Category Archives: The Star-Weekly Column

Kamal Kaur’s weekly column in the Star newspaper
‘Life with a Pinch of Masala’

The Michael Joseph Saga

Safaricom CEO – Michael Joseph (demi-hero)

So just in case you’ve just woken up like Rip Van Winkle or have dropped in from another planet and you don’t know who Michael Joseph is, he is the CEO of Safaricom, which according to me is the biggest mobile phone communication provider in Kenya. Matatus and children are named after him (Michael Njoroge Joseph is one I know) and his demi-hero status was pretty much elevated when he introduced the coolest concept of money transfer in this country – Mpesa.  This isn’t his CV or anything – I’m about to share with you my run in with this demi-hero and how!

It all started when my BlackBerry broke. My world came to a standstill and I wept tears of blood and was totally heartbroken. My family couldn’t understand for one nano-second why I was so hysterical. I’m not apologising for being a BlackBerry addict and if you’re a BlackBerry owner you’re probably nodding in agreement. I replaced my handset in less than six hours and life was ok again. I even regaled this account of mine in the Star and that’s how Michael Joseph probably got to know I existed.

I received an email from him. Let me describe that day actually. I got to the East FM studio and logged onto the computer where we all sit in the open plan work area and started checking my mail. I saw the name Michael Joseph in my inbox and a vague bell rang in my head. I started off by reading my horoscope (I’m a Gemini in case you want to know) and then scrolled down to the rest of the messages. When I got to Mr Joseph’s message I thought it was a fake message. You know how people get onto web-based mails and create email IDs with names of famous people. I looked at the email address it came from and shock-horror-gasp it was a bonafide address! I let out a whoop of excitement. THE Michael Joseph had written to me. My colleagues crowded around my work station to see if I was joking, and for the rest of the day I was very proud of the fact that the CEO of Safaricom had written to me.  I called my Dad straight away who gets pleased with me and for me at the smallest thing ever – bless him.

Basically Mr Joseph said I ought to try an iPhone and see the difference as he had one too and I wrote back politely declining that I was a die-hard BlackBerry addict and it wouldn’t be easy to sway me. HE WROTE BACK!! (Cup runneth over syndrome had now set in) He then said to me in the email that should I ever want to try an iPhone all I needed to do was ask.

When I told my friends and relatives about this everyone told me ‘Ngai! You should have just taken it!!’ Take it and done what? I was in love with my posh new BlackBerry. Until of course early this month when things started going terribly wrong. The device kept rebooting itself and I wasn’t too happy about that. I missed important calls and messages just because the device had restarted and wouldn’t budge further unless I put in my PIN code. This started getting bothersome and one fine day as I was clearing out old messages from the inboxes last week I came across the old messages from Mr Joseph. The imp in me grinned to myself and wanted to see if after all these months Mr Joseph would deliver so I emailed him asking him if the offer was still on.

I received a lovely email from Purity from the CEO’s office politely asking me if I would like a black iPhone or a white one. Once again I did the email address check just to see if it was a hoax and allowed myself to yell out a huge ‘woohoo’ when I saw it was a legitimate address. I was also asked where I would like it delivered and apologies were made for not having it sent last week. Somebody make Michael Joseph the president of this country if this is his height of efficiency.

So anyway, I’m now the very proud owner of a fabulous iPhone just a week before my birthday thanks to Michael Joseph, who I passed by in the stairwell of Lion Place one Thursday afternoon as the lift wasn’t working, but didn’t get a chance to stop him and chat about my Bonga points. Maybe next time…

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That Thing Called Anger Management

I wrote this back in 2011. Reposting! 
I think I got to know of the phrase ‘Anger Management’ after watching the Adam Sandler movie a few years ago. It was funny and I also realized somewhere at the back of my mind that angry people do need some kind of help. This is not glaringly obvious to the person who gets angry but to those around this person or the recipients of their wrath.


Anger is a deluded mind that focuses on an animate or inanimate object, feels it to be unattractive, exaggerates its bad qualities, and wishes to harm it. Check this out – when we are angry with our partner for example, at that moment they appear to us as unattractive or unpleasant. We then exaggerate the bad qualities by focusing only on those aspects that irritate us, in the process completely ignoring all the good qualities and kindness, until we have built up a mental image of an extremely faulty person. We then wish to harm him in some way, probably by criticizing or disparaging him.

And that’s when the fight started…

It’s a shame when two people who say they love with each other can fight so much that they come to a point where the bickering never ends, the blaming never ends and then comes the silent treatment and sometimes people just end up cutting each other out of their lives. From siblings to kids, from grown ups to lovers, peoples’ lives can change so drastically just because of words or actions that are said or done in anger.

So how can you control it? Don’t under-estimate the power of slowly counting to ten and if need be increase to twenty. You need to slow down and THINK before uttering something that could end up destroying something so precious. People generally tend to remember the horrible and harsh words uttered to them more than loving ones. Try not to be the reason of someone’s visit to a shrink. 

You may cool down eventually and forget the incidence that triggered you to utter harsh words but some people are like sponge personalities. They absorb everything and cannot let go until someone else squeezes it out of them. Learn how to express your feelings and needs assertively in situations that make you feel angry or frustrated. Do that in a non-aggressive way. Assertiveness has nothing to do with aggressiveness. Assertiveness includes respect for yourself, and respect for others. BIG difference and no one needs to lie down on a couch for an hour talking about their issues to someone who is being paid astronomical fee by the hour.

Also learn to say sorry. It really doesn’t kill anyone to apologise for something that is wrong. Your ego may not allow you to apologise even if it’s not your fault but if you’re really going to rise above it then just say sorry and allow yourself to move on. And saying sorry doesn’t mean that you will bring up the same incidence in a later argument. Saying sorry means you are ready to let go of it completely and be positive. Yes I know – easier said than done but once it becomes a habit it’s not hard at all.

Control your outburst and mean, venomous words that you spew out when angry. The damage can sometimes last a lifetime and it will be your loss. If your anger is accompanied with violence then you need to seek out someone who charges by the hour and makes you lie down on a couch and talk about what is the root cause of your anger. List down your triggers, start looking for warning signals within by being aware of what makes you angry and walk away from the situation until you are calm enough to tackle it. I tend to switch off but not many people around me like it when I do that. In their minds I’m supposed to be a happy, jolly person who is supposed to be laughing and joking and making everyone laugh at any given moment.

Well, piss off. I can’t do that all that time and I’m just as human as the next person.

 

(Article written in the waiting room of a person who will make me lie down on a couch and charge me per hour to help me with anger management.)

Anonymous abusers, do get a life!

This was written for The Star newspaper in 2012. It’s still so relevant. I thought I’d share it again.

 

Kids on FacebookYou’d think that you have to be a celebrity of some sort to be hated by someone but these days anything goes, really. You just have to be a bit better off in any sense of the word – be it wealth, health, looks, happiness, friends, anything at all, and that is usually enough to trigger a sad pathetic loser to vent their resentment and jealousy on you. You’re there, just minding your business, getting on with your life and suddenly you’re on the receiving end of some idiot’s deranged thought process.

I’m not sure what makes a person go to these levels. Yes, I have established that it’s either jealousy or some sort of mental imbalance but to stoop so low as to hide and abuse? You seriously need a grip on life. I worked with a fabulous editor once and she was telling me how a certain celebrity-wannabe would hide behind a fake email ID and abuse co-workers who fared better than her. She’d go to the extent of even writing good things about herself while spewing mad hatred at her object of hatred and perhaps feel good about herself. What she didn’t know was that people had caught on and in this day and age of technology acting like Big Brother nothing is ever hidden.

No one confronted her – in fact they let her make a fool of herself for quite a while until she changed jobs. After that I didn’t hear any more gossip about her but needless to say I don’t think she’s ever stopped doing what she’s so used to doing!

I’ve been on this receiving end many times. At first it really used to get to me – in fact right up to late last year I was really disturbed with the malicious messages I was receiving. I had an idea who might be doing it but then you can never be sure without proof, can you? But in one message the idiot let out who it was and I pounced on that and gave as good as I got. It astounded me to find out that it was someone I knew very well and actually liked a lot so I was really disturbed about this person’s attitude towards me.

A friend of mine was also on the receiving end and the more I talk about this the more I find out I was not the only one. A lot of people have gone through this at some point or another.

Look… I don’t care what you do as long as you don’t abuse me for it. If I’m good at what I do and you don’t like it then just better what I am doing and get on with it. How do you know that I’m not perfect? What makes you think that life is a bed of roses for me? How can you even think that abusing me will make me do less than I already do? It won’t so take your nonsense elsewhere or just forget the whole sorry affair and start off as my friend. You have more benefits that way because I won’t be the type who’ll send you anonymous abusive messages. I’ll tell you straight up what I don’t like about you and if I’m jealous of your new sexy shoes which I can’t afford, I’ll let you know that too. I won’t go to the extent of buying a new phone SIM card so that I can anonymously let you know that I’m jealous of you.

As it is, a jealousy shared is a jealousy halved, right…?

“Excuse Me Please, Have You Got A Moment…?”

alarm-clock-ringing

“Excuse Me Please, Have You Got A Moment…?”

Usually when someone says that to me I groan inwardly because these words are generally uttered by those relentless people standing at strategic places in shopping malls trying to sell you time share holidays you have no interest in. Or maybe it’s just me who attracts such people.

The thing is that I’m usually rushing to get something or the other done. In the past few years I have realized that I have no time at all for myself. I was looking at the split ends on my hair today and recalled that the last time I went for a haircut was about two years ago when my very close friend got cancer and started losing her hair with the chemotherapy so to give her my support I cut my hair really short because she always did admire my hair, having being blessed with lovely locks herself.

The hair looks like it needs help now, the nails would love a pampering session at a spa, the body would love to be indulged in an exotic massage with scents to calm and relax the core of my soul. You may be forgiven for thinking I don’t have access to these luxuries but I do and need a severe kick for not utilizing them.

I was honoured with a ‘by invitation only’ membership to the country’s top-notch spa that’s been listed amongst the world’s best and what do I do? I neatly stick the membership card into my wallet and instead of making use of this heaven-sent opportunity I slog and slave and drive myself further into the ground. Despite being aware of the fact I still don’t slow down to heed to my needs.

Look around you. Everyone seems to be rushing somewhere to do something. Not many can brag of being able to slow down to put their feet up and enjoy something leisurely. Even a cup of tea with the feet up seems like a distance memory. Everything is done on the go and we’re all part of this rat race trying to finish off. But you know what? Even if you do finish up the rat race, you’re still a rat. I’m being metaphoric here so don’t start writing to the Public Editor to whine. Think about it. We’re so engrossed in being over achievers that we forget to slow down and give time to things that matter more.

I’ve always laughed at people who wish there were more hours in the day. What on earth for? I’d mock them. The tables have no turned and I would be ever so grateful that instead of 24 hours in the day we would somehow get something like maybe thirty hours a day. Every single day I feel I wish I had more time to do this or that. I’m not so awful at time management but some days I really do wish I had a few extra hours because no, I don’t have a moment at all.

Basically my life revolves around my children and work. I love both aspects completely. My children ensure I don’t turn into a heartless bitch and my work ensures I don’t start getting frozen yoghurt for brains. Then on the social front I’m not so active any more. If there’s something that’s work related I’ll go out otherwise I’m really very happy sitting at home in my pyjamas, painting my nails and reading a book.

The point is that I have no point. I’m just trying to demonstrate how time seems to have become so sparse and precious that I’d love to have a few more hours increased in the day. If you’re related to Father Time, please sort me out will you…?raymondweil

Is inheriting from your parents a right or a privilege?

happy kids

We inherit genetics from our parents, and that’s a given. Is it a must that we also inherit what they own? I’ve often thought about this and don’t agree with it at all. I’ll tell you why, and I’ll run this through you by my own example.

I’ve watched my parents, for the longest time ever, struggle to get their business up and running. They were kicked out of the house because (God forbid!) they had a love marriage, which was really looked down upon in the 60s. Their love must have overcome everything because without a penny in his pocket, two children and a wife to look after, my father struggled to put food on the table. Eventually he started off a business with his friends, and they turned out to be vile humans who conned him out of his business so he was back to Square One. He didn’t give up. He started yet another business, and by this time, my little sister was old enough to go to school (she was born when Dad was starting up the first business) and Mum joined him once the photo lab was up and running.

Between the two of them, the business rose and became very successful, with a couple of branches in the city and in Mombasa too. Suddenly the family that kicked them out decided it was ok to be around them and most of the past was left right there.

I often sit and wonder, why do people think they really should be given what their parents have earned in their lifetime to their children? If my Mum has any jewellery, for her to pass it on to me or my sister, or even my sister in law is not our right. It’s an honour and a privilege. She can easily give it to her sisters, or whoever she feels like giving it away to. If I am to receive such a generous gift from her, I will keep it to pass it on to my daughter as her legacy.

Having watched my father struggle so hard and become so successful in life, I have learned the best lessons in life from him. Work hard and it surely pays off. Never have your hand and begging bowl out to ask for things from people. Work hard for it and you’ll surely get it. Having watched my parents work hard and be successful is the reason why I stand strong and proud today. I never sued the ex husband for any alimony at all. I didn’t earn it (and truth be told, neither did he – it was all his father’s hard work) so I didn’t for a minute think I had rights to that.

So if you are being given something by your parents, either while they are alive or as an inheritance after they pass away, be grateful and thankful for what you have. Unless you have actively played part in building your parents’ wealth, in my very strong opinion, you are not owed anything at all. Your parents have educated you, brought you to a point where you are self-sufficient and able to earn your own living. My father was thirteen when he quit school and started earning to put food on the table. So despite not being formally educated, he worked hard and put his mind to it and made a success of himself. His life partner stood by him and ensured he didn’t sign any more of his hard earned money to dodgy friends who were out to con him.

It’s a privilege, not a right, to inherit something from our parents. Be grateful. Not many get anything at all.

 

Twitter: @kamz26

 

 

 

YOU AND THE ART OF SELF-DIAGNOSIS

 

self medicate

Hands up if you have turned to Google any medical symptoms, done a thorough self-diagnosis, gone to the pharmacy, self prescribed yourself medicines and thought to yourself that maybe you should have done a medical degree after all.

Now take that hand and and slap yourself hard because self-diagnosis is ridiculous, inaccurate and downright silly. The symptoms given online may match your condition but what if the underlying problem is a bigger one? Then what? I admit to looking for my symptoms online until one fine day I got a virtual slap and had to let go of this stupidity and let the doctors do their job that they are qualified for. It turned out to be more expensive to fix the self-diagnosed damage than to have spent a fraction of that amount on just letting a professional do their job.

This doesn’t just happen in the medical field. A lot of people these days rely on the internet for what they think are verified solutions for just about everything in life. We have armchair psychologists, carpenters, actors, movie directors, relationship advisers, lawyers, baby experts, and the list goes on and on. Everyone seems to be smart enough to use their smartphone but not many seem smart enough to know when to let it be and let the professionals take over.

It will be hilarious to get these self-appointed professionals to do something in their so-called Googled field of expertise to put their money where their mouth is and do what they claim the Internet says to be true.

Gullible is one thing but stupid is a whole new different level. Do leave the professionals to do their job. If, by sheer luck, you have managed to diagnose correctly then just gloat in that glory and let it off as a one-off victory. This does not constitute you open up a practice and claim to be a professional while you are only ever Googling what to do next.

I’ll have you know that I love baking cakes as a hobby. It gives me immense pleasure to make cakes for loved ones but even I know my limits, and despite going on to the Internet for tutorials on how to ice cakes or make a certain kind of a cake, I’d rather the professionals did my formal stuff for me.

I’m all for learning a new skill, adopting a new hobby or even trying my hand at something and take great pride at it. Diagnosing illnesses and prescribing medications will never ever be your forte unless you have painstakingly studied this field and have passed your exams and gotten your degrees through unquestionable institutions.

Do us all a favour, including yourself. Use the Internet to keep yourself amused, and try and stay alive. Prescribing yourself medication is never a good idea; even the harmless paracetamol taken wrongly can result in a burst ulcer and turn out to be fatal. Take it from me, I have seen this happen and it is not something one would wish even on their worst enemy. Unless you’re the type inclined on eradicating your enemy!

Twitter: @kamz26

Are we there yet?

 

Remembulations-Jar

So we are at the halfway mark of the first month of the year. This is my cue to ask you how you’re doing with the resolutions if you made any, for me to nosily poke into your life and find out if you are faring like I am… just about making it!

You see, this year, I decided there is no point in even trying to make any resolutions. I can never ever stick to them. I always say I will go more regularly to the gym, read more, spend less time on my mobile device, deactivate my social media accounts and whatnot. I might as well go live in a hut at the foothills of the Himalayas if that’s exactly what I want to do but I clearly don’t because I wouldn’t repeat this list annually.

This year, I decided to get all fancy and do something that I had seen on Pinterest. The suggestion was to get a jar and call it my Remebulations Jar in which you basically write a kind note to yourself, or write an achievement, no matter how big or small, and you stick it into the jar. Then at the end of the year, or even month, you check your progress by reading those lovely things that you achieved and you have a great feeling about yourself.

I saved this idea and was determined to do it. It was easy and it didn’t require me to write on a daily basis, like the journals I promised myself every year that I would start filling in. There should have been nothing to deter me except my own will and I must say that as soon as the year started, my get up and go just got up and went. I have no idea what happened to my need to pop into the local supermarket while buying the usual bread and milk, how I didn’t wander to the aisle where they have these fancy jars and pick one up.

At home I had glitter, gold spray paint and fancy ribbons all set to make the jar look pretty. I even got fancy little coloured papers to neatly write on them my ‘remembulations’ and how could I have not bought myself a pen? I was all ready except that I didn’t have a jar.

Two weeks into the new year, I still don’t have a jar. I have returned the glitter back into the craft supply cupboard and here I am, pounding away at my laptop while glancing at my phone as I write this.

I have realised that making any sort of resolutions or major lifestyle changes are just not what I am all about. Yes, I want to be healthier but until I don’t get up and do something about it, there is no way that anything can be done miraculously, or better yet, like in the Bollywood movies, with a lot of background dancers at every situation, no less.

If I am to make something happen, it is my will that will do it. No jar or journal will suddenly tip me over and I wake up one fine day and I have turned over a new leaf. I know myself too well. I can be pretty obstinate like that, and it’s always to my loss. No. This one I will have to work out for myself and make it happen. I will have to want it really badly to make it happen. I will want to get out of my rut and my comfort zone and then start seeing the difference in my life.

Look at that. Even I know it will take me to get to a better me so why don’t I do it? I have no idea. Let me start a journal to start putting my thoughts in order.

Or maybe I should just get off Twitter. Maybe.

Tweet me. @kamz26

When you finally allow your kids to have a Facebook account

 

like on facebook

Last week, as we were still nursing hangovers and trying to stop being in denial that 2016 was finally here, I decided to allow my daughter to have a Facebook account. She’s fifteen now and I have held out for as long as I could, keeping her away from social media. Many of her friends and cousins have been allowed to have social media accounts but when you are a social media manager, you get too see a lot of things that, as a parent, you’re just not ready to expose your children to.

Anyway, with dire warnings, lots of pep talk and promises extracted from her to hold her head up high when conducting herself on social media, I allowed her to have a Facebook account. Straightaway she earned a lot of brownie points because her profile picture was a recent (and rather flattering!) selfie she had taken with me. Within an hour she had forty-three friends and by the next morning she had a hundred more.

Of course I was going to stalk her online and check who her friends were and what was being written on her wall! Many family members had added her and I saw most of her school friends had added her too. For about two days, I kept warning her not to be on Facebook all the time when I realised it was futile to say so, because as soon as school reopened early this week, she calmly told me she’ll be logging out and only check it on weekends, and that it was not all that she had thought it would be.

I wasn’t sure if I should have let out a whoop of joy so I didn’t, but the inner mummy in me channelled this happiness into a rather calm ‘As you wish, darling’ and got on with life. My girl is quite wise for her fifteen years and is turning into a good friend to me. Of course there are lines that have to be drawn but I think my daughter is a cool person to be around – she gets on with people of all ages very quickly and I love that about her. I was the same at her age.

I’ve always maintained that I choose to be my children’s mother instead of their best friend. That formula doesn’t do anything for me. Children need the guidance of parents. They need their mother to be their mother. You see, I have always said that your best friends will come and go, you can always make new ones, but the bond you have with your child as a parent is something that never gets taken away. Build and nurture this relationship. Gone are the days when you could slap your kids into oblivion to make them listen to you or do as your bidding. We may have grown up with imprints of rubber slippers on our backsides but I’m loathe to do that to my kids. A smack on the bottom is what I have meted out, and always felt terrible after doing that but there are times when you need to discipline your child.

I look back and think that as a single mother, I have not done too badly with bringing my kids up alone. They’ve turned out pretty ok despite the circumstances and I do hope they carry on being good humans and bring out their best into the world and learn to give back to society.

I’m sure there are many Facebook pages for that! Ha!

Twitter: @kamz26

 

An apology to my Mum 

My beautiful orchid plant! Maybe I should give it to Mum!

I haven’t wronged my Mum knowingly, not that I know of anyway, but I felt compelled to apologise for something that I feel my karma has caught up with.
Like any good story, one must start at the top. I’ve always loved the trinkets my Mum has owned, I’d get my friends to come over and we would play with her expensive French chiffon and silk Indian scarves, get her saris out and wear them with her high heels and play dress up, take from her dressing table whatever tickled my fancy, help myself to her makeup even though I wasn’t allowed to wear and then hide her favourite lipstick after breaking it because opening it too much then applying it really hard that it breaks.

Aaaah… the good old days of when you could nick anything from Mum and get away with it because Mum loves you and you’ll only be told off a little bit because Mum loves you more than her things.

Fast forward thirty years on, I’m a mother of a teenager and my karma has come back to bite me hard. My daughter thinks nothing of helping herself to my things and ruining them completely. At least I had some fear of getting caught or told off but this new generation that I seem to have given birth to doesn’t care a toss about how hard I have worked to treat myself to that designer lipstick or the perfume I’ve bought myself. She doesn’t touch my clothes because she says my clothes are ‘mummy type’. I didn’t know if I should be offended or flattered at that!

Thankfully my shoes are safe because of several reasons. Her foot is bigger than mine is the first one. Also she’s really tall, almost 5’10” and doesn’t look her 15 years at all. The good thing is that she’s not into playing with my saris but she does go out of her way to destroy my make up. She’s taken to watching YouTube videos and tries all sorts of techniques with my make up and brushes, ruins my palettes, doesn’t clean my brushes and here’s the worst thing – she helps herself to whatever tickles her fancy. This is such a déjà vu moment for me.

I told my mum about this and she started cackling. Yes. Cackling. Not laugh or smile, but a real cackle that had me questioning my birth certificate, wondering if I was the adopted child because of the way she was laughing at me.

Amidst all this sudden mirth that had befallen her, she told me I used to do the same things to her and she used to get pretty annoyed but used to leave me alone to explore and only ever stepped in if I went out of line. Excuse me? I got yelled every time! She cackled again and said, ‘I rest my case’.

They say that the reason why grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is because they have a common enemy. I can now understand why my Mum and daughter always seem to be in cahoots – I was really tight with my Grandma too!

I’m sorry I ruined your things Mum. Now can you PLEASE make your granddaughter stop from ruining MY things? Please!
Twitter: @kamz26

Are there different rules for matatus?

 

Every single day I hear of people complaining about how traffic policemen mete out injustice on the roads, how people are being fined for wrong things and how many others get away with so much yet the cops turn a blind eye to them. I can’t say I have been on the receiving end of this lashing but I must say there are times where even I have seen people acting ridiculously stupid on the roads and the cops seem to turn a blind eyes to them.

I was overtaken from the left by a matatu the other right under the nose of a cop and he did nothing. In case you don’t know, the rules on our roads are ‘Keep Left Unless Overtaking’. You don’t start overtaking from the left, using the footpath. I hooted in protest and that arrogant cop gave me daggers and pointed at me as if to warn me while this low-life scum overtook me, nearly breaking off my left wing mirror and getting on with his life. Of course I cursed. I used language that cannot be repeated here – aimed both at the matatu driver and that arrogant cop who probably thought that just because he wears a uniform of authority, he can be nasty.

Matatu drivers can be the bane of existence sometimes. Granted that they are one of the most important means of transport, it doesn’t mean that’s their license to act like utter imbeciles. Day before yesterday, as I did the school run early in the morning, I encountered fourteen matatus that were behaving out of line. One guy in a large matatu had no reason to feel any remorse as he drove his passengers while he chatted on his mobile phone. What completely annoyed me was the fact that he passed a cop while doing this and the cop didn’t bother stopping him, and the second thing that annoyed me was that the passengers didn’t protest to this kind of stupidity.

I suppose they wanted to get to work on time or face the wrath of their bosses and risk being fired so they just kept quiet. You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t.

How do people who own matatus allow their cars to be driven like this? How do they let drivers treat their vehicles like they don’t car, keep damaging them, driving over footpaths, being reckless, acting like total bullies on the road, clearly disrespecting and ignoring any kind of road signs and traffic rules. Why can’t you guys discipline your fleet for goodness sake? Making money is important but at what cost? Accidents on a daily basis? Broken down vehicles because of not looking after them properly? Death because of reckless driving?

I never ever remember what our Ministers do and what ministries they are representing because I simply don’t care – they never do anything for us tax payers anyway – but if there is one person who had my respect and will fondly be remembered for him straightening up his Ministry, that would be the late Hon. John Michuki. He had sorted out roads out, there was discipline, we were all driving like good humans beings, matatus would not carry more than fourteen passengers, uniform guidelines were adhered to and speed governers were installed. Roads were marked, cops were doing their job; in fact because everyone was getting on with their life so well, even the cops weren’t needed as much as they are today. All this without the cost of those expensive cameras which have been installed everywhere.

They go off when they feel like and I’m yet to know of a matatu owner who has been banned from using their fleet on the roads because of dangerous and reckless driving. These are all just urban legends to me.

Someone somewhere do something. We need sanity on our roads. We are always stuck in traffic and we are fed up of being bullied by matatu drivers who think yelling Weh muhindi!’ at me is the height of an insult. Shut up and concentrate on the road and try not to kill your passengers or yourself.

Have a safe weekend!

Twitter: @kamz26