RSS

Respect for Women in Danger, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 19th August, 16

Respect for Women in Danger

Men Ogling Women

Almost every week there is a video circulating showing how a man beat up his woman and she was killed or raped over a petty matter. The biggest crime between the lovers also is jealousy and it is driving them to cut off hands, burn each other or molest and violate their bodies. While these are signs of a burdened urban population finding space and mentally and physically, these are very dangerous signs too.

When Busia Women Representative Florence Mutua announced that she wants amendments in the Sexual Offenses Act to protect women from “ogling men” the Nation took notice. You have to understand each human being has their own personal space and even if you are family, relatives or friends, you will notice that not everyone allows you to shake their hands or give you a hug. Generally people are aware if they are being mishandled physically because that is obvious or sometimes not. But people are rarely aware if they are being looked at in a lustful manner, mostly because you are busy in your world or actions and not looking at the other person. Its close to the annoying stare down that happens in various parts of India that no matter what you wear or cover up you are stared upon at all times. However gentle mishandling like a brush on the buttocks or breasts is a violation of personal space.

The current environment is changing rapidly due to access to sexual activity through technology and if the society is not made aware of what is wrong or right then exercising the force of law will fail. There are more improvements needed in the Bill including to stop any person “who in order to conceal a sexual offence solicits for money, domestic animals or property as compensation or marries off the victim to the offender”. The Police and Counties need to create awareness on sexual offences and introduce further syllabuses to help the teachers and children identity and report.

(Source: http://nairobinews.nation.co.ke/news/bill-proposes-heavy-fines-kenyan-men-ogling-women/)

Sexual education has become increasingly important, especially when the children can pick up your phone, end up on inappropriate photos or videos (you don’t need to be the one browsing or watching) they are just so smart in looking for things that they can end up accidentally with this material. Teenagers are at risk for proving their personality stars, to reach out and prove their success in the “sex talk” yet they are being misled or because of peer pressure, made to do and see things that they don’t need. As parents, have an immediate frank discussion and do not restrict or threaten, you will only drive them away. Approach with care and openness so that if they are being coaxed or are interested, yes sometimes some children may have a higher sexuality reaction than others, be their friend and help them respect their body and thoughts to experience naturally and safely.

Women are under threat and especially young girls who have no guardian taking care of them. But women are also each other’s strengths, so stand together and share and fight this ugly vice of lustful men who are predators. You are responsible for creating an enabling environment for yourself, your family, friends, colleagues at work and even the country.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 19, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , ,

Doping Business Ain’t So Dope, with Asian Weekly 12th August 2016

Doping Business Ain’t So Dope

Doping

The Rio Olympics have been full of controversy from the very beginning, with everything from Zika Virus to Brazil’s political problems and then the doping scandals hitting the International Olympic Committee.

When Lance Armstrong’s case hit headlines and subsequently testimonies from his friends and confidantes corroborating the situation, the world was shocked. When the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency found that Russia had cheated in their doping tests that apparently started in 2011, ran through the 2012 London Olympics and then into the 2014 Winter Sochi Olympics, where the term “state-sponsored-doping” was coined.

Almost 24 hours to the Rio Olympics Russia they still didn’t know how many of their athletes would be banned, considering that Russia had the second largest number of athletes compared to USA in the London Olympics.

Let’s come to Kenya and our dirty doping. When the Rio Team Athletics Olympics Manager Michael Rotich was sent back to Kenya after the start of the games and arrested and questioned for instigating athletes for doping warning tests and paying him, he denied it all. Kenyan athletes have been the envy of global competitors, colleagues, officials and fans, that how are they able to run some of the longest distances and win so easily, marathon, after steeplechase, after 800m races.

The World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) is keeping a check on anti-doping agency on all banned substances in athletics. Kenya has already got Francesca Manunga and Joyce Zakary suspended from the IAAF (International Athletics Federation); other athletes are Rael Kiyara, Mathew Kipkoech Kisorio, Francisca Koki, Benjamin Kipkurui, Simon Kemboi and Pauline Kahenya. Our national pride at stake when last year reports from the German Television Channel ARD and The Sunday Times of London revealed that Kenyan doctors were giving banned drugs to both Kenyan and Foreign athletes. Mostly since then the situation has spiralled on to a racetrack of allegations, checks, suspensions and then the Anti-Doping Bill 2016 so that the Kenyan athletes would be able to compete in the Rio Olympics, which stated:

(6) An athlete or athlete support personnel who commits any of the prohibited activities under section 26, commits an anti-doping rule violation and shall be handled in the manner set out under this Act.

  1. A person who contravenes any provision of this General Penalty.

Act for which no specific penalty is provided shall be liable to a fine of not less than one million shillings or to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year or to both such fine and imprisonment.

The CS Minister for Sports, Culture & Arts, Dr Hassan Wario Arero was one of the witnesses as President Uhuru Kenyatta signed this Act into Law on June as the deadline for WADA had to be met. The CS has said that after the Rio Olympics all related to sports and especially Kenyan athletes will get a rigorous Education programme on banned substances and doping. But are our athletes capable of going thus far? Yes they are and the names listed above have faced their penalties. While developing countries have been accused of underpaying, understaffing, under facilitating their sports set up, we have always had the pride that our athletes are natural-born winners. This is indeed a major setback to our name for a long time to come. More and more Kenyan athletes need to come out and support the game, be clean and if they are having problems they need to speak up. They can’t sit on the sides of the racetrack and watch their future run away. There has to be complete transparency, policies, penalties and rewards too for those who are winning for Kenyan in whichever support. The scandals of not having an air ticket or accommodation should be outdated issues, these must be resolved immediately. We need to support each other in reporting and assisting in the success of our sports. For example Kenyan Rugby 7s proved that if given the right environment and conditions especially financially they can achieve so much. So why wait for corrupt officials or managers or anybody standing in the way of the steeplechase to the success of Kenya?

Rise up and show the world we can be free of doping because we believe and prove our records by just, running.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 12, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Evil Goes Up in Flames Not Seeds of Innocence with Asian Weekly 2nd August, 16

Evil Goes Up in Flames Not Seeds of Innocence

Kenyan Students Burning Schools Courtesy www.kenyans.co.ke

Kenyan Students Burning Schools Courtesy http://www.kenyans.co.ke

“In some parts of the world, students are going to school every day. It’s their normal life. But in other part of the world, we are starving for education… it’s like a precious gift. It’s like a diamond” Malala Yousafzai

Last year’s increasing in examinations cheating and irregularities saw over 2000 primary and 5000 secondary schools candidates results cancelled. Thus, drastic measures were required and the man in charge and initiative enough has been the Education CS Fred Matiang’i. In May this year he introduced immediate changes, which included:

  • Banned Prayer Days, Visiting, Half Term Breaks, Sports, Prize-Giving Ceremonies, and Annual General Meetings in the 3rd Term of School.
  • Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams were shortened from 6 to 4 weeks and all Head teachers put directly in charge of the tests. This is because it has been found that cheating is rampantly supported by teachers, police and the Kenyan National Examinations Council (Knec) officials.
  • To make up for these changes, 2nd Term will end on 12th August and 3rd Term will last only 9 weeks.
  • Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exams this year will start on November 1 and finish on November 3, while Form Four candidates will start on November 7 and finish on November 30.

(Above source: http://www.nation.co.ke/news/Tough-rules-to-stop-exam-cheats-unveiled/1056-3209416-1dxn99z/index.html )

This entire campaign has been to reduce any opportunities of interaction and the ugly corruption of cheating, so when schools are being burnt down things are not looking good for the students.

Over 100 schools countrywide have been burned and in most cases the fires started in the dormitories. Kenya has a large number of boarding schools and this has been one of the reasons for the leading causes of destruction and almost no loss of live, which also begs the question can this be a well-planned effort? Who are doing this and if the students did one of the first school burning such as the Itierio Boys School Kisii, then who made it a trend?

Education must not be burned down like this but maybe the innocence in the children is taken for granted and they really are the “arsonists”. Cheating is a transaction between two parties, in this case it definitely needs a student and the other party could be a teacher, exam official, school guard and absolutely anybody else who may have access to the exam paper. Therefore the student is guilty. Is the student under pressure from the parents or peer pressure or does the student have the selfish greedy desire to do this disgusting act of cheating? I believe it is a combination of all of them.

Where is the teacher in all of this? Money, money, money? Always the noise from the teachers, always strikes, always pay hikes and more nuisance. If 1% percent of the teachers are full of integrity and hard work then unfortunately their pleas have been falling on deaf ears. Dormitories shouldn’t be fired, but teachers should. Parents too need to be educated and be made to be more involved in the progress of their child. Parents too need to have sustainable incomes so they are not strained and resorting to desperate measures of earning that income. While the Education CS has ordered parents to foot the bills of these arsons, this whole matter needs to be investigated thoroughly. I would rather pay tax money for an investigation, results and implementation for change. This change should be all the way from Teachers Training, Schools Upgrade of Facilities and as much as is needed, because these students of today will be our leaders of tomorrow and how we bring them up will make all the difference to the country.

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 9, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Till Bank Money Runs Out with Asian Weekly 29th July, 16

Till Bank Money Runs Out

Money-Marriage

Money is very important and if anybody told you otherwise you need to look at him or her with shock. Money buys you materialistic joys or pains, and yes in increasing cases nowadays husbands and wives. The difference is in the type of person you and what is your attitude in life. You might be the adventurous, living out of whatever you have and experiencing life in a trance. You might be the hardworking, completely desk job worker and just making ends meet. You might be the courageous, entrepreneur, dreamer, risk taker and doer. You might be narcissist and here there are two categories- loves he/she and money, loves he/she but no money. But see money features in this situation somehow or the other. If you are living with your parents and they are paying the bills, get out otherwise you will never grow up and respect them. If you are not living with your parents and you are paying their bills, then you are a rare species. If you are not living with your parents and not paying their bills, then your wife is ruling your bank account.

Women have more ambition than ever before; they are creating more opportunities in their studies, education achievements and subsequently in the corporate world. More women are dabbling with a small business, unfortunately because they have no choice since the husband has lost the job and is too stubborn to change. But luckily there are more women who want to create jobs, want to run businesses, want to change the world. The price they are paying or the opportunity cost is marriage and children.

Let’s talk about marriage then. People get married because they love each other. People get married because they see a caregiver, baby bearer and provider. People get married because they want a companion or business partner. There are few unique reasons why people get married, but there are a billion reasons why you get married or not, or have children or not. These could be lack of partners, finances or sickness. Girls are growing up with knowledge that they too can earn, provide for themselves and enjoy their income. Thus, when they will meet a man who can’t fulfill their materialistic needs, they will turn away. Very few women will look at the personality traits and marry a man who earns less than them. You might say that the woman is being choosy. Being a feminist, I would say she shouldn’t settle for anybody less. But less can mean, he may not have the money or education status, but he makes you smile, respects you and your family and is willing to keep you happy. Don’t get me wrong I am not talking about a dog, because there are some highly educated women or high earning women who think they need to marry only a President, sorry ladies you are not the First Ladies either.

The main thing is always remember to be you. Don’t put up with excuses or pressures. Technically you should get married by the age of 25 or 27 and have your children by the age of 30 or 32, this is for you ladies because the number of diseases or health complications in our age group is rising. However if you have not found the right partner for whatever personal reason, remember this that while society will look at you for being a frustrated, fussy, feminist, you know what you want and you go for it. This can be anything from owning a business, running a mega corporation, building a school, adopting a child or marrying the person who loves and accepts for who you are and not for what you are expected to be for others.

It is the society’s responsibility to encourage their children, both girls and boys that they must respect each other, they are here to take humanity forward with their values, whether it is religious, cultural or economical. They have a role to play and they are free to carve their own path as long as they are not hurting or disrespecting people. If women don’t want to get married because the men can’t earn or provide enough then that’s acceptable. Yes it is a cliché line but absolutely true, it is better than being in a bad marriage or divorced with children and you are struggling to make ends meet. Because when a marriage breaks, the first blame is on the woman and while there might be some unreasonable woman who does contribute to the breakup, the point is that we must assess the situation with complete honesty, accept the responsibilities and eventually forgive to move on.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 9, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,

Pray for Humanity, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 22nd July, 2016

Pray for Humanity

Pray for Paris Courtesy AbduZeedo

Pray for Paris Courtesy AbduZeedo

From the Dallas shootings to the Nice lorry driver ruining Bastille Day, what is happening to the world? Almost every hour, some incident is happening and before we know it, hashtags such as #PrayForParis or #PrayForBeirut are popping up and we are sharing or not.

What is this all about?

Let’s begin with what is the mental state of mind of the world. It is in complete chaos and while there are several spiritual and religious leaders and activities going on to stabilize the situation there is too much to save. From the planet’s environment and wellbeing to the human beings needs, wants and emotions. Where do we start? Knowledge is information and information is knowledge.

The world is small because of the Internet and social media, and while it is easy to report facts, it is easier to distort reality and that’s where the problem lies. Once upon a time, we received news of progress or lack off through state media channels, but now it is at our fingertips and anything is possible. This is very dangerous. Incidents such as the Brussels attack or even close at home when the Westgate attack happened, they are unique in consequence but not in reason. Terrorism has taken over the world and is the new business or marketing tool for the terrorists, their organizations and unfortunately some politicians. The innocent citizens or civilians are dying in the line of fire. But while all that is not in our control, our reactions are.

Did you know that every 40 seconds a person is committing suicide and that 800,000 people die every year of suicide? So what is taking them to this breaking point, despite all the progress and technological and social advancements? Did you also know according to the Global Terrorism Index, produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, that ISIS and Boko Haram where responsible for almost 51% of all claimed global fatalities in 2014? Citing more- The top 5 from among the list are Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Syria. It is believed that nearly 78 percent of global terrorism-related deaths occurred in these five countries alone, further emphasizing the alarming domestic situations in these places.

To worry about why we are supporting hashtags or sending our support via social media to Paris and not Beirut is petty.

For example as Asians living in Kenya, our roots are India or Pakistan but most have settled especially in the UK and so if anything happened in any of the four countries, we will react, otherwise not.

You have to understand that people on social media are not fully exercising their opinions or factions especially in the named countries above, mostly because of Government censorship. Thus, while media is reporting incidents, the people affected on the streets of Kabul are not expressing their grief and their hashtag is not coming out and receiving worldwide exposure and so we don’t support it easily. Very few people are concerned with worldwide health and will raise their voice or support, so unless something doesn’t happen at their doorstep they will not react. But that doesn’t mean that we are not affected or think or get concerned of our world. We do. Maybe we just don’t show it. So those who do, don’t judge them harshly for their choices.

Every individual is affected by his or her situations, experiences and people. To generalize is immature.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 22, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Just Google It, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 15th July, 2016

Just Google It!

Just Google It Courtesy of Some Call Me Jem

Just Google It Courtesy of Some Call Me Jem

Imagine you are having dinner with some friends and the conversation leads to when was the Second World War, and one of the friends goes, “just Google it!”

That’s happening more than often, from small facts such as the size of a tomato to real issues, like a recipe, location of an office, or biography about someone, we are just “Googling” it.

There’s nothing wrong with this, but in a way there is something a little wrong. Remember how we could rattle off the phone numbers off the directory or recall any relative’s number so easily, today it is almost impossible to remember anybody’s mobile phone number. So yes, let’s start with when the mobile phone came into our lives, we started getting reliant on the technology in our hands and not our memory. Sure, some numbers are easier to remember and its impossible to remember the hundreds of numbers in the phone list, but if I challenged you to remember your closest friend or family member’s numbers you will be blank.

Very quickly we started browsing the world of the Internet and we are flicking through hundreds of lines of information and possibly very little is registering in our brains. That’s where Facebook has scored, by giving you photos and videos, images are easier to store in the memory. That’s why Instagram is so popular, because we want to see photos, poses and stories.

We have forgotten how to engage productively in conversations with most people because our references are these Social Media and Search Engines. While they are the leading contributors for our news and gossip, they don’t have to be the leaders in knowledge. I would recommend remain old school and keep reading books, magazines or newspapers. You can read them digitally but they are the treasures that have given birth to geniuses and that knowledge remains for you forever.

When you over rely more than required on a third party to get your information, remember it will be broken down and now as real as it should have been. The internet is an encyclopedia for absolutely everything from the hair colour of Donald Trump, to the waist size of Kim Kardashian but while the sources maybe reliable then should be the ultimate. Looking back and catching up on your favourite subjects is a great way to use the Internet, to expand knowledge is definitely a plus but to always refer to it, that’s saying something. The healthier and busy you keep your memory the better for your mental health in the long run. Unfortunately the children are all growing up around all these devices and very few can live outside their video games or mobile phones. Don’t destroy their potential to intelligence and imagination by denying them the time off from these machines. Let them be with the nature that first gave us this energy to bring ourselves this far.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 22, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , ,

Noisy Neighbours, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 8th July, 2016

Noisy Neighbours

Noisy Neighbours

The increasing number of townhouses and flats at almost every corner or nowadays right next to you can give you a couple of conundrums. Before this construction boom hit us, we lived in quiet bungalows or maisonettes and established close bonds with our neighbours, tenants or landlords. However once the money started rolling in, things began to get nasty. Changes led to greedy landlords, unruly tenants, suspicious neighbours and very irritating children.

A few lessons were learnt and some properties have strict codes of no pets, only vegetarians and so on. But rent remains sky-high and sometimes unreasonable considering some of the parts in the house/apartment start falling apart a few months after moving in. Despite all of this the worst compromise has to be the poorly paid security guards who are almost never qualified and no other serious security arrangements for that oh so handsome service charges you are paying. And in today’s connectivity times, if the property doesn’t have a generator or lift, then you have to question quiet a few construction compromises.

You have your home rented or bought and you are enjoying your stay until you hear scream and shout. It seems like there is a domestic fight ensuing next door, what do you do? Firstly, here are examples of noisy neighbours, loud TV, loudest music from the car, screaming children, loud talking with the maid or gardener or security guard, banging doors in and out and the list goes on. By the way even an untimely pressure cooker can get your blood pressure rising.

What is important is to know your neighbours. Having an association within the estate, helps identify them and address issues formally if need to be, especially security and power losses or water shortages. There is equality and less discrimination too, plus you can share and appreciate each others professions and talents, for example if you are a teacher you can help another child or doctor and so on. But be careful not to judge and start doorstep gossip, this can give advantage to the househelps and easily assist in a robbery or car jacking incident. Be mature and respectful of each other.

Things go out of hand especially in party gatherings, whether large or small. There are usual parking issues and then the flow of strange people and their stranger habits. Again, if you have an established association, life is easier with rules and regulations. Things are kept in check. But if you don’t have one, then take the initiative to introduce yourself to the neighbourhood and exchange numbers. Thanks to WhatsApp many have helped each other in difficult times from attempted robberies, to finding a new maid or looking after the kids.

Talking about kids, when an estate doesn’t have a designated playground, there’s something wrong. Fair enough there is not enough space but then you are confining the children to the hell walls of their living rooms and here they shout, scream and jump around causing chaos for everyone else. You have to restrict this behaviour by all means, they need to learn discipline and if the parents are defeated, and you feel the situation is going out of control, call the Child Welfare Society of Kenya. Yes you can, if parents can’t manage the noise levels of their children, there is something wrong with the parents. Mind you, this is perfect territory for your maid to take full advantage and attack or steal from you. You are a potential threat to the entire neighbourhood.

If you have sent a legal notice to the neighbour to keep the noise down and still there is no change, then sue the landlord especially if you are the owner of your own apartment or townhouse. Surely there should be some level of decency to support your huge purchase of this property, after all it is an almost once in a lifetime spending. Get to know your neighbours enough to keep your boundaries clear and expectations simple.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 8, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 840 other followers