Friday, April 11, 2014


You gotta give it to Vera Sidika. She has pioneered an industry, which is making millions without causing emissions. Well, harmful emissions. A sneak peek at the newspapers and blogs, and you will know exactly what I mean.
            Vera hogged the limelight as soon as P UNIT released the video, “U GUY”. Her derriere did make men go, “Whoa! U guy! Look at that.!”, accompanied by drools that would make the mouth of a bulldog dry up in envy.
            If Vera is to be believed, that video broke the glass ceiling for her. She now features in videos for not less than 400,000 shillings, lives in the same address as an MP and CEO, drives an X5, and wears weaves that cost as much as a Toyota Duet.
            Vera’s success story has earned her many admirers, haters, and more importantly, protégés. Now the internet is awash with pictures of Kenyans female behinds, all hoping to make it big. Some are bigger than Vera’s. Some rounder. Some have more cellulite.
            Suddenly the plus size has become the new slim. The fat girl is now phat. That booty, which was hitherto ogled at only by Silverscreen Obama and Sylvester Wanakhamuna from Western Kenya has become the SI unit for the “IT” woman, and with it millions.

            I do not know how many ways a human behind can make money. You have to ask the socialite, and believe what she tells you. It is an honest living, of pure genius, and worthy of an environmental award because the industry is fully Green.
            Ladies whose profiles say they are law students, medicine students, journalists and so on now want to do both booty and such conservative careers at the same time. I don’t know how that will work for them; have they thought about what all that nakedness will do to their brand? Yes they have. They call themselves ‘models’. It is you who perceives them as socialites. Never mind that brand is about perception.

            Kenya’s booty industry has great potential for growth. And its success has precedence. Look no further than Kim Kardashian. She is a multimillionaire, mixes with the high and mighty, is invited to major events where the likes of Jay Z, a business magnate and outstanding rapper, Oprah Winfrey, a media mogul, and Johnny Depp, a 5 stars Hollywood actor, attends. And what does she have to show for all that status? A sex - tape.
            So stop hating and start appreciating. If u got booty, flaunt it. Make money with it. Heck, hawk it. I am looking forward to the first annual Booty Exhibition/Open Day. And while we are at it, have KRA considered booty tax yet?
            Watch this space. After the booty industry is crowded, prepare for a more lucrative “accidental sex tapes” industry. You can’t make this stuff up.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Ferdinand Omondi: WHY I MISS THE VILLAGE

Ferdinand Omondi: WHY I MISS THE VILLAGE: I was last seen in the vicinity of my Rural home in 2010. I actually didn’t know it was that long until my shamba-boy ...


I was last seen in the vicinity of my Rural home in 2010. I actually didn’t know it was that long until my shamba-boy called me last month and told me to get him a torch- when I get there as I have planned this year. I reminded him rather curtly that the last time I was there I left him my own torch! That is when he laughed, rather amused, and told me, ‘Boss, do you know when you last came here? That was in 2010! That torch has seen a lot since then!’
Now, to stay away for so long until an electronic device you bought rests in peace, that has to be bloody long. More importantly, the significance of having a torch back in the rural areas reminded me of the many things I used to enjoy back in the rural areas, which town has deprived me of.
         You see, much of my rural home has stayed rural. And I mean rural. There some rural homes that comes fully equipped with cabro, electricity, Cable TV and even G4S. Goodness me, there is no difference when you leave your crib in the City and when you go home-save for the traffic jam! Ok if u call Thika or Kiambu shaggs I can’t really help you. Otherwise, Keep the rural areas rural for rurals’ sake! A change of environment needs to be a total solar eclipse, not a crescent moon!
And so, in the spirit or rural nostalgia, here are a few things I used to enjoy in Oyugis, which are now in the annals of Zilizovuma. No Thanks to civilization.
1.   Guavas.
This fruit is, or was, as common as houseflies in those rusty nyama choma shacks. We used to snack Guavas. At times, Guavas could have been breakfast, brunch, lunch, 4 o’clock tea..! It was free, and readily available. It grew every-where. We were never short of vitamin C.  The roughness of the seeds cleaned our mouths. In return, we became agents of guava germination and distribution- the guava seed is engineered to withstand the heat of your digestive sytem, so eventually when it comes out anywhere apart from a latrine, it will grow! I believe the birds were meant to spread the seeds this way, but in the village people tend be birdy. They divert to the nearest bush or farm when pressed..and drop it like it’s hot. And soon a seedling.
2.   Fetching water from the Wells
This was one of the chores women mostly did, but boys usually joined in, especially for the livestock. During the dry season, some wells would dry, and the search for the precious liquid would take us a li’l further. The mission was to fill a 200 litre drum. It meant balancing 20-litre jerrycans full of water in either hand, over as far as 1 or 2 kilometres, doing about six trips. It was physical education disguised as a chore. Until we bought a wheelbarrow.
         The joy of the trips lay in meeting the girls at the water point, where we would crack jokes, give one another ‘the look’ and the sharpest of boys would discreetly arrange for a ‘hook up’ later.

3.   Village Hook-ups.
Forget Facebook inboxes, Twitter DMs, Tujuane. These platforms have turned men into sissies, and women into very easy lays. There I said it.. In the old days the input to get a woman was worth a research paper. First you had to deal with public awareness, i.e. if you walked beside a woman, we would be aware that you are tuning her, and if she became pregnant, you would be the first suspect. So no one dared talk to a woman face to face. To chat a woman, boys would
a.    walk on either side of the road with the target, both looking ahead but the boys spewing lyrics frantically. Side by side would raise awareness. The girl would either be headed to the market or from the posho mill. After a few hundred metres of non-face-to-face negotiation, a deal may be struck.
b.   In case the pair was bold and dared to stop and talk, still little eye contact was made. The boys would be looking at some trees while talking, with occasional glances at the girl. The girl would be drawing portraits trees or maps on the ground with her feet.
c.    In town, or on market days, it would be time to impress. Dress smartly. Talk to her. Buy her a soda.. In the 80s a soda in the rural areas was a big deal; like Java Coffee or Creamy Inn Ice cream. Today a man sits down with a woman to have that coffee, in shags a boy would buy a girl a soda at a kiosk and watch her drink! No kidding. And believe me, it opened doors. Either way, if a deal was struck, we would have number 4.

4.   The Date.
Striking a deal was the easy part. Getting a girl to your crib was the hard one. Remember those days when dignity, social discipline existed? When every adult was a guardian over every kid? I lived in those days, albeit as a clueless 7-13 year old. Today the walk of shame is part of the weekend calendar. When it started the rule was you had to be out of a man’s house latest 8AM, or if u were ugly, before sunrise. Nowadays a girl shamelessly walks out at 2PM, neighbours watching knowingly from the balconies..but I digress.
     At home no woman walked openly out of a young man’s hut (we called it the ‘Simba’ in Luo Land) unless she was married to the guy . The Simba is first of all in your dad’s boma. There must be only one cock. Plus the awareness issue lingered. So what did we do?
We called it “Ong’ora”. A stealthy, night operation to get the girl out of her house, take her to the Simba, do your thing and get her back. A pre-determined signal would then be used to sneak her out, like throwing a small stone on the roof where she spends the night. If it was a grass-thatched house, a boy would stand at a strategic distance, and flash the torch once or twice as previously agreed. These signals must be done at an agreed time of the night. It had its risks, like drawing the attention of both the woman and her parents and brothers, or the pesky watchdog. Unforeseen circumstances included hailstorms, which would not only get u wet, but would render your stone signal useless. But when you pulled it off, it was totally worth it.

5.   DISCO
Do we even have disco anymore? Not in the manner I remember. In the village disco music was purely ceremonial. We danced in the rare parties, when the likes of Cadillux Disco, Omega One or Cobra 7 came calling. We danced during Christmas n the New year, often to Nyatiti, Orutu or my grandfather’s accordion. How I wish he passed me those skills; He was as good as Munishi, if not better.. Most commonly, we danced on the night after a funeral. We called it “Tie Dero”. Mercy Myra actually sang a song by that name. Tie Dero means by the granary, which was usually the place where the DJ would place his machines as we danced in open space.
     Tie Dero had its rules. Boys who went there had an option to dance, but had to pay to dance with any girl, hata kama umekuja na yeye. Girls had no option but to dance. All girls would be lined up in a row, and whoever had money would be charged to dance with them. This is how the DJ made his money. The charges were like mobile money tariffs; 2 shillings per minute, 50 cents for 20 seconds,.,, it depended on the DJ really, who would stop the music at any time and demand for whatever amount. The most popular girl would be the subject of an auction, and the highest bidder would dance until someone paid more. Of course some girls ended up in some Simba afterwards. But they would be home by 5.30.
We walked for kilometres in search of Tie Deros, often led by the sound of music filtering through the night winds, so we armed ourselves at night. It was therefore not unusual to see a man on the dancefloor, gyrating furiously, with his akala slippers in one hand and machete in the other.
There is no shortage of memories that made shaggs so nostalgic, including the 5-kilometer “strolls” in the evening with the boys. No wonder village boys are always so fit. Some of the practices have since died a natural death, like the Tie Dero, and the Ong’ora. We exported our brazenness to the rural areas and they too have “chanukad’. Often with disastrous results, because it remains a lot harder to buy a condom in the village kiosk than at the Late Night Pharmacy in town. Hospitality has also declined, largely because of the economy, but also because even in rural areas relatives and friends are growing more distant. No longer can you branch into any home and ask for drinking water. Neither will u always be welcomed with a calabash or Uji and plate of sweet potatoes at every home you drop by. Instead, when you’re from town, almost every acquaintance expects you to leave something behind for them - the boys, a 20 bob for chang’aa or marijuana, the men, a 50bob for the same, or more to get the vet. But I always look forward to leaving something for the women. It is always for a kilo of sugar, or medicine for the children; something constructive.
     I am going back to shaggs this year, even for a day. To take a torch to Okoth the shamba boy, to see how my livestock are doing, and to breathe the priceless fresh air.
     I am also looking forward to seeing my maternal grandmother and to explain why I am not married yet; and to politely decline the offers from my aunties to get me a wife – usually a well-behaved village girl, and a graduate of the village polytechnic.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


This is a long overdue post, but whoever said better never than late is a sore loser.
It is that time of the month, er, year. The buses are fully booked, and even Channia express has the guts to charge 1500-plus from Nairobi to Msa, up from 800 bob. By 24th Dec, it will be cheaper to fly to Mombasa!
Yes, many a Nairobian ‘worth his salt’, and those who have mastered the craft of saving, are headed down to Pwani for Xmas. It is a yearly phenomenon; much like the wildebeest migration. In Dec, people from the Coast head upcountry for xmas, while Nairobians and ‘others’ head down under. Little wonder then , that Onyango from Buruburu will be at the Kenyatta public beach, his preferred getaway, only to realize that Njoro the guy from the local is also there, snuggling with Hadija Waithera, and four other watu wa chama pia wako area! Nairobi essentially relocates to Mombasa at this time! Wanna try Mfangano Island?
But that’s beside the point! There is this group of people who will be coming to Mombasa si Pwani for the first time. These are the people this script is meant for. If you have never been to Mombasa, here is a quick guide on the places u might wanna visit, and a few do’s and don’ts. I have been resident here barely four months, so I am not an expert yet, but what the heck, this is only an introduction!

Here goes:
1.    Bella Vista: This is where 97% of party poopers, er, goers from Nairobi frequent. Don’t be surprised to find that ka-regular from Betty’s and Tribeka here, coz he/she too will be told about Bella Vista. It is located just off Moi Avenue, next to the famous Elephant Tusks where shagzmodos take pictures as proof that ‘nilikuwa Coast’ ( Pembeni is to Mombasa what KICC is to Nairobi, but without hovering photographers). Bella Vista has VERY GOOD music. DJ Bunduki is special.
2.    Casablanca: If Bella Vista is the Baptism,  Casablanca will be your official initiation. The two locations are only a 50-bob tuk tuk away. Casablanca comes with its unfair share of twilight ladies, who will stare you into submission. If you are the weak type, chapa chupa mbili kisha uhepe, ama utabeba! But the real secret of Casablanca is not the main bar, it is the inner Casanova Bar. For an extra 300 bob, strippers await you in Casanova. Another 300bob will usher you into Casanova’s V.I.P. section. And another 3000bob will lead you to a bunny-ranch-ish dungeon.         Watch out for their live show, which starts at about 2.00AM. That show is TRULY LIVE. No further details, I’m sure some kids are reading.
3.    Bobs: Oh, Bobs. This is the after-party after the Party. Once you do Bella and Casa in town, take a mat to Bob’s. Taxis are so unused in Mombasa. It’s another popular joint, frequented by both Nairobians and (Mombasanians?). By day it is a gated parking lot, by night it is a banging club. It’s a Party in a Car Park. It’s main advantage is the open-air setting which enables lots of natural air circulation, which is welcoming in the unforgiving heat.  But if it rains, you are doomed. Bobs comes with an extra pub, Murphy’s, complete with a separate DJ. The slightly more mature Bobs patrons and slightly more expensive escorts frequent that place.
That essentially is the essential A-B-C of Partying. But here are extras to sample.
4.    MTWAPA: You have never really gone to Mombasa if you haven’t been to Mtwapa. Mtwapa is essentially a collection of all cadres of clubs, pubs and brothels, rudely interrupted by other businesses to make up the township. Mtwapa is also probably the residence of choice for the Many Hadija Wairimus and Fatuma Anyangos of Mombasa. You know what I mean. If you don’t, ask a friend. Highlights of Mtwapa are;
a.    Club Lambada: A club that flatters to deceive. It’s like Arsenal. One day it’s off the hook, the next it’s a staggering disappointment. Its main attraction is the swimming pool, from where the resident DJ spins (cool, huh?) and where the clubs holds the climax of its midnight cabaret show.  Those ladies can tease in the water!
b.    Casuarina: The population of Hoes to Patrons is 7 to 1. Need I say more?
c.     Lollipop. The first thing you see when you step in is a horde of very-nearly-naked women doing bad things to a pole. Its compact size makes it look like 3D.
d.    Every 5 metres is a kibanda that plays exlusive music, from Rhumba to Ohangla to Kilunda.
5.    Kahama: If you love Sports, watch it in Kahama. It is located along the Nyali-Mtwapa Road. Extra large screens which can air nearly 6 different matches at a time. So even if Man U, Arsenal Man City and Chelsea are all playing at once, Liverpool fans will still get to watch their match.
THE following hangouts are recommended for persons who want to enjoy their drinks without annoying riff-raffs and under-18s spoiling the moment.
6.    Sheba: Located at the Nakumatt Nyali building. Rooftop. Entrance mostly 1000bob. Its redeemable, but the charge alone keeps off wasee wa mtaa na watoi (pun intended).
7.    Lounge: Same building as Sheba, but ground floor. No charges, but for some reason only mature peeps are found there. Love it.
8.    Il Covo: Beach bar after Kahamas. Play mostly Techno and Urban Music. Do not go there expecting to listen to akina  Nazidi Kuwapa Vidonge. You will be disappointed
9.    Noons: Right inside Nyali Beach Hotel. In Nyali, of course. Very Classy. Frequented by Wazungus. Enuff Said.
And finally…

10.                  Kenyatta Beach, or Pirates. It’s a beach. Frolic and drink the salty, frequently peed on water. It’s good for your skin.
11.                  Mama Ngina Park. Mombasa’s Uhuru Park. It’s by the Ferry. You can go there when you are finally broke and waiting to go back home. Located next to the ferry, you can while away the time watching ships come and go across the channel.
This list is not exhaustive, I have not even touched South Coast with its Shakatak and Fourty Thieves in Ukunda. But it should get you started.
And now, the basic dos and Don’ts
- Carry a cartful of money. Nearly every club here charges entrance fees. Charges from 200bob upwards peak. If you club-hop, you might just spend almost 2K just entering clubs. Make that 5k if you are the ‘sponsor’. And you haven’t even started drinking!
- Carry your swim-suit or that huge kaptula you sleep in for the beach. Nothing is as idiotic as walking along the beach with your tight jeans folded up your lower knee. Priss, styre up! You may also choose to hire those swimsuits, which everyone else has worn, from the beach operators. Afterwards see your dermatologist just to make sure.
- Book your ride back before you travel. Pesa itaisha Mombasa na hauna doo ya kurudi. Aibu ndogo ndogo nayo!
- Buy and carry your condoms, if you must do it. For some reason getaways to Mombasa also mean lots of casual sex. And Mombasa is sex waiting to happen everywhere you go. But u wanna go back home healthy, no?
-       Chips funga, if you have no extra change. In Mombasa, unofficial opinion polls reveal that at least 60% of ladies in the nightspots are selling- from Bella to Bobs to Mtwapa. Casablanca and Casuarina probably stands at 99.8 %. Listen, if there’s a stranger willing to go with you to your kichinjio, chances are he/she will charge you. This is not Betty’s or Hearts, the ladies here are not worth just three Smirnoff Ice...
-       Go with a beach-boy too far in the waters ‘ati anakufunza ku-swim”.  Legend has it that some beach boys will lead unsuspecting ladies deep into the ocean in the pretext of quick swimming lessons. When you go that far, they will threaten to leave u to drown if you don’t push aside your bikini for ‘access’. He will do his thing as you hang on to him helplessly, then guide you to a crowded spot and swim under to the other end. Utado? Avoid this scenario. Always be with a friend, and don’t go too far if you cant swim alone.

Mombasa Yapapasa, Mombasa ina anasa. Have fun, but be safe.
Happy holidays. E&OE.


Sunday, June 24, 2012


The advisory did not mince words. The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi claims to have received information of an imminent threat of a terrorist attack in Mombasa. The US government officials  travel to Mombasa is now suspended till July  1st 2012. And its citizens advised to consider this information in their traveling planning. Translation: they are better off not traveling to Kenya.

         And the impact was instant. The British government, quoting the US warning, also advised its nationals to exercise extra caution and vigilance when considering visiting Coastal Kenya and much of North Eastern Province, and even parts of Nairobi which it described as ‘low income.’ They did not stop there, their citizens were asked to see their travel advice before traveling to any other part of Kenya.

This is a big blow to Kenya’s tourism business especially because the Coast attracts the bulk of Kenya’s tourists from the US and Europe. 2010 was Kenya’s most successful tourism year in history, with over 1 million tourists visiting. The government earned 73.68 billion shillings over the same period, and then tourism Minister set a target of 2 million visitors by the close of this year. This was a huge recovery since the 1998 bombing which literally brought Kenyan tourism to its knees.

To achieve this the Kenya tourist board has been aggressively marketing Kenya as a high value destination for high spending tourists and this has been paying dividends. In 2010 United Kingdom led in terms of arrivals with 174,051 followed by United States with 107,842 while Italy and Germany took third and fourth positions at 87,694 and 63,011. The status quo has largely been maintained in percentages. But the advisories hit Tourism where it hurts most- the numbers. The new US warning is an update on its advisory released on April 4th this year, citing  ‘potential terrorist threats aimed at U.S., Western, and Kenyan interests in Kenya, particularly after the death of Osama Bin Laden.”

The fact is Kenya has been attacked by terrorists mainly because of its perceived close relationship with the US and its allies. The 1998 bombing in Nairobi was targeted at the US embassy. Yet over 200 Kenyans died and at least 4000 were injured. 14 years later Many Kenyans remain traumatized by the worst terror attack on Kenyan soil. In 2002 at least 15 people died when a truck crashed through the gates of Paradise Hotel in Kikambala. The targets were Israelis, another close ally of the US.

Since then the US has issued sporadic travel warnings against Kenya time and again, as Kenya increasingly appeared a pawn for terrorists targeting US interests,  ever since the superpower they declared war on terror. And while the US takes every opportunity to shout from the rooftops about its strong relations with this country and declare its support, in Kenya’s bid to protect itself, there is little evidence of material support towards the same. The spirit of partnership was largely lacking when Kenya stepped up the chase for Fazul Abdalla, the key suspect in the 1998 bombings. Fazul later died in hail of bullets from Somalia’s National Security Agency in June last year.

The US has also been largely AWOL as Kenya waged a one-man battle against AL-Shabaab, who have publicly declared their loyalty to international terrorist outfit Al Qaeda. When KDF launched Operation Linda Nchi and entered Somalia to pursue Al Shabaab, the international community was largely mute. Now our army is one city away from conquering Al Shabaab with the help of AMISOM.

On that evidence the alleged US support to Kenya in the fight against terror is largely lip service. Yet this war, in the first place, is their war. The advisories do nothing more than spread unnecessary anxiety, not just to their targeted audience but also Kenyans, besides hurting the economy. Ironically, whenever the US itself has come under attack on its own soil, the government has always responded by vowing not to be cowed by cowards.
TWITTER: @FerdyOmondi

Thursday, June 21, 2012


It has been a year of mixed fortunes for Chelsea. Two trophies in the locker covered for the disastrous Premier League Campaign, which saw the Blues finish an unacceptable sixth by their standards. And after two seasons of largely recycling an ageing squad, it appears the Russian is flushing out his cheque-book for a squad revolution.
    The capture of Eden Hazard was a huge statement of intent, and with names like Hulk and Edison Cavani in the air, it is safe to bet that at least one more big name will wear blue next season. Winning the Champions League had made Chelsea very attractive.
   But the bar has also been raised, no doubt. And with the aim to improve on next season's performances, the temptation to get tried and tested players is very high. Revenue from the Champions League success has also made sure money will be spent without worrying too much about the financial fair play rules lingering in the horizon. However, this also means Chelsea can afford to "ignore" the academy players, which in my opinion would be a very bad idea.
   Abramovich has pumped millions of pounds into the Chelsea Academy. Wouldn't it only be fair if a product of that academy made his way into the first team? And I am not taking about those sporadic appearances. I mean a proper regular.
   The last such success was John Terry, but now in his 30s that is so history. Yet Chelsea has no shortage of potential replacements for the ageing players. Ryan Bertrand is really threatening, and after starting in the Champions' League finals, I see him getting a lot more playing time, which is good. Suffice it to say Chelsea need not buy a left back.
Josh McEachran was shipped to Swansea to get more playtime, but the team did do well Brendan Rogers kept the poor boy on the same bench he was trying to avoid at the Bridge! McEachran's potential is not in question. But he needs to play to realise it.

Does anyone remember Gael Kakuta? He is supposed to be the Black Zidane! The 4-2-3-1 formation suits him. Perhaps he could deputise Mata on the left next season?

How about Sam Hutchinson? By Grace he is back playing after that early retirement. The knee problem is gone. If Chelsea need a John Terry replacement, look no further than Hutch.

Then there is the curious case of Romelu Lukaku. Only at Chelsea would a player be bought for 20million pounds and then kept to in the reserves for an entire season. None other than Lukaku himself has been baffled at this move. Drogba is gone now. If Chelsea need to replace the Drog, Lukaku has all the potential. He is virtually alike-for-like replacement.

Its not possible to name them all, what with the likes of Lucas Piazon and Islam Feruz standing tall in the youth squad.
The bottom line is, can Chelsea afford to ignore all this talent while buying marquee signings? the answer is no. Kevin de Bruyne and Marko Marin are promising youngsters. Chelsea noticed them because they got playing time at their clubs. Bertrand is now a solid squad player at Chelsea. A long Ashley Cole injury layoff at the close of transfer window (Gor forbid) may not be so much of a headache as it would have been two seasons ago. THAT is because Roberto Di Matteo trusted him, gave him belief, and he delivered.
 Bosingwa, Kalou and Drogba are gone. Malouda and Essien could follow them out of the door. Out of five possible vacancies, Chelsea youngsters deserve at least two.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Thursday was a morning like any other. Well, not exactly. I had slept only three hours- You see, the previous night I was shouting my voice hoarse in a club, cheering on Chelsea as they made an amazing come-back, overturning a 3-1 deficit to thump Napoli 4-1 at the Stamford bridge in a Champions' League knockout match. Being a Chelsea fan lately has been like supporting Arsenal in the past 6 years (pun VERY intended); too much promise, too little delivery, and bile from Manchester United fans. I nearly developed ulcers in our 3 torrid months- how Arsenal fans have survived 6 years of migraine-inducing now-we're-good-now-we're-dead football is very nearly an act of God, in my humble opinion.
        But I digress. So, I wake up in the morning, feeling light-headed. I shower, dress and head off to work. At work they all know I support Chelsea, and the congratulations I received might have made one think I scored the winning goal myself.  I then sat down, checked ma mail,  gloated some more about Chelsea on twitter, then the assignment editor informed me that some Kamiti Prisoners were set to testify against some judge at the Judiciary vetting. Destination; Anniversary Towers, 21st floor.
    I quickly assemble my gear; Pen: check, Notebook: check. Tapes- ah, I need tapes. Quick trip to Library, where I spend a few minutes haggling with the librarian over unreturned requisitions. Anyway, the matter is soon settled and off I go.
    At the anniversary towers we find the first available lift. There's a bunch of people representing the disabled fraternity, headed 20 floors up with us as well. They probably have a bone to pick with another judge. We all crowd in- no one wants to be left behind. We must have filled that lift to capacity- I think we were thirteen-to-fifteen. The lift beeps endlessly, because someone's garment is still in the sensor's zone. He squeezes in, and it's time to ascend.
    We went as far as the mezzanine floor. The lift suddenly bumped violently, twice, and stopped. Cue Total Darkness. There was a second of total silence, followed by a "Gosh, sasa ni nini?" The answer sank in three seconds later on all of us. We were stuck in a crammed lift, thanks to a power blackout.
    This was the first time it had happened to me. So was it for several of us, going by the hysterical whimpers that followed. I jokingly thought of the movie "Devil", the 2010 horror flick set in a lift, which starts with a stalling, and ends with all but two occupants dead at the end. Like I said, I thought about it jokingly.
    But that wasn't the case for the ladies in there. We hadn't been there 3 minutes, and panic had set in for some.
    'ai yay yay! Aki tumekwama, this is very serious!" quipped one.
    ' You know we can suffocate," said another
    "Pigia Saitoti!' added a third,
    Yes, you heard me right. One was asking for the Internal Security Minister to be phoned. Granted, it sounded like she worked in his ministry, but getting stuck in a lift isn't exactly a matter of national security, is it?
    I could have agreed with the one who quipped about suffocation. When our phones shed light in the mini-prison, the small opening at the lift door revealed a wall. We were stuck between Ground-floor and mezzanine. Oxygen was therefore about to be premium. But the yapping women and chatterbox man next to me were eating it all up so fast!
    For someone with respiratory problems, I knew I owed it to myself not to panic. So I breathed slowly. But however slow I tried, within five minutes I was turning my head in all directions, trying not avoid breathing in the breath of the man breathing out next to my nostrils!
    I sent out a text to my assignment editor informing him of the situation.
'Stuck in a lift in Anniversary Towers. Blackout." it said. Guess his response?
'we are praying for you' . The joker.
    My notebook earned a new designation as a fan, at least to circulate the hot air burning my nose. The heat was beginning to sear all over. Never underestimate the carbon dioxide you exhale. Our combined heaves, huffs and puffs were turning this dark lift into a boiler. I loosened my tie.
    Just when I thought we should now really be quiet, two women heard footsteps above us and yelled at the top of their voices.
'Tunajua, kuna mtu anakuja,' was the calm response from above.
'FANYENI HARAKA, TUNASUFFOCATE!' the woman was getting hysterical, and very pissed.
'Ah, Hapana!' retorted the guy.
That evoked laughter. The woman wondered how this 'idiot' had the nerve to say we werent suffocating, while we WERE the ones trapped. The chatterbox beside me didn't help matters by suggesting we write a will. Granted, I laughed at that 'joke'.
    When 20 minutes passed by, now I became concerned. This help wasnt coming. Since my office knew, I went on facebook (Where else). That way I'd reach many people at the same time, with the possibility of sharing my post spreading the message further. Just in case. The response ranged from pieces of advice (okoka sasa, do not panic etc) to downright ridiculous comments ( ile 30 bob yangu ni aje, confess now you never know, bla bla bla)
    30 minutes. I could hear death in the voice of one lady. If we did not get out soon enough....she did not want to finish. By this time, all porous parts of ma skin were pespiring. It was like having steam-bath in suit. No amount of hand-flapping was helping any more. Then suddenly, the lift jerked to life.
'Haiya, what's happening now?'
Help had finally come. I guess some winch was slowly taking us down, in little jerks. The door half opened above us, and with it a rush of oxygen. What relief! But it lasted all of three seconds- the technician slammed it shut again. You can guess what the panicky lady said...
We endured five more down-ward jerks, and the door opened again, this time at our feet. we were hanging at least a metre above the basement floor. Our instruction was to jump to safety. And we did.
    As we walked up the stairs to the open air on the ground-floor, I took time to reflect. Some of the things we ignore, and which we get so free, are so vital to our well being. Like the air we breathe.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


This is one post that I must begin with a disclaimer.

I feel very, very, awkward writing about this topic. First of all, I was raised conservatively. My mother never discussed sex with me at any cost. All through my adolescent years, any question with a sexual inclination to was met with a template response, "we penja penjo mofuwo go," - don't ask me those stupid questions, or, 'dhi ipenj mbasni"- go ask your peers. As for dad, well, let's just say we hardly spoke. I thus had to learn about sex and sexuality the hard way- from the streets. And boy, did I learn! I might just be a guru. And I am not talking about the act. Though I wouldn't mind if I was thought of in that light...Ok, too much information.
Another reason that makes me write this with eyes wide open at the back of my head for flying objects is the fact that I am a Roman Catholic. Some of What I am about to share challenges every fibre of my religious beliefs. Finally, I am a journalist with followers from different dimensions of the sexual Prism. I recognize that. So please, read this with an open mind. The views below do not necessarily endorse my own beliefs.
Now, where were we. Ah, sex. The past week has been orgasmic, so to speak. It started with Nairobi Mayor George Aladwa suggesting that commercial sex workers may be given a license to operate freely. Commercial Sex workers. Yeah right! As if that makes them morally at par with mama sukuma-wiki. Yet, Call Them prostitutes and politically correct hypocrites will come for your balls. or nipples.
Anyway, The ripple-effect of that proposal would have made Jesus very, very proud. If only the protests were reflective of society. Everywhere, from the streets to tv to radio to places of worship, Aladwa was temporarily given a seat beside Satan himself for even thinking of such a heinous proposal. Why, legalizing commercial sex would be apocalyptic, Kenyan morality would go to the dogs!
Hellooooooo! Kenyan morality is already at the Dog Centre! Legalising commercial sex would not change anything. Well, the only change, in my humble opinion, is that the City Council would get more revenue, and that City Council askaris and the Police would have to find other ways to harass the CSWs for money or solicit sex from them- probably by arresting them for tax evasion.
Why so much bile? Technically speaking, if you are not a virgin, and are not married, and have had sex with more than one partner, YOU ARE A HOE. Now, before you cock your gun and point your barrel, hear me out. Many dictionaries, and I have just cross- checked, define prostitution as either :
(a) having sex for money, OR
(b) having sex with multiple partners.
None of the ones I checked combined both as a prerequisite for fitting in with the definition of a hoe. Now think about it, 'multiple' is basically more than one. and sex for money, methinks, mustn't be as direct payment. Favors, presents etc for sex fit in that category of sex-for-money too.

In short, you know you are a hoe if;

- Someone pays your bills, or house rent, or school-fees, other than your husband/wife or close relative/guardian. They do it in order to lay you. If sex is involved with your relative or guardian, well HOE YOU ARE TOO, and a twisted one at that!
- You are in and out of relationships faster than you overhaul your wardrobe. especially if you lay most of them.
- You have ever chips fungad or been chips fungwad. You hardly know this man/woman, apart from the fact that you offered/accepted that drink and had a banging night at the club, which ended with the crowning moment at his or her place. At least the chick in K-street goes straight to the point.
- You have hooked up on social network, and it did not end up in marriage. Facebook-funga is an open secret. Facebook has nearly driven premium hook-up sites out of business. It is free! All one does is send friend request, inbox, chat, and voila! If you are lucky, it can all be done in a day. Hoe!
I hear even twitter, which for so long has been about issues, has taken cue. No, we are turning twitter into another hook-up site. I hear DM has a Swahili acronym. Hint, D stands for a verb and M is for Mtu. If you don't know, find out and see how your eyes pop out like mine did when I first learnt about it.
- You have accepted that bus-fare/ fuel money in the morning after.
- You got that job by parting your legs. Or if you got that promotion in the same way. By the way, you may climb up so fast through sex, but when your godfather/mother leaves, that ladder will crash down faster than dominoes and take you down with it. Unless you start banging the new boss too. see? say it with me; HOE!
- you are addicted to porn. Why, you masturbate indiscriminately with many virtual partners. You selfish twit, share for Pete's sake!
- Your are married but simply cannot keep it in the den. Even after earning that coveted license at the altar, meaning you can choke, spank, pull hair or bitch-slap your partner without worrying abt your mind singing "God is watching you", you still had to join this band by banging someone other than your marriage partner. Disrespectful hoe.
Sex is good. It is meant for both pleasure and procreation ( says the Bible). But it comes with a rider, your partner must put a ring on your finger. Bottom line, if you are having sex and are not married, you are a prostitute of sorts. The difference between you and the call-girl is that you don't walk around with the tag pasted on your face or lifestyle. Either way you lose your blanket NO vote against legalising commercial sex on moral or religious grounds. For both of you have loose morals, by moral standards. And for having pre/extramarital sex, you surely cannot cast the first stone.
Sex sells. Just ask Classic 105. They knew how twisted the mind is and capitalized on it. We castigate Radio Africa for talking "shit" in the morning, but who tunes in? who gives them the ratings? Is it the high-end escort, the K-street sex worker or the low-life harlot in Sabina Joy? No, its you and me, student, parent, preacher, professor, doctor, "normal' citizen of Kenya. And who gives those 'stranger-than-fiction" stories? Husbands and wives. And please don't give me that they-are-doctored-stories drivel. Majority are true, and would put the conventional whores to shame.
The liberal world knows this, and have embraced it to their advantage. The Porn Industry now generates 10-14 billion dollars annually. Porn Stars are celebrities in their own right. Hollywood has made block-busters that glorify casual sex. Netherlands have the Red-Light District, and it's buzzing with tourism, creating many off-shoot jobs and generating millions for the Dutch government. Playboy is among the best-selling magazines at a time when electronic media is sounding the death-knell for print. And the Bunny ranch is a "prestigious" place to go- not every Tom, Dick and Harry can afford a 'shot' there.
The up-shot of legalizing sex trade is that we spare these CSWs stigma, frustrations and even violence. Regulating commercial sex ensures it is done in an orderly manner, where it can be monitored for monetary, security and health benefits. It could be a win-win situation for worker, 'workee' and regulator.
Because let's face it. Prostitutes are alive and well. No amount of arrests, beatings, bribery and rape in detention will deter them. And if you cant beat them, hell, join them! I am not advocating for legalization of commercial sex. But I am against sweeping the topic under the carpet. Give dialogue a chance. Prostitution is the oldest profession in the world, and you can bet your liver it will remain alive till Thy Kingdom Come.

The topic above brings me to a related, but more taboo topic in Africa. Homosexuality. Recenlty a national TV Channel ran a feature series that opened a can of worms and epitomized just how much the Kenyan Society is in in denial. Male homosexuals are selling their bodies too. And who are their clients? Your brother, your father, your boyfriend, your husband or your favorite pastor.
I am a strict heterosexual. I am not homophobic either. But I'm not here to discuss to be or not to be gay. What I cannot understand is the behavioral traits of some of these guys. So you are a man who hates women? Prefer fellow men? So why on earth do you walk, talk and act like a woman??? Make up your freaking mind! Some of us straight guys don't even like women who behave like that, three fingers wagging in the air while you talk and all!
And one more thing, if you are gay and are going to hit on a straight person, have some decorum. I don't seduce a woman with an opening line of "I'd love to sleep with you." In the same breath, it is extremely repulsive to start a chat by offering to suck my d*ck. The thought that a fellow hairy-chested, penis-carrying, two-balled, bearded man is hitting on me is unsettling enough. Don't make it worse with the etiquette of a chipmunk.
*grabs a sick-bag*

Twitter: @Fomondi