THE “SHE” SAILING THE SGR #MADARAKA EXPRESS

Days are bygone when females could be forced to use a pen name in the literature arena. A world where women were not expected to attempt in male dominated careers. It was evident that science and all technical subjects science and all technical subjects were upheld for men.

As Kenya wakes up to a new dawn, of improved infrastructure, women are on the front line. On 31-05-2017 president of the republic of Kenya Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta boarded a SGR from Mombasa Terminus to Nairobi. The two ladies Elizabeth Wanjala and Shalom Njeri who are merely 23 years old and 27 years old respectively loudly reminded women that what a man can do a woman can do better.

Francis Imbuga in the play ‘Aminata’ tries to depit the oppression of women by cruel traditions. The two ladies have tried to exhibit the strength in them and womanhood concealed. It is also good for Kenyans to nullify the political border lines and admit that the SGR is one of the  successful project since independent Kenya. The social media has since the launch of the SGR at Miritini become very noisy and criticized with strongest words possible.

In the recent years, Kenya has made an applaudable strides in the improvement of infrastructure. Former president Mwai Kibaki made Kenya proud by making Thika super highway a reality.

I personally celebrate the success achieved by Kenyan women. I want to echo that the position of a woman is no longer in the kitchen but rather in the nation building. The late professor Wangari Mathai’s efforts and determination have seen many woman follow the suit.

The gender gap should closely be looked into and women be given equal opportunity. Women have had good record in leadership this is by looking at the world leaders. It is in record that many have proved to be good presidents and prime ministers in the present world. Countries like Liberia, Switzerland, south Korea and Brazil among others have ladies as the heads of state.

The first African captain on the world’s latest aircraft, boeing B787 dreamliner  Irene  Koki Mutungi deserves extolment for daring to venture in male dominated career.

Names which shake the male dominated field include Kizzie shako, Pathologist at the Kenya Police Surgery Department, Pilot Elizabeth Wakesho the pioneer in the aviation world and  Fatumah Ahmed the brigadier in the Kenya Defense force among many others.

In a comprehensive autobiography of Elizabeth Mumbi Madoka who served Mzee Jomo Kenyatta for twenty  three years as a social secretary says, “After a while however, I began to feel that my duties  held little challenge I thought about following a different career path and started sending out a few job applications.” (Pg 34) Mumbi was then at Prisons Department but later got a job with Barclays bank. She later says in the autobiography that she found the job at Barclays challenging as she preferred.

It is also good to note that, boy child should not be forgotten altogether.  In the campaign to empower the girl child, the boy child can easily be left very many miles behind. It is in this appeal that we should all preach equality in our society.

Colour

          

       Colour is a tool mostly used to create impression in our surrounding.www.christinemutuvi.wordpress.com The term colour can also be refered to as hue which initiates the beauty of something. There are different types of colours which can be classified into different categories. These categories are namely; primary colours,secondary colours and tertiary colours. Colour makes the background of something to look beautiful. All artists feel connected to colours because it creates the theme of their message. There are  some colours which are mostly used and are refered as primary colours. It is also good to note that certain colours can be used for specific purpose. 

       One function of colour is that it devises beauty. Example is during wedding where couples have to choose their theme through colour. Mostly, many couples prefer bright colours for weddings e.g yellow and blue. When the colours are blended well, the occasion becomes vivacious and stunning. There are also other occasions where individuals need to choose colour to create the theme. These occasions include the parties, burial ceremony, festivals and many others. It is important to add that there are specific colours for specific occasions. Example, colour white is mostly used to signify peace whereas red can be used to imply danger.

        Colour can also be used as a symbol as mentioned above. It can be used as means of non verbal communication. For instance, people carrying white flags will be most probably passing a message of peace to the society. In connection to that, the colours in national flags also carry a meaning. Example, the flag of Kenya has four colours which are; red white, green and black. Red indicates the blood that was shed by freedom fighters, white stands for peace, green stands for vegetation while black for our dark skin.

       It is therefore, important to recognise the impact of colour in our surrounding. When we dress we should be able to identify what colours we should choose for specific occasions. It will be also easy to interpret certain messages passed to us through use of colour. Lastly, my polite reminder is that, we should appreciate the beauty created by colours in our surrounding. 

Rarua will never use his bows and arrows again

​In my entire days in hunting i had never seen a beautiful gazelle like the one which was standing few metres away from  me Rarua the chief hunter.

It was a chilly morning and the sun’s rays were forcing its  way up the horizon. In my twenty five years of hunting, i had become a splendid sharp shooter. The only time i did not kill an animal was only when i decided to spare the poor animal from a cold death. On this day, it was during a prolonged drought and all wild animals were dying of thirst and lack of pasture. Normally, gazelles graze in  groups of tens and since they are a prey to lions and wild dogs, they are always alert.

My bow was in place and ready to release the arrow but i had a change of mind. I withdrew the arrow and rubbed my eyes as if i had encountered morning mist. I took a  close look at the beautiful animal which was standing before me. I made  half a stride with my right leg to get a clear view.  In the whole village people refered to me as Rarua the sharp shooter. I was certain that i was going to shoot as usual. But before i took the life out of the poor animal, the urge to admire it was stirring in me. Confusion mingled together with excitement and for a short period i didn’t know what to do. The little history i had about gazelles was that they are a genus (gazella) found in the antelope family, six species of which can be found throughout Africa. I took a keen look at the dazzling eyes, small shaped nose, strong planted horns and a long neck.

“I won’t kill this gazelle now,” i said to myself. 

“keep calm Rarua, it is not yet time.”

I took one step backward so that i could come  up with a smart plan. The thought of holding its horns firmly in my palms left a thrilling anticipation inside my belly. I made another glance at the beautiful gazelle and this time i was salivating. 

“Camouflage Rarua, it will give you a chance to show the gazelle new grazing areas.” I  whispered to myself.  

I took out the antelope’s skin which was inside my bag. The sun was very hot  and therefore, the gazelle could not move from the bushes’ shade. I covered myself with the antelope’s skin and moved towards the gazelle on my knees and hands. To my surprise, it did not move an inch and for a moment i felt like i was another gazelle. 

As the sun was setting on the horizon, i realized that i had not killed an animal for my two wives and seven children. Confusion mingled together with shock which made my heart jump. I had spend the whole day feeding the my beautiful gazelle and funny enough i was enjoying the moment. When  i neared home i started limping. 

“I had one of the worst days my dear wife, i hurt my leg.” I had to cheat inorder to cover up my shame of coming home empty handed. 

“I know tomorrow i must kill an animal. Rarua never comes home empty handed.”

The following days were more similar because i spent all my hunting time with the beautiful gazelle under the shades in the forest. My agony started one day when i found the gazelle lying down and it could not even move its tooth. The poor animal stayed in pain and day in day out i could not help.. Things even got worse when i also got sick and started losing weight. I lost interest in hunting and finally my two wives had to nurse me in my little hut. 

As i looked at the lion’s skin that i had hanged on the wall, i felt helpless and worthless. The virus that i was carrying in my blood could not be cured. As days went by, pain and guilty was eating a hole in my heart. One day when my wife brought me bone supu, I felt guilty wash me like an acid bath. I turned on my bamboo bed and faced the wall. “Rarua will never use his bows and arrows again.” I said to myself.

MANAGE YOUR CHAT AILMENT IN 2016

 

social media

The year 2015 has checked in for a close up. The goals set at the beginning of the year have either been met or still pending. In the beginning of each year, there is need to have resolutions in order to put things factual.
My reference lies heavily on social media. It has deprived us of many things that we once used to treasure. We are using it mindlessly without even realizing the damage that is causing in the community. I am of the opinion that social media is, before long going, to bury the majority of us.
Since social media is here to stay, please add the following on your 2016 resolutions;

#Do not spend weekends on bed chatting
I am aware that there is need to relax after a long week of hard work. Sadly, I want to remind you that, weekends can be spent in a better way rather than chatting all day long. I bet you have friends to crack jokes with. Of lately, you have been gaining weight, why haven’t you thought of starting swimming on weekends? I presume you could also do a sport which will keep you physically fit. The year 2015, you have given your phone too much attention on weekends and that is why you even stopped doing many things like, going to parties, visiting your granny, having family picnics etc.
You wake up early and immediately put on your chat, therefore, by the time you take breakfast, it is 11am. You take your meals chatting and thereafter you take a nice pause on the coach or you go back to bed to continue chatting. Your days end so fast because you don’t even realize when it is lunch time. I still insist, weekend is supposed to be spent in a healthy way. Put off your chats on weekend, then lock your bedroom because you need to be constructive.
#Download an App lock
I assume you do not want your chats to be read by anyone else. When you leave your phone data connection on, your partner is definitely going to be tempted to read your text messages. That is the bitter truth because how hell on earth will five hundred messages show on your whatsapp and go unread when you left your phone in somebody else’s hands. You still have other messages on facebook messenger, imo, Tagged and the list is endless.
The app lock is free, so please get yourself one because you do not want another fight with your spouse next year. If not your spouse, then you do not want your friend to know what you have been up to. Avoid fights and misunderstanding now that you want the New Year to be smooth.

#Do not allow your boss to think you have been working less and chatting more
You work to be paid, so if 2015 the boss has been having that strange look on you, then please watch out. It is best you close your chats next year when you are at work or alternatively leave the smart phone at home. During working hours you can use the kabambe which will only allow you to receive and make calls.
Do not be surprised as a result, the boss may decide to give you a promotion. You will also come into a realization that 2015 you had been robbing the company your recommended working hours. You have been reaping where you did not sow, and do you want me to remind you that is a sin? Utilize your time well next year, since it could be your colleagues have also been complaining. Especially that workmate who is not in social media, you have been giving her a disturbing headache. Wink Wink.
#Immediately delete naughty videos and photos
You are in that high school group chat, chama members chat group or any other chat group. And you have realized there are some individuals who keep on sending videos and pictures which are not that decent. By the way, such people are too idle and they have subscribed to unpaid job of sending videos in your group.
Once you see those videos delete them. Maybe you have children who have an access to your mobile phone, and I am quite sure that you do not want them to set their eyes on neither of them. It costs you nothing to delete that crap, after all its just taking up your phone memory. Delete.

#Slow down on flirting
You do not want to be caught again smiling alone by your spouse right? Or even last time your child asked you “Dad why are you smiling alone?” it feels awkward I presume. Start deleting those contacts or preferably tell your friends that 2016 no more flirting.
Trust me many are occasions when people have considered you as a crazy one. You smile alone in a Matatu, in waiting a queue, in a lift and many other places. It could be also you once bursted in laughter while you were chatting in a public place. Hey! Stop that craziness.

#Stop taking an adventure on your partner’s phone
I am sure you do not want to develop a heart attack in 2016 or even develop other heart conditions. It is a mobile phone and not a simu ya jamii. Somebody might send a text message accidentally in that number. Please, if you have to use that phone, then call or receive the call and immediately return it.
If you want to know secrets you didn’t want to learn, again you can go on. But remember, the consequences will bring a bad impact on your relationship. I bet you can avoid this. Stay 5 kilometers away from that phone to avoid an explosion.
#Identify an appropriate time for chatting
Yes you can do this. And you will not suffer any disorder for not putting on your data connection all day long. In fact, you will be cutting down on your expenses unless you want Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore to earn more salary than his current millions. Have a predetermined time when you can reply to your text messages and especially the ones which are substantial.
There is need to evaluate your friends and you will come into a realization that, even some of them have nothing important to tell you. You can reply by saying, “thank you for checking on me, I will get to you later.” I don’t insinuate that you should ignore your friends, but if need be, please do.

Adding the above resolutions to your existing list, you will surely make 2016 an excellent one. Happy New Year.

TRADITIONAL TEACHERS

Heed to me you teachers. This time round I will not be gentle with you because there are certain elements about you that agitate me. I want to jog your mind that a teacher is a parent to the students. As you read my argument, get that reminder of being a parent into your perception. Teachers are not police to an extend of being rough on their own students. I do respect teachers because they are strong pillars in any country. That is why every teacher deserves applause.
It torments me when teachers cannot have a friendly relationship with their students. The parents at home don’t yell at their children day in day out. There are days when a parent will sit down and listen to his/her children and they also correct with love. That creates bonding between the parents and the children.
Esteemed teachers, that is what students expect from you. How hell on earth can you be too harsh to your students and anticipate them to pass in their examination? Maybe you will not want to agree with me, but trust me for once, too much of it instills fear in your very own students. A genuine smile from a teacher creates a warm atmosphere for learners. Howling at the top of your voice at students cannot help anything, this in return makes students not to be at ease with you.
When a student has a warm relationship with the teacher, outstanding performance in academics is guaranteed. Maybe you will not agree because you are that traditional teacher who walks in class with no nonsense looks. When the students see you they feel like vanishing in the thin air. You never see any substantial thing in that particular student. And oh! You have been calling him/her names. Sluggish and empty debe girl who doesn’t know why she is in school. Don’t be astonished those are words from a qualified teacher.
Just to pause a question to you dear mwalimu, who is to blame when a student fails in examination? Certainly you. You the teacher. But you call the student names when he/she fails forgetting that it is you who failed as a teacher. Accept your incapacity because a teacher is supposed to try all he/she can for a student to capture what you teach. If you realize there is a problem it is your duty to make a recommendation, maybe you could be dealing with a special child. And oh! Yes, you cannot run away with it that is why mwalimu you went to college. And am exceedingly convinced that your lecturer did not tell you it is only the cane which does magic.
It is important to make your own assessment to ensure that the content was well delivered and stop blaming your students. You cannot police your learners in return instilling fear and the same time you are expecting them to perform well. Teachers it is high time that you stopped giving student negative reinforcement. How can you tell your student that, you are good for nothing? Do ever ask yourself what you inculcate in the mind of that child?
Just ask yourself, why a student would run away from you when he/she meets you in the corridors? Probably your looks frighten. I thought a student should always want to be near his/her teacher. Imagine a situation where a teacher enters a class and in the process of teaching a student answers a question in a low voice. Then that traditional teacher asks, “Why the hell do you speak as if you did not take breakfast?” Suppose that student was Mike and in reality he did not take breakfast because his dad or mum is not able to put bread on table. Now just ask yourself, what humiliation would you have caused that student?
Teachers you are supposed to be parents to students and treat them just as you would treat your own children. Stop seeing the worthless side of your students because some of them come from nasty families where family values have been eroded. They want somebody who can believe in them and that person is you the teacher. There are students who come to school wounded in their hearts because of sorrowful conditions at home. To worsen the situation, teachers cause these children more depression and you keep on wondering why that student cannot perform well. I read an article written by my associate about Butere Girls which runs without rules and prefects. The girls in that school don’t need a teacher to monitor them because of the discipline that has been instilled in them. I have once heard that a school is as good as the head teacher, today I am saying, a class is as good as the class teacher.
I am of the intuition that, if a student has a good relationship with the teacher she will work hard to perform well the subject that teacher teaches. In school I loved my Geography teacher and every time I wanted to do self-study, I would find myself studying that subject. She was a lovable teacher who corrected us with love and whenever I read Geography notes, her voice could echo in my mind.
In developed countries parents and teachers do not cane children. Children are deprived of their privileges like being denied a chance to play. If a child is denied something that he/she loves she will not have any other option but to listen.
Teachers should adopt other ways of pushing and relating with their students. Example, a student making noise in class would be asked not go to for breaks and instead stay in class during that time and write a composition. Traditional teachers, you need to style up.

WIDESPREAD CHEATING IN KCSE 2015

EXAM LEAKAGE PICI traveled more than 500 kilometers to meet this professional lady teacher because I felt she needed my counsel. To begin with, I reminded her that she was a brilliant and an intelligent teacher who in addition uses social media as a platform to combat impunity in Kenya. I didn’t want to be judgmental before I understood her viewpoint on the whole issue. I knew it was my duty to remind her that for once she had tested my trust in her. I looked into her eyes, guilt and baffling mingled together. I then used the opportunity to let her know the reality that she was supposed to hear from me. I had to let her know that she had messed her niece by enabling her to access examination leakage. I maintain that our lengthy talk helped a situation.

But regardless of my effort I still depress. The examination leakage has left a bitter taste in my mouth. I disagree with every opinion analysts are trying to depict. And that is why the Cabinet Secretary of education is on the spot following widespread cheating in form four national examination this year.

I want to disagree with the opinion that teachers are to blame for the examination leakage. Analysts have recently said that, the massive spread of exams is as a result of face-off between the teachers and the government. It is for sure that their September salary has not been paid but it would be unrealistic to argue that it compelled them to leak the exam. I want to assert that KNEC has severally failed on its mandate even before.

I purport that this year’s examination leakage is of the highest order as compared to other years. Am yet to understand why KNEC has not asked for help from the cybercrime unit and yet the chairman of the house committee on education Mrs. Sabina Chege had raised the same concerns.

It is dispiriting that the Cabinet Secretary passed the rebuke on police officers who he believes they opened the exam papers and sent them through Whatsapp. He absolved his ministry from blame, sadly enough, he did not give an immediate solution on the same. And that is why am of the intuition the main source of exam leakage is the KNEC officials. They should expound to the Kenyan people how the examination leakage comes about.

Irritation lies heavily on the Kenyan corrupt officials and that is why I don’t find it convincing that the ministry of education is faultless. This is not the first time that the exam leakage is happening in our schools. More so, it is puzzling enough that those who are concerned have failed to curb it. KNEC alleged that cheating will be seized at the marking stage. This is a predicament I do not want to comprehend because it is a mere wordplay.

As I was talking to this lady teacher in question, I realized that exam leakage is all over and it’s no longer a strike to people. According to that lady teacher, it was an induce to her from the surroundings and therefore, guilt was washing her like an acid bath. Let our leaders be told that we are tired of their devil-may-care tendency. The country is sinking because of corruption and no one seems to heed about safeguarding the situation. The hornbills are too many and they are quick to steal before they check out.

The same students were affected by the strike and it is lamentable that their results will be faced with a lot of scrutiny. These students will be the leaders of tomorrow and I hesitate we shall have a contaminated generation of leaders.

Lastly, I said these words of emphasis to my friend lady teacher, “let the students struggle just as we did.”

#PERFORMANCE CONTRACT

teachers work

“Teachers I am not yet done with you.” That is the message the government is trying to mutely pass to Kenyan teachers. The ministry of education intends to implement new education regulation which will pin down the teacher who is already sick and tired of intimidation from the government.
The new regulation requires the teacher to sign a performance contract with his/her employer who is the Teacher Service Commission. The Cabinet Secretary is of the opinion that over 50% of the teachers countrywide are not working. That is a statement that surprises many teachers when they are going an extra mile to do what can be done for learners to pass the examination.
It is with deep sorrow that currently teachers have not received their September 2015 salary. The ministry of education should be reminded that teachers are already in “a performance contract” be in the know that it is only a teacher who has to prepare a series of professional documents for teaching before entering the classroom.
The schemes of work are prepared for the whole term which guides the teacher on the work to be covered on a particular period of time. In addition to that, a teacher prepares a daily lesson plan for each subject to be taught, which gives a step by step guide on how to deliver the content therein. It is also mandatory that the same teacher prepares lesson notes for each subject to be taught.
And to intensify the whole matter the teacher is supposed to keep a record of the work covered everyday and a progress record for each learner.
All the mentioned documents are inspected by the officials from the ministry of education when they visit the institution. After the official working hours the teacher is expected to sit down and prepare all aforementioned documents for the following day.
When the government is grumbling about the performance; we wonder if they have forgotten the huge numbers of students in classrooms. It is very unreasonable that a single teacher can handle 70-100 children in a class alone. To heighten the matter, the learning conditions are terrible, the learning resources are not available and the teacher is required to improvise and use locally available material as teaching aids.
Did the world know that teaching profession is one in many professions? And yes they are! Because, they, at one point become nurses to the pupils in class. When a child falls sick it is the duty of the teacher to attend to the child. Teachers are counselors. Parents have left their responsibility to teachers. The already overworked teacher is required to spare his/her time to offer guiding and counseling to the learners. Teachers are lawyers, preachers and even parents to the children that they teach. When parents stopped doing their responsibility we saw the outcome at Eldoret and recently in Nairobi where school going children were caught in a night club. That was direct effect of the long strike that took place and children became indiscipline. Teachers now are faced with a challenge to rectify such behaviours.
If the teacher is to be subjected to more performance contract, oh! Because they are already in a contract, it would be fair if it could be in conditions. The teacher to learner ratio should closely be looked into. And with that effectively dealt with, the teacher will be able to handle the learners well. It is important that the government ensure that learning materials and resources are available for both the teacher and the learner. The question still lingers why would the teacher still be subjected to prepare all the documents mentioned earlier? It would be prudent the poor teacher be left to have only the chalk and the pen.
It is an allowable effort that the Cabinet Secretary wants to streamline the education sector. But such efforts should not entirely be meant to intimidate the teachers who are already doing a commendable work. Such regulations should at least encounter various consultations. Let teachers breath they are already in a performance contract.