Remembering Aaliyah A Decade Later..

10 years ago today, Aaliyah tragically died in a plane crash. I wasnt one of those boys that had a crazy crush on her although her beauty was hard to ignore. For me it was Aaliyah’s voice. It embodied her whole style, it captured moods exquisitely and blended seamlessly with any beat it accompanied.



Now Playing: Aaliyah – “I Don’t Wanna”

Gender, Affirmative Action and Quotas

She wrote an article that appeared in Today’s Nation entitled: “Women’s March to Power is Painfully Slow”

The gist of the piece is in the third last paragraph which reads:

“It is indeed preposterous that the Cabinet would contemplate a constitutional amendment Bill seeking to annul a fundamental constitutional gain for women that is entrenched in the Bill of Rights under Article 27.”

In the piece itself she cites the case of the proposed merger of the Gender and Equality Commission with the National Commission for Human Rights as another clear case of clear lack of political will to give full effect to, and translate the constitutional gains secured for both men and women into a substantive reality through informed legislation and concerted implementation.

In my discussion with her over this particular article and other related topics, I found myself drawing many parallels with South Africa. If you ask me, the issue of gender equality in this country has taken centre-stage in much the same way that racial equality did in post-1996 South Africa. Blacks in SuidAfrika, much like the women of Kenya, saw the enactment of their progressive new Constitution as an opportunity to push for full promotion of their rights and full access to opportunities. Their Bill of Rights much like ours is both horizontal and vertical applicability which means that every citizen can enforce any right or freedom against either the State or another individual or both. To cut a long story short, black South Africans using the Affirmative Action strategies that women in Kenya have started to adopt, succeed in getting quotas put in place in both public and private entities. The (in)famous Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) programme comes to mind.

So my words to her was that women of Kenya should take heart and know that the battle for promotion and protection of their rights under the Constitution could not be left in anyone’s hands but their own. When MPs use words like “not realistic” “largely aspirational” to describe rights you’ve spent decades for their inclusion in the supreme document, you must know that they’re trying to water down your achievements, stirring doubts and spreading falsehoods to break your momentum. Women of Kenya must not relax. The formula proposed in the Elections Bill, to me, made a lot of sense and it shouldn’t be discarded simply because some male MPs somewhere are afraid that the axe will fall on them.

The push of reform starts with the Supreme Court which must be properly constituted and continues with vigilance that all key subsidiary laws touching on gender are scrutinised and checked to ensure strict compliance. The elephant in the room remains implementation. The Executive must no longer be allowed to drag its feet.

Cloudvillian’s Five.

#My5Links. Remember it? It was all the rage last month. Like most trends in .ke, it’s probably faded to nothingness. Maybe it hasn’t but before it does, let me share my five links and tag other fellow bloggers in the struggle to share their links.

Here goes:

1. My Most Popular Post: An untitled post written in Feb 2009, it was a small piece on the World Cup tournament set to take place in South Africa the following year, 2010. I was a bit pessimistic about whether SA would be able to be ready and prepared to hold such a huge event especially since it was the first time ever for any country in Africa. We all know how that ended. Thank you for making us proud, South Africa! Oh, and Mandela lived to see it! Double woop!

2. The Post that Didn’t Get The Attention It Deserved:
“A United East African Community?” What can I say, I really wanted one of those shiny new baby blue “East Africa Community” passports that were being proposed by the EAC. Fastforward to present day, the East African Dream is slowly becoming a reality. Slowly.

Notable mention: “Keep Walking..” on decentralisation and decongestion of Nairobi. I was suggesting that Kenya follows the example of other countries like South Africa and Nigeria.

3. The Post Whose Success Surprised Me: “Shoot The Messenger” where I basically unleashed a whole barrel of haterade on Kenyan men in Nairobi. I’m thinking of doing a 2k11 list very very soon!

4. My Most Controversial Post: “Primitiveness” Yes fellow Kenyans, I called our flag (you know, the one with the shield and the two spears) primitive!

5. The Post I Am Most Proud Of: “Scared Sh*tless” where I confessed my deepest darkest fears to the world.

Notable mention: My J Dilla tribute post “The Greatest Triple Threat of All Time” I’m naming my first son Dilla… yes, the future mother of my progeny already knows.


Big thanks to the two Ns that tagged me: nittzsah and ndinda_. In return I shall tag the following to share their links (in no particular order):

Crystal balls, “threeceebee”

d®, “Performance First”

Tricia, “Pages of My Journal”

Willpress, “Open Mic”

Ms. Slightly Off-White, Slightly Off White.


My work here is done. Over to you.