WE DESERVE BETTER

The other day I was on a matatu headed to the house. A guy boarded the vehicle mid way; I really didn’t know what happened between him and the conductor. I only heard the conductor yell, “Hii gari huwa haibebi Wajaluo kama wewe!” That was one of the worst open tribalism incidents I have seen in my life. Any other time I would have protested and gotten out of the vehicle, well not that day. People had earlier on been killed just for coming from a given tribe or supporting a certain political candidate.

Together with all the other passengers we kept mum. Even though we might have been uncomfortable, we endured through it all, only fighting the injustice within ourselves.

As a society we have employed the mute mode on evils in the society. One of the worst ills we are facing today is police brutality. Our political scene has been characterized with several deaths. Police have employed the use of extra force in dealing with the people they should be protecting. They have beaten, killed and maimed people. In all these we expect calls for a stop to the killing but no we are proven wrong.

Our celebs have kept silent in calling out a stop on police brutality. They are busy protecting brands when their fans are dying. The once great boy band Sautisol would rather release sexual videos to save their stumbling musical career than speak out on the evils in the society. They are becoming part of the evils we have to deal with.

How can you say to your fans ‘I love you all’ on social media yet show none of that in action? Is it for the likes? What happens when all your fans are gone? Will you speak out then?

The political class has failed us miserably in the fight. I did not follow live the swearing in ceremony of President Uhuru Kenyatta, but I had to get my hands on his speech. I had to go through it more than once; to ensure that indeed I had not missed the acknowledgment of the political deaths in Kenya since the August 8 elections rather he did not talk about it at all. It feels so bad when the lives lost are treated like the slaughtering of chicken.

The truth is that it’s high time we have the uncomfortable conversation on police brutality.

My home county, Kisumu, has seen its fair share of police brutality and killings. The stage is always set for police brutality before any national political contest. My people cannot celebrate or show disappointment (most cases) in whatever political outcome. Before any public announcement there is heavy deployment of police to Kisumu. Media follows in second. Ready to capture the best photos and videos of the rowdy Kisumu people.

When the rest of the country looks at Kisumu, it sees a land of violence; a group of people who don’t have peace in their DNA, a place full of rowdy youth who thrive in destruction, a backward place with everyone an expert in throwing stones. But then they need to ask themselves some few questions. How did Kisumu manage to become a city when it is full time violence? How do people in Kisumu fend for themselves when all they do is violence all the time? The last time I checked violence couldn’t feed people.

The media has played a big role in painting a picture of violence in the minds of the people in relation to Kisumu. The media is hell bent on portraying violence as a Luo affair. For example, it took ages to report the cases on police killings in Bungoma, only showing it after widespread talks in social media.

Unlike what the media is portraying, Kisumu people are one of the most welcoming and loving people around Kenya. They are a people who have suffered and struggled to be where they are, just like most Kenyans. They are very forgiving people. Their only undoing is that they lack the pretentious gene in their DNAs. They don’t sugarcoat anything they want to address. Another undoing may be the lack of diplomacy in how they react. Truth be told. But before you judge, remember there is always more to a story.

The media has failed to call out the police killings. I am yet to see any media campaign directed towards stopping police brutality. Then you wonder why most people stopped watching our media? Sometime back activist Boniface Mwangi led a protest condemning police brutality only to end up being a victim. Media covered it live in their channels, but what did they say?

Make no mistake, just because the current police killings are directed towards a certain community or political group doesn’t mean that it will not get to another place next time. Power, just like death, moves to all homes from time to time. At the moment it might seem to be so far or even the thought may appear to be farfetched, but it will come. We have the opportunity to call it out and it be stopped otherwise when the time for the other people to face the brutality comes, they may also just sit down, relax and watch.

Do not speak out only if you are assured you will never need anyone to speak for you.

A group of people who happen to be from the ‘right’ political side think that those killed by the police during protests have called the deaths upon themselves. ‘msiba wa kujitakia’ they say. They have a feeling that the best thing to do in such a time is to keep away from the streets. The truth is that hiding away is not a way to achieve any reforms. How would Kenya have achieved independence if the Mau Mau kept away in the comfort of their homes when the colonialists wanted them to? Would we be having Uhuru park if the women who camped at the place heeded Moi’s threats and brutal treatment? All noteworthy political reforms in Kenya have been achieved with guys on the streets.

Again, they fail to notice that police in some cases have forcefully ejected people from their houses for the beatings. The people in slums in Kisumu and perceived opposition strongholds have such gory tales. Children have been killed at one of the supposed safest places, HOME.

We have a government which seems hell-bent on trying to instill fear in its citizens. A government that may not be ready to accommodate different views. Some people have been arguing that the police are justified to kill and injure the opposition supporters because of violence and looting. Then you are left wondering why they teargas the Maa community peacefully demonstrating against the killing of their cows? There are more civilised ways of dealing with a rowdy crowd. A bullet is not one. That’s meant for war. And we are not at war. We are neighbours, friends, family. But we use war strategies against our own. The very arms and energy used to fight our own can be used to fight our mutual enemy. Those who are killing our children in schools. Those killing our neighbours as they travel in buses. Saying this makes me wonder, is there really a difference between the said bad guys and the police?

Unfortunately, it’s getting to a time when people wouldn’t fear anymore, when guys are ready to face the fire head on and brave whatever weapon that is thrown their way. That is a clear indication that we are breeding a group of people accustomed to death, pain, and hate. With time the killings would not be a threat enough. It will be a norm. That is a dangerous time.

I was talking to Princess earlier this week on how at times we have different views on the evils in the country and she told me in part, “…because I know the moment I start justifying wrongs, am lost.” I couldn’t agree more. It is high time the citizens of this country stop finding a way of justifying wrongs. It is really heartbreaking to hear someone defend the killings of children.

Once Kenya has decided that killing children is bearable, IT IS OVER. No debate.

Chapter four of the constitution of Kenya on rights and fundamental freedoms, provides for human dignity. Every person has inherent dignity and the right to have that dignity respected and protected.

There is not even a single shred of dignity from how the police handle the masses. The police brutality met on women and children, the clobbering on our brothers, maiming and beatings of everyone on the streets comes with no dignity. For that, I want to pass a note to the police. WE DESERVE BETTER. We have dignity to uphold. It must be protected. We must not beg for it.

We deserve to be served and protected by the police irrespective of our political affiliation as long as we are within the provisions of the constitution. We only should be afraid of criminals not police.

101 Random Facts About Me

A few months ago, Princess and I had a writing challenge. We were to each write 50 random things about ourselves. When we submitted our pieces we both agreed that 100 would have been ideal.

Fast forward to this date. I was going through my documents and I felt like, why not give it a go?

Instead of just adding to the other 50, I settled on starting afresh. In that period things have changed. Changes in time comes along with changes in several other things.

So here, have a peak at my life.

1. I was born in 1995
2. I was born of a teacher and a salonist. (Both didn’t last in those fields.)
3. I love my name. Letters L and M are my favorite alphabets
4. I am a Kiswahili and Communication student who cannot speak a minute of Swahili Sanifu.
5. Most of my friends do not understand why I took Swahili. I don’t understand either.
6. I wish I took a more serious course.
7. It seems I compensate for that in the people I get.
8. I prefer listening to music than watching movies
9. I am open minded
10. I like talking politics.

11. I like those who speak their minds. They say what they want and how they want it, no matter how good, ridiculous or hurtful it appears or might be.
12. I don’t consider myself a master of any trade.
13. I really like Oyunga Pala, I have read him since childhood. I also like Kisauti,I feel he treats words with respect.
14. I read several local writers. I like writers, poets and lyricists. They are creators. They build feelings, emotions, thoughts and entertainment out of words.
15. Suits is my favorite all time series. I also find sitcoms like Young & Hungry, BBT, Baby Daddy n Brooklyn Nine Nine, great.
16. I like paying attention to details.
17. I love and fear love in equal measure.
18. Kisumu matatu touts are the funniest people I know
19. I at times think about nothing
20. I am still single.
Update; Not anymore

21. I hope to get my Phd early in life
22. I have grown to like psychology a lot. I have read a lot of books in psychology in recent times. I can even tell Agnes (of Agitah) Luo men like to be praised and why it’s a good thing, coupled with where it matters the most.
23. I use Times New Roman when I run out of things to write. I feel more knowledgeable working on that font.
24. I don’t like watching TV. I only watch when I have specific news bit am looking for otherwise I can just spend a whole day looking at the plasma like an unwelcome mirror.
25. I listen to Jeff and Jalas on Hot 96.
26. I like Kenyan music. I am a huge fan of Khaligraph Jones
27. Internationally I like Kendrick Lamar and J Cole
28. I am not good for your heart, body and soul.
29. I have exceptional listening skills. I have a good memory. Not unless I decide to use the selective recalling method.
30. I am good with names. I like to refer to people by name from time to time when communicating.

31. I prefer telling stories to a noisy group in informal settings. I lose my punch line in stories when many people concentrate at what I am saying. I don’t like being the center of attention.
32. I don’t like being the smartest person in the room.
33. A large part of my personal life never get to social media.
34. My favorite handle on twitter is @novelicious.
35. I can stay for days without logging in to Facebook, a week without twitter and months minus Instagram.
36. I like leading a private life (don’t bother that I pour all the shit here)
37. I prefer collaboration to competition
38. I am a night person. I rarely do shit in the morning.
39. Isn’t it ironical that I am an early riser?
40. My grandma is on the verge of being fully convinced am either gay or not functional.

41. Everyone I know has their own slang for sex. Mine is thwocks. Make a sentence using that word you will get how ridiculous it sounds.
42. I easily strike conversations. I can handle talks even with a total stranger.
43. My backing off game can be great or bad. Depends on the 5Ws and H.
44. Generally, I am a different person to different people. It is based on the 5Ws and H.
45. I’d rather not try at all than try and lose. Been working on changing it for a long time.
46. That is why I did not learn how to ride a bike till last year but one.
47. I just can’t get what’s up with guys in the village who keep asking whether I am the eldest or youngest kid to my parents. I am neither, and I hate explaining shit.
48. I know what it means to be vulnerable to someone.
49. I believe that once we have something going we will always have it. We can go for a break for a week, months or even ten years. When we meet we will pick it up from where we left.
50. At the moment I am not sure what I want in life. Sometimes I want to do good stuff, make contributions to the society. Other times I just want to disappear to a lone island.

51. My favorites change often. In fact I am surprised how my favorite person has kept intact for such a long time.
52. I have never watched any episode of Prison Break.
53. I like chicken and fish
54. Chapati
55. I tend to use any name that crops up in my mind when arranging stuff on my computer. You now know why I say most of the times when asked that I have no movies or series. Trying to remember those names take time.
56. I have smoked cigarette once. Weed more than once.
57. I have also done illicit brew some times.
58. I am not a foodie
59. I don’t like eggs
60. I get bored or distracted so fast.

61. I like giving compliments. Most so when people deserve it. Though I am poor at receiving compliments.
62. I don’t know how to give 100% in something. I am just trying.
63. I have articles I wrote that I am embarrassed to read now. I just look at the titles and never read them. (One was posted here). I also don’t delete either.
64. My favorite number is 4 since childhood.
65. I don’t have a favorite day of the week. Any day can be a feel good day.
66. I can live without mobile network and internet.
67. Most people think that I am a Out of Site Out of Mind kind of person. Yes, they think right.
68. If I like you, you have to know.
69. My phone and PC wallpaper and screensaver are all PepperLife logo.
70. I like everything about PepperLife, starting from our readers.

71. I love my writing partner.
72. I am not a sucker for fashion. In fact I wear anything I can get my hands on when I want to leave.
73. Yet I have hit the runway more than once as a model.
74. I care just a tiny little bit about what people think about me (enough to help safeguard my reputation).
75. I believe people should do whatever makes them happy. As long as it doesn’t affect others.
76. I like the smell of toasted bread in the morning.
77. I email myself stuff from time to time as a means of transferring documents from the PC to the phone.
78. I have continuation problems. Like it can take me another year to complete this list if I don’t do it in one sitting.
79. The only time I call someone bad words is when I am kidding. I can call you really bad names when I am working you up.
80. I don’t know how to engage in a fight, verbal or physical. Not unless protecting someone I love.

81. I am slow (very very slow) to anger.
82. I like the view in Kericho when travelling. I find the tea zones so beautiful.
83. I want to revisit Mombasa and the Kenyan coasts any opportunity I get.
84. After Mombasa I want to go to Turkana.
85. I like how the sun sets in Kisumu
86. I subconsciously touch a lot when I really like someone. On the other side I feel weird when touched a lot.
87. The people I interact with think they know me. Funny what people think.
88. I like my ladies BBW. Writing this makes me question if it has anything to my liking of BMW.
89. Just when I thought I was settled, earlier this year we came to a mutual agreement with Vanessa Mdee that whatever we had could not work out. Giving me a green light to take my relationship with Mayonde to greater heights.
90. I don’t shower daily

91. I brush my teeth when I shower. I caught this from the sweetest taboo.
92. I suck at lying. I also don’t like liars. But if you have to lie to me, please be creative.
93. I can take any joke, no matter how brutal. Just be ready to receive in return.
94. Just start a conversation I will do my best to keep it lively.
P.S. To my friends who complain that I never start conversations; I learned that it costs nothing and of late I hope you realize I have improved. If not, I am working on it.
95. I think kissing is so weird when you think about it. You decide to taste the lips of each other to express emotions. Also…
96. The type of stuffs you hear when you meet open ladies is weird. “You handle this ass like its some fire going to burn you, like you are not sure that it’s yours. Babe this ass is yours fully.
97. I have got a kid brother. He is so bright and sharp. Both book and crook smart.
98. At some point our voices sounded exactly the same on phone (nowadays he has bass). I enjoyed getting him ladies on his behalf (His loss)
99. Whenever I hit the bar alone it’s almost given I will have a cold beer in a corner.
100. I never liked reading until recently.

101. After reading this list someone will think that they know me. Once again, funny what people think.