We are now counting down the last minutes to the New Year. If there’s something that 2013 owes you, this is the time to collect because soon it will be no more. But most of us already threw in the towel upon realizing that anything which we did not achieve in eleven months we are not going to achieve in one week. Therefore, if you are like most people, you probably already decided to write off whatever 2013 owes you as bad debt, there is just not enough time to achieve those important resolutions at the last minute. The glimmer of hope that shines for all of us is that it’s the year which is ending and not our lives. We still have a chance to reevaluate our lives, goals and strategies and start over with renewed energy in 2014. It is this hope which is pushing most of us to draft new resolutions or review the old ones in readiness for the kick-off come the New Year. A time like this last year, I had my list of four major resolutions at hand and was all prepared to start the New Year.
Today I am equally prepared. The difference now is that I have absolutely no resolutions. Looking at it from another angle, I actually have one resolution which is to not make any resolutions for the year 2014. Resolutions are good – they help us to keep the big picture in focus. Ultimately, they also help give meaning to our daily efforts and struggles. We do not get tired from nor feel bad about toiling day and night because we know the goals we are working for. As you can see, I did not do away with resolutions because I think they are useless. I appreciate the role they play in giving us a purpose and direction to follow. What then drove me to making this decision? Two things happened this year. First, a fellow student died from an accident. He was just standing there eating snacks and joking with friends as he waited to go home when the bus which was to take them home came and ran over him. It was really sad how he died, and before he reached the peak of his youth. The second thing to happen was me waking up one day to realize that I had achieved all of my resolutions for this year with satisfactory success. This made me to pause and reflect: How much can a person achieve in one year? Is 2013 a success because I achieved my resolutions or is it a failure because I did not get to explore the limits of my abilities?
During my reflection, it occurred to me that resolutions are bad for us in more ways than one and that we actually do not need them. After making resolutions, most of us proceed to procrastinate for the first half of the year thinking that there is still time. June jolts us back to reality making us realize that time is wasting. That’s when some of us will start working diligently to achieve the goals we had set for the year. We end up working in earnest for five months, July through November, and if we are not successful by then, we simply decide to wait for the next year to try again. In reality, the resolutions you are making now are not for the whole of the next year, they are for a few months in 2014. But this is not even the main problem with having annual resolutions. There’s a saying that goes: Mind your pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves. Resolutions get us fixated on what we are going to achieve in one year. In the process, we end up forgetting about the months, days, hours, and minutes that we also have in the year. Eventually, a day becomes just a day, an hour just an hour and a minute just a minute. These can be wasted as we wish, after all what is one day out of 365 days?
When we waste a minute, hour, day, week, or month by temporarily neglecting our goals, we are failing to mind our pennies. You know what happens when you misuse too many coins. At the end of the day you find that you have misused too many dollars. This is how it is with time too. All you have to do is waste enough days and then, before you notice, you have wasted a whole month or year. Personally, although I achieved my goals for this year, I have to admit that I wasted too much time; time that would have been useful in taking me one step closer to my dreams. In 2014, I want to concentrate on what I do each day. The man who does something profitable each day will have more to be proud of than the man who dreams of doing one big thing before the year ends. That’s the lesson I learnt from 2013. Life is short. Each second of each minute is important, use your time wisely. I know that’s cliché but it is true nonetheless. I realized that in 2013 I forgot one wise quote I used to love: Live like you will die tomorrow, learn like you will live forever. However, I do not want to carry any regrets over to 2014. So instead of being sad about the things I might have done differently or better this year, I am happy that I learnt this lesson which I am now sharing with you. God is fair – when he does not give us what we want, he gives us a lesson to help us get what we need. Take time to review your year, especially the things you failed to achieve, and find out which lessons you were supposed to learn. Those lessons will be indispensable if you are to make 2014 a better success than 2013.

Kay Qube, wishing you a prosperous 2014, and I hope you achieve all you desire.



Yesterday was Christmas! Before you start calling me Captain Obvious, let me point out that I saw a woman weeding her garden yesterday. 365 days and a quarter more in a year, and she had to go gardening on Christmas? What’s wrong with some people? Can’t they show some respect, you know like this guy actually saved the world? As far as I am concerned, Christmas is more important than Sunday. Remember when Jesus said that you cannot leave your donkey in a hole on a Sunday just because it is the Sabbath? Well, he did not once make light of the importance of Christmas in similar manner. That should be enough to tell you that Christmas is not to be messed with. It is with that spirit that I decided to pay some relatives a visit on Christmas. Imagine my shock and horror upon finding my aunt buried ankle deep in loose soil digging up potatoes. A load of Napier grass was lying a few feet away from her, further revealing the true extent of her indiscretion. It is really true what the Swahili say, mcheka kilema, kwao kipo. To make it worse, the handicap of dishonouring Christmas managed to end up afflicting me too. Being a gentleman, I was forced to carry her load of potatoes and animal feed as I accompanied her to her home. Yes, I ended up working on Christmas day despite my deep rooted aversion to doing any work other than bring down mountains of rare cuisine on this divinely ordained day.
It is said that the first time is the hardest, after that you get used to it and even begin to enjoy it. And to the perverts amongst you, I am talking about your first time working on Christmas day; something I was almost used to by the time I finally bade my aunt goodbye and hoisted the load of bananas she insisted I carry to my shoulders. But let’s backtrack a little, I did not just arrive and then leave immediately. I got to hang out with my uncle, who finally decided to ask me what I study at the university, three years after I was admitted. I refrained from pointing out the fact the he was three years too late in asking and simply told him, “I study engineering.”
“What does that entail?” He asked, confirming what I had suspected – he does not know the difference between a mechanic and an engineer, much less that between a civil and an electrical engineer.
I had to humour him, “There are different fields of study in engineering.” I explained and he shook his head in understanding. This encouraged me to go on, “I will be a Mechatronics engineer upon graduation.”
He looked at a point on the ceiling directly above my head in deep thought; I was sitting across the width of the table from him. After almost a minute of silence and some very serious contemplation on his part, he said, “Can you put that in mother tongue?”
I almost laughed out loud. Not because he did not know what Mechatronics is, but because all that time we were actually already speaking in mother tongue, with only the exception of the occasional English word or phrase for which I could not find a direct or ready equivalent in mother tongue. Anyway, it was now my turn to think. I tried to imagine how I could explain words and concepts like automation, computer programs, engineering design, robots, artificial intelligence, etc. in mother tongue. When I saw him still looking expectantly at me, I concluded that he probably did not care a single piece of his goats’ droppings what Mechatronics is all about. What was more important was the reassurance that my course will be able to land me a job and put a descent meal on my table, which translates to our table, mine and his. I gave him that reassurance in the simplest way I know how.
“Mechatronics deals with a lot of things related to different types of machines.” He nodded his understanding and I continued to tell him what he wanted to hear, “But the reason I love it is that it will buy me a plot and a wife one day.”
That made him smile. I have come to learn that the two things most men who are my uncle’s age value most are a prime plot in some urban or semi-urban area and a fully paid for wife, I am talking dowry here. There are reasons for this. A plot, just like a car to most Kenyans, is a symbol of wealth. It earns a man respect among his peers as one with the financial acumen to accumulate wealth. A wife completes the picture; she is what makes a male worthy of the title man, especially after she has borne him children. Finally, paying the dowry serves to give the man that inner pride and esteem of knowing that the woman is fully his, both in accordance to customs and whichever romantic barter trades of love that brought and bound them together.
Our discussion was cut short by my aunt who came to join us at the table room. She noticed the half-empty cups of muratina on the table and saw it fit to give my uncle a lecture about mixing medication with alcohol. The grown sissy sat there staring at me sheepishly as he got told off by his wife. That’s when I learnt the truth; he is not free to drink whenever he wants regardless of how much his throat needs some oiling. Boy was I grateful I am not married! But that was not the only thing I learnt from that encounter. It also dawned on me that when you pay dowry and finally ‘own’ your wife, she also owns you in equal measure. The only difference is that she was useful at her parents’ home and so they wouldn’t let her go for free. Conversely, all you did at home was steal sugar, ruin stuff by tinkering with it and come home late. In short, you were as much a headache as you were useful, and your parents couldn’t wait for the day you left their home to make one for yourself. That’s why you pay dowry and she doesn’t, according to some African folklores.
Witnessing that scene left me confused somehow. The thing is, my uncle’s masculinity is not in question here. He is the very definition of masculinity. To prove it, he drowned his cup before corking the brewing gourd and taking it back to where he hides it. I took it that that was his way of telling his wife, “I have heard you, but there are reasons why I filled this cup up in the first place. For those reasons, I’ll finish it and drink no more today.” My aunt was wise enough not to say anything. After that scene played itself out, we all settled in a kind of comfortable calm and made small conversation. I observed the kind of companionship which ‘owning’ each other had developed between those two and was quite impressed. That’s when it occurred to me that if indeed Mechatronics will buy me a wife, it will also sell me out to her. They have a name for this type of trade but it is not taught at school alongside barter and cash trades. That name is marriage.

P.S.: Mr. Mututho don’t think I’ll ever snitch on my uncle, so don’t waste your time coming after me hoping I’ll lead you to the muratina. But if your wife is making it difficult to drink at home, you can hit me up on my twitter and I’ll teach you how to sneak around strict spouses. In exchange, I’ll request that you put my name as an exception to all your laws and regulations alongside such persons as the president, Otieno Kajwang’, Bonny Khalwale, the cardinal and catholic priests, etc. I am referring here to people who may need a drink, at hours which might be at odds with yours, so as to perform the functions of their offices (president, priests and cardinal) or to maintain the eccentricities of their personalities, salute Dr. K. My favourite quote of yours still remains, “For fun to survive, and men of all ages to enjoy themselves, he must go. KiMututh… Oh! Hic! Sorry, Kimunya must go!!”

Happy Festivities before Mututho’s compassion wears thin!

Kay Qube, staggers out!


Christmas day is a very special day of the year, the most special in my opinion. So I decided to celebrate it in a special way, by spending time with my beautiful wife of six years. You can probably guess that I am not old enough to be married to anyone for six years. How then do I have a wife? Thank God for wife inheritance, and especially for that golden age when AIDS did not exist, during her late husband’s youth. This latter fact is what made me deem it reasonable not to put her through the stressful process of going to a VCT. Some of my friends call it horniness, but I like to think of it as sensitivity. And not that kind of sensitivity that makes you too eager to reach for the condoms in the bedside drawer. That kind of sensitivity only gets you STIs and unplanned pregnancies. I am referring to the kind of sensitivity that makes you want to marry someone after you’ve dated for some time. More about this lady I call my wife: She was a second wife to her late husband, which I think literally means that she is a great woman. After all, she must have had something extra to make a nigga go like, “I know I have it all at home already, but I am not living one more day without this latest model release of a woman in my life.” So far I am sure I am not mistaken, nothing has given the tiniest shred of evidence to the contrary. These are all things which served to add to my excitement at the thought of seeing her after some time apart.
Don’t ask me how the devil found out that I intended to visit the woman who loves me with all her heart. All I know is that very early on Christmas day he was at my doorstep doing everything he could to ruin my plans. It began with my mobile phone. The moment I picked it to leave the house, it beeped and started to blink red, battery low! I had to delay and charge it first. Then he started using the oldest trick in the book, I started becoming all anxious and nervous about the visit for stupid reasons. When I saw that he was gaining some footing against me, I showed him the one thing which frustrates him most, love. Upon realizing that I loved this woman too much and was resolute on paying her a visit no matter what, he decided to leave me alone. I was to later hear that he was seen at Machakos country-bus station totally drunk and dancing naked in front of the buses that were supposed to leave at night. Consequently, the buses could not travel to their destinations because some pawns chose Christmas to reinforce the night travel ban for PSVs. The devil works in many ways, sorry to those who will be late reporting back to their jobs because of that inconvenience.
Unfortunately for peace loving folks, the devil does not work alone. Indeed, he sent someone to try and recruit me into his gang on Christmas day. And the devil is smart, he uses ordinary people we cannot suspect. This time he had sent a cousin of mine who I was meeting for the first time. He was elated at being introduced to another one of his relatives. It is with that joyous euphoria that he smilingly held a cup to my mouth and insisted that I drink. I looked inside the cup and saw that it was filled with tea, so I took a healthy sip like a good African male. While I was swallowing, my taste buds were simultaneously sending out memos to all my other senses informing them that my eyesight needed serious help and was not to be trusted. My nose confirmed it as he was withdrawing the cup. It turned out that he was actually enjoying a cup of traditional, alcoholic brew. My gag reflexes were too slow to help me keep my promise to myself never to drink again. I conceded that the devil had won that round. I honestly saw no need to cry over that spilt milk, it was alcohol not poison.
Northwards, the truly nasty amongst the devil’s servants and cronies were busy painting a picture of hell in a country still desperately trying to find its own footing as a young nation. Thousands are reported dead already and the count keeps rising. The UN has been forced to move in more peacekeepers. Our own country chartered two planes to fly out the stranded Kenyans out of that hell. But there are others trapped in areas which have already been captured by rebels. Whether they are alive or dead… we can only pray and hope. Everyone keeps saying how it is better to solve the problem and not the symptoms but very few seem interested in doing that. How come that I never heard of a widespread manhunt for the devil? Perhaps a cash reward of like $1 billion? Bill Gates might even be willing to pay the larger share of the reward if he’s promised that upon the devil’s capture, his computing systems will never freeze, crash or overheat again. Who knows if in one of the two times he came to ambush me on Christmas I might not have been able to turn the tables around and hold him until the cops (or would it be pastors?) arrived? With one billion dollars in my pocket, I could buy each Kenyan citizen two thousand shillings worth of Christmas gifts and still remain a multi-millionaire. That’s 40 million people temporarily extricated from the tentacles of poverty.
I know some of you don’t believe that two thousand is enough to remove anyone from poverty for any period of time. Well, there are people who live on fifty bob a day. To them, the two thousand amounts to 40 days of consistent provision. Didn’t I tell you that the devil is smart? He has some of us so deep in poverty that we cannot even look up to sense the smell of chapattis being cooked all over. Some hearths and stoves remained untouched during and after Christmas. The devil is a very busy man. I wonder how those people who make deals with him manage to even book an appointment. Do you know how difficult it is to put anyone down on Christmas day? Everyone is always in an upbeat mood and clings to the smile on their face like it’s the very air they are breathing. But the devil has ways to steal away those cherished smiles on this special day. A friend of mine lost his dad on Christmas, God rest his soul. It is impossible to smile through such a loss.
Despite everything that the devil did on Christmas and is doing right now to cause suffering to earth’s children, we have the heavenly assurance that God is with us. So take heart and do not agree to lose to the devil. If you lose one round, get up and recover your strength then fight another round, until you win. The devil is a bitter old man who is enraged because he knows nothing good will happen to him ever again. You shouldn’t lose to such an opponent considering that you have divine strategy and armour to use in the fight. But remember that the devil never sleeps, he planted the stupid thoughts in this post on my mind when we all thought Christmas was finally over and went to sleep. So never let your guards down even in your sleep. Methinks those erotic dreams are the devil showing you porn in your sleep. Wake up and take a cold shower, give your hands something distracting to do.

Finally, to my late grandpa who I am named after, rest in peace. I am taking good care of grandma for you. She was so happy to see me on Christmas day, joking about how I chose and wooed her myself because I was bewitched by her dark skinned beauty. She tells me you were quite the Romeo, and I think it rubbed off on me. Until we meet again in heaven, keep them angels smiling.


We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light (truth). – Plato

Dear ladies and gentlemen, or is it lady and gentlemen? I suspect that the secretary does not have voting powers, which only leaves one other female in the committee, or at least in the committee that decided to suspend a number of us in connection to last October’s student unrest in the school. I do not know about the other students, but these are the reasons I was given for my two years suspension. You say that based on the evidence presented and my oral mitigation, the committee found me “guilty of the following offences in accordance with section 6.2 of the Rules and Regulations Governing the Conduct and Discipline of Students of The University”:
i) Writing, publishing and/or distributing of anonymous literature of a malicious or libelous nature including placards.
ii) Any attempt to conceive, design or effect a scheme or strategy of whatever nature whose object or logical consequence is to disrupt the due operation of academic or other programmes of the University.
Consequently, you suspended me from the university for two academic years and warned me not to continue writing inciting and/or defamatory content against the university community lest further action be taken against me. In addition, you went ahead to threaten me with an expulsion should I violate any of the university’s rules and regulations, which, if I understand correctly, includes writing on my blog, right? The evidence you had against me were printed copies of the content of this blog. Now, let me state from the outset that if speaking is wrong, then I am ready for a longer suspension or expulsion. Those are not the kind of things that would have me worried. What worries me has to do with explaining to my brothers why I was suspended from school. Just so you understand why this would worry me, I want you to know that they raised me following my parent’s demise. The far I have come is because of the substantial sacrifices on their part. So going home and telling them that I was suspended because of writing on my blog will not suffice. They went through sleepless nights, toiling day and night so I could be provided for. All I did was read. As you can see, it is they who put in more effort. As such, they will demand to understand the reasons for my suspension inside out. Personally, I still do not understand those reasons.
It is for that reason that I choose to write to you and ask you to please explain it to them in better and simpler language what exactly in the blog is libelous. What exactly qualified as inciting and malicious content? And like I have asked before, does this institution have any intent to foster a free and democratic learning environment? An environment where students can express their idealistic, romanticized versions of how things should be, and the teachers among you can correct those thoughts to put them in line with current reality? And what is the university’s deal with criticism? Some people in authority seem to frown upon it as if their very lives were being threatened. Or is it their jobs? Whichever it is, some things cannot be left to be if we are to reach the levels of academic and technological excellence we aspire for as outlined in our mission and vision; that’s the simple truth and you can take it or leave it. I know that this previous statement in itself should be enough to make at least one member of the committee start thinking of expelling me; I saw how much some of you are annoyed when the truth is spoken fearlessly. Was that not the reason I was accused of rudeness during the hearing? I understand that the proponents of the status quo never wish to see anything change, for better or worse, because they are afraid they may lose out in the new order of things. It is such kind of people who would suspend or expel an outspoken student without a second thought, and in total disregard to due process.
I apologize if I seem to confuse agenda in the paragraph above. I blame it on the fact that despite my wish to have my brothers understand why I was expelled from school, I also have this competing desire to understand why it is so difficult for you to accept that students have rights. I exercised one of those rights and one of you almost went ballistic. He could not believe that I had looked him in the eyes and frankly let him know that I was going to exercise my right to privacy. How can we trust you to uphold our rights when you are not happy when we are exercising them? Another seemed to think that I needed to be highly informed and learned before I can form an opinion. Perhaps he would not mind to go check up the meaning of ‘opinion’, because, in my opinion, he needs an understanding of the term which is based on fact and not his own opinion. Did I lose you there? I am talking to the gentleman who said he could not see the difference between “I am not ready to….” and “I will not….” That was shocking considering that you, sir, have a master’s degree, or so I heard; did you honestly not learn that anywhere within the system you went through? Is that the same system of learning you are so desperately working to maintain? And are you so intent on ensuring its perpetuity that you would be willing to ruin, or postpone, the dreams of some innocent students whose only wish is to graduate and have the same chances at life as you? But I hear that there are people who do not like competition, who do anything to weed it out before it even has a chance to survive. Maybe this is because to compete effectively, one has to keep improving, keep changing. We all know that change is the antithesis of the status quo; it is either one or the other. Ironically, those suspended are not even the real threat, if any student can be regarded as a threat. The real threat lies elsewhere, but when I tried to tell you where that is, you wouldn’t listen. You were too busy trying to prove me guilty.
Interestingly, despite all your concerted efforts to ascertain my guilt, here we are again – with me still protesting my innocence and you not having satisfactorily pointed out how and why I am guilty. You say that this blog is my attempt to disrupt the operations of the university, but do you honestly believe that yourselves? Which specific content here would make anyone stop working or fail to attend class? Will you please explain the logic used to arrive at that conclusion to my brothers because I surely cannot? Don’t hold my shortcomings in that respect against me, that’s why I came to university and pay my school fees – to be taught things I do not know. The one thing I would really like to know right now is: Who did I cross and how did I wrong them? I am ready to go home for my two years, even more, but before that I need to know why I had to be suspended. I don’t want to tell anyone who’ll mind to ask that I do not exactly know why I was suspended. Neither do I want to take home the thought that some persons in authority are vindictive towards the students. These are some of the issues I wish you would take time to make me and my brothers understand. In the meantime, I will be packing, just in case the vice-chancellor decides to uphold your decision, something I was told is a near certainty.

Yours Faithfully,
Kay Qube.


By around noon yesterday, I had seen four of the rulings by the disciplinary committee on the cases that were heard on the 4th of December. The first letter I saw was mine, of course. But even before I opened it, I knew what to expect. Earlier discussions with Manana, who also collected the verdict yesterday, had given me a clue on the leanings of the committee, two years suspension and a mandatory guidance and counseling session upon resuming school in 2016. Of the four rulings I saw, only one student got off with a “stern warning”, Manana and I were given two years suspension and the other was sent home for one year. About nine other students who also appeared before the disciplinary committee had not collected their letters by the time I left school at around 12.30 p.m. But at that rate, at least six of the remaining nine will get suspended for different periods of time. Why are we being suspended, you may wonder? Various reasons, ranging from writing on social media and blogs to allegations of obstructing university staff and destruction of university property. The only problem is that some of these allegations were not sufficiently proven during the hearing. Nevertheless, the committee went ahead and suspended us.
At my hearing, the chairman of the committee agreed with me that in writing this blog I was doing no more than exercising my constitutional right to hold and express an opinion. Which now leaves me wondering: Does our university not recognize our constitutional rights? Has anyone in the disciplinary committee properly gone through the Kenyan constitution to see what it says about the rights to life, freedom of expression, opinion, human dignity, assembly, association, etc.? But even more importantly, do these rights, and the spirit upon which our constitution was founded, mean nothing around here? Each time I reread this letter containing the committee’s resolution, I am baffled even further. In its ruling, the disciplinary committee seems to imply that since I signed the Rules and Regulations document, I effectively gave up my human rights as long as I am in DeKUT. I think that this is ridiculous, but clearly no one is laughing because of the seriousness of the consequences. All in all, I fail to understand why the disciplinary committee does not want us to express ourselves. The ruling says that the committee resolved that, and I am quoting from the letter, “[I] be warned that if [I] continue writing… further action will be taken against [me].” Which further action, what more can they do? Expel me? Or sue me because I was courageous enough to express my opinion on things that have been happening? Go ahead if you so wish, but I know I have rights and I intend to exercise them.
We have heard it said many times that one man’s meat is another man’s poison. Well, as extraordinary as it may sound, one person was actually excited upon knowing how the disciplinary committee ruled on his case. And not just excited, but considerably so; indeed, he is the one who noted that the letters initially being given out were not stamped at all. The student, Manana, has confided in me that he intends to sue the university. Over a week ago, he had actually posted on his Facebook TL expressing his intention to seek legal redress. He cited many grounds for his suit, amongst them being defamation due to false accusations. To be truthful, whoever chooses whom to call to the disciplinary committee, and the reasons for calling them, is not very diligent in collecting evidence. Some of us were accused of missing scheduled classes (that’s a disciplinary offence if you didn’t know) while we were not even meant to have any classes that day. How long would it have taken to check thirteen timetables, and then corroborating with a handful of lecturers to ascertain that a student missed class, assignment or a CAT? That way, no student would have felt as if they were being unjustly accused and being targeted for suspension. But I am in no position to teach professors, doctors and other qualified personnel how to do their jobs, it is them to teach us by setting an example. Sadly, the example being set here leaves a lot to be desired. That is the Kimathi we have.
Despite the fate that has befallen these comrades, it is still Christmas time y’all. So spread the love and cheer, have fun to the maximum. I mean, Mututho himself recognized the sanctity of Christmas and decided not to tax us for house parties. So who are you not to party it up? From my end, I wish you a Merry Christmas comrades!!!
Kay Qube, over and out.


This simple prayer I solemnly pray
That you love me again on Christmas day
Those mine sins that had you walk away
I confess, their price Christ long did pay.

So let new chances on that day be born
Which lonely hearts can jump upon
Like mine which has for long held on
because our love was that stubborn.

Neither distance nor time would kill it
It has stayed alive, each last bit,
Not even knowing how long it had to wait
But hoping Christmas brings a new chance to it.
Give me another chance to smile
and start my New Year in style.


Dare to dream
And dream big my son
Some people live
For what they have
Yet you could live too
For what you can be

Dare to dream
And dream big my son
So if your achievements
Be small and scarce
You can be remembered
By the audacity of your dreams

Dare to dream
And dream big my son
When everything is lost
Do keep your dream
Thus, you never lose hope
Nor give in to failure

Dare to dream
And dream big my son
For dreams could turn
You into a man.