Are celebrities using politics to clout chase? – Branding coach reacts

Branding Coach Hannah Githuki and Finance expert Ruth Kinyanjui have questioned the motives of celebrities delving into politics.

While discussing the intricacies of Life Mapping, the pair attributed the high number of entertainers seeking political office to hype and peer pressure. They went on to caution their fans against being derailed from their path by hype and popularity.

“Being famous doesn’t necessarily make you a leader, politics is about vision and sacrifice,” Finance Coach Ruth Kinyanjui said. Some of our celebrity aspirants are chasing Clout and it will derail their path and their finances.”

Celebrity aspirants such as Bahati have brought drama and intrigue to this election cycle. His stunt to break down in tears after being asked to step down by his Party has caused many to question his abilities as a leader.

High Tea Speakers Ruth Kinyanjui and Hannah Githuki while talking about Life Mapping cautioned their fans against being swayed by clout.

“We are hosting a high tea for women on Saturday 4th June at the Tribe to talk about Life and Money,” Hannah Githuki added. “So many ladies miss their paths because they live to please the crowds.”

Branding Coach Hannah Githuki and Finance expert Ruth Kinyanjui


Why your Kenya Power tokens for the same amount differ from others! (Screenshots)

Have you noticed that your Kenya Power tokens are not the same as your neighbour who buys the same amount of tokens as you do?

Check out these three Kenya Power token messages from three different people and households who bought tokens worth Ksh 1000.

You will find one user gets 45 units for Ksh 1000, another gets 62 units for the same amount. Why?

Kenya Power addressed this issue in a tweet that read: “It will largely depend on your consumption pattern. A household with three people will consume less in a week than a small commercial. However, it is advisable to buy in low denominations in order to benefit from the government subsidy of Sh2.50/unit (for<50 Units).”

Here is a background on the subsidy, back in 2021, Kenya Power received a subsidy of Sh7.05 billion to lower consumer electricity bills 2021.

President Uhuru Kenyatta issued the subsidy during his public address during the Jamhuri Day celebrations.

The subsidy saw Kenya Power dropping power bills from Sh 25.9 per unit in December 2021 to Sh 21.8 in the first 15 per cent.

Some users who used to get 33 units when they paid Sh1,000, could now get 45 units.

In some areas, people who used to get 45 units with the same amount could now get 63 units.

To ensure you utilise the subsidy, ensure that your electrical gadgets are energy-saving.

So why are the tokens different for each of the Kenya Power customers?

Well, that is because all three electricity consumers are on a different KPLC tariff.

Here are the different tariffs.

Domestic Lifeline – These are local consumers whose consumption per month does not exceed 100 units. This is where you as a domestic consumer fall. Domestic Ordinary – This tariff applies to consumers whose consumption is higher than 100 units but less than 15,000 units per month.

Domestic Ordinary  – This tariff applies to consumers whose consumption is higher than 100 units but less than 15,000 units per month.

Small Commercial1 – A business classified under this category is one whose electricity consumption ranges between 0-100 units per month.

Small Commercial2 – This consumption category applies to small businesses whose consumption is more significant than 101 but less than 15000 units per month.


Bien reacts to Ksh5m claim for using viral bedsitter photo

Sauti Sol frontman Bien Aime Baraza has said he will not pay out Ksh 5m for using a viral social media photo of a man in a bedsitter with no furniture just a thin matress laid down on the floor.

Bien used the popular viral photo as a meme to show the mental state of trolls who bring people down and they themselves are not doing well.

This was after a number of Azimio fans unsubscribes frin Sauti Sol’s Youtube account because the all-male boy band demanded to be paid for the use of their Suzanna hit song on the political party’s production announcing Martha Karua as the running mate for political leader Raila Odinga.

Sauti Sol made headlines when they threatened to sue Azimio La Umoja for using their music without obtaining synchronisation rights. The standoff saw fans of the political attack Sauti Sol and Bien reacted by sharing the meme and telling them off.

Well, Jalang’o’s groundsman Morrison Litiema claims that he is the man in the photo. And that Bien using the photo infringed on his rights and mentally affected him because it took him back to the hard times he went through.

“I used the photo as a meme. I did not make that meme, I don’t have the time to do so. I am running big businesses in the city, but Litiema much love, I am also his fan. Come I prepare chicken, Ugali and  traditional vegetables for you so that we can close that beef,” Bien said in an interview with Eve Mungai.

Litiema was demanding Kshs 5 million from Bien. Reacting to this, Bien advised him, “Litiema DM me so that we can finish that issue. We Luhyas don’t take each other to social media.”

Bien defended using the photos saying it is a viral meme used by many people.

“By the way, the photo is not his, he is also chasing clout. I have looked at that guy very well. It is not him. He should stop chasing clout and just work like the rest of us. I won’t compensate him because it is a meme.”

An unfazed Bien explained that loosing 2000 subscribers signifies growth.

“2000 unfollowed us and then 2000 followed back, what I can say about that is that in the growth of the snake, the snake sheds off the dead skin, those who unfollowed represents the dead skin.”


KOT share their heartbreaking struggles with Mwalimu King’ang’i

Kenyans are suffering financially.

According to one of our local dailies, traders have defaulted on Sh100bn loans due to Covid. 70 per of parents have not finished paying school fees for this term.

In today’s breakfast show Mwalimu King’ang’i asked, “We have not recovered from Covid! Saa hii nikujitetea kwa principle na tumeshindwa mpaka kulipa deni za hizi loan apps. Have you recovered from Covid and how are you dealing with your loans? How are you coping?”

A caller told Mwalimu, “Mimi nikona madeni. Akina tala wamenipigia mpaka wamechoka, wamenitumia messages mingi.”

Here are the reactions by KOT on how they are suffering financially.

Jack Ibrah: King’ang’i wacha nikutume ambia hio jamaa ya zenka nitalipa Pole Pole awache kunimalizia simu Moto.

Peter Karanja: Kwa ground Maisha ni tight

Erico Alcupon Mitau: Maisha imekua survival of the fittest Ni Sir God tu

Valentino Iriho: We haven’t yet recovered yet 🙄 after covid19 ndio iyo monkeypox 😏😏this world is very confusing.

@michukipn: FYI, this year has four school terms and parents are expected to pay school fees 🙄. Ti kwega #MainaAndKingangi

@njeriwajohn: Being a banker we are having a hard time you call a person to remind them their loan is due anakuuliza ni loan atalipa ama ni kununulia watoto chakula na kuwalipia fees.

@SirAlbertke: Life out here is very expensive men everything imehike in term of food item @ItsMainaKageni mpaka imefika mahali feeding a family isn’t easy

@jaynjuguna97: Life getting hard every second, sai nashindwa ata kununua basic things kwa nyumba

@Wattah17: They should give us more time wasituharakiashe besides covid is still here with us au iliisha jameni

@underground_sts: Most of us have accepted we are broke. Many are now trying to sell the assets they acquired in kibakis time to stay afloat. But anyway we were broke even before covid came

@mose_young1: Debts will kill us one day mtu anajaribu vile anaweza maliza hizi madeni lakini akuna vile economy nayo ndio noma sana prices out there going crazy only way to survive ni madeni tu covid nayo ikaja na shida zingine @[email protected]#mainaAndkingangi.


Most popular travel destinations in Kenya according to Facebook

Meta has shared a heatmap that shows the most popular travel destinations in Kenya. The statistics were pulled from user hashtags and a number of location-tagged Reels created on our platforms; Facebook and Instagram. The most prefered locations visited by tourists within Kenya include National Parks (Amboseli, Nairobi, Tsavo East, Tsavo West, Aberdare), and the coastal towns of Kenya such as Malindi, Kilifi, Lamu, and Mombasa.

This heatmap follows our launch of #ReelAdventures in April, an engaging lifestyle campaign that aims to raise awareness, and educate people on how to leverage and use Instagram and Facebook Reels to document their travels and adventures.

In this campaign, Meta featured three Kenyan travel groups Let’s Drift KE, Bundu Rovers and Baiskeli Adventures that promote domestic travel and adventure-based activities through their itineraries and custom-made travel plans. These groups inspire members to participate in fun activities around hiking, trekking, cycling and off-road 4×4 adventure drives.

Commenting on the heatmap, Meta’s Communications Manager, Eastern Africa Janet Kemboi said, “This heatmap shows us locations of the most popular tourist destinations in Kenya based on social media geotagging. It reveals that traditional tourist locations are still highly attractive to seasoned as well as a more youthful demographic of tourists. We encourage people to use features available within Meta technologies to share travel locations and amazing destinations with their friends, families and communities.”

Since the rollout of Instagram and Facebook Reels, the feature has become popular with people who use it for connecting with their friends, families, and communities. Influencers and content creators are also increasingly using the Reels to reach and engage their intended audiences. As a result, Reels have become a point of discovery and a powerful motivator for choosing travel destinations.


Vanessa Mdee is tired of ex, Juma Jux, mentioning her name

Nowadays, ex-lovers have a habit of commenting on their ex’s lives and dealings and will not let sleeping dogs lie.

One of the said exes is Tanzanian star Juma Jux who always enjoys responding to questions fielded about his ex, Vanessa Mdee.

Vanessa is now engaged to a Hollywood star and musician known as Rotimi.

She seems not to like the fact that Jux keeps her name in his mouth and utters it every now and again in every media interview he has.

In a recent interview with Wasafi Media, Juma Jux spoke about his song ‘Sio Mbaya’ which was rumoured to be directed to his ex Vanessa. To him, the song was indeed a breakup song.

“We can break up but we don’t have to be enemies because life goes on. If you miss call me, you can be with your guy, but call me,” he said during the media tour promoting the single.

Another time when Jux was promoting another single, Sina Neno, Jux again took the opportunity to talk about Vanessa.

Jux said he has moved on, adding that it is his fans who still wish he was still with Vanessa.

“Sometimes my fans are the ones who fail to move on. I have moved on and I am currently in a relationship.”

Well, she took to her social media to give her thoughts about this.

“This behaviour of having an opinion about everything so that you can be seen as opinionated or having a say is stupid. Allow some things to pass you by especially if you don’t have help to offer just be quiet,” she threw subtle shade.

Vanessa added, “People are suffering in silence, about many things they won’t speak about. Be kind! Not everything requires an opinion. Just be kind!”

In the past, Vanessa kinda hinted that Jux was not someone she had the desire to start a family with.

“If you knew me a few years ago, you knew that I had no plans to be a mum. I didn’t look forward to being a mother, and I didn’t want kids. This is based on the fact that I never met someone who made me want to have kids. I thought I’ll just be a cool aunt. Don’t get me wrong, I love children and I think children are a true blessing, but it was never my path, it just didn’t feel like my path,” Vanessa explained.

“Fast forward a few years later, and I met Ro, and I met a man who made me want to be a mum. I met a man who made me want to share a legacy,” she remarked.


Maternity room experiences for men are stressful – Mike Mondo

In matters of childbirth, Mike Mondo has very personal opinions which are considered controversial to some. Having delivered 93 babies, he asks on his Drive Show with Cess Mutungi, “Should men be in the delivery room during childbirth?”

Adding, “Is it appropriate for a man to be in the delivery room when the wife is delivering their child?”

Check him out below.

In a recent interview, Mike talked about working as a nurse

“Men should stay outside the door and let their sister, your mum, your mum-in-law be there,” he said.

Mike said men are no use to their wives while in the delivery room.

“In most cases, they will end up being stressed out after the experience,” he said.

Well, he took us through his journey of being a nurse.

“I went to nursing school in 2002 and graduated in 2006 and have worked in a Tuberculosis campaign. I have done nursing in whole from practising how to deliver children, post-theatre patient and I managed to do about 69 deliveries, 11 breach deliveries, I have also assisted in caesarian section and I have done normal deliveries. I have worked in Kenyatta Hospital in Kitengela, Kilifi hospital and even Pumwani hospital.”

He also narrated to us how he ended up in Radio,

“Radio was a fluke for me and I currently feel so much for the nurses because their pay is so little and that is why I quit nursing. I came back to Nairobi and decided to start something.

I was having some food in Nairobi and the waitress went to look for change. Then I saw a queue leading to the front and decided to ask what it was all about and someone told me that they were doing auditions for radio and because I was looking for one I joined the line. 

I did my part and they told me to give them my contacts and after a while, they called me and I did the voice test, after that they asked me to suggest the amount of salary I would want to be given and after I mentioned I was given a contract and they offered me the job.”

And as they say, the rest is history. Join Mike and Cess on the drive show.

Do women wear make-up for men? Maina Kageni asks Kenyan men

Kenyan men believe that Kenyan women wear make-up to lure them into relationships. Women don’t think so.

Maina Kageni said that the Kenya beauty industry is worth billions a year and the men just don’t seem to care.

“Did you know that the Kenyan beauty industry is worth Ksh.100B per year? And to add to that, men don’t care about it?”

A caller said, “Maina, who tells you we do it for the men? We do it for ourselves to look good and feel good. We buy our own makeup. I’d still wear lipstick and put on a mask. Where do the men come in then?”

One female caller pointed out, “I don’t know what men want, if you apply it is bad, if you don’t they say you are not beautiful. What do they want? I’m natural from head to toe but if you want to apply, do so, you are doing it for yourself. Let no one tell you anything.”

Maina agreed with her sentiments, “Different strokes for different folks.”

Another lady called in on the breakfast show with Maina and Kingangi adding, “That lady who called to say that they don’t do it for men is lying! They cannot admit it! Why are they always out here with an umbrella-like Michael Jackson?”

Here are some reactions from KOT to the heated morning discussion.

@Sue254mwituria: I do makeup but in the simplest way possible, foundation, pods, lipstick ad eyebrows and I am done
Me, stick on nails, bleaching, fake eyelashes is a no for me

@petermutie380: Hizi make-up zinaaribu bedsheets mbaya nakuacha
Birthroom ikikaa bafu za ushago ladies angalieni mkipaka mnaaribu the inner beauty

@ClydearCosta: Mtu akioga uso soil erosion ina fanyika anarudi handsome 😂😂

@Kkimkarey: Men are just self-centred…out here thinking everything is about them..brooooooooo…this look is not meant for you😂

@KiongoziWa2030: Why don’t you apply it when you’re indoors all day? Only when you’re stepping out of the house? A clear indication of low self-esteem but fortunately we love you ata mkiwa nashoroo

@DanM_ke: I don’t think to make up has got anything to do with a man leaving or being with someone. A man will always leave that untameable woman cos we can’t compete for supremacy. CHARACTER BABY!

@HiramKei: Kienyeji is the real deal; no makeup, 2 piercings and no tattoos period.

@ottymetho: Maina nataka huyo amesema ni natural na hana mtu

@SeniorScientis7: Ati for yourselves? So you don’t like your looks you must cover them with makeup to make yourself happy? Doesn’t make any sense


Ask Jamal: Kenya women advise Maina Kageni over Amber Ray romance

Kenyan women have always been team Maina Kageni. And now, they want to advise him on the rumoured romance with Amber Ray.

The Classic 105 breakfast show host was photographed with controversial socialite Amber Ray and the interwebs went crazy.

Here are some reactions from his loyal listeners to the rumoured romance.

Daniel Magiri: Maina is the only radio celebrity who has succeeded in keeping his private life as such.

Afumah Sherry: I guess Maina has seen beautiful ladies in all shapes. So nothing new about amber that can make him change his principles. Labda tu amber aende kitui.

Vique Mc’Ndalo: Doctor Love where are you? Uko na advice gani kwa Maina?

Kenzy Mpenda Amani: Maina this is your year surprise us..but make a good decision and make a good choice…And good wife comes from God.

Annie N Mockford: Maina Kageni my brother run ama utashinda ukiamikwa ohhh Maina alikuja good morning ate ohh Maina anga hizi drama za online ashana nazo.

Beldinah Heavens: Wooooiii Maina, huyo ni hatari ebu jaribu Sanaipei tena

Carolyn Jeruto: Maina unatuchocha kwa radio tuwe single kumbe kwa ground…

Jackline Mutheu: Kenyans ar very JEALOUS….wachaneni na Amber apendwe

Maxim Gorretti: Maina umeisha

Anna Annabelle: Let me tell you Maina 😂😂 I am waiting for this movie I swear ctashindwa kubuy popcorns

Esther Muriuki: Hiyo nayo hatutaitikia nooo

Delirious Danco: let me tell you Maina wacha kuchoma bet 🙄

Eva Jane Bundi: 𝙇𝙚𝙢𝙢𝙞 𝙩𝙚𝙡𝙡 𝙮𝙤𝙪 M𝙖𝙞𝙣𝙖 𝙬𝙚 𝙡𝙤𝙫𝙚 you 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙖𝙨𝙠 𝙅𝙞𝙢𝙖𝙡

Servantmakau Kimanzi: Ati curvy lass? Wueh!!


RIP movie legend, Ray Liotta!

Hollywood actor Ray Liotta died in his sleep. He was 67.

Liotta died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic, where he was shooting the film Dangerous Waters.

Liotta leaves behind a daughter, Karsen. He was engaged to be married to Jacy Nittolo.

He also recently was set to executive produce the A&E docuseries Five Families, about the dramatic rise and fall of the New York’s mafia’s Genovese, Gambino, Bonnano, Colombo and Lucchese families.

While better known for his big-screen roles, Liotta also starred with Taron Egerton in the Apple TV+ series Black Bird, recurred on Prime Video’s Hanna, fronted the 2006 CBS crime drama Smith and starred opposite Jennifer Lopez in the 2016-18 NBC police drama Shades of Blue.

Liotta won a Primetime Emmy in 2005 for his guest stint on ER and was a two-time SAG Award nominee for the 2015 miniseries Texas Rising and 1998 telefilm The Rat Pack, in which he starred as Frank Sinatra opposite Don Cheadle, Joe Mantegna and Angus Macfayden.

Among his earliest screen roles playing nice guy Joey Perrini on the popular NBC soap Another World from 1978-81.

Born on December 18, 1954, in Newark, NJ, Liotta studied acting at the University of Miami before landing his Another World role. He had bit parts in telefilms and guested on St. Elsewhere in 1983 before co-starring in Casablanca, a short-lived 1983 NBC prequel series to the classic movie. David Soul starred as Rick.

Liotta went on to play a cop in the mid-’80s ABC drama Our Family Honor before landing his first big movie role as Ray Sinclair in the romantic comedy Something Wild, starring Melanie Griffith and Jeff Daniels. He then starred as Eugene with Tom Hulce as Dominick in the 1988 drama Dominick and Eugene, also starring Jamie Lee Curtis.

That led to his two most famous roles.

‘Field Of Dreams’ 30th Anniversary: Film’s Yearning Magic Goes The Distance

Liotta played a ghostly version of Shoeless Joe Jackson in Field of Dreams, widely considered among Hollywood’s greatest baseball movies. His character was banned from baseball for life after the 1919 “Black Sox” scandal and gets a chance to play again when Ray Kinsella (Costner) is guided by voices to build a stadium in an Iowa cornfield. Directed by Phil Alden Robinson and co-starring Jones, Amy Madigan and Burt Lancaster in his final big-screen role, the film earned three Oscar nominations including Best Picture.

Then Scorsese came calling.

Coming off 1988’s The Last Temptation of Christ, the filmmaker pivoted to the mob genre with Goodfellas and cast Liotta to star as Henry Hill. The pic was a critical and commercial success, landing six Oscar noms including Best Picture, with Pesci winning for Supporting Actor and Scorsese getting his third nomination for Best Director.

That signature role led to Liotta becoming a big-screen regular during the ’90s, when he would star in such films as Unlawful Entry, No Escape, Unforgettable, Turbulence, Operation Dumbo Drop, Cop Land and Corrina, Corrina.

Ray Liotta Remembered By Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Lorraine Bracco, Seth Rogen, More: “A Sweet, Playful And Passionate Collaborator”

He continued to be busy in the 2000s with roles in Ridley Scott’s Hannibal, the Silence of the Lambs sequel starring Anthony Hopkins; Ted Demme’s Blow, with Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz; Narc, opposite Jason Patric; Nick Cassavetes’ John Q., starring Denzel Washington; James Mangold’s Identity, with John Cusack and Amanda Peet; and Joe Carnahan’s Smokin’ Aces, with Jeremy Piven and Ryan Reynolds; and as himself in Jerry Seinfeld’s animated Bee Movie; among other pics.

His more recent silver-screen credits include Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines, starring Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper; The Iceman, with Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder and Chris Evans; Killing Them Softly, opposite Brad Pitt, which premiered at Cannes; Judd Apatow’s Wanderlust; Shawn Levy’s Steve Carell-Tina Fey crime comedy Date Night; Observe and Report, opposite Seth Rogen; and the Frank Miller-Robert Rodriguez sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.

Liotta also guested on such popular TV series as The Simpsons, SpongeBob SquarePants, Family Guy, Hannah Montana, Just Shoot Me! and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and narrated 2015 docuseries The Making of the Mob.

More recent career highlights for Liotta were playing the second lawyer of Adam Driver’s character in Netflix’s Marriage Story, which scored six Oscar nominations including Best Picture, and Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark, co-starring as twin brothers “Hollywood Dick” Moltisanti and Salvatore “Sally” Moltisanti.


CEO narrates his robbery ordeal at his posh Kilimani apartments

Mwananchi Credit Ltd director Dennis Mombo on Wednesday narrated how his next-door neighbour allegedly robbed him of Sh300,000 valuables seven years ago.

Mombo told court Dishon Mulinge — an aspirant for Embakasi South MP — was among four men who attacked him at his doorstep as he came back home on the night of November 1, 2015.

He said it was a normal day but at his door Mulinge and three other men armed with M-16 rifles accosted him, blindfolded him and took him inside Mulinge’s house next door.

Two rifles were presented in court as exhibits.

They allegedly tied his both his feet and hands and took valuables from him then hurriedly left the house.

After 20 minutes he crawled to the balcony and screamed for help. Security guards responded swiftly and police were called.

While being cross-examined by Mulinge’s lawyer Danstan Omari, Mombo said he did not know the motive of the accused persons who robbed him.

But he said he remembers the day vividly, as if it were yesterday.

Omari asked who else visited him when he lived at the apartments on Ole Dume Road.

He said he never received a single visitor, nor did his wife.

“Your Honour, for the one year I had stayed in that house neither  me or my wife had ever received a visitor,” Mombo said.

Omari further inquired if that was not suspicious and out of the norm that they had never had any visitors.

Mombo said he didn’t see it as being suspicious because it was their choice.

Once he identified Mulinge in the parade, Mombo said he recognised Mulinge’s voice because he had allegedly called him sometime later asking for Sh20 million as “ransom”.

The case however took a twist when Mombo disowned one of the witness statements that had his name on it, saying it did not belong to him.

Omari told the court that the prosecution had supplied them with the two witness statements. One was recorded at 9.20am and the other at 11am, bearing his signatures.

The prosecution said there are indeed two witness statements but they will be relying on the detailed one and they are not sure if both were supplied to the defence.

Omari asked court to order forensic investigation to ascertain whether the signature on the disowned statement belonged to Mombo.

He further said if it turns out to be fake, then the DPP will have to explain why they forged the signature but if it is Mombo’s, then he will face the law for lying to the court.

Magistrate Robinson Ondieki directed Omari to file a formal application so the prosecution can respond before he makes a ruling.

Mombo was stood down and he will be recalled once a ruling has been made to continue with cross-examination.

The case will be come up on June 2 for directions and the court had allowed an application by Mulinge not to be in attendance because he will be busy on the campaign trail.

All about bullet jewelry after Kibaki’s grandson, Sean Andrew, made them popular

Their is a new trend that is picking up pretty fast. The growth of the latest fashion trend of jewellery made from bullets.

The bullet necklaces came into the limelight here in Kenya when Sean adrew, the late president Mwai Kibaki’s grandson made them popular.

According to jewellery pundits, bullet necklaces hold great significance in the war field and even in the fragile concept of relationships.

They strongly mean to be dutiful, religious to what you are mean to do, and establish a great bond of trust.

Away from bullet jewellery, here is a list of wierd and bizarre jewelry made for items one would never expect.

1. Human teeth jewellery – If you are super attached to your teeth you can use them to make jewellry

2. Hair jewellry – similar to the teethe jewellery, you can use your hair to creatively make jewelery.

3. Contact lens jewellery – yep, made from contact lenses that you don;t use any more

4. Ice jewellery – made from ice, they ate meant to melt when they are worn.

5. Breast milk stone – used to make jewellery

6. gallstones jewelry – from your gallstone when you remove it.

7. Cremation ashes compressed into a diamond, used in a ring

Interesting confessions inside a Somali saloon – BBC

I was relaxing in a comfy chair when a woman came at me with a long, sharp knife.

That first time, I was terrified.

Now I am accustomed to ladies approaching me with blades. It is all in the name of beauty.

Carving knives are used in some beauty parlours to scrape dried henna paste off legs, arms and hands, revealing delicate, dainty patterns on the skin that slowly fade away with time.

Whenever I go to the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, my friend Suheyba meets me in the predominantly Somali neighbourhood of Eastleigh – known as “Little Mogadishu”. After a lunch of camel meat, we go for henna.

The last salon we went to was about the size of a cupboard, separated from the bustling street outside by nothing more than a ragged curtain.

Inside, everything feels different.

In communities where women are expected to cover up and keep quiet, beauty parlours are a place for them to breathe and to throw off the trappings of their male-dominated societies.

Sometimes this happens quite literally. On a recent visit, a woman marched into the parlour and declared it was far too hot. She took off her veil, her long dress, her petticoats and all manner of other undergarments including her bra.

Halal dating and cupcake chat

It is the same next door, in Somalia itself, where every woman is covered from head to toe. Plenty wear niqabs which cover the whole face except for the eyes.

The first time I visited a Somali beauty salon, there was something strange about the woman who opened the door.

It took me a few seconds to register that she was not wearing a hijab, her luxuriant black hair flowing down below her shoulders.

“Oh, take that nonsense off,” she said as soon as I went in, helping me to remove my headscarf and other garments.

When we got down to the bottom layer, a long underskirt, she gathered it up and stuffed it into my knickers so I could walk around without tripping over.

She took me into a room where women and girls lounged around in various states of undress.

Others wore skin-tight jeans and crop tops – usually hidden under their abayas, the long robes they wear in public.

I spent a lovely afternoon there, talking about halal dating, cupcakes and how you have to have a baby pretty much every year if you did not want your husband to find a second wife. Plus, those annual babies should ideally be boys.

Men’s hair dye

The first time I had henna applied in Somalia, the beautician produced a little yellow cardboard box. There was a photo on it of a smiling man with dark hair.

It was men’s hair dye from Indonesia. She tipped it into the henna powder, stirred it in and applied it to my white skin.

The result was jet black designs that look great on Somali women’s skin but stark and ferocious on mine. It took months to fade.

And then there is the self-declared republic of Somaliland. One of my favourite things to do when I am in the capital, Hargeisa, is to pile into a rickety taxi with a group of female friends and head for Bella Rosa Day Spa.

It was started by a Somali woman who decided to return home from Canada where she had lived for decades after fleeing civil war.

It is staffed almost entirely by Kenyans. Many spent time working as beauticians in the Gulf.

Some have horror stories of physical and psychological abuse in Dubai and elsewhere. They say that although they are still far from home and the pay is worse, they prefer being in a Somali city.

I learn many things during my beauty salon chats. Therapists and their clients open windows into their lives – their marriages, insecurities, frustrations and moments of joy.

In recent months, the conversation has shifted to politics when I visit my favourite beauty therapist in London.

She is Eritrean and has a tiny salon in a side street in the lively Brixton area.

She tells me how the previously harmonious Ethiopian and Eritrean diaspora in the UK has been torn apart by the war in Ethiopia’s Tigray region in which Eritrean troops are involved. Former friends shun each other depending on their ethnicity.

Knife-wielding fury

But back to the ladies with the knives. Whenever they produce them, I am reminded of another knife-wielding Somali woman whose intent had nothing to do with beauty.

It happened after I interviewed her in the city of Bur’ao. She was sitting in a makeshift shelter in the livestock market stirring food in a big pot. In my report I described her as poor.

When she heard my piece, she was furious. How dare I say she was poor?

Somalis are fantastically proud. And it’s that pride that strikes me in the beauty parlours, where elaborate hairstyles and exquisite henna designs are created.

She went and found the person who had taken me around the market. When she met him, she drew out a long knife from under her robes and declared that she would use it to kill me if she saw me again.

It is the killings and the three decades of conflict that usually come to people’s minds when they think of Somalia.

It is often described as the world’s most dangerous country. A haven for pirates and suicide bombers.

It did not surprise me that that woman wanted to kill me because I described her as poor. Somalis are fantastically proud.

And it’s that pride that strikes me in the beauty parlours, where elaborate hairstyles and exquisite henna designs are created – then largely hidden under headscarves and long robes.

I hope I will never meet the woman in the livestock market again and that the only knives that come anywhere near me are those used to reveal the beautiful patterns on my skin.

Govt wants mandatory HIV tests for all emergency admissions

You could be tested for HIV if you end up in hospital with any injury, according to a proposal being considered by the Ministry of Health.

There is currently no such requirement for trauma patients in Kenya, despite the risk to patients and health workers.

Experts at the ministry, Kenyatta National Hospital and Kenya Medical Research Institute say they have evidence most patients at the accidents and emergency departments readily agree to be tested for HIV.

The specialists offered HIV testing to patients at KNH between March 2 and May 25 last year.

“When offered, acceptance of HIV testing in the population was high, both in the emergency department and inpatient care venues,” they said in a report.

The proportion of patients who turned out positive was higher than in the national average.

However, the experts say this is unsurprising because data from sub-Saharan Africa have shown that patients seeking injury treatments have high burdens of HIV and are often first diagnosed during emergency care evaluations.

“A new diagnosis of HIV was found in 11.4 per cent of emergency department-tested participants,” a report reads.

The report is titled “Assessment of Standard HIV Testing Services Delivery to Injured Persons Seeking Emergency Care in Nairobi, Kenya: A Prospective Observational Study.”

In Kenya, HIV prevalence in the general population is about 4.6 per cent.

The study has not been published in a scientific journal yet but is available on the preprint platform Medrxiv.

An emergency department, also known as an accident and emergency department, receives patients who present without present without prior appointment.

In Kenya, most of them are from road accidents and falls, according to evidence from the MoH.

“Kenya experiences substantial injury burdens which also disproportionately occur in groups highly affected by HIV,” the report reads.

“Indicating that emergency department-based HIV programming during commonly sought injury care could be an impactful interface for testing.”

Such injuries are particularly common among population groups with a greater likelihood of HIV occurrence. These include young people, Persons Who Inject Drugs, men who have sex with men and sex workers.

“The majority of participants strongly agreed that HIV testing services should be provided during emergency care and that aspects of the environment and care interactions are suitable for emergency department-based testing,” the experts said.

The proportion of newly identified HIV positive people among the participants completing testing was more than two-fold greater than the baseline population prevalence in the study setting.

In Kenya, although HIV prevalence among women (6.6 per cent) in Kenya is double that of men (3.1 per cent), the testing levels of women are much higher.

Separately, the National Aids and STIS Control Programme last year said thousands of Kenyan men are living with HIV but are unaware of their status, researchers say.

The researchers last year said they interviewed and tested 114,776 men for HIV in Kenya and 12 other countries and found large numbers of them who had HIV and did not know it.

“Of those positive, 33.7 per cent were unaware of their HIV-positive status,” the researchers said in findings published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

Most of the men who are unaware of the HIV-positive status said they had never been tested for the virus. They accounted for 63 per cent.

Although the HIV prevalence among women (6.6 per cent) in Kenya is double that of men (3.1 per cent), the testing levels of women are much higher.

Recent studies show that nearly 72 per cent of Kenyan women had tested for HIV in the past 12 months and received their results, compared to 45 per cent of men.

The JAIDS study says that targeting men at risk of infection could improve the yield of testing programmes.

“The results from this large sample suggest that many men in sub-Saharan Africa are likely unaware of their HIV-positive status due to the compounding effects of sociodemographic, behavioural and clinical influences,” the authors say.

National Aids and STIS Control Programme and US Centre for Disease Control in Kenya took part in the study.

However, according to the Constitution of Kenya 2010, compulsory HIV testing shall be considered unlawful unless otherwise.

Why donkeys in Naivasha are disappearing

The number of donkeys in the country is dwindling at an alarming rate with illegal slaughter and poor breeding methods blamed for the crisis.

This comes in the wake of increased cases of illegal slaughtering of the animals in the last couple of weeks rendering tens of families jobless.

According to Dr Raphael Kinoti from Brooke East Africa, the trend was worrying, noting that the meat was unsafe for human consumption.

“In the last couple of weeks, we have seen an upsurge in the cases of illegal donkey slaughter and this means the presence of uninspected meat and depriving family’s source of livelihood,” he said.

Speaking in Naivasha, he praised the move to close all donkey abettors noting that they were operating in the country as this was a major threat to the number of donkeys in the country.

He said that between 2016 and 2021, the country lost a whopping 300,000 donkeys to the slaughterhouses adding that it would take four years to replace them.

“The breeding of donkeys is challenging and we thus need to protect the current numbers as there are fears of extinction,” he said.

Meanwhile, the construction of phase one of the Hell’s Gate ward slaughterhouse in Naivasha sub-county is 95 per cent complete.

The construction of the main house, offices, manure shed, borehole, holding pen, drainage system, lagoons, toilets, perimeter wall, and blood tanks are complete. 

The Sh20m facility is set to be operational in the coming months once the carcass hoists, electricity and water pump are installed.

According to the Chief Officer for Livestock in Nakuru County, Dr Enos Amuyunzu, the slaughterhouse had immense potential to produce meat for revenue.

He noted that once completed an estimated 100 cattle, and 150 heads of goats and sheep would be slaughtered in a day.

“This facility has the capacity of supplying meat for the whole region and the daily slaughters will translate to over Sh8.7m for cattle and Sh600,000 for sheep and goat in revenue,” he said.

Amuyunzu told the stakeholders that the county was committed to facilitating projects and programs that improve livestock production development in the county.

He added that the next phase included the installation of solar-powered systems and a cold room for the preservation of meat.

“We expect this slaughterhouse to be operational in the coming months and we shall have to close the one in Naivasha town,” he said.

By Antony Gitonga


Drama as bees commandeered by inmate attack cops

There was drama in Machakos county after an inmate commandeered a swarm of bees to attack cops.

This was recorded under the ob 18/04/05/2022.

The incident took place yesterday at around 1:20 pm when the OCS in the company of the duty officer CPL Joshua Oyoo and David Mambo while at the Miumbuni police post to collect a suspect of stealing were attacked by an army of bees.

It happened that when PC Abraham Otieno of the said post went to open the cell the suspect namely Erick Wambua spilt stool and urine on him and immediately the bees started attacking the officers as the suspect tried to force his way out trying to escape but the officers persevered the bee stings and managed to handcuff the suspect.

The following officers sustained stings and have sought medication at Kathiani level 4 hospital and are all in stable condition.

  1. Robert Machuma.
    2. CPL Douglas Mawera I/c Miumbuni police post.
    3. CPL Joshua Oyoo.
    4. PC David Mambo.
    5. Abraham Otieno.

The suspect has also been given medication and is now in a cell at Kathiani Police Station pending arraignment in court today, May 5, 2022, at Machakos.

Meanwhile, policemen at the Lolgorian Police Station in Narok were yesterday morning attacked by a swarm of bees from a nearby beehive. The bees seriously attacked report office personnel PC Peter Onyango who was taken to Nyayo level 4 Sub County hospital where he was treated and later discharged in a stable condition.

The rest hid in their respective offices and were not seriously injured or stung.

Efforts to remove the bees from the vicinity of the station are underway.


How two military officers were beheaded on way to ruracio

Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari says he’s shocked to learn that a military officer and his female partner were shot dead and then beheaded in the south-east of the country.

Mr Buhari has ordered that the perpetrators of the barbaric crime be brought to justice.

The authorities have accused a separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra, of killing the couple as they travelled for their wedding last weekend.

The group has denied their involvement.

Gunmen in southeast Nigeria have recently stepped up their attacks mostly targeting the security forces.

A separatist group from south-eastern Nigeria has dismissed as “laughable” the accusation that it beheaded two soldiers – a couple – who were attacked on their way to their traditional wedding.

The army blamed the armed wing of the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) for the killings which happened in Imo state over the weekend.

Ipob wants a group of states in the southeast, mainly populated by people from the Igbo ethnic group, to break away and form an independent nation called Biafra.

“Ipob has no hands in the said atrocity which is an abominable act in Igbo tradition,” a statement issued by the secessionists’ spokesperson Emma Powerful said.

“Before the army jumped into their jaundiced conclusion that such an abominable act was masterminded by Ipob, what investigations did they carry out to substantiate their claims?

“The latest allegation is part of their propaganda to stain our global reputation.”


All about the world’s surviving African nonuplets

The world’s only nonuplets – nine babies born at the same time – are “in perfect health” as they celebrate their first birthday, their father has told the BBC.

“They’re all crawling now. Some are sitting up and can even walk if they hold on to something,” said Abdelkader Arby, an officer in the Malian army.

They are still in the care of the clinic in Morocco where they were born.

He said their mother Halima Cissé, 26, was also doing well.

“It’s not easy but it’s great. Even if it’s tiring at times, when you look at all the babies in perfect health, [in a line] from right to left we’re relieved. We forget everything,” he told BBC Afrique.

He has just returned to Morocco for the first time in six months, along with their elder daughter, Souda, aged three.

“I’m overwhelmed to be reunited with all my family – my wife, the children and me.”

They will just have a small birthday celebration with the nurses and a few people from their apartment building, Mr Arby said.

“Nothing is better than the first year. We will remember this great moment we are going to experience.”

The babies broke the Guinness World Record for the most children delivered in a single birth to survive.

Ahead of the birth on 4 May 2021, Mrs Cissé was flown to Morocco by the Malian government for specialist care.

Multiple births are risky and mothers with more than four foetuses at a time are advised to terminate some in countries where abortion is legal.

There are also risks the babies could develop health problems due to their premature birth, such as sepsis and cerebral palsy.

Mrs Cissé and the children are currently living in what their father described as a “medicalised flat” that belongs to the owners of the Ain Borja clinic in Casablanca where the babies were born.

“There are nurses who are here, in addition to my wife, who helps to take care of the children,” Mr Arby said.

“The clinic has given them a menu which says what to give them to eat at all times – night and day,” he continued.

The babies – five girls and four boys – were born at 30 weeks according to Mali’s health minister, Fanta Siby. They weighed between 500g and 1kg (1.1lb and 2.2lb), Professor Youssef Alaoui, medical director of the Ain Borja clinic told the AFP news agency at the time of birth.

They were delivered by Caesarean section.

Their boys are called Mohammed VI, Oumar, Elhadji, Bah, while the girls are named Kadidia, Fatouma, Hawa, Adama and Oumou.

Each one has a unique personality, their father said.

“They all have different characters. Some are quiet, while others make more noise and cry a lot. Some want to be picked up all the time. They are all very different, which is entirely normal.”

Mr Arby also thanked the Malian government for its help.

“The Malian state has put everything in place for the care and treatment of the nine babies and their mother. It’s not at all easy, but it’s beautiful and something that is comforting,” he said.

They have not yet been to Mali, but they are already very popular in the country, their father said.

“Everyone is very keen to see the babies with their own eyes – their family, friends, our home village, the whole country.”

He also has a message for couples trying to have children: “I hope God blesses everyone who doesn’t yet have children – that they can have what we, the parents of nonuplets currently have. It’s beautiful, a real treasure.”