The Late President Moi’s legacy is a complicated one, split between the good, the bad and the ugly. On one hand you have a man who attended church religiously, openly loved children, gave them free school milk, built schools and universities and did much more recognizable good. On the other hand, you have a man whose government had a torture chamber, who exiled people, enriched his associates through corruption and land grabbing and more that I might not know about.
There are different levels of Interactions with Moi. There are those who suffered or benefited directly because of his actions. There are those who suffered or benefited courtesy of their family members’ good or bad experience with Moi. And then there is the rest of us, who were affected positively or negatively by his policies and whose perception of Moi was mainly carved by the media and other people’s experiences of him.
Clearly his presidency and personality had many faces.
And what are we supposed to say when such a man dies? How are Continue reading
About a month before my son was born, my wife and I had gone to hospital for her routine antenatal clinic appointment. At some point, I went downstairs to grab something to bite. I was alone in the lift when it stopped on one of the floors. Then entered a nurse pushing a trolley. On it was a baby. I looked at the baby and then at the nurse and back at the baby.
“How many days?” I asked.
The nurse smiled and answered “Zero, this baby has just been delivered.”
My face lit; I was excited. I leaned to get a closer look at the sleeping beauty in my presence. With a tag on its hand, partly covered, it felt like the baby was just chilling, unassuming and unaware of the public debt it’s been sunken into already. The baby must have heard my thoughts, because Continue reading
“In life there are many challenges, and challenges are good, because when you overcome them you grow.” Those were the words of the last elderly man I spoke to when we visited Thogoto home for the aged in Kikuyu a few weeks ago. Slender, tall, constantly adjusting his belt, donning a yellow cap pulled slightly to the side, he cuts the figure of an old man still in touch with his youth. But the smoothness of the queen’s language that he speaks is something else.
He wanted to talk more but our time was over, all members of our bible study group were already out of the gate while I still chatted with the wazees. When I said to the old man that I had to leave, he asked me if I have a curfew.
I must have looked at him in a peculiar manner, prompting him clarify his words. “It’s like a curfew” he reiterated, adding that he didn’t mean a real curfew ‘but something like a curfew’. I can’t say that I completely understood what he was saying, and maybe that is why he wanted to continue the conversation.
“When you can come back, Continue reading
Opinion is colossally divided about what we have come to know as ‘gospel music’. There is a big concern that most of the new school kind of gospel music is not really about the gospel. Many argue that it’s about performance, showbiz, fame and money. The old timers, especially in church are particularly disturbed, they don’t understand the ‘perversion of the sacred’ that is going on. Even people who vaguely understand Christianity have an opinion on this.
But I think we need to take a step back and think about the definitions, which is where we got it wrong in my opinion.
In all other professions people go about their business without being labelled Christian, gospel or secular except in music. There are no gospel lawyers, gospel teachers, gospel doctors, secular engineers or secular writers. But we have gospel musicians. Why? Continue reading
In December 2018 I travelled to Kapsokwony in Mt. Elgon to attend a daily vacation bible school (DVBS) organized by Mt. Elgon Children Ministries in conjunction with local pastors. I arrived in Kimilili at around 7am and took a boda boda up the mountain.
The ascend from Kimilili to Kapsokwony is a very telling one. Once you get off the tarmac and start climbing on the murram road, you get the feeling of abandonment. Even if no one explains it, you would feel like you are entering a different territory. It is a steep climb just near Kapsokwony. I would later know that the children I saw walking up were going to the DVBS.
I had heard quite a bit about the DVBS but experiencing it for myself was something else, it was like becoming a child again. With children its Continue reading
Forgiveness is one of the hardest things that a person can do, but like most difficult things, it is also most fulfilling. The weight of bitterness and unforgiveness, when laid down, brings the most liberation to a person.
When Viola shared part of her story for the first time, it was in a group where we were studying forgiveness. The topic was heavy for her, she sat there shaking her head, wondering if everyone else really understood the immensity of the issue.
When it was her turn to speak, she simply said ’for me it is very difficult to forgive someone’.
The group leader probed further, and Viola yielded and shared part of her story.
Viola endured such suffering in the hands of her loved ones to the point of being suicidal. She bought poison Continue reading
James is the kind of guy who can crush your party and then give you a good reason for his action. Spontaneity runs in his veins. He is that guy who is not afraid to knock on doors and push for what he believes in.
He calls me one Saturday afternoon and informs me that he is on his way to my place. He arrives about 30 minutes later. He informs me that he has been going to bike shops asking for support towards the half way cycle (James and crew are cycling from Nairobi to Kisumu this December to raise awareness and funds for his work with boys in juvenile prison).
And he got support, one shop owner donated Continue reading
The fight against corruption in Kenya (and all over the world) is first and foremost a moral one. There is a legal and physical aspect to it, but morality is the most central question in all corruption cases. It is a fight between right and wrong, between darkness and the light.
When I picked this book at the Post Office a few weeks ago, I was a bit underwhelmed because it looked smaller than I had anticipated. But as they say great things come in small packages, after reading a few pages of it, I decided to use it for our family devotion. It is that practical. Continue reading