Wednesday, March 30, 2005


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By this time tomorrow I shall be inhaling the hot and humid air of Port Bell. Am waking up at some ungodly hour to be at the airport for two hours before the flight to Entebbe actually takes off (Quick Question: What is the SENSE in this?!!)

Am off to Uganda for a week or so. I believe i will generally be online so no one need despair. But in case i'm not, no need to send out search parties.

Those people who owe me money, lunches, etc use this time wisely to prepare for my return.

Openly Gay Cheney Daughter Writing Memoir
Tue Mar 29,11:20 PM ET By ELIZABETH LeSURE, Associated Press Writer
Mary Cheney, daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney plans to publish a memoir under a new subdivision of Simon & Schuster devoted to conservative books, the company announced Tuesday
No pun intended from Miss LeSure, we like to think!

Only a man like Mwai Kibaki can jump to a conclusion and sit on it
The Book Of The M

Tabu Ley - Muzina

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

M on M (with 16% VAT)

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Peer pressure at work! Ok Miss K, Mama J(acinta?)JunkYard, Nick

1) I've spent a long time trying to attend to the foremost of duties - know thyself
2) I'm not done, and don't expect to be for quite a while
3) So far I am intrigued by what I've found out
4) "Because", as an answer to questions, I generally find acutely wanting
5) Many people and establishments view this with quite some apprehension
6) I prefer to talk to God from my heart, rather than using canned prayers
7) There are people who go out of their way to fit into a mould
8) I am not one of these
9) Being the first born, growing up quickly was something I had to do in a hurry
10) Which did not exclude getting into trouble
11) I brought my folks close to heart attacks on numerous occasions
12) When I was not looking down at their terrified faces from the roof of our house or dangling from the back of a speeding lorry or deliberately getting lost on my "adventures" my backside was paying the price.
13) Today's logic of sending a small boy to his room, fully equipped with computer, play station and TV, ostensibly as punishment, escapes me entirely
14) But I was a small boy of "live for the moment, face the consequences later"
15) I'm very easily bored
16) As childhoods go, I can't complain about mine. There weren't many dull moments there and I like to think there aren't many now
17) And even now I still love kids. I even speak pretty good baby
18) Something about their optimism, good cheer and innocence
19) You don't have to listen for undertones and hints when talking to kids
20) I love chocolate. And ice cream. And cake
21) In fact every Friday I pass through the supermarket directly opposite my workplace and get myself a large bar of Dairy Milk chocolate (made with a glass and a half of full cream milk). The plain kind. Personally, nuts, raisins, etc just pollute the chocolate. This I eat on the way home
22) I'm in excellent health and fitness
23) I generally unruffled by most situations
24) For example just this weekend I and some fellow Kenyans found ourselves being forced to alight from a vehicle by police armed to the teeth
25) As I was being searched one of the cops demanded to know what I was eating
26) I told him chocolate (see 20)
27) He asked me why I was eating it during a police search
28) I asked him why I shouldn't be eating it (see 23)
29) While most people have bejeweled crucifixes and other what-nots around their necks, I have a little wooden teddy bear (see 7,8)
30) George is his name
31) George is usually received with considerable amazement by new acquaintances
32) I have an excellent memory
33) But not for faces - It's very common for me to run into someone who talks to me at length, bids me goodbye and leaves me wondering who the heck I have just been talking to
34) But for other things they tend to stick
35) For example I can still write down the periodic table
36) Haven't quite figured out why some things stick and others don't
37) Most people think I'm a bit more intelligent than average
38) This is an opinion I do not share
39) However I learn things pretty quickly
40) As long as I have at least a slight interest in them
41) For instance I learned to ride a bike the very first day I attempted
42) Of course during the course of the same day I made the acquantiance of a street light
43) Did you know that regardless of the speed at which you hit them, they will not move?
44) My word can be taken at face value
45) I'm not a fan of hints, inclinations and suggestions
46) If I think you're an ass you'll know it without a shadow of a doubt
47) I have a pretty good sense of humour
48) This gets me through most days, good and bad
49) Extremely self confident (Irritatingly is the word commonly used)
50) I love listening to music
51) I listen to music when I work, and sing along
52) I'm not too bad actually
53) I enjoy almost all genres, from Afro-fusion down to Zouk
54) What I can't stand is listening to Celine Dion or Usher or Mariah Carey with those ridiculous reggae remixes
55) I resisted the temptation to get a mobile phone until my boss actually bought me one and forced me to get a line
56) This was back in the day when Safaricom had one Tariff and a Kencell line was not 300 or so bob as it is today, but a solid 3,500 iron men
57) I can watch my phone ring without feeling guilty about it. I must have missed that part of the constitution where it says that one must answer all calls.
58) Flashing me will not get you far
59) I'm extremely easygoing
60) This I get from my father
61) I deeply admire my father. He's the most remarkable man I have ever met.
62) He is always smiling (I'm working on that one) and I've only seen him annoyed once in my lifetime.
63) From my amazing mother dear the generosity genes came
64) And the cooking. I'm a pretty good cook.
65) Once walked into a robbery in progress
66) Between me and the robbers I'm not sure who was more surprised
67) One of the hardest things you can ever do is attend the funeral of the person you were convinced you were going to spend the rest of your life with.
68) It is even harder to write the eulogy
69) And it is almost impossible to read it
70) It's four years past now, and much as I never thought it at the time, the pain is gone.
71) I'll still have a piece of you in my heart forever Michelle
72) It's a pretty big heart, so I hope no one will mind the filled space
73) I cannot believe I've just said this in a public website
74) Striped suits and checked suits are the most ridiculous things that the human male can put on his person
75) Blue, black, grey and white are my colours
76) Boxers! Only boxers!
77) If I could go back in time I'd have done philosophy in university
78) As friends go I'm very grateful for mine
79) They've seen me through some of my most trying times
80) I hope they realize how much they mean to me
81) I already know who my best men are going to be ( I shall have two)
82) Suffering fools is not something I do
83) Hypocrites and tribalists also get my goat
84) When I was a small boy I was shut in a clothes basket with a chicken that objected both to being in the clothes basket as well as my presence
85) I did not know at the time that it was a chicken
86) There was little doubt whose feathers were ruffled most
87) I'm generally nice to people
88) People therefore take great liberties with me
89) They don't seem to realize that I notice this
90) It annoys the heck out of me
91) On occasion I express myself fairly comprehensively
92) Then things go back to normal (see 87)
93) I love watching TCM classic movies
94) How many of today's movies have a cast of only 4 and are set in one room and still manage to keep you watching for the full 90 minutes? How many of today's movies are the story and not the budget or the actors?
95) When I was a small boy I got a crocheting needle stuck in my throat
96) I don't mind needles, but I do mind hospitals. Something about the smell, the smug doctors and the gloomy atmosphere keeps me in perfect health and fitness purely by will power
97) I'm a bit daring
98) Some of the things I've done on a wager (or just because I could) will bar me from public office
99) I'm a believer of actions over words. This is why I hold most politicians in fine disdain
100) I'm the only boy I know who did not fall for the infamous "show me yours and I'll show you mine" subterfuge, that was the waterloo of many small boys in kindergartens all over the world
101) When the present Nyayo High Rise was just a big rock, my father once had an accident in which he rammed into the said rock at some 140 plus km/h
102) My brother and I were kneeling in the back seat
103) CSI like reconstruction of events indicated we actually broke through the rear windscreen on our way out of the car, landing on an grass embankment
104) Net damage - the loose tooth I had came out
105) I wish I was a couple (and only a couple) of inches shorter. Being tall is a bit overrated.
106) Yes, it's handy to change bulbs and get stuff from top shelves but I've lost count of the low doorways I've banged my forehead against
107) Fitting in small cars is also an exercise in contortionism
108) I read a lot, from The Epic of Gilgamesh right down to Tom Clancy & Steven King
109) I sometimes wish I was a miser - I take very good care of myself. Too good. My money starts off as a 1,000 bob note, and then regardless of what I buy converts to 500 bob, 200 bob and coins. The next transaction lands me with two 200 bob notes and coins, the next 100 bob and coins and the next just the coins. There may be gremlins in my pocket that eat my cash
110) Had a crush on two people who happen to currently be in the same state, and in fact the same physical loacale
111) Without a doubt during the course of the day they run into each other
112) I like to think they're blissfully unaware of this aspect that they share
113) I'm sure that one or two reading this will now fondly imagine they know me
114) Resist the temptation, This is but a scratch on the surface
115) Even from thousands of miles away, A intrigues me immensely
116) I am who I am thanks to the efforts of God, my wonderful mum and dad who made me the man I am and my friends who have carried me through the rougher spots of my life. Salut!

Simon & Garfunkel - The Boxer

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Happy Easter

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I tried but just could not resist-a,
to wish you and yours a Happy Easter!
So every Miss and every Mister,
do the slide and then the twist-a

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Spin Doctor

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Good morning, greetings, salutations and felicitations. Wassup, wasadili and what’s crackalacking? Izzow? Niaje bro ….. niaje siste ….. ninawacheki wadhii.

My names, for those who do not know me, and who will now know me after telling you my names, I am Fred M Nutua. I am the Secretarial Spokesman for the Communications Office.

As I promised and swore last week, this will be the first of many communications in which I will attempt, try and undertake to keep the Kenyan public aware and informed of what is going on in the Government, and what is cooking in the Kitchen Cabinet.

I urge all our National heroes to simplify our work by dying quickly. It makes sense. My staff has been working overtime and at present we have over thirty speeches ready for funerals of our heroes. We have made arrangements with stone masons for tombstones and funeral homes for coffins and burial ceremonies. Everything is ready, so I urge them all to quickly die so that our Government can honour them. In fact just this morning I have personally inspected a consignment of sack cloth and ashes that we shall use to grieve. We even have glycerol for gnashing teeth.

The Government has undertaken and successfully completed several projects for the betterment of the people in the three years that it has been in power. These include and constitute of the following

  • Free oxygen for the people (one of our proudest achievements)
  • Free rain and sunshine (yet another fine achievement)
  • Cattle dip in Siaya
  • Roofing tiles for Chief’s office in Bura
  • Padlock for Nandi DC’s house gate
  • Torch for Mtongwe ferry watchman
  • Groundnuts for city council workers on special occasions, like Presidential inaugurations

I say this in reference to the explosion at the Wilson airport. First of all let me categorically say that not all bombs explode, and not all explosions are bombs. In fact, what happened was a mere explosion and not a bomb. Our security apparatus and apparel are diligently on watch and on point to keep our people safe.

There is no corruption in this Government. It is all untrue, concocted, dishonest and a lie. What we have is a perception of corruption, where the Government is seen to be corrupt. For instance, one of our objectives was to create wealth. So I find it amazing that when a cabinet minister attempts to create wealth in a brotherly gesture for a fellow minister, I find myself amazed at the crying wolf, sheep and fowl.

This Government is all for freedom. However our citizens fail to appreciate that freedom also extends to the police, who really, in all fairness, should be free to practice their craft! If you spend six years studying architecture you are expected to – er – architect. Surely if you spend 2 years training how to disarm and subdue people you must be allowed to use what you learn!

We welcome all Sands, Stones, Clays and other such to our country. They are most welcome, and in our democratic space we allow them to say whatever they want. “Incorrigible liar”, as was expressed by someone was taken totally out of context. In fact, it was not said in a bad way!

As we saw in a neighbouring country, a kick in the teeth, a chair to the head, a walking stick to the back and a blow to the cojones are perfectly democratic expressions that should be recognized and encouraged. My teacher told me that actions speak louder than words, and what is louder than a well placed kick? I think you will agree that we are one of the most democratic countries in the World.

Those who are always complaining about 1 teacher teaching 589 students are simply splitting hairs. It is a loud testament to the ability of our teachers to handle such a workload. After all, one God attends to the billions of people!

With these numerous few examples it is pretty abundantly clear that this government is deeply commited to devlopment issues.


President Mwai Kibaki suddenly realizes that what he is reading is not his parliament opening speech but a dog eared copy of his wife's "Three Billy Goats Gruff"

O ye of little faith! I've been writing poetry for years and years!

3 Doors Down - Kryptonite

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Ode To Aida

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Sitting here, this sunny day,
thinking of you, so far away,
maybe tomorrow, or maybe today,
I can find some words, for me to say,
to you, who makes me feel this way.

Countries and continents may lie between us,
but what I ask, could come between us?

The world of you I want to discover,
your very essence, your glorious wonder.

The depths of you I want to explore,
today, tomorrow and forever more.

I want to be so near to you,
adore you, admire you and revere you.

Of all the ways to pass the time:

I wish to see the curve of your smile,
I wish to be lost in the depths of your eyes.

I wish to whisper, into your ear,
my every thought, my wish and my fear

Lucky and blessed and nothing less,
is to know and love your sweet finesse

Even as I began this poem before,
I find right now, if I truly recall,
that I love you just a little bit more...

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Of Horses And Cabinet

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Well, I seem to have acquired a pigeonhole of a political satirist. This is certainly not something I set out to do, nor want, seeing as this is where I ramble on anything and everything, but as it happens the current political situation is replete with topics of discussion. My derision for these bastards .... eh gentlemen and ladies of character and integrity is becoming infamous, and on more than one occasion the services of a psychiatrist have been hinted.

But first thing's first.....

There's this Cabinet Minister of a certain country. Let's call him .... Kristopher. Kristopher (purportedly) runs the Ministry of Movement, involved in cars, trucks, buses, railways etc. If you have never seen good old Kristopher, take a walk to the Ngong Racecoure, or any other stables, and look at any of the animals you will find there from behind. What you see will be a fairly accurate representation of his good side.

Kristopher is but a babe in the woods in his new post. His previous docket did not earn him any marks. If he was left alone in a room of citizens, his chances of making it out of there without teethmarks are very remote indeed. His grinning face seems to invite blows. His arrogant voice stirs even the most peaceful to thoughts of just how far up his nether regions an electricity pole will go.

Conscious of his unpopularity, Kristopher has embarked on measures that he fondly believes will make him a darling of the people. His course of action is a lot like that of his predecessor - stamping his authority in the Ministry. To this regard he has diverted his attentions and sweats with the effort of enforcing some traffic laws. Kristopher seems unaware that the laws in question seem to have been written when the vehicles on the roads were two horse power (literally), and exhaust from said vehicles did not poison the lungs, but the shoes. It is this we find ludicrous speed limits like 49.99 km/h.

To add insult to injury, now it is illegal to stop on the road for any vehicle to stop on the road to discharge customers, or to allow them to board. The problem is, it is also illegal to get off the road, in order to avoid blocking the traffic, to do the same thing. Shuttle services that did this were promptly impounded. So where there are no bus stops, you are buggered. For an environ like SouthWest B, that has a grand total of TWO bus stops, the entire residential populace is completely and utterly buggered, because said bus stops are just where SouthWest B begins. If you were to walk from some areas of SouthWest B to these bus stops, you might as well walk to town.

Kristopher fondly believes that he is asserting his authority and blazing a trail toward being an efficient minister. He is blissfully aware that all he is doing is reinforcing the growing perception that he is an enormous horse's arse!


Kristopher, photo taken of his good side

Coldplay - Trouble

Monday, March 14, 2005

Water Bored

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ly The Nairobi Water Board is an interesting entity, misunderstood by many. It history is as chequered as Kasparov's tools of trade, but as far as can be discerned, their principal duties are to avail piped water to the residents of Nairobi. When it comes to this particular role, the view of the Nairobi Water Board seems to be that
You can provide some people with water some of the time, but you CANNOT provide all the people with water all of the time
It is a mantra that they have borne with pride throughout their lifetime of attempting to serve its customers.

The recent craze of business process re-engineering seems to have hit Kenyan companies by storm. Never one to be left out of what's happening, public enterprises are wasting no time in joining the bandwagon, and some are bending over backwards to be "with it". The Nairobi Water Board is not one to be left behind, and has embraced this new fad with gusto.

A direct result is that many residents, in innumerable localities, find themselves in the reluctant role of guinea pigs. In addition to its core competence, the (general) provision of water, the Board seems to have decided that since the Ministry Of Education has phased out music from the syllabus, an unsatisfied demand exists in the market. So it is with this regard that taps all over South B, to relieve the monotony of running water, produce a variety of melodious whistling sounds.

With the aid of some of my friends, as recently as last night I was able to play the National Anthem with the outside tap (soprano), kitchen tap (alto), bathroom tap (tenor) and shower(bass). The taps in the downstairs facilities provided the lower soprano). The beat was provided by the dripping servant's quarter tap.

In a burst of enthusiasm, the Nairobi Water Board has also suddenly decided that they fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry Of Transport, after some overzealous officials saw the unfortunate Tsunami in action earlier this year. As a result, they themselves obliged by duty and commitment to their customers welfare to abide by the new directives on speed. The direct result of this is that the steady rush of water we expect in our pipes has slowed to a gentle gush. To get water out of your taps is quite the effort. Just this morning I had to open the taps in full and place a 500 bob note on the bathtub to convince the water to come out, risking an long interview with one Aaron 'Indefatigable' Ringera.

Much as I am touched for their concern in making sure I'm not run over by speeding water, I'd like them to rest assured that I'd much rather take the risk and have the tank at the top of my house filled.

If you enjoyed the original Cabinet Tales, either in the original form or as a forward, you will be glad to know that Cabinet Tales II is in the pipeline. Coming out soon!

Nairobi Back In The Day
Proverbs 31 Woman

Musiq Soul Child - Girl Next Door

Clay Court Terminus

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The Friday Nation of 11 March finally published an acknowledgement to me, bringing the Clay Court Affair to an end. It has certainly been an interesting turn of events. I shall duly comment extensively on the ramifications of this to the Kenyan Blogosphere when I have a bit of time.

Jua Cali - NIpe Asali

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

IQ Plus

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Ralphie Wanjala, the MP who represents the people of Budalangi said the other day that
An MP, once done with parliament, cannot be employed anywhere

This was a pathetic attempt to defend a 1.5 million shilling payout at the end of their term.

I disagree. Most of our MPs would have excellent careers as clowns or jesters. Why?

Yesterday, a very morose looking Wanjala painted a pitiful picture to the press. His face was every bit the epitomization of a deeply grieved and wounded man. I wasn't there but this is the gist of what I got
Ralphie: Powerful enemies are after my blood, my head and my behind!
Press: Oh? Why is that?
Ralphie: The diligent work that I do for the Ouko Commission
Press: And what makes you say that?
Ralphie: I have received death threats on my phone through Short... er... Simple .... er ... SMS!
Press: Oh? Can you tell us the number?
Ralphie: I can't tell you that! I've recorded the statement with the police.
Press: Hmm. Can we see the SMS?
Ralphie: Certainly (Whips out a Nokia 1100 and in no time presents the SMS)

Take care. We will finish
you and your family and
the beautiful girlfriends

Press: Criky! Is that the phone number we see up there?
Ralphie: Yes yes, so you can see that people are out to get me and finish me.
Late Coming Reporter: Could you give us the number it came from?
Ralphie:(Angrily) I already said NO!!!!
Stone faced Reporter: And so, how have your wife and girlfriends taken it?
I cannot even begin to imagine the heights of grief and gratitude that our Government will rise to in honouring Bildad Kaggia, now that he is dead! Mark my words, at least one of the cabinet members will don sack cloth and ashes and shed disconsolate tears, offering to bury him in Freedom Corner (If Roocy allows it that is). When it comes to venerating the dead, few can touch the KIbaki regime


"Yes, I understand you perfectly. The subscriber cannot be reached .... Ehe, hata Kiswahili naelewa. Hapatikani kwa sasa..."

Floetry - Say Yes

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The Clay Court Affair Part IV

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Well, things seem to have been humming over at the Nation. Shortly after my email i've received a number of official communications from the Nation through a gentleman by the way of Charles Onyango-Obbo, who I understand is the Managing Editor in charge of products.

The Nation asked him to deal with the matter, and from the communication I have received from him he has been following up the matter diligently. They have gone some way in meeting the concerns raised vocally by you readers, as well as myself, and I am highly encouraged by the sincere responses

First off was this one, in response to the email I sent

From:Charles Onyango-Obbo
To: M

You are right, we should have taken steps to deal with this issue in a timely fashion on our end. We are going to publish an unqualified apology and fully credit the source of Clay's article on Friday.

I will forward you an email detailing some of the internal decisions taken on this matter. We are sorry about this, and be assured that our editorial policy is unflinching on matters of plagiarism.

Charles Onyango-Obbo

Then, the more energetic of you seem to have had an effect! So for those who emailed the Nation (that I know of) including Mark, Sam, Tracy, and last but most definitely not least the tireless Truphena, rest in the knowledge that letters to editors actually get read

From: Charles Onyango Obbo
To: M

There are people who have been very outspoken on this issue, one of them being Truphena Wilingiyama. Last Friday, we sent this in reply to several that she has posted our way over the Clay matter.

From: Charles "Mase" Onyango-Obbo
Sent: Friday, March 4, 2005 6:28 PM
To: 'Truphena Wilingiyama'
Cc: Muganda Clay; Betty Muriuki; Lucy Oriang; Wangethi Mwangi; Joseph Odindo
Subject: We apologise for failure to acknowledge
Dear Truphena Wilingiyama,

I have been instructed to write you this note formally on behalf of Nation Media Group. We are the leaders in standards in this region, and would like to put it on record that we agree with your position that Clay Muganda's use of material from "Thinker's Room" without full acknowledgement falls short of basic intellectual rights norms. Our own Editorial Policy policies require full disclosure of sources. We also recognise the standard that borrowing an idea which is not ordinary, or paraphrasing sentences without full acknowledgement is not right.

We are sorry we were not able to bring this matter to speedier resolution, but please accept our remorse. We shall publish an appropriate acknowledgement in the Weekend magazine next week.

Charles Onyango-Obbo

Finally there was this, that am led to believe shall appear on this Friday's Weekend
From:Charles Onyango-Obbo
To: M
From: Charles "Mase" Onyango-Obbo
Sent: Friday, March 4, 2005 7:00 PM
To: Betty Muriuki; Muganda Clay
Cc: Lucy Oriang; Wangethi Mwangi; Joseph Odindo
Subject: Correction for Plagiarism

Apology: Credit to Thinkers Room

The article by Clay Muganda entitled "Job Openings" in the "Clay Court" column (Weekend magazine, February) was adapted from a Kenyan satirist's weblog (Thinker's Room" at While Muganda did say the article is "available on the Internet", it was not sufficient acknowledgement. We apologise to "Thinkers Room" for not offering full credit for the work.

This I hope will bring to a conclusion to the matter.
As with all things, the entire affair has its positive points:
- Raised the awareness of the Kenyan Blogosphere
- The Weblog has been recognized by the local media as an alternative voice of expression

You can always make a difference

Coldplay - Trouble

Monday, March 07, 2005

The Clay Court Affair Part III

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Having diligently followed what dear mama told me about counting to ten before doing anything, I have gone four better and counted to fourteen (days) before writing to the Daily Nation. The deafening silence from them leaves me acutely puzzled.

From: M
To: Charles Onyango Obbo (Managing Editor, Products)
Cc: Lucy Oriang (Manaing Editor, Magazines)

Good morning.

I'm not sure who I should have addressed this to, so i've addressed it to the two of you to be on the safe side. I have been patient for all of two weeks on this matter, and i feel it's time i spoke out.

As you are doubtlessly aware, on the 25th of February Clay Court featured some material sourced from myself without full acknowledgement. You cannot imagine my surprise and amazement at reading my own writing in the Weekend Magazine, especially since I have on occasion freely submitted material for publication. The irony of the situation was not lost on me.

Personally I found the reference to "the full unedited article is available on the Internet" acutely wanting, and as a matter of fact wrote the columnist on the matter, and in turn was assured that due credit would be given.

I gave him and the Nation the benefit of the doubt and awaited for the same and yet again was very surprised when again acknowledgement was not given in the issue of the 4th of AugustMarch.

I'm sure that some sort of editorial policy is in place that governs the operations of the newspaper. Silence on the matter is not likely to resolve anything, and in fact the debate generated on the entire issue in the vibrant online community I fear has not been favourable towards the Nation. The longer the matter remains unresolved the more your readership will cast what I like to imagine, an unwarranted jaundiced eye on your establishment, which i'm sure is very unfortunate indeed.

I find this attitude very puzzling from a Newspaper that for a long time i have held in the highest regard. I have not received any communication, formal or otherwise from the Nation on the matter. Why is this? My contacts are freely available. Quite frankly I am unsure of what to think of this situation.

I look forward to your response.



Again, the response ought to make for some interesting reading

Outkast - ATLiens

Friday, March 04, 2005

The Clay Court Affair Part II

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Well, as weeks go, this one has been an interesting one. Most of you seem to feel deeply in the matter of the Nation's usage of material sourced from here. I seem to have become an unofficial revolutionary of sorts!

The Global Voices have raised the issue in this post (Good looking out Ory)

Let me answer the most asked questions today.

Q: Did you know your material was going to be used?
A: No. I was just as surprised

Q: Did you write or call The Columnist concerning this matter?
A: Yes. Details of our communication are here

Q: Have any of the Nation's editors been in touch with you?
A: No.

Q: What do you think of all the furore that has been raised
A: Well, to be honest, I didn't think quite so many people passed through here! I'm flattered.

Q: Will this affair make you reconsider putting your writings online
A: NO!

I've also just received a mail from the extremely energetic Truphena

From: Truphena
To: M, Lucy Oriang (Managing Editor)
Cc: Clay Muganda (Columnist) , Betty Muriuki (Friday Nation Editor), Charles Onyango Obbo (Managing Editor, Products)

I notice with disappointment that in your Friday 4 March issue of the Daily Nation you have failed to mention the matter of sourcing material from alternative sources and failing to credit the source, as was the case with the issue of Clay Court on the 25th of February.

I regret to say that this matter cannot be swept under the carpet and ignored. Continued silence will only lead to further erosion of the reputation of the Nation, which continues to happen the longer you ignore the matter

For instance the matter has now grown beyond the active web community of Kenyan diaspora, and has now caught the attention of the international web fraternity and is the subject of discussion in The Global Village, a Harvard University sponsored initiative. The issue is raised here, and again the credibility of the paper is taking a beating

I believe that the Kenyan Media is signatory to the Ethical codes of the World Free Press, as outlined in the East Africa Free Press Assembly Nairobi, Kenya 2000, and Ethics in the media has been discussed at length.

My interest in this matter lies in the fact that:
- Such practice is harmful to the Nation, and the Kenyan media at large, because if they lose credibility their role as a watchdog of society will suffer
- Such practice will stile the development of alternative modes of expression, such as web logs, which again is bad for the public
- Such practices will also stifle the abundance of talent out there who write not for the money but for the love if it.

I hope the Nation will at the end of the day do the right thing, not only for its own benefit, but that of the media as a whole.



The responses to this ought to make for some interesting reading. I'll keep you posted

Nyota Ndogo - Mambo Kombo

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Beat Down

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Sometimes I get the powerful impression that sometimes God looks down, winks at his angels and says "Now now, look at that dude M. Don't you think he needs something to make his day interesting?"

At this juncture the angels put aside their harps, agree heartily and draw closer in anticipation.

What generally transpires after such deliberations is that things as innocuous as going to work become that much more interesting. For instance today as I sat in Shirley, the Yaya bound Shuttle, just outside Hotel Kati Kati, drama was unfolding.

A chap in a red pick up had stopped suddenly, and a direct result of that stopping suddenly, a van from one of our local security companies drove merrily into the back of the pickup. This was something the gentlemen in the van objected strongly to, and so moved were they by this that they descended from their van, batons in hand. Quicker than Njeru Ndwiga on a tax waiver, they descended upon the pick up driver and with the aid of their batons, tried very hard to change the shape of the head of the pickup driver. Those of us in the shuttle who have yet to discover what a "Beat Down" is came away enlightened. For effort, technique and enthusiasm, I gave the guards a resounding A, considering that they were beating the driver of the pick up through his open windows.

Unfortunately for us spectators, traffic cleared and the shuttle driver, who was clearly behind schedule put his foot down and we left the spiraling drama behind us. Alighting immediately and walking the 8 or so minutes to work was an idea considered and rejected by the fact that I was already 10 minutes late.

Amazingly, the KRA owes the business community at large some 2.2 billion shillings in VAT refunds and waivers, according to Bankelele
They blame the Minister (Treasury) for giving away to many incentives and waivers.

Note: Apology to any Nigerians, but this forward was just hilarious!
A family in Nigeria was puzzled when the coffin of their dead mother arrived from the USA, sent by their sister.

The tiny corpse was so tightly squeezed inside the coffin that their mother's face was practically touching the glass cover. When they opened the coffin, they found a letter from their sister pinned to their mother's chest, which read:-

Dearest brodas and sistos, I am sending you our moda's remains for burial de in Lagos. Sorry I couldn't come along as de expenses were so high. You will find inside de coffin, onda Mama's body, 12 can s of Libby's corn beef and 12 cans of Luncheon Meat.Just share it among yourselves.

On Mama's feet is a brand-new pair of Reeboks (size 8)for Junior.De are four pairs of Reeboks onder Mama's head for Tunde's sons. Mama is wearing six Ralph Lauren T-shirts - one is for Omo Roy and de rest are my nephews. Mama is also wearing one dozen Wondo Bra (your favorite), just divide it among yourselves. De 2 dozen Victoria's Secret panties dat Mama is wearing should be distributed among my nieces and cousins.

Underneat mama's body is 20 kgs of cocaine in satchets which is wort 120 million Naira. Dis should take care of all of you and de unborn babies in your bodies. Dont bury her wid all dis fortune.

Mama is also wearing eight Docker pants - Ikeje, please get one for yourself and de rest are for de boys. De Swiss watch you asked for is on Mama's left wrist, please get it. Aunty Ifoma , Mama is wearing what you asked for ie ear rings, ring and necklace -please just get dem. Also, de six pairsof Chanel stockings dat Mama is wearing must be divided among the teen-age girls de. I hope dey like de color.

Your loving sister, Nene

PS: Plse take care of finding a dress for her burial since all i had dressed her in were your presents.

Q: What's long, brown and sticky?
A: A stick

Craig David - Fill Me In

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Books And Book (Wo)men

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A certain First Lady over the last month has quoted from 3 Blind Mice as well as Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. It is just a matter of time before weighty quotes from Puss In Boots, Chicken Licken and 3 Billy Goats Gruff are rolling from her articulate lips. Only time will tell when pithy gems from Snow White And the Seven Dwarfs , Goldilocks And The Three Bears and Cinderella will find their way into her startling speeches.

Thank God for easy to read 32 page thrillers with large fonts and coloured pictures!

Aida, bestest of the bestest of the bestest luck to you :)


The First Lady Poses for her portrait for the Kenyan 10,000 shilling note
Black Eyed Peas - Shut Up!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The Clay Court Affair Part I

I have moved to, and i have also migrated all posts and comments. YOU SHOULD NOT BE HERE SO CHANGE YOUR BOOKMARLS/BLOGROLLS ACCORDINGLY!!!!
OK, OK. I've been away for a couple of days and a certain substance seems to have hit the fan on the issue of the Clay Court Column on the 25th February

To tell the truth my initial response at seeing my own work in the press was more of mild irritation. He did not claim the writing was his own, but I wondered why he never said where he got it. So I wrote to Mr Clay the following:

To: Clay Muganda
From: M
I read with my usual enjoyment your column on Friday.

However I noted with interest that one of your pieces was indeed my own: the Job Openings to be precise (which I believe you sourced here ->

Much as i don't mind sharing my efforts to the public at large I wonder why you failed to acknowledge the source of the article?

Thinker's Room (

In response he sent me the following:

To: M
From: Clay Muganda
thanks for reading and keep reading. i did not pass the article as my original and i did mention at the end of the article that i got it from the internet. as amatter of fact, i wrote that the original, unedited version of this advertisement is available on the internet. what i did not write was the site itself. do not worry, your site will get mention, not as a footnote but as an article one of this fine, all is not lost


c h e e r s

Muganda Clay

Which is fair enough.

During the course of the day I got this from one fan, that was carbon copied to Nation's Editors
To: Editors
From: Truphena

The media, and in particularly the press, seems to be on a pressing and urgent mission to cede its credibility to the reading public. The less said about the KUJ fiasco the better, but the latest nail in the coffin is plagiarism.

The Friday Nation has a column (Clay Court) and last Friday the 25th it contained a piece with the header "Job Openings". This was in fact sourced from a popular kenyan satirist's weblog (Thinker's Room, to be precise here

At the bottom of the article in the Clay Court coluumn is some vague reference to the "full article being available on the Internet".

This is plagiarism in any sense of the word, and it is a sad day indeed when otherwise reputable newspapers stoop to such depths so as to sell.

I'm extremely disappointed at this turn of events


And this morning this was forwarded to me from Truphena

From: Lucy Oriang
To: Truphena


does this address your concerns?

To Lucy Oriang
From: Betty Muriuki

Below please find the original article as posted on the internet. What Clay did was to adapt the piece for his article, using his own words. It is certainly not plagiarism, which would be repeating the original article word for word. Moreover, he did not attempt to conceal the fact that the idea was originally picked up from an article on the internet, and points this out at the end of his piece.


And this was forwarded to myself and Lucy Oriang by Truphena

From: Truphena
To: Lucy Oriang, M

Hello Lucy,

Thank you for your prompt response. I have forwarded your reponse to the original author (who goes by the moniker M at, should you wish to be in touch with him)

However I think saying Clay 'adapted the piece for his article' is not strictly accurate. If you read the article Clay wrote agains the original i think you will agree with me that most of the sentences are
identical word for word. His 'adaptation' was actually removing some of the sentences and adding one at the very bottom 'apply to First Lady'.

I think insofar as he borrowed liberally the ideas, the language as well as the information, he should at the very least have given full credit to the original source. "The article is available on the Interenet" i feel was simply too vague, especially considering Mr Muganda knows exactly where he got it from, and from the comments left on the orignal site by other fans of the satirist on this issue I am not the only one who feels this way.

At the very least i think it would be in order for full acknowledgement of the original piece to be done in the next issue

And this is Lucy Oriang's reply, forward to me

From: Lucy Oriang
To: Betty Muriuki, Clay Muganda, Truphena

Betty, Clay

Please note the points that Truphena raises. It is just good journalism that we do things the proper way. I hope you will get in touch with M and set things right

Angie Stone - Brotha