THE GADDAFI NO ONE WILL TELL YOU ABOUT

This is a post borrowed from one Moreno K O’campo first published on Friday, October 21, 2011 at 1:13pm at an unknown platform but the information is the most shocking about Libyan life that I have read. Here it goes:

The media has successfully painted Gaddafi as a hard-core dictator, tyrant whatever you want to call him. However, the media as usual has also failed to show the kind, giving Gaddafi we never heard of. Gaddafi, unlike most dictators I will refrain from naming, managed to show his humane side, the very side we dream of seeing in other dictators who just talk and talk.

I consider Libyans lucky to a certain extent and one wonders with the new democratic rule they cry for will it improve or worsen life for them. Yes, Gaddafi spent millions of Libya`s money on personal ventures but is the average Libyan poor? We know others who take a country and destroy it until you feel like there is no hope of restoring this country… looting some prefer to call it. Did Gaddafi loot Libya in any way?

Now let us get to the unknown facts about the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi:

1. There is no electricity bill in Libya; electricity is free for all its citizens.

2. There is no interest on loans, banks in Libya are state-owned and loans given to all its citizens at 0% interest by law.

3. Home considered a human right in Libya – Gaddafi vowed that his parents would not get a house until everyone in Libya had a home. Gaddafi’s father has died while him, his wife and his mother are still living in a tent.

4. All newlyweds in Libya receive $60,000 Dinar (US$50,000) by the government to buy their first apartment so to help start up the family.

5. Education and medical treatments are free in Libya. Before Gaddafi only 25% of Libyans are literate. Today the figure is 83%.

6. Should Libyans want to take up farming career, they would receive farming land, a farming house, equipments, seeds and livestock to kick-start their farms – all for free.

7. If Libyans cannot find the education or medical facilities they need in Libya, the government funds them to go abroad for it – not only free but they get US$2,300/mth accommodation and car allowance.

8. In Libyan, if a Libyan buys a car, the government subsidized 50% of the price.

9. The price of petrol in Libya is $0.14 per liter.

10. Libya has no external debt and its reserves amount to $150 billion – now frozen globally.

11. If a Libyan is unable to get employment after graduation the state would pay the average salary of the profession as if he or she is employed until employment is found.

12. A portion of Libyan oil sale is, credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.

13. A mother who gave birth to a child receive US$5,000

14. 40 loaves of bread in Libya costs $ 0.15

15. 25% of Libyans have a university degree

16. Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project, known as the Great Man-Made River project, to make water readily available throughout the desert country.

Which other dictator has done much good to his people?

Al-Shaboo

I dont like bullies much , they tend to not be very smart or as tough as they imagine they are. The somali militia that go under the gangsta like name of al-shabab tend to act like a bunch of bullies that didnt get enough hugs from their mommas. They banned, radio, music, bras and samosas. Who bans samosas? 

Now the analyst in me doesnt buy the official story that goes something like this. The al-shabab are bloodthirsty mindless not so bright terrorists in somalia who effectively run the country. They are pirates, kidnappers, murderes, relief food thieves, rapists and die hard islamists to boot. Over the past 10years they have been attacking security installations on the Kenyan border without provocation and doing what they do best, terrorising the locals. And now they broke the camels back with the final straw by abducting a frenchwoman and a Spaniard. Kenyan military shot callers decided that declaring war on this menace is inevitable. This story makes sense on the surface. Slap me, step on my jays and disrespect my mother in that order and you would probably expect a punch will meet your face.

But the facts dont seem to add up. A walk through Eastleigh would explain why. Kenya is good for Somalia. We launder their pirate money, we have shariah compliant banks, the growing middle class consume wariah imported products like a nonsense, and we have two large refugee camps hosting their citizens. Now the media and the powers that be would have us believe that the mindless al shabab dont care about any of that and it may be true but I dont think so. If you have spent any time with somalis or those with afro-arabic persuasions then you know they are easily the most accomodating people so long as you respect their customs and values. 

Abducting foreign nationals would result in a military reaction. There is no other endgame seeing as there is no official government to negotiate with. Why a flimsy ‘terrorist’ network would want tanks and foreign troops on their soil hunting them down escapes me. And why attack the only neighbour that appears to want to help you out? Granted militias run by egomaniacs are not the most rational of bodies to look out for the interests of their citizens/dependants but they are not universally composed of estranged young men who think being shot or blown up is awesome. We have people with families and who dream of a better future. 

I think strings ropes are being pulled by someone more influential. Someone who has always wanted to invade somalia and is using Kenya as a proxy.

All that being said, frightening times ahead. We may start seeing suicide bombing in Nairobi if the al-shabab are going to make do on their threat. Maybe we should invite that swaggerefic dude back to perform, he may distract the youths being promised 7 virgins in heaven. 

Wangari Maathai

I avoid writing about personalities because I believe it is judgmental to claim to know what makes a person tick and to try to condense a persons actions, beliefs, and values into a couple of paragraphs. I don’t think its fair unless its a factual piece so I do not do it. Prof. Wangari Muta Maathai definetely does not deserve my criticisms and/or judgement but such an extraordinary woman should be celebrated and this is how I will do it in digitalia.
Here was among the first breed of women in post colonial Kenya to grow balls and display them to the original bearers. It is something for a woman to be the first PHD holder in the region, get divorced and wage a war on land grabbing and forest conservation. Many parallels can be drawn between her and the recently deceased Steve Jobs. Both dedicated their lives to causes close to their hearts and as Steve jobs once explained, we spend most of our lives at work, so we might as well do something we love and that will make a difference. I believe heroes give up their lives for the good of many and this sacrifice is most felt by the family and close friends. Wangari is no exception seeing as the brutality metted on her by previous regimes must have taken a toll on the family but like any storm, it blew over.

 

Many of our so called leaders tread the well beaten path. Marry into a good family, got to church on Sunday, and smile for cameras. few decide to fight for something and stick to it for years. possibly leaders and politicians are not the same thing since what I have largely described are politicians. Maybe Wangari maathai was a leader just not one with official powers.

 

As Kate Getao signs off on her column in the Saturday Nation magazine, Plant a tree this Week.

Bread in schools and Noneffective Motivation

If you went to the regular boarding schools upcountry like myself during your primary/high school life then I know one item that was close to your heart for the four years and after. Its an age old food that was eaten by everyone from Jesus to the Egyptians and Mwangi as he writes this. A loaf of bread is a universal language that any one who has been through our public school system can understand. At one of the reputable institutions that I passed through it even worked as a black market currency. Services and goods could be acquired for the right no. of slices of bread and the crust was the equivalent of the kirucy, prime currency. 

I imagine that schools are the largest consumers of bread and account for the largest market for bakers. For those who wonder why bread is placed on such an edifice while there was lunch n supper, they should eat a regular meal in an underfunded secondary school. There is a reason vegetables were called bitter herbs and Githeri was universally referred to as Murram. Bread on the other hand was tasty, filling, and had quality assurance. No brainer. Watching a couple of school kids the other day wolfing down a whole loaf of bread each and passing around a soda between the 3 of them took me back to a time when Break time, lunch time, and supper time were the hallmarks of m day. Our class time keeper didn't need to do his job since as soon as it hit 10AM a cup would be dropped in class at the precise time. that was enough signal for the Teacher boring us that concentration was from that point -70% . The same happened at lunch time where a spoon would be dropped and if the Teacher extended by a minute it would be an orchestra of spoons,cups and desks being adjusted. Stories of how glaciers created the fjords were really to distant to matter. 

These memories got me thinking that maybe the old school method of motivation and education was missing the bus with the kids at the center of attention. For kids in Rural areas where poverty levels are high, going to school is not about studying and passing exams to go to campus and become a hotshot lawyer and drive a big car. Its about getting Lunch. And for a kid that's all the motivation he needs. In my time to get us to master the times table, we were threatened with a world of hurt, violence of an order our young minds were terrified by. It worked only if the teacher had access to all of us and could shoot random questions but in a class of 40 I managed to coast for awhile till it brought me problems in maths a whole year later. If on the contrary we had been told whoever masters the times table will get chicken at lunch then that times table wont leave any kid even in the loo. Some of the smarter kids will master it and eat kuku and the envy towards them will push the whole class to master the times table in record time. No-one gets hurt and goals are accomplished.

An Aunt of mine told me a story that in her time at Ngandu Girls form 5 & 6 was so glamorous in that they wore different smarter uniforms, ate different food at an elevated position to the rest and had refined mannerisms. Now in the world of girls this was the place to be at and be seen. Never mind that you need to pass your o-levels very well. This was a small hurdle compared to being the envy of the village. Lofty tales of how you would be a doctor 10 years from now if you read hard are trounced easily by seeing your pal sinking his/her teeth in a juicy drumstick and looking hotter than you as you face another plate of Murram. Few kids (me included) have the patience and foresight to practice differed gratification and in my opinion this is where the educationists go wrong. They assume kids are rational human beings and refuse to manipulate them. A teacher at a primary school upcountry in a marginal area once told me that when the food shipment is late and there is no lunch at school for a few days, attendance drops to a trickle. Many parents send their kids to school because that becomes one less mouth to feed. As the kid waits for lunch, he learns cool stuff in science, reading, writing and some math. Win win. 

Instead of fighting it, why don't we use it? Instead of prosecuting parents who don't send their kids to school why not make it the best option there is? Feed and cloth the kids and parents will be more than happy to pack up all the kids and ship them to school. At school at least in the lower levels, show that excellence in class brings better food, status etc. I know some would say that it will breed elitists and discrimination but how is it different from the world we live in now?