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.


Blogger Aizoh said...

Must take the honour if being first here. Now let me read.

24 April, 2007 08:00  
Blogger Aizoh said...

And second too it seems. Hey, welcome back chick! About time too. Now, I feel you about murdering grammar etc. There's a lot left desired in that area. But pray do tell, how do you want us to pronounce "beat" so that it doesn't sound like "bit"? Okay,I guess I could say "Capital news beeeeeet" to distinguish the sound, but how do I do it in the case of "thags" and "thugs"? Just some of the inconsistencies in the language I guess. My own peni mbili worth.About our shamelessness(sp?), I think our problem is we put off doing anything until the very last minute. Procrastinating(sp? again.sorry) is our undoing.

24 April, 2007 08:33  
Blogger Aseu said...

I have looghed my heed off!This is veri troo not only in Kinya but UGee as well na hapa, we have a problem of spellings too, which makes it worse.
Nice post

24 April, 2007 14:13  
Blogger Movie Buff said...


Oh dear...
This is just sad!

24 April, 2007 17:57  
Anonymous Barsawad said...

Great to have you back posting!

Years back - befeore 1978, Kenya used to be very organised: schools, hospitals and all public places had order and discipline. Lining up for tickets for a movie or in a supermarket, was orderly too. But, that was then.

Did I have all my spellings right?

25 April, 2007 09:04  
Anonymous m said...

LOL! A kindred spirit indeed! I could do a whole series on newscasters. One of them continues to stun and amaze Kenyans (and now Africas, seeing as NTV is on DSTV now) by having the audacity, temerity and chutzpah to somehow include the letter "r" in "but".

25 April, 2007 17:50  
Anonymous acolyte said...

Damnit! I'm 3 days late! I listen to Capital news and laugh my head off each time! Our media has accent issues!
Kenyans learn to line up when they go abroad otherwise back home it is a free for all. Women and children last of course!
That special report segment has made my day! Insider story, Lol!

27 April, 2007 02:09  
Anonymous aegeus said...

I so feel you on the Kenyans who cannot line up for anything and just heave themselves to the counter and yell out their order while manhandling the waiter!

As for the newscaster, wacha tu. ...8 million Kenyans are Illitrate. Must have been an insider's story.... TOTALLY!! ROTFLMMAO!

27 April, 2007 02:19  
Blogger ish said...

lol! atti insider's story...

29 April, 2007 19:48  
Anonymous Mlevi said...

i swear you say the truest maneneo. the way they talk drives me up the wall to no end. i had the misfortune of seeing a chick who said parsta!!!! as in pasta! among other misplaced twangs...needless to say i was away in short order

good one lakini

03 May, 2007 12:08  
Blogger Klara said...

That is so frustratin! 8 million of us are still illetrate? So sad

03 May, 2007 18:04  
Anonymous Anne said...

I rarely get to hear all the news from the particular stations be it radio or TV. But the other day I got to listen to something on You Tube and was shocked. First off I wasn't sure what the person was talking about. The mixes of the language and pronunciations got me mixed up. In addition, I can’t quite say if the person was trying to entertain the viewer or what. They were adding their own thought and comments that were way off and in the end the specific story was not properly delivered. I am also astonished that there are that many Kenyans that are illiterate. I know it is a dilemma, but for those of us who are, if we join hands we can do something about the future of the young ones, the youth, the future of Kenyan!

09 May, 2007 00:43  
Blogger cromagnon said...

Kenyan chick!!!
Okay. They nid your help. Give them a come hither with the nail of lurve and instract them how not madder ye olde turngue!!!
I've missed you!!!!

09 May, 2007 08:26  
Blogger Milonare said...

Yas. Thos peopl shud larn aboutt there mispelings!!

10 May, 2007 14:16  
Anonymous dooaz said...

it be always me pleasure to kom a visiting to this here blog...

laini, na wakenya, ndio sipendi kupanga laini...i avoid them as much. wacha nichelewa lakini nisikasirike nikiona modhii akiruka laini na wasee hawasemi.

news sionangi, they pisss me off too and the news? hawana any stories no more.

14 May, 2007 18:52  
Blogger Princess said...


27 May, 2007 07:57  
Anonymous p1nk13 said...

Lmao. too good, now i have no idea whats going on with our reporters but these guys seem to try to curve their niche (think Richard Quest-CNN)

as for the queuing i think it traces back to the KANU days, we're so used to the queues as a means of rigging hence when we spot them, need i say more?

10 July, 2007 16:37  
Blogger joyunspeakable said...

that last blogger should be hanged for misusing your airtime. check how long he took.

13 August, 2007 16:09  
Blogger Mo Maalim said...

The last blogger deserves to be hanged with his shoelaces...or sense of hubris.

Anyway, the last sentence was brilliantly ironic.

24 February, 2008 13:47  

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