Mark Kaigwa

Posts Tagged ‘Nairobi’

#Stigvote : A Twitter Story

In History's Future, Perspective on August 31, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Forewarning: You probably need to be familiar with Twitter and The Stig to really enjoy this article…

Top-Gear---the-Stig-0010

The-African-Stig

Some say he’s powered by a warped core, and that he has tyremarks for fingerprints…

Some say he can slam a revolving door and that his premolars are what are commonly referred to as ‘blood diamonds’…

Others claim that his blood type is ‘Unleaded’ and if you tune in to the 1245 MW Frequency, you can hear his thoughts…All we know is that he’s called The Stig.

It was a conspicuously sunny Nairobi afternoon, as @mkaigwa (known from here on out as TheRealStig) walked around in his ‘Oval Office’ pacing the length of the room searching for a corner. He was also pondering all things horse-trading, flea-markets and lampshades. In the midst of his thunderous brainstorm, from the comfort of his umbrella, he sent out a tweet. A tweet that would change the face of the Tweetmosphere…forever. One of the greatest revelations to a modern mystery that has baffled millions of car enthusiasts the world over. He exposed, that He indeed was…The Stig.

lewisms0112_468x317

Simple it was. A statement that was true, fair and just (all three words in the Kenyan context). But not so. For soon after this tweet was hurriedly placed behind a cursor and sent at lightening speed through the interwebs to appear to some +350 followers, there would be trouble in paradise.

Meanwhile in a dreary and drizzly London, from a pro-Arsenal cafe, sat @Shaun_g, also known as ‘Leader of the Resistance’ or LoR. As pulses of Arsenal-blood flowed through his body to his fingers, Shaun_G was also to send out a tweet that would shake the foundations of the Twitterverse. He challenged @mkaigwa and claimed HE was The Stig.

It left @mkaigwa disturbed. He paced up and down the halls, with great unease. This prompted him to seek the counsel of one of his wise men. Having been challenged, and the masses being told of this farcical reality, it was the wise words of @alfredmutua that prompted @mkaigwa to find a democratic view to resolving matters.

It was to be decided, who indeed is The Stig. By means of a vote. Not just any vote, but #StigVote.

In The Beginning

The Campaign Trail

And they were off. @mkaigwa began the lobbying for his election (and appropriate renaming) as “The Democratically Elected, People Chosen, Fairly Voted Stig” or TDEPCFVS for short. It wouldn’t be easy, @Shaun_G was prepared, he was poised, and with his international credentials, looked set to mount serious challenge to the incumbent @mkaigwa.

The campaign styles were simple. Get people on Twitter to ‘vote’ for whichever candidate they felt best represented them. Some chose not to vote, others chose to vote either both ways, but there was soon to be a twist.

Watching from his lair, deep in the labyrinth beneath Nairobi (Also known as E-dust-real area). Unbeknownst to the common man, was the coy @intelligensia. At this point, #Stigvote was looking like a two-horse race, a good-old Obama-McCain or an Ali-Foreman. But @intelligensia was having none of it. Needless to say, a large 6 foot tall spanner was tossed into the election and it became a three-legged horse race for the official Twitter Title of TDEPCFVS.

Mharibiff

It seemed that there were plenty who were unaware of this monumental race, it was a Manyoo-Liverpool-Chelsea or in my case, a Inter-AC-Juventus race for the Title. It was big. It was really big. Like El Clasico, only with three teams…so El Grande Classico (Why do I feel that doesn’t make any sense in Spanish?)

This battle, it seemed, was to be won and lost deep in the servers and networks of the interwebs. It was a level playing ground, and @mkaigwa was pulling out all the stops to make sure he would be fairly re-elected. His campaign manager @louizah sent out the word, and was quick to persuade the masses on who to pick. But it was close, @Shaun_G and @intelligensia had soon caught up to @mkaigwa’s supposed lead, and things looked like they would go down to the wire.

Supporters were tense, and this soon showed as ‘deals’ began being struck left, right and centre. The @mkaigwa camp stood its ground as it slipped into last place as @Shaun_G and @intelligensia struck deals in high places with Kenya’s Twitterati. It started off innocently with @swmaina asking if anyone had something for him to eat, but the events that followed shook the walls of twitter integrity for years to come. It soon became apparent that @swmaina was not looking for anything edible.

The Society of Blogs for Better Tweets (or SoBleets) has reserved the right to show this tweets contents.

Retouch

It all went downhill from there, from open e-bribes to cookies, milk and drinks of a markedly higher potency being promised in return for vote. It must be said, however, that @Shaun_G did excellent in this arena, covering his tracks by going to DM Status (The equivalent of door-to-door Marketing) His strategy would soon pay off, as @intelligensia’s house of cards came tumbling down. Messages like this were soon appearing on screens across the world.

Won me over

@intelligensia was not to be outdone so easily and soon began receiving requests of his own…

Widespread Rigging

@intelligensia tried to throw the heat off him and his ‘Electioneering team’ He would soon bite his words, as @swmaina would soon make a confession meant to build @intelligensia’s campaign and give it credibility that hurt @intelligensia’s public image. @Swmaina had confessed to being bought, and was going to use his spare vote (Granted to him on a Stig Pardon by @mkaigwa) to re-vote.

This would lead to a Delegation of a Team of Experts of Prominent Persons Enlisted on a Shortlist or DATEPPES being sent to investigate. But @intelligensia’s light in the race, was fast disappearing. @Shaun_G had overtaken him in the polls, and @mkaigwa held his slender lead. @mkaigwa was hard-pressed by events. Instead of chasing after votes, he sought clout, one vote that would change all votes.

@mkaigwa won @mamajunkyard’s vote and in a change of events (just like when Obama landed a big State and got more points in the Electoral College) He was in the lead again.

There was also the great support of key individuals in Mark’s party.

Mafans Kibaooo

A Timeline was quickly set to 2 PM CAT and as the clock ticked slowly, sweaty fingers typed on keyboards Africa-wide and worldwide urging the masses to vote.

In every election, there are ‘spoilers’ @intelligensia is a spoiler, since this was a two-horse race, but he can be classified as an official spoiler. A last mid-election appearance on the ballot papers was @schunga who sought to clarify some issues.

Randomschmandom

Such late entries to the Election were quickly dismissed. At 2 PM CAT, the Official Results Came in…

Sweeping Victory

The Race from here on out, defines words, and can only be described with….Tweets.

Going Ahead with Ceremony

Official Results

The Swearing in Ceremony had started, and it seems while others were being sworn in as Helmet Secretary, others began protesting the outcome.

SwearingIn1

But it seemed the decision was final, and though it was a close race, The Winner had been decided.

Rigged out...Awww

Oh, well…You win some you lose some…That’s a #Stigvote for you.

(Stage Directions:) Draw Curtains.

THE END.

See No Evil, Taste No Evil, Shave No Evil

In Perspective, Real Talk on May 11, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Every week I head over to Mbugua’s for my ‘cut’ it’s one of the highlight’s of my week. I usually arrive anytime between 8 and 9 PM.  clip_image001

The fluorescent glow seeps through the chicken wire of Mbugua’s barbershop onto the South B’s macadam road. And like flies to a flame, there’s always activity in the busy nano strip-mall of shacks and hutches. As you already know, Mbugua has his place right next to Sam’s. I tried to be diplomatic, going to Sam’s every once in a while, especially when I saw that Mbugua’s place has one or two customers waiting. But great stories and a guaranteed laugh locked me down at the ‘Good Look Barbershop’ for life.

It’s funny because Sam’s is actually a better looking barbershop. It has a better sound system, Mbugua didn’t have one for a while, and the collage of 2 inch-thick boards that separate them don’t do much as soundproofing, so if at Mbugua’s you have the pleasure of sharing Sam’s sound. That’s changed recently, with Mbugua getting his own sounds, but his dreams are still a while away. It’s always interesting trying to have a conversation in between two wanna-be sound systems. As if matatus weren’t bad enough. It makes either for an amusing conversation, or a frustating shouting match.

clip_image002So each week I step into his cozy, yet awkwardly leaning barber chair I ready myself to hear what a week he’s had, and what the latest is. This particular time, I found Mbugua at the video library next door to the butchery playing ‘poker’ with a couple guys. (In Kenya people know ‘Crazy Eights’ as ‘Poker’) I take one look at him and thought ‘Wow, things must be going well for him, he’s put on some weight, his face and his cheeks are looking a whole lot rounder’. I watched the game as he ‘ate’ their proceeds. I went ahead of him to wait for him at his place as he wrapped up the game. I hear an outcry that Mbugua has to come back because this guy has no money left. Mbugua had pocketed a cool Ksh. 800 ($10).

Mbugua arrives with an awkward smirk on his face. I took a closer look at his face, and saw some disparity. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something looked off. I asked Mbugua how he’d been, and staring at his face through the mirror in front of me I realised one side of his face was swollen. He still had this smile on his face, so I didn’t ask, but it was hard not to stare. There was no visible bruising, so I became curious to what might have caused it.

" Mzeiah huskii meno yangu ilikuwa imenisumbua.

(Man, you wouldn’t believe how my tooth was killing me)" He said. "

Sikuwa nikikula, natafuna na side moja.

( I was barely eating; chewing with only one side of my mouth)"

I proceeded to laugh, he says things in such a farcical way I couldn’t help it. It didn’t take long for me to realise this was a bit of a serious moment, but he’s never to be taken too seriously, so I laughed again.

I told him I thought he was doing well for himself, putting on weight. He chuckled. Mbugua said he’d not been able to sleep for nights and had trouble eating, as his face got swollen, and the pain got worse. He found himself in a quandary between removing the tooth ‘kienyeji’, which amounted to removing it himself, or going to a dentist. I kept bursting into laughter as he continued to narrate his experience to me.

" Nilishindwa kulala. Siwezi lalia uso side hii

(I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t lie down on the swollen side of my face)" He said.

He had to lie on one side of his face at night, he said. And his mouth became so hot, he had a big jug of water next to where he lay on the floor, waking up every 10 minutes to take another mouthful to cool him. My laughter at this point almost cost me another haircut, he almost made a ‘mistake’ so I decided to hold it in as he continued the story.

"Eh, sikuwa veri. Asubuhi  Asubuhi nikachukua ma-painkillers na bado. Naskia tu kichwa ni ka inalia ‘pu-pu-pu’"

(Man, I wasn’t in great shape. In the morning I took some painkillers and I still wasn’t good. I felt like my head would throb ‘pu-pu-pu’."

He later realised that he had to go to the dentist and proceeded to book an appointment with one. I asked him what kind of dentist this was, he didn’t say much. But I was pretty sure it wasn’t some loony with a couple syringes and some of those ‘toothbrush branches.’ You know, some kook with some mwarubaine for anaesthesia and other ‘herbs’ with a ratchet/secateurs for ‘tools’…Scary.

So he got the tooth removed, and Mbugua was quick to tell me I hadn’t seen anything yet. Things had looked far worse the day before. I quipped asking if his head felt heavier on one side. He gestured that his clippers could make a couple mistakes on my head to make it ‘heavier on one side.’ I went silent. For that moment.

He said it was better now; he had become a bit more used to the meds. But for his unlucky clients the day before, he was feeling much drowsier from the first doses of the medicine. It also didn’t help that he didn’t have a mirror up. ( So the clients had no idea what he was doing)

"Kwanza huskii niliget customer mwingine hapo mpya! Hajainyolewa na mimi. Nikamskiza mastory, nikamweka kut poa.Karibu nimguze maskio. Si ningeitana. Hao wengine hata walisema hawajali, wataniamini tu."

(Can you believe I got a new client? (with no mirror) He’d never been shaven by me. I talked some stories with him and gave him a good cut. But I almost sliced his ear, aww man, I would’ve had it then. For the other (customers) they said they didn’t care. They would trust me."

I could imagine going, getting a shave, and trusting him without ever seeing the finished product. I’d trust him. I wouldn’t think twice about it. Don’t know how the new guys felt about it that day.

This is probably the edited version of his travels, but it was such a hilarious story I was compelled to share. I continue to witness to Mbugua one step at a time. He’s a bit of a showoff and doesn’t hesitate to tell me that he has a sugar-mummy or his total disinterest in marriage. So it’s all baby steps. Baby steps.

See no Evil. Taste no Evil. Shave no Evil

Penguins by estherdh

 

Photos by Oaxania, Lotor-Matic and Esterdh

Free 3 Day Animation Workshop in Nairobi

In Happenings on April 30, 2009 at 11:18 am

The Nairobi Institute of Technology will be hosting a FREE 3-day Animation Workshop on:

‘Character Setup for CG Movies’

Credit: Jimmy Levinsky, Truemax Student

Credit: Jimmy Levinsky, Truemax Student

Venue: Nairobi Institute of Technology, Westlands, Narobi
Dates: May 6, 7 & 8th 2009
Time: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM ( 1 Hour lunch break in between)
Tutors: Founders of Truemax Academy School of 3D, CGI and Animation (http://truemax.com/)

For more information please call:

Nairobi Institute of Technology on 020- 375-1636

or

Nimu Waweru on 0727-11-33-60

Feel free to spread the word.

TRNSMSSN by Just A Band

In Happenings on April 21, 2009 at 11:42 am

JAB

Just A Band, everybody’s favourite band-cum-Kenyan-electronica-amazingness-group have been commissioned by The Goethe Institute with works of video art for their first art show! Here’s a snippet of what’s going down…

Broken synthesizers and fragmented satellite broadcasts from the future provide a fictionalized Kenyan future;
panicked astronauts, lovelorn puppets, a flying tortoise, the meaning of life, an experimental boy band and a sprinkling of sparkly stuff…”

The show runs from Tuesday May 5, 2009 to Saturday May 16, 2009 and will feature premieres of new music videos from Scratch To Reveal and their soon-to-be-released second album – 82 (We now know it’s name!)

Just A Band will mark the finissage with END_TRNSMSSN, a DJ set of their favourite house, electro, pop and funk tunes! And I’m looking forward to that as well.

Entry free….You can’t afford not to be there!

I consider Just A Band as visionaries in the industry and the clearest breath of fresh air in the Kenyan music industry.

If you’re on Facebook, here the link to the event, you can RSVP and do invite others, they’ll be so mad at you if you go alone!

A map to the event, courtesy of Google Maps.

Just A Band: Blog | Youtube | Web | Jim Chuchu |

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 119 other followers