Monday, August 6, 2012

Literary Madness, adrenaline & TeamKenya

It was a mad weekend for me. I was a bunch of nerves since Friday all through to Sunday evening.

As our athletes Sally, Vivian and Prisca took to the 10,000m race tracks in the Olympics being held in London on Friday night, I was there with them. Via Television but still, I was there. When they were requested to take their mark, get set and go, I took the orders with them. When Dibaba and her team began to rain on our parade, I stayed positive. Hoping for the best. Cheering them on. My heart raced in tandem with their well-trained feet and, I am sure, hearts.  I craved for medals. I yearned for the sweet melody of our National Anthem resounding in that stadium miles away for the multitudes to hear and recognize Team Kenya!

 I refused to despair when we had to contend with second place. Dibaba was good, but it did not change the fact that our representatives gave their best. They carried our flag.

I was nervous all right. Come Sunday Night, my adrenaline was on an all time high when Big Brother Africa aired the show’s Grand Finale and evicted the finalists one by agonizing one. Naturally, I rooted for Prezzo because he held the Kenyan flag. He even said it himself, that he wanted to win to make Kenya proud. He flaunted code 254 every chance he got, the only housemate to have had a jersey and a mug adorned with the colors of our flag. That was enough reason to have me voting for him. Like everyone else, Prezzo came with his flaws. I called him an asshole under my breath when he got intoxicated and unnecessarily argued with South Africa’s Barbz. I rolled my eyes when he lashed at DKB bragging that he lived in a mansion, had taken a bullet and was not afraid of no one. I was dumbfounded when he wielded an empty bottle at Wati and Keagan threatening to ‘put them in their place’

But that did not deter me from voting for him. For doing this, I and other Kenyans of my ilk got insulted by a blogger who believes they hold the most revered opinion in the land. Woe unto you should you disagree with them! We were called ‘spineless bitches’ for voting for someone they did not like. While defending their right to an opinion, they trampled on others’ opinion asking why we were voting for Prezzo who “…had more mood swings than a class full of women”

Don’t ask me where women and mood swings come in because I am still trying to find the connection.
An insult to women and an insult to Kenyans for defending their own - warts and all.  Using their own words, “Who DIED and made your HYPE the end point for all competitions?”

What followed on twitter after Prezzo was announced first runners-up was a sad series of tweets on why we are all shallow for supporting him and for daring to think that he could win.How dare we dream of a victory? It was sad seeing such juvenile reaction akin to a toddler jumping up and down in excitement for getting a lollipop. I kept asking myself what the celebration was for; Kenya’s lose? A laugh at yourself?

Sadly, there are some ailments that only advancement in age and subsequent maturity can cure. All we can do as the Kenyan fraternity is sit back and patiently wait for such individuals to advance from using the feeding bottle to using the Sippy cup.

Amidst all the madness though, Ezekiel Kemboi sprinted to the finish line with the Kenyan flag and his trademark jig to boot. Now what better way to end an adrenaline-packed weekend?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Whys & Wherefores

There is this song by Toni Braxton “Why won’t you love me”. First of all Toni is one woman who can totally gerrit. That woman puts the FAB in fabulous! Let’s see; promoting her album while pregnant simply because her recording company would not put it off. She has a cancer scare which thankfully turns out to be benign, but in a twist of fate she is diagnosed with lupus. Add to that raising an autistic son whom she talks about in an emotional spurt, only like a mother can.  You have a woman who at the age of 45 is sexy as hell (no homo) with a sultry voice and who is above all, a survivor of divorce.  It doesn’t get any more woman than that people. Na-ah! 

The song is very soulful and sweet and painful. You know the kind? Those emotional songs that can make you fall in love with some random unkempt stranger seated next to you in a matatu? There are songs that make the most impervious of men to go down on one knee and declare their undying love to a woman.  Add some poignant lyrics to Toni’s vocals and you get such a song; a song so powerful that it would make the abecedarians at Tusker Project Fame to hide in their play pen. Good job though EABL, but Ruth? I don’t know…. Really, I don’t. I never got to watch most of season 5 so I won’t pull an ‘Alpha Rwirangira’ on you guys.  Then again, it’s a bit too late for that now, innit?

Moving on swiftly….

Toni.  Asking why? And don’t we all, at one point. “Why won’t you love me the way I need to be loved”, she asks. So why won’t he? Is it because of the way you wear your hair, the way you talk, walk, dress? What is wrong with you? What can you do to be perfect for him?

As much as I love Toni, and as much as I love this song and a good number of her other songs, I do not like the lyrics to this particular song. A woman who asks what she can do to be perfect for a man is a woman who doesn’t think she is worth much to begin with. It all begins and, sadly, ends there.

They say it always starts with the WHY before the how, what, who, when or where can follow.

For example, I know the reason why I go clickety-clack on my keyboard, not as much as I would love to perhaps, but every once in a while. It’s because of such lyrics, such representation of women as ineffectual beings. What’s with all that I’ll-be-anything-you-want crap anyway?  It’s deeply unsettling.

Why won’t you love me? Why do you love me? Why is the sky blue? Why is the alphabet in that order? Do some questions have answers? Just like Toni might not get a satisfactory answer to her question, some people can never answer why they love the person they claim to love. Sometimes, you cannot put your finger on that je ne sais quoi that makes your woman or your man tick. Sometimes, you can only appreciate that when cupid strikes, some nerdy girl with braces, a flat chest and the smallest behind or some loud obnoxious midget of a man could get you sprung.

Or maybe sometimes we (I) should just sit back and enjoy a beautiful soulful song without getting agitated about the lyrics, neh? Ok. I am stepping away from the keyboard and putting my earphones back on.