Friday, February 25, 2005

even the gravestone will not stifle

even the grave-stone will not stifle
the voices
of those who insist on speaking truth to power
so what can a mere technical block to a site do
even death will not quiet our voices
which will live on through our writings
so what would cowardly censorship do

i chuckle when i see the lengths
that people go to
to silence, to throttle the brave
and uncompromising voices
of people who refuse to kiss ass

how will you stop
what years of internment
behind massive maximum security walls
could not stop

we will still be here
chuckling at the latest feeble attempts
to censor our uncomfortable truths

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

the hotel called kamiti

a wag, a kenyan wag
was chortling, braying loudly
when the abu ghraib torture scandal broke loose
during the first half of the year just past
this wag, this kenyan wag
an avid reader of a right wing rag
known as the national review
chortled with delight
at the sizzling details of the inhumanity at abu ghraib
and nodded approvingly of the monstrosities at guatanamo
musing with regret
why moi did not slaughter the political inmates of naivasha
and shimo-la-tewa, kingongo, kodiaga and kibos, not forgetting kamiti
this kenyan wag, in his delirious mirth wondered
what it was that the onyango oloos were complaining about
when after all, kamiti maximum was a five star hotel
without the star treatments meted out at the most notorious american prisons
outside america
the wag wished the oloos were in orange jumpsuits, blind folded
forced to repeat the unspeakables of abu ghraib

i then remembered that this same wag
once boasted that on the days we were arrested
he was an armed supporter of the moi dictatorship
pumping innocent civilians in nairobi with the deadly bullets
of the brutal counter-coup and its repressive aftermath...

the complicity of virtual cyberstrangers

back then in the lonely years of
the early to mid eighties
we plodded on
as our friends and relatives
who lived in kahawa west, githurai and zimmerman
and our age-mates
who lived in ruwenzori, aberdares and other halls
at kenyatta university
avoided like the plague
the feared gates of kamiti

our imprisonment
scared and scarred forever
those left behind in education theatre two
hall six, hall seven, hall eight
the box and mary's hall
those who ate their ostrich size portions of kuku
at the ccu
vowing never to repeat
the horrible mistakes
of the oloos, the ogegos, the kinyuas
the jeff mwangis, the ongele opalas
the mutuses and the simiyus
the students sieved from the sixty seven rounded up after eighty two
to be jailed for five, six, ten or more years
several of the ones left behind
vowed never to repeat the folly of the incarcerated
of being involved in politics
except of course, for the adongos, mwandawiros, obandas
mwakduas,kangethes, thiongos, njugunas, kishushes who
followed later during the mwakenya crackdown

the ones left behind
learned well
the virtues of keeping your mouth shut
of remaining silent when atrocities
unfolded before your eyes
they learned the lessons so well
that even today, almost thirty years later
i see them, silent, sullen in cyberspace
mouths still clamped firmly shut
because they live the lesson
of keeping their eyes open and their mouths shut
having trained themselves
never to lift a finger
to protest an indignity or grumble at an outrage
some of these people
will witness their own mothers
being raped
and their own fathers having their throats cut
and still
they will keep silent
because self-preservation
is the number one game in town...

cybervandals urinating on kenyan history books

cybervandals urinating
on kenyan history books
from their lairs in the internet
urchins too young to remember
the terror of the early eighties
spend sleepless bug-eyed crazed nights
hounding the survivors of industrial area and kamiti

when some of them were drinking powdered milk
and rehearsing the sychophantic praise songs
of the nyayo dictatorship
some of us were eye-witnessing
our comrades coughing blood
as they expired from treatable diseases
in the dungeons of kamiti

today,when no one has to fear
and cower,
looking fretfully over their shoulders
for the menacing special branch goons
alcoholic luo pranksters in california
see in our collective incarceration narratives
a football to be kicked around
in their deranged, unhinged daily outpourings of hate online

we watch, grimacing
as they deny our very existence
trying to steal our names
and rob us of our experiences
because their own names are sullied
muddied with turgid boasts
of dating the daughters of american presidential wannabes
and sipping cognac with celebrity african-american entertainers

it is surreal and bizarre
to contemplate
the hourly, the daily yelps
of insecure drunks consumed by self-hatred
twisted by blind envy
and deformed by their own complexes
about accidents of birth and upbringing

in their self-loathing
they lash out
digging dead parents of people they hanker to be
molesting teenagers they have never met with their lies
raping women they will never see with their constant defamation

still we hold on to our memories:

we remember titus adungosi and how he died a needless death in kamiti
after years of negligence in naivasha
we remember unda kombe
the ex-airforce soldier who died when he should have lived
we remembered the nameless social prisoner
who died in our arms on the night of august sixteenth nineteen eighty four
as we were carrying him out in a lice ridden blanket
in ward number eight, cell block b, kamiti maximum
having coughed out his lungs in the shit splattered
overflowing toilet
that was shared by sixty prisoners in a space meant for fifteen

we remember the sad night of wednesday july ninth nineteen eighty five
when ochuka,okumu, mirasi, ogidi, njereman,ojode and other kaf prisoners
were hanged horribly in the midst of the nairobi women's conference

we remember the days we spent in the punishment cells
naked without blankets freezing on half rations
after being condemned by yet another prison based kangaroo court

we remember, how could we forget the day on july twelve eighty five
when the writer of these lines was dragged by sergeant mutua
yes the same brute that our online stalkers adopt as their heroes
dragged to the duty office where superintendent mbuthia
ordered fifteen goons to kick and punch, hit and slap
the writer of these lines
for his audacity at saying hi to mwandawiro mghanga
when they both waiting for the bi-weekly prison hair cut

today in the year two thousand and five
a jackass who was three years old with mucus running down his filthy face
dares to insult that memory, to take away that memory...

well, this small spontaneous, instant poem
is onyango oloo's simple way of informing him and his cyber ilk
that it was not for nothing we survived solitary confinement
in the punishment block
transcended maximum security walls
it is not for nothing that we lived when we could have died
as the nyayo house survivors said in their anthology
those of who were jailed by moi
we lived to tell our tale
even to you who mocked us then
even to you who were too young to know anything
even to you with whom we continue to grapple

we lived to tell

and one day, we will recite these poems as we see your remains
picked apart by jackals, hyenas, wolves and vultures...

we did survive imprisonment
we will shake off the daily yelps of deranged maniacs in cyberspace...

Sunday, February 20, 2005

On Identity Theft in Kenyan Cyberspace Circles

I have continued to be perplexed by the insistent calls by one anonymous young man living in America but posting every single minute on the Kenya forum over at who has been DEMANDING that HE be given the carte blanche to TAKE OVER my actual, given, legal, real names as one of HIS many HANDLES on this forum.

In other words, this individual is insisting that Rich Bowen, the owner of this site should LEGITIMIZE Identity Theft by allowing this person to purloin the name of Onyango Oloo while the real Onyango Oloo would then be COMPELLED to use a fake name because his real name has been taken over by the DEMENTED identity thief!

Since I am convinced that very few people outside that forum will actually believe me, I thought I should reproduce the latest such tirade. Here it is verbatim:

Small question to Rich on FRAUD and monikers
From: typo's corrected! - Sun, Feb 20, 12:00 PM

i see that you went to great lengths and pain to explain how rigthful name owners are entitled to use their names. pray do tell how does one establish rightful name ownership in online fora given that some names like john kamau are as common as weed in the sping?
why would you feel justified defending one kamau not the other? as indicated from an earlier post the combo /permutation of names onyango and oloo is common place. in the abscence of a third (or fourth) name, this combo of names can not be claimed to be uniquely owned

WILL THE REAL Onyano Oloo, please stand up?? Here are some oloo's:

Onyango Oloo contender of the Kisauni Parliamentary seat

Eliud Onyango Oloo of Ottawa

George Onyango Oloo
(Onyango Oloo & Company Advocates)

A million other Onyango Oloo from the lake region (as there are many john smiths in the west)

David Onyango Oloo
(from the annals of kenyan criminal law)

David Oloo dropped David from his name after serving time for CRIME, having being jailed for looting during the abortive 1982 coup. He was admitted to Nairobi University as David Onyango Acwhal.

"Kenyan courts in the case of David Onyango Oloo-v- A.G 4 applied procedural ultra vires. It was an appeal from a high court decision. Appellant was convicted of an offence under section 46 (2) of the Penal Code5 and sentenced to five years imprisonment on 1st November 1982. Upon his admission into the prison, the appellant was entitled under section 46(2) of the Prisons Act 6 "to be credited with the full amount of remission to which he would be entitled at the end of the sentence if he loses no remission of sentence".

NOTE: section 46 (2) of Penal Code 5 pertains to robbery with violence of being an accessory to the crime.

Oloo called Rich Bowen A racist for not allowing another Onyango Oloo (George) to use his own name.

did Rich feel compelled to defend oloo wa montreal because he was labelled a racist by Oloo?

In his desperation to make his dubious case, this person INVENTS a FICTION that "Oloo" (which one now?) called Rich Bowen a "racist"- an obvious falsehood that can be quickly debunked using the search engine at the site in question.

To his credit, the owner of the site has politely rebuffed this BIZARRE overture. Again, let me quote Rich Bowen's succint and sober response:

In response to Small question to Rich on FRAUD and monikers posted by typo's corrected!

From: Rich - Sun, Feb 20, 12:11 PM

: i see that you went to great lengths and pain to explain how rigthful name owners are entitled to use their names. pray do tell how does one establish rightful name ownership in online fora given that some names like john kamau are as common as weed in the sping?

I would hardly say that I went to "great lengths" to do anything at all. I merely said that pretending to be someone else is generally considered to be fraud.

: why would you feel justified defending one kamau not the other? as indicated from an earlier post the combo / permutation of names onyango and oloo is common place. in the abscence of a third (or fourth) name, this combo of names can not be claimed to be uniquely owned

I think that it is *extremely* obvious in this context when one person is pretending to be another person, usually for the purpose of smearing their character. Trying to muddy the waters in order to make this sort of behavior more acceptable doesn't confuse anyone.

: did Rich feel compelled to defend oloo wa montreal because he was labelled a racist by Oloo?

You're funny. I don't recall defending anyone, and I don't feel compelled to do so.

What we're talking about is the basic courtesy of not pretending to be someone else, in a context where such a pretence will necessarily tend to confuse the general audience about the views of a particular person.

The fact that these names are, for the most part, assumed aliases, does not in any way alter the expectation of courtesy.


What becomes even more galling is when we look deeper we discover that the individual who is being so shrill and strident is NONE other than the same individual who posts up to TWO HUNDRED HATE MESSAGES against Onyango Oloo, often using the fake moniker, "Onyango Oloo" to defame the real Oloo, to link Oloo to forged "Standard newspaper" stories alleging that Chris Murungaru has been involved in a road accident and so on. This is the very same individual who has started FAKE anti- Onyango Oloo blogs POSING as either "Oloo Onyango" or even " Onyango Oloo"; this is the same person who has started startling INTERNATIONAL petitions online to remove Onyango Oloo as a moderator of a small section of a Kenyan forum that is when he is not appealing to INTERPOL of all bodies, to have the real Onyango Oloo ARRESTED as a dangerous felon for "crimes" made up by this person; this is the same person who has STOLEN Onyango Oloo's original essays and brazenly submitted these to the Kenya Times where they were PUBLISHED using the fake monikers, 'Dr. Onyango "K'Oloo", "Daudi Onyango Oloo" or a variant of the same. In the case of the Kenya Times, the real Onyango Oloo was FORCED to contact the editorial board and go through a rigmarole of PROVING that the real Oloo WAS NOT the one who submitted the DOCTORED essays stolen from the real Oloo by the fake Onyango Oloo.

Here is a letter written to this individual by the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Kenya Times on August 17, 2004:

From : Kenya Times Media Trust Ltd
Sent : August 17, 2004 2:20:54 AM
To :
Subject : contact address

Dear "Mr Oloo",

The 14 hours Kenyan time deadline we gave you passed without your response. We had received complaints that you were lifting articles from the site of your namesake who is based in Canada and sending them to us for publication.

We therefore instituted investigations.

We have no doubt now that surely you are an imposter who has been plagiarising the works of a fellow Kenyan purporting them to be your articles. You have not only embarrassed our publication but dented our reputation and soiled our image. This is unforgivable. Henceforth, we shall not entertain any material from you in whatever form. You owe us and Onyango Oloo an apology.

David Lumbasi.
Deputy Editor-In-Chief
Kenya Times

But even after that letter from the Deputy Editor in Chief of the Kenya Times, the individuals persisted, THIS TIME stealing an essay by my good friend Adongo Ogony and submitting it as coming from one, " Dr K'Oloo" prompting me to write to the Kenya Times one more time last November(2004):

From : demokrasia kenya
Sent : November 9, 2004 3:05:05 PM
To :,
CC : oloo@, adongo@
Subject : The Fake "Dr. David Onyango K'Oloo"

Dear Editor:

I recently brought to your attention that the current Insight piece purportedly written by " Dr.K'Oloo" is a forgery because there is no individual by that name and the original piece is actually by my good friend Adongo. You may have even published the original in the very same Insight column!

Onyango Oloo

The same individual who is INSISTING that he has a RIGHT to STEAL MY NAME is the same individual who has registered at least THREE EMAIL addresses as "Onyango Oloo" even though NONE OF HIS GIVEN NAMES are "Onyango" "Oloo" or a permutation or combination thereof.

This same individual has gone over to the Mashada forum and REGISTERED on at least FOUR OCCASSIONS, handles as "Onyango Oloo" and this done, when I was not only an active participant there, but a moderator of the very section where he posted fake anti-Onyango Oloo flames as "Onyango Oloo".

Mark you this is the very same individual who SCREAMS to high heaven when his real name is posted here to expose his THREE YEAR vendetta against my person. This is the person who talks in such PASSIONATE terms about "privacy of identities online" when he spends every waking minute making up stuff about Onyango Oloo, his son, his ex-partners, his parents and his deceased siblings.

Why is this person so strident about using my actual,given real names as his HANDLE?

Well, a clue can be gleaned by looking at HIS REACTION when Rich Bowen briefly blocked me from using my two names, Onyango Oloo. You saw the person rush here to chortle, "You will NEVER be able post on RC Bowen as Onyango Oloo AGAIN!" Now, tell me if that is NOT a DOCUMENTED instance of certifiable INSANITY.

I have my own theory about this person's CAMPAIGN to TAKE OVER my name.

This individual is not only totally OBSESSED with me, he is INSANELY ENVIOUS of the real Onyango Oloo.


I am NOT wealthy and I am certainly not powerful. Since we do NOT share sexual orientations, there is NO DANGER that I would prevent him from hooking up with a gay lover of his choice. If you were to listen to his daily diatribes against me, we are NOT even in the SAME LEAGUE educationally- I am a STANDARD SIX ILLITERATE DROP OUT WALLOWING IN WELFARE POVERTY in Montreal, whereas he is a POST-DOCTORAL FINANCIAL WIZARD SIPPING COGNAC WITH AMERICAN SUPER STAR CELEBRITIES.

So where is the envy?

In one area:

I do have a GIFT for writing and this person RECOGNIZES my talent as among the MANY GOOD WRITERS Iin Kenyan online discussion forums. The IDENTITY THIEF, on the other hand, is unfortunately TOTALLY BEREFT of ANY literary potential with posting after posting riddled with grammatical errors- when he is NOT passing off well-researched academic papers by other intellectuals as his own work.

Identity Theft is a CRIME which can see a perpetrator JAILED. That is why I am AMAZED that a self-confessed IDENTITY THIEF comes here launching posting after posting after posting DEMANDING that he be allowed to STEAL MY NAME and DEPRIVE ME of the right to USE MY OWN NAME when I am one of the few people on this forum who has INSISTED on bucking the trend to use handles.

I recall that this individual has often railed against me about my foolishness of using my real name- saying that this is what has propelled TRASH TALKERS LIKE HIMSELF to launch tirades after tirades against my person. I am surprised that one of Onyango Oloo's leading FLAMERS, someone who never loses an opportunity to remind people how USELESS, CORRUPT, TRIBALISTIC, CRIMINAL, DEVIOUS, VIOLENT, SEXIST and IRRESPONSIBLE Onyango Oloo is, keeps on DEMANDING the mantle of Onyango Oloo as his own EXCLUSIVE HANDLE.

It is beyond my comprehension why this individual who was born with a name and can actually choose from millions of available handles(of which he already controls a virtual monopoly) would now launch tirades after tirades against Rich Bowen and Onyango Oloo because he cannot be Onyango Oloo because there is actually an Onyango Oloo who not only exists, but is known to post regularly on this forum under his real name Onyango Oloo.

Let me inform this individual that I will resist tenaciously, using all the means at my disposal, including resorting to a court of law if necessary, any attempts to execute IDENTITY THEFT,especially if such identity theft is perpetrated solely and chiefly for the purpose of the further defamation of my character. To compound identity theft with defamation of the identity you have stolen is a feat that is exclusively reserved for someone with an advanced case of a serious mental health defect.

Let me further inform this individual that after TOLERATING HIS HOURLY STALKING and DAILY OUTPOURINGS of HATRED against my person for the LAST TWO PLUS YEARS, I have now gathered ENOUGH evidence to link him to criminal instances of identity theft, defamation of character, sexual harassment, online harassment and other crimes. I will exercise my legal options at my own discretion.

Onyango Oloo

affirmed by the perilious gifts of life...

smiling through adversity

chucklng through tough travails

laughing when your boat is capsizing

strolling through a snow storm

striding past the forest fires

humour is the twin sibling of optimism

laughter helps maintain your seriousness

a light touch keeps the rock within smooth

been through death of loved ones
deprived of parents and siblings
been through incarceration and exile
survived heartaches and breakups
seen friends kill themselves in despair
and drown their pain in alcoholic stupor

and still i sleep soundly
still i wake up sans nightmare, minus cold sweats
fortunate that i bypassed stress induced ulcers
and transcended anxiety powered eating disorders

life is not a peach
for i carry the baggage of my tortured past
in my optimistic present
dennis brutus and his dictum of stubborn hope
has ensured that this baggage contains no demons

indeed my past has been a river, a gold mine
a fount for creative inspiration
my ordeals have formed the fabric of my tapestry
of interwoven tales of struggle and triumph

the thorny roads of my experiences
have inspired my poetry, my songs, my stories, my essays
i would not trade this rich life for anything safe
tapioca is not my favourite dessert
i like things zesty and feisty

the wealth of my existence is not locked up in a corporate bank account
it is embedded in all that forms and informs my daily connections
hey, i do not envy your life
and would never give up my own without a fight

Saturday, February 19, 2005

on being stalked by a jackass

there is a bizarre stranger i accost on the internet
every single day
an uncouth youth who lies in wait for me
armed with his own fecal matter ready to fling at me
strange to say, this cyber apparition
has never had the opportunity of seeing me
yet strange soul
spends twenty seven hours every day strip mining
the deepest recesses of the internet
for any hints of my name
he has saved, in his demented reservoir
everything i have ever posted online
he keeps an eagle eye on every chat room
that i log on to
i discovered to my amused shock
two years ago
that the uncouth youth was a closeted and tormented
who developed a crush, a very sexual crush on me
every single week on one forum
posing as a woman he would drop love notes
on one of my private inboxes
using one persona
while sending me explicit
gay porn using another
when he realized
i was straight
and had a woman for a lover
he threw a very queenly hissy fit
abusing me all day and all night
as if that was not enough
he bombarded and still bombards me
with over two hundred hate messages
every single day
whenever he can find me
he will make up
lies about my son, his mother
my siblings and my parents
and this largely because
i cut him off
told him
never to call or email me
when i discovered he
was seriously mentally disturbed
spontaneous lines like these
are the ways i prevent myself
from giving my lawyer the go ahead
to file a case in his state
for internet based harassment
which is a crime
that can earn time....
poor young man...

post valentine zawadi to my mshefa

i thought
it would be
too obvious
i mean,
to write
a poem
on valentine's
for me,
is not
like a sizzling pizza
made hastily
for take out
with the requisite toppings
for an impatient
slightly irate
and weary
looking for a non-descript
instant dinner to gobble down
before they collapse
on their futon
after a grueling day
working for the landlord and the utility and phone companies
on the contrary
a poem
for me,
is not even like a meal
not even the leisurely one you make at home
a short story, is that meal
no, a poem
for me
is more like
a smooth pebble
or a cowrie shell
that you pick up
as you stroll down diani, nyali or bamburi beach
a pleasant surprise
that you pick up
with a knowing smile
and subsequently invest
with your own mystery and
paint with your own mystique
imparting it
with your own meaning
injecting it
with your silly fantasy

we greet each other with
i love you so muchs
and say good bye
with i miss you so so so much
we talk and talk and talk and talk
till the phone cards finally run out
and then we call each other back
or rather i call,
because it would be ridiculous if you tried
on the other cards we keep
in stock
and we laugh,
and we joke,
and we flirt
and we dream,
and we pine
and occasionally
we fret together
reminded each time
of the oceanic expanse
between us
and the temporal borderlines
that makes my midnight
your breakfast time
of late
you have taken
to calling me
your mshefa
and i still prefer
the ever so endearing
is often
at how
the telephone
and the internet
can build
a bond
that is
so often overlooked
in the feverish rush
to entangle limbs
and lock lips
rip lingerie and
slip into moist crevices

every single time
we talk,
our minds
make love
to each other
and not
in that
sensual expected sense
an uncanny
that find them
each other's
and rescuing
trailing phrases
from fading
cross continental
short story
i told you
i was writing
from five months ago
at some point
i had abandoned it,
too busy
our real life
love story
to immerse myself
in that one
and yet,
our story
has suffused
that story
even though
i must
take parts
of you
and parts
of other people
and parts of me
and parts of
other people
an authorial
conjuring up
who breathe
their own
fictional oxygen
in the demi-monde
i have imagined for them...
you are forty four
and a half
as i am
right at this very second
in fact
exactly fort four
and a half
it is
the nineteenth
the shortest month
you no longer
pen lines like
you are
the sweetest
in the most
you no longer say
you are
that flutters
in my heart...
you simply say
to your lover,
who is your age-mate
you tell her:
for being you
for you being
in my life....