Pawa

PAWA 254 is one of the premiere art spaces in the country. Many people know of it, but few know where it is. Getting to PAWA254 is a long journey to me. Located off state house road, getting there from town is literally an uphill task. As exhausting as it is getting there, I like the location of the environment.

There is something amazing about the serene and quiet environment around it. There is no struggle to walk into the gates or pushing people as you walk into the building. Once you get there, the YMCA, which holds the building is very inviting. It’s a place that makes you get in-touch with your inner self and truly enjoy whatever reason brought you there. I get a sense of calmness embrace me when I’m there. Continue reading

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My people are being sidelined
My people are overlooked
We are like that distant relative –
That obscure, forgotten cousin
Seated somewhere, far in the back
Gatecrashing your birthday party
Hoping for some crumbs
Of the national cake –
My people are being finished.
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‘Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!’’

But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified and their shouts prevailed.

                                                                                          Luke 23:18, 23                 

‘You Mr. wheelbarrow-guy, Mr. Gravedigger, Mr. carpenter, Mr. father-of-eight-children, you Mr. school-cook, Mr. Cobbler, Mr. Sheikh, yes! You too Mr. many-wives, my dear friend Mr. posho-mill-guy, Mr. new-comer-to-our-village, and all your Mrs-es and sisters too- all of you, for the purpose of this evening and for the many to come have no names- aye? No! you are as good as only your pathetic profession dictates and as for me Mr. jobless I will be Mr. University-degree-  mr. first-university-degree—emphases the ‘first’.

Hic!

‘Aside from Mr. sheikh-guy and Mr. new-comer-to-the-village-guy all of us went to the same school no? We were in the same class, no? We all passed through the hands of Mr. Dead-and-buried-teacher, no? We were in the same class with Mr. political-leader-sir! Mr. CDF-manager, Mr. governor-Wetu too. Yes! We all were.’

Hic!
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My phone is ringing again. I look at the caller ID and sigh. It’s mama again. She’s been calling all day and I haven’t answered. I know if I ignore it this time she’ll get in her car and come over. I can’t face her, or anyone. Not today. I take a deep breath and stare into space as I answer.

“Good evening Mama.” I greet her.

Silence.

“You don’t sound well. Everything’s fine?”

I should have known she would see through my jovial greeting. I sigh and answer her ‘yes mama, I’m fine. I just got in from work. It’s been a long week and I’m tired. I need sleep,”

She keeps quiet for a few more seconds and seems content with my answer. We chat for a few minutes and I hang up feeling worse than I was before I spoke to her.
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Authors Buffet

The writing space in Kenya has seen a bit of growth in recent years with the introduction of new writers . There has also been renewed interest by Kenyan readers in Kenyan literature. This has led to conversation on literature powered by book clubs, commentary in newspapers and blogs, and writing competitions geared towards discovery of new writers.

In the spirit of this new interest in literature, a group of writers have put together a joint book signing event dubbed the ‘Authors’ Buffet’. The event is scheduled to be held on Saturday 18th May at the Junction from 11am to 4pm.

The aim of the event is to give readers a chance to meet some of their the favourite authors. It also aims to create an opportunity for authors to share experiences and best practices especially with up and coming writers.
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There has been a concerted push for local content by the Kenyan government, through the I.C.T. Board, for a couple of years. They have even offered grants to companies to further the local content cause. You would imagine that by now we’d already have 40% of the content on our TVs locally made. This reality has been difficult to realize despite the goodwill of the government and presence of talented Kenyan creatives.

Scroll through the local TV stations at any time during the day and you will find them flooded with foreign content especially in the form of Nigerian movies and Mexican soaps. From a business perspective,makes some sense. It’s cheaper to buy this foreign content than to commission a local production. However, this is myopic as it will not lead to a sustainable TV and film industry. There have been cases where local producers have been offered similar amounts of money to produce their productions by broadcasters, that these broadcasters use to buy foreign content. This makes no sense, as in the former the content is already made and I highly doubt they had Kenya in mind when they were in production, and the latter is yet to be produced and hence requires adequate funds. There have also been claims made by filmmakers that broadcasters are not interested in high quality productions or certain story lines as they feel it will be ‘too much’ for Kenyans. Are we referring to the same Kenyans who watch ‘more advanced’ foreign content and understand it just fine?
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The sewer system had blocked for almost a week and though the council officials had ignored it, calls to unblock it were intensifying so they gave in. Some of the waste water had begun to spill onto major roads and most roads would be impassable if it rained even for an hour. The officials went out on Saturday afternoon with dredgers and all other equipment that they thought would be useful. Many times the system was blocked by accumulated silt or solid wasted but this time the solid waste was far from what they had expected. It was a lifeless body that was now rotting.

***

They all called him Kim. It was short for Kimotho but few bothered enough to find out. He was a good man; kind hearted, just and honest. He had a wife and one child and he lived in a humble home in the outskirts of the neighboring town. He was hard working and he maintained a simple lifestyle. He had done several jobs before he got his driver’s license so landing a job with a local cab company was his big break.
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I sit staring into space, Njeri’s hand in mine. We know it can’t be good news that the doctor sent us out of the room and took her up to the operating room. She had blood poisoning from a failed abortion. I had long lost count of how many she had had. In her time of need she had called on us to be there. I sat there thinking back to how it all started…

We were known as the three musketeers. When you saw one of us, the other two were not far behind. We were inseparable from day one of high school all through to campus. It was no coincidence that we applied to the same university; we didn’t want to be apart. Njeri and Wanja were the sisters I never had.

We left school and hung out together. That one year break before joining campus was party time for Njeri and I. Wanja couldn’t make it since her parents were strict. We hit the clubs raving all night and driving  the guys crazy. It was all fun and games for us, but we missed having Wanja there to experience it with us. When we joined campus, she got the chance to experience it all. She soon became wilder than us, soaking up the party scene.  We tried to talk her out of it and asked her to slow down. But she paid no attention to us, she wanted to make up for the lost time when we partied without her. She took to drinking  and having sex. She was not promiscuous she got herself a boyfriend in fourth year.
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Fifty shades of Grey

By all means, 50 Shades of Grey has Few Literary Merits. The use of description as a technique has been used solely for the characters, and the BDSM scenes that keep graduating as the story progresses.
The book tells the story of Anastasia (the submissive) and Christian’s (the dominant) sexual adventures as they traverse through the murky world of BDSM. According to Wikipedia, the origin of the term BDSM is unclear, and is believed to have been formed either from joining the term B&D (bondage and discipline) with S&M (sadomasochism or sadism and masochism).

Told from the first person narrative, the book follows the ‘coming of sexual age’ story of college student Anastasia and Christain Grey, CEO of Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc. The latter’s inner demons torment him and he subjects Anastasia to his ‘dark’ sexual preferences.
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This is for the widows
staring out of bedroom windows
hoping the last ray of sunlight will warm the side of the bed that is now empty.
Scared that a smile from a stranger’s visage will strike up a memory long forgotten,
afraid to shed any more tears in the rain as the earth soaks it up
as if meant to wipe the dust off her lovers coffin, six feet under
she wonders,
thoughts on her two bundles of joy
a son with a striking resemblance to his father
and a daughter with no figure to show her what to look for in a man.
My mother.
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