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  An Ode to Saint Michael’s Archangel Church (1973-1982) The 5 th Battalion Kenya Rifles cannot claim to have built St. Michaels Archangel Catholic Church in Gilgil. That credit belongs to the 7 TH Battalion, a unit which - for a yet to be understood quirk of military thinking-had relocated wholesomely from Gilgil to the present location in Lang’ata, Nairobi in late 1972. It was in January 1973, when I, a young very observant and easily impressionable lower primary lad, relocated to 5KR Gilgil to join my soldier parent who had been posted to 5KR Gilgil. Michael’s archangel Church then as now stood, forlorn and isolated. The doors permanently gaping ever inviting that spiritual soul to walk in and seek solace. The church then catered for the Gilgil military establishment, Koelel high school and the national youth service. As there was no resident Chaplain, St Michael was considered as an outstation of the Gilgil Parish. The other out stations then of Gilgil parish were – Kikope
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Do You Know the meaning of that name?

  I have been employed in Kitengela for some two weeks now. The sand in Kitengela is stifling sometimes and I have yet to make or bump into old friends and I think it is too soon to open up to my new office colleagues. It is Saturday afternoon, I stroll around Kitengela, it is still suffocating. There is no air in Kite only the sizzling smell of Nyama Choma is in the air. Naturally, my feet lead me to a popular bar at the centre of the town overlooking the Namanga Highway. I spot an empty seat at the counter and perch myself at the Sina taabu seat. Next to me is a well looking elderly man, he is stall, bespectacled, neat haircut and a moustache. I nod at him as I pull a chair; He looks at me and smiles. A beer later he looks up at me and smiles again and speaks: “How is Kite taking you?” He casually asks. “How did you know I am new in the town?” I ask Surprised. He looks at me, winks and murmurs “ Mgeni Kuku Mweupe ”. I love Irish potato; It is called Waru in the local Kik

THE IMMINENT CLASH OF THE BULLS

At the heart of the COVID-19 crisis is quarantine and its attendant colleague Lockdown. From my lockdown experience, Quarantine is adding up to be an adversity many multiples more severe and challenging that most adversities that I may have encountered in my sixty plus years earthly sojourn. It is an unprecedented disruption of my life. I am a consultant and my pre lockdown routine has been leaving the house for office daily at seven in the morning and back at about 8 o’clock in the evening, a warm shower follows before I   settle down on my favourite armchair for a spot of news on television while taking supper. I normally go to bed at exactly 11 o’clock in the evening. I need to add that I have only one wife- a corporate employee- tottering towards retirement and a father of four two young male adults and two teenagers, boy and girl. Pre- COVID-19, I can’t really recall when we last had a meaningful family conversation with the four products of my loins.   What I experi

The Lockdown Conversation

Given my view that the COVID-19 crisis is an extreme form of adversity, but it is our attitude toward and response to the COVID-19 crisis that can either make or break our experience of it. I am a consultant therefore within limits capable of working from home. My better half is a corporate employee retiring within the year. She had been home in the lake region following up on her retirement project she was setting up at home. Her argument was valid.   “We need to start preparing to relocate back home when retirement happens” Talk is easy. Re-entry back home after decades of sojourning in the city not so easy. As if on cue, the president granted her the wish and announced the sudden lockdown of Nairobi for at least three weeks. Following the presidential directive, suddenly my missus, found that the would-be retiring home is not so interesting especially when the hubby remained in Nairobi. This is a paraphrase of the conversation we have had in the last four days: Missu

DIARY OF A ESTATE GUARD

My name is Abu Kuloba, a private security guard in a gated estate on the outskirts of the city. The residents refer to us private security guards as Solja- a corruption of Soldier. It doesn’t matter; after all, it puts bread on the table. As a daytime solja, I am an expert on sitting down and waiting. Solja always sits and waits; it is my lot. The security guard job has been my calling for the last seven years and I am now resigned to be a professional gateman with all the stereotypes attributed to it. It might be humble and in a way risky calling but then I find it also in a way strangely satisfying. Maybe because it seems so undemanding, so unfettered,   so natural…maybe also... so lazy.  My junior colleague is one named Jamin Shihemi, A tall, gangly, rake thin man with a withered moustache. I don’t know the origin of the name Jamin, but I personally don’t like him. Never liked him. Partly because he doesn’t listen keenly to my instructions before acting on them and partly bec

Julio

One thing that sticks in every Mother’s heart is letting your offspring off to face the world. The motherly instinct is strong wanting them to stay under your brood and protect them from the vices of society. The day my son, Julio, started kindergarten at five, he was as excited as any five year-old would be, I had mixed feelings on that second morning of school as I watched him jump into the school transport seeing clearly that an era of my life was ended and my sweet young one –Missing tooth and all - was maybe finally and forever never again to be mine. He arrived back in the early evening and my housemaid remarked that Tim seemed to have changed in some unremarkable way. I looked at him keenly and somehow noted that suddenly his voice had become a sort of raucous and his eyes well…penetrating after only a few hours of kindergarten schooling. In the evening, during supper, he seemed to be insolent and rude to his baby sister – Tina- failing to care or apologize even after sp