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What God has put together, let no law dare put asunder

By | November 4th 2011 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Peter Kimani

Good morning Mr Ferdinand Masha Kenga. I suspect you might not be having a very good morning, after I caught a glimpse of you covering your face to escape paparazzi flashlights this week.

And can you imagine the day your picture appears in the paper, is also the day The Standard launches an e-paper, so that even those afar can still get a feel of the real paper, which includes your dramatic picture?

I suppose there was no point in covering your face as you are what we might call a public figure. Why, I found a slide-slow of your earlier pictures, this time without face concealment, and wearing a hospital gown.

I think that’s when you had that terrible accident, when you said you fell while taking the stairs or something, and you hurt your head enough to suffer a concussion.

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You know, you have a fine head to have even remembered how you tripped and fell; weaker brains like mine wouldn’t even register a thing. You have what we call photographic memory. No wonder those paparazzi are so fond of taking your pictures!

Something tugged at my heart when I read some folks had called on you at the hospital, not to say pole, or deliver get-well messages, but to enquire the accurate version of events.

But those are the perils of being a public figure. I hear some were insinuating your significant other half had twangad you with I don’t know what, so it was quite a relief to know you cleared the air – not just by revealing what had happened, but how it happened as well.

Missing millions

I was about to send a glad-you-getting-better card when another picture appeared in the Press this week, this time with the accompanying details that you were in trouble with the law over some missing millions. Again, some reports allege your significant other half is listed as a prosecution witness. Now, that makes me nervous. I would certainly get nervous if my mama watoto (mother of our children) made such a decision.

Here’s my suggestion. Take a holiday immediately – if you can afford it. Seek to know what she has in mind. I don’t mean to pry and find what she has on you. That would be tantamount to witness intimidation.

I don’t want to be sexist, but women tend to be moved by small but meaningful gestures. A bouquet of roses, for instance, can do wonders. If any of the paparazzi saw you carrying flowers in town, can you imagine how that could boost your image? This time, you could even pose for the cameras with a bright smile instead of hiding your face.

The next thing is to remember – and so far you have displayed remarkably very good memory – why you are on holiday. It is to gently dissuade mama watoto from testifying against you.

Should this strategy fail to work, you can drop hints that this is all siasa and you might be considering running against her next year. After all, this case has built your profile. You are now a national figure covered in national news!

Destroy marriage

The other strategy would be to invoke Biblical teachings and claim this case is out to destroy your marriage, and goes contrary to your religious beliefs.

You can seek legal protection, and invoke a few laws to support your claim.

Still, if that doesn’t work, you can try the kama mbaya ni mbaya (if things are bad, let them be) strategy. Drop hints that you couldn’t have landed this job without the endorsement of your local MP. And if the hiring was irregular, would it not merit mama watoto to step aside to allow further investigations?

She will get the message. Let me know how it goes.


Superstition by any another name

still feels eerie

Western media portray Africa as the centre of superstition and uchawi (witchcraft), but they have enough of that in their midst. They even have a day dedicated to the celebration of their prowess in the occult, colourfully coded in orange colour and named Halloween.

The superstition is traced to Celtic traditions that alleged ghosts were roaming the face of their earth, and that they could be scared away by lighting bonfires and wearing grotesque costumes.

Some of those pagan ideas somehow found their way into the Church in the 8th century when Pope Gregory III set November 1 as a time to honour all saints and martyrs. But the anniversary slid back to its secular ways, where it is marked with pomp and colour every October 31.

I joined one such party at the weekend. Only one person wore a costume, if you can count the young woman who came in a sombrero that reminded me of the Dracula.

The centrepiece of the evening was a skull placed in the pride of place in the living room, where everybody had converged to enjoy their drink, which we had to bring as it was one of those Bring Your Own Beverage (read Beer) parties that hard-up students organise.

Then somebody threw the skull in the air; another student gave it a header and the skull crushed on the floor to spew pieces of chocolate. We picked those to eat.

Now that the ritual is over, I don’t know why several of my neighbours retain those skeletal drawings on their doors and orange drapes.


Money once paid cannot

be returned, unless of course...

Rumours of war are in the air, and so is the hysteria about Al Shabaab re-armament. Tinga is on the floor of the House scoffing at claims of corruption over Kazi Kwa Vijana. The Central Bank announces it’s raising "benchmark lending rates."

Passengers circle in the air because, like the Son of Man, the plane has no place to land. Airport staff are on strike. Oh, and the powermen at Kenya Power are finally flexing their muscles to demonstrate their power.

Did you talk about teachers’ strike? Well, their case is... let me find the appropriate words to express their plight, complicated.

You know, there was that little issue over their pay raise. But Treasury has been busy processing refunds for aid agencies that demanded their money back with menace – after their money was stolen through the Free Primary Education.

Pound of flesh

The Brits received their pound of flesh this week, and the Canadians are next in line. I hear the sums run into the tens of millions.

Did you ask about taxpayers whose money was stolen together with donors’? I think that won’t be returned. I mean, that’s common sense. All monies paid in taxation cannot be returned. Yes, you have to be a stingy donor to merit a refund.

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