Sunday, December 28, 2008

Brainstorming for these tittles

Soon, I will post blogs for the following items.These are things that cross my mind often enough for me to really think about them

1. Is there hope for new constitution in Kenya?
2. Diaspora Vs Education: how high is too high?
3. Relationships
4. Obama and the US presidency
5. Kenyan Politics: how do MP's change once elected to parliament.

Kirui, Philemon

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Micah Maritim, a secular musician was given a warm and well deserved welcome at the just concluded Gotabgaa Conference that was held in Dallas, TX. USA. As he was presented to the multitude that turned up at the conferences, Mr. Maritim turned out to be a respectful man, has a good sense of humor, and a very good public speaker. The very one thing I still remember about his conversation was his closing signature: - ‘ingoberurok Jehova kot kogaenak gei”. I got a laugh out of that as every one else did, at least I could sense that. However shortly after that, it really downed me, how about if that is actually the case about GOD? But I digress.

There were other guests who were invited from Kenya, to address specific issues, such were the high caliber guest as Hon. Samuel Phoghisio ( pronounced - Poisio), the Rev. Kosgei, Emo Chairman Mr. Bett, the singers Rev. Kimetto, Emmy, Maritim and others. All performed very well. As for Micah, he did have his venue all set for his performances, however due to public demand, as I was told to be the case, he did perform ‘Cheplemindet’ in the church. This turned out to be a controversial issue at and after the conference.

There were two things that the host community of Dallas as well the Official of KC Dallas had to deal with. I have no doubt that it was a difficult decision to make, nevertheless, it has turned out to be one of those things you sit back and hope it had not gone that way. I am made to understand that the performance of the secular song at the church was due to the fact it was the only chance some folks, especially the older folks, as well those who were not planning on attending the after conferences parties, could see Micah’s live performance. I also understand that the folks that wanted him to perform at the church were calling for a specific song.

Well as it has turned out, the reaction to the initial performance at the church, the target audience of the song (Kalenjin women), and of course the revelation that the song has a deeper, more sickening exposé of our Kalenjin women (as it was revealed at the beauty contest party), has kicked up a storm of dust in the air. Now the song has a lot of women, and men up in arms with this the artist. These people have a reason to debate about how the song is derogatory, belittling and offensive not only to our women but also to men.

Let me respond to the three reactions indicated above. For many of us who have been up to date on the news and information from Kenya, you will remember that Rev. Kosgei, who was the main speaker, has in the past been critical of this specific song. He has said that the song depicts our women in a way that is not fitting, and is not true of our Kalenjin women and culture. Having said that, two things happened at the church that many people think should not have happened. One is the fact that the song was performed in unchartered territory. “Cheplemindet” together with other secular songs does not belong in the church, and regardless of what the requests anybody would have made, it would have been left to be performed elsewhere other than the church. Secondly, with the type of guests that we had at the time, it came out as disrespect to all the spiritual leaders, and especially to the Rev Kosgei, whom we all knew his reservations were on this specific song. The church, being a holy place, it should not have been used as a platform to insult our women. Our women deserve better than that. It is human nature that all of us do not see things the same way, neither do we all enjoy the same music, but the genre and venues are universal to all, everything belongs somewhere, “Cheplemindet” does not belong in the church and neither does it belong to our culture. It should however be known that the artist belong to us. The people, who really love the song, can get it on CD and be able to listen at a place and time of their own. The goal of KC Dallas together with Gotabgaa was and will continue to be “to promote” the artist and I think with performances at the right place, things will go fine. I should mention that KC Dallas deserves all the credit, as they had organized a venue for him to perform, away from the church.

Secondly the song talks about how Kalenjin women are no match for Cheplemindet in almost all facets of family unit activities. I am not in a position to make a judgment yet, but I belief that his allegations have no merit. If his song was about throwing out a challenge to the women and wives in our community, I belief it would have been done in a better more respectful manner. Our ladies feel like the song is a slap in the face on issues that may be the men, are as equally responsible as they are. The issues that the artist raises do not resonate with our culture and the daily chores of our community. For the few that we do have in common with “Cheplemindet” our women have their own unique way of handling them.

The burning issue that brings me to provide my own take on this subject mater all came about during the performance at the beauty contest. As the rest of you that were there will concur with me, there is the deeper connotation of “Cheplemindet” than meets the eye. It is sad for me to say, but again, the artist did not only belittle our women in areas that we all thought we knew, but in areas that warranty no body’s judgment. As I listened and saw Micah perform, I could not help but ask myself, what are we doing to our ladies?

Let me set it up this way, this was an event we were supposed to be proud of our ladies, as they came to show us that they are not only gorgeous and attractive, but also pretty at heart. It was an authentication that they care about the community, to a point that they could put up a show like that. Those women looked fabulous on the stage, and everybody who was present felt good that our women are capable of owning the stage as they did. Many people have always believed that Kalenjin women are shy, but the myth, at least on that day was debunked. To serenade their performance with Cheplemindet, which is a song that attacks their character, was not right, the artist has many songs that would have matched the occasion, like the one he perform afterwards “Chamyet’ even though he botched that one too. The song has once again proved that it is actually an attack on the character of women, and with all the reactions I have received from various people, it surely is true that just like Rev. Kosgei said, it does not deserve our public airwaves, let those who enjoy it buy it on CDs, and listen in their private.

The fact that we allow this specific secular song to enter the airwaves is a disservice to our women, our mothers and our ladies. I challenge anybody to tell me which other community allows this type of rhetoric about their own women, leave alone one of their own doing that. We do not want to up end like the African American culture where most of their artists produce filthy, dirty derogatory music about their own women, and call that talent. Look at their culture and see how their women are treated and treat themselves. Take a look at how music has changes the way their community operates. Take an even closer look and see how their women affect the well being of their community, they are so far a community with no culture, by far and large it is mostly credited to “their” songs. Music speaks a lot and is an effective way of bringing changes, but it is a collective responsibility for a community to determine the kind of changes they want, music should be censored if it is advocating or carrying the wrong message. Everything thing we say has an impact. Our Kalenjin women are a respectful bunch, if there is anybody who is deserving of respect, it is our women.

To all those men that feel the same way as I do, I want to tell Kalenjin women that the song does not speak for all the men, I know there are other men who feel the same way as the artist does, but everybody is entitled to their own feelings. Regardless of whether he did create the song solely for entertainments purpose and did not mean any of those words, I belief that artists are judged according to what they produce. Kalenjin women have a lot respect for our Kalenjin men, I also belief that they perform uniquely in their capacity as mothers and wives, and as a Kalenjin man, brought up by a strong determined mother, I will not hesitate to differ with the message and rhetoric conveyed by “Cheplemindet”. Let us respect our parents, both mothers and fathers alike!

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Many people will argue that the scientific and natural studies very well all have the same explanation when it come to logic. They belief that "the means justify the end", But if you were to tell that to this young junior Kenyan girl after she won the gold, she would definitely have to go with "the end justifies the means". It dosen't matter to her how she did it, all she is now is a gold medalist. nobody will take that away from her.Since the introduction of running gear of the sport history, she becomes the first female athlete to win gold barefoot.

If you take a close look at her feet, you will realize that both her big toes were wrapped up, could be from injuries, or may in this case, just to avoid injuries, given the fact that she is running barefoot. I admire our Kenyans, we will do all we can to defend that which we are capable of. Track and field is our "THING". Nobody know how do it better that us. and if anybody had any doubts about our love for our sport, then may be this will set the record straight. It is also noteworthy to remember she had to go over the hurdles, putting her at risk if she was to hit one of them. Talent is talent, if you got it, you got it!!

In this picture is Christine Kambua Munyanga,a girl who won the women 3000M steeplechase event at the world junior athletic championship today. HONGERA MWANA WETU. She is all I can say about setting the eye on the price. From her effort, Kenya now stands 3rd in the overall world ranking at this championship.

Follow the championship clicking in the iaaf link on my blog list.

Kenyas' Prowess

This is amazing. For the first time in the in Track and Field History since the introduction of running gear, this amazing Kenyan girl, defy and beat all odds to win gold bare foot. Take a look again on her feet, she is not only barefoot, but seems to have her big toes rubbed up, an indication that they could have some

Monday, July 7, 2008

Dallas KC Forum: Economic Community Empowerment

The theme was a representation of several things: - The awakening of a community in understanding the demands of this world, the recognition and humble acceptance of the realities we face as a community and the truth, grounded in the faith, traditions and historical journey we have traveled as a people. It was clearly stated by one of the speakers at the conference that people who have organized themselves into communities, and empowered themselves economically have ruled the face of the earth since time in memorial, while those that have failed to do so, were enslaved by the former. Emphasis was on "community" and I could not agree more.

To empower a community economically, a lot of things have to happen, some by a due process of organization and soul searching, others by way of commitment that is greater than just effort, while here, in Dallas, the purpose driven agenda was to marry the two together, in a special way that the participation would echo through the generations that were (fore fathers and mothers), that are (us) and that will be (our children).Various things were presented, visions were unveiled, challenges were laid, success was praised, ideas were hatched, triumph was in the air and forgiveness was witnessed. All in all, leadership was shown, and agreed by all that it is central to implementation and follow-through for the plans to materialize.

As I drove home, I was brainstorming for an answer as to why I had made the 700 miles journey, and I realized that it was worth all that was presented. I made friends, help out as much as I could, and learned more than I expected. In other words, my expectations were exceeded. For all that made it there, thanks for your commitment, for those that were not able to make, thanks for you support and prayers, and for all that organized the event, may God, bless you for you time, effort and resources.

For us a community, we need to let go the fact that we have to be either coerced into action, or be pampered into doing something, aggressiveness is the game of the day.
The best practical "book" ever for a community like ours is NATURE. Daily observation of nature can really teach us a lot. Let us consider the jungle. the more aggressive and decisive carnivores tend to eat on a daily basis, the aggressive yet slow to act will on occasion go without food for a day or two. The passive and slow to act will be lucky to get the remains, let alone get their own. The moral of this story is that we are known as slow to act, and passive people. It as recipe for a modest person, but the reality is that in a world of many carnivores, it works to our disadvantage. There is nothing modest about a poor community; there is nothing modest about a disorganized community, and there is nothing to learn from a divided community.
Let us pull together, let us work together, and let us hurry to get the edge. We need to realize that there are several ships that come by our communities, bringing a lot of opportunities to exploit, there are several docking places, and now that we have intellectual and wise leaders, they have done a good job at recognizing and indentifying those docking places. Let us listen to them, and when they blow the whistle, let us act in accordance to the tune of that specific calling. In doing so, let us respect yourself and others, because it is artfully and wisely commissioned in our community that “Konyit kotee tany ak muren”

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


For some of you who do not know what the heck this is, This a guy, who understands that if you are creative, the sky is the limit on what you can do. On his head, is 12 volt battery, the likes that run a car engine. He has hooked it up to his boom box, and is on an evening casual walk, probably to see his sweetheart in the neighboring village. Bringing some music to your sweetheart is the game.

Even though they are still looking forward for nano ipods, it does not mean that they can do without music.

This is an amazing human exhibition of true wisdom and creativity that amazed me.


As always, it will come to pass, this week has been a tough one for me. It has been two months in preparation, and now I will be happy by Thursday afternoon to finish what I suppose will be the last exam I will ever take.I am also very optimistic that with that, will come the news that I passed, otherwise, I can't get myself to think that I will have to study and retake it again. I have been holed up in my house for so long one could think that I am handicapped. Actually, when I think about it, It is one of its form

For those that have taken these kinds of exams in the past, I must salute you all. I now know the reason why they are called comprehensives. They basically wear you out.

On the same day, Thursday afternoon, I will be of for my first and only trip this summer, Dallas for a meeting of all folks from the region that I hail from. I think it will be a break well deserved by my system.

For you all that visit this place, have a good one. I am destined to celebrate this July 4th with a BANG!!!

Kwaherini (bye)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Grand Regency Hotel: A Failed Policy and Ignorance Kenyans Cannot Afford.

As we follow the reports about the sale and the deals that preceded the sale of Grand Regency Hotel, I would like to mention a few things that we should keep in mind. First, many assets, the likes of a house, a building or land never devalues over time. Secondly, in a democratic and even on rare cases not so democratic regimes, government business usually follow an ethical organized open and planned course, to merit the values that it holds itself to. Last but not least, the government’s representative and employees that ignore the required code of conduct while performing their duties do not only get dismissed but also have to be held responsible for their action.
There are issues that that have surfaced since the hotel came into the limelight. Most importantly, there are even more troubling revelations as we begin to sort out the nitty gritty details on how the hotel was sold, to whom it was sold to, who actually made the deals, why other pertinent partners of such a transaction were left in the cold, and most importantly why the standing orders from the parliamentary committee were ignored.
Grand regency hotel was basically built on a loan that was extended by the central bank to the grand thief Pattni. Since it has been established that it was all under the Goldenberg scandal, I will as well characterize and put in a layman’s language as stolen public funds. This is a fact agreed on by all that have followed and handle this case. It is very troubling to us that the he (Pattni) struck a deal to surrender the hotel to the government (who ever that is) in exchange of his freedom and dissolution of his pending cases. In other words reward a thief, a special kind of thief that did not only steal from the public but from the people who are warming up to him now, the government. Of all the cases that I have followed anywhere in the world, that involve scandal of this nature, every one of them has ended up in jail for a good number of years, as well as paying back all the owed money and fines. But I guess, in Kenya, we tend to treat our cases special, so special that the bad guys double up as good guys too. It makes you wonder why? The first question I would raise at this juncture is why isn’t Pattni in jail? Is he free because there are so many strings attached that if one was to break, it would set up an effect that would sweep some people from below their feet, and if so, who are these people? Are they trying to cover for themselves, could it be because they are highly ranked person in the system.
The manner in which the sale of the hotel was done has really raised my hair. The value at which the property sold was way undervalued it is ridiculous. As I mentioned above about what we need to keep in mind, it makes absolutely no sense that property that was worth at least 2 billion dollars fifteen years ago could sell for a mere 2.9 billion. Mr. Kimunya wants to convince us that that was what it was worth by telling us that it had been appraised at about that value by three different appraisers, well one thing was missing, why didn’t he mention who were those appraisers, who hired them, the central bank, who supposedly assumed the ownership of the property? Was ever there an independent appraiser, as it was considered public property? The answer will probably be NO. I could not in anyway be convinced that even if the value of that property had not gained a single cent, the mere fact that our currency has lost a lot of muscle, warrantees at least twice the amount used to finance the building of such an establishment. I will take a guess right now and say, who ever the appraisers were; they all went in knowing what was expected out of them. This is not Greek to us. We understand how business is done in Kenya.
As I take another perspective to this issue, I want address the speed and secrecy upon which the property was sold. It took the ministry if Lands minister, someone who was supposed to be in the mix, for us to know that the property had been sold. Even the Attorney General was out in the cold. After Kimunya repeatedly denied about the sale of the property, he is now quoted as saying that yes indeed it was sold. This matter was in no way a matter that its revelation would endanger anybodies life, it was in no way a matter of national security, and to treat it as classified information is bologna. By the way who else deals with classified information better that the Attorney General?
Kimunya has not only lied, denied all what everybody believed to be true at the time, but has allowed the back door business back in the system. Him together with CBK governor, have actually taken matters onto their own hands, and with their own decisions, which are in no way representative to those of their perspective dockets, sold the property. If this was in the USA for example, it would have been treated as misuse of the office, misuse of power and ranks upon which they are appointed to, misleading the public, lying under oath and misusing public funds. They would have already been dismissed from office, they would be looking at congressional investigation that would at least open up the loop holes which I belief exist, and would eventually serve at least 7 years in a federal prison. But again, it is only in Kenya where all these things are not possible.
Why did Kimunya defy the orders of a parliamentary committee and sold the property anyways. Does he really understand what that committee is capable of? Or he just knows that the committee has no teeth to bite, but can still bark. Is he part of that group that has taken the teeth out of the committee? It is absolutely nonsensical, and insulting to our intelligence to see a full minister doing business like it is on a Sunday afternoon at the market. We need to hold these people accountable, and it starts with the committees being tough. Make your hearings open to public and put all these business on the street, that way, they will be at least ashamed.
Now let us talk about who the property was sold to. I know as well you do that Libya is on the short list of those not so very friendly countries. We even did not have diplomatic with them until a few months ago. We have gone from being not so friendly and suspicious of each other to all of a sudden business partners. This government came into power almost six years ago. Why is it that we established diplomatic relationship with Libya only last year and now we learn that a special hotel, usually reserved for visiting presidents is sold to them. The reports on the newspapers put President Kibaki and Gadaffi very close to these transactions, which are surprising enough. I am the only one who seems to get more suspicious the more I learn about this? This is was a pubic property as it was build with public funds. The least that should have happened to it was to be retained by the state, developed and sustained under ministry of tourism. That hotel would have generated enough income to pay all its debt back, before it being sold to a Kenyan, not and outsider, and it should have been done in a proper way, which I will tell those who sold it through the highest bidder.
Kenyans need to understand the implication we are being put into when we do business with countries like Libya, and especially regimes that have been labeled not so very well by the outside world. We need to thread the waters very carefully. For now, all we know is that as a result of this deal, the public lost about 7 billion dollars, the Libyans who bought the property will be making millions, Pattni just bought his freedom, and most disturbing is the fact nothing will be done to hold anybody accountable.
Of all the three core values that I mentioned at the beginning of this article, none of them was adhered to. To the dismay of all Kenyans, it seems that Kimunya and parties involved in this deal know something they do not what the rest of to know. My speculation is, years down the road, when they will be retired from office, they will be receiving a big fat check for their retirement from their business friends and none of us will know about. May be that is why the haste to sell. Someone proof me wrong!
Philemon K. Kirui

Friday, January 11, 2008

Negotiation Stalemate

Well, until yesterday (January 10th 2008), all was well. But again, we are learning very fast how much our leaders really care for Kenyans. Until now, no doubt it is minimal. After two days of what was seen by many of us in academia as progress, we now know that it was a waste of time resources and skills. It is an insult to the Ghanaian president, who at the very least, had to have postponed some of his official duties to his country to fly to Nairobi to try to help. Again, it is useless when a a leader of that caliber is involved in negotiation with two people, one of whom is accused as a thief and the other as an egotist.

As a Kenyan, I am learning that Kenya is bigger that these two. People need to raise their issues, whether they are addressed or not, we will be better off if they know what we expect from them.

Now another Ghanaian is headed to Kenya. What is the difference? may this time, Koffi Annan has nothing to lose and he will really tell them as it is. They need to grow up stop behaving like two brothers who are yet to figure out how to live with the rest of the kids.

The more the confrontations, the more the locals learn that nothing is really going to happen. We are using our country's resources to host all the people, who at the end of the day, nothing has been accomplished.

We are also learning more about the forces that be, hanging in the balance and behind the scenes. Now we have a chance to see how well "they (forces)" can manipulate the skeleton in the making. a few moves have been made, and yet again, the people who pull the strings are yet to successfully pull one in the right direction.

Well I have to stop here, I will make my case more clear. As for now, I ask, where are we headed as a country????

Philemon Kirui

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Post Elections - Kenya

Well, we all know what happened on that day of elections. However, that was then. Kenya is moving on. Our leaders are trying to heal the wounds, either created then or some that were already existing before then. We are also learning that every community sometimes have to vend for it own, and that there is nothing mightier that a peace and harmony.

For all that lost their lives,we pray that they were not lost in vain. that as history always does, we may have something solid to look back to in the future and say, "wait a minute", we know know what can happen.

And for all the millions of Kenyans that were denied their democratic right to have a Democratic government, all I can say is: Your turn will come, when there will be no option but to listen and obey your demands. Do not give up. It took a milestone to for us to free ourselves from our colonial powers. Well, I can see the same happening to to our local rulers, who pretended to be leaders, until the other day. Only this time it will come so fast, it will sting like bee and fly like a butterfly. and when all is done, we will sing our national anthem, holding our head high

For now it all peace,

Philemon Kirui