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September 20, 2018

We need another group of Kenyan firsts

It is a very cruel world. Reading the news in print or watching it on TV or hearing it on the radio can leave one wondering whether these are indeed the end times that most religions warn us about.

People are walking into churches and shooting worshipers making Christians angry with people who subscribe to other religions, unjustifiably in my opinion. Mothers are stabbing their children over a broken plastic bucket. Matatus are falling off cliffs leaving scores dead.

It’s not just in Kenya that things are thick. In Guinea, West Africa, ebola has emerged killing dozens and looks to spread to other parts of the continent. Boats are capsizing in Congo leaving hundreds dead. Its dire reading, listening or watching for anyone with a heart.

The thing is that life isn't just about the very worst there is. Quoting the famous desiderata, “Let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.”

There are many Kenyans doing a lot to inspire others. When there is a tragedy like the one of Baby Satrin Osinya who was shot by terrorists last weekend, Kenyans do their best to help.

When big issues like famine happen affecting millions, we are not averse to digging deeper to help our countrymen, especially with campaigns like Kenyans for Kenya.

One doesn't have to go out of their way to inspire us as a country either. There are Kenyans who have been inspiring us just by living their lives. These are our family members as well as national figures like Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, Oscar winning Lupita Nyong'o and Champions League winning Macdonald Mariga. They are the first Kenyans to show that we as a society can do the same things that others do at international standards.

They are not the only ones. Indianapolis colts linebacker Daniel Adongo, the first Kenyan in the US National Football League (NFL) is currently in the running to collect a Superbowl medal, one of the most coveted in world sport. This past week we also saw Steve Obbayi try and break a new barrier as he went to Nepal to climb Mount Everest.

It’s not just these high achievers who need to be celebrated for being the ‘first Kenyan’ in a field or where behaviour is concerned. You can too. You can decide to be in that group of Kenyans breaking the barriers. You don't have to climb high mountains to inspire Kenyans. Here are some suggestions;

 

 1) First leader to resign in shame

We are used to disaster and ineptitude in our authorities. When something goes wrong, no single leading figure has been known to raise their hands and say that the issue was beyond their skills and competencies.

We are more likely to hear, “I'd rather die than resign” from these leaders than “I apologise to the nation and I resign to allow those who can handle this to do so.”

If you are in a position of power and things are not working right in your department, you would do this country great service if you became the first Kenyan leader to break this “never resign” mold and resign honorably. Your country will thank you.

 

2) First man to stand up for monogamy

Being married is hard work at the best of times and those in it will likely tell the truth that they wouldn't want to go through the initial part of the marriage process again, especially as they get older.

Sadly, the fellows in Parliament decided that it is in order for a man to get a second (or even third or fourth) wife if he or she feels that this is the way to go. The first man to publicly support the ‘one man one wife stand’, is at risk of being berated in public but will be applauded in private.

He will go a long way to show that no one needs the aggravation of having to deal with two unhappy women. To make an effective argument, he should avoid basing it on African culture or any religion and just talk about reality.

 

Venue review: Marabou Lounge, Highwayy Mall, Mombasa Road

 

When a big football match in the English premier league is on, Nairobi usually comes to a standstill as folks follow proceedings from every corner of the city. This Saturday was no different as two teams fighting for the Barclays Premier League title, Chelsea and Arsenal, met at the former’s home,  Stamford Bridge, in London.

This columnist was invited to one of the new lounges – Marabou, to watch the match alongside other media personalities by our friends from Gillette, famous for their razors.

The Marabou is in the Highwayy Mall. I know the name of the mall may infuriate those who might have a thing for spellings. As I took the elevator to the fourth floor, a notice with some instructions caught my eye.

One of the instructions was that children and old people must be accompanied by an adult. That left me wondering who would be considered an old person. A teenager would consider someone in his forties old  while the same teenage fellow would be considered a child by a 60 year old.

At the entrance of the lounge, there was a pool table for those who love to show that they knew how to play one of Nairobi's most popular night sports.

The lounge itself is one large room which has been divided into several distinct areas that include a long counter to the right, a raised area and a little stage at the back.

There were seats all over the place of differing types including high bar seats and lounge seats which looked very comfortable. They were also very modern and of world class standards.

I made my way to the area which had been set aside for the sponsoring corporation. I looked up at the screens to watch the game which turned out to be a humiliating massacre for the north London team Arsenal.

The afflicted fans could at least look out of the window and watch the marabou storks that had made that part of the city so famous and no doubt given the lounge its name. Also in the background was Nyayo stadium where fans were streaming to watch the AFC Leopards match.

The beers were cold and they were retailing at Sh250 for those not in the secluded area where beer prices are a bit higher. The crowd which was following the game included a healthy mix of young upwardly mobile Nairobians of both sexes.

 

A quick recap of the venue 

Good

Convenient location, great décor, decent service, hip crowd, clean washrooms, disability friendly. 

Bad

Pricey, emergency exits not convincing. 

My verdict

The lounge is beautiful. If you have a few coins, it’s not a bad place to watch over Mombasa Road and its infamous marabou storks.

Poll of the day