Monday, July 30, 2007


After many months of turning down mainstream media interviews, this blogger agrees to talk to - Radio, Africa. This is why they didn't broadcast it.

“So what has blogging done for you, Potash?”asks the – Radio man.

We are sitting on the potholed concrete of a dimly lit staircase. I take a long drag on my ninth cigarette of the day mulling over his question.

It is 9 am. It is dark in here. The darkness that is the bane of these unplanned multi-stories. Out there it is dark too. The dark of an ovecast July- chilly and ugly- with no chance of lighting things up with a gaff two.

“You know,” I say to him, “...maybe I should go out on that street there and start a new game. Get all my boys together, we light up, and instead of competing on who will blow the best smoke rings,we try blow out plumes shaped like a middle finger.”

“Huh, flick a smoke birdie at a City Council by-law, you mean? Potash, man, are you some kind of rebel without a cause... an anarchist?”

“Nah, it is just a line for the blog, dude. Just another node on the Potashian myth creation sequence... like the fabled Dakimu... me building myself up as some kind of urban legend, you know...!”

“Oh, come on now,” he interrupts. “Talking to you does beg the question: does Potash believe in anything?”

“Of course he does. Potash believes that one day he will make a pile of lucre from his scribbles... Potash believes that one day America will be safe for the rest of the world...!”

“I am not sure you can say that on the – Radio.”

“Yes and you already said that I cannot say Fuck and Orgasm. So I am wondering what the FUCK I am meant to read out for the intellectual stimulation of your staid audience, from my blog. An excerpt from the King James Bible? Yes, so what about, '...and Onan used S- vagina to jerk off earning the wrath of Yahweh for spilling his seed'?”


“The Bible is one of my greatest influences, Mr. - Radio. I admire its rendering of history in code form; under a holy shroud of ambiguity.

I believe, for instance, that what later became called the Immaculate Conception was the first successful In Vitro Fertilisation in the history of man. Jesus was a test tube baby; in such a time and age, how would such a being escape deification?”

“Oh yeah... and Joseph was the Mad Scientist!”

“Gabriel, comes close actually. In the absence of poor Africans to conduct his unapproved experiment on, he chose a lowly carpenter, with an incredibly low sperm count to match probably, and his desperate-for-a-baby wife as guinea pigs.

Think about it this way: Gabriel was Isaac Newton, Mary's conceiving was through alchemistry and the angel of the lord was like an apple falling from a tree- an explanation Luddite contemporaries could live with!”

Okay Potash, this is not an interview for Da Vinci Radio, it is for – Radio, Africa, so just tell me what blogging has done for you and I can go file my story.”

“Man, blogging has got me custom laid. Because I blog, I have had my dick sucked by boys and girls of all races- from all places. I have heard wide eyed fans scream: 'Fuck me hard, Potash' in more tongues than at the UN General Assembly.”

“Seriously, Potash, a university don in the States taught excerpts from your blog, what does that mean?”

“Mean to who? As Wittgenstein once said, '...if Potash were to speak Midwest America wouldn't understand him!'”

“Good Lord. And rumour has it that you have jumped from blogs to deadwood...”

“Rumour has it!”

“No blook?”

“No blook.”


“Yes. Kwani? 4 and hopefully Farafina 11, this September.”

Kwani? is Kenyan, Farafina...?”


“Excellent. So in parting, what would you like to tell our listeners as they are bound to visit your blog?”

“The sexual activity portrayed here is that of a professional. Please don't try it at home (unless you are wearing a condom and lubricant!)


Imigrante said...

Rock 'n' roll will never die!

Frankie said...

he he ur blog made my monday afternoon..i have just been dozing in class..

Frankie said...

tsk tsk...

Rista said...

Sim, sim. Very belated question... but, like, whattup with the phallic obsession?

Anonymous said...

Very interesting i must say.

click to

chyiku m said...

hey. i have resorted to coming here to find out how u are doing. holla sometime(soon!) hope u are well. take care

chyiku m said...

hey. i have resorted to coming here to find out how u are doing. holla sometime (soon!). hope ur ok though. take care

Shee said...

Huh??!! Okey.. ANyway I got you on BBC sometime back. Totally different from this... But this sounds so real!!

Anonymous said...

A small axe to the Safaricom IPO
I am not the daughter of a Big Man. Neither am I married to a Big Man — or even to the son of a Big Man.

I had the good fortune to have essentially middle-class parents who worked hard to give my siblings and me a good basic education. And I had the good fortune to have a mother whose citizenship made it possible for me to attend university, courtesy of the student loans system of her country.

The student loans covered fees and accommodation. But my parents couldn’t afford to send us much money — getting $100 on birthdays and at Christmas was like getting a windfall. So I worked to supplement the student loans, from the time I left Kenya at the age of 16.

Of course, I now recognise that, despite not being associated with a big man’s family, in comparison with the majority of people in Kenya, I am not only fortunate, I am actually extremely privileged.

But, despite that recognition, having worked since the age of 16, I also know the value of my money. I have worked for what I have. This is why, for instance, I get apoplectic with rage about corruption.

Under Kenya’s ridiculously constructed tax brackets, I fall into the same top tax bracket as Kenya’s Big Men. And I get nothing for it, having to pay privately for everything—including security where I live and medical insurance. But, my privileges taken into account, I certainly wouldn’t mind paying the amounts of tax that I do pay if I felt the money went to help those with fewer privileges, not to pay the obscene salaries of those who cannot be bothered to assure the House of a quorum sufficient to pass even 10 Bills a year — or to build the “bigness” of the Big Men.

The other night, some friends and I calculated the share of Safaricom’s reported Ksh17 billion ($253.7 million) profit that would have gone to Mobitelea — the company that, according to the Public Investments Committee, is irregularly in possession of no less than five per cent of the mobile phone company’s shares, meaning that there are apparently no records of Mobitelea having paid for that shareholding.

MEANING THAT MY TAX MONEY, which went into building and sustaining Telkom and Safaricom, was essentially given away. Meaning that, coming back to our calculation, the alleged owners of Mobitelea — the son of a Big Man and the son-in-law of another Big Man under the former regime and a Big Man in this regime — earned themselves no less than Ksh850,000,000 ($12.6 million) last year alone. From doing nothing at all, except live off the profits of having stolen from us. Ksh850 million off my back (and your’s as well). Again, I am incapacitated with rage.

And yet, the Treasury insists that Safaricom’s initial public offer will proceed, regardless of the outcomes of the PIC debate within the House or any court cases that might ensue.


FRANKLY, DESPITE OUR NEWFOUND fascination with IPOs, I don’t think a single one of us should put a single shilling forward. Those of us who do work hard and honestly deserve better. If shares in Safaricom could essentially be given away to Big Men, their sons and sons-in laws, then they can be given away to us. Why should we pay for them? They’re our property in the first place, which the government was meant to hold in trust for us. If it breached that trust for three of us, then it should share the love with all of us.

It might not seem like it, but there are, in fact, victims of corruption. Those victims are you and me — every single Kenyan who dutifully pays his or her taxes. I’m furious. I’m ready for a tax boycott — the residential associations led the way and it’s time to scale up their efforts. We need to say to hell with that IPO until the issues raised by the PIC have been satisfactorily dealt with. We need to be the “small axes” that Robert Nestor Marley talked about and cut down all those “big trees.”

L. Muthoni Wanyeki is a political scientist based in Nairobi