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Arich's Contemplations

Exercising my civic right by writing my opinion

David Ouma Ocheing is now seeing which side of his bread is buttered.

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Ochieng with Keriako Tobiko

David denied knowing Chris Musando before his death but took links to his death serious! Yet had not been named among the foolish idiots for interrogation nor had he recorded a statement to the police-subject to that grave accusation. Again there were no surprises in court because the same people who ‘voted wisely’ for 6 ODM candidates implying they were wise, were fools and idiots who subscribed themselves to a cult group called ‘Raila-ism’ according to David Ouma Ochieng and some old guy who was mostly referred to as Leopard or rather ‘Kwach’. When you watched David speak about the people’s president, then you must have wondered whether the baboon generation(jokabimbe) were in Ugenya! This tragicomedy was interesting for viewing! These idiots kept on messing and messing with their reckless statements and accusations towards President Raila and Senator James Orengo both inside the court and outside the court. In my view, they were airing MDG underwear out in the open like ‘Dogs’ eating each other! I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry watching them make one bungle after another! Sometimes your enemy looks so pathetic you feel like interrupting them while they are making a mistake. They were giving bucketful … mistake after a mistake, I wanted to scream stopppp! Who does PR for these fools … I forget we are the fools and they are geniuses! I beg your pardon! I even noticed that my dear ‘sweetheart’ Tecline Madara and her other members of MDG online bandwagon had so much egg on their faces in the last sessions of this particular hearing. They were calmly watching this one from the sidelines with their ‘signature mineral water’ and allowing their master and his minions to hang themselves with the rope they so readily put around their own necks! As my grandmother would have said, ‘ber koth ochue nono dak wang’eyo ni ot chwer’! Translated it means, “it’s great that it rained else we would not have known which grass thatched huts were leaking”! Ugenya is ODM!

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David Ouma Ochieng’s links to Chris Musando’s death leaves too many unanswered questions.

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May I add some quick notes…

While my sympathies lie with the MDG even though David Ouma Ochieng doesn’t tickle my fancy, my comments should be seen in light of constructive criticism. There is no doubt though that the resources Ochieng’ used in 2017 election may also have their own story to tell. The real question though is going to be whether he is indeed a Jubilee mole and this can be answered by my 3years old daughter together with his 4months old brother that he is indeed a Jubilee project if not a mole or mice as he cited in court. Personally I think he was rejected by electorates and needs to find another job too! I wouldn’t be surprised if Uhuru offered him one too! His links to Chris Musando’s death also leave too many unanswered questions! Ugenya is also going to be interesting. I have seen some claiming that in case of a by-election, it will be Raila versus Uhuru which I somehow agree with. Certainly the fact that the ODM remains probably the biggest crowd puller in Ugenya without spending any money and can beat any of the parties who have to spend massive amounts of money is interesting. The sources of David Ochieng’s funding will need to become subject to debate because it is imperative that the public know which candidate is owned by which either Jubilee or NASA

 

 

No pretense-I don’t understand this Art

I have zero knowledge on fine art, but I think that only makes me even more qualified to tell you about this piece of crap that hangs at the reception of the noble corporation  which I visited not long ago in my  City-Kisumu

It is a large and ‘Kamba’ colored (I don’t know where got that but I grew up knowing that yellow is for Kambas ) and it occupies a prominent position on the wall behind the Receptionist’s desk where you would think a pleasant decorative item would be more appropriately located. Instead, however, we have this, a thoroughly repugnant painting, as repulsive as it is bewildering.

Abstract art does not fool anyone except art scholars and the artists themselves but the rest of us know that it is bullshit. The rest of us know that there is a very scanty difference between the painting described as “a vivid exposition of vital figures posed in provocative postures which allude to our hardworking spirit as Africans”

So we really don’t always see a lot of sense from these things and can ignore them. They only offend us when we hear of how much they cost, then they get really sickening to think that thousands were paid for this clumsy drawing with no sense or reason?

This painting is lacking creativity that if I were to find out what it costs it would not just hurt my spirit, it would stab hard into my soul and drain out all my faith and from that day on I will be dead inside.I would hate artists likesCollins Thinktank Okello

Here is the painting.

drawing

I mean, what the fuck, right?

It makes no sense. Okay, when I grab at the corners of my head and squeeze hard and try to find a way of figuring out what is going on, the most I can come up with is that some modern woman is using a traditional mortar and pestle in wrong way with the head of the pestle facing up.

But that is not the only thing I can notice, the woman in this art piece seems to be just posing but not doing the actual job. I don’t need to go into further detail. You get the point. I think this painting is stupid.

I’m not one of those people who dismiss everything they don’t understand as stupid. Usually, I can appreciate that just because I don’t get the joke, that doesn’t mean the joke is not funny. Just because I don’t get the point that doesn’t mean no point exists. But usually, I need to at least see that some effort went into creating the thing I don’t understand. However, look at this shit. The guy can’t even bring the message in his art piece. No modern woman would do such job with her ‘expensive’ jewelry-look at her necklace. What about her expensive Derra  (I doubt this spelling) dress?

NASA coalition is not based on any ideology

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I googled NASA and this pictured appeared

NASA is a loose coalition of Kenya’s political parties which seeks to win the position of presidency come 2017.  Its structural political platform comprises six political parties, some expired leaders, and elements from the NGO world, but devoid of a policy alternative except to say they want to see Jubilee out of power.
As for the alliance itself, it is not a new outfit because many of the leaders save for Raila Odinga are well known for not having any significant and countrywide or even regional grassroots following, or active dynamism to drive up voter enthusiasm, and therefore will be easy to be handled and neutralized. In addition, the NASA coalition is still struggling to articulate and demonstrate what its centerpiece entails, and it is difficult to determine who among them will emerge as the victor in this game of chicken.
In my view, NASA is a convergence of convenience because it is not based on any ideology, principles or common belief, but founded on the ambition to replace Jubilee. Due to large egos it is almost certain that if Raila, Kalonzo or indeed Wetangula doesn’t get its leadership, they will disrupt it at both the national,County and constituency levels. Already Mudavadi has owned it, and clearly Wetangula will be forced out to Jubilee where he naturally belongs. With western  community as their possible donor it appears that the main motive of most leaders in the alliance is to tap into the money coming from the donors. Already, the alliance members have been vacillating from extreme to extreme, and their pendulum is swinging so fast that they leave their supporters and admirers confused. A month Wetangula launched his Presidential bid it appears that it has been consigned to the dung heaps as no one in CORD refers to it anyway.
Meanwhile, the respective entities in the alliance are not doing much by way of active political mobilization on the ground to gain electoral strength which is critical for victory however modest. Some opposition elements who were dead politically are gaining from the proposed Coalition. The consequence of this NASA thing is that individual parliamentary, County, Gubernatorial and Ward aspirants ascribing to  it will be left on their own to face the Jubilee machinery and the result is almost certain, a decisive victory for the later especially considering its countrywide achievement on policy implementation that is beginning to transform the lives of the majority of Kenyans in significant ways. The Jubilee under President Uhuru Kenyatta practices a non-zero-sum politics, where cooperation is crucial and consensus is critical, and compassion and empathy are considered civic virtues.
NASA is more like elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, zebras, water hogs, hyenas, lions, crocodiles, snakes, monkeys and frogs emerging from bushes and converging on a muddy drying stream in search of water. Therefore, the momentum is already on and president Uhuru will as a matter of fact sail to victory with a convincing majority across the country come 2017. This is the right time to hand a decisive defeat to this bunch of quislings.

Dear Journalism Graduates, Calm Down, You’re Not Yet Journalists 

I am in a way, writing this letter to all young Journalists, as well as to myself. Consider this a note from this dear writer.

It amazes me whenever I find young Journalist who’ve just graduated from University moving around with a sense of entitlement. They feel they ought to join a company and immediately get bestowed with the title of “Editor”, “Editorial Manager”, or “Beaurue Chief.” Many are hungrier for titles than they are for skills. Many of them have not yet done the real work of Journalist. All they have to show are their degrees earned after four years of rote memorisation.

I want to say it with a sting that; “Just because you graduated with a Journalism Degree, doesn’t make you a Journalist.” You don’t become a Journalist by going through the structured world of University.

I was at an event a few months back when someone asked for Journalists to stand up and be part of a certain project. A few young Journalism students who are awaiting graduation were the first to stand up and offer to lead the project. I was happy for their confidence and self-belief, yet another part of me wanted to cut their bluff and make it clear to them how they were not yet Journalists.

Many young Journalist constantly complain that no company is willing to take them on even after they presented their Resumes. Those who are lucky to get jobs are annoyed when they are sent down to work as Field Reporters. Some assume that they should simply land in an organization and immediately be given titles such as; “Managing Editor” Not to say that young Journalists don’t deserve these titles, but they must work for them and the surest way to do this is to work from the bottom-up.

So for the sake of young Journalists who have graduated or are about to graduate, I will offer my tips, and gentle advice. Consider me as an elder brother trying to clear your minds of all the illusions.

1.Your lecturers were not Journalist so most of their lectures were detached from reality

One of the biggest failures of our education system is the fact that people who have never done things are the ones trying to teach people to do things. Until I had started practicing Journalism, I vowed never to write a single word about Journalism.I am the guy who loves to learn based on the realities on the ground. So everything I advocate for, must be practical. Why then do we have people who have never started a business or managed one, lecturing students in business administration or entrepreneurship? Why do we have people who have never practiced as Journalists being responsible for producing the future Journalists of the country? Would you want to have a home dog lecturing a puppy on the laws of hunting in the wild? So to you dear young graduate, yes you learnt the basic principles of Journalism graduated with that degree, but that doesn’t make you a Journalist. Until you’ve worked 10,000 hours in the field, only then should you claim to be one.

2.Contrary to popular opinion, Journalism graduates are not in short supply, and the jobs are scarce

Many people joined Journalism Schools under the false hopes that the jobs were a sure deal. They were humbled the moment they completed their last paper to find out that there were more graduates than jobs. Secondly, you are no special flake. There are more Journalists out in the real world, most of them with Second-class upper degrees as you. So what makes you think that you should have the job instead of them? Fight for your place.

3. You must work out from Scratch

It is once in a while that you find examples where a Journalism graduate gets a job and is immediately made leader. Instead, you are going to have to work your way up from the ground. You will have to join the field Reporters and get yourself dirty and taste teargas(yes our police oflate have perfected the art of being brutal to journos) accumulating real skills. Sometimes, you will keep questioning why you had to suffer with that Journalism English. One advise, don’t let that discourage you. That’s just a furnace to harden and anneal you as a Journalist. So take heart. Build those practical skills, and become a good Journalist.

4. Your Passion Is More Important Than Anything

You may get a job that pays you well, but all that is just a side effect. The most important thing for a young Journalist is passion. Passion is the garden for persistence and persistence is the nutrient for the people who eventually win. There are going to be many times as a young Journalist when you will harbor thoughts of quitting. But your passion will be the one voice that will convince you to hang in there. Make sure you really love this path. Because if you don’t, when it gets hard, you will definitely drop off, especially when you may have to work longer hours than your friends.

5. The Soft Skills May Actually Matter More Than the Hard Ones

Networking skills, negotiation skills, marketing skills, presentation skills, communication skills, writing skills and above all, emotional intelligence matter more than anything you were taught at University. You will find that emotional intelligence is handier at a workplace than your IQ. Kindly build these skills; they will get you moving faster than your counterparts.

6. Self-Awareness Matters More Than Anything In The Field

Please and please, this is the most important of them all. “Know yourself” said Socrates. Just because everyone is doing something at work doesn’t imply you too, should do the same. Know yourself. Leverage your strengths. It is of no use becoming a fish trying to climb a tree that will be preparing your life for regret and misery. Are you a fish or you’re a monkey? Don’t focus on your weakness; everyone is already playing that role for you. Your only responsibility is to focus on your strengths.

7. You are a liability to many employers

Even though you think you are an asset to the employers, many of them view young graduates as liabilities. Many of them know that by giving you a job, they will also take two more years investing money in training you on things that Universities were supposed to teach you but didn’t. The things that matter in the workplace were not actually taught to you. Nobody taught you how to prioritize at work, which meetings to attend and which ones to cancel. Nobody teaches a Journalism student the concepts of lean management. I have not seen it happen in any leading Kenyan University.

8. Prepare to Learn Much As Fast As Possible

The workplace is not a University, so prepare your brain for another journey of learning on the job. And you must learn as fast as possible. Your boss doesn’t want to teach you the same thing more than two times. They want to show it to you once and be expected to do it excellently the next time. This is a challenge for young journalists, but you must have the resilience and be a constant learning machine.

9. Be Prepared To Cry Sometimes on Your Own and Develop A Thick Skin

Work can be challenging. And if it is not challenging, then you are not growing, kindly tender in your resignation and look elsewhere. If you never doubt yourself constantly, if you never contemplate quitting in those first days, rest assured you are not growing. But if the reverse happens, then be happy, you are in the right place, develop that thick skin. In the beginning days as a young Journalist, the work-life balance will be more of a myth.

10. Don’t Lose Sight of the Big Picture

I think this is the most important thing for every young Journalism graduate. Don’t lose your imagination. Don’t let the system to eat you up. Keep those big dreams, keep those ideals. Don’t let the older minds to poison you. Don’t conform. Keep that little rebel alive. Above all, don’t let the short-term blind you to the long term. Remember, you are working in the background to build those highlights that everyone glosses over when they think of a Journalist.

And in case you want to always keep in touch, we can always touch base over a drink or two. And share more learnings. Even I, after these many months, I am still learning. Every day is a humbling experience for me. The more I know, the more I realize that I know nothing. One last thing, you may always feel like you are the dumbest person in the room. But you’re not, even the older Journalists are more confused than you are, and have their own doubts. Those thoughts are normal.

I sign out….
Adopted from Ian Ortega’s letter to Engineers

Jubilee is corrupt…yes but ODM has evolved into an extremist antidemocratic party

Most commentary on politics in Africa tends to revolve around the analysis of the actions and motivations of incumbents in power. A narrative has consolidated: those in power in Africa seek power for selfish motives. Public service is never a part of their calculus. This is not an entirely wrong analysis. But it is an overly simplistic one. Public and private interests are not always mutually exclusive. The pursuit of private interests often forces politicians to articulate public objectives.

However, the narrative against incumbents in Africa has led to a fatal error: anyone fighting an entrenched government is presented as seeking to advance democracy, accountability and human rights. African opposition politicians, journalists, “civil society” activists have learnt how to exploit the prejudices against incumbent leaders to position themselves – in the eyes of the international (actually read Western) media as fighting dictatorship, corruption, and impunity.

If there is a gross misrepresentation of Africa, this is it. Because for the opposition on our continent, their motivations are not analyzed but analogized, their claims are not scrutinized but assumed to be sincere, their democratic credentials are not questioned but taken for granted. Thus, everyone who rises up to challenge power claims to be fighting for democracy, defending human rights and opposing corruption and the world buys the claims at face value.

The tendency to equate opposition to an incumbent government to a struggle for democracy (as opposed to a struggle for power) has led to many disasters as we can see in Libya, Yemen, and Syria. In the case of Libya, we see what these “democrats” have done to that country. Indeed, the lesson from history is that power has very specific dynamics that tend to reproduce similar actions from those who hold it.

It should be obvious from any study of history that all too often successful rebels tend to replicate the ills they denounced in their predecessors. The best illustration of this inherent contradiction of power is George Orwell’s `Animal Farm’ and Arthur Koestler’s great novel, `Darkness at Noon’.

All too often opposition movements in most of Africa are not fundamentally dissimilar to incumbents they fight. This conclusion should be obvious for it only goes to underline the fact that those in power and those outside of it come from the same society. Therefore their actions and behavior to a large degree reflect societal dynamics than the character of an individual leader or political party.

The best example is the ODM party in KENYA. Its leaders and supporters have placed themselves on a high moral pedestal claiming they are fighting for freedom, democracy, and accountability. But does ODM represent a democratic alternative to JUBILEE? We can examine the behavior of ODM leaders and followers to establish the party’s democratic credentials.

For the record, ODM has many leaders of good standing. People like Kidero Evans, Gumbo,Ababu Namwamba,David Ouma Ochieng and Silvance Osele etc. appear to me to be democratic minded. However an extremely angry and intolerant faction led by Jakoyo Midiwo has come to dominate the party. Raila himself, as he tenaciously clings onto the leadership of ODM is blind to how similar to President Uhuru he is.

For this loud, angry,and intolerant dominant section of ODM leaders and activists, everyone who supports Jubilee does so – not out of honest difference of opinion – but out of a selfish desire for material enrichment. Anyone who disagrees with them, however mildly, is an enemy of Kenya. Anyone who expresses anything, however small, that shows Uhuru and Jubilee to have achieved anything, that person has been bribed, and supports corruption of their party and its god, Raila Odinga, is sacrilege.

Thus just as Jubilee has consolidated a personality cult around Uhuru,ODM has consolidated a messiah cult around Raila. And just like Uhuru is the only candidate Jubilee fields for the presidency, Raila is the only candidate ODM fields for the presidency in spite of losing elections in a row. It is possible; therefore, that what we are seeing is not the behavior of either individuals (Uhuru or Raila ) but a much broader problem deeply rooted in our agrarian society. For the Jubilee, only Uhuru can rule Kenya. For ODM, only Raila can challenge Uhuru in an election.

Whenever there is any criticism of ODM, however mild it may be, it’s fanatical supporters flood social media like a swarm of bees and virulently attack, accuse, insult, and verbally terrorize any dissenter. This is perhaps the most extremist and intolerant party in our history. ODM is not just undemocratic. The party is actually an extremist anti democracy group. One is either with them or against them. They do not accept the legitimacy of any opinion contrary to their own. This is even worse because unlike the Jubilee which has serious policy ideas, ODM is bereft of any serious policy proposal except populist slogans.

But this should also lead us to ask another question. Right now ODM possess the power of social media where they are always keen to viciously attack, hurl insults, and make false accusations at anyone who disagrees with them. They have actually won a lot of space on social media through verbal terrorism. And one wonders what they would do to their opponents and critics if they also controlled the state’s instruments coercion and repression.

The point here is simple but fundamental. ODM cannot represent a democratic alternative to Jubilee because the party is by the very nature of its modus operandi an antidemocratic force. Its civil and democratic minded leaders have been silenced and sidelined. Raila himself, who was a moderate with strong democratic convictions, has only retained his leadership of the party by appealing to the passions of its most extremist radicals and by pandering to their whims.

This is a moment for Kenyans genuinely committed to a liberal democratic future to pause and reflect. Like the people of Ivory Coast who embraced Laurent Gbagbo, a politician who had been in the trenches of opposition politics for many years, Kenyans may one day wake up to a very rude awakening when Raila is president and they realize that he is not any different from those he has fought with fanatical zeal. The danger is not in Raila the man (I find him tolerant and accommodating). It is in the social forces that have rallied around him……the Jakoyos,Mbadis,Mbokos and Johos of this country.

By Geoffrey Arich-adopted from Andrew Mwenda

ODM’s Electoral body should get their way and nip Hon.Ochieng’s hopes in the bud

Usually, the political spanner gets thrown at ODM’s Raila all the time. I now know why Jesus was crucified. The task of a prophet or savior is difficult to execute, especially when those who need redemption are unconscious. But this Party has something unique. The quality of minds that runs this Party is indeed extra-ordinary. Now that ODM has to deal first with the Jubilee moles and open doors for ODM moles to join them.Why would they keep silent about moles in their strong-holds, even in the face of hostility? In Ugenya Constituency, ODM should not allow Hon.Ochieng David to run on the principle that he will be defeated and mess party’s strength in the region.

Somehow, the ODM’s appendage,i.e the party Electoral body should get their way and nip Ochieng’s prospects in the bud in his desperate bid to popularize Jubilee in Ugenya. ODM now must revise the interests of Mr.Ochieng David

The most interesting twist of affairs will be witnessing whether ODM will support the candidature of Hon.Ochieng now that we know(as Ugenya voters) that he is Jubilee’s secrect operatives.

Police is the loose connection in most Murder cases in Kenya

If you follow major murder cases in Kenya you will find that the loose connection is the Police. In fact, all murder cases and grave capital offences are nearly impossible to effectively prosecute because of weak investigative process and/or direct interference ty the Police. The state is unable to provide credible evidence against criminals in Kenya. Most of the cases that are “successfully” deallt with, are those which are meant for PR on favour of the government like the prosecution of the ivory smuggler.

Those that arise from stepping on the foot of who and who is solved through a wired elimination mechanism with I dont know who. I can conclude that nearly 80% of Prisoners in detention all over the country are victims of shoddy Police investigations. It is the price that we have all had to pay for our corrupt state, which makes due diligence impossible to comply with….and subsequently dealing a body blow to the rule of law.

The business of being ‘writeprenuer’

Yesterday I bumped into an old friend of mine from Nyangoma Boys School, and I must say it was a pleasant surprise until he asked me what I do for a living.I told him I am a writer and he said ‘that one I already know but what do you really do?’ And again I said I am a writer.

“Is that even a job, he asked? I replied no, it’s not. It’s an obsession I earn money from so I can’t really call it a job. ‘So you don’t work?’ He asked and I said yes. Then I realized there are very few people who understand that writing can be profitable in Kenya even if you are not attached to any Media house.

But since I worked for an online news agency -not long ago.I realized there was a market for creative writing in Kenya. Now being a writeprenuer (writing entrepreneur) is a part most writers struggle with and its a part I struggled with until I got introduced to Writing for profit. Most people including my dad thinks that being a writer is some lazy thing. They assume you lie down in bed or sit down on a sofa and words just start flowing into that word document-idiots!!! That is not a fact; actually writing requires a lot of research, reading and thinking a lot outside the box of what’s real and what’s fiction and how you can make people believe in both. It requires that you be a good debater so that you present your best argument to your readers. It is impossible to write if you don’t have an ounce of confidence floating in your body but that put aside the writing thing really does have un tapped profitable possibilities. So today I really want to connect with that writer that is still struggling with how to turn this presumed “not for profit” craft into a cash cow of their own.

1.Read news papers and magazines and see which Organizations publish PR pieces (content talking about a company and what they do).Once you have identified those organizations go ahead and read their content and rework it. After rewriting that content in a creative and interesting way, go ahead and meet with someone on the team of that company and see the person in charge of their communications department. Tell them your name and what you do and show them what you did with their content. If they love what you do, then that means a call back on their next project. If they don’t like it ask them if you can rework it to their satisfaction…but if they refuse move on and rework another companies’ work and please don’t be afraid of going to other organizations whose work you’ve not seen. People always don’t know what they don’t have,so go ahead and show them what you think they need.

2.Get yourself a professional website and write your heart out about any topic that meets your fancy. Most times people ask me where I get the things I write about and the answer is always I don’t know. But the fact is, am always straining my brain and praying to God to give me a topic I have never written about so that I stretch my writing libido and I believe it has worked. The website will be a nice place to practice daily but also it will be a great display of your best work and writing technique. Any time you go out to meet a client instead of talking about what you have done and what you can do. It is much professional to show and don’t tell. Let the client come up with their own conclusion about your work. Plus it saves time and makes for very short professional meetings because Company Execs don’t have all day to listen to you talking about how good you are.

Disclaimer: Please don’t post irrelevant unprofessional content on your website because if you do it will kind of affect how people perceive you.


3.Market your mind out. Recently I was talking to my friend in the same business(writeprenuer) one Kevin Omollo and I asked him if there was any other way I could improve on my marketing strategy. And he told me Arich, you are a good. There is no better brand than that-being good. Show how good you are by publishing work that has no typos, misused words or bad formatting.Just keep it out right professional. If it means paying a proof reader do so than handing in work that has typos or mistakes.

When I started on this journey in 2009 it was hard at first because people didn’t know me that much but those that chose to know me have encountered my greatest madness and that is because I decided to be a writepreneur.

Writing provides for me the food I eat, the clothes I wear, the rent I pay and the freedom to be true to Geoffrey Arich and that is the business of being Geoffrey Arich the writepreneur…actually this is a word I crafted.

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