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So, you can write? Here are wordsmiths Soyinka would invite for drink

It would appear that a record discharge of toxic sludge from our notorious smut factory is currently clogging the streets and sewers of the Republic of Liars, Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka wrote about Nigeria in Premium Times on April 7.

It goes to prove the point that provoked the avalanche EXACTLY! The seeds of incipient fascism in the political arena have evidently matured. A climate of fear is being generated. The refusal to entertain corrective criticism, even differing perspectives of the same position, has become a badge of honour and certificate of commitment.

In Nairobi, Kenneth Gachie described the sex workers of Zimmerman: As it nears midnight, the naughty girls too come out to play – dressed in tasteless little dresses, covered in horrific makeup, wearing cheap, sheeny jewellery, and walking in crackling Gikomba stilettos (Citizen Digital, September 28).

Oh, and they almost all seem to have taken a trip down the ‘mkorogo’ clinic as their skin tone varies in colour, depending on where you look. Their wigs, too, are like dried twigs haphazardly tossed on their heads.

Mercy Chelangat painted the picture a city slum: River Ngong snakes past Gatoto Village in Mukuru Kwa Reuben, dragging in its wake raw sewage, discarded plastic, and sundry debris (Nation, September 26, p.10).

During rainy seasons, it often turns into a monster, carrying away people and their property.

Over 20 families call this nightmarish place their home, condemned to witness this heart-breaking spectacle in their own backyards. Their windows remain locked tight, as if trying to keep out not only the stench but also the anguish that permeates their existence.

Their mealtimes and slumbers are accompanied by the rancid smell that seeps through the cracks of their fragile walls.

When the heavens open up, the river’s hunger intensifies, swallowing even more filth and rising with unkind intent.

It hurls its vile contents into the homes of these resilient residents, as if mocking their struggle for a semblance of normalcy.

Delicious prose. Evocative, sensitive, yet brutally accurate and real.

Lakini pale Lion Place they wrote a speech as news: The government is fast-tracking the implementation of its visionary blueprint for socio-economic empowerment and inclusive prosperity under the bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (Star, September 27, p.7). What’s the news here? Buzzwords and slogans strung together delivering zero meaning.

Next: The plan encompasses an array of transformative programmes and interventions designed to elevate every section of society. Speech, not news story.

Para 3: It seeks to ensure citizens and communities at every level of the social ladder are acknowledged in efforts to revolutionise the country’s landscape of opportunity. Three paras but 5Ws and H nowhere to be seen. And Kenyans are supposed to pay for such content.

Atwoli: Workers need more pay to cushion against economic shocks (Standard, September 26, p.10). That is clear. Intro: The Central Organisation of Trade Unions is urging President William Ruto to increase employee wage bills to help shield them from the high cost of living. What are “employee wage bills”?

Meru Govenor Kawira Mwangaza has once again found herself in a tight spot after Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) launched a fresh plan to impeach her (People Daily, September 25, p.10) Para 4: It remains to be seen whether Mwangaza will survive the new storm. Of course, it remains to be seen. So, what is the news in this sentence?

The already needle-sharp pain Kenyans are experiencing in the pocket is set to be exacerbated by a slew of new taxes and deductions that have been proposed by the government and MPs (Star, September 28, p.2). Great imagery of needle-sharp pain but say “worsened”. Leave “exacerbated” and other Big English to policy wonks and state bureaucrats in designer suits.


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