Monday, April 23, 2007

Random Whatsits

This is an homage to my blog hero. (We’re so tight I call him Ernie. Actually, I call him that - in private and under my breath - only because we live in different countries and he doesn't know what I look like. )

Anyway here are some things that have kept me preoccupied:

  • I don't understand Kenyan newscasters. More to the point, I don't understand their accents. Actually, even more to the point, I don't understand what they think they're saying. There's this new trend - Winnie Mukami are you listening? - of flattening the "ea" and "ee" sounds in a word and pronouncing them as an "i." So, according to Yunia Amunga, you are not in fact tuned in to "Capital News Beat." It's the "News Bit." In which we inform you that Raila is "sicking" the ODM presidential nomination.
I stopped listening all together when they tried to tell me about some Peace Talks...

  • I don't understand Kenyans. Do we have a gene that makes it impossible to line up for stuff? Go anywhere - supermarket, government building, swanky 5-star hotel; anywhere - and try and form a line. Your efforts at order will be looked at with sorrow and head-shaking pity - by those who notice them at all. Then there's the fact that we also must have a "shameless" gene, as evidenced by the guy who came flying past me at the supermarket checkout line. I wasn't in a good mood, so I reached out for his arm and said, "Did you not see me standing here?" His classic, shameless response? "But I'm in a hurry."
  • Wait. More on those newscasters. I've been keeping a journal of all their Crimes Against Language (TM). Some examples (and folks I have soooo many more...):
    • KTN on Bishop Wanjiru's infamous marriage plans: "The Bishop’s wedding is on track, but her trip to the ale is not without huddles."
    • Yunia Amunga again: "A gang of urmed thags was today ganned down..."
  • Then, when they're not wenging/twenging etc. they're murdering grammar, inventing new languages/words/countries, and subverting logic.
    • How else to explain KBC's contention that a car "fell into a cliff?"
    • How else, indeed, to explain KBC having a graphic on the screen informing us about Elections in Penin?
    • My personal favourite, however, was the solemn "Special Report" from our national broadcaster's prime time news broadcast. The graphic at the bottom of our screens?

8 million Kenyans are Illitrate.

Must have been an insider's story.