MARIDADI YOGA AND BRUNCH TOUR KICKS OFF THIS SATURDAY

The Maridadi Yoga Tour  kicks off next Saturday at the Coffee Casa on  3rd Parklands Avenue,Doctor’s Park .

This Yoga + Brunch   event will take place at a different venue each month till the month of November and participants will have a chance of experiencing something different and exciting at each of the participating restaurants/venues as well as enjoy the health  benefits that come with practicing yoga.

Yoga improves your muscles strength,posture,flexibility,respiration and increases your energy levels.Would love to have your company as we kick off this exciting tour.

Pay for your tickets well  in advance as we have limited slots available,just 15 for this month,looking forward to seeing you all on the 16th.

 

Regards,

 

Santina Nyagah Bii

WHY I STARTED DOING YOGA

 

Have you ever lived in denial like I have been doing for the last couple of months?

We all do .At least I know there might be at least one person reading this that will identify with living in denial about some aspect of their life.

For me it is the fact that I need to be taking better care of myself.

Am a fastidious eater and I exercise,though not much  .When I started having stiffness in my joints especially when the cold season started I knew it was time to get out a yoga mat and engage in some exercise that would do my joints some good.

Yoga would also give me some me time,Nairobi is such a fast paced city and one can easily forget to take time out for themselves,which might explain why we are seeing a rise in the number of people having to deal with stress related conditions getting younger by the day.

I have tried yoga before  and I like the fact that it is a low impact work out program that will be easy on my joints because I cannot run !

Yoga  is a great option for me because as I said I cannot run and I did not want a work out program that would hurt my joints .

In the short time I have done the yoga workouts which take me about one and a quarter hour every morning,I have righted my posture,learned to listen to the cues my body is sending me and not push it too much.My knee joints feel much better already and I thought to myself why not organize a fun work out for a Saturday morning then follow it with lunch at a swanky upmarket in Nairobi ?

In the hope that some one else out there might be interested,I have space for just 20 people who would like to enjoy a low impact fun work out with some amazing people.

If you feel some time out for yourself on a Saturday morning feels like fun,then by all means sign up for the event.

Use this Yoga Brunch Sign Up Link.

The details of the cost,venue and date will be communicated.

We hope to have our first class on the 26th of this month at a great outdoor venue.

Sign up and invite a friend.

HYPER-REALISM AT THE DUSITD2

When I walked into the Den at the DusitD2 which is  the new location of the Pop Art Gallery I immediately knew it would be a treat,the exhibition had changed locations and anyone who drives into the cul de sac that is 14 River Side cannot miss it.,it is held every last Saturday of the month from 11am-6pm. During these 7 hours you get to meet some amazing Kenyan artists,see their work and hopefully I hope you can engage them on their work which is something I do every time.

The Den’s over head and natural lighting make it  perfect for displaying  art  work and can accommodate more artists and art work.Immediately I walked in  I was drawn to the far left side of the room by what I thought looked like photos..wait I thought this was  an art exhibition…I would soon be pleasantly surprised when I  met Lee Gitahi a hyper realist.

Lee  Gitahi is a student at Kenyatta University he is exceptionally talented and the art form he has taken, hyper realism is extremely rare in Kenya and only goes to underline his talent.Hyper realism is defined as an art form that mimics high definition photography.

He started out doing pencil work and was really good at it till his lecturer took them out on a trip and challenged him to try painting and see how it would go.He did and 6 months later it is hard to tell that he has not been painting for longer than that.

Hyper realism is extremely painstaking , very detailed , involving and at first Lee faced disbelief when he put out his work ,no one believed that the work was his and not a very good digital copy.I also could not get over the fact that his paintings look surreal,I had to touch them and repeatedly I had to catch myself ,touch my fingers to the painting to confirm that indeed it was an oil painting on canvas.

My favorite work of his which unfortunately was sold already was of this elderly Maasai lady in some really swanky sunglasses.The detail in that work as well in another similar photo of an elderly man in his beaded earrings is simply stunning,he has captured all the lines of age  and the stories their faces tell exceptionally well.

Hyper realists are extremely rare and a piece could take anywhere from 2 or 3 months to complete which makes pieces by artist like Lee carry a high price tag . If you are an art collector ,pieces like these are worth every cent you spend and once you have them up on your wall they will from great conversation pieces at your dinner parties.

 

The mix of artist at the exhibition was eclectic and among them was  Otto Gohole who was exhibiting for the first time , from his work you can see his obsession with the palette knife,lines,structure and vehicles.He was exhibiting for the first time  and is  a student as well  in his second year at the University.He uses a palette knife for all of  his work and I was taken in  by his Beach scene painting that used just blue and red which  I thought was a very clever use of complementary colors.

Otto Gohole’s work

It is interesting to see the revolution taking place in the Kenyan art space and it is quite intriguing as well to see the fascination as well as the increase by artists in not just painting wildlife but in people as well as in life around them.

Lee Gitahi’s detailed work of the elderly Maasai man and woman which I would dare say are exceptional pieces of work I hope will  open doors for artists to see the richness and diversity of our culture and to use them as sources of inspiration for their work.

 

 

 

LOVING YOUR 4C HAIR..AS IT IS

Photo credit:www.studio2121.com

Before we talk about my hair type,let me get this quote from Americanah out of the way,it sets the stage for what I consider is a travesty that has gone on for far too long but thankfully is almost obsolete as more women are now getting to fall in love with their hair,the way it is and without having to resort to having it relaxed .

“Relaxing your hair is like being in prison. You’re caged in. Your hair rules you. You didn’t go running with Curt today because you don’t want to sweat out this straightness. You’re always battling to make your hair do what it wasn’t meant to do.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah

When I first decided to go natural and shave  off my relaxed hair,I walked into a barber shop  in Nakuru ,told the barber to  chop of my shoulder length hair straight hair and I looked at him as he shook his head,he could not believe it and it felt like he was willing me to change my mind.

And also 8 years ago,not very many women were walking into barber shops….willingly.

He looked at me,asked  if I knew what I was doing and of course I answered that I was very clear headed , that the only thing I had  that morning was tea.

He walked me,almost in slow motion to his chair,draped a gown over my shoulders, took out his shaving machine and he proceeded to shave off more of my hair than I had asked him to.

That was almost 8 years ago and  since then I have relaxed my hair once ,in a moment of pure madness which  I regret to date,then shaved it again….. and now..I am happy with my  type 4 hair and would not want it any other way.

In that 8 year period,I have seen more  women embracing the natural hair look and beauty shops in Nairobi are now stocking more natural hair products than ever before.If you walk into Super cosmetics on Mama Ngina Street it is a natural hair haven with hair products your hair will love and over the years,natural hair products have been taking up more shelf space even in supermarkets.

One of the dangers   that come with having natural hair though is that you run the risk of   becoming a product junkie.You go to town to buy one hair product,just one,  before you know it, you have 10 products in your shopping cart.And out of the 10,your hair will be in love with just one..1!

To avoid spending money on products you do not need,it is important to know you hair type.

Thanks to growth in the hair industry we now can tell our hair types,thanks to one man whom I will call The Man.

That man is Andre Walker.

Andre Walker is a hair stylist developed a hair typing system to help us understand our natural hair ,be able to identify our hair type so that  we can better take care of it.You may have seen his work as a stylist on people like Oprah Winfrey and remember that pixie hair cut Halle Berry is famous for..Andre Walker is the man behind that look.

At the beginning of this post,I included  a simple chart to help you identify your hair type,a simple rule of thumb to follow is that the more tightly curled your hair is,the more delicate it is (yes its true) my hair is type 4 and this type of hair needs a lot of moisture as it tends to dry out quickly.

Once you have identified your hair type , read as much as you can on how you can take care of it and do not follow everything you see on You Tube and use what you learned to identify the best type of products that would go well with your hair.

A lot of disappointment  will accompany you   once you start on your natural hair care journey and your  hair does not behave as well as that of You Tubers. It does not have to. Hair like your finger print is unique and will be affected by things such as the humidity of the part of the world  you live in,the kind of water you wash your hair with (  soft /hard),what you eat,do you smoke ,drink alcohol, eat a lot of fruits and vegetables ?

I also have to say that a particular hair product may give very different results   depending on the hair type it is used on.

In addition ,something we  cannot run away from are our genes,they  play a big role on the kind of curls we carry on our heads.

Now about my  type 4 hair  which a lot of people find difficult to maintain but which i absolutely love.This hair type contrary to popular opinion is actually very fragile as its made up of very thin strands of fine hair ,densely packed together.When this hair type is not well moisturized it tends towards a coarse texture and will easily break.

One of the best ways I would recommend of knowing what works on your hair type,especially if you are type 4 is trying out one particular product at a time,that way you get to know what works and what does not.

With time I have come to learn what my hair likes and what it does not,below I will give a simple guide on what I would recommend if you are type 4 hair,it works for most hair types as well  with simple variations for those whose curl patterns are not so tight.

1.Liquid/Water

Washing my hair daily has always been a great way to keep it full of shine as well as moisturized and when it’s not in braids I wash it daily and even with braids I make sure i wash it at least  every 2 weeks.

Sometimes, but only rarely do I  ever use hair gel as I have seen that it dries out my hair too much.

If you find that spritzing your hair with water is not doing much,it is because your hair products are sitting on your hair shaft clogging it and making it hard for moisture to get through.

This is when you pre poo it and give it a good wash preferably with a clarifying shampoo.

2.Oil

After the hair wash,you need to keep that moisture locked in and a good way to do this is to use a hair butter or a natural oil like olive oil.I did a post on how to know if the olive oil you are buying is the real thing.

Using an oil on your hair which is part of the L.O.C method for natural hair  helps to seal in moisture thus preventing moisture loss which leads to dry brittle hair.

3.Cream

You can follow up the oil with a hair cream that locks in the moisture in your hair and I can vouch for  the Dax Roots Olive Cream ,my hair loves it.

The cream acts  a sealant to the moisture you introduced in steps 1 and sealed in step  2 with oil.

Because my hair is a type 4,the above method works out very well and  will also do for most hair types.If you hair is more loosely curled  read on The Natural Hair Rules blog about  the L.O.C.O method which  works out pretty well for these other  hair types.

This is where you use a Liquid.Light oil.Cream then a heavy oil like coconut or olive oil as a sealant.It would be great to confirm if any of you with finer hair have used this method and what the results were.

Back to the conversation about type 4 hair..I have found out that with hair you just need to know what works and does not work for it,for me as stated earlier,hair gels  my hair  does not like,it dries out , breaks and on the occassion that I have to use it, I make sure it is washed  out by evening.

My hair type  loves moisture and the daily wash is a must after which I apply olive or coconut oil and sometimes a cream.

I also try to avoid any heat treatments like having it blow dried and combing it out and only finger comb it during a wash or when I am applying oil to it which reduces on the breakage.This approach has helped it retain its curl pattern which when people ask what I use on my hair to be able to retain the curl pattern,I simply say I hardly ever use a comb on it.

At the moment I am in Nyasuba Locs which I had done by Onea on Hair ,what I love about them them is that they are light and that there was no need to have my hair straightened in order to have them done which is a win win for my hair and my scalp as well.I am maintaining the locs and my hair by using olive oil on my scalp  every other day .I have had the locs for about 2 weeks now and I am doing a wash next week.

Do you have type  4 hair? what is your hair care regimen like ?

Would love to hear from you as well as hear on your experience with hair products.

 

 

 

BLACK PANTHER IS NOT A STORY ABOUT RACE IT IS A STORY OF REDEMPTION

 

If we go and watch Black Panther only because it is a story about an African nation ,with a African super hero and because finally we get to watch people that look like us starring in what has to be one of the most phenomenally successful movies of our times,we miss what I think is the whole point of the movie.

Black Panther is predominantly a movie about redemption.

My feelings  about the movie Black Panther are similar to the feelings I got after reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book Americanah or  Ijeoma Umebinyuo’s book Questions for Ada.

It is a feeling and a state of being I cannot describe because those two books and this movie took me back to a place, a place that as a woman of African origin I had long forgotten.A place of power.A place of hope.A place of new beginnings about how I am going to  look at and understood myself from now on.

To be honest,I do not think that Jack Kirby and Stan Lee,who were among  the 3 co-creators of the Marvel comics series which enjoyed phenomenal success from  the late 1950’s to 1970 .  These two men both with Jewish roots I bet  had no idea what they started when they first published the first Black Panther comic book,issue #52 in July of 1966.

Issue #52 of the Marvel Comics when Black Panther made his debut.
Photo credits:Marvel Comics

They had no idea that with the birth of Black Panther,millions of Africans and people of African heritage would be proudly flocking to movie theaters to see people who looked like them starring in one of the most highly acclaimed action movies of our times.

It is safe to guess  that  Jack Kirby and Stan Lee whose parents were immigrants to the US both had an idea of what it felt like to belong to a place which was home but not really home. Ijeoma Umebinyuo in her book Questions for Ada writes:

“So, here you are
too foreign for home
too foreign for here. 
Never enough for both.”

Both of them may have listened to the stories their parents told of their lives ,how difficult and hard it was when they first stepped onto the shores of the United States to make a new life for themselves(America is not kind to immigrants).These stories of fighting the odds to be a success must have inspired these series that the  two men created where super heroes fight to ensure  “good” wins against “evil”.

At a time when there was no black super hero to speak of,they introduced an African super hero  to a readership of Marvel Comics that was 100 % white at a period in time when the the  superhero  genre of comic books was enjoying commercial success.

Years later, Wesley Snipes would make valiant efforts to bring Black Panther to life many times , his vision and goal  in trying to bring  Wakanda to life which he stated in an interview with Slate magazine was because it  he felt it was  ,”a fantastic way to help address some of the stereo types about Africa and the Africans glory,the African history,the African people of the day and of the time.”

But Snipes dream was not to be,it was not the right time .That was  until Marvel  which is owned by Disney studios started releasing action block busters like CaptainAmerica:Civil War and Chadwick Boseman made his first appearance as Black Panther in 2016.

The rest became  history because when  Ryan Coogler(writer/director) and Joe Robert Vole (screen writer) were paired up  and together they have made Black Panther into an action packed adventure worth the one hundred and thirty five minutes you spend on your  seat.On the way to grossing over $1Billion this weekend,  the pair who are both African Americans  have turned what was  previously  an overlooked classic into a “relatable and relevant movie” of the times we are living in.

Through out the more than two hours of action that has only just one rude gesture, we are living in a fantasy world that oddly is rooted in a real world that is in turmoil  and   Wakanda nation as a nation  is trying to evolve as a country as it goes through a transition in leadership and a leader of a new generation takes up the title of the Black Panther .

African countries are struggling in a similar manner,some more than others to try and find a seat at the global table and not just lean in into the conversation on global trade but become active players in a world that has had trade and economic policies  skewed more in the favour of  Western countries.Some of the turmoil that we are seeing in African countries is as a result of this generational struggle of an identity  and the result has been often times tragic.

In Black Panther,Wakanda    is not a single tribe but a group of tribes that together form the kingdom of Wakanda ,one of the worlds most technologically advanced countries  of whom the Black Panther is a hereditary title.In the film we see the  struggle that  transition brings  when the King  T’Chaka is tragically killed in a United Nations bombing and his son T’Challa has to fight many enemies to be worthy of this title .T’Challa has to struggle to define himself as a King and in one of the scenes we have  Nakia played by our very beautiful Lupita Nyong’o say ,“You cant let your father’s mistakes define who you are.You get to decide what kind of King you are going to  be.”

Many African countries are living through the consequences of mistakes that were done by previous presidents/kings/prime ministers and for some countries ,they seem stuck in a time warp that they think they cannot get out of.

Black panther is a reminder that there is always opportunity for rebirth or redemption at any point in time ,that is what life is,life is change.To be stuck in the same place,with the same mindsets is death.

We are living in a world that is constantly testing  how we see ourselves and our place in the world as Africans.We cannot keep hiding behind the fact that we have always been the recipients of aid or that we were once colonized and have suffered through bad leadership.

Why,despite the many natural resources we have,do Africa countries expect bail outs from foreign donors ?

Why,despite the fact that we have some of the brightest minds on the continent at this moment in time do we keep making bad political choices when it comes to our leaders ?

Is it not time that we looked at ourselves anew ?

Is this not the time that we are reminded,thanks to the interest in African literature and increasing acclaim  and commercial success of African writers and culture that we see this as our time of redemption ?

It is my hope that as many head of states from Africa see these film for what it is  and hopefully pricks their consciences and that they decide to do better for their countries and the people who they lead.

The movie is  a timely reminder to Africans and people of African origin or with African roots that there is everything to be proud  about who we are,everything from our hair,art,fashion and culture was on display on Black panther.

Let us celebrate who we are without forgetting where we have come from or where we are going for at one point in time #WeWereKings ,we still are we just have to remind ourselves of the these things we have forgotten.

Let us take the responsibility of making the world a better place, “we have the tools to liberate ourselves and the people in the world that look like us.We cannot turn our backs on the truth our fore fathers were too afraid to face,the truth they hid.We cannot turn our backs on that truth,we must right their wrongs.”

Our redemption as Africans ,as people with a role and a place in the world  begins when we start looking at ourselves anew and using the tools(natural  and human resources) we have to redeem ourselves .

Photo Credits:Matt Kennedy/Marvel Studios

And the best part about Black Panther,definitely the women because  characters had depth and  they were given an   opportunity  to give a bad-ass performance.This very simple fact of allowing women to be themselves has made women who would not ordinarily walk into a movie theater to watch  a high action movie flocking to buy tickets to watch Black Panther.

Three  of my girl friends and  I went to watch this movie and could not stop talking about it afterwards,I have talked to a lot of other women who went to watch it too who would not ordinarily watch an action movie and they loved it as well.

A unanimous conclusion from the women that have watched the movie is the admiration they expressed for both General Okoye,Nakia and Shuri.In an interview carried on Vanity Fair,Lupita Nyong’o says of the women in the cast ,“Women are allowed to realize their full potential and that’s what Ryan [Coogler] wanted to show and he committed to having that number of women around him.”

The women in Wakanda are not afraid to confront men when they make bad decisions or to challenge them either.

One of my most memorable scenes from the movie is when General Okoye head of Wakanda’s armed forces and Intel  confronts W’Kabi who is Wakanda’s head of security and they have this exchange.

W’Kabi to Ooye : “Would you kill me, my love ?”

Okoye to W’Kabi: “For Wakanda ,without question!I would die protecting1”

That scene right there,shook me and I am still thinking about it.

Danai Gurira who plays General Okoye  and whose home country happens to be Zimbabwe gives a sterling performance through out  the movie and the car chase they have with Lupita Nyong’o while on a mission is among   the  most thrilling scenes in the whole movie.Seeing her in action together with the Dora Milajes   you realize how  we have undervalued ourselves as women  and the contribution we can make to our communities and countries.

Women are the steady ,strong and  powerful players of our societies,African culture recognized this and great honor was accorded to them. Wakanda is a better country because it values its women and we need to learn from the high cost we have had to pay of maintaining the lie that only men should and can lead.

Our redemption as a communities,as countries begins with this simple truth “that to redeem ourselves we have to go back to the beginning..to our ancestral plains and origins,to where we “lost” our home and find ourselves.Only then can we right the wrongs we have had to live with.”

Wakanda .Forever!

What were your favourite parts of Black Panther ?We would love to hear from you.

 

 

HOW TO TELL IF YOU ARE BUYING REAL OLIVE OIL

A few years ago,there were only  3 brands of olive oil that were available on supermarket shelves in Nairobi, that was unless you knew about the Italian convenience store in Valley Arcade ,New ItalyCor , where there was more variety and not just of olive oil but a lot of Italian food products and wine.

At my last visit to a local chain of supermarkets  I counted  at least 8 different brands and was surprised to see a brand that is bottled  locally.

There has been a rise in the demand for olive oil as people are becoming more aware of its benefits.

If you visit beauty stores and if you have been following the natural hair movement you will have noticed  that a lot of people swear by olive oil for both their hair and skin as well.Olive oil forms part of a daily regimen that helps keep hair especially nappy hair moisturized and healthy as its chemical structure that makes it easier to get absorbed into our  hair follicles.

When my son was younger and suffered from bouts of eczema,I got tired of the steroid  cream we were using and resorted to using the extra virgin  olive oil from my pantry.It worked beautifully  as it easily blended and melted into his skin leaving a lovely  and healthy glow .

Now along with this  phenomenal popularity in the use of  olive oil,there has emerged a counterfeit market where blends of olive oil are being sold as the real thing and it is going  for astronomical prices.This counterfeit industry is not new and has gone on for years and it is estimated to be worth billions of dollars.

Actually ,if you can, get this book Extra Viriginty:The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive oil .

Why the rise in counterfeit versions of olive oil?

Because olive oil has for millennia been known for its health benefits like ,you can read up on a previous article I wrote on why olive oil has been revered for millennia.

And because it is grown in very few countries,it has become hard to meet the demand and a few unscrupulous individuals have found a way of selling of blends of low quality olive oil or even vegetable oil and touting them as the real thing.

Some of the health  benefits of olive oil that make it such a sought after commodity are :

1.It helps in lowering bad cholesterol because it is high in monounsaturated fats.

2.It has been known to improve digestion,metabolism and prevent aging.

3.Can help in weight loss because  its high in monounsaturated fats .

Even with these health benefits,it is recommended not to consume  more than 2 table spoons of olive oil because of  by its nature  being an oil,it is high in calories.

How can you tell  real olive oil  from fake  olive oil?

1.When buying olive oil,be sure to check the label to know where the olive oil comes from.On some bottles you may find that the olive oil has been blended from oils from Italy and Spain.Some of it just says product of Italy.

The real olive oil however should state from what region of Italy it comes from.The more information provided on the bottle,the more likely it is that it is the real thing and the more expensive it will be.

2.Do not buy any olive oil in a plastic bottle.Olive oil is stored in dark colored glass bottles usually gree on brown to protect it from UV light which degrades it..

3.Be on the look out for labels such as light olive oil,pure olive oil or just plain simple olive oil.When the oil is labelled extra virgin olive oil,it means it has come from the first pressing of the olives and color range of the oil is from yellow to deep green depending on the type of olives the oil was harvested from.

4.Check the dates for when the olive oil was produced.Ideally the best olive oil is one that has been newly harvested ,unlike wine olive oil does not get better with age and olive oil should not be stored for long.If your bottle as a harvest date then you can be sure you are getting the real deal ,as  it is bottled without any preservatives,good olive oil should keep up to two years though the idea is to use it up  as soon as you get it in order to make most use of the flavors.

Locally in Kenya,I have found that the best brands are Olitalia and Pietro Coricelli.

Recipe ideas:Drizzling some olive oil over some toasted bread topped with  cheese , tomatoes and a dash of black pepper … absolutely delish.

If you love sun dried tomatoes,soak them in olive oil and use them in your vegetable  sandwiches,….our taste buds will be in heaven!

It is also great when added to a warm bowl of pasta or for your salad dressings.

If you are planning to buy olive oil for your hair or skin,both of these brands that I mentioned above are excellent choices .

 

 

 

AFRICA IS AT THE WINTER OLYMPICS !

Sabrina Simader during the opening ceremony in Pyeongchang ,South Korea. Photo credits:AFP-JIJI

The Winter Olympics got off to a colorful start in Pyeongchang in Gangwon Province of South Korea.

This year  marks the 94th year since the first Winter Olympic games  in 1924 in Chamonix ,France.

The Winter Olympics are held the second year after the more popular Summer Olympic are held and attract a select group of countries whose weather conditions favour winter sports.Africa did not have any country representing the continent until 1960 when South Africa made its debut at the games with an all-white team, we have had  at least one African country taking part in the games since then.

This year is special as  there will be 13 African athletes flying their countries flags , most of the athletes participating in the Winter Olympic games   have been born or trained outside the continent .A major reason for the small number  of African athletes at the Winter Games is the fact that the  tropical climate on the continent does not provide the conditions that would make  conducive training grounds for the type of sports  at the Winter Olympics.

The African countries taking part in the Winter Olympics are Kenya,Nigeria,Eritrea,Morocco,Ghana,Madagascar,Togo and South Africa.

Sabrina Wanjiku Simader, is representing Kenya and she is the first alpine skier to ever represent the country  and   her debut at the Winter Olympics is an exciting opportunity  for her as well as for the country.The 19 year old whose father is Austrian was all smiles  as she carried the Kenyan flag high during the opening ceremony .

A team you will also  want to keep your eyes on as they are also making their debut is Nigeria,which has a bob sled team and a skeleton athlete as well as being all-female.The team’s journey to Pyeongchang started last year in February when they launched a Gofundme campaign to raise funds for what would be Nigeria’s maiden debut at the Winter Olympics.The bob sled team is made up of athletes Akuoma Omeoga, Ngozi Onwumere and Seun Adigun and  the skeleton athlete Simidele Adeagbo.

Hopefully after whis year,we will see an even higher number of African athletes at the Winter Olympics in Beijing,China 2022 and that African governments will see to it that they support these athletes.

Watch the teams on the  Ellen DeGeneres show ,the games are available on satellite Television provider DSTV on SS12,13 and 14 and on Kwese TV the games are live on Olympics HD channel 306.

At Maridadi Lifestyle we would like to send  the African athletes the best of wishes  as they represent the continent.

 

 

FIRE, FURY & THE DANGER OF ZERO SUM POLITICS

Photo Credits:Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

 

“Media is personal.It is a series of blood scores .The media in its often collective mind decides who is going to rise and who is going to fall,who lives and who dies.If you stay around long enough in the media eye,your fate,like that of a banana republic despot ,is often an unkind one -a law Hilary Clinton was not able to circumvent.The media has the last word.”

-Michael Wolff

This post should have been  a book review.

When I started reading this book it was to get insight into the Trump Presidency and to get all the juicy details about exactly what could be happening on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,Washington DC,like everyone else I was curious to get into the inner sanctums of the Trump White House.Midway through the book I realized the book was not about that,it was a book about what American politics had become,the politics of self interest.Michael Wolff indeed  had given us a peek into the  Trump White House ,yet if he had changed the characters and location of  this story ,it could be any Presidency somewhere in the world.

It was a revelation of the  world political stage as it is right now,  the role of the media and  our role ,the not so helpless and hapless  minions of  a system we have been caught up in-a zero sum political game of thrones.

In all the discussions I watched on CNN of what was termed as an explosive  book ,the role of the media was never discussed or  talked about.The power of media and how it makes us believe  we are making choices when in fact the choices have already been made for us is something no one touched.Yet,we know media in the USA and in my country has played a role,a big one in the way the politics in these two countries has panned out.

The months before the American elections , if you watched  international news channels,especially CNN,President Donald Trump received a lot of coverage not all of it favorable,actually most of it  negative formed a recurring narrative on most news channels and discussion panels.There was enough time and information to be able to make the choice between President Trump , Hilary or  Bernie Sanders,they chose a former TV Reality Show star (there is nothing wrong with reality TV stars).

Michael Wolff for all the backlash he has received over the book,did say something that pretty much describes how President Trump would like to run the white house when he wrote,“Curiously for a man who seemed to have led a movement based in anger and retribution,Trump was very much(or he believed he was very much a politician of the old stripe-a lets -work-it out-guy.You scratch my back,I’ll scratch yours .He was in his mind,the ultimate tactician,always knowing what the other guy wanted.”

That knowing what the other guy wants is how he was able to get the GOP  nomination and beat Hilary at the polls.He knew and was speaking a language the average American understood,Americans wanted someone who was going to save them,their country and the values they thought their country stood for.Trump’s supporters wanted someone who could make America great again and Trump was speaking a language they were familiar with and could relate to.

He was the ultimate salesman.

The book is not just about Trump’s White House,it is a story about what is happening the world over,politically,it is a battle between “good’ and “evil” .Wolff provides what I consider a perfect description of politics today when he writes,“Politics had seemed to become,even well before the age of Trump,a mortal affair.It was now zero-sum:When one side profited,another lost.One side’s victory was another’s death.The old notion that politics was a traders game,an understanding that somebody else had something you wanted-a vote,goodwill,old-fashioned patronage-and that in the end the only issue was cost,had gone out of fashion.Now,it was a battle between good and evil.” 

That up there describes politics today,zero-sum.

And that is why America ,my country Kenya and many others   the world over are in the mess they are today.

When politics becomes a zero sum  game no one wins.Absolutely no one will ever win if we continue playing politics the way we are doing right now  where our wins are pegged on another person’s or groups loss.We fell into the zero sum trap when we started creating societies where everyone was placed into a particular social,ethnic,tribal or racial group and we aligned our political interests along those groups.

Read this fantastic article in the Washington post by llya Somin on Identity politics and the dangers of Zero-Sum Thinking.

This book is about that kind of politics, it reveals ,to borrow Wolff’s words that politics has become “a discrete business of insular,inbred,incestuous interests.”

Something will have to give if we go on like this and it will not be pretty.

Read the book.