London 2013 : Slaves Escape From Captivity

Just last week it was revealed that three women who had been held against their will in a south London residence had escaped to freedom. Police also announced that all three captives – slaves according to the media – had been held for over 30 years suffering appalling physical and mental abuse at the hands of their captors who were an elderly couple.

The escape was coordinated and supervised by the Police and a victims' charity who had initially been contacted by one of the captives. Once the women were safely in the care of the Charity they were able to supply further evidence of their long incarceration. It was only after they had this information that police moved in and arrested the captors.

This afternoon police named the arrested pair as former political activists Aravindan Balakrishnan,73 and his wife Chanda, 67.

Here is how the escape was reported last week

As the story developed through the week political leaders and other commentators lined up to condemn the horror that is slavery in modern day Britain – or should that be modern day slavery in Britain? Frank Field, respected Labour MP was quoted by the BBC Breakfast show as saying “ The examples that we have had over the last few months are the tip of a rather large iceberg.” Mr Field is currently gathering evidence in advance of drafting a new Modern Slaver Bill for Parliament.

Home Secretary Theresa May was not to be outdone. On hearing of the womens' escape she told the Sunday Telegraph that slavery in the UK was widespread. She said figures showed that it had increased nationwide by 25% in the past year. She told the paper that tackling “this abhorrent crime” was for her a “personal priority.”

Frank field and Theresa May are not far wrong. They are right to highlight this issue and to give it the prominence that it deserves. There is a very real and growing problem of people trafficking, slavery and indentured labour in this country. The victims for the most part end up working for poor wages in factories, farms or as domestic servants. Others are engaged in prostitution and drug dealing. There are low-paid workers engaged in every industry from beauty to fast food.

The captives are held through coercion, blackmail and emotional and psychological torture. For the most part they have nobody to turn to for help. Many cannot simply up and leave. Their captors will usually hold passports and other immigration documents to prevent them from leaving.

As the police named the “slave masters” this afternoon it became increasingly doubtful that this was a case of trafficking or slavery in the usual sense.

Here is one possible explanation of what may have happened.

Still with the booty calls? Really?

I know a man.  He is a good man, if somewhat misguided.  He is a man as yet unencumbered by wife and child, but yet encumbered by demands of family, parents and siblings.  I know a man who is single, and happily so, but claims to be tired of the solitude and looking to settle down.  I know a man who is a most spectacular lover, if only because he is obsessed with pleasing his woman, over and over again, but only when drunk, when sober he thinks only of himself.  I know a man who calls at 2:30 on Saturday morning, looking for that which can only be found at 2:30 in the morning, in a woman’s house.  I know a man, who doesn’t remember calling at 2:30 in the morning, claiming drunken amnesia when I ask him why he calls, later in the day, at 2:30 in the afternoon.  I know a man who will gladly go in search of sex, but only when he is drunk.  He is a man fond of pursuits of the flesh.  I know a man.  Several, as it turns out.

It’s 3 o’clock in the morning,
I can’t even close my eyes,
Well, it’s 3 o’clock in the morning, good people,
And I can’t even close my eyes...
Well, I can’t find my baby,
Lord, I can’t be satisfied...

Ms Tina is back on the playlist, but this time she’s come with her vicious ex husband, Ike.  I call him vicious based solely on the movie, I’ve never bothered to read up on the man, conflicted as I am by his apparent brilliance.  Thing is, the music is bloody good, but the two don’t sit well together in my mind, so I choose to listen to the music and not delve into the people behind it.  Ignorance in this case is bliss.   ’Three O’clock In The Morning Blues’ is good blues music, short and sweet, with kickass guitar...

Ladies and gentlemen, we must revisit the topic of the booty call.  Yes, we are in the sewer, but no, this shall not get rude.  Crude, perhaps, but never rude.  The distinction?  Crude relates to unvarnished descriptions, while rude refers to unvarnished speech.  I will not swear, because I have a bet going with a lovely gentleman that I can write a sewer tale without my usual sailor’s mouth, and I intend on winning that bet (it involves a steak dinner, one not cooked by myself).  Fear not, I will still be crude, because fluffy euphemisms have no place here.  If this disclaimer offends you, please leave.  The rest of you, kindly remove all rose tinted glasses and illusions of romance, this is about lust in the age of cell phones, and lust cannot be genteel, and neither should it be gentle.  I’m just saying, what is lust if not bodice ripping?  Come now...

Gentlemen, what is it about the booty call that has you so entranced?  And why, for all that is good and right in this world, can you not make that call at a decent hour?  Why?

For the last couple of months a man I happened to shag a few times sometime time back has been calling me, booty calling me.  He calls on Saturday morning, always on Saturday morning, early in the am, typically only a few hours after I get to bed.  Now what you don’t know about me is that I almost never go out on Friday night, because I always work on Saturday.  I cannot afford the luxury of being hung over in the morning, because my job requires that I be somewhat coherent, and seemingly patient, being that I am meeting clients, as opposed to random work alone at my desk.  Saturday morning is my busiest time of the week, and anyone who knows me knows this well.  Anyone who has slept with me (stop smirking, they are not that many, dammit) would also know that I am a light sleeper, and cranky as hell when aroused without good reason.  Wait, that sounds off.   Awakened, not aroused.  Wake me up for no good reason and I will slap you, and this is the one time I mean that quite literally.  I am a grouch in the morning, more so in the morning when the birds are still asleep.  Therefore, therefore I say unto you, therefore when a man repeatedly calls me at about 3 am on Saturday morning, even when expressly, expressly I say unto you, expressly instructed not to, then I can only conclude that said man is not the sharpest tool in the shed.  When said man claims amnesia, and apologises profusely, I do not believe the bastard, at least not after it happens the third time.  These days, I sleep with my phone on mute on Friday night, which in turn presents problem if someone was to call me in need of genuine assistance, as opposed to needing to partake of carnal pleasures.

And why, you ask, don’t I just block the idiot?  Apart from the fact that my geriatric phone lacks said capability, in truth I am unwilling to completely close that door, needs must and whatnot.  Stop laughing, I’m being completely serious here.  Looking past his drunk dialling cum booty calling tendencies (I think I just punned, no?), the man has certain skills I would conceivably wish to, shall we say, revisit, time, relationships and sobriety allowing.  I’m just saying, I may want to go there again, and with good reason, assuming I can get past his foolishness.   Hang on, this sounds quite suspect, yes?   For all you hyper curious geniuses (yaani OGAO, she who reads between the spaces between the lines), no, this is not the ex I spoke of before, this particular genius has never been spoken of before, and hopefully will never be spoken of again.  It’s not that I don’t want to talk about him, it’s just that there’s not much to say really.  It’s one of those limited scope kind of relationships, where you don’t talk about feelings and such like nonsense, not because said conversations are not welcome, but because there’s a lack of general emotional attachment.  I know they say women can’t separate sex and love, but we can, disturbingly easily as it turns out.   It’s like I said, partaking of carnal pleasure.  Moving right along...

So this genius of the early morning calls has got me thinking, are men really this thick?  Does no part of your brains tell you to stop trying to get what you will never get?  I realise that the man probably realises that there is a chance he may yet end up partaking of my pleasures, but it will never happen on Friday night cum Saturday morning.  I will never answer that call, no matter how horny I am, not after I laid down the law so decisively (in my head at least, clearly not so much in reality).  Calling me on that particular night is truly an effort in futility, and worse still, it negatively impacts his chances of getting some any other night.  How does he not see this?

And now I shall use my much vaunted experience to share wisdom with the rest of y’all, so listen closely.

Ladies, do not take a booty call as a sign, nay, token of uncontrollable lust towards you in particular.  Contrary to sounds like today's, about people craving other people they are most fond of, at 3 am, the booty call is a drunken phone call made practically on remote.  It’s not you he’s calling, it’s his dick.  That’s right, he’s calling his penis, letting it know that he is making arrangements to have it ensconced in something suitably moist as soon as possible.  You, my lovely, are simply an eavesdropper, privy to the details, an accomplice if you will.  You and mister midnight caller are conspiring to satisfy his other caller, only he can’t be bothered to let you into the plan, not until he’s sneaking out of your bed two hours later.  Don’t look at me like that, I’m just saying.  Gentlemen, am I lying?   Didn’t think so.  The harsh reality is if a man is interested in more than what lies between your thighs, the booty call will be made much, much earlier, early enough that he has time to romance you (and possibly himself) and then your booty, thereby earning him his much sought after booty.  But hey, don’t take my word for it, it could be that I simply know some very dodgy characters (I do, actually).  There’s also the fact that I am ideal booty calling material, seeing as how I am often home, alone, at 2:30 am, on Saturday morning.

Which brings me to my next handy tip.  Never, ever, answer a call after midnight, not even once.  Once you open that door, closing it is almost impossible.  No matter how tempting he is, make like Nancy and just say no.  Don’t fret my pet, he’ll call again and at a decent hour, if his lust is specific.  If not, count your blessings, you’ve just dodged a drunk bullet, and you know what they say about drunk bullets, they always hit their targets, but not yours, not usually.  True story.

For the gentlemen reading this, on behalf of thirty something women with jobs and things to do in the morning, either call before the lady retires to bed or don’t call at all.  No exceptions.  If you’re going to shag a grown ass woman, then act like a grown ass man.  Do so and you can have all the pleasures you want, carnal and other, and at a decent hour to boot.  How excellent is that?  What’s that?  It requires too much planning to call ahead?  Then clearly you are not a grown ass man, so leave the woman, me in this case, to her blissful slumber and funga the one sitting next to you, yes?  Good.  Bloody nkt!

You know I looked all around me,
Well, my baby can’t be found,
Well I, I looked and I looked all around me, good people,
My baby cant be found,
Yes and if I don’t find my baby,
I’m going down to the boring drive,
That’s where the women hang out...

I want to know a man.  A good man, if somewhat misguided.  A man unencumbered by wife and child, but yet encumbered by demands of family, parents and siblings.  I want to know a man who is single, and happily so, fond of solitude and fearing it at the same time.  I want to know a man who is a most spectacular lover, if only because he is obsessed with pleasing his woman, over and over again, but only when sober, when drunk he thinks only of sleep.  A man fond of pursuits of the flesh.  A man who never calls at 2:30 on Saturday morning, because he has a smattering of good sense.  A man who knows not to go in search of sex when he is drunk.  I want to know such a man.  Several, as it turns out.


Feminism? I don't know about all that...

I had a most brilliant plan to do a post on feminism, because I woke up feeling very intellectual this morning (don't think I can't see you laughing), but after the day I've had I can’t summon the energy to do the research entailed.  See, you can't just write about women's 'issues' willy nilly, you must have arguments, and charts, FIDA approved charts.  God forbid you forget to mention the plight of the African woman, or the girl child, or marital equality.  My day has been long and disappointing, and I refuse to make it harder by subjecting myself to arguments about my breasts and their role in the 21st century.  I'm a woman, but I'm human first, and the last time I checked human rights were all encompassing, right?  Food, water, shelter, health, education, security, and yes, the right to slap and get slapped, in the name of self defence that is.  Wait, don't lynch me yet, let me explain, in song.

I'm going to play you some music.  I figure, if people can do photoing posts (really Kimani?), and others can string together a couple of random sentences and call it a poem, then why can't I put up a playlist, and call it clever?  What's that?  This is not a real post?  Tough titty!  I'm allowed to be lazy on Monday, no?  Probably not, I expect I shall receive hate mail for this, but what the hell...

First up, The Mary Jane Girls' 'All Night Long'.  This song has been sampled so many times its become ubiquitous, but the rarely played original remains a classic.  The reason the song has a message, however, has less to do with the melody and more to do with the story of the group.  See, Rick James put this group together, as evidenced by the lead vocalist's hair (woi...), but he only did so after the recording company offered him a contract for a girl group rather than one for a solo singer, his original plan.  He quickly threw in 3 random girls to add to the one lady who could sing and voilĂ !  Mary Jane Girls was born.
The video is the source of much humour.  Those three bonus women not only couldn’t sing, they couldn’t dance, but that didn’t stop them from cashing in when they saw a gap.  If that's not women being empowered, I don’t know what is.

From there it's a quick hop to Rick himself.  Ah Rick...  This man was made to be on TV.  Have you seen the video with him in a very small speedo in a hot tub?  What!!!  Younglings probably have no idea who I'm talking about, and telling them that 'Superfreak' is the song MC Hammer sampled in 'U Can't Touch This' (and by sampled I mean used pretty much in its entirety, save for lyrics) doesn’t help much either.  It's an old song, but it's a bloody funky song by a man who not only wrote and sang his own his music, he played most of the instruments as well, and then he went ahead and slapped on some glitter and sequins for the video, just because.
See, back then, it wasn’t just the girls who were scantily clad, the men wore next to nothing too, and they had matching hair, and they were both pretty sexualised.  Equality, yes?

Which takes me to The Temptations, they who sang the background vocals on 'Superfreak'.  'Treat her like a lady' should be mandatory listening for all boys immediately their balls drop...

Now I like openin' doors, pickin' up her hanky off the floor,
Treat her like a lady,
Light her cigarette if she smokes, even (Help her with her coat) help her out,
Treat her like a lady,

In this world of liberation, it's so easy to forget, 
That it's so nice to have a man around to lend a helping hand, you can bet, bet you can, baby,
When I was young, my mama used to say, Boy,
A woman's like a flower, with love on her you shower,
Ever since that day, her words never went away,
I always will remember to treat my baby tender...

This is my one fight with the more radical feminists in our midst.  They've made it a crime for a woman to want a man who's a man.  Not a knuckle dragging MP of a man, just a regular man, like I'm a regular woman.  I'm all for equal access to opportunities and equal pay for equal work, but I still want a man who'll open my bottle of wine for me, instead of watching me struggle with the damn cork for five minutes, breaking it in the process.  Chivalry is not sexist, is all I'm saying.
Useless fact, I once dated a guy who looked like the lead singer, thankfully minus the curly kit, a guy who will forever be associated, in my mind, with the next fellow…

…Alexander O'Neal.  This man…  I spent the better part of my childhood wanting nothing more than to be the handkerchief to his sweaty brow.  Stop laughing.  'Alex, Alex baby...'  Walalalala!  The song I always default to, however, is 'If You Were Here Tonight', much beloved by EasyFM (their only saving grace in my book, but that's a story for another day).  Now because I was in primary school when this song came out, I didn’t get to hear it anywhere other than at home until I was well into my 20's.  It's one thing to listen to this song, its another to hear this song in a club, in surround sound streaming out of quality speakers at relatively high decibels, when you're mellow on a couple couples and the DJ is playing 'kushikashika time' tunes.  The room melted away and I was all alone, wrapped, nay, ensconced in the oh so smooth voice of Alex, my Alex.  Hang on, why was I listening to kushikashika music instead of being shikashikwad?  Hmmm...

Can't you understand it,
Girl, you know how much I care,
It's not the way I planned it, no,
If you could only know my feelings,
You would know how much I do believe...
The reason this song is on my feminist playlist?  I love to hear a man beg.  I think it's a very modern attitude, even if he's only begging for a shag, such as they do, these lovely buggers.  The fact that he's begging in such silky tones is a bonus.  Really, she says, looking away sheepishly, having snuck in the song on the sly and all, knowing it has only a tenuous link with feminist agendas, if at all...

And then we have Prince.  This little man is a genius, and freakishly so, freaky too come to think of it, but in a good way.  If I ever have a child (remote ever) and if said child ever shows the slightest hint of musical ability (also remote ever, given the mother's lack of the same), he/she will be renamed Prince, Prince Rogers Kamau for good measure.  But only if the child has talent.  Can you imagine the agony of being named after a most brilliant musician and you can't hold a note?  I may be delusional, but I'm not cruel.  Moving right along.  He that was once a symbol has been a great love of mine for years, said love only tempered by the allegation that he kicked my Alex out of The Time for 'looking too black', and this after he allegedly stole, umm, borrowed, stage performance gimmicks from Rick James.  That's right folks, the great purple one is the glue that binds my playlist together, so its only fair that he should round it off.

Women, not girls, rule my world, I said they rule my world,
Act your age, mama, not your shoe size, maybe we could do the twirl,
You don't have to watch Dynasty to have an attitude,
You just leave it all up to me, my love will be your food,
You don't have to be rich to be my girl,
You don't have to be cool to rule my world,
Ain't no particular sign I'm compatible with,
I just want your extra time and your kiss...
Come on, is that not the most feminist song you've heard in ages?  For crying out loud, the man in wearing a tumbo-cut in the video, and skinny pants, and heels, how much more feminine can he get?  Now that I think about it, the fact that the man sold many records dressed kinda like a woman should be a testament to the power and influence of the woman.  Just saying.

I'll leave you with the words of a woman smarter than me, just so I'm not accused of being frivolous about 'women's issues'.

“Excuse me while I throw this down, I’m old and cranky and tired of hearing the idiocy repeated by people who ought to know better.

Real women do not have curves. Real women do not look like just one thing.  Real women have curves, and not. They are tall, and not. They are brown-skinned, and olive-skinned, and not. They have small breasts, and big ones, and no breasts whatsoever.

Real women start their lives as baby girls. And as baby boys. And as babies of indeterminate biological sex whose bodies terrify their doctors and families into making all kinds of very sudden decisions.

Real women have big hands and small hands and long elegant fingers and short stubby fingers and manicures and broken nails with dirt under them.

Real women have armpit hair and leg hair and pubic hair and facial hair and chest hair and sexy moustaches and full, luxuriant beards. Real women have none of these things, spontaneously or as the result of intentional change. Real women are bald as eggs, by chance and by choice and by chemo. Real women have hair so long they can sit on it. Real women wear wigs and weaves and extensions and kufi and do-rags and hairnets and hijab and headscarves and hats and yarmulkes and textured rubber swim caps with the plastic flowers on the sides.

Real women wear high heels and skirts. Or not.

Real women are feminine and smell good and they are masculine and smell good and they are androgynous and smell good, except when they don’t smell so good, but that can be changed if desired because real women change stuff when they want to.

Real women have ovaries. Unless they don’t, and sometimes they don’t because they were born that way and sometimes they don’t because they had to have their ovaries removed. Real women have uteruses, unless they don’t, see above. Real women have vaginas and clitorises and XX sex chromosomes and high estrogen levels, they ovulate and menstruate and can get pregnant and have babies. Except sometimes not, for a rather spectacular array of reasons both spontaneous and induced.

Real women are fat. And thin. And both, and neither, and otherwise. Doesn’t make them any less real.

There is a phrase I wish I could engrave upon the hearts of every single person, everywhere in the world, and it is this sentence which comes from the genius lips of the grand and eloquent Mr. Glenn Marla: There is no wrong way to have a body.

I’m going to say it again because it’s important: There is no wrong way to have a body.

And if your moral compass points in any way, shape, or form to equality, you need to get this through your thick skull and stop with the “real women are like such-and-so” crap.

You are not the authority on what “real” human beings are, and who qualifies as “real” and on what basis. All human beings are real.

Yes, I know you’re tired of feeling disenfranchised. It is a tiresome and loathsome thing to be and to feel. But the tit-for-tat disenfranchisement of others is not going to solve that problem. Solidarity has to start somewhere and it might as well be with you and me”


I want to be a man. For a day. Or Six.

Ego so big, you must admit,
I got every reason to feel like I'm that bitch,
Ego so strong, if you ain't know,
I don't need no beat, I can sing it with piano...

And then she goes ahead and sings the hell out of it, with piano.  I don’t much care for Mrs Jay Z, she's a bit too woowoowoo for me, prone to bouts of self indulgent praise singing, and I blame her for his demise, he that has taken a turn for the worse, currently playing at super capitalist cum robber baron.  That said, I quite like this song, it's one of the few instances she's come out and said, 'I think I am the shit!'  I like it when women do that, we spend too much time being all nice and demure.  Every so often you need someone to stand up and get all diva on their punk behinds.  Now if she could get her hubby to stop acting bougie and shit, I may actually come to love the woman one day, assuming she gets rid of the blond weaves, and names her child something suitably black, like Beyonce, or Shenequa, but that's a story for another day.  Today it's all about men and their parts.

I have a self confessed case of metaphorical penis envy.  I said metaphorical you perverts, I don’t actually want a penis, but I would very much like to be a man.  For real.  I want to be a man for a week or so, every so often, kendo once every five and a half months.  The plan is to magically grow a dick, while magically losing the boobs and nininio, possibly add a couple of inches in height and grow a massive Isaac Hayes beard that I can trim to an Idris stubble, when so moved.  In fact, when I'm a guy I want to be Isaac Hayes, or Shaft.  Allow me to explain...

See, you men think bras are quite lovely garments, holding up the twins oh so gently, cupping them in lace and whatnot.  Well I hate to break it to you, but we hate those things.  I hate my bras.  Wait, that's not entirely true.  I love that my bras give me a perfectly perky pair of breasts, much, much perkier than they would be sans bra (stop laughing, you firm breasted cow, age will catch up with yours too, eventually).  Problem is, to create said perkiness, heavy duty framing is required, flesh-biting wires and elastic cutting into your shoulders and rib cage, poking you in the armpits, and that's with the good bras.  The bad bras throw in itchy fabric, just because.  Men talk lovingly of large breasts, but the grief that comes with carrying them around is not worth it.  The larger your boobs, the larger and sturdier (read more uncomfortable) the bra required.  No fancy little lace numbers for you, no ma'am, you get to wear a minimiser.  That's right, they tell you big boobs are great, then they only make clothes for small boobs, forcing you to mould your beauties into the equivalent of a chest corset.  Minimiser bras are the work of the devil.  True story.  If I was a man, I wouldn’t need that shit, would I?  In fact, if I were a man, I would run for president and then force all other men to wear minimiser boxers their entire adult life, see how it feels being strapped down every damn day.  Speaking of which...

It's on baby, let's get lost,
You don't need to call into work 'cause you're the boss,
For real, want you to show me how you feel,
I consider myself lucky, that's a big deal...

Female presidents don’t screw their people over, that's a man thing.  Men want to rule the world, so they run around invading anything that can be invaded.  They want to steal more money than they could use in ten lifetimes, and then steal more, just because.  They want to have everyone bowing and scraping at their feet, feeling omnipotent, so they keep their feet on our necks.  Wait, that one is a female thing too, God knows women love to be adored.  I want to be a president, and not just any president, an African president, those buggers are the real big men.  I'll make you watch as I get richer and fatter, swanning about in my silk suits and hustler jets, shagging my secretary while you pick up the tab, flying the missus to Europe for shopping (read plastic surgery), building myself yet another presidential palace, because a president can't have too many houses...you know, the usual.

Only an idiot starts a fight he knows he can't win, that's why women often take the non-violent route when confronted.  If I was a man, a real dude, dude, I would go around smacking everyone who pissed me off.  Cut me off in traffic, I'll slap you.  Talk shit to me, I'll bitchslap you back into your mama's womb.  Steal my taxes? I will drop kick you over those posts so fast you'll break the sound barrier.  See, a man can say that, even though he has no intention, or skill, of ever doing so, because men are all about the talk.  If I was a man, I would be a big swinging dick, and brash to the point of obnoxious.  And speaking of obnoxious...

I want to be able to pee standing, wherever and whenever the mood hits me, like outside a bar which has perfectly functioning toilets within, toilets I choose not to use, just because.  Or maybe pee by the side of the road, into a little bush that barely screens that which it should be hiding.  Not that I would be trying to hide, no no no, I'm simply saving everyone the embarrassment of having to look my most magnificent member in the eye, so to speak.  You know what I'd really love to do?  I've love to go the washrooms in a crowded, poorly lit club, and not have to queue for a stall.  Just walk up to the trough, pull out my little Jimmy, have a quick slash, shake off little Jimmy, and stagger back out to the counter.  No touching unclean surfaces, or awkwardly perching just so, inches above what they claim is a toilet seat, trying not to get some other woman's piss on my ass.  Nothing but me and mine.  Oh the freedom.  That standing while peeing thing is most convenient.  And speaking of penises...

It's too big, it's too wide,
It's too strong, it won't fit,
It's too much, it's too tough,
He talk like this 'cause he can back it up...

Us girls we know that every time we have sex its a lottery, it may be good, it may be bad.  See, our pleasure is so bloody complicated sometimes, not every man you shag will do what needs to be done to help get you off (I say help because ultimately the only one who gets you there is you, right?  Stop frowning gentlemen, same applies to you...).  You shag a guy and you might get it, you might not. Its like russian roulette, only with an orgasm instead of a bullet.  Throw in disease and pregnancy and the stakes get even higher.  But not for men.  Men can fuck and fuck and fuck without a care in the world, secure in their knowledge that all they need is something hot and wet and they'll get off.  And no worries thereafter, not if they strap up properly.  Men don’t even have to worry about the morning after the night before.  Come sunrise, he's off in search of the next conquest, ego filled and balls drained. I wanna shag like a man, dammit!  Well, no, not really, shagging as a woman is bloody fantastic, but if I was a man for a day, first thing I'd do is go to a brothel and shag myself silly.  Ati I can pay for all the sex I want, at discounted rates, at the drop of a hat?  And I get it, bila issues?  I want to be a man, so I can be a whore like Shaft, but only for a day.  The rest of the week...

To have the power to make or break, that has got to be quite a rush.  I really, really, really, want to try that out.  I would love to be able to manipulate someone else, bend them to my will, break them even, only to toss them aside once I get bored, with the tidy disclaimer that told her upfront that I didn’t want anything serious.  The joys of being male, no?  Women got the childbirth thing, bleeding once a month and everything, and men got the no attachment thing, complete with machismo, all 'I is man' and shit.  Talk about a raw deal...

He got a big ego, such a huge ego,
I love his big ego, it's too much,
He walk like this 'cause he can back it up...


Blogging 301: This is why I'm easy...

Ah shit!

I forgot my own anniversary, ten days ago.  After spending the better part of last month reflecting, I then completely forgot. I am not a serious blogger, am I?  Wait, I am in fact not a serious blogger, am I?   Which in turn means I get to forget important shit like my two year anniversary, no?  Yes. I forgot, so there, bite me!  You had no idea it was my anniversary, did you?  You just shook your head, didn’t you?  Ah well...  Happy birthday to the blog, and my most sincere apologies for letting her big day slide.  Yes, it's a big day, any time I get to celebrate doing something slightly useful for more than two minutes is a bloody big day.  Two years of rambling?  Humongous day.

That's why I fucking forgot, see?

Know it sounds funny, but I just can't stand the pain,
Girl, I'm leaving you tomorrow,
Seems to me, girl, you know I've done all I can,
You see I begged, stole, and I borrowed,
That's why I'm easy,
I'm easy like Sunday morning...

I've spent the last couple of weeks trawling through my archives, looking back, trying to figure out where to go next.  I originally set out to do a bit of spring cleaning, dust the corners, throw out the stuff I've collected but never use, restore some shine to old favourites, maybe even add a few trinkets here and there, tart up the old girl a little, in anticipation of her big day.  These were my ideas, and feel free to throw in some of your own, should you feel so led:
  1. I've been thinking of naming her, this lovely baby of mine, but Ian @ Doris has already made the naming thing his, and now anyone else who tries just looks like a shady imposter.  So no, no name.
  2. Maybe a new gimmick.  I should start putting pictures in, no?   Better still, I should start doing picture only posts, like a real artist.  Not sure I can pull off Jodo's rose story, though.  Plus I can't take a picture worth a damn so...
  3. Perhaps video, rather than audio, best of both worlds, no?   Lakini, si everyone has YouTube?  Audio then, only.
  4. Why don’t I add a new section, to replace Dunia?  Woolie is trying to rope me into his cooking schemes, but that takes more dedication than I currently possess.  What do you think, should I cook for you?  I can picture the look of abject fear on your faces right now, you're trying to put the sewer and a kitchen together and its scary, yes?  Hmmm...  I think I'll try that one, just to fuck with you.  Yes, my laughter is most evil right now.
  5. I should try poetry. If the Wolf can rhyme, then why not me?   Hang on, the 'me' at the end of rhyme doesn’t rhyme with me, does it?  Dammit!
  6. Maybe I should try a ka-fiction story.  Who knows, I might have some Ngugi tendencies lying dormant, undiscovered, after two years of non-stop rambling.  No, I'm not buying that one either.  But wait, what if I write porn fiction?  Surely I can put together some half decent smut?  I do have the source material, and I do like the sewer, and the bar is significantly lower, and now that Doc is gone (the king is dead, long live the king) there's a gap in the market, no?  Hmmm...  But why write it when it's so much more fun to read it on Adventures, or Tumblr?  I am a firm believer in never reinventing the wheel.  And I'm a lazy bugger.
  7. Why not write about my travels, like Flani, all travelling man with a pen like?  That reminds me, I really should go somewhere one of these days...
  8. I should spend more time talking about women's issues, all serious and what not.   Because that's just what the internet needs, another woman banging on about the girl child.  No.
  9. I know, why don’t I just write more lists?  Lists are always good.   Its a scientifically proven fact that a list can never be boring.  I think I should stop writing this particular list now...
For all my brilliant thinking, all I managed to do was change a font and tweak the colour of the soundtrack bar.  I know, complete overhaul, muchos dramatic.  Or not.  Ideas anyone?

As with any half decent anniversary post, which this is not, I must give thanks, stroke own ego, then stroke yours, then make promises that I will completely ignore once the post is up.

Ladies and gentlemen, lovers and deviants, thank you for keeping me company for another year.  Your continued patience with me, even as I become more erratic by the month, is most appreciated.  Your visits make me smile, your page-views make me sigh, and when you cut and paste my words, you make me wanna cry.  Haiya!  I is poeting and shit!  Woi...  Thank you for reading, even when I have nothing to say, bless your kind souls and eyes (you do realise my blessings carry less weight than those of a TV pastor?  On the up side, at least I haven’t asked you for money...yet).  Thank you for your most lovely comments, they truly make this blogging racket worthwhile.  I, we, have had conversations about love and cheating, Jesus and politics, music and books, porn and fantasies, mkwajus and ripe bananas, Barclays and Chinese roads...  We talk, that's what we do around here, and dammit if its not the best thing ever.  Incidentally, JayK, whenever you get inspired to return, I'm still waiting for part two of something or the other.  Just saying...  

As for stroking my ego, there's not much to say is there?  I could tell you about my amazing stats (I have a whopping 6 followers, one up from last year), but we all know they are not all that amazing.  I have nothing to brag about, I'm just grateful google hasn’t shut me down yet.  I would like to praise you though, you lovelies deserve a stroke or two.  The most popular post on this blog, hands down, is SEDUCE MY MIND, PLEASE.  I think that says everything that needs to be said about you, you smart, sexy lovely people.  Oddly enough, the most popular post over the last 12 months is...wait for it...LIFE LESSONS FROM MEN IN SHORTS.  Are you surprised?  I am.  Gobsmacked!  I figured it might be an anomaly, spammers and such like nonsense, so I looked to see the what was number two, and it is...drums please...THIS ONE IS ABOUT POOR JUDGMENT, A HELICOPTER,SMALL CONDOMS, A CAMEL, PORN, AND A MIRACLE?   How now?  Everything I thought I knew about your reading preferences is being turned on its head right now.  Turns out, you buggers aren’t only smart and sexy, you like football (or tight shirts) and random bits of news once in a while.  It's not until you get down the list, past ARE YOU THE ONE, FOR MS K?  and ON THE DOWN LOW, past CONFESSIONS OF A (POSSIBLY DRUNK) STRANGER  and THIS DOPAMINE IS NO JOKE, MAN!, that you find a sewer tale, at number 7, SEX YOU? WHY THE HELL NOT!  You sneaky buggers...  You may not say it, but it shows, you don’t just read the naughty bits, and you quite like the pseudo science bullshit.  Excellent.  Next time someone gives you a nasty look for reading my blog, tell them the people here are most intelligent.  Deviants, but most intelligent deviants.

Slight detour.  I've just realised I shouldn’t have hived Dunia off.  Oops.  Talk about Kenyan thinking: act first, plan later.  Now I know.

Last, but hopefully not least, a promise.  I promise to keep sharing my tales of batshit insane men with you, because you sadistic buggers love it when I meet these strange men.  I promise to keep talking about things we don’t normally talk about, including bad sex, and maybe good sex.  I promise to keep throwing stones at the idiot politicians and press (purely for my own benefit I realise, but at least this way, when I get busted by Mzalendo, you get to say you were here when the shit went down).  I promise to piss you off every so often, just because. I promise to make you laugh, even if you’re laughing at me.  And I promise to keep talking about random songs until you finally give in and play the damn things, because I am nothing if not persistent, no?  Yes, its the same one from last year.  No need to reinvent that wheel either, is there?

Why in the world would anybody put chains on me?
I've paid my dues to make it,
Everybody wants me to be what they want me to be,
I'm not happy when I try to fake it, no,
That's why I'm easy,
I'm easy like Sunday morning...

'Easy' by The Commodores is my karaoke song and I'll have you know I sing the shit out of this song (that may actually be quite literal, unfortunately).  On the surface, it seems like yet another old song such as I like to wax lyrical about, but if you think about it, it's a damn near perfect description of my flawed woman, and blogging, this blog in particular.  I love to sing it because I feel it, deep down; my voice fits (kinda, let's not split hairs), and the lyrics fit, and the song doesn’t require any fancy dance steps to pull off.  Layered music with a guitar solo that's better than the vocals, the simplicity of this song belies the complexity beneath.  Not unlike blogging, I think.  It's easy.  Did I just stroke my own ego?  Why yes, I believe I did, she says, chuckling to herself.

Happy anniversary, my lovelies.  Drinks on me, if you can find me, I'll be the idiot crooning Lionel Richie in the corner, at 2 in the morning, in a dark bar, possibly alone...


Africa Rising?

In this age of incessant information, it sometimes feels like we're drowning in a deluge of articles, stories, essays, opinion pieces, blogs, photo galleries, video galleries...  Some days it's all I can do to skim through the headlines on my reader, an average of 750 per day, bookmarking those that look vaguely interesting, to be read at the weekend.  Then the weekend rolls around and there are hundreds of saved articles, and no time to read them.  Ah!  It's too much this information, way, way too much.  That said, they tell me information is power, no?  When I become powerful, you will know know why, and how.  Until then, however, I need to clear my backlog.  With your permission, I'll be putting up links every so often, links to articles (hopefully) worth a second read, links I have to delete, but don’t want to forget just yet.

This week, Africa and our new, or new-ish, narrative.

5 July, 2013
William Muchayi @ Think Africa Press
“Bad news has been replaced with good news, pessimism with optimism, despair with triumph. Yet in many ways one stereotype has simply been replaced with another. And, as unsophisticated stereotypes do, the Africa rising narrative implicitly conceals the fragility of Africa’s economic situation and various impediments that continue, and will continue, to hold Africa back if they are not addressed, a few of which are examined below.”

12 July, 2013
Tony Elmelu, Nigerian economist 
“Elumelu says that the narrative of "doing good" in Africa – among both Africans and non Africans – really boils down to how much money you're donating to charity. "But some of these wealthy Africans have created companies with massive employment, who pay huge taxes, and who fight a lot of economic and social needs across Africa."”

24 July, 2013
Mo Ibrahim at the Skoll World Forum
“Good governance in the public sector is a prerequisite for development but it is not enough. We cannot have it without also having good governance in the private sector; people need to understand that. If we have a go at corruption we really need to deal with it in the private sector, there is no question about that. Political leaders don’t corrupt themselves; they have partners in the private sector.”

1 November, 2013
Zitto Kabwe, Tanzanian economist and MP
“For more than five decades, the development debate has been dominated by a single story: foreign aid. But there is another story – that of illicit financial flows. However, this story is not rosy, nor is it popular. Information about illicit flows are kept secret and efforts to address the situation are often discouraged. And little wonder – because data shows that illicit money flowing out of the continent is double what it receives in foreign aid.”

5 November, 2013
Marta Tveit @ Think Africa Press
“Fronting a constructed group identity such as the ‘Afropolitan’ backs-up a reductive narrative of Africa and the African, which in turn continues to be an important part of neocolonial power structures. As an individual who happens to have one parent from the African continent I am offended by being put in a group and perceived to have certain interests and affiliations because of the nationality of one of my parents.”

3 March, 2005
Taiye Tuakli-Wosornu
“They (read: we) are Afropolitans – the newest generation of African emigrants, coming soon or collected already at a law firm/chem lab/jazz lounge near you. You’ll know us by our funny blend of London fashion, New York jargon, African ethics, and academic successes. Some of us are ethnic mixes, e.g. Ghanaian and Canadian, Nigerian and Swiss; others merely cultural mutts: American accent, European affect, African ethos. Most of us are multilingual: in addition to English and a Romantic or two, we understand some indigenous tongue and speak a few urban vernaculars. There is at least one place on The African Continent to which we tie our sense of self: be it a nation-state (Ethiopia), a city (Ibadan), or an auntie’s kitchen. Then there’s the G8 city or two (or three) that we know like the backs of our hands, and the various institutions that know us for our famed focus. We are Afropolitans: not citizens, but Africans of the world.”

8 February, 2013
Stephanie Santana @ Africa in Words
“Afropolitanism extends ideas of fluid, easy travel to texts as “singular products.” Based on the same capitalist fantasy that economic markets are equal, it is assumed that the literary marketplace, too, is unfettered by issues of uneven development or protectionism. Wainaina points to a particular kind of Afropolitan African novel that is frequently produced—one that touches upon social and economic issues, but ultimately is written for an audience of “fellow Afropolitans.” Overall, a spirit of Afropolitanism has led to texts that are product, rather than process focused, a trend that can perhaps be changed as more and more literature goes digital.”

3 April, 2013
Minna Salami @ Ms Afropolitan
“However, like every other continent, Africa is entitled to have multiple subcultural movements and we should reject all attempts to relegate African culture to a monolith. In a short period of time Afropolitanism has helped to nurture more positive views of Africa, also among Africans ourselves, with its no-nonsense obligation to correcting decades of Africa being misrepresented as a “dark, failing continent.” Does it sometimes go overboard in commodifying African culture? Possibly. Does that mean it needs exorcising? No, thank you.”