#30days30posts: The Shift

The Great Tulana assembly happened every few quarter centuries and Naya was getting ready for her first one. As a Lieutenant in the Royal Tulan Defense Forces, the ceremonial dress was…elaborate. To say the least.

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Times like these, she missed the once carefree girl she had once been. She remembered running through the GreenDorms at the Cropping labs with Jaya. She and Jaya looked uncannily alike. Fortunately, or unfortunately, that’s where the similarity ended. Hedonaya was the benevolent dictator whereas Hijaya was the autonomous tyrant. Jaya was headstrong, passionate and had a very short fuse. Naya was very calm, more even tempered and deeply empathetic.

But with Jaya always gone, her temper was frayed at its very thin edges. She was tired. All the time. Jaya’s free spirit always had an uplifting effect on her mood. She was constantly down in the doldrums and her cadets were afraid of her. her. Sweet Naya who always had a kind word for the soldiers she led was turning into a monster.

She remembered the days before she got conscripted into RTDF. When she’d just found out Jaya was a shapeshifter. She was intrigued and then that gave way to fear. She knew what the High Council did to those who were different from them. They were terminated.

The Living Orb of Tulan was a rigid little stress ball somewhere in the universe where being different was frowned upon. For days, she and Jaya hid out together and tried to get the shifting under control together. Then they made the decision, together, to have Jaya “mysteriously disappear”. A few weeks later, when Naya had gone to the Cropping Labs where she was assigned, she noticed the geno-human pair looking at her strangely from the other side of the Central Walkway leading to the labs.

She paid it no mind until her friend Kat came to visit her in her quarters and told her they were looking for Jaya. She hadn’t been to her station in days and a termination crew had been seen sniffing around. To cover herself and of course, Jaya, Naya quickly applied to join the RTDF to escape the Cropping Labs. Their parents were long gone and all they had was their bond with each other.

Naya clipped her meagre medals just above her left breast and stared deeply into the mirror. Her reflection wavered a bit. So small was the movement, she might have missed it had she blinked.


#30days30posts Conversations about Religion

Back in my salad days, I was a very intellectual, facutal debater. Not this rambunctious girl you see before you, that rides a motorcyle, cuts her hair and mouths off to authority. I started an online discussion with a friend after he posted some questions about religion. 

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Would you like some proof? Read a letter/ discourse I had with a childhood friend about Genesis and Evolution and how the world was created:

Dear Andrew,
I have read your note with a lot of interest, I have a few suggestions but they are not final, that is, they are not the ultimate most correct and final answer but an attempt at providing an insight that may ease the disquiet in your heart. I am a Christian of no particular denomination, rather I prefer to commune with fellow Christians, not at pre-determined places or days but whenever I need to. I do keep the Sabbath Holy, in that, I do not engage in any sort of profit-making but take time out to enjoy creation and contemplate my existence. I take the time to find my purpose for being here on Earth and the best way of fulfilling that purpose in veneration to God.
Firstly, have you tried seeing the Bible as a unit, a holistic representation of the narration of the creation and existence of the world as we know it today, instead of breaking it down into the numerous books by individual writers? This would greatly aid you when interpreting the Bible. Remember it is God’s word, I understood this from Sunday school to mean that the different writers were inspired by the Man Himself to write the Great Book. So it’s like reading a book written by one person with numerous themes. What is the main purpose of writing about events past?
For your first question, I would like you to try a simple exercise; enumerate the creation process from start to finish with great care. Here is my attempt (Please do your own, no cheating)
1.God creates Day and Night; note here that God differentiates between Darkness and Light; for me, this is a symbolic separation of Good from evil. Summarily, we can see the preceding verses state that before this point in time “…the earth was without form and darkness was on the face of the deep…”
2.God creates Heaven and separates it from everything else.
3.God creates the Earth, proper, as well as reproducing plants.
4.God creates the Sun, Moon, and Stars; where the Sun helps us tell when it is daytime, the Moon helps us tell when it is night and the stars to indicate the changes in the seasons, and to light up the Earth. Christians revile all that is associated with darkness and aspire to the Light. Further, Jesus Christ is referred to as the “…Light and the Way…”
5.God creates the creatures that dwell in the seas and oceans.
6.God creates the creatures that roam the Earth and the first human beings, Adam and Eve.
7.God rested on the seventh day, he sanctified it and made it holy and later on in the book of Genesis instructed Adam to do the same on every seventh day.
So, finally to answer your first question, why did God create both male and female in chapter one yet in chapter two it says that man was created first and then woman came after when God realized that Adam needed a helper in Eden? I think that Chapter One is sort of like an executive summary then Chapter Two is a more detailed description of the whole creation process. Reference: Gen. Chap. 2 v.4. This verse actually states that this is a history, that is, a retelling of what has already passed.
For your second question, as to how the plants created on day 3 survived without light up until day 4 without the sun; I answer your question with a couple of questions, were these plants that were created, made in a state when they were already mature or were they still seeds in the soil? How long does it take for the average plant to germinate? How long before the shoot turns upward in search for the light? Do all plants photosynthesize? Do all plants require light for photosynthesis?

Remember from v 16 onwards, the Sun and Moon were created to help differentiate between day and night; so there was light in the form of day and the Sun was created to help us differentiate between day and night, therefore, how do you think those plants survived?
On the other hand, a quagmire is created and I understand your predicament in question two. I will pose some more questions at this juncture; Who is God? How do you view Him? What are His capabilities? Has He any limits? Does He really exist? What is God’s nature?
Reference: http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1002.htm; this is a site that lists the greatest works of St. Thomas Aquinas- The 5 Ways of proving the Existence of God; it may be too philosophical but give it a shot. Unto my last point, have you realized that the great Creator may have some aspects of His Nature that are divinely mysterious and those that are divine revelations?
For your third question, the light mentioned on Day One was actually in reference to the separation into Day and Night while that referred to in Day Four was the creation of the heavenly bodies that aided in a further distinction between day and night.
For your fourth question, actually there’s more than one question-someone has a problem with semantics?! I will again answer you with more questions, What is the Sabbath? What did God signify by setting this day aside in the manner that He did? How is human nature different from God’s nature? This should help you answer why we have a rest day and why God rested yet he did not need to. As to why we worship on Sunday instead of on the Sabbath, How sure are you that Sunday is not the Sabbath? How sure are you that it is? How sure are you that Monday is not the Sabbath?
Reference: http://www.sabbathtruth.com/history/History _of_the_Sabbath.pdf with extra emphasis on page 7, the rest of the document just gives a good background on the evolution of the Sabbath over time.
For your fifth question, as to how Noah got all those creatures onto the Ark, blah, blah, blah. Reference: Gen. Chap. 7 v 2 Noah was told the particular number and type of animal to take. How they were able not to hunt each other on the Ark, is anyone’s guess- Did Noah have a system? Did he have a way with animals, the way some of us have a way with plants? Was it the grace of God that settled on the boat and made everything alright?

Do you believe in evolution? Do you think the theory of evolution can be used in tandem with the Word of God to explain our existence and in fact, the existence of everything around us? If you believe this, do you think the flood was post or pre- evolution, bearing in mind that evolution did not occur at one point in time but it was gradual and occurred at different times for different species of flora and fauna and of course for human beings?
I have to think bout the rest and read the bible a bit more but surely this helps….
Much Love,

#30days30posts: A Liet Wan Special- Fire Burn Dem

Liet Wan was on fire. Not literally; but it had caught fire in July 2005. Literally.

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No. This time, Liet Wan was ablaze and under siege from a gonorrhea epidemic. It had all started when Ras Joh (the university student formerly known as Joe the Barbarian) the mkokoteni  (hand-cart) pusher had bounded up the ramshackle steps, and barrelled, into the tiny dispensary on the edge of Liet Wan. Ras was a peace loving irie man, so this passionate behaviour was rather uncharacteristic of him. Also they say vegetarian, dreadlock rastas are as meek as lambs.

Soon thereafter, Wandege was heard caterwauling from the communal toilet at their plot 10. It wasn’t a secret that Ras Joh’s erstwhile wife was now entertaining their next door neighbour but still occasionally the clutches of the past were never truly forgotten. Her little walk and tumble down memory lane with Ras had now landed both men and their alternate partners in literal hot pepper soup.

Ras had all the damsels in the Village all hot and bothered too. What self respecting, village beauty wouldn’t be drawn to his muscled bod and boyish good looks and charm, like moths to a flame? You know you’re going to get burned but you head in that direction anyway. Pretty soon, a queue snaked its way right out of the dispensary and almost interfered with the queue at the Posho Mill where Beauty worked.

Pamela, Omondi and Beauty were left mouths agape as they watched some of the village hunnies and hussies crab walk all around Liet Wan. All manner of girls in varying degrees of discomfort walked up to Pamela’s mama mboga stand to request for either cabbage juice, fresh cranberry juice or natural yoghurt. Poor lasses thought they just had chlamydia. Now we know who was awake in Know your Body class. Omondi watched in wonder as Ras continued with life as usual. As if he hadn’t casually lit a match and thrown it into a well of kerosene. Now Omondi would have to prey on girls from another settlement.

Beauty was just bemused by the obtuseness of people. Like you really couldn’t get a rubber to use in the heat of the moment. Some people’s parents should have visited a Manny Dopes clinic before they decided to have offspring. She sighed and continued with her back grinding work. She didn’t want to cross the supervisor’s path. Not today.

#30days30posts: The Promise

Tears flowed freely down his cheeks. The sound of damp earth hitting the cheap coffin in the hole was too much for him to bear and then he remembered those lines by John Donne.

Holy Sonnets: Death, be not proud
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.
There was a promise. He would see her again. He hopes it’s going to be soon. He hung his head in shame, shoulders slumped; X shuffled away and walked along the bridge heading towards town. He walked perilously close to the rail and watched the cars zooming past below him.
What would happen if he just “slipped”? He’d surely die and all his problems would be over; then he remembered his own promise.

A #30days30posts SweatShop Chronicles Special : Calling KK

He absently kicked a small stone off his path as he walked absent-mindedly, along Mama Ngina Drive. Hassan had gone off to Malindi on one of Mahamri’s trucks. He was being groomed to take over the family haulage business in future, but for now, Hassan was a turn boy. His Uncle Mahamri had a harem of daughters but no son. All his wives had failed to bear him a suitable heir. It was therefore up to Hassan, a second born son from the third wife of his father (Sheikh Mahmoud), to take over Mahamri’s long distance transport business.

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KK had fled Nairobi, after a run in with one of mum’s goons when Uncle Dan decided to leave the powder business to his right hand man, Ngure and pursue the business of getting elephant and rhino bits to impotent old men in the Far, Far East. Poaching was big business but so was the sale of the precious commodity snatched from the hapless creatures that roamed God’s green earth. Now Ngure was a different boss altogether; where Uncle Dan was suave, sophisticated, Ngure was about as smooth as a piece of high quality sandpaper.

He set them tough, unattainable targets and beat them like one of the djembe drums that KK had read about in the old scraps of books he found in mum’s kitchen; that Roselita used to light the jiko with early in the morning.

Before Nairobi, KK had lived in Eldoret with his lovely, sweet mum who worked herself to the bone to make sure he had it better than she ever could have. She was determined that he would soar like an eagle in life while she scratched and pecked on the surface below to make sure he ate and lived comfortably enough. This picture of determination and grit soon shattered into shards like a brittle mirror, once they encountered the local area chief, Kipambii. Kipambii’s lascivious gaze soon settled upon his mother’s girlish figure and angelic smile and before long, KK found himself on the streets, enjoying full board accommodation in alleyways and corrupt cul-de-sacs all over the town. Eventually, he had to leave Eldoret and seek greener pasture in the city in the sun, not knowing the grass is always greener where you water it.

And now, here he was, in the coastal city of Mombasa. A week ago, he’d played football on the beach with Hassan and the others as Anita and Maryam watched. Then the girls just vanished into thin air. They had been too preoccupied with the ball to notice but later, Mama Israel a mhogo seller had told them the girls got into a strange dark coloured SUV that drove just before their game ended.

“Dig!”. That bark shook KK out of his reverie and he scrambled to protect himself from the subsequent blows the man with the lightning bolt shaped scar on his right cheek was about to rain down on him. With his hands shielding his face, KK peeped at his friend Hassan. His poor, poor friend was dying of dehydration. His eyes had sunk into his sockets and his dry lips were cracked and bleeding. His once verdant and luxurious locks were matted and dry and his feet were almost paper white.

What had he dragged his friends into?

This is the fourth post in the SweatShop Chronicles. Click on the links below to read the other posts in chronological order:

1.Sweatshop Chronicles: The First time we worked

2.Sweatshop Chronicles: Work until you’re dead

3.Sweatshop Chronicles: Maryam

#30days30posts: What my motorcycle accident taught me

On Wednesday night 25th May 2016, I was involved in a hit and run accident on my ride home after watching a boxing documentary, The Last Fight  at  Pawa254‘s Mageuzi Theatre. I’d just come round the T-mall Roundabout, from Mbagathi Rd on my way to join Langata Rd, when I noticed a white saloon car moving too fast from the Nairobi West side as he approached the very roundabout I was on. There were two cars behind me and a cab in front of me, heading in the same direction I was. As I was on the roundabout already, stopping was simply not a safe option. What did I do?

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I throttled up and moved ahead and off centre of the car in front of me and rescued my body from the approaching maniacal driver. Before I could blink, he tapped my bike fender and off I went. It may look and sound like nothing but on a bike, it feels like you got hit by a construction lorry full of sand.

There’s some paint transfer on my rear left indicator; I’ve also got a broken front right indicator, scratches to my pipe and fairings, and broken right foot peg. As to my injuries, I have a sore wrist and several bruises along the right side of my body. I count myself lucky because I was wearing full gear, yaani ATGATT (All The Gear All The Time).

My Scorpion EXO 1000 helmet has scratches on the visor and chipped paint, my Alpinestars leather jacket is fairly intact (if not too faded from daily use for the past two years ;)), my Alpinestars Kerry kevlar jeans are intact too and so are my TCX riding shoes. My Alpinestars gloves are OK save for a small perforation on the right palm. All this gear will be cleaned and worn the next time I get on the bike after my wrist heals, best believe.

I learned quite a lot from this experience and the list below is by no means exhaustive, but let me share my lessons, it might help someone out there.

  1. Don’t Panic– Once you notice the danger/ hazard, quick thinking usually saves the day. I noticed the car was moving too fast and was aware there were two cars behind me and one in front of me. What did I do? I throttled to move a little bit faster and moved off to one side to ensure I wouldn’t rear end the car in front of me or become a bike sandwich.
  2. Take a moment– After impact and once on the ground, I took a moment to assess myself. This is more important than catching who hit you. If the driver is human, he will hang around and check if you’re OK. If otherwise, your safety and health status matter more than anything else.
  3. Let People help you (within reason)– I’m not saying rely on total strangers like we relied on Jesus to save us from our sins. A couple of  bodaboda  riders came up to me, helped me lift the bike and escorted me to the side of the road. They even did a random T-CLOCs check and deemed the bike rideable. I obviously couldn’t lift the bike even if I wanted to. My wrist was throbbing; so I fashioned a sling from a scarf and got someone to tie it for me.
  4. Ask for help- I reached out to my riding friends in the area and within minutes, there was someone to ride my bike to safety and I was on my way to hospital for a check.
  5. Go to hospital- Get checked out and get a clean bill of health then you can report the accident to the authorities and notify your insurer. Your health and safety are all that matters now. 

I am deeply indebted to the Nairobi Riding community for the way they responded to my call for help and for all their assistance through out the whole night and the days after. I live to ride another day but spare a thought for those riders who may not.

#rideonbrothers #ridesafe #weliveinourprotection #ATGATT

#30days30posts: Hedonaya of Tulan





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Naya, slowly rose up, pushed through from the balls of her feet to her thighs, and stood up staff-straight just inside the boundary marked by the luminous ticker tape, a breath away from a crowd that was slowly beginning to gather on that dark and dreary July morning.

She was getting sloppy. Naya wasn’t sure if she’d be able to cover the tactless tracks this time. The other crime scenes had been easier to deal with but now Jaya didn’t give her much wiggle room. “She is just being sloppy.”  Naya thought with silent finality.

Just thinking her twin’s name transported her back to a time when life was simpler for Lt. Hedonaya Jiwena of the First Platoon of the Royal Tulan Defense Forces. Hedonaya and Hijaya were born in the eastern quadrant of the Living Orb of Tulan. The twins had hurriedly tumbled out of their mother one after the other and spent their childhood frenetically playing in the Grower’s Section of the great Orb. Their parents were assigned to the Cropping labs, where most of Tulan’s food came from.

Naya and Jaya were 12 when it first happened. Jaya morphed so quickly, Naya almost missed it. She was what the Old One called an animagool. She took the form of any creature- mythical or real, at will. For the next few years of their lives, Jaya played tricks and had caused so much mischief, she was scheduled to be terminated (a term used when the inhabitants of Tulan had to be disposed of to make way for newer, fresher genetically engineered beings). Somehow, and with Naya’s help of course, Jaya escaped her fate. She’s been on the run since.

Naya blinked rapidly in anger and thought about how she was used to covering for her twin since her escape. At the time, they acted out of self preservation, but now almost 2 years had passed as Jaya continuously flouted Tulan’s rigid rules and Naya was bone- weary from having to cover up for her. Like a glitch, Jaya spent more time in animagool form and this had messed with her pseudo-human side. Naya honestly struggled to keep up with her. No one was there to guide her and she definitely wasn’t going to be the idiot Tulana who asked the Old One how to deal with an animagool. The Sentient would be on to her in the blink of an eye and Jaya would be found and finally terminated. Naya’s conscience prickled whenever she begun to desire a life without Jaya’s haphazard presence but she pressed on to other more constructive thoughts.

Naya looked at the scene before her with disgust. Limbs strewn across the Central Road, blood and body parts viscerally mixed up. All in all, she counted 3 pseudo humans and dozens of geno humans  dead in the mess. Jaya had obviously not acted alone.

“I wonder how many they were this time?”, Naya thought.