September 19, 2015

Teachers Strike And Trying To Blame The Constitution

BY JOHN GITHONGO Source: www.the-star.co.ke/news/teachers-strike-and-trying-blame-constitution  In 1997 the government made a deal to increase the pay of Kenya’s chronically underpaid teachers. It was only partially implemented. As a result, especially at times of political vulnerability for the incumbent administration, like elections and now at the start of every new school year, strikes by our teachers have become a normalized. The current government complains it doesn’t have Sh17 billion to implement the pay rise that the Supreme Court has legitimated much in the same way that the election that brought the current regime into power was legitimised. The teachers – in the 18th year of the fight to have promises made to them kept – are portrayed as fiscally unfeeling and unsympathetic to a Jubilee regime struggling to balance the books during increasingly difficult times. It’s true that times are difficult and
September 19, 2015

Teenage Nation Kenya

We are growing up. And growing up comes with challenges. One of those challenges is growing responsibility. Everybody has had his or her teenage years. Everything you know seems to change: the world around you, your friends, your ideas, your body. What you don’t realize as a teenager, is that you are changing and not the world around you. Looking at Kenyan at the moment it feels like looking at a teenager that is growing up: it’s going against anything her parents (people, constitution, democratic allies) are telling her. ‘I am against, an I will who you who decides.’ Kenya is full of ambitions. The world is at our feet, we even dare to compare out nation with  long established societies worldwide, preferably and convenient often indicated as The West, out former Colonial masters. To a certain extend, the modern
June 19, 2014

Kenya | Vacancies at State House: Mood Readers wanted (m/f)

An imaginary morning at the President of Kenya’s Office: President gets up, first thing he gets is his security briefing, especially movements that are ICC-related and CORD related, then the press clippings. He goes true with it, gets some emotions with the news, then his personal assistant comes up with today’s agenda. While walking to his vehicle with a tea-to-go in his hands, he gets briefed in more detail about the first meeting today. In the car next to him, his speech-writer talks to him about the print-out mister President has  just been handed over: the speech he going to deliver  at the next function. Eh, wait… stop… Are we missing something here? As in: missing something that we might need, not as in missing something that was there but we didn’t see? Yes! I would say. We are missing
May 16, 2013

Who is removing the stones from Kenya’s Acres?

I was in the beautiful Semien Mountains in Northern Ethiopia recently. On an extremely high altitude, people were still growing barley. I will spare you the story of how and when those people arrived there. What I noticed were the way these people were able to grow barley in this predominantly rough, rocky, cold area: they remove the stones from the acres, one by one, to remain with a clear acre and a good harvest. Kenya has a new government with ambitious plans being explained in good rhetoric and with a fresh unconventional cabinet of mostly non-politicians (sworn in today). All very promising, but it’s not the names that matter but about how a these modern style-leaders are gonna deal with the small things that Kenyans are dealing with: the stones in its acres that avoid that the barley can
September 11, 2012

Kenyan leaders: Get inspired!

Michelle Obama talked about the values and character of her husband, President Obama, and his first term in office at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
August 21, 2012

Meles Zenawi died

Meles Zenawi, the prime minister of Ethiopia passed away: One of Africa’s ancient giants falls. Africa is refreshed in various ways. As it goes with old city parks where people don’t like to come anymore: some are replaced, others are renovated. And if the refreshed park is there, it’s up to the people of the new parks to bring character: by allowing to go piss, enjoying the delicious air of seasonal flowers, blooming irises.
April 2, 2012
Kenyan girls come up for their rights

Kenyan sex workers: signs of progress

Yes, being in Kenya is great. But for me, it is not for the obvious reasons: not the safari’s, it’s not only the beautiful nature less than 30 minutes outside Nairobi. Europeans tend to think that when you live in Kenya, it’s a 24 hour safari-holiday. Nothing is less true. It’s because in Kenya where I have a live view on social and political change in Africa. You can witness it on the spot: quite often, there is change for the better. Recently, it was worldwide sex workers day. The 7000 or more known sex workers known in Kenya’s capital Nairobi took to the streets to say that they are ready to pay tax.  Prostitution is still seen as a crime in Kenya. The funny thing: in a country where women are often seen as minor creatures, not the consumers