Mark Kaigwa

Archive for the ‘History’s Future’ Category

#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.

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#Stigvote: (Teaser Blockbuster Poster)

In History's Future on June 11, 2009 at 8:17 am
Coming soon to a blog near you...

Coming soon to a blog near you...

See

#Stigvote : A Twitter Story

For the actual ‘Movie.’

Thank You

In History's Future, Perspective, Real Talk on March 4, 2009 at 5:11 pm

I’m broken, weakened, distraught, irritable at times and fickle emotionally from time to time. I’m human. I’ve cried, I’ve sneezed, I’ve blown my nose, I’ve laughed, I burped while laughing which made me laugh even more and I have smiled. From the passing on of my later father, Major (Retired) George Murakaru Kaigwa, it hasn’t been easy. But it has certainly been manageable, thanks in whole to God himself, and in great part to the amazing and inspiring people he’s so warmly surrounded my family with.

People I never knew cared, people who I thought cared, People I never knew cried, people I never knew, cried. I am humbled beyond measure, because to declare ‘I’ am strong is to err. ‘I’ am only because ‘He’ was before me. By He, I mean the great God I serve, whom is within me, but also the realest example of another human being, otherwise known as my father, he put before me.

It’s funny how God can prepare you for something. And we all know that death, is tough.I have experienced the death of 4 friends over the past 2 years (all under 22years of age, the youngest being 19), I have had the chance to see and experience, in part, the grieving process. To understand that denial and anger can come before acceptance. It was this whole time that my walk with Christ took more lefts, rights, ups and downs than a Nissan on a Moi-era tarmac road. But He knew this would come, and it was all prepared for.

But I’m more because of the ‘we’ around me. You, your words, your prayers, your encouragement, your thoughts and your presence. It’s a whole lot easier for me to stand and say I’m strong, because I have strong people all around me holding me up.

All I can say to you is

Thank You.

You pray for me, I am privileged, but I am more honored to also pray for you and encourage you. For you to see this amazing strength in me is not only a testament to who Jesus has been to and through me, but it is also a result of your very prayers. Bless you.

 

P.S. I couldn’t believe the amazing response from the Tweetmosphere. They really came through with messages, condolences and encouragement. I don’t know most of them personally but PinkM, Intelligensia, Ngeny, EdObie, Miano, Knocternal, SoleAddict1, Kaboro, 69MB, DKomo, SwMaina and others. Thank you all from me.

Uncovered Roots: The Journey of My Grandparents

In History's Future, Perspective on January 6, 2009 at 4:42 pm

Today was an amazing day as far as rediscovering and tracking back in time to find out about the family tree.

My cucu (grandma) on my Dad’s side took the family on a tour of where life began for her, and how it developed from the 1950’s when they first moved to Nairobi. We visited the very place that my aunt, Tata Bush, was born. Which was a house just off Jogoo Road in Kaloleni at a small 1 bedroom bungalow known as D16. We also went through Ofafa Jericho, Maringo, Buru Buru, Hamza, Maendeleo and a host of other nooks and crannies of Eastlands area of Nairobi.

It was amazing to see where my grandma first stayed, to see the shop my grandfather first opened here in the city. The story behind that is actually pretty amazing. It goes that they owned one of some 20 shops that form a cul-de-sac  of shops encircling a space that functions as the parking lot. At this shop, my grandfather would sell amenities and kerosene. The shop was called Kaigwa General Stores and sold groceries, sugar, salt, marbles for the kids and everything in between.

We met a man who was 2nd Generation butchery owner, and he recognized my father, and some of his siblings.  They had been running his butchery for fifty years now, and they had a dark room of sorts on the inside. The dark room being the room we passed through to get through to the back. It was lit by lonely streaks of light through the fifty year old corrugated fiberglass on the roof. It lit conspicuously onto a tray of matumbo that four middle-aged men were happily sharing over banter. We slid through the dim corridoor to the other side where we found the back wall. The story behind the back wall was equally amazing.

At the famed Kaigwa General Stores and all the other stores like it in the cul-de-sac, there was a practice less spoken of, yet practiced quite regularly. And it ought to be, considering what it was. Back in these days, the mid to late 50’s the sewerage system had not been fully developed in the African quarters that were Eastlands. All Africans would stay in Eastlands, from Kaloleni to Makadara. From what I’m told Makadara was comparable to the finest estates in the city now, and you had to somebody to stay there. Makadara is where the shop was, and remains to this day, though under a different name – Nyagachuhi General Store. The complex where it’s located is now called Hamza Shopping Centre, in Hamza Estate, on Hamza Road, off Jogoo Road. I should Google Map this, just so you can get the aerial view. I will.

So, back to this practice. Basically all they had for a sewerage system was a bucket. Yes, a bucket. The bathroom contained a bucket, and you would do your business, number 1 or number 2, and leave it be. At the end of the day, a handful of city council men with a truck would come round the back, and collect the buckets. The funny thing, because I asked the stupid question ” What happened if you weren’t done yet?”, was that you had to hold whatever you were doing once they grabbed the bucket. You could never for any reason continue to do your do-do once you heard a hand stick through the wall and grab the bucket.

The back wall of the complex had about two-by-two bricks missing at the bottom of the wall. They would stick their hands through the wall, mostly  unannounced, to grab your bucket. As I said, if you were halfway, you would hold, and wait until the bucket was returned. If you dared to continue what you were doing, ignored them or told them to wait, you were in trouble, big smelly trouble; they would either throw the bucket back or pour the contents over your floor, and consequently your feet. You didn’t want to mess with them. And so, you didn’t. God forbid you ever, for any reason got anything on the hand that grabs your bucket. You’ll be sorry.

One of the most amazing stories of the day, was how at the Kaigwa General Stores at Makadara, My late grandfather got the first Kerosene pump in the whole complex and one of the only ones in Eastlands. With it, he got ahead of the curve by creating one of the first neon signs that side of town. Here’s what I mean by neon: it was an electric box that hung from the canopy right outside the door of the store. On the outside it had a message written with little yellow lights and it read ‘Ukai mwone uriru’ which translates from Kikuyu to English to read ‘Come and See the Amazing Wonders’ and it didn’t just bring customers, it helped keep them.

At the bottom of the electric box were two yellow light bulbs, and these would flicker on and off every couple seconds. The real story comes from how all the kids would react, my father recalls watching a drove of young 3-8 year olds, among them his sister, my aunt, gaze dreamily at the sign for long periods of time. When the light would go on they would all shout ‘Menoooo!!!’ which has no direct English translation, but refers to when something goes bright suddenly.

When the bulbs would go off momentarily they would then shout ‘Bucha!!!’ which roughly means ‘blink’ in Gikuyu. As soon as dusk would approach, like moths to a lamp as it glows, they would begin to converge around the shop, even before it went on, waiting. They would wait, and then go ‘Meno!!!’ and ‘Bucha!!!’in unison as it flickered on and off. I just imagine it like one of these zombie movies with the last remaining humans, and they converge around the place. They never got tired, and they never got bored of singing.

Our trip today started with Makadara, went to Ofafa Maringo, where they had the Hodi Hodi Club, which  then Ofafa Jericho, then Bahati, then to Kaloleni where Tata Bush was gone. WE missed out on going to Bondeni, where Cucu and Guka moved to next, then they went to Makadara. From there to Ofafa Maringo, and from Ofafa to Garden Estate. Where we’ve been for the past 20 odd years. When my grandfather changed Kaigwa General stores to a bar – the Hodi Hodi club, he got a pair of gentlemen to run it, and they eventually bought it off him, as he began a farm on the land here in Garden Estate, our current residence.

It was a great privilege to see where my relatives were born and track the life and times of my grandparents as they began to work their way up in life. My late grandfather became deputy mayor of Nairobi, my grandmother, a businesswoman. All in all it’s been a blessing, and the perfect way to celebrate family in a new way.

Amen to that.

My life over the past year.

In History's Future, Perspective, Real Talk on November 20, 2008 at 1:39 pm

A letter to My future self…

In History's Future, Real Talk on January 26, 2008 at 9:13 pm

There is what I have learned to be as ‘safe’. A secure job, a decent house, a decent wife, a pretty ordinary life.
Yet this doesn’t appeal to me. Not in the least, the mere mediocrity of this life chasing after the wind only to leave all that you gain for the next man to enjoy. Someone said this is what’s know as a mid life crisis. You realise you worked, you struggled, you did what you weren’t necessarily passionate about to gain something only to wonder “Why?”

But Im not even out of my teens and I refuse to let myself spend two years finishing the secure ‘first degree’. I would rather do something I really want to do. But recently I posed the question, Whether my friends are merely doing something that which has good financial ramifications as opposed to their passion what they dreamed doing. But now the realisation that dawned on me was that even if you DO follow what you want to do, then that’s just it; your doing what YOU want to.

Now I acknowledge I am beautifully and wonderfully created by a greater Supreme Being The Lord God, and He must have some sort of purpose to why I’m here. Should I spend my life exploring that?I don’t know, I guess they call it a mid-life crisis with good reason. But I stand at the crossroads from which I will look back in years to come, read this and understand what it was I was writing about. The only reason I write like this is because I know it exists in me, not in my DNA, but in my Spirit, in my Soul. I might confine the visions of my soul to words, but that’s all I know. I once defined myself as a lazy visionary simply because of the vivid images of a future I possibly couldn’t achieve because of my worldly laziness…

Bt my purpose has got to be greater than to merely achieve accolades that my peers applaud and envy (no disrespect guys, but there’s more) and this is the journey I have embarked on. I am about to study music, for I feel the passion to create and express myself (more than any other passion).But for me, it’s futile if it only exists for the mere recognition of man and his constant approval; for nothing could be more fickle than to entrust your gladness and esteem on the see-saw that is human emotion.

If asked my dream it would be something close to the way to help those around me in the most profound way I can. By saying this what I must accept from the off is that the most ‘profound’ way is not profound by the standards I am used to. It isn’t in the recognition and the hurrahs and cheers in a spotlight but under the shadow of humility. It is in the smallest most ‘unnoticeable’ things that only a Soul could speak of. Therein lies the dream of my soul. By living in a way that speaks more than this mind could put into words, by being the salt, and not the honey of the world. To ‘be’ not for me, but for you. To live not so as to prove something to my peers, but to enable those around me to live as closely to their creator as possible.

The words I write here are… merely words, if I don’t have the guts to live the way I speak then it I meaningless. For it is in first embarking on the journey to greatness that we get the words to express how it is we achieved greatness. I must first conquer the ever present human inclination to stagnate, exist, let sleeping dogs lie, ‘not burst the bubble’, live within this comfort zone that will eventually strangle us of all creative and expressive air. I know what I really mean to tell you. It is an emotion I am trying to express with words rather than actions. I will never suceed in that respect, but what I wish from you is patience. Be patient with me because by God, I wish to dedicate myself to Him and in the smallest way impact your life to have an idea of how much He loves you, and how much more I must try to do so, because I know this…

God Bless You…

Amen.