Monday, 10 November 2014

WHAT NEXT AFTER CANCER MONTH

It is so amazing how each year various organizations and media houses and the country come out in full support to embrace cancer during the cancer month, but what next after the month of October? Do these campaigns stop or are we simply forced to hold our horses until October 2015 for new campaigns, education and public awareness on cancer?

Last week I had the pleasure to sit and talk to the principle research scientist from KEMRI Dr. Peter Odada Osumba where I got to learn that there are over 100 types of cancer in and across the world with a 50% life time risk of developing cancer

The less than one hour discussion I had with daktari made me realize that there is a big disconnect between the government and various medical practitioners in the country as well as the local wanainchi who clearly are in the dark about cancer, the various types, courses, symptoms nor preventive measures.

Cancer is the next big thing after Ebola as it courses more deaths than Aids, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Am not trying to freak out anyone nor do I have the time to waste in spreading propaganda, but truth is over 20,000 people die daily of cancer related complication but still no one is keen to address them. There is a new type of cancer rocking called Burkitt lymphoma, also known as “kissing cancer” that was first reported by NTV’s Ouko Okusa on September 27th in Homa-bay.

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It is so funny how we every tenth month of the year we claim to come out to confront cancer in the country, but what is more funny is that despite the country importing cancer drugs at a cheaper price, suppliers add their profit margins and decide to sell the drugs at a double price that is, way beyond the reach of low income earners or should I say the common wanainchi as the likes of Senators, like Anyang Nyongo run off to other cheaper countries for their cancer medication. So what exactly are we fighting with our hospitals this expensive? and what kind of awareness are we creating with expensive billboards across the roads? Why go to the extra mile of using cancer as a scapegoat to raise money for the rich kid-guys in the block only for them to sick medication in India, Dubai or South Africa. What about that mama in the village who’s not able to raise Ksh. 8M to seek the same cheap treatment in the said countries or are they just another statistic that these rich folks opt to use to get the treatment they need?

Early this year, a middle age man was arrested and is currently spending some time at the Kisumu’s Kodiaga prison for neglecting one of his children suffering from Burkitt Lymphoma because he adamantly believed it was a curse imposed on him by his step mother. With another rejecting an already treated child because he too believed it as a curse. This are just but some of the few incidences that I have come across.

I mean, whose responsibility is it to ensure that, that mama mboga, the young village children or the boda boda guy at the village market is well equipped with the necessary knowledge and information about cancer? Did you even know that that according to recent studies multivitamins increase the risk of cancer and heart diseases with more skin cancer cases being due to indoor tanning than lung cancer is due to smoking? And buying that already cut Sukuma wiki “kwa jwala” because we’re too lazy to do the chopping ourselves also increases the chance of cancer.


Let’s then wake up and open our eyes to the harm our laxity in cancer awareness is having on our society and bring back the national public sensitization program to reach out to every individual across the country.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

WITH A NEW MONTH, COMES A NEW YOU

There is always a sole ease that comes about in the name of a new month that is often overlooked. Trust me, it isn’t resolutions, so let’s just put that aside for now. Resolutions are for that one man who understands not the self-disgust and disappointments of breaking each and every one of them possibly after celebrating Valentine’s Day or wedding anniversary or better yet a birthday. You and I both know the essence of resolutions is as good as eroded with the mere mention of it. But one thing you need to understand about a new month is heavily bounded in the starting point we each have: what we did bypassed the previous month, is as good as hell our starting point this November.

One thing I see myself not doing is telling you how to live your life, coz heaven for once will never wait a night or two till you realize you need to stop existing and start living, but as an old monk once quipped, we need to strive to be a better version of our previous selves. And that’s the reason a new month guide is a plus to anyone who cares to get one. Build yourself up a new with your previous self in mind, ranging from the boardroom to the bedroom, to you and nutrition, your income and image.

It doesn’t count whether or not you’ve rubbed shoulders with your boss, friends and family, but one thing for sure, standing out in today’s crowded and competitive market place is essential. It’s so funning how we constantly compete for cheap attention while the only thing that can make you and I stand out are same things our competitors find impossible to duplicate: your personality.

Trust me, Your personal brand is the influence and attention you command in the image you portray, how you look and present yourself, how you talk and relate to those around you. Just like the ingredients of the vast food, make-up and drinks you take, are what makes you unique and valuable. They are what you want people to think of you. And just like the best products in our market, all of us should develop a personal brand to engage our target audience and build brand loyalty.

Time to become the Director of our image and life; time to create a personal brand that radiates influence, confidence, credibility and persuasive power, forget what haters and lovers think of your and start directing their thoughts of you. Communicate this new “YOU” brand in how you write, email, through your business etiquette, networking savvy, public speaking and interviewing skills.

Just as “yours truly” best brands are market consistent, so should your personal brand. Be consistent in the way you carry yourself at all times, from you language to your behavior, to the way you eat. Trust me; you can’t possibly kid yourself that you can have the best etiquette and image at work between eight and five only to loosen your tongue in a cheap pub in the evening. Remember, your brand is always on show even when you think you are not being watched.

Opportunities knock but only once, and so is November 2014. So literary package yourself from the clothes you wear as they visually and silently influence your audience, use the psychology of color to enhance what you say and wear clothes that will greatly flatter your body size.

It is always prudent to be clear and understand what exactly you are sacrificing for, for how long and if it is worthwhile. Fully calculate what it will cost to achieve the goal and choose support instead of sacrifice. Even as we drive into the new month with a lot of motivation, no plan, and a little understanding of what we need to put in place to make our goals a complete success.

That is why, for this month, I urge you to let go yourself and re-live your life within your dreams and goals with no regret or resolution, just you and yourself, have fun and make the most out of it for there will never be another November 2014.

Monday, 3 November 2014

KCA CONDEMNS THREATS AND SUBJECTIVE CONFINEMENT OF JOURNALIST


The Kenya Correspondents Association (KCA) has strongly condemned the persistent threats and the recent arbitrary arrest and confinement of the Star Newspaper journalist, Justus Ochieng’, based in Kisumu City. 
According to the KCA Chairman William Oloo Janak, the threats and recent arrest of the journalist have presented a grave threat to the press freedom and safety of journalist’s security in Kisumu and the entire country.
Speaking through a press release to media houses earlier today, Mr. Janak said that KCA and Kenyan journalists will not sit and watch as security officers threaten and intimidate members of the media in an attempt to silence and stop them from exposing the ills security officers commit against citizens.  
The media association has demanded that immediate action be taken against the police officers involved in this case including urgent investigations into the activities they seek to cover up adding that they will not relent in demanding for the persecution of the officers.
Janak also noted that the Kisumu based journalists has faced increasing threats since September, for writing a series of stories, which have exposed a clique of rogue police officers who have been accused of involvement in robberies of members of the public who withdraw money from local banks.
Janak however called on the Kisumu county Police and National Police Service Commission leadership to state whether or not they condoned the incident and other cases of increasing threats to journalists in the region and across the country adding that the journalist fraternity was keenly watching this trend with a view of collectively defining how to relate with the security organs. 

Friday, 10 October 2014

“STAR” JOURNALIST’S LIFE IN DANGER

A Star Newspaper journalist based in Kisumu has expressed fears over his life following a confrontation by three flying squad unit officers protesting over the back to back story he did exposing a deadly criminal cartel within the city said to be under the full control of the rogue officers.

Justus Ochieng, who earlier last week stormed the troubled Kisumu central police station accompanied by more than 30 journalists under the umbrella, Kisumu Journalists Network (KJN)  made their way to the new regional CID boss office Moses Ndindi where the journalist gave a detailed account of what transpired on that fateful day before his statement was recorded in the office of the new OCS John Githela.

Ochieng alongside his colleagues led by the Kisumu Journalists Network (KJN) secretary general Allan Obiero, this afternoon headed straight to the CID’s office to demand for a quick investigation and action on the officers alleged to have threatened his life.

Addressing the press in his office, Ndindi who could not clearly state how long the investigation process would take, promised to conduct the investigations in the shortest time possible urging Ochieng  to remain calm as no harm would come his way.

However speaking on the same issue, the Kisumu City Resident Voice Chairman Audi Ogada however gave the police administration two days to conclude their investigations and have the culprits arraigned in court. Adding that Kisumu residents are tired and will no longer Condon any laxity by the police in ensuring that the public rights are observes.

Monday, 6 October 2014

PRESENTER TO KNOW HIS FATE IN TEN DAYS



A presenter of a leading radio station in Nyanza is facing a possible imprisonment of up to 14 years if found guilty for defiling a 14 year old minor. A Kisumu law court has today issued a ten day break period before ruling on the case.

The presenter, who was earlier released on a bond of sh. 100,000, was accused that late last year while at an estate within Kisumu county, intentionally and unlawfully, assaulted a 14yr old academy student sexually, contrary to section 317 of the sexual abuse act of a minor according to the penal code of 2006.

However appearing as a prosecution witness this afternoon, a clinical officer from a Kisumu hospital who claimed to have handled more than ten rape cases could not clearly ascertain to the court whether or not the alleged victim was indeed raped according to his medical examination.


The presenter who earlier pleaded not guilty to the charges is however forced to wait until Thursday next week to know his fate.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

STUDENTS THREATEN TO BEAT A NON STUDENT

 Hell broke loose earlier this afternoon in Maseno university city campus as students threatened to beat up an alleged  non student who turned up to cast a vote during the ongoing annual student elections.


Some of the angry students trying to force their way to the room the culprit was being held.

John Otieno is alleged to have received a fake public health student identity card baring the name Amon Oore and was spotted talking to Lameck Ombasa, an official of the aspiring sports director Eric Ojuju moments before he showed up to vote.
The middle aged man however denied any knowledge of the said official he is accused for meeting up with and was further whisked away from the angry crowd baying for his blood by the bedrock security team manning the institution for questioning.

The aspiring sports director camp however refuted the claims terming it as a move to have his candidature disqualified.

Speaking during an interview, the deputy returning officer Dr Fred Wekesa said the incident is not enough to cancel the voting process as the said culprit has since been handed over to the institutions security for questioning.

Confirming the incident, Maseno university chief security officer, Willis Wandei said the young man claimed he came in looking for admission before he was met with a class representative of a public health class who issued him with a temporary student ID and asked him to vote.

Wandei added that the young man has been locked at the central police station for security purposes until the end of the elections as further investigations have been launched to establish the candidate he was asked to vote for.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH



From the siege at Westgate to the horrors of Mpeketoni and now Kilifi, one can gladly notice the indifference in our collective reaction as a nation as well as our social class indifference. 

If you allow me, I can gladly draw back your attention to the chronological sad events of what went down in this two horrifying incidences that saw “THE” great Westgate siege accorded the greatest attention not only to its location at the country’s capital and business center but also because it took a vulnerable middle class and expatriate community completely unaware on the afternoon attack that lasted approximately three days with the country’s news agents seriously camping to unfold the minute by minute events to a captive and eager audience and countless editorials and news features making waves in the media with a social banner #weareone. That saw the president address the country and appear with the opposition leader for a solidarity photo. Not to mention the number of Kenyan who came forth to donate blood and raise funds for the victims. 

In Mpeketoni, the attacks lasted several weeks with victims mainly males who were ruthlessly butchered in front of friends or families saw none of these specialties’ accorded it, no money raised to help any of the affected families instead confusing government responses on a blame game mission and contradiction on who to house the responsibility of the attacks.

Am sorry if you find me quite irrelevant or boring, but am only going over the hypocrisy that we shadow along, myself included. With the fresh attacks in Kilifi, one is bound to ask where our allegiance as a country lies. 

Where is the national indignation? Where are the tanks, a show of might and strength? Where are our countless editorials features within our media enterprises? Where is our spirit of harambee? Actually who speaks for the marginalized people within the Kenyan society like those of Kilifi and Mpeketoni? Whatever happened to the politics of a nation and not a party?
Let’s face it, we have continually condemned the governments clumsy efforts of bringing peace to the Kenyan citizens, but what exactly are we bring on board as the members of the public with a change driven mission? If we therefore believe that every life counts and all men are created equal, are we then not guilty for not according Mpeketoni, Kilifi or any other insecurity stricken county an equal attention we did Westgate?

Every time I switch on my TV and watch the interior cabinet secretary Joseph Ole Lenku open his big mouth to address insecurity issues within the country, I want to scream till heaven hears my cry, so Mr. President, enough of grandiloquence, wake up and do something and allow yourself be seen doing everything to restore peace and safety within the country. And so if you deem it right not to fire this man, kindly make him keep quite.

Every time I watch or listen to someone in the opposition criticizes the government as it seems to flounder on insecurity issue, am more than convince that they have no credible solutions to the impediments befalling Kenyans. 

So I say, enough, enough Mr. former prime minister, I say enough calls for referendum and national dialogue, enough hogging national space for agendas that only benefit. Enough political nags for attention, what Kenyans need right now is an assurance that they can peacefully go to bed and wake up alive and safe, so if you cannot help unit us, then allow Kenyans me included to call you to order by simply ignoring you.

To the rest of us, I ask you to step into the shoes of the affected families of Mpeketoni, Lamu, Kilifi, Turkana or Wajir who are left with no breadwinner and no place to call home and simply let you conscious be your guide.

Friday, 18 July 2014

JUST A THOUGHT



Life is extremely unfair, especially when there are only two kinds of people in the world; the obscenely rich and the filthy poor. Those living in big lovely masionette and the cross roads that call the cold streets home and have known nothing short of suffering. It is so funny that even with this; many of us cross road residents live a life of wants and unrealistic dreams simply because we’re too lazy and unwilling to prosper through to life. More when we are hell belt on complains and denouncing others for yielding to their selfish inequities.

With this, I know I can easily be perceived as arrogant which again  ain’t a bad thing after-all am getting accounted to all the criticism around me, precisely because whenever I set out to speak my mind, infuriating people are always the last thought crawling my mind. Actually irritating people are never anywhere close to my mind but at the same time I have absolutely no control on how readers will react and if anything I do not even want to know but I do care you know.

Truth be told, it is the same other side-street guys that would always come together as one at the time of grieve when their hearts are too fragile to take up the news of a “be-gone” loved one and are always super proud to appreciate those around them and the little they have.

Better yet, I have come to the realization of how much have developed this bad habit of annoying my readers by simply stating the truth. But don’t get me wrong, the loss of a child or a loved one comes with a great agonizing torture that I can gladly wish on no one especially parents. A realization of pain that is easily brought in at the break of dawn and the set of the sun, like a passing cloud, we put on a show on a tumbling world, a sudden thought of a loved one with a tremble inside with a heart out on call for Gods’ strength that nobody knows but us.

 Let us not forget that the biggest rule in life especially when you are out taking a shot with a riffle is to never miss the target. My big question is, why wait until you face death or an abduction of a loved to realize how fortunate you really are? I mean why are we always on a mission impossible of pretence of overwhelming work to even stop to notice, appreciate and spread the love on those we hold dear?

I therefore dare say we are a nation of competitors. We compete too much to even find the time to appreciate and share love with those around us. It is so terrible that we never see any good in others, and believe that compared with those around us; we are up on the tip of the stick. 

Bidding on a plain truth, you know not about tomorrow, so live each second appreciating and loving those around you as though it is your last with no fear of prejudice or contradiction of always holding so dear your loved ones picture when they suddenly take a bow. This is a one-time life, to make it fair off competition on richness and poverty, live it so well full of love and appreciation of others that even death wants to see you alive and fight so hard that fate accepts defeat.

Remember, this is just but a simple thought.



Saturday, 31 May 2014

When I became a real bloke in love

When I became a man, a real bloke in love, I learnt how to appreciate a lady, put away all the childish, selfish and hard on feelings I had for women. But before I became a man, I didn't know how to fit the shoes of a king.

I was a child trying to find his way, and the toys I played with kept my eyes occupied and left my mind in a lustful boyish frenzy and my playmates had long legs short skirts and soft skin and they cared to lay down and wallow with me often, erotic women turned out to my very best friend

Before I became a man, I saw how God made man from dust so likewise I made love from lust, I didn't know any better, I was taught by example, let your tongue speak games but never let your heart speak much,  I let myself walk over women with no regret nor shame. 

I treated every woman around me like beauty pageant contestants with zero returns in their stashes; mind you this was before I became a man, a real man who finally realized the value of true love.

This was about that time I took notes from a father figure who really didn't know how to be a father go-figure. 

About that time when mom was a punching bag because he was too afraid to take his frustration out on the world instead by simply enduring affliction yet during addiction he could go 12 rounds amidst the most violent screams of stop… stop…

I would stand in plain sight hoping that daddy sees me for mammy didn't deserve what she got just because she didn't satisfy his needs. 

Before I became a man in love, I allowed anger to set up an erection site inside and bitterness never rested it left no time wasted and whether anyone loved me or not all I could regard to take was hatred, I became allergic to showing any form of empathy.

When I became a man I learnt how to love a lady right back because am not ashamed of my feelings neither would my fears soften the creak in my spirit even though am good at falling short of my promises. I discovered that there are medicinal qualities down the corridors of meditation.

When I became a man I learnt how to love her for her, I learnt to honour her like she was God for one day she would be pregnant with the seed that would convert my bequest so that both my name and success would have permanence.

I could not love her before because my anxieties and fussiness left me looking at the next best player checking in at the scoring table. How could I possibly be her covering as a canopy with holes in it?

When I became a man, a real man in love, I learnt the beauty of respect, trust and understanding and making my lady my first priority over my friends.

I became a real man in love so that until she hears the word I love you she would see the name a man who picked up himself, put the toys away and learnt to love, appreciate and share in her failures as well as her success.


When I became a real man in love, I allowed a real lady open up my heart.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Rise n Shine Part 2

Life is best for those who live it, difficult for those who analyse it and worse for those who criticize it. Our attitude defines and determines the life we live, why not then laugh so hard that even sorrow smile back, live so well that even death wants to see you alive and fight so hard that fate accepts defeat.

We are all similar no matter what our size or physique and within each one of us there is a unique beauty and grace though finding that beauty however a time might not be easy for some of us. See, Cinderella had first to recognize that her problem was not her evil step mother; her problem was that it was easier for her to hide out cleaning the house than it was to go out and find happiness. She needed a fairy godmother to empower with the kind of self-confidence it takes to reject the insecurities brought about by unrealistic, over cheating, hair brushed and heuristic princess images in the media. It took some very long over view for Cinderella to change and trade in her scrub brush for a fabulous pair of dancing shoes. But boy was it worth it? That indeed is the question I need you to ask yourself.

It is about that time you realized that just because you're physically challenged doesn't make you a lesser person or make God cast you aside. It is your physical being that has been tampered with and not your abilities. So let no one refer to you as disabled because you are able. You are who you are not because of your physical ability but your inner ability.

It is truly painful to have to wake up to the thought of a missing body part, and it is even more painful to come to the realization that you can no longer be or do some of the things you loved doing before. It actually feels like your world has suddenly crumbled down and life just lost its meaning in a flash and you start feeling as though you’re a bother to those close to you and instead start sympathizing with yourself and begin feeling so much of a loser especially when someone comes in, looks at you and tells you how sorry they are and start cursing on the devil as though the devil already acclaimed to having been behind your current condition and predicament and the best part is when someone walks in and in the name of God, tells you how that part of your body missing will eventually grow back and you look at the person though you are in pain you can’t help but wish it true. You suddenly start spending most of your time praying, fasting and crying out to the Lord for that miracle of growing back your missing body part, you even forget how awkward it not only sounds but also looks. It’s not like am not a believer, but I just love being realistic

Trust me I feel you, have be there, done all that and worse in line with being imaginative, I believe I deserve a trophy for that if not an award. That actually reminds me of this one particular day when a lady pastor walked up to my hospital bedside and began preaching of how God in due time will allow my leg grow back to its original form, I looked at that lady and burst out laughing, not that I thought her stupid, but as a kid my aunt always told me, the only way to keep growing was to always take the afternoon naps  which made me wonder how many afternoon naps had I to take to have my leg grow and wouldn't that also mean that my left leg would keep grow. Yeah that kind of imagination, trust me it sounds kind of funny but then it marked the end of preachers in my room but the beginning of nurses torture putting up with my cartoon nature.

Yes I just said it, I lost my right leg some time in 2001 immediately one week after I was diagnosed with bone cancer better known as Giant cell tumors by both doctors and scientists and that was after spending almost eight months gallivanting in the hospital I was more of a sick celebrity than a real patient. Well this was right after a series of psychiatric treatments which made me feel good just for a while until the time of my discharge that my insecurities started. Which had me wondering whether or not my friends would still want to be seen with me, would they laugh or just feel sorry for me, I had so many questions running through my head and it was for this reason I made sure that I left the hospital with a prosthetic leg (artificial limb) and none of my friends or neighbours knew anything about my lost leg. I worked and put extra effort in concealing my new identity than I did in school work. I became this person so hard to understand and be around and as my mom puts it, I had this weird kind of attitude that changes just as a chameleon camouflaged its colour. A sense of insecurity that kept me through my A and O levels

And just like Cinderella, it took me quit a lot of strength and will power to finally learn to accept, love, appreciate and find contentment within myself and not who or what others wanted or expected of me for I realized that it was never my physicality that defined the person in me rather my personality, something I wish I had realized earlier, then maybe my insecurities and perfectionism wouldn't be a contender in my life but am glad that either way I was able to realize my true self. Oh and did I mention, that I eventually did away with my prosthetic leg for I finally deemed it right for everyone to come to terms with the new me, grow up from my insecurities, live and take charge of my life, inspire respect from others rather than demand it and let them either love or hate me for that eventually stopped being a concern of mine and instead what became of grave importance of me was actually what I thought and believed of myself. For I decided to take control of my life, reclaim my power and get out of my way to find that symbol that reminded me of who I was before and then stopped being scared of change and started being honest with myself.

And just like me, I’d like you to start looking at yourself more of a winner for you still have your life to live and actually start using your challenge not as an excuse for failure but a strength igniter to reach for greater heights and stop putting yourself down by being so sympathetic of your condition and grant yourself this one wish to do something worthwhile instead of complaining. All I want is for you to realize that any part of your body can be maimed but not you will, so instead, think of yourself as an exceptional being with exceptional abilities and capabilities. So why give up on yourself right now just because you lost a part of your body and others refer to you as a disabled being, when you know for sure you’re worth more than a million times better than that person who readily ridicules you.

You also need to understand that your life isn't over just because you have a missing body part; rather it’s just the beginning of a new you in a different context and realize that you’re free, free to live your life in a different way, free from the deceit of ungrateful friends, from the pain. You my friends are free and can be and do anything you want to and set your mind on. So never say die, rather remain focused never allowing any condition bar you from achieving your set goals and objectives and start using your being to lead the life in you without relying on any well-wishers. Remember, you my friend can lose any part of your body but never in your life lose faith in yourself that you can rise against all odds, reach for the stars and shine like the sun because disability is not and can never be inability but a phase in life you and I have to embrace and live through with pride and dignity.


So even as the year unfolds with new challenges, let us realize the godmother within us and embrace the hiccups that life throws at us with the comfort that we can a cord it for the betterment of our self being. Oh and need I mention that am currently dating one of the most coolest and sweetest guy ever, won an award for the best performing poet in the recently concluded Lake Basin Film and Theatre Guild awards, a radio presenter in the making with numerous opinion articles on the run daily in the local newspapers, talk about spreading my wings, rise and shining.  So if I can rise against my challenge, what makes you think you can’t?