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Archive for October 29th, 2011

What’s missing from our skies lately…

Posted by Administrator on October 29, 2011

Photo/FILE An air hostess at work: The profession calls for a certain lofty level of aesthetical superiority, because, depending on the duration of your flight, you are likely to have an average of three interactions with a hostess.

Photo/FILE An air hostess at work: The profession calls for a certain lofty level of aesthetical superiority, because, depending on the duration of your flight, you are likely to have an average of three interactions with a hostess.

Thanks to terrorism, flying has become a most undignified experience.

These days, they don’t just ask you questions; they strip you at airports (if they don’t like your names) and a cold, ugly piece of metal is often run over your groin.

Worse, in this new disturbing age, it’s only at airports that daughters watch their fathers dress.

I recently saw an overweight father – who obviously fancied oversized pants – precariously hop on one leg, struggling to gather his falling pants with one hand and his shoes with the other.

His daughter, a three-year-old, laughed her head off while watching her hapless daddy almost topple over in an embarrassing mess.

The good old days

But you always knew that the experience would change for the better inside the plane.

The air hostesses always came through with their smiles, flawless skin, sparkling eyes, perfectly aligned – and oh-so-toothpaste-commercial-white – teeth, long legs and small waists.

They made flying bearable. But that was in the 80’s and 90’s. That ship sailed a long time ago. Something has happened to air hostesses in the past decade or so. Something ugly.

Folks, air hostesses have lost their luster. If beauty was ever important in a profession, it’s this one. And beauty is not even about having a lovely face (though it helps) or great legs (though that helps, too).

It’s also about attitude. Cheek. Chutzpah. It’s about an air that someone exudes when they walk into a room, chin up, straight back and easy gait. A smile usually helps, too, if it won’t crack your foundation.

A few days ago, as I sat on one of those cold plastic airport chairs after checking in, I watched air hostesses pulling their fancy little suitcases behind them. And although their faces looked fresh, most looked somewhat jaded.

Our grim reality

They looked so darn tired; they stooped, they slouched, they dragged their frames and the tic-tac of their high-heels sounded muffled and hesitant.

In the plane, they were gracious and professional, but about as warm as a dispensing machine.

“Tea or coffee, sir?” one asked me, and I deadpanned, “I will have a smile, thank you.” But when she smiled, it refused to reach her eyes.

It seems that the more powerful their union gets, the less enticing air hostesses get. And let’s not even try and be politically correct here; this is a profession of vanity where looks and personality are a big deal.

The profession calls for a certain lofty level of aesthetical superiority, because, depending on the duration of your flight, you are likely to have an average of three interactions with a hostess… unless you are the annoying attention-seeking type that is always engaging them in some inane debate on why they should serve nyama choma on local flights.

What we need

And so you need a beautiful hostess serving you, giving you instructions, or just hearing her say “Is everything okay, sir? Did you remember to take your sedatives this time?”

Air hostesses should be pretty, period. And if they aren’t pretty, they should have good bodies. And if those two are impossible (and they aren’t, surely) then they should have the best personality in the sky. If that’s not possible, I will take a bus.

Not every woman looks good in a short skirt. If not, best to find some other asset and accentuate that instead.

One last thing: it’s very common now to see an airhostess who seems (how do I say this without sounding like a “heartless illiterate” as one irate a reader called me last week) like she has had a very heavy breakfast.

This makes it uncomfortable when she is serving you a measly piece of croissant and yoghurt for breakfast.

A body that has enjoyed a bit of a dietary hedonism can always be hidden under clever stitching. Why am I banging on about this today?

Because flying is not cheap and money is short, and men care too much for that institution to see it all go south (pun not intended).

Someone please bring back optical candy to our skies.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/Features/saturday/What+s+missing+from+our+skies+lately/-/1216/1263302/-/view/printVersion/-/il4auk/-/index.html


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Wedding ring: Meaningless symbol or priceless token

Posted by Administrator on October 29, 2011


Photo/FILE There is no legal requirement that a couple has to exchange rings for their marriage to be valid, but the centuries old tradition continues to be observed as part of modern wedding rituals.

Photo/FILE There is no legal requirement that a couple has to exchange rings for their marriage to be valid, but the centuries old tradition continues to be observed as part of modern wedding rituals.

It is one of the focal pints of a modern day wedding ceremony; a circular piece of shiny metal that is one of the most enduring symbols of marriage.

Regarded as more than just an ornament, it marks the joining of two individuals into a married couple.

And as December, one of the traditional wedding months in Kenya, draws near, many engaged couples are working on the finer details of their wedding ceremonies.

Among the items being readied are the must-have wedding bands to be exchanged during the ceremony.

There are designs to be chosen and fittings to be done to ensure the ring, usually golden, glides on smoothly as the lovebirds declare: With this ring I thee wed.

There is no legal requirement that a couple has to exchange rings for their marriage to be valid, but the centuries old tradition continues to be observed as part of modern wedding rituals.

But is the ring still a significant symbol of marriage? Or is it just a meaningless but costly symbol that can be done away with?

Rose, who has been married for four years now, hardly ever notices the ring on her finger, except when admiring the look of it against a freshly done manicure.

But she would not give it up, even though it does not work quite as well as it used to, to get people to accord her the respect due to married women.

“The ring is such an integral part of me that it fades into my finger and becomes one with it. The only time I had to remove it was when I was pregnant two years ago and my swollen fingers made it uncomfortable to wear,” she says.

Single ladies also support the continuation of the tradition. Eleanor, a 25-year-old single nurse believes that wedding bands still have a place in society.

“How else can you identify and distinguish between the married and the unmarried if you take away the rings?” she poses.

But apart from identifying marital status, the ring seems to have lost its other “abilities”. Like how it used to stir respect for the boundaries of married people.

Women say that the ring that once earned them total respect as married women is no longer taken with the same solemnity of the past.

It used to be that a ring on the fourth finger of the left hand was a glaring sign that the wearer was unavailable.

It screamed at would-be suitors: I’m off the market – find someone else! But that effect seems to have waned off greatly.

No respect

Nancy, who will be celebrating her one-year wedding anniversary in four months, says that not every man respects the boundary created by her wedding ring.

“Some men will back off when you show them your ring and tell them you are serious about your vows. But others are not put off and keep pushing you to go out with them,” she says.

Nancy, a resident of Thome in Nairobi, believes that such men are just testing the limits to see whether a woman respects the values that the ring stands for.

As such, she always stands her ground against advances, saying that it is the only way she can maintain their respect – by respecting her own marriage.

Men too find that wearing a ring comes with its own challenges. David a 30-year-old who has been married for five years, no longer wears his wedding band because it draws flirty women.

“Nowadays, wearing a ring does little to deter women from pursuing you. In fact, when they see it, they intensify their flirting.

They assume you are a keeper, since you have already been tested by another woman,” he explains.

But despite the diminishing respect for the boundaries set by the ring, those who sport it still believe in wearing it and will not give  up their expensive wedding bands.

On average, couples spend upwards of Sh5,000 per ring to seal the deal and prove their commitment.

And those who have walked the path to a jeweller’s shop say that the price is well worth it. The rings are an investment in their devotion towards their unions.

Ring of hypocrisy

Janet, 28, who has been a wife for slightly over a year now, says that as a sign of eternal love and dedication, a good ring, though expensive, is worth the price:

“If one can spend Sh100,000 on a home theatre system, he should be willing to spend as much or more on a ring that serves as a constant reminder of the vow to stay true to one’s spouse.”

However, despite spending tens of thousands on the small ornamental symbol, the intangible values attached to it are not always honoured.

It becomes a ring of hypocrisy rather than one of sincere love. The sparkling gold or platinum symbol does not seem to keep the wearers from seeking love outside their marital boundaries.

Even so, 34-year-old Halima Ali, still wants a ring when she gets married. Currently, she sports a golden ring on her middle left finger, which at first glance could pass for an engagement ring. But it is not.

“It is an over 30-year-old heirloom that was given to me by my mother when I was a teenager,” she explains.

Her mother got it from her own mother and Halima will hopefully pass it on to her daughter. But first she has to get married. And a wedding ceremony without a ring is unimaginable.

Show of respect

“A ring is a very important symbol. It sends an unmistakable message about your marital status and earns you respect.

“People take you more seriously when they notice a wedding band on your finger. Their behaviour and speech is less flirty and they focus on the task at hand,” she says.

It is that respect that keeps Halima supportive of the ring, even though she agrees that not everyone will respect a woman just because she wears one.

The general agreement is that the ring still has its place, but it is not an assurance that the wearer values what it stands for.

Pastor “JJ” Gitahi, a relationship counsellor and radio show host, says that wearing a ring is not a guarantee that one will respect marriage.

“Rings are just a formality in many unions as they seem to have no meaning. It is not the ring that matters, but rather the respect you have for your spouse and your union. You do not need a ring; what you need is to stand by your vows.”

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/Features/saturday/-/1216/1263292/-/y24mpq/-/index.html

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Explosion Hits GSU Vehicle Near Garissa, Injuring Four

Posted by Administrator on October 29, 2011

A Kenyan security forces vehicle was attacked with a makeshift bomb on Friday, wounding four, a day after the first serious clash between Kenyan soldiers and Somali militants inside the neighbouring nation, police said.

The attack is the fourth on Kenyan soil this week. Kenya sent soldiers and heavy weapons into Somalia 13 days ago to crush al Shabaab, the al Qaeda-linked militant group Nairobi blames for a string of kidnappings and border incursions.

“Evidence of an improvised explosive device has been found … We are treating the incident as a deliberate criminal act,” police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said in a statement.

He said the vehicle was part of a convoy moving personnel to Nairobi from Liboi town on the border with Somalia. The attack took place 7 km from Garrissa town.

“Two persons were arrested near the scene of the explosion and are still in police custody undergoing interrogation,” Kiraithe said in the statement.

The Kenya Red Cross said the vehicle hit was in a convoy of four.

“The vehicle in which the officers were travelling was extensively damaged and partly burnt,” a police source in the provincial headquarters, who declined to be named, told Reuters.

Multiple sources told Reuters they were from the paramilitary General Service Unit (GSU), which comes under the umbrella of the police.

“Four police officers were injured when the vehicle lost control due to the impact of the explosion,” Kiraithe said.


Two medical sources at the Garissa Provincial General Hospital, where the injured were taken initially, earlier said two of the GSU officers were in critical condition and a third had been admitted for treatment.

“We have received three patients who have been injured. Two are in a serious condition with burns and fractures,” said Musa Mohamed, a medical superintendent at the Garissa hospital.

Kiraithe said the four injured were later evacuated to Nairobi for treatment.

The attack came a day after al Shabaab gunmen ambushed Kenyan soldiers inside Somalia in the first serious clash since the east African country sent its troops across the border.

Two Kenyan soldiers were injured in the clash and one died on Friday, local media and military sources said, marking the first Kenyan battlefield casualty. The military did not respond to requests for confirmation of the death.

Five soldiers were killed when a helicopter crashed due to mechanical failure shortly after Kenya deployed its troops over the border.

Unknown gunmen also attacked a vehicle in the far north of Kenya, near the Somali border, on Wednesday, killing four government employees and wounding two guards.

On Monday, the capital Nairobi was hit by two separate grenade attacks on a bar and a bus terminus. One person was killed and 29 were wounded.

A Kenyan man who pleaded guilty to the grenade attack on the bus station and membership of al Shabaab was sentenced on Friday to life in prison by a Nairobi court.

Elgiva Bwire Oliacha, also known as Mohamed Seif, told reporters he had no regrets after a magistrate read out the life sentence for the grenade attack.

Earlier in the same court, prosecutors charged two more suspects with the same crimes as Oliacha. Omar Muchiri Athuman and Stephen Macharia Mwangi denied the charges and will appear in court again on November 4.


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Iman Kerigo, Miss Norway And A Native Of Kenya, Visits The United States

Posted by Administrator on October 29, 2011

Iman Kerigo, a Kenyan immigrant in Norway who won the Miss Norway pageant

Iman Kerigo, a Kenyan immigrant in Norway who won the Miss Norway pageant

Iman Kerigo, the first woman of African descent to be crowned Miss Norway, arrives in the US this week as part of her goodwill tour. Miss Kerigo, a refugee from Kenya who fled with her family to safety in the United Kingdom, continues her mission to raise awareness on poverty, war and domestic abuse. She will be visiting Los Angeles, Las Vegas and surrounding areas as part of her twelve day visit.

As a child born into a life of extreme hardship forged by her family’s struggle in war torn Kenya, she and her mother struggled to survive day-to-day while living under the rule of an abusive father. Iman’s mother’s greatest dream was to simply see her children live. She never dreamed her second child could achieve something so amazing.

“My mother was just happy that we were alive but she didn’t want us to live a meager existence,” Miss Kerigo said. “Being crowned Miss Norway gave me the opportunity to make sure that her dream came true.”

After waiting for some time to gain citizenship in a new country, Iman, her mother and siblings were finally accepted under refugee status to the Scandanavian country of Norway. Growing up thousands of miles away from everything she had ever known, Iman worked hard to adjust to her new adopted home, even learning to speak Norweigan and English, rather than her native Swahili.

Through hard work and dedication, she overcame tremendous odds to eventually become the first woman of African descent to ever be crowned Miss Norway. She credits much of her success in the Miss Norway Pageant to her coach, nutrition expert David Sandoval. David, author of The Green Foods Bible, had Iman follow his ‘Superfoods For Supermodels’ program, an eating program designed especially for those in the public eye.

David says, “I created this program in response to the epidemic of bulimia, anorexia and other eating disorders prevalent in the modeling and entertainment business.” But David is keen to explain that ‘Superfoods For Supermodels’ is not a diet. He adds, “Instead it features realistic guidelines for creating exceptionally healthy, lean, beautiful bodies through pure, organic, green food nutrition and core fitness.” David’s program also helps to build confidence and strength while focusing on taking personal responsibility for one’s own destiny.

Iman adds,”Part of my mission is to let young girls know that even if it seems all the odds are against you, you can still achieve great things.”

In the future, Iman hopes to forge a career in modeling and/or become a spokesperson for an African centric product line. Iman is available for interviews during her visit. All enquiries, including requests for press photos should be directed to David Sandoval’s assistant at

Noah Gilman/ Nicola Henry


Source: http://www.blacknews.com/news/miss_norway_iman_kerigo_visits_us101.shtml

Posted in Diaspora News, Kenya | Tagged: | 8 Comments »

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