I’m not entirely sure whether this is hilarious, sad, or just ironic: last week a few cops got caught taking bribes from matatus by the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC). It was apparently a sting operation, complete with fake notes, undercover operatives, cameras, etc. For better or worse, the ordeal was caught on tape:
The news report said they were busted at a road block along “Nairobi–Nakuru” highway. We have two such road blocks near Uthiru (where I work), one of which is the one in the video, and the other being kwa roundabout, hapo madukani (at the roundabout, over by the shops). I’ve seen those road blocks nearly every day for the past one year I’ve been working at ILRI. Everyone has.
I use a Safaricom-branded Huawei E160 USB modem to connect to the Internet over 3G from my apartment in Westlands. It works great but Safaricom has locked the device so it only works on their network—an anti-consumer move they probably learned from the likes of AT&T. We have four different mobile providers in Kenya, each one of which sells their own custom-branded Huawei modems. The other providers are small fries compared to Safaricom, but they love to play catch up so they’ve locked their modems too. Wanna browse on Zain? Buy a Zain modem! Thanks for nothing…
I’m watching Avatar. I know, I’m probably the only one in the world who hasn’t seen it yet. It’s a pretty sweet movie, but it’s really hard to miss the socio-political commentary. Right off the bat, the main character is extremely daft — is that how the rest of the world sees Americans? You’d have to be pretty daft yourself to miss the allusions to American conquest of the “New World” (and, uh… the Middle East). The Americans are at it again in the movie, but this time we’re after “unobtainium,” which is selling for 20 million dollars per kilo!
The Navi people of Pandora obviously remind us of the Native Americans, but they also bear semblance to the Maasai people in East Africa. I think it’s the red colors they wear, I wonder if it played any role in the design of the Navi people. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time Kenyan culture was used in a blockbuster movie!