It all began with a young boy
singing a song. A young boy
who has an army of followers
that has christened themselves
“beliebers” . It was a song
wonderfully called “Up.” Yes the
boy is Justin Bieber. And that
song is the reason why righht
Now I know many of you are
wondering what the boy did. No,
he did not make a family
member pregnant. (As desperate
girls love claiming). Anyway I
understand them girls, who
wouldn’t want to have a 17 year
old dollar millionaire as the
“Father of my children”? but
what did the falsetto voiced
teenager do with a simple song?
This is what happened…
This song, “Up” is a really heart
pulling flow. Well composed, well
sang and has this emotionally
magnetic pull. Problem is, it did
not just pull the hearts of men
and women, it pulled everything
up. I will prove my case with a
few detailed examples.
Since this song came up, we
have witnessed 3 major strikes;
them that I know of. Two
months ago in September, high
school and primary school
teachers were in no mood to
teach since the government was
not paying them as they would
have liked. A few days ago, the
lecturers, workers in universities
and KNH workers also downed
their tools. Those are almost 1
million people of the total civil
service in our country. Which is a
substantial number; almost a
third of the government
workforce. I know strikes have
been there since Plato’s times;
but the begging question is why
these successive strikes?
Good thing I have the answer.
And this is where the young boy
from Canada comes in. Yeah he’s
from Canada not USA. Since he
sang that song “Up”, every
commodity on a supermarket
shelf has been reaching for the
stars. Even the dollar decided to
bully our shilling into
astronomical heights of 107.
something. I did not take
Business Studies in High School,
but my eyes figured that the
worried faces of Business
Newscasters every time they
mentioned “Dollar” could only
mean the dollar was bullying my
good friend the shilling. The
shilling, not to be out done
inspired the “Shop Revolution”.
And so soap, bread, unga, ugali,
petrol and company became
“Beliebers” and their favorite
song? You guessed right, “Up .”
Since then, everytime I go to the
supermarket, the price of sugar
has added one more shilling to
the many it has accrued over
time. That is beautiful Kenya for
So what were we to do? Sadly,
Kenya is one country where
once the price of a commodity
has soared it does not seem to
know the way down. Making me
ask, shouldn’t we scrap the
methali “Mpanda ngazi
hushuka”? Here’s an example, 5
years ago I could buy a loaf of
bread at Sh.20. Five years later,
the price has doubled to Sh.40. I
will replay what happened back
then; the price of wheat went up
due to scarcity from the wheat
growers; drought and all. Funny
enough, even when the wheat
was finally available and at visibly
reduced prices, the loaf was still
singing “Up.”
Last Sunday it’s when I really
knew that the situation is really
“Ouchish!.” A smart guy decided
to drop a stone in the Priest’s
offertory basket. So I figured
he’s a miner and he decided to
give God the work of his hands,
the sweat of his brow: A nicely
curved piece of stone. If this
trend continues, next a teacher
will drop a chalk in the basket, a
doctor a syringe, a politician his
mouth…in the end, the poor
priest will just have junk as
offertory. Then the Pope will
have strikes from the men of the
cloth all over.
I suggest we solve this problem
in familiar Kenyan fashion,
“Tunaoba serikari iigirie hii mabo
ya fitu kupanda kwa duka.
Serikari itufatie kasi ama Sunday
watupee sadaka.” (Preferrably
Bonoko) (“We ask the
government to intervene to curb
the rising cost of goods. The
government should give us work
or at least Sunday’s offertory.”)
Or I can become the sensible
thinker here and ask Justin
Bieber to sing another song. This
time, he should call it “Down.”
The teenager might just be the
solution to our problem.

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