ITEMS  EVERY KENYAN  NEEDS TO STOCK UP ON BEFORE THE 9TH OF AUGUST ELECTIONS

So the election campaigns are now at their crescendo and the 9th of August is just but 13 days away, and you are wondering what essentials do you need to have bought to prepare for the election and the uncertain period that follows the election in this great democracy we call Kenya? Well, you are in good stead as many Kenyans have been asking themselves this very question, especially during these hard economic times. I have cobbled up a list of pre and post-election must-haves, whether voting for Rutos UDA, Railas Azimio, Wajakhoyas Roots Party, or Mwaure Waihigas Agano Party. Regardless of whom you plan to vote for when we line up in different IEBC-appointed polling centers to cast our votes even if you do choose to skip the whole meerie of exercising your suffrage you will be in need of these vital supplies.

First and foremost, if you are of adult age and formally or informally employed you will have a day or two to go exercise this cardinal duty to choose your leaders for the next five years from your Governor, Senator, Women rep, MP, MCA and President. On the days leading up to the August 9th vote, it will be prudent that you stock up on essentials such as maize flour, sugar rice and other cereals. Luckily, Twiga foods have some very pocket friendly offers on this Kenyan staples  and other food stuffs during this time when the children will be back home and you know how they can put a dent on the feeding budget so it is only sensible to hunt for offers on different food stuffs and toiletry before the 9th of August.

Secondly, since the children will be at home it is good for both your sanity and theirs that you have some materials to engage them for the few days they will have been given recess for, maybe you like board games, EA sports or will need to complete some CBC assignment or the other with them, whatever your fancy you can find all this toys and supplies for your bonding sessions at Jumia Kenya .

However, if like most Kenyans you will be traveling upcountry to vote it is wise you send your supplies ahead of you to avoid the last-minute dash to buy different essentials for your keen, I would personally recommend Copia for this as they have been sending things to Ushago for a minute now and know all the panya routes in our different bundus, and what more when you buy from them they deliver your stuff free. Concurrently, if like many other Kenyans you will be traveling by public means book your bus on Dream liners website during this time when demand is high for the best rates in town.

Nonetheless, if you plan to stay indoors after the vote on 9th August and you partake in one Elixir or the other go onto to EABL’s online shop the Bar, and get some tipple delivered. As well, should you have a hankering for some fast food KFC Kenya have your back, and you can couple their offerings by binge-watching your favorite series in between the vote tallying, I hear Show Max has a variety for the whole family so update your subscription if you haven’t for the month.

Of course, as is tradition, and as is  par for the course the day’s paper will come in handy as you line up to cast your vote not only to pass time, but to give you last minute perspective on your preferred candidates as well as fodder to discuss with your fellow Kenyans as you panga foleni. If you are a purist like me get a copy from your local vendor if not you can order your Daily nation e- paper online and read it as you trod on in the queue.

Lastly, before the D day, it is wise that you take a trip to the market and buy the fresh greens that will last you a day or five after the elections as you might find many vendors absent from the market as they will also be casting their votes, luckily Naivas Supermarket have you sorted countrywide for all your fresh produce needs leading up and after the 9th of August so worry not.

Ultimately, we as wananchi pray and hope for a peaceful election come the 9th of August, and being prepared for the day and days to come after the election will only be practical on our part.

So what do you think is missing from this list?

THE CASE OF THE MISGUIDED ALPHA FEMALE.

Apart from Oprah and that non-descript man of hers Steadman Graham, who Oprah only gave a dog as heir to their (her) mass fortune is there any other man in celebrity or real-life history that has had a successful relationship with a female that has or does better than them? This question was of course triggered by the recent pronouncement by Pop singer Rihanna, that she is pregnant for non-other than Asap Rocky, which has me wonder will he make it to the last round like the proverbial muse to his name Rocky Balboa?. Of course, there is the recently announced end to the two-year semi cohabitation of one ‘Frankie Just Gym it’ his short-lived union/dalliance with his two wives will now serve as folklore on why old school courtship should be reinstated in this Kenya. But to be fair, history does not favor men who live in the shadows of their larger than life spouse given the many celebrities whose wives/girlfriends had more clout than them, and since I am a researcher worthy my salt, I have to cite my claims or “produce receipts” as the Gen Z’s are calling it nowadays otherwise I will be peddling in fugazi.

The year is 1976 and one Ike Turner is heavily whooping Tina Turner’s for something or the other this time round, with a shoe stretcher, Tina then was selling records faster than the dope man was slinging Heroine in the Ghettos of America, she left him after 16 years of his abuse. In the 80s and 90s, it was Mary J. Blige’s turn to get walloped by one K-Ci from Jodeci and the K-Ci and JoJo crooning duo, he introduced the songstress to drugs and the back of his hand for over 12 years; similarly, Blige was going platinum faster than the Mogalakwena mine in South Africa could produce the mineral. I hope by now you are seeing the connection between well-to-do females and their have been partners who are barely hanging by her coattails and need constant reinforcement of their masculinity. The case of Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon is a classic example of a simp(the newest addition to my idiot vocab)  cashing out big; Nick Cannon receives Alimony from Carey since they divorced.

Of course, The good thing or silver lining here is that these songbirds survived their ordeals and are living better lives absent of course their insecure spouses. Sadly though, some of these love boats turned tragic over time, and instantly the beautiful women who graced us with their God-given talents were no more. In the 90s and 2000s, it was Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown at it, Bobby turned Whitney into an eternal snow queen and at some point introduced her to crack cocaine needlessly her talent waned and plummeted faster than the Titanic until she was found dead in 2012 submerged underwater at a Beverly Hills hotel. Cocaine was listed as a contributing factor.

In Kenya, the case of Agnes Tirop is a stark reminder that power should be balanced with power because her own celebrity led to her brutal stabbing to death by her own husband. Recently, the story of Frankie Just Gym it the fitness buff it and one Corazon Kwamboka the video vixen/socialite/model/entrepreneur/lawyer (talk about a renaissance woman) hit the tabloids and just like two years before when he was with one Maureen Waititu who in her own right is a video vixen/socialite/model/entrepreneur/lawyer… see the pattern here, the gravy train stopped for one “Frankie just Gym it”, rumor has it, he is what the ladies on the Netizens love to refer to as a “dead beat dad”, a beautiful man who just does not have the wherewithal to provide for the fruit of his loins, but is it this simplistic, or do women who have power and influence have a fetish for men who seem caught in the headlights but are good looking enough to pass muster for house cats? Are these women then deserving of the aftermath of their unions with these men? Are they guilty of going against the patriarchal norms expected of them by the gods of matchmaking who dictate that a man should be the provider and the woman should praise him for it? By going against this holy grail norms do women then have to make do with the Ike Turners, Bobby Browns, and Frankie Just Gym it’s of this world?

My two cents for what they are worth, boss ladies should stop being a misguided lot and find men of their stature, it sounds rude, crude even but it is basic pragmatism at work here.  Blade sharpens blade no? You can blame it on patriarchy and other demons but one thing stands out in these few cases, it is hard to have a boss lady roll with a dude that is just lacking luster and expect them to thrive. In the long run, an Alpha Female must have an Alpha Male by her side and vice versa. What say you?

Straight Outta Compton; a commentary on the life of the minority.

 

Movie review.

       “Our art is a reflection of our reality,” these words by O’she Jackson who plays his father Ice Cube in the film Straight outta Compton, sum up what the film’s main theme of socially addressing the issues facing the minority community in Compton and indeed the minority in the whole of America was all about. The film Straight outta Compton is a biographical drama that revolves around the lives of five rap artists from the suburbs of Compton California who formed the group Niggaz Wit Attitudes (N.W.A) and their various trials mostly revolving around police harassment and the ups and downs of seeking musical stardom.  The film’s title is based on their debut studio album   Straight Outta Compton as well as the title track of the album which went by a similar name.  The film is directed by F. Gary Gray,  produced by two of the original members of the group that is  Ice Cube, Dr. Dre as well as Eazy-E’s widow  Tomica Woods-Wright, with other members of the group  McRen and D J Yella acting as creative consultants.   The lead actors in the film are Jason Mitchell who acts as Eazy-E the founding member of the group NWA, Oshea Jackson,jr. who acts as Ice Cube, Corey Hawkins who acts as Dr. Dre., Aldis Hodge who plays Mc. Ren Neil Brown Jr. acts as Dj Yella,  and Paul Giamatti acts as Jerry Heller.  the manager of the group  N.W.A.

Some of the most outstanding themes that are voiced in the film involve police brutality, racism, and the glorification of drugs, to the rise of the  N.W.A    critic of the film has accused its members of having to be misogynistic as well as leaving out some people considered key in the creation of the rap group. What it cannot be denied though is the fact that the film Straight outta Compton represents a social commentary on the long-running abuse of the minority communities in American society in both past and present-day America by the justice system, drugs, and general lack of social opportunities.

From the onset the film highlights the brutality of the police towards minority communities in America through actual harassment of the group which compares well with the present-day brutality of the police towards minority groups in American society that has led to the emergence of rights groups such as the Black Lives Matter Movement.  Indeed, from the very onset of the film, the police are seen harassing the residents of Compton. In the opening scene of the film, Eazy-E is in a crack house where drug addicts go to buy drugs, after a while in the house a police knocker is driven into the living room of the house and the police are shown using brutal force to get into the house, such as the knocker, tear gas and dogs to chase down Eazy –E in the neighborhood.  Even though it was right for the police to ransack the house as illegal business was occurring in it, in normal circumstances police are supposed to have a warrant which they are supposed to present to the residents living in a house before they make forceful entry into someone’s domicile however this is clearly not the case in film or in most confrontations that the police have had in recent times with people from minority communities in America such as that of Michael Brown from Fergusson Missouri where a policeman shot and killed Brown who was unarmed after a brief chase(Jake n.p. ). Kenneth Turner in a critic of the film for the LA Times says that “these words and the situations that called them forth do not, unfortunately, come off as quaint reminders of a bygone era. Rather, given the disturbing headlines from around the country, quite the opposite is true, giving sections of the film an inescapable relevance.” This is because the same Police excess hostility issues that groups such as N.W.A in the film and Public Enemy before them complained about regarding the police brutality in America are still prevalent in present-day  America with scenes such as the harassing of Ice  Cube in the film as he comes from his friend’s house being replayed in incidences such as that of the shooting of  Michael Brown in a suburban setting just like Compton in Fergusson Missouri, even though both Ice Cube and Brown were unarmed in both their altercations with the police it did not stop the police in the film from roughly handling Cube by slamming his body on the hood of the police patrol car or for Darren Wilson to shoot 18-year-old Brown who some accounts of the events of the shooting claimed were unarmed when Wilson shot him 12 times(Jake n.p.).

In an article in the Washington Post, it was reported that the number of blacks who have been shot and killed resulting from traffic stops is much higher than for any other racial group in the whole of America(Lowery n.p ). This shows that policies such as stop and frisk which are responsible for the incarceration of many black youths for minor offenses have been abused by law enforcement to the extent of them taking the lives of these young people, a good example of this abuse of the stop and frisk law is shown in a subsequent confrontation in the film with the police when the N.W.A  group after stepping out of a recording session for their  Album Straight Outta Compton,  are accosted by police outside the studio and the police accuse them of being gangbangers which is a slang term for a street gang that engages in all types of crime from selling drugs to stealing; Once the police accuse them of being “bangers” they make them lie on the granite even though the group tells the police that they are recording music and they frisk them aggressively,  it takes the intervention of their manager Jerry Herrer( a white man)  to have them allowed back inside for their recording session and even then the police in an effort to show Herrer who is boss refuses to let the group members rise up and it is only when the white police officer tells them to stand up that they do. This harassment by the police in the film and today is yet another sign of the brutality of the police towards young black men in the past and in present America.

      Evidently, the film Straight Outta Compton is also a commentary on the issue of racism in American society which has refused to fade and has become a shameful identity for most of conservative America. “F**k tha police/A young ni**a got it bad ’cause I’m brown/And not the other color so police think/They have the authority to kill a minority” In this line from the song Fuck the Police from the group’s debut album which was recorded after the confrontation of the police at the studio and is sang in a concert in Detroit in the film, Ice Cube addresses the issue of racism in the police force and how it is used as a reason or justification to commit crimes against the minority communities in American society just because they are not white. In an interview the former manager of the group N.W.A Jerry Heller who managed them through much of their controversial music life is quoted as having said that “I think that they did more for race relations in this country than any other entity in history.”(Barshad np). He was of the opinion that the group can only be compared to people such as Bobby Kennedy the brother to John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King(Barshad n.p. ) .In the songs that the  N.W.A sing-together and as solo acts in the films all are critical of the racially targeted police attention that ends in harassment. In a department of Justice (DOJ) investigation of claims of racial profiling in Fergusson, Missouri’s Police force and the use of excessive police force in Fergusson it was found in a report released in March of 2015, those racial stereotypes were used in “a pattern or practice of unlawful conduct in Fergusson(“Investigations of the…” n.p.).

Again, in the film the Beating up of Rodney King is shown as it was recorded on a policeman’s dashcam in his patrol car, the members of the group watch this keenly and when asked by their manager Heller, why they are watching this instead of working they answer that they are working since their music which was based on their reality reflected what they and those in their society went through every day and racism was a real part of their everyday existence. Because of their honest observation of the ills of society such as the social divide based on racism the N.W.A seems to get a lot of acceptance from audiences from all walks of life even from the suburbs, they also get themselves an equal number of enemies as seen by the destruction of their CDs when they pass through a predominantly white neighborhood in their tour bus and Easy-E makes a joke and says that he does not care if they destroy the CDs as long as they bought them.

      Thirdly, yet another reality of the minority in American societies during the time of the N.W.A  addressed in the film Compton and present-day America is the constant issue of drug glorification by the marginalized races in America. From the onset of the film, the issue of drug abuse is addressed in the plot of the film. As the film starts Easy-E has gone to procure drugs in a crack house and things go wrong when the police come into the house with brutal force, in the 1980s Los Angeles drug abuse, especially of crack cocaine was out of control and the police carried out such raids in an effort to control the menace (Barshad n.p.). As well, the record label owned by Easy-E is funded using drug money.  Throughout the film, there is the glorification of drugs in the music sung by the group, maybe because drugs and those who sell it are the only version of success that the relatively young members of N.W.A know, Easy -E actually is the only one of the five-man crew who seems to be well off; this is a reflection of the present and past state of most American minorities who live especially in the inner cities and suburbs such as Compton. This idolizing of drugs selling and use is seen in the present day where most of the popular hip hop music stars are seen to glorify drug use and especially selling and they associate this in many instances with their rise to stardom. So even though a negative attribute of society the group N.W.A   brings to the limelight and also enables this belief in drugs are a sign of success in a minority society where there are more examples of failure than there are of success.

      Alternately, despite the various socially conscious messages that the film Straight outta Compton has communicated that addresses issues that have affected minorities in America over time, some critics have reportedly faulted the film for having neglected to mention the Misogynistic tendencies of the group, especially towards women. It is true that members of N.WA.  Having long-running controversies related to the ill-treatment of women, in the film there is evidence of this in the many disrespectful words used to describe women in the music. As well Dr. Dre in his time with the group is said to have beaten several women namely his ex-girlfriend and mother to one of his children Michele and another woman a reporter called Dee Barnes who even published an article in Gawker titled “what’s missing from Straight Outta Compton: Me and other women Dr. Dre beat up”.( “Here’s What’s Missing” n.p. ) As well the lack of acknowledgment of other acts that were strategic to the rise of the group are said to have been left out of the film. However, Dr. Dre owned up to the abuse of the women and even apologized saying that the women I’ve hurt. I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives”( “Dr. Dre Apologizes”)   Apple in a supporting statement said, “Dre has apologized for the mistakes he’s made in the past and he’s said that he’s not the same person that he was 25 years ago.”(Jillian n.p.) In this regard,  the actions of N.W.As cannot be justified, however the contribution of N.W.A through the social messages and the light that their music shone on the social inequalities that existed and still exist in the present-day world of minorities is one that cannot be watered down, just like many music groups they had their controversies but if it was not for them the likes of conscious hip-hop artists such as Nas, Common, Jay-Z,  Kanye West, Mos def and the new crop of artists such as   Kendrick Lamar and  J. Coles of this world would not have existed carry on the torch of pushing for the social equality of all Americans through their art(Greene n.p.).

In ending, the film straight outta Compton acts as a mouthpiece for the minority races in America who for a long time have been victims of police brutality,    issues of racial profiling,   and have been caught in the glorifying of activities such as drug use and selling because of lack of alternatives. Although the group N.W.A had its shortfalls such as its negative treatment of women and its living out some crucial aspects and parties from the biopic, it still communicated the impact that the group N.W.A had on the societies it based its content on and also for the present-day American society it acts as a mirror of how a bye-gone era is been replayed over and over again without a clear end in sight.

Works Cited

Barshad Amos.Jerry Heller Expresses Himself. . 11. Aug. 2015. web. March.16.2016.

      Halpern, Jake (August 10, 2015). “The Cop”. The New Yorker. Archived from the original on August 8, 2015. Retrieved August 11, 2015. Wilson said that he had interviewed for a few police positions but had been told that he would be a liability.

      Coscarelli, Joe (August 21, 2015). “Dr. Dre Apologizes to the ‘Women I’ve Hurt’”. The New York Times.

“Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department” (PDF). United States Department of Justice. USDOJ Civil Rights Division. March 4, 2015. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 10, 2015

      Here’s What’s Missing From Straight Outta Compton: Me and the Other Women Dr. Dre Beat Up”. Gawker. Retrieved August 18, 2015.

      Lowery Wesley. A disproportionate number of black victims in fatal traffic stops.Dec.24.2015.wEB. 16.March.2016.

      Turran Kenneth N.W.A film ‘Straight Outta Compton’ starts fast but runs out of gas. 13.Aug.2015.Web. 16.March,2016.

            Straight outta Compton . Dir.F. Gary. Gray.2015.  Prdcr. Ice Cube, Dr. Dre Tomica Woods-Wright.  Strng. Oshea Jackson ,jr. Corey Hawkins  ., Aldis Hodge  Neil Brown Jr. and Paul Giamatti .Dist. Universal.

Sederholm, Jillian. “Apple Responds After Dr. Dre’s Apology to Women He’s ‘Hurt'”. NBC News. Retrieved 2015-08-22.

Greene Adrienne.  Straight Outta Compton and the Social Burdens of Hip-Hop. Aug.14.2015.wEB.16.mARCH.2016.

 

Straight Outta Compton; a commentary on the life of the minority

       “Our art is a reflection of our reality,” these words by O’she Jackson who plays his father Ice Cube in the film Straight outta Compton,   sums up what the film’s main theme of socially addressing the issues facing the minority community in Compton and indeed the minority in the whole of America was all about. The film Straight outta Compton is a biographical drama that revolves around the lives of five rap artists from the suburbs of Compton California who formed the group Niggaz Wit Attitudes (N.W.A) and their various trials mostly revolving around police harassment and the ups and downs of seeking musical stardom.  The film’s title is based on their debut studio album   Straight Outta Compton as well as the title track of the album which went by a similar name.  The film is directed by F. Gary Gray,  produced by two of the original members of the group that is  Ice Cube, Dr. Dre as well as Eazy-E’s widow  Tomica Woods-Wright, with other members of the group  McRen and D J Yella acting as creative consultants.   The lead actors in the film are Jason Mitchell who acts as Eazy-E the founding member of the group NWA, Oshea Jackson ,jr. who acts as Ice Cube, Corey Hawkins who acts as Dr. Dre., Aldis Hodge who plays Mc. Ren Neil Brown Jr. who acts as Dj Yella,  and Paul Giamatti who acts as Jerry Heller.  the manager of the group  N.W.A.

Some of the most outstanding themes that are voiced in the film involve police brutality, racism, and the glorification of  drugs, to the rise of the  N.W.A.   Critics of the films have accused its members of having been misogynistic, as well as leaving out some people, considered key in the creation of the rap group. What it cannot be denied though is the fact that the film Straight outta Compton represents a social commentary on the long-running abuse of the minority communities in American society in both past and present-day America by the justice system, drugs, and general lack of social opportunities.

From the onset, the film highlights the brutality of the police towards minority communities in America through actual harassment of the group which compares   well with the present day brutality of law enforcement towards minority groups in American society that has led to the emergence of rights groups such as the Black Lives matter Movement.  Indeed, from the very onset of the film the police are seen harassing the residents of Compton. In the opening scene of the film Eazy-E is in a crack house where drug addicts go to buy drugs, after a while in the house a police knocker is driven into the living room of the house and the police are shown using brutal force to get into the house, such as the knocker, tear gas and dogs to chase down Eazy –E in the neighborhood.  Even though it was right for the police to ransack the house as illegal business was occurring in  it, in normal circumstances police are supposed to have  a warrant which  they are supposed to present to the residents living  in a house before they make forceful entry into someone’s domicile  however this is clearly not the case in  film or  in most  confrontations that the police have had in recent times with  people from minority communities in America such as that of Michael Brown from Fergusson Missouri where a police man  shot and  killed Brown who was unarmed after a brief chase(Jake n.p. ). Kenneth Turner in a critic of the film for the LA Times says that “these words and the situations that called them forth do not, unfortunately, come off as quaint reminders of a by gone era. Rather, given the disturbing headlines from around the country, quite the opposite is true, giving sections of the film an inescapable relevance.” This is because the  same Police  excess hostility  issues that  groups such as N.W.A in the film and Public Enemy before them   complained about regarding the police brutality in America are still prevalent in  present day  America  with  scenes such as the harrasing of Ice  Cube in the film as he comes from his friend’s house being replayed in incidences such as that of  the shooting of  Michael Brown  in  a suburb setting just like Compton  in Fergusson Missouri, even though both Ice Cube and Brown were  unarmed in both their altercations with the police it did not stop the police in the film from roughly handling Cube by slamming his body on the  hood of the police patrol car or for Darren Wilson to shoot 18 year old Brown who some accounts of the events of the shooting claimed was unarmed when Wilson shot him 12 times(Jake n.p.).

From an article in the Washington post it has been reported that the number of blacks who have been shot and killed resulting from  traffic stops is much higher than for  any other racial group in the whole of America(Lowery n.p ). This shows that  policies such as stop and frisk which are responsible for the incarceration of many black youths  for minor offences  have been abused by  law enforcement to the extent of them taking the lives of this  young people, a good example of this abuse of  the stop and frisk law  is shown  in a subsequent confrontations  in the film with the police  when the N.W.A  group after stepping out of a recording session for their  Album Straight Outta Compton,  are accosted by police outside the studio and the police accuse them of being gangbangers which is a slang term for  a street gang that engages in all types of crime from selling drugs to  stealing; Once the police accuse them of being “bangers” they make them lie on the granite even though the group tells the police that they are recording music and they frisk them aggressively,  it takes the intervention of their manager Jerry Herrer( a white man)  to have them allowed back inside for their recording session and even then the police  in an effort to show Herrer who is boss refuse to let the  group members rise up and it is only when the white police officer tells them to stand up that they do. This harassment by the police in the film and   today is yet another sign of the brutality of the police towards young black men in the past and in the present America.

      Evidently, the film Straight Outta Compton is also a commentary on the issue of racism in American society which has refused to fade and has become a kind of identity for some in America who have a biased outlook towards other races. “F**k tha police/A young ni**a got it bad cause I’m brown/And not the other color so police think/They have the authority to kill a minority” In this line from the song Fuck the Police from the group’s debut album which was recorded after the confrontation of the police at the studio and is sang in a concert in Detroit in the film, Ice Cube addresses the issue of racism in the police force and how it is used as a reason or justification to commit crimes against the minority communities in American society just because they are not white. In an interview the former manager of the group N.W.A Jerry Heller who managed them through much of their controversial music life is quoted as having said that “I think that they did more for race relations in this country than any other entity in history.”(Barshad np). He was of the opinion that the group can only be compared to people such as Bobby Kennedy the brother to John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King(Barshad n.p. ) .In the songs that the  N.W.A sing-together and solo acts in the films all are critical of the racially targeted police attention that ends in harassment. In a department of Justice (DOJ) investigation of claims of racial profiling in Fergusson, Missouri’s Police force and the use of excessive police force in Fergusson it was found in a report released in March of 2015, those racial stereotypes were used in “a pattern or practice of unlawful conduct in Fergusson(“Investigations of the…” n.p.).

Again, in the film the Beating up of Rodney King is shown as it was recorded in a policeman’s dash cam in his patrol car, the members   of the group watch this keenly and when asked by their manager Heller, why they are watching this instead of working they answer that they are working, since their music which was based on their reality reflected what they and those in their society went through every day and racism was a real part of their everyday existence. Because of their honest observation of the ills of society such as the social divide based on racism the N.W.A seems to get a lot of acceptance from audiences from all walks of life even from the suburbs, they also get themselves an equal number of enemies as seen by the destruction of their CD’s when they pass through a predominantly white neighborhood in their tour bus and Easy-E makes a joke and says that he does no care if they destroy the CD’s as long as they bought them.

      Thirdly, yet another reality of the minority in American societies during the time of the N.W.A  addressed in the film of Compton and present-day America is the constant issue of drug glorification by the marginalized races in America. From the onset of the film, the issue of drug abuse is addressed in the plot of the film. As the film starts Easy-E has gone to procure drugs in a crack house and things go wrong when the police come into the house with brutal force, in the 1980s Los Angeles drug abuse, especially of crack cocaine was out of control and the police carried out such raids in an effort to control the menace (Barshad n.p.). As well the record label owned by Easy-E is funded using drug money.  Throughout the film, there is the glorification of drugs in the music sung by the group, maybe because drugs and those who sell them are the only version of success that the relatively young members of N.W.A know, Easy -E actually is the only one of the five-man crew who seems to be well off; this is a reflection of the present and past state of most American minorities who live especially in the inner cities and suburbs such as Compton. This idolizing of drugs selling and use is seen in the present day where most of the popular hip hop music stars are seen to glorify drug use and  especially the selling of narcotics associating this in many instances with their rise to stardom. So even though a negative attribute of society the group N.W.A   brings to the limelight and also enables this belief in drugs are a sign of success in a minority society where there are more examples of failure than they are of success.

      Alternately, despite the various socially conscious messages that the film Straight outta Compton has communicated that addresses issues that have affected minorities in America over time, some critics have reportedly faulted the film for having neglected to mention the Misogynistic tendencies of the group, especially towards women. It is true that members of N.WA.  Having long-running controversies related to the ill-treatment of women, in the film there is evidence of this in the many disrespectful words used to describe women in the music. As well Dr. Dre in his time with the group is said to have beaten several women namely his ex-girlfriend and mother to one of his children Michele and another woman a reporter called Dee Barnes who even published an article in Gawker titled “what’s missing from Straight Outta Compton: Me and other women Dr. Dre beat up”.( “Here’s What’s Missing” n.p. ) As well the lack of acknowledgment of other acts that were strategic to the rise of the group are said to have been left out of the film. However, Dr. Dre owned up to the abuse on the women and even apologized saying that the women I’ve hurt. I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our live”( “Dr. Dre Apologizes”)   Apple in a supporting statement said, “Dre has apologized for the mistakes he’s made in the past and he’s said that he’s not the same person that he was 25 years ago.”(Jillian n.p.) In this regard,  the actions of N.W.A towards women cannot be justified, however the contribution of N.W.A through the social messages and the light that their music shone on the social inequalities that existed and still exist in the present-day world of minorities is one that cannot be watered down, just like many music groups they had their controversies but if it was not for them the likes of conscious hip-hop artists such as Nas, Common, Jay-Z,  Kanye West, Mos def and the new crop of artists such as   Kendrick Lamar and  J. Coles of this world would not have existed carry on the torch of pushing for the social equality of all Americans through their art(Greene n.p.).

In ending, the film straight outta Compton acts as  a mouthpiece  for the  minority races in America who for a long time have been  victims of police brutality,    issues of racial profiling ,   and  have been caught in the  glorifying of  activities such as drug use and selling because of lack of alternatives. Although the group N.W.A had its shortfalls such as its negative treatment of women and its living out some crucial aspects and parties from the biopic, it still communicated the impact that the group N.W.A had   on the societies it based its content on and also for the present day American society it acts as a mirror of how a bye gone era is been replayed over and over again without a clear end in sight.

Works Cited

Barshad Amos.Jerry Heller Expresses Himself. . 11. Aug. 2015. web. March.16.2016.

      Halpern, Jake (August 10, 2015). “The Cop”. The New Yorker. Archived from the original on August 8, 2015. Retrieved August 11, 2015. Wilson said that he had interviewed for a few police positions but had been told that he would be a liability.

      Coscarelli, Joe (August 21, 2015). “Dr. Dre Apologizes to the ‘Women I’ve Hurt’”. The New York Times.

“Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department” (PDF). United States Department of Justice. USDOJ Civil Rights Division. March 4, 2015. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 10, 2015

      Here’s What’s Missing From Straight Outta Compton: Me and the Other Women Dr. Dre Beat Up”. Gawker. Retrieved August 18, 2015.

      Lowery Wesley. A disproportionate number of black victims in fatal traffic stops.Dec.24.2015.wEB. 16.March.2016.

      Turran Kenneth N.W.A film ‘Straight Outta Compton’ starts fast but runs out of gas. 13.Aug.2015.Web. 16.March,2016.

            Straight outta Compton . Dir.F. Gary. Gray.2015.  Prdcr. Ice Cube, Dr. Dre Tomica Woods-Wright.  Strng. Oshea Jackson ,jr. Corey Hawkins  ., Aldis Hodge  Neil Brown Jr. and Paul Giamatti .Dist. Universal.

Sederholm, Jillian. “Apple Responds After Dr. Dre’s Apology to Women He’s ‘Hurt'”. NBC News. Retrieved 2015-08-22.

Greene Adrienne.  Straight Outta Compton and the Social Burdens of Hip-Hop. Aug.14.2015.wEB.16.mARCH.2016.

 

Covid-19 the apocalyptic film lives!

I love apocalyptic films, there is some realism that they carry with them, a force majeure of biblical eventuality, maybe it’s because I have been raised Christian and there has always been that anvil called the book of revelation whose verses have hung over my head and sprinkled into my conscience every other time when the boogie man at the pulpit wants to sound the gong of the end of days and squeeze some extra penance coins from our already emaciated pockets. But yes, end of day films have always been a favorite of mine, from Denzel’s Book of Eli to Will Smiths I am Legend and Brad Pits World War Z, I eat this genre up. Then in early March it happened the world as we know it was immersed in an apocalyptic end of days type of plague and it had one of those Hollywood titles to boot to “Covid-19” or the novel Corona Virus, I swear whoever concocted this thing in a laboratory has to be an apocalyptic film cinephilia just like me because of bravo! right? .So yes on stage we had the Corona Virus and just like in the movies it has been spreading like wildfire, and yes just like in the movies there does not seem to be so many “Third World” zombies falling to this malady but lo and behold it has decimated the owners of this rock we live in just like the proverbial Sword of Damocles sears through those in power. But wait, in every one of this apocalyptic epic that I have watched or read about, there is always a

heroine right? a bumbling fool who eventually rises to the occasion and saves the day, well in the case of the world the pre imposed Heroine was the World Health Organization aptly acronymed WHO, as a proper superhero should be, I think the body should have been called The WHO, or Mr WHO or Lady WHO or the WHO

who identifies as other, we have never had an LGBTQ superhero at least not that I know off, I think an apocalypse is a good enough time or reason to have one in place. I digress, so yes daily updates were given by the WHO, our troop of boy and girl wonders cloaked in a cape with the Caduceus insignia, and every day like any dutiful protagonist they sat at their desk in front of the media and told us of rising numbers and what it is world bodies were doing to fight the scourge, they still are I think but now they do so in on the down-low on social media without a request for Retweet. So yes they gave us numbers of the dead and afflicted until they came out of our ears, now we have grown apathetic to this plague I feel, not that it is doing any less harm it is just that we have grown attuned to it like that Uncle who came to visit from upcountry with the smelly legs but you became used to the putrid smell four months down the line when it dawned on you he was not leaving soon nor was his affinity for gumboots. So yes updates, drowned on, but as with every plot there is a  twist and an antihero who comes from  the left side enter Mr Trump the topmost self-imposed scientist from the Wild wild West joined the fray and he sought to clip the wings of the heroine WHO, who identifies as other our interest was piqued again, for this man suggested we drink Bleach to be healed of this socurge.To make a plot the more interesting, our nemesis to the protagonist had a challenger from the ranks of the WHO known as Dr Fauci a pint-sized bespectacled sage who we thought was our hero, but now he was no match for the Orange faced man with hair that looked like rats fuzz shavings on his head and oh boy he ran circles around our mini protagonist. We got bored yet again as deaths raged on  we asked how many sequels are there to this epidemic this apocalyptic farce needs to end already! and alas, just in the nick of time, the medicine men atop  the mountains of Pfizer et al found a cure for the Covid menace phew! just in time for Christmas consumerism too, Jesus must like the idea of capitalism.

At some point, I thought this film franchise would drown on to ad  infinitum  like that Star Wars hubbub has.

But wait, there is a twist in the plot, (as with any farce worth it is salt) remember us the peoples of The “Third World” well, the fourth wall has fallen for yours truly, the lot of us can barely afford to put three square meals on the table so we would be hard-pressed to buy a vaccine from the medicine men in the mountain. So yes, even though the plague is slowly gaining tide in our end of town we are up the river without a paddle if you will, and just like a mini plague that has been wreaking havoc for decades in this parts now known as the HIV/AIDS we think this particular Apocalyptic film called Covid will have endless reruns on our end of this rock we call home until a saviour, a medicine man or our Ostrich head in the sand leaders do something about it(sic!), till then, we will settle for the many televangelists for our dose of placebo blind faith as  the level headed among us make beelines to the market store to buy lime, ginger and garlic to make concoctions to keep the Covid at bay. I do hope we find a heroine of our own we will call him Mr Third World generic perhaps? We can only hope some hero with Aladdin like lineage (India wink) comes to our rescue in time before we  yet again become fodder for the myriad NGOs that litter our corner of the world.

Opinions and perspectives are like a set of lungs every one has a pair of them

“The sidewalk loafer”
He only works, for the wherewithal to buy a gaudy creation of the tailor’s art, some six-for-a quarter so-called Havana’s and a rakish bowler, which he dons with the inevitable tilt. With this necessary equipment…. he is then at peace with the world”~ ( Ovington, Half a Man; Cleveland advocate, June 5 1915).

Counter thought

“Street corner man” ~
He lives perpetually “in a sea of want”. Unlike the middle-class person who accuses him of being excessively “present-oriented” he usually does not ” have a surplus of resources, either economic or psychological gratification of hunger and the desire for simple creature comforts cannot be long deferred, Neither can support for one’s flagging self-esteem. Living on the edge of both economic and psychological subsistence, the street corner man is obliged to expend all his resources on maintaining himself from moment to moment”( Elliot Liebow,n.d. A study of steet corner men(NewYork,1967).

Social contract is A SHAM

Hobbes social contract is a sham, I believe we should go back to living in a state of nature; we are not all the same so we should not be governed with the same laws. This truth is shown in our state of nature acts such as the extrajudicial killings, George Floyd et al this is just but symptoms of institutionalized and systemic bias against a race that has been robbed, mutilated and cowed for the most part of the last 5 centuries. What we have now in Kenya is entrenched from the colonialist mindset what the Americans have is as a result of the white gaze which will only recognize you if you conform to its perception of you. A system that is hell-bent on keeping the Negro in his place post-emancipation. Right now in the U.S., they are pushing for defunding of the police, the taking away of advertising dollars from Facebook and others who are complicit in keeping things as they are by fortune 500 companies. I feel this form of social protest WHERE THE ALMIGHTY DOLLAR is used to push for change should be entrenched in law otherwise the systems status quo shall remain. , and in Kenya, the toothless bulldog that is IPOA made some noise on Yasin Moyo etal, but hey we are living in a militant state at present (have you seen the new Hitleresque mustache brandishing Nairobi governor). Nice piece, guys.

My lovely daughter joined us the other day..

My daughter joined us the other day, from the belly of her warrior mother she emerged and now for the past two days she leads our three-man choir every day in between 12 midnight and 3 a.m., we do not blame her for her lack of time observation she is a star in her own right and so she is allowed to be fashionably late. The young lass is known as Ivory Nyawira Kamau and like May weather from aunty boss she is the first and last of that name( I Googled). Our little songbird came out weighing 3.1 stone with a full head and forehead of hair, enough for braiding soon according to her mother, I feel the mother blames me for the few upper back hairs, as I also am afflicted by the same, but to me, this is a future alarm system against would be marauding hyenas who would seek to take advantage of my baby I will tell them ” my daughter turns into a werewolf when you come to close to her you don’t believe me check her upper back”. I love this little creature, I know I would do anything for her, right now am loving her weary single cheeked smirk when she sleeps, it looks well practised, I bet she heard my jokes inside her mothers belly and smirked wondering who that smart fella was just beyond the world of amniotic when she smirks she does it like her daddy and when she does so it seems like she and I have just shared an inside joke. I look forward to many of those smirks; her brother has them too now more so than before especially when he is being cheeky. I pray that God keeps our guttural singing babe in good wealth health and stead will all of man and that we, her humble audience always appreciate her going and coming moods. I love you Ivory Nyawira Kamau.

Chivalry is dead coz yall turned us into metrosexual freaks.

 

The cliché nowadays goes tall dark and handsome which code is really for can cook, gets a many Peddy has rock hard abs and lets me spend his money with quiet abandon. Yes this is the man that every present-day lass longs for, should we blame it on sex and the city, the plethora of soaps they watch or the Kool-Aid

served up by the talk shows they have imbibed on since they were eight years. All I know is that the Victorian version of chivalry has not survived the test of time. So it’s no wonder that when we get into bar brawls she is the one standing on top of the counter stiletto in hand defending her now inebriated version of prince charming, before he gets the life clobbered out of his drenched skull by a humongous wallop who lifts weights all day as our knight in shining cuticles is paper-pushing in one of the many office blocks in upper hill.

When it comes to raising children the modern-day knight is lost because he has become so inseminate the best thing he can do is put his son in front of NETFLIX

or worse E! And let him learn what the celebrities are up to, he himself cannot kick a football without calling the wrath of a hamstring upon himself, so he settles next to his boy and reads a copy of True Love or GQ magazine just to catch up on what is expected of an Alpha male of his caliber. If by any chance his mother visits from shags with a chicken as they usually do, he will be hard-pressed to put the poor animals out of its misery, the last thing he remembers killing was a mosquito that threatened to spoil his perfect skin that he had just come from having peeled at the salon. So when grandma comes with a chicken from shags off Booi is sent to the caretaker or ‘soldier’ to come and take the chicken from its life.

To be honest, the caretaker/watchman is the only man who has stuck to his African heritage in this Boi’s whole court. I mean he has his choice of all the bevy of ladies in all of the houses(read house technicians), he eats to his fill from the various houses, trims hedges shirtless and washes Bois car with zeal, to top it off he sleeps in the different bedroom ensuites you pay for while you push paper at some nondescript office.

Let’s leave his tale for another day, won’t we? This is the tale of the demise of chivalry so next time y’all complain about the lack of bravado in your menfolk just know it is by your own doing that we have become so.

 

MY  KINGS OF MEAD(Wamunyootas)

 

They come staggering or crawling back home every dawn or dusk or just gives up by the trench near the gate , it’s my   prodigal one and his father; my two kings of the mead, they have  been binge drinking today, it must have been a good day at mungetho, Saturday’s usually are, it’s when most  women  need water fetched others  fences trimmed and gas cylinders refilled. Today was particularly special, it was the last Saturday of the month, and the beginning of a new semester for the “comrades” and ‘fresher’s’ at the local university so open season it was. Nobody knows how to ferret out a coin than an alcoholic at six in the morning. Snout to the ground, ear on the wind dragging at a borrowed fag as if it was the last piece of tobacco on earth, he looks out for that all-important haunt that will be the vehicle to his removing his “lock” and then he is good for the mid-morning loiter.

I needed My prodigal to oil the gate today he was mteja most of the day sleeping under the mango tree. Him and his bum father pass out so often on this contraption  that welcomes you to out derelict compound  I am of the mind to get some of the tents from our IDP days out and elect them by the gate for the convenience of my two kings of the mead,  for when they come back home late at night  signing preemptive dirges full of the grog. I thought the kasober program would help my two kings, but as usual, it was nothing else but another shit sling to steal money by our swine looking governor.

Many a day I wonder what will become of my name, my beautiful name, will it disappear with the mound of dirt with which they will hurriedly cover me with once the maggots call out my number. This wretch of a prodigal doesn’t seem like he could sway a mangy dog to lift a leg up for his entry.

I wish like his biblical equivalent he would leave my sight already find his way into someone’s pigsty in the middle of the night and that he makes acquaintance with a blunt farm tool or two, truly he has proved to be the product of his father’s loins and purveyor of grief for his mother. Now as I while away my time singing requiems I contemplate   him and his sire to their graves at least my death by a thousand vexing knives will have been hurried along and easily forgotten after they become dunes for me to lay wreaths upon and pretend they are what they once were; a son and a father whom I once held dear and not the two rabid zombie dogs that they have become and that need putting down. Maybe then and only then I might be able to salvage what was left of my long-gone sanity long gone at the behest of my two kings of the mead.