Theocracy: a brief story of Kenya project

by John Ouma “There is in every village a torch – the teacher: and an extinguisher – the clergyman”Victor Hugo The Reproductive Healthcare Bill, 2019 that, as of the time of writing of this article, is at the third reading stage before the Senate, has triggered fresh conversation on sexuality, morality, abortion and the reality of life as it’s lived today in Kenya. This comes at a time when the country is witnessing a spike in cases of rape, teenage pregnancies and gender based violence.In substance, the conversation has digressed from the ‘meat’ of the Bill; the reproductive challenges that …
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Hurdles

Paragraphs have plagued me recently. It starts as usual, a swarm of words invading my brain and begging to be let out. Next follows the connection to my fingers, where they ache, plead, to be released on a keyboard. But when I oblige, there only comes a few sentences, five or seven and everything goes blank. It is finished. Pan the camera away from a beach at the end of a captivating motion picture. The end. Fin. Finito. Until another paragraph comes along to plague me. I thought of collecting all these snippets into one complete post, but they don’t …
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Two-Secrets

Two Secrets

When you discover a secret, you have two options. I say discover because a secret is not made to be found out, except only by accident. I say when because most secrets are easy to discover, and your two options are pulled by a scale. The lowest end, the part with less weight, the easiest and most humane thing to do, would be to keep it as it were. To leave it be and walk the other way [much like your lecturers when they discover your answers while walking around an exam room]. The second option, and the one that …
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Triskaidekaphobia

Triskaidekaphobia

It’s May! It’s Mental health awareness month and this morning, I just heard Biko say he does not believe in “writer’s block”. It is a foreign concept to him and he has written for, get this, 13 years! 13 is Taylor Swift’s lucky number. 13 is also considered to be an unlucky number. Maybe that’s why Taytay likes it… but if you were to count the things that superstitious people believe to bring bad omens, then black cats and jumping over one’s outstretched feet have nothing on Thirteen. Did you know Judas Iscariot was the thirteenth dude to sit at …
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Pieces

Pieces

When they met, she wrote him a letter. Dear Spencer* You’re not ideal. I feel like I am not supposed to be with you. I’m telling myself that it is because of him. Because I still have unresolved feelings about this other guy and I never really told him how I felt. But we both know I am over him. So what the fuck is my problem with you? I want this. I want you. You are fun and kinda cute and weird and really strange and you make me angry and happy and weirder. I love how I feel …
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The Date

There are dates you never forget. Your mother’s birthday, your first period, the first time you kissed a girl and when you get a dog. It doesn’t happen like a phone number. You don’t have to sit with a calendar and recite the numbers twenty-six times so your brain remembers the intonation. You just do. You might be depositing school fees at a bank in 2032 and the teller asks you one of those security questions, as if you are depositing money into an account you do not know. Teller: Okay sir, Your name? You: Rambo Schwarzenegger T: Account number …
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Two Phone Calls: Man Down

The fact that this story is from the day after Fool’s Day should have been the first clue. It gets a little interwoven at the beginning which means you will need to pay only 17 shillings’ worth of attention. Michael was off from work and “bored to death”. In the process [which we must all trust] that included watching all movies available to him and walking around the house in his boxers [I clearly don’t know what boys do], Albert called [insert ominous music]. Michael and Albert have been friends for the longest time. This is something you say when …
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Eli’s Girl

I have been somewhat hesitant to write anything for the last couple of days. For some reason, I had convinced myself that I couldn’t do it. That I had waded into uncharted waters and I was at the end of my road. But I had thrown a mini tantrum and I had to roll with it. I tried again over the weekend and it was the same. I didn’t even know what the intro would be…and those usually come easy to me. It was tough. I had the whole story, it was just a matter of putting it in prose …
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Elle and the Giraffe

Fairy tales aren’t real. I know this, you know this, but that’s because life showed us prince charming is non-existent. Life showed us that glass slippers break and no matter what naturally occurring products we use, our scalps cannot produce as much as Rapunzel’s golden locks. We have accepted this for the truth in the lines. We have understood that we will not live in towers as prisoners or castles as princes. That the best a boy can do to protect the realm is join KDF and fight in Somalia. Once upon a time, there was a boy. He was …
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Slapsgiving

I would beg that you don’t think me vain for talking about birthdays, especially with mine having just passed. But there is a certain maturity that comes with age, age here being the first day after your birthday before everything resets. Do you normals also feel extra old on the first day of your next year than you do all through it? It’s weird, right? And moreso when that is the time in that year of your life that you are at your youngest. This is what I figured out. You can call me your personal stupid genius. But think …
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10,000 Photos

Sometimes I am told a story and I know exactly how to write it. Those are good days. Those are days that your boss doesn’t ask for too much and there is a gorgeous sunset at the end of a productive day. Days when you pass by a butchery and get yourself a ka-quarter just because. During these times, life is easy. You figure out your purpose. Other times, I am told a story worth writing about, but I still feel it lacks that je ne sais quoi. Something is missing. A tragedy, a wedding, sometimes even a wheelbarrow. These …
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