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ristozetu

People Daily Correspondent

Boss blowing up your Phone?

Anita’s phone rung. The caller? Her boss. What now? He wanted to know whether she had sent a proposal he had requested her before he had left for a meeting earlier in the day. Problem is, this was not the first time that her boss had called her after work hours. Worse still at night. “What A nita and her husband were relaxing on the couch after having dinner. Their two children had retired to bed. Time, 8.30pm. Then does he want this time,” her husband asked. After she explained, he became even more furious. “Can’t that wait until tomorrow? Are you sure that’s all what he wanted,” he enquired. Arguably, this was causing a strain in their relationship.

Many strive to give their best at work and hope to be rewarded for their efforts. But colleagues sometimes frustrate team work either in ignorance or defiance of corporate ethics and common etiquette. Superiors cross boundaries. Whether language, hygiene, inappropriate contact, or being used outside of your job description, correcting workmates is an awkward experience many avoid, opting to let it go. Margaret Wanjiku, a human resources manager, helps bypass predicaments encountered whilst on the clock.

Employment contract

Staff should not walk on eggshells fearing unfair or impromptu termination from work. The Employment Act of 2007 shield Kenyan workers from any abuse of their rights at the workplace. “A lot depends on the terms of contract signed, if any, upon employment. Labour laws guarantee workers’ rights, but people often sign punitive employment contracts out of ignorance or desperation,” says Wanjiku.

Code of ethics

What if your office bully rungs above you on the corporate ladder? Wanjiku insists offences should be reported immediately. “Violations to the national or corporate code of ethics should be reported to the human resources, regardless of the offenders rank. The HR responsibility is to ensure staff perform optimally by ensuring the work place is conducive,” she adds.

Discipline

“A big hurdle is that people suffer abuse for long before coming forward. Staff irrationally fears filing a formal complaint assuming the HR will dispense termination instead of justice. Junior staffs mainly fear victimisation, with women and senior staff shying away from losing face if portrayed the victim. Verbal or written summon is delivered to the offender and if found guilty, a warning or sterner punishment is dispensed.

The complainant may only be required to come forward if the incident is unverifiable or the offender denies wrongdoing,” she adds.

Type of job There are jobs that would require someone to be on call such as those in the medical profession, security departments and journalism among others. Therefore, being called during odd hours can be understood.

Set boundaries As an employee, don’t be afraid to set boundaries. Restrict your contact with colleagues outside work.

Alternitively, use different phones or block work group contacts and notifications after work. “Functional working relationships require a delicate balance of warmth and distance.

You can be friends, but being overly familiar is a slippery slope best avoided,” Wanjiku advises. Office gossip is usually caused by employees whose relationship appears beyond professional.

Coach David Lung’aho

Coach David Lung’aho’s imposing figure paired with his commanding voice immediately betrays a man running a tight operation. His training in 2015 witnessed the Malkia Strikers (Kenya’s National Women’s Volleyball team) win the prestigious FIVB World Grand Prix Group 3 trophy, despite being deemed as underdogs against Peru, Colombia and Mexico. The team or ‘my girls’

as Coach Lung’aho affectionately refers to them, are the reigning African Champions, a feat they have achieved nine times.

Sporty family For celebrated National Women’s Volleyball team’s head coach, sports runs in his family. “I am the second born in a family of 10; I was born in Kakamega, but raised in Nakuru. My parents were sporty; my mum played netball and my dad not only played volleyball, but he was also a coach. I was particularly close to my father and he passed his love for volleyball to me.

Ironically though, I am the only one in sports in the family, none of my other siblings took it up,” he says.

Though Lung’aho trained in marketing and supplies at the then Railways Training Institute, he cannot imagine any alternative path he’d have taken in life. “Volleyball was always my passion and I naturally took to coaching,” he says.

He has been coaching volleyball since 2000 and since then he has mentored countless players during his illustrious career.

However, his passion for volleyball started much earlier. As a youngster, he represented his Lenana Primary School, Nakuru at the national level in Classes Six and Seven and even when he joined Lake Lake Nakuru High School. He then played for the Railways Club from 1987 to 1994, got the first call to play for the national team in 1989, and was later the national team captain in 1995 to 1997. I left Railways in 1994 to join KCB. However, left in 1999 to pursue coaching instead.

Why coach women? “When I first became a coach, the only coaching position available at KCB was the women’s team,” he notes.

Lung’aho confesses that though women are easy to work with, coaching women is harder than men due to their natural sensitivity to many external factors.

Lung’aho’s is married to Salome Wanjala, a prisons officer and they have been together since 2000. “Apart from being a lovely mother and wife, she loves volleyball and football,” he adds. Having a family, Lung’aho says has changed him since he always remembers that he has people who look up to him, and that his life is not just about him. Their family time is spent on sports. “We all love football, Arsenal and AFC are our teams. We have travelled as far as Nakuru and Mumias to cheer on AFC,” he adds.

Success is possible According to Lung’aho, there is no secret to success, but dedication and hard work. “What women’s volleyball team has achieved, all Kenyan sports are capable of given the right support from respective sponsors and government,” he says adding, “A player who is not worrying about salaries, access to medical care or poor training camp facilities is better suited to push themselves physically. It is a mighty shame to see Kenya go unrepresented in some sports simply because no one invested in the talent. Sometimes, money is put in, but vested interests and petty squabbles see the players getting the short end of the stick.”

Burst out of the Sexual Rut

Mary Gareng’o*, has been happily married for 13 years, but is facing a tough problem. “It has been months since I was intimate with my husband. He travels a lot and I’m always fatigued in the evening after work and supervising homework,”she says. The 38-yearold accountant confesses it was not always like that. “I’m not sure when the spark left our bedroom, but sex became routine then rare. He’s just not interested any more, I feel like a housekeeper.”

We might brand this issue taboo and even mock Mary for sharing, but many wives can relate and truth be told it’s a situation that has dealt a serious blow and affected women’s self-esteem.

Dr Chris Hart, a seasoned psychologist, examines this problem, which many people face in their marriages. “Couples can allow their sex lives to become boring, or a source of tension between them.

There are simply endless reasons for low libido. Some are just wired that way, and have had a low level of desire all their lives. But it peaked around the time of marriage and then gradually declined again. The key is to understand the cause of reduced libido before trying to tackle it,” he says. But if you thought that only women experience this, think again because men fall victim as well. Dr Hart debunks the myth that men are always ‘in the mood’.

“Despite everything you’ve heard, low sex drive also occurs in men. However it can affect one gender more than the other at various times in life. This includes women with small children, untreated erectile dysfunction in older men, and so on.”

When one spouse feels unap preciated and unwanted this may lead to infidelity. They may crave intimacy and since they’re not getting it from their partner, they would want to find intimacy elsewhere.

“The lack of sexual desire does not only apply to the spouse. However, low libido can cause infidelity as it is caused by stress or deficiencies in the marriage. If one feels lonely, abandoned or unable to open up sexually, the situation can be a prime cause of infidelity,” Hart says. But what are the main reasons for low libido?

“Physical attributes such as illness or medication can be a major contributor. Emotional distress, worries or stress unrelated to sex or maybe performance anxiety, where a spouse may be suffering low self-esteem or insecurities and doubt their performance skill. Other physical factors maybe, erectile dysfunction in men or menopause and vaginal dryness in women,”

Hart says.

Difficulties in marriage including communication breakdown can have major effects too.

“Couples should be cautious about lifestyle changes such as recent childbirth, young children, caring for elderly relatives or change in socio-economic status, but if you think you’re unable to address sexual matters, seek couples therapy,” he says.

Men Who Rape Men

Mwajuma walks with difficulty and when he speaks his eyes dart from side to side like a hunted deer. Mr Mwajuma was raped by five men to punish him for allegedly having an extra marital affair with the wife of a prominent figure in Likoni, Mombasa.

“Five men forced entry into my house. They beat me up and took turns sodomising me and forced my wife to watch. They taunted me saying if thought I was more a man than the woman’s husband, I should defend myself and prove it,” he recalls.

Mwajuma’s life has never been the same since. “My wife left the house as soon as the gang let her and I haven’t seen her since. Gossip forced me to move to Nairobi; people here don’t know, but I can never forget.” As much as Mwajuma would love to escape the memory of that day, it has changed his life forever and he says he would rather die than even go to a counsellor to seek help.

Men being raped by men is deemed by society as a topic so taboo that it is spoken about in hushed tone. However, violence against men is on the rise. During the Post-election Violence in 2007 at least 250 Kenyans were victims of rape. Out of this figure 44 of them were men who were sodomised and in some cases forcibly circumcised.

“Many men from my tribe who weren’t killed underwent horrific things; sodomy, forced circumcision and penile amputation,” recalls Philip, one of the victims.

This crime is also perpetrated against those who are accused of homosexuality. The Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya recently warned their members about criminals lurking in gay Internet groups and around the clubs they frequent, who bait gay men, extort them for money and sometimes sodomise them.

Jay, a homosexual living out of the closet in Nairobi, is more forthcoming about this experience. “The terror one undergoes is unimaginable. I got out of the nightclub to receive a call when I was dragged into an alley. Three men beat me mercilessly and sodomised me using a broken beer bottle. Naked, unconscious and bleeding; I might have died there had some sex workers not alerted my friends who drove me to hospital.” He did not report the sexual assault or robbery, since being gay is illegal in Kenya.

It is an open secret that Kenyan prisons are also a fertile ground where inmates are sodomised.

Wazungu Weusi (African Foreigners) – Africa’s Post-Colonial Royalty

A tweet recently asked to explain what I meant by black whites/foreigners, translated from Swahili Wazungu Weusi, a term my enlightened pals and I use jokingly. Black foreigners doesn’t quite explain it, some is lost in translation.

Wazungu Weusi are the creations of the British (or respective colonial insurgents), the lucky few whose ancestors were bestowed upon honorary favours not afforded to ‘natives’. A special class was created for these model experiments, ‘originaires’ as they were called in France’s piece of our Equatorial West, were  undeniably best suited to run our countries in the infancy of our sovereignty.

Battle-shocked freedom fighters and the passive citizens, mostly illiterate, were sure the fight was over and the struggle was won? What do you think, perhaps your freedom fighters are respected their sacrifice? Not pacified with hollow statues and ‘national’ holidays like ours, who attend the annual honour parades paid them, hoping mheshimiwa will pay them their real due? A piece of land to build a home for their families before resting their weary bones or something a little more solid than the rare bone thrown their way.

How many others, whose forefathers lived freely, still live as refugees in their own countries while dairy cows roam in vast ranches ‘bought back’ from foreigners who never had claim? Many communities sit across borders, separated from their kinsmen by nationality and ancient boarder arguments. We learn about the Scramble and Partition of Africa in history class, but perhaps they should expand. Kids need to hear of other continents ravaged (for their own good) by the colonial winds in the age of eugenics for their ‘idle’ natural wealth… How their simple but timelessly effective cultures were dismissed as barbaric without reservation… How they too struggled to forge a new united identity without loosing the patches in their quilt and won back their dignity… How they rose above the setbacks of grave loses incurred and their factional differences, while we languish in the dark ages.

Who to blame is not the relevant or constructive question, Young Africa is better than that. Save for the thousands carrying guns, thousands more of us are carrying enlightened minds that WILL eventually lift their burden by deposing our oppressor. Power is guarded jealously by those wielding it, as witnessed in Africa disease heart as witnessed in the two Congo Wars, stake-holding countries will breach another sacred borders high or finance and arm guerrilla rebels’ banal war in the footsteps of a global players known for its lofty notions of ‘foreign intervention’ in the name of democracy.

Young Africa sees their games and knows their coaches who hang around off the pitch but running the entire show. We see their twanging offspring schooled (and often born) abroad on their few obligatory visits and hear about their offshore funds and foreign assets. Tax is not a burden most of them don’t carry unless they feel ‘sufficiently’ philanthropic as a former Speaker of Parliament flippantly told Kenyans.

Like royalty they satisfy allies with national resources, rarely marry outside their esteemed ranks and habitually take without anything giving anything back. They spare us only sporadic appreciation but no actual concern. I ask what makes this class of people belong to Africa or any Nationality let alone the petty ethnic squabbles they manipulate for tribal alliances to hoist on those pedestals as their ‘peoples’ unquestionable leader. Hao ni wazungu weusi, they care and share more with foreigners than anyone who will ever vote or take up arms for their cause.

 

Collaborators rule us all; divide and conquer is inherited, so the illusion of democracy is their greatest achievement to date. The cake was cut long ago, and if your forebear was not invited, well, Qu’ils mangent de la brioche… The day will come when Young Africa not born into ‘African Royalty’ tire of witnessing food snatched from their children’s plates as their fathers watched different oppressors rob them. I can only dream of the day the vicious circle breaks and pray others dream it too.

 

Single and not Searching

Singles are happy to see the back of February, the defacto month of love when their solo state is more apparent. It happens during family gatherings and get-togethers, at parties and basically in any social environment. Things are going smoothly until you’re asked that dreaded question that forces you into defense mode: “So, why are you single?”

Finally, we have a term for it, single shaming. A long overdue concept describing the snide comments, inappropriate questions and unsolicited advice directed toward those who’ve spent even a few adult years single. Single shaming can be intentional or unintentional. From prying inquiries about sexual orientation to the wrath of God-fearing aunts and grandmas, the single lifestyle is not without its critics.

Just last year, when Patrick Njoroge was nominated to be the Central Bank of S parent. It happens during Kenya governor his single status spoke louder than his CV. When he appeared before the Parliamentary Committee, he insisted that at 54, he is single by choice.

Mariam Bahati, a 40 year old banker shares her indignation. “Anyone who has had to defend or justify their single status knows it gets more irritating with age, she says, as she explained her case, “My career is demanding and my religion is restrictive. I was afraid of my life and ambition being curbed. After university, it took some convincing, but my parents agreed to not marry me off.

Though I lived with them until I was 28, I was able to focus on work and save.”

Why single James Mbugua, a psychologist and lecturer in Counselling Psychology at Africa Nazarene University shares his expertise on the social dynamics ostracising singles. “Humans are social beings, but contemporary society allows for more lifestyle choices,” he notes.

Also, a few people carry significant trauma from past relationships, which forbids or discourages them from getting into new relationships. Some people feel a religious calling and their devotion and calling bids them to forego marriage. For others, it is purely a personal choice or matter of convenience.

The cost of being single “Even today, there’s truth to the idea that people, especially women get validation by being in a relationship,” says Rachel Hills, author of The Sex Myth.

Mbugua explains the perils of defying custom. “Human instinct is survival and reproduction and all rituals surrounding it is key. Society does not look kind on ‘genetic dead ends’. Family may resent someone for not carrying on the family name,” he adds.

“My sisters had more trouble getting married. Families of potential husbands were concerned I had infected them with my ‘independence’ and my parents permissiveness,” says Mariam. She reveals the cost of her success was stigma facing her entire family.

Way forward Singles are advised not to get defensive or try to justify their status. “Someone who is comfortable would not get depressed or lose their cool even when pestered. Its is just as possible to be lonely in a seemingly stable relationship as being single and fulfilled,” Mbugua advises. He adds, “Adam was created alone, humans have to learn to enjoy their own company before they can qualify as valid partners. Eve was made to complement Adam not to complete him. Calling a spouse ‘better half’ wrongly implies a single person is incomplete.”

“If someone has not expressed the need for help, please let them be,”

Mbugua appeals to families and friends dabbling as matchmakers who plot blind dates and constantly offer unsolicited advice. “Do not make the person feel like you’re trying to fix them. Single people are not strange, nor do they have secrets. They feel to be best of service in their solitary state. Don’t push them further away,” he says.

Raising Little Rebels

A rebellious child, irrespective of age, severely tests the parenting skills of guardians and wears the patience of authority figures thin. Many of us have winced sympathetically at parents bearing scandalous tantrums in public. Carol Njeri, a city psychologist unlocks the puzzling minds of willful children: “Even when outwardly pushing for freedom, minors require and even desire limits on their freedom; they are more receptive to guidance if they sense the A respect desired,” she says.

Rebels: Nature or nurture

“Often rebellious behaviour is a phase or reaction to internal or external events, which usually passes.

At times it stems from the child’s budding personality. Rebellion causes teens and preteens to depend on self definition and personal conduct, defying other people’s wants or expectations,” she says.

Carol reveals that ‘spoiling’ is most suspect, but not always the culprit. “Rebellion manifests itself in different ways in child development stages. Children under nine mostly show blatant disregard for authorities if it has shown to pay off in the past. Training is crucial, a child quickly learns if a tantrum gets the desired result and picks up the habit,” she advises.

Stages of rebellion

Preteens(9-13)

Rebellion at this stage is primarily to reject the old childhood identity that they now want to shed in order to pave the way for a more grown up redefinition ahead. Handle demands or episodes using patience and postponing tactics to wear down resistance. This stage is also best to stress the ‘talking out, not acting out’ means of conflict resolution.

Mid adolescence (13-15)

Rebellion pushes hardest in this stage creating crucial need for parents to keep communication channels open to allow subtle guidance. The root of rebellion in this stage is creating needed differentiation to experiment with identity and needed opposition to gather power of self determination. Defiance can be managed by allowing natural consequences to occur, within reasonable extent, whilst providing ‘noninvasive’ parental guidance. Continually make statements about, or rewarding, choices that support constructive growth.

Late adolescence (15-18)

Dramatic liberation from parental approval and childhood dependency is the goal. It is often characterized by increased risk taking. A parents’ job at this stage is to cautiously allow more independence whilst expecting responsibility, staying empathetic during disagreements and providing clear and calm guidance on worrying risk taking. Parents should remember the young person is just as scared and pained by the imminent shift as they are.

  • Involve a therapist when you see:
  • Extremely aggressive or destructive behaviour.
  • Ongoing disrespect for authority figures.
  • Signs of depression or withdrawal.
  • Issues within family such as abuse, whether physical, drugs, or alcohol.
  • Dysfunctional family relationships involving third party guardians.

Home Remedy

“An effective antidote for rebellion in older children is a dose of the independence they seek. Do not forget that provoking your disapproval is the mission. Youngsters with strong parental support are unlikely to surrender to peer groups, they conform with limits. Parents who are demanding and responsive with punishment are more effective than demanding, but unresponsive with punishments,” Njeri advises.

Ruto Vs. The Bogeyman

DP, William Ruto cannot live so long as Moi survives. Why? It is no secret Ruto rose from KANU’s ashes, only KANU never burnt, earning the DP a right to worry. Yeap, that bogeyman was under our collective bed this whole time! Not to suggest KANU was hiding or Moi-forbid, napping.

Having failed to woo an electrified nation with young Kenyatta, who fought valiantly in 2002 despite Kenya declaring him wet behind the ears; the cockerel barely licked its wounds preferring to plot its comeback.

Stakes are higher than ever before for the DP, as proven by his descent into public name-calling shows behavior a far cry from the toothy grin (or tears) he reserves for the masses. Of all uncertainties, one thing remains plain: losing even a fraction of his power could render Ruto’s meteoric rise fizzled out.

William Ruto’s feigned nonchalance couldn’t fool a blind man, the fire KANU lit under his bottom has him sweating bullets! The delicate scales of power shift suddenly and ruthlessly, Ruto is hard pressed to guard the coveted power he has thus far won.

2007,
When Mwai Kibaki made cabinet appointments for the nusu mkate government, little attention was paid, John Lonyang’apuo, a professor barely known beyond Pokot clinched a PS post. KANU quietly set power brokering loyal but fresh faces, into key posts.

2013
Just as Kericho is now the centre of a giant power play, so was Pokot in 2013. It became the scene of KANU’s awakening, grabbing Gubernatorial, Senatorial and dozens of MCAs.

It’s rumoured KANU’s victory could have been absolute, had Ruto not bought scores of South Pokot turncoats after elections.
Samuel Moroto, veteran MP is said to have jumped ship with the governor, Simon Kachapin, and a host of MCA. Ruto effectively neutralised KANUs win, by isolating Senator Lonyang’apuo, the only loyalist standing.

Apparently, the turncoats have disowned their mistress, opting for the familiarity of the old wife KANU.
Isaac Rutto and Charles Keter, also whispered to be in Moi’s pocket, are a clear indication of mutiny in Ruto’s backyard. Was it really ever his?

Sentiment seems to be driving herds of Kalenjin back to baba’s (if not babu’s) hands, just as it did for Ruto.

It is argued that both Jubilee candidates rode to power on a wave of sympathy fostered by a shrewd alliance. Neither community wanting to see their ‘valiant’ sons prosecuted abroad, they trained their machetes away from each other and readied to battle a bigger foe. So the lucky chaps won government as an added layer protection.

The birth of a JAP officially puts URP to rest, granting KANU equal if not better claim to the Kalenjin throne. Ruto’s long list of allies has dwindled, sabotage within URP forces him to depend on first term MPs, as many old timers are linked to Moi. Only the Nandi and Keiyo loyalties are unquestioned.

Pokot, Marakwet, Bomet, Baringo and Turkana South counties ripe for harvesting, with KANU’s popularity soaring in the previous months. The Sabaot community scattered in Transzoia and Mt Elgon regions also seem to be wavering .

Less immediate of Ruto’s 99 problems, is North Eastern region whose hard land and hearts softened to KANU’s tune. KANU’S network in the area are largely unmolested in leaders like Yussuf Haji setting the stage. Further, groundwork for cooperation between ODM and KANU alliance must be keeping the DP up at night.

Nonetheless, may democracy prevail and the best horse win! Who’re you betting on?

Late last year, the divorce details of Kenyan US based singer, Mercy Myra and fellow singer Malimo Anega aka Attitude came into the limelight.

Mercy won the custody of their daughter. Attitude, however did not take it well and took to social media to pour out his frustrations. He even alleged that the judge favoured Mercy.

“The relationship between my daughter and I is pure and always will be,” read part of the update before he described Mercy as the worst wife.

It is always easy to reach an agreement or at least control the cost of fight over matrimonial property. But in fights over child custody and visitation, one can never put a price on spending time with their child or having the power to make important decisions about the child.

“Both parents have the right to exercise parental responsibility over a child equally and can sue where such is denied,” says Faith Simiyu, a family lawyer. She explains the intricacies the law takes into account when awarding custody. Do courts favour mothers?

Children of tender years are kept under the custody of their mothers unless there is a sufficient evidence to discredit the mother’s ability. The Subordinate Courts (Separation and Maintenance) Act Cap 153, enables a woman to seek custody for a child below 16 years. “The court considers who best satisfies the child’s welfare irrespective of gender. But, in the event both parents are equally capable, the courts favour the mother,” she adds.

‘Unfit’ parents Sole custody can be awarded to one parent if one proves to the court that the other party is unfit to parent. “Mainly, one is unfit for custody when they are unable to exercise the responsibility of a parent, that includes being able to provide for their basic needs such as education, health and other psychological and social needs that are necessary for the growth and development of a well-rounded individual. A parent who is abusive, negligent, has a history of abandoning their parental responsibility, alcoholic or unable to have a source of income and place of abode maybe considered unfit to be a parent,”

she adds. Maintenance Agreement Headaches accompanying joint custody are solved through a Maintenance Agreement, a legally binding document dictating the custody arrangement in great detail. Faith notes, “In signing a Maintenance Agreement, parents can set out the duties of each parent; for example, which party keeps the child during school days and which party gets visitation on weekends. They also sign as to whether the visitation should be supervised and if visitation right include outings away from the home.”

Parents further agree to share the key parental responsibilities and co-ordinate in order for both to participate constructively, rather than one party providing financial support and the other emotional and social support.

Parental consent “In cases of joint custody, the consent of the other is needed in any decision affecting the child. This can be troublesome, especially where one parent is negligent or untraceable. Both parties have equal rights in key decisions affecting the child’s life; for example mode of discipline, allowance,” says Faith.

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