Where did the Vowels go to?

If photography is allowed to stand in for art in some of its functions, it will soon supplant or corrupt it completely thanks to the natural support it will find in the stupidity of the multitude. It must remain to its task, which is to be the servant of the sciences and arts, but the very humble servant, like printing and shorthand, which have neither supplanted nor created literature – Charles Baudelaire

The World has become so electronic that the probability of not using a pen in a day is approaching 1 with every new day. (This reminds me I am supposed to-online-file my tax returns before the deadline in five days and the KRA website is behaving as if it was created by an eight year old learning web design). People are now doing more reading and writing on soft copy than on hard in an effort to conserve the trees. The effects of that has seen a breed of young people doing something that makes me so angry that the latent heat of vaporisation for my blood is almost achieved by the fast beating of my heart.

On a typical tiring day, I will head home with earphones on my ears listening to music and alternating between facebook and twitter as the driver of the mat is busy negotiating routes with the least traffic snarl ups. At this time, all I want to read is something that will entertain me and in the simplest manner possible. I do not want to get a facebook update with 400 characters (most likely, I will not read it). But that is a bit forgiveable considering how bad the next crime is.

Someone will post an update/comment, write on your wall or inbox you with words that have no vowels in the name of writing or is it typing in shorthand. ‘WTH s thz lol thng nw!’ How am I supposed to know what the words in bold mean? Considering it costs you nothing more to write words in full on facebook, I expect most words to be written atleast in full. I only forgive the teenagers for writing such bullcraps and voweless words in the hope that they will outgrow the practice immediately their age no longer begins with a 1! My brain reaction to a non-teenager using such words is to quickly send a message to my eyes saying ‘quickly abort, save yourself, do not read this issht.’ Ironically, twitter restricts a tweet to 140 characters only and hardly will you find such non-sense on twitter.

I am not entirely against shortening words but the practice should either be done sparingly or if you are still a teenager . Words like WTH, WTF, LMAO, GTFOH etc are better written in short than in full so these do not form part of the voweless words I am talking about. Notice, I have not included the Laugh-Out-Loud initials. And for the dudes out there using the lol initials, you are no worse than a dude who watches soaps! You should all be sentenced to 10 years of marriage with Conjestina or Semenya or both. Desist from that. For the 67% of girls who use it as a period in a sentence because you do not know what it means, well now you do. Use it appropriately or better still, DO NOT USE IT AT ALL!!!


Quote: The best way to make your wife scream when you are having an orgasm is to call her and tell her where you are, who you are with and what you are doing – Papa Shango

Cool Blog: The Princess Project (Kenya)

Bonus: You are in a mat going home when you feel like breaking wind. You realise that the music is very loud and if you can time the beat, you can successfully pass the gas without anyone noticing. You try it with success! It is so cool that you want to do it again, now for fun. And for the second time, it is a success! You successfully do it four more times before coming to your destination. As you alight, you notice everyone looking at you with bad eyes. It is then that it hits you that you have been listening to music with earphones on your ipod.


A Beggar’s Paradise

I know that a man who shows me his wealth is like the beggar who shows me his poverty; they are both looking for alms from me, the rich man for the alms of my envy, the poor man for the alms of my guilt – Ben Hecht.

About twenty years back, I was a small time clerk at the Nairobi Stock Exchange. When I say small, it does not really mean small because every action of mine decided the prices of the company listed. I know it is hard to believe when a beggar says so, but that’s the truth.

Had it not been for this distant aunt of mine, I would still have been working there, probably waiting for my retirement. For reasons unknown to her close relatives and me, my name figured in her will and overnight I was a rich man. She had left me a tea-estate in Kericho.

Now, I am not somebody who ever was interested in another’s wealth. You might ask me, why I beg in that case, but believe me, even today when I spread my palms for a shilling to be dropped, my heart aches. Hence, I refused to accept her legal declaration that I should get the tea-estate. But what can a man do when the whole World gangs up against you. I was forced into accepting the inheritance, but not before I made it very clear to all those involved that I was doing so only because my aunt wanted me to.

With the riches, I also gained some self-esteem and as a result I could not make it to the Nairobi Stock Exchange everyday. I shifted to the palatial house in Kericho, where my aunt wanted me to stay while I took care of her tea-estate. Life was never so easy. I had everything I wanted, except for good friends.

Many would come by, but I knew they were getting closer just so they could have a piece of my wealth. Every good word they spoke, felt like a vehicle they were using to reach out and touch my heart. Every good deed of theirs felt like an effort to make it to my will. Now, don’t think I was imagining things, keep listening.

Over a period of time, I fell out with all my close friends. They said the riches had made me arrogant and stiff-necked. I did not care for I knew friends would come and go.

Even before I knew, more than a decade transpired and the royalty of money started waning. I had spent thirteen years all alone managing a tea-estate. There were people around me, the ones that plucked the tealeaves and the ones that packed them, but we never had any intelligent conversation. Since, they considered me one rung above, it was a lonely existence.

I tried to get into wedlock by advertising in the papers but did not get any proposals. There is something I want to tell you about this newspaper agent – he was very incoherent. When I gave him my photograph, which I wanted him to publish as a part of the matrimonial advertisement, he suggested that I don’t use the photograph. When enquired, he could not come up with a satisfactory answer.

Anyways, as I was saying, I did not get any proposals.

With nobody to share my thoughts I was annoyed with myself. Soliloquies became an everyday feature but even then, I had nothing to talk about. Though I was blessed with the means and the urge to do so many things, I could not. And this weighed me down. I realized that I just existed. So much so, there were times when I was made to think that this aunt of mine had an enmity with our family and this was her revenge.

I was losing my balance, and life no longer was the sweet pie, it used to be. Call it stupidity, but all of a sudden, I had realized the importance of friends. I knew I had been a scoundrel. Being a Libran, I always believed in evening out things, and I decided to go about it as soon as possible. After a lot of trouble, which then made me feel good, I got the addresses of five of my best friends of yesteryears. The easy part was selling my whole property, the house included and convert it into cash.

I intended to distribute my wealth equally amongst my friends and then commit suicide. I was so determined that in a week’s time, I had made all arrangements. Incidentally, the day happened to be the 8th of June – the best friend’s day.

I did not want my friends to have any complications after my death; hence, I mailed them their share in cash and settled down to business. I had already bought a bottle of rat poison that the local chemist had suggested. You being one of those young types might think that I am bluffing my way into your heart, but no, that’s not what I am.

After some whiskey, which I agree I needed to calm down my nerves, I drank the poison. Yes, the whole bottle. I don’t exactly remember anything after that, not because I was in a coma or something but everything happened so fast. I survived the suicide attempt, and was admitted in the hospital. When the hospital authorities enquired about my relatives, I told them that I had none and they could contact my friends for anything. After all, I had made amends. You would be surprised to know that nobody came to see me during my four day stay in the hospital.

As you may remember, I had sold everything that I could call my own in a bid to help my friends. As a result, when I was discharged, I landed up on this pavement.


Quote: Son, if you really want something in this life, you have to work for it. Now quiet! They’re about to announce the lottery numbers – Homer Simpson

#ABigTune: Africa Must Wake Up – Damien Junior Gong Marley & Nas to go out to the disappointing African teams at the World Cup.

All in a Day

When it cannot get any worse, it actually (more often than not) does.

After watching someone dial *DIEGOFORLAN# and all Vuvuzelas silenced as BA-FALA BA-FALA were humiliated by Uruguay, (FYI, Show me a World Cup in which atleast one African team was not beaten by atleast 3-0 and I will show you a World Cup in which no African team participated in) I wake up at 3.30AM the following morning-Just four hours of sleep! My eyes are still heavy but I am used to it by now. I have not slept longer than five hours for the last two weeks due to some issht thing I am dealing with at the office. On this day, I have a very early meeting before I get to the office. I arrive at the CBD a few minutes to 6AM and head to my indirect employee, a shoe shinner. Ever since I discovered sitting while reading the day’s daily as someone else brushed my shoes was not only cool, but also indirectly employing someone, I cannot find my shoe brush in the house. Moreover, my Kshs. 30 is helping feed a family somewhere, without which, my now shoe shinner could easily G4S my phone or wallet at gun point.

I arrive at Ambassedeur Hotel, the venue for the meeting, 45 minutes late and order for tea. I suspect they filled 9/10 of the cup with water, just 1/20 with milk and about 1/40 with tea leaves. (yes, I am aware 9/8 guys have problems with fractions). The tea is bad and in any other hotel, it will cost not more than Kshs. 5 but since this is a five star hotel, I will readily part with ten times that (so that it does not go under and before I know it, it is being sold to the Libyans a la Grand Regency). The bill shocks all of us (apart from the waiter). $2 for a cup of bad tea! And it is USD not Zims $. Just when my adrenalin spills, I remember how heavy my wallet is, how well it would do with a reduction of USD2 (but in Kenyan currency) and I gladly pay. No tip, they must have included a huge one in the bill, I reason.

I get to the office and finally complete (for the umpteenth time) what I have been doing for the last two weeks just before lunch time. Umpteenth because every time I have completed, some complications have arisen and the work deemed as incomplete. I hope there will be no such complications this time round. My nostrils are hit by the strong smell of garlic as I warm the delivered lunch. I have a brother who hates chocolates, chicken, meat and yoghurt. He does not get why I love these four things so much. In the same way, I do not get why people love garlic. The office T.V happens to be in the hall where we eat so we (me and fellow employees) eat slowly so as to get the starting line up of the Alehandro/Messi vs the undemocratic Korea which votes. (The other one to the North is the Democratic Republic of Korea which does not vote).

No sooner do I get to my desk than my stomach pulls all sorts of tantrums. “Aha,” my brain tells me. “It is the bloody garlic!” to which I chip in, “or the bad tea!” even though I am convinced it is the garlic. USD2 bad tea should hardly cause any health problems. Before I know it (just when news start filling the airwaves that Alehandro are 2-1 up) I am nauseated and the nearby organs to the stomach are sending messenger after messenger to my brain telling him “Mr. Stomach is in his death bed. Unless something is done, we will lose him!” Some of the messengers get lost along the way but the message gets home. S. Korea (who should just concentrate on their war with N. Korea, sunk ship and now missing aircraft) are beaten in the same way my stomach is getting a beating from unknown forces.

When the news of the boss leaving the building finally break, we all run (except me, as my condition now can only allow me to almost crawl) to watch Nigeria (who are 1-0 up) The problem with having a Head of State called Goodluck is that he takes all the luck away from everything else in the country. With the Nigerian loss disappointment, I head home, now seriously sick and needing to puke. Today of all World Cup days, there is traffic from Upper Hill, and I now send God a text with two words, “Why today?” Must be a punishment for all the evil thoughts I have had on how I will…….. At the terminus, I meet shiro, who always looks good and different every time I see her….or maybe I see her after a long period of time. (I think there are probably 100,000 Shiros in Kenya alone. The others are in Japan-Shirosima, U.S-Shelocks while others are just simple heroes in their respective countries) At that time, I am so sick (not of love songs, ye Neyo fans) and almost puking any time in the nearer than near future. I am now dizzy and the world is rotating, revolving or both (Ok, it always does that, right?) all the same trying to hide this from her. I do not recall what we talked about (if we did that is) but I hop to the next mat that hits the bus stop and conveniently sit next to the window just incase.

When the only thing I want is to close my eyes and find myself on my bed when I open them, I find that the mat is tuned onto Citizen fm! That is the time I start repenting of all the sins I have committed since Sunday as I am now convinced this is a punishment. (I know I am clean as from Sunday going back). I take out my earphones and listen to Avril Lavigne make all the noises. Unfortunately for me, twitter is down and I notice most of the people I follow are using mobile or dabr. I close down snaptu and concentrate on the music. I then recall my nephew and two nieces were to come spend the weekend with their uncle whom they adore (ME) and grandmother and I have not bought them gifts. I plan on doing that immediately I alight.

What happens when I alight? The shops are closed because Kenya Paraffin Light & Candles (KPLC) just pulled of what they do best: Not providing electricity when it is needed most! I am also annoyed at the shops for not using a mpango wa candle! The three angels are so eager to see me except I have nothing for them. These angels are just fun to be with, but I have to sleep. No appetite, infact, the last thing I want to see is food. And I am probably going through what women go through during morning sickness. Lights, I notice are back so I watch the first half of the Drug Dealers vs Perfume makers match (and I hope the scores do not change at full time) before my body decides I cannot handle this any longer. I go to bed without food in my stomach that is now peer pressuring the other neighbouring organs to start PMS-ing on me.

I wake up today with mild symptoms of yesterday. Snaptu is working and I discover the Drug Dealers beat France because of the Arsenal spirit in the French team What annoys me is that (this early) my time line is full of basketball, for the seventh time now. I am pleased that that is the final episode of Lakers and Celtics. I make sure I buy Yoghurt on my way to the office as I am not touching that garlic food again. Being a Friday, I intend on leaving the office at 4pm unless someone puts a loaded genuine gun on my head. In this case, my corpse will be taken out at about 4.56pm, after police visiting the scene of the crime.


Quote: Just when you think your dipissht of a son cannot disappoint you any longer, he misspells the words ‘worthless’ and ‘iq’ on his suicide note.

El Fifa del World Cup

We talk about how this World Cup is an opportunity for South Africa and for the continent to put out a positive message – Alexi Lalas

Ignore the heading………all my headings.

I do not like the above quote by Alexi. So who the makmende is he? He was the first American to play in the Serie A (like our own Mariga) but he never won anything (unlike our very own Mariga who helped Inter win CL, yet he is African). His team, Padova, finished last in the 1994-95 season. I do not like the way whites who have never been to Africa portray us. If it is the continent’s opportunity to put out a positive message, it means the continent is in the negative? You land to any European/American Airport and you say you are Kenyan and chances are that two of the first three questions will be: Do you run? Are you living near a lion? Let me warn any person out there, if you ever ask me those two questions, you will discover that my fists will be eager to make contact with your face until a reddish liquid is released from your white, now reddish/pinkish or bluish skin. Yes, Africa has its ups and downs, but America/Europe is not without downs that are lower than Africa’s. Look at the oil spill, the debts of countries like Japan, Greece and Portugal etc.

Having said that, I move to the day’s topic.

Finally, the first World Cup in Africa.

I know you know what you need to know about the World Cup. More info can be found on The Trot and the run or here. I will instead focus on how stupid some people sound when they ask questions about Africa. These questions about South Africa were posted on a South African Tourism Website by foreigners around the World and were answered by the website owner.

Q: Does it ever get windy in South Africa ? I have never seen it rain on TV, so how do the plants grow? ( UK )
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

Q: Will I be able to see elephants in the street? ( USA )
A: Depends how much you’ve been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Durban to Cape Town – can I follow the railroad tracks? ( Sweden )
A: Sure, its only two thousand kilometers take lots of water…

Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in South Africa ? ( Sweden )
A: So its true what they say about Swedes…

Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in South Africa ? Can you send me a list of them in JHB, Cape Town , Knysna and Jeffreys Bay ? ( UK )
A: What did your last slave die of?

Q: Can you give me some information about Koala Bear racing in South Africa ? ( USA )
A: Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the pacific. A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe which does not…oh forget it. Sure, the Koala Bear racing is every Tuesday night in Hillbrow. Come naked.

Q: Which direction is north in South Africa ? ( USA )
A: Face south and then turn 90 degrees. Contact us when you get here and well send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into South Africa ? ( UK )
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys Choir schedule? ( USA )
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is….oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Hillbrow, come naked.

Q: Do you have perfume in South Africa ? ( France )
A: No, WE don t stink.

Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in South Africa ? ( USA )
A: Anywhere where a significant number of Americans gather.

Q: Can you tell me the regions in South Africa where the female population is smaller than the male population? ( Italy )
A: Yes, gay nightclubs.

Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in South Africa ? ( France )
A: Only at Christmas.

Q: Are there killer bees in South Africa ? ( Germany )
A: Not yet, but for you, well import them.

Q: Are there supermarkets in Cape Town and is milk available all year round?
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter-gatherers. Milk is illegal.

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in South Africa who can di spense rattlesnake serum.( USA )
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca, which is where YOU come from. All South African snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.

Q: I was in South Africa in 1969, and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Hillbrow. Can you help? ( USA )
A: Yes, but you will probably still have to pay her by the hour.

Q: Will I be able to ‘speek’ English most places I go? ( USA )
A: Yes, but you will have to learn it first.

Incase you get lost in South Africa, do not ask stupid Questions about the place, here is a map, hehe.

What team are you supporting at the World Cup? Which team do you think will win it? Place your vote. May Brazil, I mean the best team win!!!

Finally, you can follow all the World Cup updates live here.

Participants of the Stock Market

A market is the combined behaviour of thousands of people responding to information, misinformation and whim – Kenneth Chang

I begin the second episode of The stock Market. In case you missed the first, a repeat of it is available here. Just like a Soap, you can easily follow through without having to refer to the previous episode and you will get what is going on but I recommend you have a look at the first part.

There are various participants of The Stock Market, and I outline a few of them here:
Stock Investor:

An Investor is an individual/Party that commits money to investment products with the expectation of financial return. Generally, the primary concern of an investor is to minimize risk while maximizing return, as opposed to a speculator, who is willing to accept a higher level of risk in the hopes of collecting higher-than-average profits. Stock investors are firms or individuals who purchase stocks with the intention of holding them for an extended period of time, usually several months to years. (Warren Buffett, a Master at this recommends holding a stock for not less than five years.) They rely primarily on fundamental analysis (we shall see about this later) for their investment decisions and fully recognize stock shares as part-ownership in the company. Many investors believe in the buy and hold strategy, which as the name suggests, implies that investors will hold stocks for the very long term, generally measured in years.

Stock Traders:

Stock traders usually try to profit from short-term price volatility with trades lasting anywhere from several seconds to several weeks. This is a practice heavily denounced by Buffett mainly because one loses in the long run in terms of brokerage fees etc.

Market Maker:

A market Maker is a broker-dealer firm that accepts the risk of holding a certain number of shares of a particular security in order to facilitate trading in that security. Each market maker competes for customer order flow by displaying buy and sell quotations for a guaranteed number of shares. Once an order is received, the market maker immediately sells from its own inventory or seeks an offsetting order. This process takes place in mere seconds. Most stock exchanges operate on a “matched bargain” or “order driven” basis. In such a system there are no designated or official market makers, but market makers nevertheless exist. When a buyer’s bid meets a seller’s offer or vice versa, the stock exchange’s matching system will decide that a deal has been executed.

Floor Trader:

A Floor Trader is a member of a stock or commodities exchange who trades on the floor of that exchange for his or her own account. The floor trader must abide by trading rules similar to those of the exchange specialists who trade on behalf of others. These are the guys in the pit waving their arms frantically to make trades. However these men and women who still operate in an  “open outcry” system are increasingly being replaced by automated trading systems and computers that function without human interaction and are specifically designed to match buyers and sellers.

Floor/Pit Broker:

A Floor Broker is an employee of a member firm who executes trades on the exchange floor on behalf of the firm’s clients. Basically, floor brokers receive orders from their firms, which have been placed by the firms’ clients, and executes these orders at the best possible prices. Floor brokers should not be confused with floor traders who execute orders for their own accounts.


A Broker-Dealer is a company or other organization that trades securities for its own account or on behalf of its customers. When executing trade orders on behalf of a customer, the institution is said to be acting as a ‘broker’. When executing trades for its own account, the institution is said to be acting as a “dealer.” Securities bought from clients or other firms in the capacity of dealer may be sold to clients or other firms acting again in the capacity of dealer, or they may become a part of the firm’s holdings. Although many broker-dealers are “independent” firms solely involved in broker-dealer services, many others are business units or subsidiaries of commercial banks, investment banks or investment companies. Look out for a continuation of The Stock Market in a few weeks’ time.


Quote: I never attempt to make money on the stock market. I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years – Warren Buffet.

Cool Blog: The Teacher by Lucy Muthoni (Not the First Lady) talks about the Actuarial Profession in Kenya and the rest of the World.