Betty (comment 33 on When Purity had her day with Wangari Maathai), that was very mature and balanced analysis, free from below the belt attacks and other degrading epithets. Thanks for your email and your conviction to give Ole Ngais sober advice in the spirit of building and not destroying a possible potential among us.
If Ole Ngais is studious enough, this should be sumptuous “food for thought”. It is this kind of informed critique that could buoy rather than denunciate Ole’s atavastic presumptions especially on the subject matter he was seeking to handle.
I think Ole Ngais is very affable and to add to Bettty’s posting on what he lacks, he needs to amass the relevant ideological tools of analysis especially in politics and venture into subjects he can grapple with, leaving the heavier stuff until he understands them. This will save him from unnecessary foolery, at least in the public domain.
For example, by propounding elsewhere that a “man eat man society” is a “fascist society”, Ole unconsciously transmits the message that he doesn’t understand the difference between fascism and capitalism, the latter having earned the “Man eat Man” cliche.
Alternatively, when he uncritically adores Social democracy and proceeds to submit that it is the panacea of the current international crisis of capitalism, he advertizes his lack of understanding of the limits of modern Social democratic ideology and the progressive retrogression of this ideology to the right wing of the European political divide.
When this deficiency of knowledge is broadcast to the wider Internet audience, Ole Ngais loses the very academic esteem he passionately craves for and, in the process, he puts the reputation of learning institutions he underwent into serious disrepute.
To apply the Kenyan paradigm, it could be the Standard seven English patched up at Secondary through the “milky” 8-4-4 shit-sem but which was never perfected because the victim may have dropped out probably to herd cattle.
The skill of writing is acquired or natured over time. It doesn’t drop from the sky. Errors (spelling, factual or grammatical), typos, illogical expositions, poor dialectics, syntactical difficulties, lack of objectivity, abstraction, weird perspective, overt apemanship, colloquialism, bombastic displays, ephemeral presentations passed as philosophy, plagiarism and a host of other problems are all part of the writing business. However, there is a range when problems within a text could be acceptable depending on the scope, subject matter and authority of the writer.
Kenya-Stockholmers Are Very Observant
A political science student at a reputable University penning a two page document on A4 may not escape with a “catalogue of errors” especially if they are spelling or grammar-based, more so, if the student claims command of the language in use. This has been the case in the Ole Ngais study.
As an interpolation, the alacrity with which commentators dashed to dress down Ole Ngais on the language question could not have been spontaneous if he hadn’t made claim to or trumpeted his University education from the roof tops.
The stupendous errors that were excavated by commentator “English Lessons” clearly pointed to difficulties with the English language and this weakness may have triggered the invective that was well packaged to have the effect of maximum embarrassment and ceremonial “cut-down” of Ole Ngais “back to size”. From a Veterinarian’s point of view, it was a case of crude dehorning of a bull rampaging destructively in the Boma.
In extreme cases, Ngais was reduced to a polygamous, blood-drinking Maasai villager (armed with a spear) who should have been better off cloaked in goat-skin while the dominant insinuation was that he may have accidentally attended half-baked English lessons in some windowless class room in Maasai land although he now poses as the “top of the academic pops” in Kenya-Stockholm.
His exhibitionist approach with his “cheap Swedish courses” together with his advertisement of his “status as a University student” was linked to his hollow educational background and ignorance of his village people who are likely to elevate him into a small God although they may never understand what he means when he claims that he has been to Södertorn University in Sweden.
What the collective lambasting of Ole Ngais has exposed is that Kenya-Stockholmers are very observant but they bid their time for the opportune moment before they intervene to check-mate a colleague deemed way-ward. Ole Ngais has been running his mediocre blog for months but no one has ever bothered to alert him about his horrible English or publish this fact.
When his Purity inspired contact with Maathai got on top of his head (complete with family-packed photo opportunities which were displayed for the public), some Kenyans in Stockholm who felt upset decided to go to work.
On the question of linguistic challenges, many commentators at KSB intervene intermittently on a diversity of subjects with well to do English. There are others who have made good points with scribblings which resemble English but which could pass for unintelligible miscreant argot.
However, these contributors have never been taken under the kind of siege that quickly swept Ole Ngais into the pool of lumpens when he was supposed to be sitting on Kenya-Stockholm’s Ivory Tower as one commentator put it.
The fact that you are literate does not automatically mean that you are educated. Being educated does not mean being learned just like being learned does not mean being enlightened.
The 10th Parliament in Kenya presents the most educated elite in our country but this education has not prevented our leaders from looting and plundering the country’s resources as they refuse to pay taxes, swing in Mercedes Benzes and demand for more pay on top of their million salaries when the masses are starving.
What Ole Ngais Should Do
Tacitly put, the education of our leaders does not count in the alter of primitive accumulation under rotten capitalism that has dragged our country backwards for more than 45 years, a system that has fattened our very exploiters and kept our people begging in the face of plenty.
In practice, the most educated persons are always averse to advertising their education by shouting at the roof tops. As I said in my KSB article, Ole Ngais is not my enemy. People have the right to defend themselves against base attacks. Those attacking Ole Ngais here are simply trying to build him by showing him his mistakes. You don’t move at high speed in a highway full of pot-holes because then, you are heading towards the inevitable – a crash.
Ole Ngais could best take contact with “English lessons” to help him edit his work. He could even arrange to speak to or meet this commentator (if possible) then he will realize that I am not the person correcting his work incognito. This will help him stop fighting imaginary enemies, allow him to apologize, thank commentators trying to remove the speck from his very eyes and help him begin the healing process as he struggles to come to terms with what he needs to do to improve his writing.
Why should I hide under the cloak of anonymity when I can say anything allowed by the rules at this blog site? Ole Ngais first surfaced in Kenya Stockholm through this blog and it is me who edited his message of condolence when Diplomat James Kiboi passed away in September 2006 before publishing it. There is a Luo proverb that roughly translated, says that “It is the sick eye you treat that returns to look at you with disdain”.
Despite his “rough edges”, I have always viewed Ole Ngais as a progressive individual and respected him at that. I was therefore surprised when he threw a grenade in my back yard because of a commentary on a picture he had taken with Professor Maathai. The negative aspect of the drama is that this tiny grenade has literally provoked my allies into bombing Ole’s Stockholm Manyatta to smithereens. Luckily, he rushed to the banker from where he surfaces to try and clear the mess in his compound. There is need for a cease-fire so that he can begin to rebuild and make peace.
In the spirit of the Bagarmossen Church, and as per the preachings of Pastor Beatrice, Brothers Muraya, Muirani, Samson eta al, I have forgiven ole Ngais for attacking me and still regard him as both a good father to his kids and husband to his wife. I will not however turn the other cheek.
I hope that I could be of help in his intellectual development because he remains a potential who has dared to collect his rag tag of ideas (to help his Mugokondo people) into a web site so he needs encouragement.
Ole Ngais needs to transfer his youthful energies to making Kenya a better place to live in instead of wasting it fighting a blogger like makozewe at a critical time when I am busy trying to promote my new book to shed more light and “overstanding” about what happened at the bungled December 2007 election tragedy in our country. I don’t have much time to tend to Ole’s antiques so I will rest my case.