Friday, June 22, 2007

The Ship of State

The way Baba Jimmy is running his regime, you might be mistaken for thinking that the man was asleep at the wheel. But nothing could be further from the truth. The truth of the matter is, the ship if state is still afloat and it is steaming ahead without any icebergs in its future. It is the hapless ODM canoe that is amusing me greatly. Never mind that the architects of that particular boat are all consummate politicians. Never mind that they command sizable constituencies of their own. And never mind that they also command great financial resources.

Despite all this, it is still a toss-up whether the ODM machinery will survive till the general elections. Kalonzo and Raila, the self-confessed front-runners in the ODM camp, are busily establishing separate secretariats of their own. They are both so convinced of their saviour-of-the-nation status, they are becoming more and more hubristic as the general elections approach. And now, Uncle Moody wants to cheat them of the time needed to convince their fellow-travellers of their good prospects, if not of their good intentions.

If the current Bill is passed, they may break up well before the February voting day. I don't know that I would be disappointed in a second Kibaki term; after all, all politicians are thieves. He, however, has ensured a period of relative calm. I am indeed grateful that his face does not adorn every newspaper page and he is not afforded three-quarters of TV airtime as was the case with Nyayo.

So he has his Anglo-Leasing. So what? Unlike Goldenberg, no one is accusing Baba Jimmy of being the mastermind behind that particular scam. The Goldenberg fiasco tainted everyone from the Head of State on down. Which is why, I am confident that even if no new programmes are announced in the next five years, we will be alright. That sentiment cannot be associated with the clowns in the ODM. The sooner they put their affairs in order, the better their prospects will be. If they are unable to, the only fair thing would be for them to allow UK to stand on his own.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Are we seeing the death knell of romance?

Maina Kageni in the morning, for most mornings, is a disappointment. I am sure he has legions of female listeners who imagine themselves being the new Mrs. Kageni. However, on this particular morning, while his show had the usual mix of inanity and morning intoxication, it did raise one glaring fact: romance is dead. It has been dead for a long time.

I am not talking about the mzungu concept of romance involving flowers and champagne. I am talking about chivalry and graciousness. Men are no longer chivalrous and women are very rarely gracious. It all has to do with how far we have come on this road to male/female equality. This equality is killing off the last vestiges of romance in this country. After all, if we can all do it all, why should we allow someone else to do it for us? I am aware that the legions of women's rights activists are not (all) divorced harridans with axes to grind. I am also aware that they have very valid concerns on the inequity and iniquity of the current state of affairs. But I just wish that things could have been done with a lot more sensitivity to the kinds of families we would end up with.

Nairobi is no longer a hospitable city. I suspect that neither are our larger towns. This, in my opinion, has to do with the fact that with the collapse of the village and the extended family, and the attendant bonds they fostered, and the failure of the nuclear family to take up the slack, there has been no inculcation of any values for the young men and women of today. So we end up with motivated over-achievers who do not appreciate the simple joy of doing something for someone without pay or reward or, more crucially, having someone doing something for you without any ulterior motive.

We need to learn, again, how to think

I don't think the parliamentarians of the National Assembly will heed the call and #RejectFinanceBill2024. They will tinker. They will v...