Monday, 7 April 2014

Five Things

1. Esteem Issues

I was watching telly and a promo for a teenage magazine programme when a high school student was highlighted saying "if wearing a short skirt will raise your self-esteem, then
wear it." This statement may seem infantile, understandbly so because of teenagers' short-term thinking but an in-depth look at it can reveal a few things. One of which is, we tend to glorify and invest energy in vanity. The schoolgirl's line of thought is exactly what society is being integrated to think. The need to be accepted and get approval from everybody-much of which is vain- makes us do things that would make us fall short to 'raise' our esteem. Say, a guy/girl who spends most of her time and money on people, purchasing friendship for her to be accepted in order to acquire a sense of high self-esteem. However, the schoolgirl's quip can also be analysed in the opposite, for someone nursing low self esteem wearing the 'short skirt' is meant not to raise their esteem but to hide it. Hide the fact that she's blonde, she's inadequate, it makes sense for someone who doesn't want their flaws to leak to the outside world. Self-esteem comes from within and it is expressible in everything one does but we cannot 'raise' it by hiding our weaknesses, in fact it is in accepting them that our esteem will be boosted.

2. Relationship-oriented

I call it relationship extremism: the wave of relationship oriented material in the media in recent days. Are you my type? on KTN, Tujuane and the flood of relationship 'experts' panelling lifestyle programmes bespeaks what Kenyans value most...and it's not money. I could write a book touching on relationships and it will be a best seller because it's high season now.The value that relationships add in our lives is overrated. This is not saying that they are not important,in fact they are part of our humanness. A lot of time is dedicated to discussing relationships with audiences who are not interested in nurturing good ones. Without undermining their role, these 'experts' offer conflicting solutions which confuse their lovelorn audiences more. Ultimately, it is neither relationship oriented reality shows that will nurture and maintain good relationships nor 'experts' who are keen to increase their profiles and sell their merchandise by giving contradictory advice. It is just you and me who'll make it work
3. Funeral politics

Yesterday, a group of politicians put on their grieving sheepskins to mourn the mother of baby Satrin Osinya, Victoria. The politicians started berating the security chiefs and demanding for their sackings for their failure to secure the country adequately. The folly of politicians of using funerals to advance their political and personal agendas is unceasing. Recently, funerals were theatres of threats and counter threats by senators and governors. Matters that would be otherwise be addressed at formal platforms are usually roused at funerals leaving apolitical mourners feeling disrespected. Maybe it is symbolic, funerals' politicking represent a death in leadership in this country, a laying to rest of scant and skeletal leadership qualities that our politicians convey and the stillborn promises that they dish out. Strangely,a big man's funeral is not desecrated by petty politics but their legacy is trumpeted for all to hear. The same cannot be said for a villager's, since they do not know you,they will advance their own political agenda. And we still fight for them.

4. Naomba Serikali

This past week, a man overwhelmed by familial problems urged the Gov't to intervene in his domestic affairs. One cannot be sure which gov't since we have the county gov't. The 'naomba serikali' syndrome which means gov't intervention has yet to die in this day and age. It was certainly a pandemic during the Moi era, with handouts being doled out at every opportunity. The Kibaki era wasn't as generous and calls of 'naomba serikali' would be met with a 'kumbafu' here and there, followed by an unending silence. The former President, much as he tried would not crush the habit. Empowering people is the only cure for 'naomba serikali.' once people realise their potential, talents and abilities, then investing in them. Then, it will be 'serikali inaomba'

5. Governing Matatus

The new transport regulations are in force. Transport CS Eng Kamau and the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) must have torn a page from the late Michuki's rulebook. The overachieving former transport minister proved that diplomacy and compromise should not be applied when dealing with stubborn matatu crews. The firmness with which matatus have been dealt with is admirable. The roguery displayed by matatus that in turn caused an unprecedented wave of road carnage had to be halted. The new rules is hoped will reverse the trend of tragic road accidents caused mainly by carelessness and negligence of traffic rules.

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