It’s that time of the year again in Turtle Island when black history month is ‘officially’ commemorated, where the reality is for Afrikans, every day en night (no matter how westernised or ignorant of our true true cultures we are), is about our (diverse) Afreekan stories……

so dis’ moon, like every other, not only I but so many mo’ others, are blogging with the rhythm of reclaiming ancestral legacies, and for the struggle of Afreekan liberation, as we have been doing from time…

As we give thanks for all the blessings, for the spreading waves of hope, love and positivity in abundance…in solidarity with the spirit of truth, justice and salaam driving the grassroots revolushuns in Egypt (formerly known as [parts of] Nubia!), Sudan, Tunisia, Uganda, Ayiti, en around the world…

The bigger point (as) is the ‘speciality’ of dis’ blog, we gonna re-DO [re-tell], take steps back [co-create]…..so we can give thanks for yesterday, today and tomorrow…. and revision our ways forward in the most loving, sustaining and sustainable ways…

hadithi? hadithi? hadithi njoo….

Reposted from http://bulletsandhoney.wordpress.com/

Generation Disaster

This opinion originally run in the East Africa on January 28, 2008 under the title,

The problem with Kenya’s politics is the old guard

The next revolution in Kenya will not be a violent one,

contrary to the bloodletting presently underway. Rather it will be the rejection of the generation of men from whom the leaders of this country have been drawn.

The major politicians were in politics long before the majority of Kenyans were even born and who even today enjoy inordinate sway in the country. President Mwai Kibaki was born in 1931. Ex-president Daniel arap Moi was born in 1924.

They are still doddering on, unable to relinquish the reins of the power they have held onto tightly for half a century.

Theirs is a generation steeped in tribal arithmetic, in a cynical nationalism; their values have infected those thousands of young people who are roaming the countryside in a killing frenzy.

The young men throwing stones and shooting arrows and the youthful riot policemen opposite them lobbing tear gas and firing live ammunition are fodder for the failed politics of a generation of old men who may just take all of us to the grave with them.

I was raised to respect my elders and there are many whom I indeed respect.

But the time has come to assess in the broadest and most personal terms how the generation of leaders that took this country from independence to the bloody and dangerous

present has performed.

The oldest were born in the 1920s and the youngest of the lot in the 1940s — opposition leader Raila Odinga, who was born in 1945 is the youth wing of this generation. They can be counted as a single generation in the sense that their vision of what constitutes Kenya and their role in it is widely shared.

This generation has played and continues to play a prominent role in politics, in our intellectual life and in the business community.

While there are many among them who are capable and well intentioned, the defining characteristic of this generation is failure

in leadership.

It is not enough to lay the blame on a few individuals. These prominent wazee (old men) have defined for us the content of our politics and the ethics of governance. They are our very own Boomer Generation except that the boom in this instance is the sound of our dreams and aspirations exploding. It is time we named them Generation Disaster.

It is a popular pastime to compare Kenya’s performance in economic and human development terms with that of the Asian Tigers such as South Korea and Malaysia. How often I have heard it said that these countries in economic terms were neck and neck with Kenya in the 1970s, only for them to surge ahead in the past three decades while Kenya trod water and in many instances retreated on the advances it had made.

The approximately 3 per cent of Kenyans who are above the age of 65 and from whom the bulk of Generation Disaster is drawn, have led us to an average life expectancy of 55 years compared with South Korea’s 77 and Malaysia’s 72 — according to the online Institute World Guide, which allows country comparison of economic data.

The economic numbers are even more dire. Kenya’s gross domestic product of $38 billion as of 2005 is only a fraction of Malaysia’s $287 billion and South Korea’s $1 trillion. Per capita, Kenyan citizens have only 12 per cent of their Malaysian counterparts’ income and 6 per cent of the South Korean GDP per capita of almost $23,000. At the turn of the century, 40 per cent of Kenyans were unofficially unemployed compared with fewer than 4 per cent of Malaysians and South Koreans.

These statistics, we can suppose with reasonable confidence, have deteriorated in the past three weeks and they mean that Kenya can count itself first among equals only if compared to the Congos and Guineas of this world. Our leaders’ vision is only to be lauded if compared with countries that have experienced genocides and decades-long civil wars.

Yet this generation, which touts its anti-colonialist credentials, its Kennedy Airlifts (the US scholarship programmes of the 1960s), its Makerere (university) pedigree and its ambassador-at-30 mentality has only managed to take us from one disaster to the next.

I grew up hearing about the inferiority of one tribe as against the other, in jokes that now seem like macabre warnings of a day when they would become deadly serious. My elders were ever focused on their belly buttons. Not for them to learn from the experiences of other countries — especially the disasters that were unfolding around us and sending refugees by the thousands into our country.

Their language was a curious construction. “The Kikuyu are now in power,” they would say even though I hardly saw a penny from this so-called power. “The Kalenjin have taken power,” they complained as President Moi stepped into State House, “They will finish us now for sure.” “The Luos can never rule this country; the Kikuyus are thieves; the Luhyas don’t know how to take power…”

This language is what has given birth to the present crisis and has underpinned the governance of this country since Independence.

Such a leap into the illogical, for our generation of leaders, is the very basis of logical thinking when it comes to apportioning power and privilege among themselves. It has served them well, this spokesman-of-the-tribe role.

It is the position that has enabled all those Mercedes Benzes to be bought from the proceeds of Goldenberg, Anglo Leasing and the dozens of financial schemes to rob the Treasury in the name of fulfilling the privileges of tribal mandarin.

Though they developed these roles before the majority of us were even born, their thinking has infected us all. Say what you will about the opposition, it too is a gathering of “spokesmen of the tribe” challenging a government largely constituted from similar material.

The one thing that such politics will not deliver to this country is the kind of vision and leadership that led

South Korea and Malaysia from poverty to wealth.

We may continue chasing “those people” from one area or the other and supporting the powerful on the basis that they are “our people,” but perhaps we only need to remember that the cost in lives is borne by individuals.

What does it matter that there is a Kikuyu president when you are a Kikuyu living in Nairobi’s Mathare slum? This generation of wazee has infected the country with its self-serving obsession with ethnicity as politics and politics as ethnicity. It has lived longer than most Kenyans can expect to live and yet it refuses to exit the stage.

Generation Disaster has repeatedly turned down opportunities to appeal to our better natures. It has chosen advancement from enmity rather than from strengthening our bonds.

Fear and suspicion are its stock in trade. These wazee sap on the blood of the young and seek gratification of their lust for power even if it leads to the destruction of this fragile, injured thing we call Kenya.

Why exactly should we respect this generation that has lived longer than most of us can expect to live and yet refuses to exit the stage, like an ill-mannered guest who insists on staying an extra night?

[hii ni hadithi ya some of the legends of the Q_t werd, kama ya Namutebi,

reposted from http://www.newvision.co.ug/PA/8/25/489410]

By Elvis Basudde

BORN poor, poorly educated, a victim of child abuse, pressed at an early age into dull and unpaid jobs, Sylvia Namutebi, 33, popularly known as ‘Mama Fiina’, recovered by her own efforts from these handicaps and from ill-health. 

From a deep remote village in Mukono where she was toiling from morning to evening, Namutebi was determined to make a meaningful life when she boarded a bus to Kampala while still a teenager.

She now works in a shrine at Katwe, where I met her for an interview.
Namutebi smiles as she smokes a pipe in her shrine. She is surrounded by about 50 people mainly women, singing, praying and smoking pipes. She shakes my hand and introduces herself as ‘Musambwa’ “ How is The New Vision?” she asks.
To me, she does not look like a Musambwa. I have always known Musambwa to mean evil spirit. But she did not look evil at all. Okay, I have never seen a Musambwa, I am a God-fearing man.

With her introduction, I had to sit up and think again, because it is rare to find people of Namutebi’s social status (a tycoon) who would proudly call themselves “Musambwa.”

Realising how mesmerised and unsettled I am, she laughs lightly and quickly assures me that the people around are friendly, harmless and love visitors.

And as I talk to her, I wonder how this typical village woman with no formal education and at such an age could accumulate so much wealth. Her colleagues call her a billionaire.

Namutebi was recently crowned the first woman ‘President of Traditional Healers in Uganda’ (Uganda N’eddagala Lyayo), replacing the late Ben Gulu. She beat four men to take the most coveted office in the local industry of traditional medicine.

Speaking during the crowning ceremony, Robert Sebunya (former minister of health in Buganda government) who represented the Vice-President, hailed the traditional healers and encouraged them to smoke the pipe.

Namutebi’s assets are estimated to be worth sh2b. The 5ft 3inches feet tall, ‘not so sophisticated-looking’ Namutebi has a fleet of commercial lorries, omnibuses (taxis), over 400 boda boda, shops on William and Luwumu streets and at Mukwano Arcade in Kampala.

Namutebi also owns commercial buildings at Kajjansi, Makindye and Najjanankumbi. She is also the brain behind New Progressive School in Seeta, a school that caters for over 200 orphans and unprivileged children. 
Last month, during a Nigiina (gift circle) function that was held in Makindye, Namutebi surprised people when she donated a new car to a Nigiina ‘bride’. That is Namutebi for you.

Surprisingly, Namutebi is a very ordinary woman who does not brag about her achievements. Appearance can be deceptive.
If you meet her and she tells you she is the person behind all these projects, you would call it a lie.

However, Namutebi attributes her meteoric rise to hard work and to her gods – Musambwa Musamya and Lubaale Nagadya. She says she is the principal medium of Musambwa Musamya.
Some people though, allege she has acquired her wealth as a result of going under the lake, a thing she dismisses as hogwash. She said she has worked hard and has profited from her efforts.

“I have travelled a tough road to get here. It has not been easy, but a lot has to do with my tough upbringing and suffering which became an inspiration. The injustices my stepmother inflicted on me helped me see things in their true perspective and not to take life for granted,” she stresses.

She says she relates to the poor since her upbringing was rough. She knows what it is like to struggle through life. He mother died when she was just five years old.  She sees her in pictures and only has a blurred memory of how she looked like.

“My father was a no- nonsense person but he didn’t care much about me. He never valued me and used to take me for granted. They used to call me “Ekyaana,” meaning  a foolish child,” she reminisces.

She adds: “ I didn’t want people to suffer the way I suffered. That is how I became renown, by helping people especially orphans, paying their fees and taking care of th

em. Every Friday, I go on the streets and give children food and clothing.”

When Namutebi came to Kampala

in 1986, she was a little girl who stayed with her uncle in Ndeeba, from where she later got married and got her first daughter called Fiina, the reason they call her Mama Fiina.

In 1994, Namutebi teamed up with a friend called Mumbejja Nakayenga and both worked under the scorching sun, selling polyethylene bags (buveera) on veran

dahs of Kampala, mainly around Nansagazi shop near the former UTC bus park.

After some time, Namutebi left the business after her friend left for kyeyo in the US. She then started selling lesus, but it was like jumping from a frying pan into fire since the sunshine continued harassing her as she walked from one place to another looking for customers.

After seven years of gruelling perseverance –– working under the sun in the open, Namutebi got her big breakthrough around 1996. She graduated into selling children’s clothes. She would fly to Nairobi, China and Dubai to buy the items. She has never looked back ever since.

Listeners of Radio Star FM, Radio Simba, CBS, and Sapientia are familiar with the voice of “Mama Fiina O’womundeeba. She is always on air on these stations, contributing ideas on social and political issues. And for her love for President Yoweri Museveni, people have given her all sorts of names; Museveni’s witchdoctor or Museveni’s woman.

She says she joined politics in 1996 when she made her first call on Star FM and spoke out the good things Museveni had done, disproving those who were criticising him. She says apart from politicking and overseeing her business, she spends more time in her shrine where she cleanses people of their troubles and gives them luck.

“People throng here with all sorts of problems. They come to smoke the pipe and ask for blessings and luck. I cure various diseases and I am also a traditional birth attendant. Nobody smokes this pipe and remains the same,” she says, pointing to the pipe as she smokes.

She says she is an extraordinary witchdoctor, the present medium of Musambwa Musamya, and the god who gives blessings. She says she was appointed Musambwa while still in her mother’s womb.

She did not go for education due to reasons she calls “mystical”, but that her god blessed her with tremendous wealth. “I perform tasks that Musambwa instructs me to do. I heal people,and give luck and blessings,” she says. Namutebi was born in 1972 to Paul Mukalazi in Mukono.

She is the second born out of five. She is married to Ismail Sekidde, a businessman and “a good Christian,” as he calls him. They have two children aged nine and seven years. Namutebi employs over 60 workers in her various businesses.

“My immediate plan is to construct a huge hospital for traditional healers. I have already bought land for sh40m in Mityana for the project. I also want traditional healers to have offices and stops operating from those poor shrines,” she said.

[hadithi ya the Q_t werd ni ya Bredrin en dadas in solidarity, speaking truth to powah!

ni ya(le ya) kale,

Hadithi? Hadithi?

Hadithi njoo…. ..

Giza ya?

Sahani ya?