Mark Kaigwa

Archive for April, 2009|Monthly archive page

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 (

For more information please call:

Nairobi Institute of Technology on 020- 375-1636


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


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 |

“Do Work, Son!”

In Perspective, Real Talk on April 20, 2009 at 9:26 am

Do Work by d.danger

If you’re unfamiliar with the popular phrase, it was coined by a man known as Big Black; real name Chris Boykin. A personal bodyguard to pro-skater Rob Dyrdek.

You might know them from the MTV show Rob & Big. If you have/had no idea it doesn’t matter much because what I want to talk about has nothing to do with MTV or Rob & Big.

I was going through 1 Chronicles 28 and 29 and it’s the end of David’s life, and he’s giving out what ends up being his last address to his people, but it’s the very best of his people, among them his famous Mighty Men.

So it goes that King David was supposed to build a home for The Ark of the Covenant i.e. God’s temple but God said to him ‘You are not to build a house for my Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood.’

Great, so here’s an old David who can no longer build the temple, he’d set out to build quite some way back. Instead, it’s his son, Solo (soon to be known as The-wisest-man-on-earth King Solomon) whose job it is to build the temple.

It’s what David says that I wanted to share. Verse 20 says

“David also said to Solomon his son “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you…” 1 Chr. 28:20 [NIV] (emphasis added)

You can see where I got the title from. King David then goes on to honestly admit (in front of the whole assembly)

“My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is young and inexperienced. The task is great because this palatial structure is not for man but for the LORD God.”  1 Chr. 29:1 [NIV]

By the way, King David goes on to make one of the most generous and challenging donations recorded in history. If you wish, read the rest of the chapter and do some pre-recession mathematics here.

This challenged me. Usually, its way more than easy to let opportunities to reach out, to help, to stand for something or to just believe in God pass us by. I am by no means experienced, though I have learnt my share of lessons; lessons from both action and inaction. The best lessons have come from action, and you could say I’ve been privileged to see God do some great things.

So my point to you is simple. You heard it: Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do something for God. Make something count. It’s no secret that there are plenty of people who could do with some cheering up, with you being the bigger person in the relationship, or with you simple taking time to recognize their existence. There’s something you can do, and you know it.

Get out of your comfort zone.

This may apply more to me than to you, but neither age nor experience is a factor here. The phrase to sum it up may not be the most politically correct, but “Do work, son!”

Photo courtesy of d.danger

Back to the “Old School”

In Perspective, Real Talk on April 15, 2009 at 7:02 am
My High School Trunk...Just kidding!

My High School Trunk...Just kidding!

Taking it back to when it all began, while rumbling through my casket of a boarding school trunk,and finding the inaugural issue of The Laiser Beam. The very first magazine I ever wrote for, the first place I ever got published.

Published ‘by students for students’ in July 2005, the copy was an unbelievable 38 -pages long, and the first publication of any kind coming out of the school. Held together by 3 staples along it’s spine, and highly pixelated pictures with plenty of unrecognizable class pictures. It was a smash-hit with the students.

A budding writer in my final year of government education, I was glad to have two articles published in the issue, a first for the young 17 year-old journalist and soon-to-be blogger. And for your reading pleasure, here is the first one verbatim.

A slight caution before you read this article, what you will read will change you permanently. It will change the way you view the student body completely…Consider yourself warned! There are plenty of sayings to put the point across, “Only the strong survive”…”Survival for the fittest” and “It’s a dog-eat-dog world.” Well, they all apply now.

Welcome to break-time in Laiser Hill.

As soon as the bell rings, the mind slows and shuts down and begins calculations as the seat becomes harder and harder to sit on. The second the teacher sets foot outside, it’s a dash for the door. Looking at the tuck-shop all the way from class and it hits you that you’re already too late. People are shouting and squeezing through to give their orders.
But you don’t stop running, no, you can’t. Lest you have to spend half your break time shouting and jostling to get your order heard by ‘Madam.’ Physical fitness and endurance are a must. Nothing is bought or brought on a silver platter.

FACT: If you don’t break a sweat, you get no break.

There are at least 12 people, most being sweatier and of larger stature than you, constantly moving in and out of the window.
But not so fast, you need to look for a stepping stone or be ready to get your shoes muddy. As soon as you’ve balanced well on a stone, with your money firm in your hand, you need now to get to the window. Not forgetting that time is running out. The hardest is yet to come as you nudge and budge your way through the army of red sweaters you see the window and manage to finally squeeze your hand through one of the bars.

By then, you realize that you are partially deaf on one side because of someone, lets call him Mr. Pre-mandazi-breath both salivating and shouting into your earlobe trying to catch the attention of ‘Madam’

FACT: With your soft voice, you will be there until lunch but a deep commanding voice gets you a full stomach.

After buying, getting out is twice as hard as getting in, with your hands full, you don’t want to drop something or trip. You are now ready to go eat where the boys are at. There are way too many ‘bases’, behind the library, in front of it, under the tree, ‘parents park’…

With everybody and their own weird mixture of foods, crisps, drinks, powders and biscuits its no surprise that the nurse is always open at lunch time. And she’ll need all the luck she can get.

The thing I love about this article is the fact that it was sincere, witty and expressed moments that everybody in the school was familiar with. It was probably one of the best received articles I wrote, especially because I never presumed it would garner as much support as it did. Teachers, students, and even ‘Madam’ of the tuck-shop. She secretly thought I was trying to uncover her evil ring of chips-smuggling, where she would bring in French-fries by night and sell them to students, under the administration’s nose…Oops, there I go, ratting her out! How could I when I was one of the people who would leave her with a ‘deposit’ and take things on debit, or credit.

I need to tell you the names for our food combinations, or “combi’s” as they are referred to. We had “Mo-fire” a thicker type of mandazi made with extra flour, “Ndao” a regular mandazi.

Definition: Mandazi – A triangular, or rectangular (in Laiser Hill) shaped donut of sorts.

And the combinations ranged from a mandazi and a sausage, or mandazi and a samosa (both of which are very popular to date), chapati-sausage, to the outrageous ‘budget combi’ which was mandazi-crisps or chapati crisps, or mofire-crisps.

Definition: Crisps – thin deep fat fried slices of potatoes with added spices, packaged with nuts, and chevda-like additives.

The crisps-combi’s were hilarious, but became so popular. Started by students trying to be frugal, it caught on and became a fad, much like how ankle socks and slippers became a huge fad in school. Oh, to be young again…

These are smudges in my memory of high school. What are some of yours?

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