rants


I think it’s fairly obvious to anyone who’s read my blog over the last 6 years that I despise modern day feminists, and lately some people (men included) who refer to themselves as activists. I find them utterly disgusting, full of double standards and empty noise. This is quite ironic since I was raised by a feminist. See, back in their day, she and others like Martha Karua, Wangari Maathai et al actually had a cause that they were passionate about. They didn’t just make noise aimlessly, they pressed the policy makers and fought the regime of the day until the change that they desired was achieved. And when that happened, they moved on to becoming policy makers themselves.

Growing up as a young boy seeing all this, reading their materials, asking lots of questions, sometimes sitting quietly in the corner during their meetings, witnessing their struggles, being involved to some extent, I got to not only understand what feminism was all about, but its importance in Kenyan society based on the changes that they aimed to achieve. I also understood what activism is, and why it is necessary. So believe me when I say that I understand, respect and actually support what the feminist movement is about. Or rather, what it was about.

Nowadays it seems that calling oneself a “feminist” or an “activist” is the coolest tag in town, especially among chics in their early to mid 20s. The funny thing is that it’s very difficult to see what they’re “activating” about. Just because you have an opinion, a computer/iPad/smartphone, an internet connection and the ability to shit on everyone’s parade all day, every day doesn’t make you an activist. It makes you a nuisance. Especially when you have nothing in particular that you’re passionate about, and you spend your days behind a keyboard “advocating” kicking up a fuss about every single little thing and somehow hoping to be appointed a UN Goodwill Ambassador someday, oh come on now? Such individuals are solely responsible for the bastardization of the meaning of feminism and activism. (Some chap actually had the nerve to suggest that Al Shabaab should attack MPs and other economic criminals instead of ordinary wananchi. What the hell??)

Many latter day feminists/activists only fight for equality when it benefits them, and they ignore discrimination when it doesn’t help them. Case in point, over the past week there has been massive furore online following the Zainab/DKB incident in Big Brother Africa. Yet one wonders where some of these feminists were when Pangapuff Girls were going all Njeri Springer on Everyone Hates Karis in central Kenya recently. I wouldn’t be surprised if the reason why they were so silent was because they believed that the victims had it coming. Double standards much?

That’s not to say that there are no activists out there who are doing good things. One can only watch in sheer admiration at the kind of work that the likes of Ory Okolloh (aka @kenyanpundit), Paula Kahumbu, Alice Mwongera, Casey Adisa Marenge among many others are doing in various fields. Watch and learn from them on how not to stamp on everyone’s toes just to get your point across.

Back to the noisemakers. It would be a huge compliment to call them slacktivists. But I think the term Faptivists is more fitting, coz they remind me of this chap.

Faptivism

After you’re done airing your anger, bitterness, personal insecurities, daddy issues and literally repelling everyone from yourself in the name of “activism”, the only thing left to do is go home and hola at good old Bob (Battery Operated Boyfriend).

The next time I meet a dreadlocked chic in her 20s who introduces herself as a feminist or an activist for some bullshit cause, watch me spit out in disgust and walk away. I really don’t give two shits about your cause and truth be told, neither does anyone else. Get yourself a real job!

*Let’s see who’ll be the first to label me a chauvinist*

 

What’s on my Playlist?

Dan Chizi Aceda – Ordinary

I know I haven’t updated this blog in a while. If you’ve missed out on what I’ve been up to, I did a guest post on DiaspoRadical and a collabo post with Raymond Chepkwony. Check them out if you haven’t already

Last week, Synovate (formerly Steadman) did a survey on internet usage in Kenya. According to their survey, this suffering, neglected blog is the 19th highest read blog in Kenya. Some say that the numbers were cooked (and I’m inclined to side with them) but that’s not my problem. Number 19 it is. Thank you readers.

A story of two CEOs:

Shujaa of the month.

Bob Collymore

CEO – Safaricom Ltd.

Bob Collymore

Bob Collymore

Bob Collymore took over as Safaricom CEO on 1st November 2010. The week before that, he picked up a comment I made about unsatisfactory service from Safaricom. I had some issues to do with internet connectivity on my phone, which had been “solved” twice before, only to crop up again. And getting through to Safaricom customer care means setting an alarm for 4am in the hope of getting through. So you can understand my frustration and why I didn’t bother to contact Safaricom customer care and chose instead to rant about it on Twitter.

collymore tweet

collymore tweet

Anyway, Collymore read my comment and asked me to email him. I thought about it for a couple of days before I decided to email him. Within an hour of sending the email, I was called up by a few customer care guys to enquire about the nature of my problem. They sorted it out, and called a few more times during the day to make sure that everything was working as it should.

I tweeted at Mr. Collymore and thanked him for sorting out my problem.

It didn’t end there. Collymore emailed me later in the night to find out if I was satisfied with the work that had been done, and asked me to contact him should the problem crop up again.

Can you spell I.M.P.R.E.S.S.E.D? I definitely was. Think about it this way. Just how often do CEOs of Kenyan companies, or senior management for that matter, interact with their customers on a one on one basis and give personal attention to their problems? Just how accessible is the average Kenyan CEO? We only see them on TV, the rest of the time they’re hidden behind tinted windows in their Mercedes S-Class cruising in absolute comfort from one important event to the next. So this really does go a long way. This is an example of what Kenyan CEOs should change about the way they run their companies and how they should interact with their customers.

For this, Bob Collymore gets my “Shujaa of the month” award. As one @BobQamz said, new brooms sweep clean. Kudos, Collymore. As Kibaki would say, endelea stairo hio hio.

Fokojembe of the month

Roman Abramovich

Chairman, Chelsea Football Club

Roman Abramovich

Roman Abramovich

 

It’s a well known fact that Roman Abramovich runs Chelsea FC with an iron fist, completely disregarding what anyone else thinks, especially the fans. Which is understandable, seeing as he’s spent hundreds of millions of pounds of his own money buying the club, players, building the world class training centre in Cobham and all that. However, his most recent decision to sack Assistant Manager Ray Wilkins, a Chelsea die-hard who’s spent close to four decades with the club as a player, coach and Assistant Manager was perhaps the worst after sacking Jose Mourinho back in 2007.

You don’t have to be a genius to see the direct connection between Ray’s sacking and the immediate slump in Chelsea’s recent performances. Swallow your pride, Roman, and get Ray back. Otherwise this season will end in disaster.

And he wonders why the fans are yet to compose a cheer song all these years later? Listen to the fans, Roman. Coz we were here before you came along, and we’ll be here long after you’re gone.

 

What’s on my Playlist?

Anthony David – Something about you.

I’m sure that several posts have been written about mannerisms and behaviours that are typically Kenyan. Safaricom GM Michael Joseph hit the nail on the head when he talked of our peculiar calling habits, but it made us sit up and reflect on our other peculiar habits. I’m not talking about the regular ones. We all know them. Here are a few others that piss me off to no end.

 

1. Giving advice/recommendations AFTER shit has already hit the fan.

Kenyans are experts in armchair commentary and analysis. We love to analyze situations after they have already occurred, yet you wonder where these same people were before shit actually hit the fan.

For example, have you ever been in a situation where you need to purchase a certain commodity or service, but can’t find a single person who can recommend where or how to get it? Ask anyone where to buy a certain product or service and they’ll tell you that they don’t know. You decide to go with the options that you have.

Later, after you’ve purchased your stuff, the same hindiots come to you and say

“Aaaaah, kwanza you should have gone to…/ you should have done it like this…”

You are stupid.

 

 

2. Not answering questions as they were asked

Two years ago I wrote this post about Kenyans who force you to buy stuff that you don’t need, with the aim of making a quick buck. I am a very fussy person and I’m very particular about stuff, so I tend to get very pissed off when some of these things happen:

I’ve made some nyakes/chicken & veggies and I dash to the food kiosk nearby to buy chapos

Q: Uko na chapati?

A: Hapana, tuko na samosa tu na githeri <— How now?

 

I’m looking for an article from a previous day’s newspaper.

Q: Mko na Nation ya jana?

A: Hapana, lakini tuko na Standard” <— How now?

 

I’ve walked around looking for this season’s Chelsea FC kits.

Q: Mko na Chelsea away kit ya white ama 3rd kit ya blue and black?

A: Hapana, lakini tuko na Real Madrid kwanza ya Ronaldo. Si uchukue hii?”

 

I’m looking for particular earphones/speakers for my hi-Fi/ MP3 player, so I go to the shop and ask “Do you have Logitech speakers/Sony noise blocking earphones?”

A: “We have Illogictic (I shit you not, apparently it exists) speakers…” or some low quality Chinese shit which they not only claim is as good as the original one, they will actually try to convince you that it’s better!

 

Q: I’m looking for a Nokia N73, do you have it in stock?”

A: We only have Samsung/Motorola (or some tu-Chinese twin-sim aka Semenya) and it’s better. I’ll give you discount!

 

How the fuck are you helping me? Seriously! The polite thing to do is to say that you do not have what the customer is looking for, then wait for them to ask about substitutes before offering yours! Why can’t some people understand that the customer wants a SPECIFIC product and not just any other?

Because they are stupid.

 

 

3. Making ridiculous, unsubstanciated and often stupid assumptions

I was out of town for a few days attending a conference, then I fell sick upon my return. A few people, when told that I wasn’t feeling too well and perhaps I caught a bug, said “maybe it was those women you screwed, maybe it’s herpes” etc. So, what drives one to think that I’m the guinea pig doofus who carries out the twisted shit that they concoct in their minds?

Kenyans love to make up stories and theories about shit that doesn’t exist. Take for example the fact that I have lots of friends, and most of them are female. So whether I’m in uni or elsewhere, more often than not, I’m probably hanging out with a female pal. On my campus, if you’re spotted walking with the same chic more than three times, then it somehow becomes official that the two of you are screwing, having a thing/fling/CFA/SBJ/in a relationship. So the next time you’re spotted walking with a different chic, you’re called a playa!

 

Wasn’t he d*nya-ing so-and-so last week? That guy is such a dog!

 

Why is it that people only notice it when you hang out with a chic (if you’re a dude) or if you’re a chic hanging out with a dude? How comes no one takes notice when I hang out with my male friends?

The case is different for chics coz if two or more chics are close and hang out often, then some hindiot will assume that they’re lesbians and before long, it becomes an urban myth!

I’m a member of AIESEC, whose members are known for hard work and hard partying. But obviously the latter is within reasonable and responsible limits. The other day a pal of mine told me about an acronym for AIESEC (I’d never heard it before) which implies that all we do is drink ourselves to a stupor and engage in reckless sex. I laughed it off, and wrote it on my Facebook status update. I was merely being cynical, coz it’s interesting how people who know jack shit about this organization make up stuff that satisfies their opinion of what it really is. The replies to my status update were

 

It’s true. From what I’ve heard…/yeah I’ve also heard the same thing/It’s true coz my pal told me

 

You know what? You are stupid!

 

 

4. Putting words in your mouth, then having the audacity to get pissed off

How many times have you been involved in a debate, or an argument with someone, and they hit you with

 

So are you saying that…/Are you implying that…/Yaani umeniita mjinga?

 

Best believe that if I wanted to say something, I wouldn’t beat about the bush. I would say it. I find it very irritating when those words above somehow find their way into the dialogue, and the person gets pissed off as a result of something that you did not say in the first place!

Is that stupid or what?

 

 

5. We believe everything else but the truth

Why is it that whenever there’s a certain situation going on, people are more likely to believe the word on the street rather than ask the person(s) concerned for the real story? Is it because the gossip is juicier than the truth? Do we love scandal that much? Is it because some of us are idle and stupid?

 

 

What’s on my Playlist?

Too Late now – Valerie Kimani