Clueless' is a word Miguna Miguna uses often in Peeling Back the Mask. Everyone he worked with in ODM and the Coalition Government was. Peeling Back the Mask is an insider's account from one of the Kenyan Prime Minister's former advisers detailing instances of corruption and fraud at the highest. Peeling Back the Mask. A QUEST FOR JUSTICE IN KENYA. Miguna Miguna. Peeling Back the Mask Prelims_Layout 1 23/06/ Page iii.
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Aliye na link ama pdf ya vitabu vya Miguna Miguna anisaidie tafadhali. https:// osakeya.info Peeling Back The Mask:Miguna Miguna.. Free PDF Download! osakeya.info /z/download/peeling+back+the+mask+pdf/. Peeling Back the Mask A QUEST FOR JUSTICE IN KENYA Miguna Miguna Peeling Back the Mask Prelims_Layout 1 23/06/ Page iv.
That meant that as other families with adult men were feasting on fish, we at times did without. Fortunately, however, life in the village was such that neighbours always looked out for each other. I remember vividly how the Kimira and Katolo clans used to organise wrestling contests of young men between the two clans.
In those days, wrestling was the biggest entertainment sport around Kano, not soccer.
In many ways, life in the village was idyllic. There is nothing I loved more than those evenings. This is what would happen: Ideally, the colostrum should be exclusively used by her offspring. But often, during the first week, the calf is still too young to feed on all the colostrum, which is extremely rich in nutrients and I suspect antibodies.
And as happened in those days, villagers were frugal and never allowed food to go to waste. It was this excess colostrum that our mothers would keep in large earthenware pots for weeks, allowing it to ferment until it was frothing with gases and obviously friendly germs. We would arrive dutifully and wait for the ugali and adila. There were more sheep than goats in the village. Nearly every household had some. So, before the young rams developed their huge, curled fatty tails we called them sembe , boys in the village would wait until it had just enough girth before using a very sharp knife to cut off and remove a small portion from the tip.
A red-hot machete would be used to burn the place from which we had chopped off our meal in order to help it heal. For me, the only occasions that rivalled the adila and sembe feasts were the traditional weddings.
On those occasions, there would be abundant food. We would eat bread with margarine spreads a delicacy that was often reserved only for such special occasions and feast on sembe. If there are things I look back on with sentimentality, it is the adila, sembe and traditional wedding feasts.
Those days, I wished for a wedding every week. It was on such occasions that boys in the village bonded, shared stories and experiences. Magina was — and remains — both an interesting and a depressing place. There were — and are — no real homes in the village; only clusters of huts. The huts were constructed very close to each other, each cluster forming large homesteads. Nothing was permanent in the village. At night — and except when the stars, the full moon or the fireflies were out in full force — the whole village was pitch-dark.
Apart from local drunks, night runners and fishermen when there were floods, very few villagers ventured out after dusk. Our lives were in constant flux, you could say we lived a life of nomadism. Nature dictated where and how we lived. For a while when I was still a teenager, Magina produced some of the best sweet potatoes, yams, arrowroots, pumpkins, cassava, peas whose leaves are used as vegetables and tomatoes I have seen in my life. They have had very little throughout, yes, but the kind of famine we have seen on our television screens has been largely absent.
For as long as I lived there, I never heard of thefts. In many ways, life in Magina was and has remained very idyllic. Sadly, this situation remains to this day. Magina is a village that has known no modern development. The floods continue to ravage the village many times each year. Successive governments have never bothered to solve, once and for all, the perennial floods problem. Many villagers called him Ogwango, which perhaps was a deliberate but insensitive mangling of his name intended to indicate his condition.
He would be gone for extended periods during which time we heard rumours that he was either gainfully employed in Kericho tea farms or roaming in Nyanza and Western provinces, being chased from one market place to the other. Invariably he would make loud noises, sing incoherently and run around for no apparent reason. He was more of a danger to himself than to others. For instance, he frequently ran into trees, thickets and holes, causing serious injuries to his body.
There were fears that he would jump into the Nyando or Wailes and drown. I never knew whether he could swim. There were times when his relatives would tie him up with ropes and detain him in small shelters constructed specifically for holding him. This would go on sometimes for whole days and nights. Eventually, he would manage to free himself and take off, running and singing.
As children, we used to sneak from our huts and take food to him. We would feed him, as his hands remained tied. He never threatened or harmed us. He was completely harmless. It has traumatised me throughout my life. I have strongly opposed them throughout my life.
It is amazing that even today when I close my eyes and try to remember that period, I can still see my mother kneeling as I suckled away, in full view of the villagers. Katolo is what the English call hop-scotch.
Peke is a throwing game. They would gather little twigs which they used as firewood. A small hole would be dug on the ground with three little stones like cooking stones. Small tins would be gathered and cleaned.
These served as pots and pans. The girls would then prepare real vegetables or fake ones from weeds. From dust and soil, they would make mounds resembling ugali. Older boys would sit separately from the children and would be served as the men of the households. It was during these imaginary fiestas that naughty children tried to engage in sexual escapades.
She was from Kobura near Kaluore market. She had come to help our neighbour, Mary Ochele, who was giving birth to baby boys every year in those days.
We were about five or six years old. Mary had just given birth to a baby boy called Elisha. As we watched her tummy extend and enlarge each year, we could predict with precision when the hilarious commotion would begin. The week Mary gave birth, she would be very restless; going in and out of her hut; sitting behind the hut and generally just walking around.
As toddlers, we sometimes lay there pretending to be asleep but watching keenly what was going on. Elisha was delivered in the morning, at about 10am. Suddenly, we heard a loud piercing shriek. I want to pee!
I want to peeeeee! The baby is coming! We remained in front of the hut as she retreated behind it. And hardly 30 minutes later, there was a whimper from a baby before my mother asked us for water in a basin. This was the baby Lalo had come to babysit. From then on, she became my partner; we became so attached to each other that even adults used to refer to her as my wife. However, shortly after I started elementary school and Elisha was ready for the village nursery school under the tree, Lalo returned to her home and I never saw her again.
For some reason, I liked baby boys so much in those days that whenever a local woman gave birth to one, I would spend hours carrying them and playing with them. I would rush there first thing in the morning and after chores or school.
Perhaps it was a way of expressing my desire to have a brother. There came a time when my mother dressed me up and escorted me to school. For a week or so, I would pretend to be going but turn back when I knew she had gone off to the field or the market. Eventually after two weeks , I had to be taken to school by force by a teacher and neighbour called Onditi Oriare, the son of the village priest. I remember that day as if it was just yesterday.
I screamed and cried all the way there. I was missing my mother and playmates. At the end of school, I rushed home, where my mother knelt down to breastfeed me. But that was the only time I resisted going to school. Once I started properly, I became very keen on learning.
My mother was very firm about the need for me to go. Despite her illiteracy, she knew that education would be my only salvation from poverty. I loved and valued my mother.
To please her and prove to be a good child, I plunged into learning in a manner hitherto unknown to the village. I did my homework without prompting. I carried my school-work and books whenever I went to herd the few cattle we had. After spending hours in the fields digging with our hands, I would rush off to the river to swim before reading myself silly. Thankfully, that investment eventually paid off. When I was a toddler, well before I joined elementary school, I spent time with my brother Eric Ondiek Owadgi Leah who was a policeman in various stations in the Western Province.
She was a young beautiful Teso woman at least to the eyes of a toddler. They had a lovely baby girl called Queen. My brother later separated from Deborah after he lost his job as a policeman and moved back to the village. Unfortunately, my brother never kept in touch with Deborah or his daughter. As a child, I blamed my brother for the break-up. It was just the thinking of a perceptive child who desperately wished that things could have turned out differently.
What I know is that at some point after losing his job, my brother started drinking heavily and neglected his family. He would leave home in the morning with his drinking buddies and return at night, shouting and singing incoherently. There were days when he would just eat and go to bed without commotion.
But on most occasions, he would engage his wife in unnecessary quarrels that inevitably led to a physical assault on her, often prompting my mother to intervene.
It was extremely annoying to see him complain about the food he was served: I used to sit there and wonder: Why are you blaming her? But I was too young to confront him. Other times he breached all boundaries of decency and good morals. He would hurl abuse at my mother, merely because she had tried to prevent him from assaulting his wife and told him to stop drinking.
Of course that was just an empty threat. Nor did she have the capacity to implement the sanction. Ondiek was a big man at six foot, four inches. He would go for his usual drinking sprees, return shouting and singing; only this time, my mother had little or no leverage.
In his drunken stupor, the cultural and traditional restraints that compelled children not to answer back, quarrel with or fight their parents, especially their mothers, evaporated.
He would threaten to kick my mother out from his homestead. Once, when I was only 15, I yelled back at him that he would have to fight both her and me. I swore I would never drink alcohol. That stopped my brother in his tracks. He looked at me bemused but actually stopped yelling, entered his house and went to sleep.
I hated witnessing those scenes. I knew my mother was suffering innocently. Neither did he really help himself. From that day, I felt alienated from my brother and hated alcohol. And I have remained a bitter enemy of all alcoholic beverages to date. The other reason why I have always hated alcohol revolves around an incident that happened when I stayed with my brother and his wife Deborah in Malakisi.
I was only four yet it remains fresh in my mind as if it occurred just yesterday. But I went with the policeman to a place where people were drinking a local alcoholic brew which Luos and Luhyas call busaa. He started drinking. Moreover, it was given to me using a calabash, which I had hitherto only associated with porridge.
In fact, busaa looked to me very much like porridge. Once I felt the pungent taste, I refused to take another sip. My brother was so furious that he ended up beating Deborah and banned his fellow officer from his house. To a child that young, however, it seemed like a lifetime. However, when I returned to the village, I realised, to my horror, that I had forgotten my mother tongue, Dholuo.
In Malakisi and Bungoma, we had only communicated in Kiswahili. Hence, when I returned to the village, my first traumatic experience was how to relate to and speak with my mother, sisters and the children of the village.
In the village, life revolved around Luo; the culture and the language. It took me months of frustration and daily struggle before I learnt basic words and phrases. And as I learnt to roll my Rs, the village children made a spectacle of me, laughing and taunting.
To them, not being able to speak my mother tongue was akin to being an alien or a village idiot. Within one year, however, I had learnt Dholuo and completely deleted Kiswahili from my system.
Thereafter, my brain refused to absorb Kiswahili. It taught me an interesting lesson in human psychology: However, should our system detect danger, it will shut down. At night, mosquitoes were all over, singing and biting. They were particularly mutinous against visitors, upon whom they unleashed their most vicious attacks, making them restless and ultimately bedridden with malaria. But not on the indigenous villager; strangely the mosquitoes knew us. They exercised great restraint: But for as long as I was young and living in the village, I was never infected.
Mosquitoes would feast on us daily but we never got ill. Much later after returning to Magina from Canada, I caught malaria. I had stayed abroad for six years and my body must have accordingly adjusted to the extended absence of risk.
Magina is a microcosm of Kenyan villages. Today, it remains painfully poor — almost desolate and abandoned by the state. The floor, which was supposed to be concrete, is still dusty and dirty. Money that was intended for it has lined the pockets of a few school administrators, school committee members and politicians. More than ever before, the villagers struggle on their narrow strips of dry land, trying to eke out a living.
But the swamp is gone, together with the papyrus, mangrove, reeds and other foliage. With them went the fish and the birds, including the beguiling seagulls. The sweet potatoes, vegetables and sugar cane are no more. In other words, like most Kenyan villages, Magina has decayed and become poorer over the years. The culture of neglect has persisted. In many ways, Magina has never enjoyed the fruits of independence, politically and economically.
This is both a tragedy and an unforgivable betrayal. My mother used to visit them quite often in Nyatoto village, Lambwe Valley. I became curious about them, primarily because there were three male children close to my age. In Luo culture, they were my brothers. That was in January I also had a school bag with a few pencils, an eraser, a razor blade for sharpening my pencils, and three exercise books.
He had two large kraals full of cattle and hundreds of sheep, goats and chickens. The homestead had several houses, one for each of his three wives, and one belonging to his older son Jacobo Odhiambo. There were also numerous stores and a kitchen. In addition, Aoyi owned more than 50 acres of land, on which he grew corn, millet, groundnuts and sunflowers. Up to that time, I had never entered a homestead that big. On arrival at the school, I found children who believed Aoyi was so wealthy that he had earned the status of a demi-god.
The first month went well; I found my bearings and settled down. But in the second month, things grew unbearable on the home front. I was supposed to wake up at 5am or earlier to go to the farm and plough with the oxen until 7.
I hardly had time to do my homework, read or play. I was often so exhausted that learning became a challenge. Although food was abundant at the home, I hardly ate. He would shout at me all day long. Over the weekend, I was on the farm for eight to twelve hours uprooting groundnuts, harvesting sunflowers, struggling to drive a huge plough and rambunctious oxen over rough terrain. When I was not ploughing or planting seedlings, I would be weeding or harvesting.
After the harvest season, I was sent to roam the vast Lambwe Valley in search of grazing grass and water. The whole area teamed with wild animals such as deer, elks, rabbits and zebras. The valley also suffered from a bi-monthly invasion of army worms, what the Luo call kungu. They would eat everything green in their path — grass, plants and leaves — and carpet the entire place.
They were rapacious and destructive. They were also messy. People literally walked on top of those worms, crunching them as they went along, leaving trails of green goo. But even more, they left a trail of destruction in their wake. They made me hate Lambwe Valley even more. At the end of the first term or semester at Nyatoto — and despite my intermittent attendance — I was still the second best pupil in my class.
That was quite an achievement considering that I had often missed school in order to do manual chores. The one month recess that followed was hellish for me. My brown cotton shorts were now tearing off. My cotton shirt could no longer be worn. I now only had the nylon shirt that I had come with.
I had no shoes. He would be nice and generous one day or hour and be brutally callous the next. He was even violent. It missed me narrowly. In the absence of proper clothes, shoes, food and care, I became a victim of jiggers parasites that burrow in to the skin which were rampant in and around Nyatoto. After only three months, nearly all my toe nails had disappeared. I was finding my life as an unpaid herder increasingly unbearable, I had also not seen my mother and siblings for more than three months.
I cannot recall what the argument was all about, but I recall Jacobo asking me to leave his simba a hut for boys. I was to go and sleep in the kitchen, which the girls were now using. To me that was ridiculous. I believe I must have refused to leave. Before I knew it, both Jacobo and his brother Daudi were raining blows on me. I tried to defend myself with very little success.
Both were much older than me and I was soon overpowered. I cried out as loudly as I could but no one came to my rescue. The physical assault lasted for about 30 minutes.
I was writhing in pain. My mind was racing. I quickly gathered my books, the cooking stick I had prepared as part of arts and crafts for school, and took off into the darkness with dogs barking behind me.
Jacobo and Daudi were in hot pursuit. I ran outside the gate and onto the path leading to the main Homa Bay-Sindo road. My heart was pounding rapidly. I was mad, angry and sad. I was crying, but kept running. My clothes were in tatters. I was determined to get away for good. It was around midnight. I had no money. Luckily, after about one hour, I saw a large truck approaching at full speed with full headlights on.
I began to wave furiously. The truck driver must have seen me because he suddenly slowed down and screeched to a stop, about 50 metres past where I was standing, my heart racing. Please help me! Please take me to Ahero! He nodded his head and closed the back of the truck. The man must have looked at my state and concluded that something terrible had happened to me.
He never interrogated me. It was dark and scary inside the truck. But he kept driving. After about 30 minutes, he stopped and left the truck. I heard him talking with some people before the truck started moving again. And it moved and moved until I fell asleep. When I woke up, it was early morning. I could see the sky clearing. The truck kept moving. I knew that as long as the truck was moving, I was getting away and would be farther from danger.
Then the truck suddenly stopped. The back door opened. The driver told me to climb out as we had reached my destination. My heart started racing again. I was excited. We were at Ayweyo. I climbed down, thanked him, blinked and took my bearings. It was now about 8 am. The journey had taken eight long hours. As I walked towards Magina, tears started flowing down my cheeks. I was sobbing uncontrollably. I sat down and held my head with both hands.
I was ready to return to grinding poverty, but at least I was free from inhumane and barbaric treatment. My mother was at home when I arrived. When she saw me approaching, she ran up to me and held me tightly against her bosom before breaking down, crying. She took another good look at me and told me to enter our hut. I was given cold water to drink and then porridge. My mother took water and washed my face. She then wiped my feet with a wet cloth.
She did these things ritualistically. I was being cleansed. As I sat there drinking the porridge, my sister-in-law Angeline arrived. She too looked at me with sadness on her face.
I had no toe nails on my feet. My hair was shaggy. They knew what had happened. They could see that I had endured long and brutal abuse.
Later, I recounted what had passed and how I had managed to escape. The story was so sad that my mother asked me not to repeat it. I also knew how and when to reject it. From that day onwards, I considered my uncle Aoyi dead. I never communicated with him again until much, much later and only then because I had no choice. The first time was after I returned home on holidays from the University of Nairobi in and found one of my older sisters missing. Leah had a learning disability.
Apparently, she had gone to visit the Aoyi family, but she had not been heard from for about one year. So, I took off to Lambwe Valley, arriving late in the evening only to be told that nobody knew where Leah had gone. I was given the name of a lady who was said to have taken her to somebody else to marry.
That evening, I saw Aoyi and we greeted each other though we never actually spoke. The lady and I took off early the following day. We arrived at our destination in the late afternoon and began a search that took us to five homes.
Eventually, we found Leah, thin and dazed. When he saw me, he panicked. I told them that my mother had died in May that year. I managed to take Leah home the next day. Leah was confused: He had not visited Magina, nor had he brought any cattle to symbolise marriage in accordance with the Luo customary law. There was no marriage certificate.
On reflection, I actually think I placed myself in unnecessary danger. The man, his brothers, relatives or fellow villagers, could have murdered me thinking — of course mistakenly — that I was a stranger trying to take their wife away. I had good reasons for what I did. For that, I took a risk. A week after bringing Leah to Magina, I went back to university.
When I next returned home for the holidays, I found that Leah had returned to Karungu. She had stayed in the village for only one week. Years after I had fled to Canada, she left that man and returned home. But she later died of severe diarrhoea on her way to the funeral of one of my step-sisters.
I actually believe Leah died of hunger. The tragedy is that I had sent her some money via my brother, who had either diverted it or kept it for too long. The second time I communicated with Aoyi was after my relocation back to Kenya in Aoyi was by then an ailing old man. He had undergone prostate cancer treatment and was back at the Moi Referral and Teaching Hospital in Eldoret for further tests and treatment. While there, his son, Daudi, who was then teaching at a university in South Africa, called and asked if I could speak to his father.
I did. That was the second and only time I had spoken to Aoyi since To me, Aoyi was an embodiment of raw and unmitigated evil. By not trying to prevent an year-old boy from disappearing into the night in a place where wild animals roamed, he had shown real barbarism.
But worse still, he never bothered to find out where I had gone or whether I was still alive. He made no attempt to send anyone to Magina to find out if they had heard of or seen me. That was bestial.
Aoyi died in May and I attended the funeral. Death is the final equaliser. And since we were taught never to speak ill of the dead, I paid my last respects humbly, and forgave him, though I have certainly never forgotten his cruel treatment of me. Fortunately, years have healed some of the hurt and injuries I sustained in Nyatoto. My relationship with Daudi improved and we are now fairly close. I am also on speaking terms with Jacobo, his sisters and mother. But before I could join, there were minor issues that needed to be resolved.
First, the school needed a record of my attendance at Nyatoto Primary School. Then the Ministry of Education officials insisted that they needed evidence that I had paid the 12 shillings annual fee. The Ministry of Education office at Ahero insisted that my mother had two options: My brother opted to go to Pap Onditi and returned with proof of payment of Sh And in September , I rejoined Apondo Primary School, having nearly lost a year herding cattle, sheep and goats for Aoyi.
For that, I have been forever grateful to my brother. Belts were rare in those days, so I would make do with strings made from sisal fibre or discarded plastic. In elementary school, it made running or participating in sports extremely difficult. When I was about eight years old I nearly died twice. One day, I went to herd our cattle between the river Nyando and its tributary Wailes with a boy from Magina called Ouma Nyakongo. He used to call himself John Kirk, a name he borrowed from a European explorer in the Kenyan history books.
As we herded, Ouma decided that he wanted to make a club from a fig tree branch. He had carried a sharp machete with which to accomplish the intricate job. He climbed up the fig tree and asked me to hold the branch as he cut. Unfortunately, when he finally managed to cut the branch, the machete went through it and landed on my forehead.
I lost consciousness immediately and came to as Ouma was frantically washing off the gushing blood from the wound in my head with the brown Nyando water. I sat up for a while, and then stood up.
And when he did, he pleaded with me to keep it a secret because he feared that he would be severely punished if he was found out. Somehow, I found myself home as the sun was setting. I pretended that nothing had happened and for a few minutes even joined my sisters in playing hop-scotch.
Suddenly, I heard a shriek from my sister Auma. She was pointing at me and screaming. She had seen the swelling on my forehead. She screamed. Apparently, she saw something white on my head and thought my brain was coming out. It was my skull. By then my head had swollen to such an extent that it was submerging my eyes. I felt dizzy and collapsed.
The deep cut on my head had been washed and stitched. That explains the fairly large scar on my head just above the forehead. At Onjiko, some students used to make fun of it, claiming that it was a path for cockroaches.
The second time that year that I nearly died was when I attempted to cross the river Wailes. Children in Magina learnt how to swim fairly young. That day we had crossed the river using a log-bridge and spent considerable time playing and eating wild guavas. Later in the afternoon we came back to find the river rapidly swelling.
We were at a place without a log-bridge. The other children knew how to swim, and they soon removed their clothes and swam across the river. I was left alone. I looked at the river and took a plunge only to find myself being swept away. I was drowning. But in a split second a creative thought came to me. I loosened my body and fell to the bottom of the river. My feet and hands could feel the sand on the river-bed. In the latter, it recalled, rather than erased, the original.
While the 4. According to Knobel of new media remediation. Additionally, in a very where each new mix authentic and masterful manner, the whole episode is re-enacted to repro- becomes a meaning- making resource for duce the bonoko story on two levels: first, as a dialogue between the audience subsequent remixes.
To cover up not reproduce, while others are fertile and their act, the police slip a bonoko into the hands of the dead boy. Throughout have a long genealogy. A richly hypermediated piece, the fusion of sound and animation, whereby narrative and performance are remixed in a dialogic format to produce genge music, draws us to appreciate the creativity of the product, and also to partake in its enjoyment.
In refashioning a previous news item into popular music, the music video erases its progenitor and invites us to appreciate it aesthetically as Kenyan hip hop music. At the same time, even in contradiction, the full appre- ciation of the music assumes a foreknowledge of the original. As such, the hypermediacy is not merely in its form but also in its content, where genres from music and journalism are conflated to erase and construct at the same time.
By transforming a journalistic interview into lyrics, the aesthetic erases its past and seeks to be seen as art, but the journalistic portions still recall a real event, an event that is re-enacted in the music video. This seeming contradiction allows us to see immediacy and hypermediacy in new media, not as mutually exclusive processes, but as greatly interconnected logics.
After this video was released, its popularity in the online space was evidenced by the tens of thousands of hits it attracted. Shortly afterwards, several remixes of the same music were produced by professional musi- cians, and also by ordinary users, into various musical genres, such as techno YouTube d and afro beats, in a situation that confirms the endlessness of remix practices.
The book, Peeling Back the Mask: A Quest for Justice in Kenya, sought to do exactly what its title suggested; to reveal the political intrigues in the highest corridors of power, and also to expose the Premier, who had always positioned himself as being a reformer and a clean politician. Appearing months before the presidential elections, the launch of the book was expected to have extensive ramifications on the politi- cal scene.
Others felt the whole project contained ulterior motives that aimed to politically injure the Prime Minister, considered a front runner to succeed 17 Duncan Omanga the incumbent president Daily Nation.
The sum total of all these conditions meant that its launch would be a media spectacle. Indeed, prior to its launch the book was already a matter of a public discourse after one of the leading papers in the country had serialized portions of it. While the content of his speech was as newsworthy as the contents of the book itself, it was the dramatic rendering of the speech that drew intense public discussion YouTube a, b, c.
Dressed in a flowing green Agbada, Miguna hurled expletives, shuffled around the dais, sometimes walking towards his audience to stress a point, at the same time deploying emphatic and fury-filled gestures. In the climactic moment, he mourned: […] all I can tell you is this, every single leader here I can take to the Hague, mark my words, I have it right here then he moves from the dais, slams one hand on the other as if swatting a pesky bug. And I am saying, come baby come!
You understand! That is how angry I am when I see some people running around like idiots! The strategy Muite was talking about, 41 minus 1, was delivered in my presence. And I challenged it. I have the writing; I even have the strategy in writing. And it is not even detailed in the book. And a stupid idiot is running around town saying that they can take me to court. Come baby Come! YouTube a, c Although Miguna spoke for longer, it was the paragraph above that was immortalized as news and that was later remixed as hip hop.
For a start, every phrase above touched on very sensitive political issues in the country, which were only months away from a general election. After the post-election violence, a number of leading politicians were charged with war crimes at the Hague-based International Criminal Court ICC. Essentially, what Miguna was saying was that Raila was as guilty of war crimes as any other suspect at the ICC. This divisive binary discourse is thought to have led to the ethnic cleansing after the poll.
Bearing in mind that Miguna worked as a close adviser to Prime Minister Raila, his every word carried an air of authenticity. The speech itself was newsworthy in several respects: it contained the element of conflict, pitting a powerful politician and his former adviser; it was unambiguous in its political ramifications, and it focused on the personal life of the second most influen- tial politician in the country and, finally, it fed the ongoing discourses around succession and the ICC cases.
Moments after the speech, it went viral on social media Capital FM. It was not so much the content, but the person of Miguna that was the basis of online discourse.
Even in the mainstream media, discourses shifted less to the damning reve- lations of graft than to the person of Miguna Miguna. In the few minutes of media attention, Miguna Miguna the demeanor dominated and virtually eclipsed his message. Just as was in the case with bonoko, the transforma- tion from hard news to a popular cultural product in the new media involved a phase of flippancy and humour.
Humour and flippancy thus become a form of erasure, a point of separation in the transition to an independent identity, and an integral point in the shift from hard news to popular culture. Humour and flippancy are thus deployed in a way that sets in motion the process of erasing the reality and nature of previous claims hard factual news. Its past seemingly effaced. Of interest to this article was a remix video that was a hypermediation of the speech, remixed on a music track, featuring video from the book launch itself and a series of images drawn from Photoshopped a form of remix images circulating on social media YouTube a, b, c.
The video itself was the outcome of a collaboration between journalists and Nairobi Music DJs, which may explain why, at its release a week after the original speech, the fully remixed dance music was screened on prime time news, before being uploaded on YouTube.
It is worth noting that the video is a collage of the speech itself, an array of Photoshopped images collected from users through social media, and the actual book, Peeling off the Mask! The creators of the video punctuate the speech with repeated neon lighting that creates the impression of a live music act, rather than a speech.
The natural movements of the speaker, although still animated in their original form, are quickened in their motions in a clear bid to transform gesticulation into dance. Miguna, the provocateur, turns into Miguna, the entertainer. News is remixed into farce. Meanwhile, the jocular- ity and flippancy begin to reign supreme, as the remix reveals its richness by using video and composited photos that tap into other prevailing news and are mingled into the song.
For its decoding, the remix demands wide contex- tual knowledge and an understanding of current events. For instance, a highly publicized campaign involving a paraplegic, designed to raise money for the construction of a spinal injury rehabilitation facility in Kenya, was a huge part of the remix.
Severally the video cuts to composites of photos of Miguna juxtaposed with those of his former boss, mocking and making fun of the relationship between him and the Prime Minister. The video reveals several other photomontages involving TV commercials, politicians, the book cover itself, alongside other jocular videos that are built into the video and that are remixed with the speech rendition into a pop format.
This expression of multiplicity is a hall- mark of hypermediacy, which acknowledges multiple acts of representation and makes them visible. Unlike the logic of immediacy, which tends towards erasing and rendering automatic the act of representation, hypermediacy multiplies the signs of mediation and attempts to reproduce a rich sensorium of human experience Bolter and Grusin In this video, not only is there a hypermediacy involving form colour, image compositing, sound but which also involves content, such as the remix of news, humour, flippancy, TV commercials and music.
The Come baby Come music video is not merely an act that transforms news into something entertaining; it is equally a fascination with the act of repre- sentation, a fascination that calls attention to the reality of mediation. The refashioned news, now made into music, becomes an element that reveals the human act of selection and arrangement, whose cluttered structure and mingled form prompts attention to the construction.
Targeted at those who have actually watched the news itself, the remixed video loudly announces its hypermediacy. It suggests that all the aspects of the video had previously existed independently, such as video, music, images or sound, and that they were simply collaged to produce music. Rather than partake in enjoying the music, the video invites an appreciation of the process of creation.
While traces of immediacy are evident when the product acquires flippancy and attempts to gain a new identity, its full appreciation is only experienced by the viewer having knowledge and acquaintance with the original.
In this sense, in claiming to be an entirely new entity, the remix version undermines this claim by seeking to be appreciated through the original speech - on one side, as news, and on the other, as popular music. Furthermore, even if a truly trans- parent experience might be possible, only knowledge and acquaintance with the then prevailing political context, coupled with the media coverage of the speech, allows for full enjoyment of the remix.
Not only do both immediacy and hypermediacy thus seem to be locked in a relationship of mutual gain, but a truly transparent experience remains an illusion. With the absence of the video, the remix on its own demanded to be appreciated as a music form, which sought to erase its original journalistic form.
In this sense, one perceives the conflated nature of remediation, whereby the distinctions between immediacy and hypermediacy become increasingly blurred. As technologies change, so do their contents. This calls for thinking about remediation as a two-pronged force working simultaneously on both media technology and media content. Second, as the Kenyan cases have shown, it is difficult to even contemplate a clear distinction between immediacy and hypermediacy.
As has been shown, the remediation logics severally recall each other. A fascination with the crea- tivity and prowess of the final product does not entirely erase its progeni- tor. In many cases, knowledge of the original is a prerequisite for gaining full satisfaction from the remix content. A third dimension that emerges is that a remix is created in a context. It is a cultural construction.
While the Internet and new media content create the illusion of boundless reach, the dynamics of time and place index the boundaries of interpretation, consumption and interactivity. While it is difficult to outline a general portrait of African remix practices, this article provides an interesting glimpse of remix processes and practices in Kenya. In a situation that is obviously helped by trending and online discourse, the content attains flippancy and can be remediated as ringtones, before being further remixed and remediated as popular music.
The endless nature of the remix is evidenced by the multiplicity of further remixes by ordi- nary folk, professional journalists and music professionals. Finally, since news is essentially real events involving real people, it might seem callous not to mention how remix practices as essential forms of remedi- ation have shaped the personal lives of those finding themselves as witnesses to murders, or as whistle blowers and, at the same time, as the new celebrities of remixed-news-music.
For James Kimani of the bonoko case, there was a sudden change of fortune that was directly linked to the popularity and commodifica- tion of his witness account and the subsequent remix. The latter catapulted him to celebrity status. For Miguna Miguna, the relationship between the remixed video and his present preoccupation is less obvious. Largely due to his falling out with the Prime Minister and the publication of his controversial book, the huge public- ity surrounding these events prompted him to wade into the mud of Kenyan 21 Duncan Omanga politics in mid-October, Daily Nation.
RefeRences Ainslie, R. Barton, F. Bolter, J. Capital FM. Accessed 3 December Chelagat, J. Daily Nation. Knobel, M. Lessig, L. McLuhan, M. Mutiga, M. Shirky, C. Shiundu, A. Accessed 27 December Accessed 8 December He is currently a lecturer in media studies at Moi University, Kenya. His research interests are in print cultures and new media practices in Africa.
Box —, Eldoret, Kenya. E-mail: ankodani yahoo.