A WEEKEND WELL SPENT WITH MIRAA FARMERS. WHAT DO THEY HAVE TO SAY?

A WEEKEND WELL SPENT WITH MIRAA FARMERS. WHAT DO THEY HAVE TO SAY?

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Am so happy to be writing this story that I am part of, many of the people, or let me say my readers do not know where I come from, by this I mean that am a Kenyan but one from Meru.

In the recent days, my home town has been the centre of attraction for many media houses in the world and in Kenya at most. Main reason of this is that there were rumours going around that miraa which is the cash crop of the meru people was banned from being exported to Britain, i would first of all like to clarify that the ban has not yet been implemented since negotiations are undergoing between the British government and the Kenyan government.

To the lives of many Merians, miraa is what gives them food to put on the table, so if the ban took effect today, it could be so bad for them. Although miraa is the cash crop, many other plants are grown in Meru, in Imenti south the Merians living there grow bananas as their cash crop, in Michie Mukuru, the Murians there grow tea as their cash crop, in Lii part of Tigania East, they grow maize as their cash crop, and in Timau, they grow soghum, in Imenti north, people their grow potatoes as their cash crop, it is only in Tigania and Igembe where miraa is the cash crop. All these shows that Meru is a good agricultural area that has various options for its farmers.

As a Nairobi resident but a Merian by birth, when the miraa story took its space everywhere in the media industry, more so the social media, i had so many questions to answer as an opinion former and leader of the people I represent in Nairobi. I answered many that needed general knowledge and the once that needed evidential and current facts pushed me to organise a trip to up country to collect the facts.

Immediately i arrived home I met my Uncle who as it is the tradition gave me miraa to welcome me home, as we were chewing and chatting, I took that opportunity to ask the questions that had brought me home, :if I may ask you Uncle, as the ban on miraa affected our people, and if yes to what extent?: :at this area(Tigania East and west), i will tell you no, because the miraa we grow here are export for African countries: it is then that I met my first challenge in my mission since that night i decided to travel to places that farm miraa ane export it to London. I met so many challenges on the way and one of them was, I almost had my life taken away by a young man whom i had asked about the miraa story and he had told me he was not ready to talk about it and when I tried to insist, he almost dipped his dagga in my chest but I was rescued my  fellow passengers.

My first stop was at Karama, here, I met a lady called Jane Makena who told me although she is a Merian and lives in Meru she knows little about miraa business for it is mostly done by men and she had chosen to school and not farm miraa, all in all, she took me to her father one Mr. John Kamwithu, who was a big help to me. After respectable greeting that are for the older generation, and a cup of tea which I could not say no too, traditionally, I asked three questions whose answers came in a pack: the miraa we farm here, mostly is of African consumption but some of it is for export to Europe and Asia:, i was now at least in the right place, so i went on to ask, if the miraa barn had taken effect and a bit no come from him as he stood to explain it. :no! It has not and i think it will not:. What made me happy until now, is that the old man was so updated and he went on to tell me :young man, you are so young not to be updated: little did he know that reading from the updates in the internet is very different from finding from the ground. :don’t you read the Daily post, anyway they updated on Thursday afternoon that, negotiation were ongoing and so far no barn is in place until there is an official statement from the prime minister of Britain mr. David: though he had told me that, I decided to travel thirty more kilometres to Ntunyiri where most of the Miraa grown there is for the European market.

Here I talked to so many people who were so political about the issue, saying this was being done because Kenyans do not have the whites darling (Raila Odinga) as the president, but the most informed of the people i spoke too was Mwenda Kathoka,

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who answered most of my questions like a very informed young man. :what do you know about the miraa ban? :even before the barn, miraa was first declared a drug by the world health organisation in 1980, then this year, NACADA, which is a government tool for fighting drugs did it again. Though it might be political, its politics the right way, before elections in march this year, we(the Kenyans) were told that choices have consequences, and now that we were deaf, we have to learn lessons the hard way: i went on to ask where he sees the future of miraa, ‘miraa will continue to be there but many will have to look for an alternative since as long as there are wrong choice to the international community, miraa will be threatened. Even if there will be many other markets like Yemen which is the biggest miraa market in Asia, they will not transfer the  European market to Asia or Africa’

Before I wished Mwenda a goodbye, i asked him what does he think the political choices that he talked about could be affecting next now that they had started with miraa? :next, will be flowers, since the biggest market is in Netherlands, they might ask us one day to take our suspects their and if we do not, they might also not take our flowers. We have also much oil that has been discovered in Kenya and without the international community that oil will remain a liquid like any other. Very soon we will have nothing to import from Europe and America and everything in Kenya will be a counter fit from the East: he continued as he got annoyed by his own words, :the East are more exploiters than the west for since they invaded Africa, tourism is dying by day, Kenya has lost more Elephants than any other time in history and chad lost their last one two year ago, the East has not come to help but take away what we have invested in for decades:

As i wished Mwenda goodbye and went to book by bus back to the city, I was now sure that people in Meru at least have brothers who could research on their behave and tell them the truth like Mwenda.

It was truly a nice weekend well spent with miraa farmers.

By Kobia Koome.

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From a matatu tout to a plane owner! Kudos jaguar.

       following your passion makes money follow you.

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     Making it in life as a Nairobian, is one of the most difficult tests one might go through in life especially if they are not on a white color job, and as the English men will tell you: if you have it in your mind you will hold it in your hand, and jaguar must truly have had it in his mind.

     Jaguar is a local musician in Kenya Nairobi city, his real name is Charles Kanyi Njagua, before music he was a matatu tout working for route 58 (Buruburu) and route 15 (Lang’ata), he worked here for three years and since he was used to selecting songs for the passengers in the matatu, he developed a liking for music from this. To explain more we can call him :the matatu dj”.

      Just like Churchill, who was a local casual laborer, and he is now one of the top comedians in the country, Nyota Ndogo who was a house girl at Nyali estate in the coastal of Kenya, jaguar was also a tout.

     Now jaguar has made it in the music industry with some of his music tracks winning him awards, his hit song Kigeugeu, won him the boomba artist of the year, he was also the male artist of the year in the year 2011. A true hustler he has been since he is now the richest musician in East Africa, he is also known for his big business but jaguar is a Philanthropist, what I mean is that he has a big sense of humor like in the case where he mobilized his friends to pay a  bill of 50000 for Maria Sanawa from Kariobangi estate, who has been suffering from fibroid for six years.

     Jaguar is well known for driving a range rover sports new model which has made him so popular since no other local musician has such a classy car, but if these surprised you, then get shocked by getting to know that jaguar has bought a plane.

     He bought the six sitter plane during the campaign period when he was working closely with the president Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, he has both the plane and the convertible range rover christened with his name (jaguar). The two assets are well seen in the video of his song Kipepeo.

its now true that just as Bill Gates onces said following your passion will make money follo you.

                                                                                                By: Kobia Koome.

It is best done at East Africa Media, what is it?

It is best done at East Africa Media, what is it?

As the Kenyan government plans to give laptops to class one children in January next year, college students are past its plans since they have made personal efforts and they are now doing what their government cannot do for them. Being in college as a student journalist is a good thing, that is especially if your doing it the digital way. Gaining knowledge and sharing it immediately through the internet to the world is what the today’s students are doing in Nairobi city, journalism as gone to another level, whereby, when the students who do not have avenues for their assignments, have blogs and publish them so that the world can see their fine work. An example of such a blog is one owned by a student photographer Jimmy Gatimu, and its user name is http://jgatimu2.wordpress.com.I met several student journalist and this is their fine way of studying.

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    Practice makes perfect, this is what I proved at the East Africa Media Institute as I visited the photography department, I was so happy to see them take professional photos as I also took the chance and captured some. Patrick Karing’ithi with the camera doing his best.                                    

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     The Kenyan government has in the recent days appreciated women and provided it in the constitution that there should always be a one third gender rule in jobs, and even recognition. Now that I know what the constitution provides, I could not leave the lady students out of this. So I took a photo of Lydia Nasike at her best in the school photo studio.

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     as I came from the college, I had learnt that there are so many un recognised good journalist who are not yet in the market, my experience with the students made me think that there should be students awards just like there is the CNN awards or the emie. I truly found good work and I had to share this with my readers.

                                                                                              Yours truly: kobia koome.

A ROYAL CHILD: THE FUTURE KING FOR 16 COUNTRIES, IS HE REALY WORTH IT?

A ROYAL CHILD: THE FUTURE KING FOR 16 COUNTRIES, IS HE                                                                   REALY WORTH IT?

     I have always wondered why countries fought for independence if they could never rule themselves! At the mention of independence, many of you now have your minds fixed in Europe, this is the continent from which the colonisers of almost all of us came from. I always have so many an unanswered question running through my mind since i were age seven, why is it that the colonisers had to force what they called the three c’s to citizens of others countries? By three c’s i mean, Civilization, Christianity and Colonisation.

     When i woke up this morning at 5am East African time, I pressed my phones buttons to switch on the BBC radio and the news i had to me are as useless as they sounded in my hears. I know that you have either from your radio, TV set, news paper or the internet had that a Royal baby has been born in London and he is expected to become a King of 16 countries in future, some of these countries are: Australia, Jamaica, Canada, Belize amongst others. so I wonder why a child born in another country will one day become the head of state of another country? Or is it that the citizens of those 15 countries are not capable to lead their own countries?

    In my first paragraph I highlighted the colonisation point, so here comes its use, if these other 15 states did not need to rule themselves, then why did they let the great Britain not rule them all the way from the days of slavery? Why did they even waste their time, energy, money and citizens who died fighting for their independence?After all these questions running through my mind, I was thinking of my own Motherland, Kenya who is a mother enough to give birth to great sons and daughters who have ruled the country since the Britons were kicked out of the government and we had our own government in 1963, the reason why may be Kenya and many other countries are independent to a point of ruling themselves is that they believe that they are better than any other country but just like you need a brother, we also need other countries.

     A country like Australia has always had the republicans who believe that the idea of have another child who is not your own ruling over you i          s not the best and should be changed to make it the vice versa, this is evident by Mr. John warhurst who in the year 010 when he was the chairman for the Australian republican movement said that the country should have a referendum to determine who expertly was in power between the queen and the countries governor general.Image

As I were writing this story, I felt so great and proud of my motherland that I had to put my creativity in practice for a minute and tell her all that I felt through a little poem that is below:

                               KENYA MY MOTHERLAND.

     I call you mother, You that I step on every day You that provide enough prey,

But to get it I must be tough

A good mother you are, A generous mother you are

You the oasis of peace, You never deny me anything I want

Though I must toil an moil to achieve it

All the resources in need are right below my feet

Call it oil, food, land, or anyting, they realy are fit

A good mother you are.

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     They never knew you would be what you are today

A beautiful mother, caring and loving

They colonized your children, They shed blood on you

They enslaved your little children named them natives,

Thank you for you have lifted them again to be brave

Never knew you would blossom one day

A good mother you are:

                ******

          Everyone loves you, Ready and steady to protect you

From all kind of enemies, Not even hunger or diseases

A loved mother you are   We get armed to protect you even from those overseas

Because you give everything we need

And a mothery love we get indeed

Thank you for all that mother, On you we want to leave forever.

For the far we are, we have a billion reason to believe in you

And we pledge to leave on you not only now but you are our future,

Because that is what we believe for its set by nature.

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     After the message to my motherland, i had this to ask you my reader, are you proud of your state? Do you think that one day you will be the end of your state or someone else from billion of kilometres from your land will be your head of state? Anyway, I think for you the members of the 16 commonwealth countries that have the royal family ruling you, this is food for your thought.

                                                                                                           By: Kobia Koome.

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN IS NOW A FREE MAN, WHAT ARE THE KENYANS SAYING!

 

                             GEORGE ZIMMERMAN IS NOW A FREE MAN.

     on the 26thFebruary 2012, George Zimmerman a volunteer night watchman at the twins gated community in Sanford Florida shot Trayvon Martins a 17 year old boy on his way from the shop.

     George had suspected Trayvon and called the 911 to report that he had seen a man who looked suspicious in the community, the 911 officer ordered him not to take any action and should wait for the police to come,  George did not follow the order so he went on to confront Trayvon.

     After the confrontation, it is alleged that the two exchanged blows and Trayvon repeatedly knocked George on the ground and even tried to rich for his gun when George reached  for it first and shot Trayvon ones on the chest.

    

     Due to public demand, the case was investigated and George tried in a murder case of Trayvon Martins, since then, it has been a year and four months and now George Zimmerman is a free man.

     He was found not guilty  of all charges pressed against him on Saturday evening by a jury of 6 women, after delivering a verdict that was reached after 16 hours of deliberations.

     George’s lawyers argued that he shot Trayvon in self defence and he used justifiable deadly force.

     The jury had three verdicts to consider: second degree murder, man slaughter or not guilty of all counts.

    In Nairobi city, the capital of Kenya, people were on their daily duties and others in church as the verdict was read since it was on Sunday. I managed to talk to many Kenyans and to my surprise, not many who even had an idea of the case, is it that the Kenyan community is an ignorant community or is it that what goes on outside Kenya is not their business?

       in south b shopping centre, I met Peter Mbithi a young man in his twenties and he knew very well of the case and the ruling. and these is what he had to say: “I knew of the case through the internet since being a an information and technology expert, I should always look at the internet as my brother” he went on to answer my next question which was what was his reaction after the verdict. “without beating around the bush, I think Trayvon died because he was black” on asking if the jury had done justice, “no! No! No! If it was a black man who shot a white man he could get jailed for many years”

                                   ImagePeter(an I.T expert)

     In Ngong, a small town in North Kajiado, I met Jackline Edaya a freelance journalist who told me “I am a journalist and I had to follow such a case until today and even in future because this is my concern as an opinion former in my society” she also gave her reactions and thoughts to me, “yes George might have acted on the stand your ground law of Florida but Trayvon too did the same, so the jury should have consider that. I also see the whole of this case as racial conflict looking at where the blacks have come from in America”        

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                                       Jackline(a freelance journalist)         

Back to the city centre after collecting views out of the city, i atleast did not meet another disappointment since I called a lawyer so as to get the law side of the story. He is Mutuma Kibanga a lawyer in Kenya and a partner of Munga Kibanga advocate company, a big law farm in Kenya.

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                                                  Mutuma Kibanga (A lawyer)

     Mutuma got to Know of the story through the BBC radio immediately they reported about it last year.

     When responding to the shooting he said “it is very wrong and uncivilised to have a citizen shoot the other and walk freely” and about the stand your ground law? “the government should be the one to protect its citizens and not the citizens to protect themselves” he also added that to his own view, “the laws that licence citizens to own guns, and to shoot when they fill threatened, should be reviewed”.

      Responding to the demonstrations going on in many parts of USA he said” I am still following the case through BBC radio and the demonstrators are citizens of the country and should be listened too” and “as Kenyans, we should not put too much time in this but should just follow it as we give the Americans time to solve it” I got to the point of race and he had this to say: “it is prejudicial to call it racially instigated killings, but from the news I have gotten so far, it could be!”

                                                                        Written by: Kobia Koome.

IS THE KENYAN GOVERNMENT SLOWLY TURNNING TO ANOTHER HITLER GOVERNMENT?

 

IS THE KENYAN GOVERNMENT SLOWLY TURNNING TO ANOTHER HITLER GOVERNMENT?

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     When anybody mentions the name Adolf Hitler, to the minds of many, the world war two rings. To others blood is the only picture displayed, and to most dictatorship is their only thought. Hitler ruled Germany in between 1933-1940, during which he believed that the physically challenged, mentally ill, and others all who were disabled or as he called them “the worthless lives” are rounded and taken to hospitals where they are all killed so as not to give birth to more “worthless lives”, but may be, one question did not run through Hitler’s mind, (did all these worthless life’s as he called them give birth to themselves?

    In relation to the Hitler’s idea, when a government puts up councils like the National Council of persons with disability, then employs so many people to run the council, we all expect that good structures will be put in place to secure good education and good life for all the disabled persons in Kenya, if these does not take place, we all wonder if the council is just s platform to make people rich in the name of the disabled! Or is it just a council in naming?

      Mombasa is the second biggest city in Kenya, and anybody who has visited the city knows very well that it’s a city of fun. To those who have not visited the city, you should be on your way to the immigration offices and secure yourself a visa so as your next holiday will be in Mombasa. When I met Darius Nguma in Mombasa city, I was so happy to have him help me cross through the sea to another part, which is from Mombasa city to Likoni. As we were on the ferry, the story he told me made me so sad, I even remembered the German Dictator Mr. Adolf Hitler and I asked myself whether the Kenyan government was turning to another Hitler government indirectly and had to give him a platform to write the story and post it on my blog.

IS THIS GOVERNMENT FOR THE DISABLED?

     Its 6:30 in the morning and tens of hundreds of people are streaming into the Ferry.  Everyone seems to be in haste all hoping to get to the island of Mombasa in good time. Most of them work in town while others are on their way to Kongowea, Marikiti and Mwembetayari to buy goods for sale in their established businesses in Likoni and its environs.

The ferry is just about to dock off and people can be seen running towards it to avoid missing it because that would mean waiting for the next ferry. That would probably take another half an hour of waiting! It’s a matter of how fast you can run now….even the old men and women can be seen working their way out through the crowd, pushing and squeezing like teenagers all in the hope of catching the ferry.

But there, right in the middle of the hasty crowd, is a blind man. Holding his white-cane (walking stick) tightly with shaky hands, he is trying to find his way into the awaiting ferry.  People are pushing and hitting him from all directions. He seems to be unsure of his next step but the desperate urge to cross over to town pushes him closer and closer to the ferry.

Despite being jostled around and nobody seemingly ready to assist him, the smartly dressed blind man looks confident and tries to move faster as he follows the sound of footsteps all around him. Suddenly he trips and almost crashes on the concrete floor. Fortunately he is able to use his walking stick to support himself and eventually stands and straightens up. Sadly nobody is willing to help him, not even the Kenya Ferry workers.  He knows he has lost the ferry and has to wait for the next one. He knows this because he has heard the gates being closed.  Conceding defeat, he leans on the wall, hoping desperately that he won’t miss the next one.

His face is expressionless…you cannot figure out what he is thinking about or know what he is feeling. For him, this is a daily occurrence.  This is what he goes through each and every day of his life. Sometimes, once in a while a good Samaritan offers to help him overcome the challenges at the ferry and get him to the other side of Likoni. However this happens in a blue moon!

What happened to those days when helping the less privileged and physically challenged was a hobby? Has the world evolved back to the days of primitivism? Or is it a matter of ‘everyone for himself, God for us all’? Do we really have a government of its people, for its people and by its people?

If only the world was filled with the power of love, tolerance and a sense of humanity, then everyone would find this planet a comfortable place to live in.

                                                                                                                   By Darius Nguma.

THIS MUST BE A MAN AND NOT A BOY

THIS MUST BE A MAN AND NOT A BOY

It takes courage to stand on an edge of a 10th floor of a building in any town, it can’t be anything else if not courage, self drive, believe and strong sense of manhood.
It is said that women are never brave enough to watch risky stuff, but what can we call these? The two ladies are watching a guy stand and walk on top most floor of contrast house in Nairobi Moi Avenue street.
Being young and energetic can make you do wonders, or is it the strength of a woman? Koome Alex the guy on top of the building can tell the truth.