See the World Through My Eyes

Posts tagged “English language

Unnecessary Jargon

“He just lay there motionless. His right hand hang lifelessly from the edge of the bed as a thick steady flow of blood connected his twitching index finger to the cold floor. He could feel his body jerking slightly as life drained from his veins. All the while, his eyes wouldn’t drop their gaze on her. His mouth was dry and he could taste the salty-metallic character of blood and bile. A stream of tear ran down his temple from his right eye. He couldn’t feel any pain yet he knew it was the last stroke. Visions of his life’s memories flashed in his mind’s eye as he struggled to keep his sight fixed on her. He felt hollow and hopelessly sad. He had loved her with his life and this was how it was going to end.

Lexi sat on the floor at the far end of the room with the knife still held in her hand. Her face displayed no emotion. Her big eyes were now beady and she didn’t blink regardless of how much her make-up glazed her eye lids. She couldn’t figure out what she was feeling. This scene had played in her mind over and over again and now the veil between her dreams and reality seems to have been lifted. She couldn’t hold back her tears and sighs each time he choked in his own blood as he struggled to breath out her name…”

I have been trying to figure out if this is the type of book I’d write in order to stamp my mark in this tough world of writing. It’s every writer‘s dream to do a book that will eventually be shot in film. But being from Africa, what are my chances? Who would want to publish me? Would you want to read my book? Have you noticed that as much as we have some of the most talented writers in our continent we still have very few readable books? Much of African writing is paralyzed by the selfish urge of our authors trying to show off their command of language. I have tried time and time again to read  African literature only to give up midway. We use English that the English themselves would find hard to understand. Instead of communicate, we obscure and confuse. While we are busy showing off our command of foreign languages, the rest of the world is talking, communicating and entertaining! We believe that sophisticated wording will earn us awards [which it does sometimes]. We still live in a world where we immortalize writers who’s books our future generations will never read. In the end, we shut the world out and we shut ourselves in. What a waste! Don’t get me wrong as I rant. I respect those who paved the way so the world would listen to us but is it wrong to ask that we change with the times? Is it a crime to ask for just one piece of literature that doesn’t feel like solving Rubik’s cube? Let’s do literature that children can read and enjoy. Let’s communicate in a simple manner so that our next generations will be proud to be African.

Have you noticed that Hollywood has run dry and is recycling its content? Every film feels like Déjà vu? Every book you read from the first world feels like a regurgitation of another book written before. As the first world slides into monotony, our history and accounts fade away. Africa is home to the most intriguing stories the world will ever hear. We live in color. We have so much we can talk about. Did you ever read Waris Diries’s Desert Flower? Well don’t just sit there, google it!  Get it! We have what it takes to do a good script. All we have to do is just communicate in a manner that is easy to understand. The world is holding its breath waiting for the next big book, film or story from Africa.

When we were young, my father bought us a wall plaque that was a picture of 3 cute kittens shot from a low angle. The inscription  below the picture read, “If you do not raise your eyes, you will always think you are at the highest point”. Let’s fight the urge to stun our readers with unnecessary jargon.

This post is dedicated to all of us who dream of becoming celebrated authors someday. Just write and communicate in a manner that we can all understand.

If you ever come across any good African writer that is easy to understand, do alert me.

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Killing The Chief of Staff

I recently came across this very outrageous writer called Prestone Adie whom I strongly believe deserves a medal. I choose to call him outrageous because I am yet to figure out why this article made me laugh and eventually fart involuntarily. He is a very intelligent and gripping story teller and I also suspect he is a very disgusting individual to have a beer with. I would hate to imagine the agony his close friends go through by association. Read this and just tell me flat out if I have praised him a bit too much. Oh and Big Up Camp Mulla on their video ” Hold it Down”. These kids are Legendary. Watch it as you read 🙂

By Prestone Adie
I struggle to keep my eyes closed. Every time I catch a glimpse of the dark land something jerks me awake. I’ve been at this the last 20 minutes or so. This is not my favourite past time, at least not at this moment of the day. Seated close to me is a lady who I guess got her size matters figured out. She occupies every space in her seat and most of mine. Who am I to complain after all she’s fearfully and wonderfully made; in this case I bet the potter did a tonne fearfully and a tiny wonderfully. I understand there are men who like this size. Again, am just a piece in the puzzle I can’t complain why this little space is where the potter let me fit.  I pull and tug to fit the seatbelt at least to be sure I won’t fall off should this bumpy ride stay this way. I give up when I realize the belt might have been consumed in her mighty butthole. She has every luggage on her lap; the yellow extra large polythene, a kuku, a hunting bag( no other bag is that big) and a large china phone. One of those phones that I bet come with CD players. Did I mention she loves her music loud, I mean no ear phones but the classic palito on hand. I bet this must be the reason can’t get any sleep because suppose she decides to play Brick breaker on that phone who knows the size of bricks it has and whether virtual reality could be real at any point in time?

This episode of my life reminds me of the time I took a group of Philistine friends of mine to Nakuru. They kept asking questions on and off in a language close to English, maybe it was English because most words after serious explanation sounded English to me. They talked of how happy they were to have come to the nativity of US president and asked me whether I would take them there. I said yes and named my price that’s when I realized Kikuyu is not a tribe in Kenya, they are spread all over the world. They lectured me on the proper ways to treat foreigners even if I was playing host. We might be foreigners but we know that given a thousand shillings is your highest monetary denominator one must always find change whenever they use it, they said. They told me how they had been to Kenya before and even gone to it’s second largest city, Kampala. In fact they said Kampala had the best Kenyan women because they knelt down to greet their men and showed the highest respect. When I challenged them why they didn’t get married to them they said how dark thighs dimmed their sexual appetite.

Truth be told, I had hosted these Goliath men for the last 1 week and by then I had taught them the lines of “Mgeni siku ya kwanza…” which they sang every time they could. Am not a bad host, that much I know because my mum had taught me well. Question is how much of that do I remember or use. Let me whine a little. In my neighborhood I am a very respectable man. For one I don’t drink and when I do I don’t tell. Next, I don’t play loud music mostly because my other neighbours have better systems unlike my version of a subwoofer which is basically a stolen matatu speaker placed inside out in a cut Jerrican that I proudly made in campus, Genius huh! Again, the kids on the block love me, they want to be like me when they grow up however much I keep beseeching them to have different goals because even me didn’t want to be like me when I grow up. These kids come calling when they can and that’s where the problem comes with my guests. They walk naked in the house and say clothing is something for people who are not proud of their bodies. Am not proud of their bodies. They take pictures every other time and record everything including the time I was shouting at my mum for pledging a 10000 give away at church in my  name. Yeah! Times are hard but that’s a fact I don’t want my parents to know because they believe am one of their successful projects. These Goliath people don’t flash the toilet and say that in their country they have automatic flashing systems that go swoosh when you are done losing weight. They hate ugali and love uji, how’s that even possible. They love nyama choma and prefer I cook them nyama choma than ugali and sukuma wiki. They like Jamaican songs and believe the Jamaican language is the one used in the God’s must be crazy. In a nutshell they are quite the guests.

Once on the trip to Nakuru I told them that Zebra’s are called Punda milia and donkey punda, an action I soon came to regret when they kept shouting punda milia at everything they saw. Then I told them that Nyani is Kiswahili for hi so that they could give me some fun in the car while they kept exchanging pleasantries and they ended up using it on a traffic police officer.  Long story short thank God I borrowed a turbo charged land rover hard body for this trip cos damn! How many horse power does that thing produce again?

I remember on the second day when they skyped a friend of theirs in Australia who gave me a hard time explaining that my dad is human and not a chimp. After the call I took out the family album and compared with the evolution pictures on the internet.

Actually I understand why David had to kill their chief of staff with a stone from river Tana.  These people are a pain in the ass. There’s a reason why David is the hero of this story and am not surprised he’s a Maasai, after all they are the only people I know who like David kill lions and graze their father’s cattle. Here’s a question for y’all, What is the average height of a philistine because Goliath is the first and the last I know who was both huge and tall? Is that why he was made the chief of staff? Do they have oval faced women there or is round their only version of sexy?

Here’s a pointer. While men say women whine, am a masculine version of a woman because I complain a lot and that should not make one think I didn’t have fun. These philistines gave me three things when they were around. One is fun like never before. Then there’s a million pictures of nude men on my desktop which I have learnt to delete without looking. And finally, most significant of all they made me bankrupt.