I confess, I am a lover of Def Poetry Jam; I simply cannot get enough of spoken word. Just today, I was watching this poem by Ras Baraka called “An American Poem” which prompted me to wonder about the Kenyan blogs that are out there and what could be. In a recent email exchange with the lady in charge of local digital content at Kenya ICT Board – Kaburo Kobia, she said that she longs for a day when the top blog in Kenya will not be a tech blog and I second her. This coupled with inspiration from the American poem has led me to write my own poemish post called “a Kenyan Blog.”
I want to read a Kenyan blog, a blog that is as Kenyan as the term Wanjiku in a constitutional debate in parliament. A Kenyan blog about the exploits of Mama Mboga in Soko who steps on a big-ass rat without missing a heartbeat. A blog about her and her friends, the gossips and secret wars, and the behind the scenes to the chaos that market places are. A blog that explains the odd market hours she keeps, the returns, the challenges, the failures and the triumphs of the women who throng the market place. A blog that chronicles her daily experiences at the market, her run-ins with Kanjo askaris, how she deals with them, and whatever else that is of interest to her that we simply cannot fathom.
I want to read a Kenyan blog, a blog that is as Kenyan as chang’aa and the blindness and death it causes. A blog by a drunk who knows all the vichorochoros in town, who is a connoisseur of illegal brew and an expert on the drinking habits and patterns of his ilk. A blog cataloguing the daily schedule of a man who does not work yet affords to remain drunk, a man who works just to get afford a drink, and a blog which explains all the unseen assumptions that the rest of us looking in make at first glance – like one of those drunks being my Economics Lecturer at the University. A blog by the lady brewing the illegal brew because I am sure she has a lot to say – like my grandma whom I found out brewed it for a while when times were really tough.
Where are the Kenyan blogs, blogs as Kenyan as the antiriot police with Jembe sticks for batons and with teargas plentiful than air. A blog that is as Kenyan MPESA, celebrating our attribute as a formidable human resource in the continent.
I want to see a Kenyan Blog, as Kenyan as the line “niko kwa club” and “kupewa hewa” in every Kenyan song. A blog about the Kenyan music industry, its history, its progress, how it goes through the paces, its ingenuity and its mediocrity, its creativity or lack of it, its promises, its future and with links to every musicians website or where to purchase and download their music. A blog that features the best in the different genres, reviews honestly where we can do better, and which gives insight on where to catch the different performances in the different parts of the country. I want to see a Kenyan blog.
I want to see a Kenyan blog, as Kenyan as Matatus and Matatu drivers. A blog that talks about the travel industry in Kenya, listing the Matatu routes and route numbers for people to catch depending on the part of city they intend to travel to and the stage to find these Matatus in. I want to read a Kenyan blog, a blog that is as Kenyan as Manambas behaving badly and just as bad cops letting them off for a fee. A blog that captures the sense of urgency that Matatus seem to have, one that captures the outright greed at certain hours of the day and which interviews the drivers from the various routes and even traffic cops.
I want to see a Kenyan Blog, a blog that is as Kenyan as the Mungiki, the Chinkororo, and the people that fund them. A blog that chronicles the life of a young ignorant unemployed youth who has no hope for the remainder of this day let alone tomorrow, a blog that give the story of the young and unemployed of Kenya, what they talk about in street corners wakichana gomba, and how crime emanates from these discussions as the only viable outlets. I want to see a Kenyan blog that provide me with their point of view, which gives me their side of the story, and asks me what I would do if ever I was stuck in similar circumstances. I want to read a Kenyan blog.
I have seen a blog by a Kenyan University student but I want to read a Kenyan blog, as Kenyan as Tahidi high but telling the true story behind each our of high school gates, stories of bullying, bad food, the new cute teacher, drama festivals, and weekend challenges. I want to read a blog that reminds me of our high school rugby team that won the nationals and the tears we all shed when we lost it in the finals the next year, a blog that opens us up to a time we did not know better, a time when we love and lost, a time w were too shy to love because we were to fearful of rejection, a simpler time when getting a girl was a goal we set, an ambition to achieve, an end in itself. I want to read a Kenyan blog about tweeting love messages and how archaic it makes the letters that just 5 years ago still ruled. I want to see a Kenyan blog.
I want to read a Kenyan blog, as Kenyan as chasing deadlines in the last minute. I want to read a blog by an anonymous Kenyan bank teller who I am sure has stories to tell, stories of fake money, robberies, difficult customers, ridiculous questions, and frequently asked questions that we should never ask. I want to read a blog by a tax man who chases rogue businesses, a blog exposing the different ways businesses try to evade our tax man and how they counter this. I want to read a blog by a Kenyan barman or barmaid about fight between wives and mistresses, a blog about frequent fliers and seasonal end month fliers. I want to read a blog about making the illest cocktail with a constrained budget, a blog about drinks and drunks. I just want to read a Kenyan blog.
I want to see a Kenyan blog, as Kenyan as our wildlife. I want to see a picture blog that catalogues the wildlife in Kenya. I want to see a picture of a monkey stealing food from my girlfriend at the park gate, a video of the buffalo that urinated for almost twenty minutes that we had to leave because it became a waste of time. I want to see a picture of the python that was swallowing a whole antelope. I want to a blog by local tourists about the beauty of their homeland. I want to read a blog.
So please create a Kenya blog and when you do, leave a link in the comment section below and I will read your blog.
I want to read a Kenyan blog.