Thursday, August 28, 2008

Big Brother Is Watching

Well, not quite. In the usual turning of tables, we are watching Big Brother. That one time in the year when we are allowed to be peeping Tom’s (and Tomasina’s) and watch twelve housemates from across the continent do everything housemates do.

The measure of fame the housemates get from being in the House is that only a few months ago, if you Googled some of the Housemates, the answer you received was: Who???

The opening credits kick off with a Kabelo look-alike performing the opening act. Wait.. it is actually Kabelo with what he terms as his crew!

Now, when you thought you had seen enough fake fire works in Beijing, good old Big Brother unleashes some even more obvious ones. The bets are also on whether the twelve housemates will get into the house arranged in the order of the medals they won at the Olympics.

Before the grand entry, there are some flashbacks to the Housemates in Season 2. Justice is still debating with himself on what his future should be (looking at him, you see that it is a pity debating isn’t an Olympic sport); Maxwell is a car-hawker; Lerato is having a heck of a ride (presumably the ride is one she bought from The Maxwell Garage); Ofunneka is an envoy and has started a Non-Governmental Organization for refurbishing kitchens in Africa; Meryl has acted in a movie (no doubt rated R for Raunchy); Jeff, just like he turned the whole time in the House into an ad placement for his book Religion is Fiction still takes this slot to market his book; Bertha has been travelling and one thing she has learnt is how to simply kiss her hand and wave at the camera; Kwaku is rapping about nothing and is also delusional, mistaking some garbage artifacts for jewellery; Tatiana has a show ‘created special for me’; Maureen’s phone is engaged (you heard that right. I said Maureen, NOT, Maureen’s phone); Code is eradicating malaria; and Richard is still loving his wife (and to show how he keeps loving her, the camera on cue cuts to him with some honeys…)

Some more music but we have caught the limos bringing in the new actors and actresses.

First in is clean shaven Tawana who causes a stir in her video clip when she says she hates her neighbours. Presumably, her Bible is not the King James Version that says we have to love them neighbours. Or, presumably too, she was talking about her ‘Neighbours’ soap opera DVD. She is wearing a rock bigger than the one featured in Titanic and also adds the clincher: I hate women.

Who will be the first to drop the F word? Last time, it was Tatiana, and the winner this time… (I am not talking about the word Fanta) is Sheila from Kenya. Once in the house, she wastes no time taking bets on who will be the first ‘to go to shags’

Forget the Emancipation of Mimi. She is back into jail. She has the moves but within hours, she is the first to give us the coloured cough. Another bet gone.

Lucille is the one who comes in from Namibia. She looks very reserved and she is a Virgin. It is the first time the word ‘Virgin’ has been used in relation to a housemate without the word ‘Atlantic’ succeeding it. Imagine the headlines if she was called Mary!

Having won it last time, Tanzania was expected to send Richard’s wife as its representative but they bring in loud Latoya this time. And the girl can shriek! Her entrance is all one long ejaculation of sounds that scream: I am there! I am there!

The Ugandan Morris loves to be behind the camera and now, he is going to be in front of one for ninety days, if he can last that long.

Ricco from Angola says: I love women. For effect, he would have gone the Tawana way and said he hates men. (Editors note: Actually, he said he loves girls, he didn’t say women, and girls also means ‘boobs’ in some slang)

Thank you Editor.

Malawi’s presenter still went on about that country being the ‘Warm Heart of Africa’ just like they did during Idols… but they decide to send Hazel, ever cold, except when she does that jig that makes our ribs crack. Hazel proceeds to keep quiet during her time that Big Brother has to employ the use of a radar to trace her.

Zambia has a man called Taekwondo which as you all know means “I can pulverize you with the use of my hands”. (Editors note: Ahem, actually his name is Takondwa).

Hey, go write your own blog, you silly Editor!

So Matakondwa had this bling bling, just like his Idols counter part TK. The new TK is asked to spit a rhyme and he does so with relish: Am going to the house, like a lil’ poor church mouse; but when I come out, I’ll have the loot; I said I love to gamble; but that was just a rumble, with 100Ks, I will reproduce 100 TKs!

Naija throws itself in the ring with Uti. Finally women viewers will have a valid excuse to diss their own men at their own game. When a man says ‘I love you,’ the woman can reply ‘I love you-ti.’ Sorry. Uti hates dishonest people. Who does?

The representative of from South Africa is Thami. He called himself the ‘Homeboy’ which is potential infringement of the Trade Mark, the Homeboyz!

Zimbabwe has its usual charm with the new hero being put forth from the land of Uncle Bob being called Munya. Which as you might not guess, is not the Meru member of Parilemnt, but a short form of Munyaradzi. He smiles like brownie points and immunity are dished for flashing smiles and closes the entries to this Seasons House Party.
Let the games begin!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Bolt and the Beautiful!

Every other four years, Planet Earth focuses its collective multi-billion eyes on Olympians slugging it out to bring some additional hardware to their countries. So this August, the show was in Beijing, which had raised concerns over its misty appearance that made it quite the Grey-jing.

During my time in Campus, we had a terrible nickname for the first few minutes of meal time at the CCU mess which was rumoured to stand for Chama Cha Ugali (well actually it was the Central Catering Unit). It was called the ‘Opening Ceremony’ when people would shove and push to ensure that they got the top layered grub. The Olympics Opening Ceremony was quite the opposite! Organized to the point of perfection, it also featured some fireworks that led people to exclaim: What the fake!

The real fireworks however, really came when Usain Bolt decided to sprint away with the 100m gold medal with such style and bravado that it gave a new meaning to the word ‘fast’ whilst it sealed his mantle as the Fastest Man on Planet Earth. He broke his own record. He celebrated during the race… and then won, a sequence that is often reversed by other athletes.

Bolt ran the first 70m and then looked at the TV screen, saw that he was in front of the pack and started celebrating thumping his chest as he watched himself win!

The TV commentator was as ecstatic – What a win! What a win! Bolt first, Daylight Second and Third - as people scrambled with finishing their top stories only to realize that they had no idea who was second and third. Those who had ten second timers on their cameras only managed to get a shot of Bolt celebrating. The proverbial horse had bolted.

Whilst some commentators bored us to death sometimes with sentences such as: ‘We win gold!’ (we can see that, eejits, it was not some aluminium that our athlete won) when in actual sense the gold was solely won by the person competing, there was something orgasmic about Usain’s mode of triumph.

Before he set off for his next race at exactly Bolt O’clock, I got a text from a friend asking whether he would kiss the ground at the 170m mark and still win the 200m Final. Or make one of those Per Second Billing phone calls from a Safaricom number to his Prime Minister and update him on the race. He did none of that! But at the end of the race, the initials WR were still flashing. And he kissed the ground AFTER the race.

Questions were raised as which rapper would be the first to use his name in a rhyme. Kanye West won hands down with the lyric: I said I had to bolt, girl was like "Are U Sane?"

It was beautiful seeing this athlete at the games and lighting them up as he did. Beautiful. Quite as beautiful as Leryn Franco the Paraguay javelin thrower who financed her participation at the games with proceeds from the modeling career.

London 2012 next up.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Not Even Half The Story

I told you!

There are so many things that happen in this life that make you wonder if there can ever be fairness even if we tried. I was stuck in the road traffic jam along Jogoo Road on a Friday night at what television aficionados ordinarily called prime time.

I made a quick mental note to find out the e-mail address of the sinister minister of the miracle babies fame so that he could place a curse on anyone remotely responsible for this vehicular pile-up.

Some girls were getting laid whilst I was only getting delayed!

I may have been lost in this thought since I did not see the frame of the man who sneaked up to me in a flash and ripped off the mirror on the right side of the car. He then smoothly snaked his way through the space between bumpers. Now it wasn’t only my cool and time that I was losing.

The rain, like coffee, was instant. Ordinarily, this would have only made the traffic jam worse but to my shock, the vehicles in front of me were jump started and we were moving in a huff in a minute. I also noticed the windscreen wipers were not working.

It was not long before the snarl up fitted itself back on the wet road like a jigsaw puzzle. The cell phone rang and I practically dove to answer the same. Caller ID withheld. Nevertheless, anything was a welcome relief so I quickly cleared my throat.


“Hi, Rita!” the seemingly excited but still unrecognizable male voice on the other end came through. “Tell me what the next best invention after the first telephone was.”

“The second telephone,” I said. “Hi. Who is calling?”

“Gosh!” he goshed. “Good answer to my question. I know I haven’t talked to you for a while…but the answer to your question is Mr….”

The voice had clicked. “I know who you are!” I interrupted him. “Well, this is a surprise! You calling me all the way from across the miles”

“I finally gave in to the temptation to call you from across the milli-miles. I bet you are now stuck in a road traffic jam and you are getting impatient, almost turning as red as the red top you are wearing…”

I was wearing a red top!

“Milli-miles?” I said and started turning my head.” Where the creeps are you?”

“Right behind you!” he replied.

As I turned my head, I saw through the falling rain that it was him. He was opening his car door and waving with an umbrella promptly springing into his use.

“Are you stalking me?”

He simply broke into the infectious smile that I had always wished I could wipe away with some sort of permanence. “It is in my knowledge that you didn’t go and get a restraining order” he stated into the phone as he approached me though the rain.

“It was in my knowledge that I did not need one as you were out of the country for good. I thought…” I closed the flap of my phone and spoke to him through the car window that I had suddenly lowered, “I thought you were in the New Continent’.

“I was.”

How times change. This was the man who used to call me Dr. Soothe. Now he called me…, no, now he didn’t call me at all! Until that evening when he was a few metres away from me.

I didn’t get out of the car but hugged him ‘through the window baby’ as Mongolo sometimes succinctly put it.

“Karis,” I found myself saying.

“Rita,” his sound, but my name, came back.

“So what the hell happened to your emigration?”

“Like I said. It is over. But that is not even half the story, Dr. Sss… Rita”

I looked back at the vehicles through my one remaining mirror. If he had a full story, then in this road traffic jam, he could at the very least offer even a quarter of it.

“Come on in,” I said.

“On the account of the rain I would say …”

He never got a chance to finish that particular sentence. A flash of lightning lit up the usual dark Nairobi night. In a fraction of a minute, a tree that was in the middle of the kerb was uprooted and out of all the possible three hundred and sixty degrees that it would have landed, it landed, with a thud, on the car that Karis had just come from. The car was reduced to a seemingly unsalvageable wreck.

“…Oh shit”, he finished.

“On the account of the rain, I would second that,” I added with my heart racing from the noise the scene from the heavens had just sent. “You know you are one very lucky goat!”

Every motorist got out from their vehicles and stared blankly at the picture that would certainly interest an insurance company. There were other trees along the Road and it appeared that the motorists were ignorant of the saying lightning does not strike twice.

I got out of the car and moved with Karis to his former car.

“It seems I have a flat tyre,” Karis humoured as we heard the siren of the Utumishi Kwa Wote car in the distant responding to someone’s distress call with unprecedented alacrity. It turned out they were on an entirely mission but a quarter dozen of the boys in blue from the police station Shauri Moyo descended on arrival at the spot to sort out the mess.

Karis already had some unpleasant memories with the officers from Shauri Moyo. Four years ago, his house had been burgled and he lost almost all his worldly possessions. He had rushed to the police station to report the heinous crime and when he had narrated the incident to the officers, one of them looked at his blank piece of paper titled SUSPECTS and blurted, “You got a girlfriend?” So there went Karis like, “Yes. No, no, no. Rita wouldn’t steal a thing!” The officer rallied, “She stole your heart, remember?”

This time, Karis simply gave them a brief 4-1-1 then turned to me and said “With my luck, I guess I will need a ride from you to the filling station.”

It seemed to be a good idea though I wasn’t sure if he was considering himself lucky or unlucky for what had happened.

He stepped into the passenger seat and looked at me. I felt uneasy.

“So…” I said just as he started saying, “So…”

“So what were you going to say?” he was the fastest to rally from the synchronized words we had just uttered.

“I was going to ask you to tell me what happened.”

He pointed at the mirror on his side. “If my memory serves me right, a tree just fell on my car. That is what happened.”

I could only smile. I had noticed he was not wearing his wedding ring.

We had dated for two years and it seemed like the relationship was destined to blossom to a marriage when out of the blues, he met a gorgeous American lady who blew him away. She actually blew me, away. A changed Karis had then eagerly proposed to her following which they had agreed to live in the States.

“When I got to the US of A with Kellen, we were formally married in a Maasai wedding,” he began.


“Kellen really liked the whole setting of the Maasai community. She felt it was the most representative of the Kenyan people.”

What love can make men daily and daringly do! From my recollection, Karis could only utter one Maasai word, “Ero!” and he couldn’t even tell you what it meant.

“So I went along with it. Even braided my hair in ochre and wore the unmistaken able red shuka. She had on this beads that weighed some real kilos. It was a picture!”

Of horror, I imagined. And I was not just talking attire here. Thank heavens for small mercies and for the new national dress. To that add some thanks for the moving traffic. I saw some rocks on the road ahead, no doubt left behind by the boys who tactfully repaired the road, and I avoided them all. The rocks, not the boys.

“Soon, our relationship and marriage were on the rocks,” Karis continued. “But more and more, I realized that Kellen was not the woman I would have ever wanted to be the mother to my children. We were so different, and for once, it appeared there was a proviso to the saying that opposites attract.”

“I’m so sorry”, I said.

“I was sorry.” he went on. “Some couples are not made for each other and thus their relationship is not meant to be.”

The there was some uneasy silence as I turned the vehicle into a filling station.

“So how is the man in your life?”

Karis was prying. But there was a man in my life and I had been partially cursing this long trip home because I was rushing home to him.

“He is great.” I confessed.

“Lucky guy!” Karis complimented me.

“Lucky me.”

We got out of the vehicle and knew that it was time to part.

“Save my digits,” Karis said in reference to his cellular phone numbers. I assured him that I would only if he gave me the number since the caller ID had been withheld. He obliged and assured me that he would call again.

I drove on home. There was an unexplainable excitement building up all over my body. I opened the door quick and passed the living room to find that the house girl had already gone to sleep though she had been kind enough to leave some grub on the dinner table.

I rushed upstairs to meet the man in my life. He was snoring softly. I planted a kiss on his cheek. “I was on my way home early, dear,” I whispered to his ear, “Then duty came calling and I had to make a quick delivery”.

But that was not even half the story. I had just left his daddy at the filling station.

Should I tell his father like I just told you?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Cynthia Kuto's Journey on Idols

There was a first, there was a second and now, as surely as counting has not changed, there must be a third. I am talking about a picture post! Well, Idols has come and gone, and as a final wrap of the Show, I decided to give you a journey through Idols by the lovely Cynthia Kuto.

She arrived at the Kampala auditions

Sang Hero by Mariah Carey

Got the applause from the Three Judges

Gave the Thumbs Up sign...

Joined the Kenyan entourage

Promised she was in this to win

Clapped for worthy opponents

Bravely took on Mandisa Yam

Laughed as Christine and Queen bemoaned the disappearance of Yam

Led out her group

Sang amidst the drama

Wasn't happy with group's performance

Cried about it actually

Oh no! Tears...

Wiped them away...

But you know why I love her... even as she wipes them away, she forms a love-heart image

Moment of Reckoning

Yes! She's through to the Top 24

Welcome segment to Top 24

Her opposition

She sings again...


Even the opposition was clapping

Beyonce look alike!

Lebo wants a duet...

No way... the first voting number

She playfully tells us: 4 is the number

She is safe to the Top 10

The Top 10 list is complete

She is back in the Top 10

And here they line up

Let's Dance!


And more intro...

She belts out another tune

The Judges are not impressed

Reminder: Number 1

Gives us a preview of her life

In shagzzz

Always been angelic...

With the proudest persons...

With proudest friends...

Or friend...

Look out

Centre of Attraction

Takes voice lessons

With vocal coach Duncan Wambugu

Hits the notes well...

Gives 'the wave'

Yes... Video....

Now Scar, what can Cynthia do to impress you?

Well Lebo...

Thank you Scar!

That brought out the smiles...

As Scar looked on sad at being the butt of the joke...

Watch out Cynthia, who is that behind you!

Ooops, sorry. Me and technology...

One Day I'll Fly Away...

Voted out... she won't go fading away

She's back at the Finale

Singing with Christine

With the smile still back

We hope she keeps in touch...

And gets more pin-up opportunities.

Thank you for the memories....