Friday, October 31, 2008

Wedding Oddities

Guest Post By Mcheku who is just back to blogosphere after a looooong hiatus. Welcome back Mcheku.

Weddings are known to be grand, classy, glamorous, sophisticated affairs, where everyone is on their best behaviour. I am sure like me you have attended a countless number of weddings. I am also sure that there are some that stand out in your mind for all kinds of reasons. Today I want to talk about the other the side of weddings. The bride is expected to behave in a certain way and some things are just common sense. For example it will be highly frowned upon if the bride or groom gets excessively drunk during the reception. For heaven’s sake! It is only a one day affair and surely you can keep yourself from indulging in some of these things.

A few months ago, I attended a wedding where my cousin was getting hitched to a man from a totally different culture from ours. In my culture when a bride is entering the precincts of the wedding ceremony, women start singing in praise of the bride and at the same time mock the groom’s family. This singing goes on till the bride reaches the church just before she starts marching to the bridal song. Well the women singers got carried a bit with all their singing and dancing and when the bride reached the aisle she just shouted at the top of her voice, gestures included ‘Nyamazeni, nyamazeni’. What a way to start a wedding!!

Speaking as someone from a culture that requires brides to be cool, calm and collected on that day. All smiley and holding hands, sticking to the groom like glue. I am always taken aback when I attend weddings where brides are a bit jumpy and all over the place talking loudly and high fiving, no holding hands and leaving the groom to walk around on their own the whole day!! My friend got married the other day and to say the least I haven’t yet seen such behaviour in a bride. Well as she was marching into the church in her veil held by her mum and dad on either side, she extricated her hand from her mums elbow and started waving at the people she knew who had come for the wedding. Can you imagine a bride walking down the aisle to the organ tunes of ‘Here comes the bride’ and she is all up waving at people and saying ‘Sasa?’ ‘Kumbe ulicome?’ ‘Enjoy yourself’!! Then during the reception she came to sit with us for most of the time and left the groom at the high table. I know people have different cultures but that was just a bit too much if you ask me.

A bride’s attire is a focal point in the wedding. Beautiful as it is, when it is complicated and restricts the brides movement it can be a quite cumbersome to lag around an entire day. A close relative of mine was getting married deep in the rural areas. Her dress was made in such a way that she could not visit the washroom without external help. Those who have had the opportunity to get entangled in a bride's net and all will know exactly what I am talking about. As her brides maids we were enlisted as her close aides for that special day. In the middle of the ceremony she announced her intention to go. The washrooms were so far away from the house it was not plausible for the bride to walk all the way there and back and we were forced to improvise. So we found a tin somewhere and a private secluded place (very difficult at a crowded wedding!) and we surrounded her as she relieved herself. You could see the relief on her face and in her smile as she returned to take her place in the proceedings.

However, that incident was nothing compared to this wedding I attended in a neighbouring country. The wedding ceremony and reception all went well but it seems that the excitement of the day was all too much for her because during the evening reception she just suddenly collapsed and passed out. There was a big gasp of shock across the room and when we got to her we realized that she had peed on herself on that beautiful evening gown that had cost a fortune! With the help of a nurse who was in attendance we managed to revive her somewhat and we helped her clean up as best as she could and she returned to reassure the anxious guests.

Grooms are not to be left out either. I attended this wedding where the parents of the boy were elders in a church and did not want their son to go into a come-we-stay affair like he wanted to. Since they were a little moneyed they organised the whole affair for him to save face in the church. Now this son of theirs was a well known pot smoker and in the middle of the reception, he pretended he was going to use the facilities and we could not trace him for a long while. People started whispering about his long disappearance and surprise! surprise! He was brought back to the high table all high and happy, about two hours later!! much to the embarrassment of the bride, his parents and the family at large.

Some of the strange happenings cannot be controlled or avoided; I mean those involving bodily functions. But someone should honestly come up with a manual of how brides and grooms are expected to behave on that day to keep guests from witnessing the embarrassments that cannot be avoided.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Here Comes The Groom.

Manuel Uribe is proof that you can find love under any circumstances. Having entered the Guinness Book Of World Records in 2007 as the world’s fattest man, he has since dropped a whopping 230 Kgs and intends to keep dropping the weight until he gets to 120 Kgs. Earlier this week he wed his long time girlfriend, 38 year old Claudia Solis.

And here comes the bride.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Unusual Kenyan Hero

Armed forces are generally a dreaded lot. More so the GSU. But one Joseph Musyoka Nthenge stands out for giving the forces a less brutal face at a time when they seemed to be shooting at anything that moved while some Rambo characters were caught on tape kicking a dying man in the ribs. The UN has recognized him with a ‘United Nations Kenya Person of the Year Award’, a prestigious award that has previously gone to the likes of Abbas Gullet for his good leadership at Kenya Red Cross Society, Njoki Ndung’u for her contribution in the fight for Girl’s and Women’s rights and Agnes Pareiyo for her tireless efforts to rescue girls from Under age marriage and Female Genital Mutilation in her community.

Joseph stands out for the peaceful manner in which he dispersed a crowd of rowdy youth who were headed for the city center to protest the delayed presidential results during last year’s General Elections. The youth had already left a trail of destruction in their path. There is no telling how much more blood shed we’d have witnessed or how many more lives would have lost if that group got their way on that day. So it’s Hats off for Joseph Nthenge. My little doctorate goes to him.

Having said that, a lot of other Kenyans did their bit to peacefully restore calm during our darkest days. Hats off to them too. Every one of them.

See Also: The Case Of The Overweight Policeman

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Should We Trust Our Doctors?

The frequency with which medical professionals are bungling of late is worrying. Just a few months ago the case of little Rose Mwaka was brought into the limelight after an unsupervised intern at the Coast General Hospital pierced the little girl’s artery instead of a vein. Owing to that error, she developed gangrene and later had her foot amputated at Kijabe Mission Hospital. Three doctors, a nurse and intern at Coast General Hospital were put under investigation.

Currently, yet another mum, Susan Wanjiru is dealing with amputation of her little girl Lesley’s right arm in seemingly similar circumstances but this time at Kenyatta National Hospital. Last year, a teenage boy suffered permanent brain damage after an overdose of anesthesia was administered during an operation. And we cannot forget the case of Brian Kimutai who went into a coma after being injected with a wrong combination of vaccines.

Chances are these cases are just a tip of the iceberg as far as medical blundering is concerned. Many others either go unreported or patients die as a direct result of treatment. Parents without medical knowhow are made to believe that it was the illness and not the treatment that killed or maimed their loved ones. Medical misconduct can be hidden in files of medical jargon which the layman cannot understand.

Blundering doctors if confirmed guilty can be deregistered from the practice but how easy is it to nail a doctor when the board charged with investigating malpractice itself consists of fellow doctors? How easy is it for them to testify against one of their own? It’s like asking the police to investigate fellow police officers.

Justice is not free and neither is it cheap. Paying the hospital bill already is an uphill task and to then expect affected persons to raise more funds to seek legal redress is next to impossible for many. Some just let it pass because it’s too much hustle and no amount of settlement cash can bring back a loved one’s amputated arm or leg or life.

Granted, medical is not the only profession in which cases of gross misconduct we witness. Cases in this field stand out because we trust doctors with our health and lives. Their errors could mean the death or incapacitation of a human being. Ok so could those of the police but that’s an article for another day.

Of course we would all prefer not to fall ill in the first place but just in case you do and find yourself in the care of a doctor, remember that the days when doctors’ words were law are long gone.

  • Learn the basics about tests and surgical procedures.
  • Get a second opinion if in doubt.
  • In case of surgery, ask what the risks are and whether there are any options.
  • Ask about every drug and know about it before using it. You have a right to this.
  • Be observant and ask questions. Do not agree to procedures until they make sense to you.

Otherwise, take care of yourself and do your bit to stay healthy.

See Also: Microwave Oven Dangers

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Which Doctors for Peace?

Our local media is either ignorant or pretends not be aware of the practice by members of the Peace Research Institute in Oslo to speculate on the possible nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize. Either way, it seems to serve them well to stir-fry the guesswork with such hype as;

The World to Fete the Big Three


… President Kibaki and the PM were believed to be frontrunners for the Nobel Peace Prize”.

Then after the winner had been announced, they wept;

"President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga have missed out on the most prestigious peace award that some western media-houses had bet they would win".

The news lines are obviously mere pandering for which politicians are known to pay for, sometimes quite cheaply. It is only after fifty years that we can confirm whether the two found their way to the list and by what route. Personally, I’d love to celebrate that the two never even made it to the list before wondering who in their right frame of mind would think of suggesting their names.

But we not need to wait that long. First, because I think that in half that time the two will have been buried in the rubbish bin of history and therefore seeking out such details then will not be even remotely stimulating. Secondly, judging from the feigned enthusiasm of the University of Nairobi to confer honorary doctorate degrees upon the two and the accompanying feeble citations that echo the recent media hoopla, the dons at the UoN easily give themselves away. Presumably the doctorates will compensate their favorite sons for losing out on the Nobel Prize.

Of course the university has a right to decorate whomsoever they wish with whatever degree they can create. Inherent in that right also, is the freedom to massage the ego of whichever potentate that directs the flow of money. What they cannot do is fool the citizenry that Kibaki and Raila deserve any award for engendering, restoring, preserving or fostering peace. It is akin to applying lipstick to a pig in recognition for its lifetime achievements in cleanliness.

Kibaki and Raila are culpable for all that went wrong during the post-election violence as the just released Inquiry report suggests. Their names are very likely to feature at the International Criminal Court in uncomplimentary light that makes them totally undeserving of the Nobel Prize for Peace. The UoN cannot pretend not have been aware of the reservations regarding the role played by the two in the mayhem. It is therefore intellectual dishonesty to rush into conferring degrees upon them amidst such damning allegations. They cannot pretend not to have read that some plotters of the mayhem even held their meetings at the President’s official residence. And the PM is on record for repeatedly calling for the release of suspected arsonists, murderers and rapists in police custody because “they were fighting for democracy”.

For sure, we have a goodly number of disingenuous copy typists masquerading as news editors who regularly sell headlines about Raila coughing or Kibaki’s midnight row with the First Lady. But while the regular servings of empty-headed politicking and rumor peddling have thus far kept them in profitable business, this venerating of villains is particularly offensive. Not only are they both culpable for plunging the country into the said inferno, they are yet to employ the power that they share to sort out the after effects. Photo sessions with plaster grins and awards every other week are an insult to the hundreds of thousands who are still to this day suffering the consequences of the violence.

During the award ceremony, the vice-chancellor remarked that he was pleased Kibaki and Raila are being seen to be getting along well and therefore dismissed their surrogates to “continue bickering if they wish”. By extension, for as long as the two are smiling at the cameras together, their supporters can continue hammering each other if they so wish.

A man cannot set his house ablaze, watch from the fence as his neighbors put out the flames then later adorn robes to claim an award for having let in the firefighters.

What a doctoral way of achieving peace… or a peaceful (piss-full) way to achieve a doctorate.

Posted By HLumiti

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Safaricom Strikes Back

Safaricom had to strike back in the wake of cheap tariffs from Vuka and Orange. And it did strike back with a tariff arrangement that will make some of it’s subscribers jump for joy and other curse. In the jibambie arrangement, the higher you go the cooler it becomes. Top up with bigger money and you call at cheaper rates.

Bottom line they’re rewarding their high denomination card buyers but what are they at the same time telling the lower card users? Michael Joseph will be at pains to explain that they’re not trying to shun them but in the end that is just the way it looks.

Just when you thought lowering tariffs at ungodly hours was not a good idea…..

Monday, October 13, 2008

Dress Properly - You're In Church

It is not only the women of Naivasha who are under siege for dressing in long trousers. Trouser wearing worshipers of Neno Evangelistic Church in Nairobi got a rude shock when they were turned away by ushers at the church gate yesterday.

That particular church aside, let’s look at the church dress code in general. It’s commonly expected that ladies be decently dressed not just in places of worship but everywhere. But what is decency? What parameters are we working by? Is anyone fit and qualified to judge the next person on account of dressing? Does anyone have the right to assume that you are right or wrong because of what they’re wearing? Where to draw the line? Some may argue that those wearing tight trousers and short skirts are a temptation to the brothers in church. But others may counter that and say that brothers should be strong enough in their faith to brush aside such temptations.

This is a touchy subject that has been discussed countless times in different platforms. I got lots of varied opinions on the net about it, some very strong. I only picked 4 different opinions and I quote:

  • Would you rather be in a congregation with decently dressed hypocrites?

  • God should be respected especially when you are in his house. Dress modestly in church. Go half naked outside, it’s your choice.

  • All this staring at other people and judgment is making me want to throw up. Go to church if you must but constant criticism of personal styles of other people who are really none of your business is really annoying. Who the hell are you to dictate what decency is?

  • It is not proper for a lady to dress indecently to church. It is also true that God looks at the heart, but we should not forget that our character, our looks and our words most times are a reflection of what is in our hearts because the bible says that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.

The church aside, the issue of whether women should wear what they want when they want is and has been a thorny one since time immemorial. In some cases, it is not even the church that is attempting to dictate dress code but the state. But should states ban certain clothing or should they cultivate in their male population a respect for women and the law? Can rape and other sexual crimes be wiped out by enforcing a certain dress code among women?

From the web: Miniskirts are here to stay. Get used to them.

From the past: Misbehaving Dads

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Doomsday Guesswork

We hear doomsday warnings and predictions every once in a while. According to one Mr. Charles Mwangi Gichichio, a Kenyan lawyer-cum-prophet, the world as we know it will end on July, 18th 2010. This message was communicated to him by God on 9th December 2006. He has since embarked on a mission to spread the doomsday warning using different methods, the most noticeable being wearing a sack cloth with the message ‘Jesus is coming back on July 18th 2010’ printed boldly at the front.

Gichichio’s prophesy however does not seem to generate as much interest as was generated by the House of Yahwe group whose world was supposed to end in a hail of nuclear warfare on September, 12th 2006. There are many other predictions by murderous doomsday cults, some of which have ended with massive loss of lives. Few people can forget the mass suicide in Uganda of over 200 members of The Movement Of The Restoration Of The Ten Commandments who set themselves on fire after hours of singing and chanting. Also with the vast possibilities that the Internet brings along, now there are sites teaching distressed kids how to commit suicide.

Times Online has a chronology of Armageddon predictions dating as far back as 1st Century AD to as recently as this year. Despite their varied beliefs, the common thread running through them all is that they never quite come true. The world is still around. Nobody knows for sure but chances are July 18 the world will wake up and go about their businesses as usual – including Charles Mwangi Gichichio. He’ll probably give a few excuses and a new end of the world date before moving on with life. In the end it all seems like a guessing game.

From The Past: Of Holy Noise And Kenyan Churches

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

10 Blog Commandments

Republished with the kind permission of The Faust Chronicle

  • You shall not put your blog before your integrity
  • You shall not make an idol of your blog
  • You shall not misuse your screen name by using your anonymity to sin
  • Remember the Sabbath day by taking one day off a week from your blog
  • Honour your fellow-bloggers above yourselves and do not give undue significance to their mistakes
  • You shall not murder someone else’s honour, reputation or feelings
  • You shall not use the web to commit or permit adultery in your mind
  • You shall not steal another person’s content
  • You shall not give false testimony against your fellow-blogger
  • You shall not covet your neighbor blog ranking. Be content with your own content

The commandments were originally 10 but some bloggers had a few more to add in the comment area:

  • PinkM: Thou shall not forget your fellow bloggers when your life gets too busy.

  • 3N: Thou shall not judge bloggers by the characters of their blogs.

  • Savvy: Whatever is said on the blogs shall not be taken as gospel truth....

Related Article: I Stand Accused

Friday, October 3, 2008

Breast Cancer - Know The Risk Factors

Breast Cancer cases are on the rise worldwide. We should be wary of the disease at all times but October is the month dedicated to Breast Cancer awareness. Two years back I lost a workmate to Breast Cancer and I got to see first hand the ravaging effects of the disease. This article is part to do my bit in raising awareness and part in her memory.

For breast cancer, early detection is key. 97% of women diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer have a chance of being cured. So ladies do the monthly breast examinations without fail. Take the girls for a thorough check up preferably every year. You never know when it could save your life. Men are not absolutely immune from Breast Cancer either although they’re much less likely to get it. For every 100 cases of breast cancer, less than one is in men.

There are things you can do to protect your self from Breast and indeed other cancers and diseases. But in some cases there’s just nothing much you can do. Know the risk factors and do your best. And some of the risk factors are:-

  • Having breasts
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • High alcohol consumption
  • Being obese
  • High dietary fat intake
  • Smoking
  • Having your first pregnancy after age 30
  • Aging – Risk increases with age.
  • Having had breast cancer before
  • Having your first period before the age of 12
  • Not having children
  • Having the Breast Cancer gene in the family
  • Chemicals in the environment
  • Previous chest radiation
  • Antiperspirant use – it has often been claimed that chemicals found in antiperspirants interfere with the lymphatic system, resulting in build up of toxins in the breast. However there little laboratory evidence to support this claim.

All the best ladies and gentlemen.

See also: Are We Eating Healthier Or Weirder

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Eid Mubarak!