatever side of the purgatory you reside
may you ashe on behalf of our greedy leaders
on behalf of us Kenyans who have been blinded by
our Kikuyuness, Jaluoness or Luhyaness
You were first a Kenyan, then a Luo

Nkosi Si’ kelel iAfrkia (God Bless Africa)

Zulu
Nkosi sikeleli Afrika, malupaka mis-uphondo Lwa yo;
Yizwa imithanda zo yethu, Nkosi sikelela,
thina lu sapo Lwa yo

Chorus: woza moya woza moya woza

Oying, cwele Nkosi sikelela, thina lu sapo Lwa yo.
Morena bokola sechaba saheso,
ofedise dintoa le matso enye ho.

Seboloke (O Seboloke)
Seboloke morena (O Seboloke)

sechaba sa Afrika.
sebachaba sa Afrika

Ma kube njalo Kuthe kube kuna pakathi
Ma kube njalo Kuthe kube kuna pakathi

English
Bless; O God, our land, Africa,
so that she may waken from her sleep.
Fill her horn with plenty, guide her feet
Hear us, faithful ones.

Chorus: Spirit, descend, Spirit, descend, Spirit Divine.

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