25.11.14

Everyday People.

Sometimes I'm right and I can be wrong
My own beliefs are in my song
The butcher, the banker, the drummer and then
Makes no difference what group I'm in
I am everyday people

Oh sha sha...

I've written this post before, more times that I care to remember.  Exact same shit, different day, different names.  Random people died out in the badlands?  Nothing new, that shit happens all the time around here and nobody gives a rat's ass, and not because we don't give a rat's ass, but because he can't be bothered to look out for us hoi polloi.  'He whom?' you ask.  Nope, its not the secretary of interiors, nor the inspector of general things, not even the deputy former president for a day, those men are but minions in the greater scheme of things.  These days I reserve my anger for the man himself, el presidente, he that claims to be protecting us.

As random Kenyans were getting shot in the head...
Crazy Africanz
...the man was in Abu Dhabi, watching Formula 1, and possibly signing over more leases and stuff to wealthy Arabs.
I sincerely hope the caption is harmless

Wait, before you go jumping to conclusions, the man wasn't there to have a good time, he was there on business...

The UAE, more than any other country in the Middle East and Africa, has become adept at milking glitzy sports events to craft its image as a leading financial and trading capital—enough to attract massive global investment and to get the world to forget that it is not a democracy.
Kenya's Uhuru, Gabon's Bongo, Seychelles' Michel and Ethiopia's FM were among the dozens of leaders at Yas Marina for the season-ending decider.


See?  He was there as an investor. 

But wait...

From 1:04 to 1:50

"The location, as has been stated by His Excellency, the president, and through the presentation, opens you up to not just opportunities in Kenya, but also opportunities within East Africa as well as the wider central and southern African countries.

Again, I would like to re-emphasise the issue that we have a free floating currency in Kenya, we have no problem whatsoever with repatriation of profits, so you invest and you take your profits with no problem, there are no regulations , no restrictions [emphasis mine]..."

See, this is why I love the internet.  This little gem is from back in 2011, when el presidente was a lowly Minister for Finance and Deputy Prime Minister.  Yup, our finance minister was proud to tell the foreigners that they could take their profits and bugger off, bila issues.  So what if that meant his government would lose possibly billions in much needed taxes?  Fuck that, this is business, baby, and we is businessmen!  (I'm putting words in his mouth, but am I really?)  And in case you think he was busy spouting his own nonsense without the knowledge of our then super economist prezzo, take a look at 2:06.  That would be Emilio, looking on with what we can only assume is pride (roho safi, after the missus chapad him with the stool he had only one expression left, no?).  Back to Kamwana...

"As I said, President Kibaki's government firmly stands on the principle that government creates an enabling environment, but it is private sector that does business, it is private sector that creates growth and job opportunities. We have created the environment, what we are seeking is for you to make the investment, make your profits, and help us build Kenya, and indeed build our strong relations between our two countries."

This was back in November 2011, during an official state visit as reported here, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa receives Kenyan President, and here, Kenya, UAE sign agreement to avoid double taxation.  From the second link, Wikileaks no less...

"It is worth while noting that the countries in the region are working together on mechanisms to fast-track the implementation of priority infrastructure development programmes," advised the president.

He, however, underscored that such programmes could only be achieved with adequate resources which the government sought to identify and mobilize in partnership with the private sector and other sources like the Abu Dhabi investors whom he invited to consider.

This foreign investment story deserves a post of its own, but for the purposes of today's discussion all we need to keep in mind is that Abu Dhabi is important to us.  Well, them.  And us.  I hope.  The good news is, prezzo didn’t go to Abu Dhabi specifically to watch Formula 1, he went to do business.  The bad news is, he went to do business.  From an article published in May 2012...

Exports from the UAE to Kenya surged nearly 72 per cent last year, helping the Emirates to surpass China and India to reclaim its position as the largest exporter to the East African country.

The value of exports from the Emirates reached 199 billion Kenyan shillings (Dh8.67bn) last year, almost 72 per cent higher than in the previous year, boosted in part by an increase in oil prices, according to figures from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).

It gets better, or worse, depending...

Although investment flows into Kenya from the UAE have been relatively limited, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development has supported some infrastructure projects in Kenya with grants and loans.

The UAE's Ministry of Economy has said that the Emirates' investment in Africa is expected to increase significantly in the coming years as the UAE continues its economic diversification efforts. The sectors it is interested in developing on the continent include infrastructure, energy, mining, transport and mobile communications, it has said.

In November, Kenya and the UAE signed an agreement to avoid double taxation - part of efforts to develop economic relations between the two countries. All of the UAE's national carriers would be exempt from taxes on commercial profits, according to the agreement.

Infrastructure, energy, mining, transport and mobile communications. 

Right. 

Have I told you how much I love the internet?  I do, I really do.  A quick google of 'Abu Dhabi investments Kenya' and the first two pages of results were about the deal signed on 23rd November, 2014.  That would be Sunday.  This past Sunday.  A day after the attack in Mandera.

Kenya and the United Arab Emirates ( UAE) have entered into an investment promotion agreement that is expected to increase the volume of trade between the two countries.

The agreement was signed by National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and the UAE Minister of State for Financial Affairs Obaid Al Tayer in Abu Dhabi yesterday.

The Promotion and Protection of Investments agreement will see more investments from UAE flowing into Kenya. Kenyan companies will also find it easier to do business in the UAE. The agreement eases trade restrictions and provides assurance for investors in both countries by creating favourable trading conditions.


See, these buggers are hard at work, no?  Yes, they may be selling our souls to the (almost) white man, but they're working, so stop getting your knickers in a twist because the man didn’t come home when 28 people got shot in the head by idiot terrorists.

twitter

Apologies.  I should have warned you about that image, but I didn’t want to give you a chance to look away.  Folks, but for luck of geography, that could easily be you lying on the ground with your skull blown open and your brains seeping into the ground.  Look again.  That could be any one of us, should we happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Again, apologies, I mean no disrespect to the dead, or the living, I'm just trying to get through to you, rouse your passions as it were.  Every time these attacks occur all we get to see are the sanitised images of a shoe in a pool of blood, with a picture of a candle and a bloody poem.  Not this time.  This time we need to look at how our people, people pretty much exactly like us, are dying. 

Look again.

See, us fancy Nairobi types, with our highways and our coffee shops and our swanky lounge bars, we thought we were above all this madness.  Being slaughtered like animals?  Never!  Then Westgate happened, and that idyllic image was shattered.  Then we eagerly forgot.  We always choose to forget.  Just because you don’t catch a bus or you don’t work in Gikomba, just because you don’t live in the frontier districts or Mombasa, just because you pray to a certain God or pay another, just because you don’t look like a possible victim of random bullshit terrorist attacks, you think you're safe.  One of these days you'll realise you're not, not really.  Not as long as the people we pay to protect us are too busy cutting deals and playing petty politics to do their fucking jobs.

Remember this grand speech...
Wait, no, that's the wrong one.  I meant this one...

The world sees and applauds, as we do, our young men and women in uniform, who, under my command, are bravely fighting AlShabaab’s terrorists at home and abroad. Our diplomats are crucial actors in a troubled region, working to end the conflicts, and fill the vacuums in governance, that allow such terrorist groups room to operate.

The world knows that as a democracy on the frontier against terrorism, our people have been brutally murdered by the same terrorist networks that have sparked mayhem worldwide.

We face these trials with fortitude, knowing that our work to banish insecurity, poverty, and division is our generation’s historic task. It is how our children’s children will remember us.

This speech was just lovely.  Except for the minor fact that this was his 'I'm quitting my job for two days so I can go to the court where I'm accused of crimes against humanity' speech.  I suspect the sentiment, while deeply stirring, may not have been entirely, umm, genuine, which is to say its complete bollocks.  Not that this comes as a surprise to us, this speech is a repeat of the Mpeketoni speech, which was a repeat of the Gikomba speech, which was a repeat of...all the way back to the infamous 'don’t show them how high you are' Westgate speech.   Same shitty speech, different day.  But hey, 'Ulinzi Unaanza na Mimi, Ulinzi Unaanza na Wewe'...


Slight detour, why didn’t you people tell me how hilarious this rubbish is?  I'd only seen the crap in the gazeti, but this shit right here...  What!  This is fucking comedy!  How is this man my president?  She wipes tears of hysterical laughter off her cheeks.  Woi.  Detour over.

I am everyday people

Oh sha sha...

28 victims.  28 men and women who were guaranteed, nay, owed the same protection as that given to the government fat cats and slimy opposition politicians, sitting in their cushy offices in the capital, spewing all manner of bile.  These 28 people, everyday people, died in the most gruesome of ways, and all the government does is talk shit.  And beef, sometimes up, security.

Our president...

Fellow Kenyans,

I join fellow Kenyans in mourning the death of 28 innocent Kenyans at the hands of terrorists and bandits in Mandera. This is a terrible and painful blow to the families of the dead, and to our nation. It is a setback to my Government’s effort to confront terrorists and secure Kenyans. As we mourn the fallen, I reiterate my Government’s commitment to assure the safety and security of every Kenyan wherever they are, at all times.

I therefore extend deep condolences on my own behalf and that of peace loving Kenyans from every walk of life and faith.

Following this outrage, our security forces swiftly identified, followed and struck the perpetrators of the murders . Two succesful operations in their hide-outs across the border left more than 100 fatalities, destroyed four technicals and the camp from which this crime was planned. This rapid action underscores a huge victory against regional terrorist networks, and strengthens the promise to deliver Security against internal and external aggression. Whilst This achievement cannot be ignored, I will hasten to add that we are working hard to ensure that Kenya is terror-proof in accordance with the best standards. This involves comprehensive systemic adjustments to ensure that the structural and operational dimensions of our security system do justice to the nation’s expectations of a consistently effective, accountable and professional service. I commend of our defence forces for their continued efforts to protectour people and country. I urge unrelenting vigilance and swift, decisive response to any threats, and unrelenting service to our people.


Mr President, in a most comprehensive and systemic fashion, kindly kiss the structural and operational dimensions of my fat black ass.

Fellow Kenyans, my lovelies, we are everyday people.  Be safe.

I am no better and neither are you
We are the same, whatever we do
You love me, you hate me, you know me and then
You can't figure out the bag I'm in
I am everyday people
I am everyday people

Oh sha sha...

13.11.14

Same wheel, new angle.

You know that list of seven women I’d happily shag, the one that has Pink?  It has a new addition.  Even better, a new number one.  I am officially head over heels in love with, and in lust for, this woman...

(I don't know how to stop this from playing automatically, dammit! You might want to press pause, or turn down the volume...)

It’s not often I stumble across new music that takes my breath away.  More often than not, when I discover something 'new' I find out it’s actually old, sometimes even older than I am (stop sniggering), and worse still, the old is almost always better than the new.  That makes me sound like a geriatric music snob, no?  I’m not...well, not entirely, I am geriatric (really, stop sniggering), but I’m definitely not a snob.  I am truly open to the idea that someone somewhere will one day wake up and figure out how to reinvent the wheel.  Only, as with all things wheel reinvention, that’s damn near impossible to achieve.  These days what tends to happen is someone comes along and reveals a previously unseen angle to said wheel; a close up of a worn tread, or a microscopic look at the molecules of rubber.  Same wheel, new angle.  That’s what today’s artist did.  She’s allegedly a soul artist, but a quick listen to her second album proves she’s much more.  She’s closer to the eclectic purple end of the spectrum, which is to say I can’t quite figure out where to place her in the grand scheme of things.  And I love her all the more for it.

The video up top, the one I know you haven’t played, is a live performance of her cover of Cee Lo Green’s ’Fool For You’.  That’s the first time I saw/heard her and let me tell you, I was flabbergasted.  Yes, she gasted my flabber.  I was sitting there mid morning, in my pyjamas, drinking masala tea and scrolling though headlines on my phone, generally paying no attention to the show playing in the background on TV.  Then she started singing and my world came to an abrupt halt.  See, I had never heard the song before, original or cover, which as is turns out is quite shameful considering the original won Mr Green two Grammy’s in 2012.  I know, I claim to know these things, but I don’t, not really (in my defence, I was on a Grammy boycott that year after they denied my man Raheem in 2011, but that story has already been told, I shall not detour).  This was one of those instances when my ignorance was bliss, and oh what bliss it was...

Sweet sugar, I surrender, I don’t want no other man,
Baby, you win,
And you ain’t never got to worry, ever got to worry,
You’ll never be alone again,
There’s nothing, there’s nothing that I wouldn’t do,
Girl, that’s somebody there, everybody know who I’m talking to,

I’m a fool, such a fool for you...

I know the lyrics aren’t hers, but she sings this the way Cee Lo, quite frankly, never can (his version is in the soundtrack thingi).  Hell, if I didn’t know better I’d be convinced she’s Kenyan, the way she’s grabbed the song from the man, complete with genuine fake title and ef’thing.  Seriously though, this performance is everything a classic performance should be, tight as fuck with a climax that leaves you drained.  Ahem.  It is therefore inevitable she ended up on this page, and at the top of my list, displacing Ms Tina.  Don’t look at me like that, yes, I would shag Tina Turner.  Have you not seen her legs?  And her glorious lion mane of a wig?  Haven’t you heard her sexy, sexy growl of a voice?  Come now, of course she was at the top of the list, she sniffs haughtily, offended that you have the audacity to question her dubious fantasy shag choices.  Again, ahem.

You know how I said I wouldn’t detour?  I lied.  All that was one long detour.  Apologies, but I needed to introduce my Alice to you before I could proceed with the tale I came to tell you.  This post began life with (what I not so humbly consider) the best song on the album 'She', 'Another Love', a most addictive 80’s pop sounding track that, on first listen, crawled into my that corner of my brain reserved for important information and refused to leave.  I admit I got derailed by the fool song, but only because I was avoiding my tale. Stop feigning surprise, I do this deflecting thing all the time, no?



The last three or so months I’ve been dealing with love and loss, and loneliness, a fair bit of which is not mine.  I’m not sure if it’s the season (winter/cold, discontent, all that jazz), or that I’m attracting like minded individuals by virtue of the constantly melancholic vibes I’m sending out into the universe, but I seem to be having this conversation more often than usual.  Lovers leaving and leaving lovers, lovers who won’t come back and going back to lovers, lovers we want to replace and irreplaceable lovers...

You said I was what you wanted, liar, liar,
You never wanted me that way,
If you don’t like it right here, why would you stay here?
Just to be taken all I did, babe, everything...

The end of a relationship is never an easy thing to talk about. In between apportioning blame for failure, real or perceived, and pretending that everything is fine only to slip and fall flat on your face again, then waking up and pretending even worse, all this in the middle of the never ending analysis in your head, seems putting coherent thoughts together is an almost impossible task.  How do you talk about someone you never had leaving you without sounding like an insane would be stalker?  How do you mourn the end of a relationship you’re secretly glad is over?  How do fill the gap he left in your already too empty life?  How do find your way back to that woman you lost and hope to find again?  How do you get past betrayal and repair a relationship that may just irreparable?  How do you finally let go and start over?

I tried to be what you wanted, but I’m tired, I’m tired,
I don’t really need you anyway.
There’s nothing here to fight for, baby, be on your way,
You can’t be taking what I give, babe, all I give...

I don’t know what it is I may have said on these pages that gives the impression I have the answers to these questions.  Reading through old posts I’ve done on break ups, make ups and everything in between, I think it’s safe to say I do not have this shit figured out.  At all.  It’s okay, you can laugh at me, I just had a wee chuckle myself.  My lovelies, if ever there was a person not to talk to about relationships, it’s me.  Then again, the fact that I know how fucked up I am may be why I am the right person to talk to, no?  No, dammit.  Either way, I’m always happy to listen to someone else’s tale, figuring perhaps their tale may have the answers to my own.  My tale right now is not so much loss as it is inevitability, I’m having one of those irritating 'stranded in some vague limbo of neither here nor there' moments, reluctant to go back, but scared to move forward.  I can’t really explain it better right now, I’ve been trying to put it in words for months with absolutely no success.  Short of drawing you a picture, literally...she throws her hands up in defeat (that bit is not literal, obviously). 

Transition.  That’s the word.

If you don’t like it, baby
Find another love, another love
You don’t have the right to take it
I’ll find another, another, another, another...

To anyone out here who’s currently dealing with loss, of any kind, take comfort in the knowledge that there are quite a few of us dealing with it too, and just as horribly as you are.  I know that’s cold comfort, but you need to take what you can get, my friend, and all you’ll get here is vague affirmations and useless clich├ęs, such as I tend to spew when lost for words.  Some relationships end, some don’t.  Some can be repaired, some can’t.  Sometimes they come back, sometimes they don’t.  Sometimes you move on to bigger and better things, sometimes you end up with another idiot.  Such is life, unfortunately.

If you don’t want me, baby
I’ll find another, another, another love
You don’t have the right to break me
I’ll find another, another, another love
You don’t have to stay
You don’t have to stay...

On the up side, and there is always an up side here at Kai Ni Kii?, I have a new woman, Alice.  Alice Smith.