Voting Opens for the The Kenyan Blog Awards 2013

So the Bloggers Association of Kenya has been busy organizing the 2013 Kenyan bloggers awards. The awards have definitely grown from last year, with sponsorship from Samsung, Nokia and Phillips. These are technology companies who are always keen to identify with bloggers online, and we hope in the future other companies in fashion, agriculture etc can embrace this opportunity to encourage the growth of local content online.

The nominees for the Kenyan blog awards have been selected by a BAKE esteemed panel of judges from the submissions received from the public. Voting is now live on www.bloggers.or.ke/voting and will close on midnight on the 1st of May 2013.

The winners will be announced at a gala event to be held on the evening of the 4th of May 2013 at the Southern Sun Hotel in Westlands.

Please head to the www.bloggers.or.ke/voting and vote for your favorite blog!

And if you’re asking no, I’m not in the list of nominated blogs because I work too closely with the bloggers association of Kenya and it would be a conflict of interest 🙂

1. Best Business Blog

http://kariobangi.wordpress.com
http://www.sokodirectory.com
http://fenesi.com

2. Best Corporate Blog

http://pambaboma.com
http://blog.batakenya.com
http://letsgotravelkenya.blogspot.com

3. Best Creative Writing Blog

http://www.bikozulu.co.ke
http://mwendethedreamer.wordpress.com
http://crazynairobian.com

4. Best Entertainment/Lifestyle Blog

http://niaje.com
http://hoodjunction.wordpress.com/
http://knoxnation.com/blog

5. Best Enviromental/Agricultural Blog

http://rockescientist.blogspot.com
http://emmiekio.blogspot.com
http://yagrein.blogspot.com/

6. Best Fashion Blog

http://nanciemwai.com
http://www.thisisess.com/
http://ksmithdiaries.blogspot.com

7. Best Food Blog

http://pikachakula.com
http://yummy.co.ke
http://www.pendolamama.co.ke

8. Best New Blog

http://kenyanmom.com
http://www.kenyaweddings.co.ke/blog
http://eafricaenergy.blogspot.com

9. Best Photography Blog

http://mutuamatheka.com/blog
http://mwarv.click.co.ke
http://stevekitots.wordpress.com

10. Best Political Blog

http://kenopalo.com
http://057siasa.blogspot.com
http://oleshitemi.wordpress.com

11. Best Sports Blog

http://superfoota.com
http://katamiwrites.wordpress.com
http://www.michezoafrika.com

12. Best Technology Blog

http://emmanuelchenze.com
http://techmoran.com
http://tommakau.com

13. Best Topical Blog

http://mummytales.com/
http://actors.co.ke
http://www.thinkm-pesa.com

14. Best Travel Blog

http://kenyatalii.com
http://www.enchanted-landscapes.com/el_travelogue/
http://outwetembea.wordpress.com/

15. Kenyan Blog of The Year

http://megaprojects.co.ke
http://niaje.com
http://therarechamp.wordpress.com
http://www.bankelele.co.ke

P.S.

Sorry I’ve not had time to make all the above links but if you have a good browser it should recognize the link when you highlight the text. The list above should also make for some interesting reading in case you have been looking for Kenyan blogs to read online.

Happy Voting! If you are a Kenyan and lined up to vote on 4th of March patiently, take a few seconds to read the blogs nominated and then vote for your choice www.bloggers.or.ke/voting

Quick Update

Dear readers,

Sorry I have not been posting more often.

Between school, work (wrapping up on both before I take leave) and an impending baby (any time now), there’s hardly any time left to blog.

Wish me well as we countdown to the birth of my first child, a son called Jeremy.

Image from http://123freevectors.com/black-baby/

Image from http://123freevectors.com/black-baby/

If you are wondering why Jeremy, he’s named after my late grandfather.

You may also want to read my 2013 goals.

In the meantime, the Tusker Premier League has started and my team, AFC Leopards, is off to a shaky start! However, better to start this way and finish on top, than the other way round like it was last year (season).

I hope the political situation in the country resolves itself *buries head in sand*

P.S.

Just got a hold of a Samsung Galaxy Music Duos with a blue cover. Such a beautiful gadget, hope to review it soon. If you’re looking for a budget smartphone with dual-SIM capability, well.. get some music in your life as well with this phone.

Image from http://price-specifications.com/

Image from http://price-specifications.com/

Someone joked that Samsung has more Galaxies than the Universe. Perhaps it’s true!

Peace at the cost of Democracy?

After the outcome of these elections, this blogpost I’m about to paste below- with all due credit to the author- summarizes my feelings of the moment. I’m left with an after taste of having expected so much, but got so little back from the electoral process yet you cannot dare complain lest you be accused of being against “the peace”. Go to the blog to read the comments too.

Queueing to vote at the just ended elections. Image from nation.co.ke

Queueing to vote at the just ended elections. Image from nation.co.ke

The post is by Gathara from this blog

At the end of my first term in high school, I watched a screening of Steven Spielberg’s Poltergeist, the tale of an ordinary family unknowingly living in a house built over a graveyard without the bother of moving the bodies. Of course, this doesn’t go down well with the spirits who make their displeasure unknown by slowing torturing the family into madness. In one of the scenes, a man stares in horror at the mirror as fingers tear away at his reflection’s decomposing face till it falls into the bathroom sink. Needless to say, I have never looked at bathroom mirrors in quite the same way since.

Last week, it was Kenya’s turn to look into the mirror. Elections provide opportunities for national self-examination and renewal, for the country to take a long, hard look at itself, assess it achievements, reorient its priorities. However, like I have done too many times since I watched that movie, we chose to turn away, afraid of what we might see.

Fear can make people do strange things.

We had already normalized the abnormal, making it seem perfectly acceptable to have two ICC-indicted politicians on the ballot. At the first presidential debate, moderator Linus Kaikai had been more concerned with how Uhuru Kenyatta would “govern if elected president and at the same time attend trial as a crimes against humanity subject” and not whether he should be running at all. Any suggestion of consequences for Uhuru’s and William Ruto’s candidature had been rebuffed with allegations of neo-colonialism, interference and an implied racism. People who had spent their adult lives fighting for Kenyans’ justice and human rights were vilified as Western stooges for the imperialistic West for suggesting that the duo should first clear their names before running for the highest office in the land.

As the elections approached we were assailed with unceasing calls for peace and appeals to a nationalism we knew to be to all too elusive. We voted and celebrated our patience and patriotism, brandishing purple fingers as medals for enduring the long queues. And we heaved a collective sigh of relief when it was all over. We afterwards wore our devotion to Kenya on our sleeves and on our Facebook pages and Twitter icons even as we were presented with the evidence of our parochial and tribal voting patterns which fulfilled Mutahi Ngunyi’s now prophetic Tyranny of Numbers.

By now, a compact had developed between the media and the public. Kenya would have a peaceful and credible poll no matter what. The narrative would be propagated by a few privileged voices and it would countenance no challenge. The media would sooth our dangerous passions with 24-hour entertainment shows masquerading as election coverage. We would laugh the uncomfortable laughs, and plead and pray that politicians would not awaken the monster we recognised in each other. Let sleeping ogres lie, seemed to be the national motto. Meanwhile, those who could stocked up on canned food and filled up the fridges and stayed away from work. As food prices quadrupled we desperately clung to the belief that all would be well if we kept our end of the bargain and didn’t ask uncomfortable questions.

When nearly all the measures the IEBC deployed to ensure transparency during the election failed, this was not allowed to intrude into the reverie. Instead the media continued to put on a show and we applauded them for it. Uncomfortable moments were photoshopped out of the familial picture. Foreign correspondents who dared to question our commitment to peace were publicly humiliated and had their integrity impugned. I played my part in this. When the New York Times dared to suggest that if Raila Odinga contested the outcome “many fear [it] could lead to the…violence that erupted in 2007 court challenge,” it didn’t take long for the reactions to come. “Foreign press haven’t given up [on the possibility of violence],” I tweeted. Others quickly joined in, some suggesting that the writer was stuck in 2007.

However, if we are honest, it is us who were stuck in the narratives born of the last five years. It was not, as suggested by the NYT in a later piece, a renewed self confidence that drove us. Quite the opposite. It was a fear, a terror, a recognition that we were not as mature as we were claiming to be; that underneath our veneer of civility lay an unspeakable horror just waiting to break out and devour our children. We were afraid to look into the mirror lest our face fall in the sink.

It is said that truth is the first casualty of war. In this case the war was internal, hidden from all prying eyes. Who cares about the veracity of the poll result? So what if not all votes were counted? We had peace. “The peace lobotomy,” one tweet called it. “Disconnect brain, don’t ask questions, don’t criticize. Just nod quietly.”

Yet we should care. Our terror and the frantic attempts to mask it were a terrible indictment. As another tweet put it, it “reveals how hollow the transformation wrought by the new constitution.” Instead of being a moment for national introspection, the election had become something to be endured. The IEBC was expected to provide a quick fix to help us through it but was never meant to expose the deeper malady of fear, violence and mistrust which we have spent five years trying to paper over with our constitutions and coalitions and MoUs and codes of conduct. The fact is we do not believe the words in those documents, the narratives inscribed on paper but not in our hearts. And this is why we do not care whether an election springing from them documents is itself a credible exercise.

What maturity is this that trembles at the first sign of disagreement or challenge? What peace lives in the perpetual shadow of a self-annihilating violence?

Cowards die many times before their deaths and we have been granted a new lease of life. However, if we carry on as we have done over the last five years, if we continue to lack the courage to exhume the bodies and clean out the foundations of our nationhood, we shouldn’t be surprised if in 2017 we are still terrified by the monsters under the house.