Archive for July, 2009

Kenyan Waiters tell shockingly hilarious jokes too

July 22, 2009

The waiter at Wine Bar just made my evening; I was meeting a friend of mine at the bar when the waiter comes to take my order. I’ve seen him before (the waiter) and he has even served me many a times. he just has never told me a joke like this one-or was it just a comment?

I ask him for a cold Redds and what does he say? “Baridi kama roho ya mzungu?” Translated: “Cold like a white man’s heart?” . I am taken a back-suprised. I think that I probably heard it all wrong, but he says it again.

I laugh- hard. It is funny, in a really bad racist way but I find myself  laughing my heart out.

He laughs with me, then goes to fetch my cold Redds, leaving my friend staring at me and wondering Wassup?

When I explain what just happened, he’s like, “There’s nothing funny about that!”

The waiter comes back and I ask him, “What’s the difference between a ‘Mzungus’ and a black man’s heart?”

He takes my hand and places it on the left side of his masculine chest. I feel his heartbeat. This is exaggerated, I think.

He just thrusted his chest out to make it seem like it was really thumping.

Of course I laugh even harder and this pisses off my friend. I try to explain the joke further but he just doesn’t get it.

The same waiter comes back  a few minutes later to ask why I wasn’t using my glass. I say that I like to drink straight from my can. He replies, “Ama labda unaona utavunja?” (Or do you think you might break it?)

“Actually, you are right. If I was holding it right now, I think I would end up doing just that.”

I laugh even more because I’m thinking, this waiter can already tell that I’m high-this might have been my first beer here but it isn’t the only one I have had all day.

If  I were a hotel/pub owner, I think I’d hire a guy with this extra skill; one capable of telling a good joke.

Get the customers coming back for more.

I AM MY FATHER’S DAUGHTER By Rosemary Kariuki Machua

July 10, 2009

33 years later, JM Kariuki’s daughter’s journal in a book

It wasn’t until I met Rosemary Kariuki Machua (JM Kariuki’s daughter) at the US Ambassador’s residence during a reception celebrating International Women’s Day that I thought about getting this book.

She was standing there dressed in a shimmering green outfit , animatedly talking to another equally well-dressed woman who I later came to learn was Sue Muraya, a brilliant fashion designer who said she had actually designed that very outfit that got Rosemary standing out from the crowd. I approached them and asked if i could take a photo of them -i later used it in a magazine. I was truly amazed at how well they responded but it wasn’t until i went ahead to jot down their names for the caption that she said her name and occupation-Author. knew there and then that this was the daughter who just recently launched a book.

Now, I had already received lots of messages about the book and the launch but I do not know why I never went out to get it. We exchanged contacts and I got the book the very next day.

I have been reading it in bits and pieces and you know what, I could easily read it again because some of the things she talks about are almost unbelievable especially towards the end.

One particular quote rings reasonable to me, that “My purpose is to share my story so that others may gain the courage to speak out theirs”, Rosemary says on page 108.

A couple of the people I discussed the book with did not understand why the book was centered on her-Rosemary, but I totally do. This is her journey, her search for understanding. See, here is a daughter who for years and years struggled to come to terms with who her father really was and why he had to die the way he did. Here is a daughter (and family) who feel betrayed by their own Kenya.

This story is more or less a journal and trail of experiences she has gone through since childhood. It brings us face to face with the situation of J.M. Karikuki’s unresoved murder, makes us question the injustices we have seen in the country over the years. Rosemary’s search is actually our nation’s search and who better to lead us through it than his own flesh and blood, his own daughter.

There is so much to learn about JM that newspapers or magazines wouldn’t have ever brought out-like small glimpses into who he was as a father and philanthropist-a human being. And yes, a couple of surprises about his relationship with Kenyatta, Kenya’s first President ; how boldly Rosemary admits, “The nature of the relationship between Kenyatta and my father was such that there was no way his cronies would have assassinated him without Kenyatta’s knowledge. I believe that Kenyatta was involved in the plot to some extent.”

I shed a couple of tears especially when she recalls the circumstances surrounding his death and thereafter when the family was having difficulties and there was no one (of his so called friends and family) to help because they thought (so did I) that JM was a millionaire.

Her story reminds us of what happened to JM and the fact that ‘History unresolved cannot be shelved’. Not that I have forgotten him. Hell NO! My family and I went in search of Ole Tunda and the site where his body was found all the way in Ngong Hills.

I just hope that the book serves its purpose:

a) To ensure justice prevails for JM and family (and the nation at large), though 33 years later, ‘m not sure how that will work.

b) This one has clearly been stated by Rosemary herself,“To share my story so that others may gain the courage to speak out theirs.”

This one I will attest to; This story has made me realize that one persons’ story could actually be an entire nation’s story. My passion to tell my story has also increased 5 ,or 10 fold, I think….

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