Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Children are God’s given gift

To us they come to bless

Why do you neglect them?

Why do you subject them

To unwarranted suffering,

To pain day in day out?

Why do you waste their potential?

Stop child labour.

As dawn approaches

The horizon gives birth

The sun stretches its long golden hands

Eating the carpet of dew

Into sheer nothingness

A new day

Full of expectations and hope

For a poor African child

Born to suffer

Brought up to persevere

But getting nothing in return


John takes the cows to the river

Jane prepares the liver

John collects firewood

Jane prepares the food

Do this!! Do that!!

Are the commands

From the very parents mouth

From east or south

Real or adapted

This is what they say.

Jane and John

In pain and no gain

While the age is tender

Are out of school to work

Oblivious of whale and shark

Regardless of will and like

In coffee and tea plantations

In the sculpture and bricks excavations

In miraa and rice harvesting

Under the scorching rays of the sun

John seats in a busy street

“chai! Papa! Mama!”

He says

He runs through intense traffic jam

Threatening with stinking human waste

For somebody to throw a coin

Half naked but not sorry for it

Jane joins in

Up and down Koinange Street

Selling her body to strangers

Just for money

I say for money.

Before the chest shows up

Jane is already married

Sold to a stinking old grandpa

For the father to get bride wealth.

In utter disregard

Of Jane’s human rights

Children need care

Education is their core

Stop child labour

© Tabu Bin Tabu 2009

Friday, November 11, 2011


Îgita rîa tene gûtarî na kîthomo kîa mauku
Îndî chomba îkwîja nî yaretere kîthomo
Muntû urîa wathomaga atarî na îgweta
Eeragwa nî ndemi
Îndi nî we wagîîre ûûme na ûtonga.

Îgwe mwanokwa thikîîra kîthomo nî gantû
Thingata kîthomo mwanka mûthia

Tene kîthomo neka gîakinanagîîrua
Muntû akaewa chumbî, mûtu o na nguû
Ûjû nî ta kuuga muntû kerencagîîrwa ûûme na ûtonga.

Îgwe mwanokwa thikîîra,
Tûkîathagwa nî chomba rî, gûtî wonaga werû,
Athomi nobo babwonere.
Baragîa ûûme bwa kurûîra ûciathi
Na nyumene tûrenga chomba.

Tûkwona ûciathi nî barîa bathomete bonere ngûgî
Barambîrîria kwatha thirikarîîne
Bamwe baraa aritani na bangî dagitarî
Baragîa îgweta nîûntû bwa kîthomo akî.

Mwanokwa itegere wone
Antû kabakûthithia komputa, na ndege îgwîtîra matune,
Bakathithia mîtakaa na gwitia mwerine na roketi
Gûtî kîngî gî gûtûma nî kîthomo akî.

Îgwe mwanokwa, ukeenda kûriita ûrîa twariti
Wîja kûrega kûthoma, îtû wîja kûûra ûtheri
Jûkia rûûjî ûthaambe, ûthingate bangî bûkathome
Ûgwate ndigirigi kana diploma ûkae mûnene

Mwanokwa nandî ngûkûra, imbonete jamaingî
Ntîna kamunda ga kûbûng’ana bwinthe
îtu kethîrwa nî ndaîjî, ndîngîthoma ngatûûra bwega
îtû kandeendere, gûtîîthîrwa nî ndaijî Mûrungu.

© Tabu Bin Tabu

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


The Ground Rules
Good morning, afternoon, evening or whatever your time might be. My name is Tabu Bin Tabu a CEO of an hustling company involved in mass noise making, uncoordinated scripting called scribbling and some other unpaid errands. I have heard that some people are paid for scribbling on pieces of paper. I wonder if those who pay them have nothing to do with their money. When I enrolled in a primary school long time ago, my teacher told me that the benefits I would get for attending school are Reading Writing and Arithmetic. I achieved that by the time I killed the school. There is no need of complaining that 8.4.4 did not achieve its goal as far as I am concerned. Even those complaining about it have nothing against it. They know quite well that it has produced well read people like me.

To remind you, this is my fourth article in this series. The articles did not follow one another on weekly basis or yearly. They are staggered irregularly within three years. You know a human mind cannot slip on regular intervals and if it does, sometimes it slips while you are sleeping and there is no paper or pen readily available for you to write on.

This is a diary on which I scribble what is happening in my life. Things do not happen regularly therefore, I could not write regularly. My diary The Slip of The Mind only happens when my mind slips and a writing urge is triggered and a piece of paper is available. I therefore don’t expect anybody to pay me for exercising the power of reading, writing and arithmetic I acquired in school. Have you been given powers to read this article? If not don’t worry, one day you will read it. Oh no, I had forgotten you have read up to this point. Gather energy to read it all regardless...

People have called me different names depicting my writing. So my full name is Tabu Bin Tabu aka Ustadh, Malenga, Manju, Noise Maker, Mtukutu na kadhalika. Born yesterday and long ago. Near the Eastern slopes of a big mountain. I have a degree called Bed (arts) Basic Education in (Arithmetic). I am not a simple man. I am a company’s CEO, a senior hustler, uncoordinated scribbler and a notorious noise maker. I am the chairman of Tabu internal government comprising of I the chairman, my wife Matha The Walking Stick, my children Rembo, Chiriku and Toto.

Mimi nakalia serikali yangu sawasawa. Being the chairman I belong to the ruling party the Masculine Party and my vice chair belongs to the opposition party the Feminine Party. We have drafted the katiba which was not promulgated because I was overwhelmingly beaten by the opposition due to their numbers. So I the chairman using the powers bestowed upon me by the virtue of being a Masculine, postponed the final drafting and eventual promulgation citing lack of equal representation on the side of Masculine party. In order to get above thirty percent representation for all parties there should be ground rules. We have now finalized our ground rules to enable the final drafting. We have divided the Tabu holding into shares and each one of us has votes representing our shares. Toto the youngest has one vote, Chiriku has two and Rembo three. Their mother due to her numerous names was given seven votes. That is Matha, Mama Toto, Mama Chiriku and Mama Rembo. The chairman who is the only bull around, the one and only Subul’s shares were tabulated according to what he owns in the company. He owns three children, therefore six votes, one wife, representing seven votes, pays the house rent; one vote, pays their school fees; one vote and buys what is needed in the house; one vote and his name one vote. Using the arithmetic I learnt we can say: 7 + 6 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 17. The company has 17 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 7 = 30, which is 100% shares. So I am the majority share holder therefore owning the exclusive veto vote on everything according to ground rules.

I am looking forward to win in the final drafting vote. Though my company’s katiba is behind schedule to get promulgated, we are using the old one. The old katiba is faulty. It was drafted by our colonial masters, our parents. It is unable to shield my company from being infested by swam of locusts. It says one belongs to an extended family and the community.

Being the only one with reading, writing and arithmetic skills I am understood to be able to calculate the cost of the sky rocketing kilo of unga and get a correct answer. Therefore, my cousins and name them have visited my place for various reasons this month. For me to calculate amount of their school fee, get the sum of their hospital bills and calculate something for their harambees. I have explained them in vain that a CEO of an hustling company and a chairman of Tabu holdings is as poor as a church mouse but they could hear none of it. One of them told me that people say that I write letters on the internet and everyone all over the world reads them including our son who is in charge of a rich country. He wondered why I could not ask them to send me some money through M-Pesa.

I have decided to employ a lawyer who has the ability to explain to them that translating reading, writing and arithmetic into money is not guaranteed in today’s world. One writes for the sake of it and others read for pleasure and exams. Those with arithmetic skills can find themselves counting the drops of water in a river or stars. Before they finish counting it is day time and the stars are gone.

My in-laws have invaded my home for other reasons. They have heard that I have set ground rules stipulating our company shares. I am the majority share holder owning my children and my wife. They have complained that I should not claim ownership of my wife because of unpaid dues. Having failed to pay the full dowry of half a million, I can’t get the seven shares for owning her. I can’t afford to lose those shares. I will lack the moral authority to command things. But I am bloke don’t you see. I need some assistance may be from the bill being prepared. I long for the bill that I have heard will strengthen my independence and reduce the influence of my in-laws. I think I will also have to seek advice from Kir on how to become independent for I hear he pulled it for the youngest African state. Cheers bwana.

I had thought I would use to my advantage the overwhelming majority the members of opposition the Feminine Party. My basic arithmetic tells me that Toto is worth ½ a million, Chiriku 1 million and Rembo 2 million. I thought I am worth this much then these people spoiled my day by suggesting suitors can choose between paying dowry or not to pay. I am in dilemma. Should I support this or not? It is giving you and taking from you by the backdoor. No, pinga kabisa.

The fact remains that am being pursued left right to the centre because of unpaid debts. My father Buda Marete and my mother Sabera have claimed that I used all the family’s income to gain writing, reading and arithmetic. They say other brothers and sisters were born after I had used all their money and so they could not go to school. They have hired an auctioneer to sell my household items. My brothers and sisters have branded me a wanted criminal. I need personal security for my life is in danger.

©Tabu Bin Tabu 2011

Sunday, November 14, 2010



You will have an opportunity to read this article, “A slip of the mind.” I am sorry for eating a lot of chopped yams in form of kagoto (ballast) and forgot that I had readers who eagerly want to read from me. We enjoyed boiled yams on MASHUJAA day instead of imported worms you call rice or the roasted or boiled red remains of a dead animal.

On this side of the globe we advocate for the rights of the animals and mass killings slipped our minds. My grandfather is one of those people who call themselves protectors of animals who can’t entertain anybody who jokes around with the preserved deer you call goats. The draught is not yet over but he can’t part with his skinny animals for money. Even when some neighbouring cattle rustlers threaten to flee with the whole herd.

Maybe we have few or we don’t have the endangered type of birds you call chicken and we can easily mistake a dog for a goat so the mountain of kagoto did better in our stomachs and climbing it from the top made us sing with joy and satisfaction. We are not the type who enjoyed taking fermented water of River Distiller. This type of water makes some of us behave as if they are victims of swine flu. When they tell you that they will chop your hand for you, you find it on the ground.

Therefore I beg your pardon for not communicating through this forum. I have been digesting all this stuff from the slopes. you know we are ruminant animals. We keep on chewing the cud nonstop. We are of the philosophy to chew and chew and when we get tired of it we chew again. I read from somewhere that a man can’t think and chew at the same time. Therefore, first things first.

Being a product of the slopes I have discovered that I am growing taller and taller. May be I am not a type of breed you call cross-breed or hybrid because I was planted in the slopes and I have never been transplanted elsewhere. Grafting or cloning has never been done on my body. I might be one of those indigenous type you call zebu although my height leaves me with suspicion.

My friends tell me that those zebus which are grown near the waters flourish and gain a lot of weight and never wither. For if the sower of the seeds had found it wise not to throw me near the lake or river. I have no objection of him throwing me on those spotted rocks of the slopes. The sower was aware that my roots would penetrate the snowy rocks with a lot of ease. Some people think that those people from the slopes who have planted the precious tree they call miraa are very tall like giraffes to be able to pick and chew the twigs while standing. If so corrections will be in order.

If my mind doesn’t slip on this issue I cannot exhaust it without referring to the little science that I can recall. You know that it is rare to see the sun over the slopes? Therefore, when I started to germinate I found myself rushing upwards to see if I could visit the sun one day. In the chilling cold of the slopes you have an advantage of reaching to the sun if you had no defects. I thought that if I reach somewhere it will get hotter to strip me of the chilling cold. Unfortunately I have lately learnt a startling geographical discovery that it will get cooler if I got higher. I knew that if you get nearer to the fire you will find it hotter and our great grandparent said that God is protected by the sun and those who are on the mountains are nearer to God. I don’t know who is right. Some prayed facing Mount Kenya and others Kirimaara.

Due to geography my head is cooler than my legs and that is why my head has grown some vegetation which seems to cover even my face resisting those strong attacks from the cold. I know you don’t admire my countenance and height but that is how things are. I like being tall for I receive a soothing brand of air that only a few have polluted. Please don’t hate this article.

© Tabu Bin Tabu 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009



My name is Tabu Bin Tabu. I was born and brought up near the Eastern slopes of Mount Kenya. If you are asking about the year I was born, I am sorry I won’t tell you. It’s not long ago. It is only yesterday. That time when there was a draught like the one we are experiencing. When money was scarce in peoples pockets. When rain had ceased for three or more years. Jobs were not there any more. 

If you want to know more ask my mother Sabera. She will tell you I am not old enough to take care of myself. When she lastly came to my place one year ago, she had a better idea about nearly everything. The position of the couch, the colour of the table cloths, the type of meals to be prepared. She informed me to take good care of my money and I should not invest in the pyramid schemes. I did not oppose. I was afraid of the argument that my views could elicit. I was not bitter though. I was happy that somebody had told me that I was young. Something I wanted to hear.

If you are not satisfied with what mother told you about my age, ask my father Marete. He keeps a diary with all those important dates. He will tell you that the dust has not settled since I got circumcised. I have been asking him to subdivide our land to us. He told us that since we are so young to be able to keep Title Deeds, he can only show us were to construct our houses for the time being. He would continue to cultivate the land to allow us some time to grow. It’s Just the other day that I convinced him to give me my form four certificate. It was kept inside a small wooden box under his bed. 

My mother had asked to be given my class eight certificate so that she can take it to a friend who could offer me a job in a small hotel in town. She had folded it several times and tied it at one Conner of her leso. It took a lot of beseeching before being allowed to have it. I lied to her that a friend had offered me a better job if I presented the paper to him. She had told me to return it soon after seeing the man. After some thinking I returned a photocopy which she kept safe.

Last weeks incidence left me with no words. I was in town doing some window shopping. I did not know exactly what I was interested in. Everything seemed to be very beautiful. Clothes, electronic gadgets, even the beautiful girls attending to customers. You could bargain and bargain even when you have no cent in the pocket. Only to listen to their beautiful voices and professional language. Even window shopping them was okay.

I stared at one shop to another. Moving to and fro used all my energies and I started yawning. I approached a fat lady who was passing by and asked her what time it was. “Two p.m.!” she replied. I thought it was a good idea to have a bite at a Nyama Choma joint in the bus park.

I ordered three pieces of meat, ugali and mala. This time I wanted to take a break from the usual kagoto (the ballast). Roasted remains of a dead cow could be tasty. I thought. I had sat at a corner opposite the door. I could see the touts asking customers to board their matatus, passengers getting in and others leaving the park. In some minutes time I was through. I stood and approached the counter to pay. The cashier called the waiter and asked him how much I should pay. “mzee amekula so moja” (The old man had a bill of a hundred shillings). This statement caught me off guard. “nani unaita mzee? Huoni mimi si mzee ni nguo zimezeeka?” I complained. (Who are you calling an old man? You are confusing my age to that of my clothes). “You people have no manners these days. If you think that I am old why don’t you cut the old part and throw it away!!! Look at yourself, you and me who is older?” I bellowed angrily. The waiter kept quiet.

I turned to look at the other patrons seated at the hotel. All of them were looking at us. I overheard one say: “mwangalie huyu mzee anayefikiria ni under 18. Hee heee heeee!!!” (Look at this old man who thinks that he is under 18 years of age). I hurriedly paid up and left dejected. 

I had to consult some people asking them if really I looked as old as implied by my enemies. “You are not growing any younger. A wife and two kids make the matter worse.” One of them commented. Look at your pot belly! Do you think a young man has eaten enough to fill a protruding stomach?” the other one had said. They seemed to have been bought by my enemies.

I took time to look at myself. My abdomen made me look as if I was seven months pregnant. That night I did not sleep. I kept waking up and thinking so had why I allowed myself to get old before being a leader. These people did not realize that having a big stomach is a sign of overeating and not old age.

In my church I am called a youth. When looking for a job I am told I lack experience. Where will I get experience without getting employed? It’s like telling a person not to taste the pudding because he has never tasted one. The little English I know tells me the pudding is in the eating. 

In 2007 I wanted to vie for the councillorship at our local location. My political enemies decided to politicize it saying, “You young people are leaders of tomorrow. Wait for your turn.” We have waited and waited. When is tomorrow? When will tomorrow be today? When tomorrow becomes today there is always another tomorrow.  

Now I have discovered that old is the tool my enemies are using so that I cannot have a good time. The other enemies are using young to prevent me from leading. Please tell me. Am I young to lead or too old and worn-out?

© Tabu Bin Tabu 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009



A Man
Is made up of
One intellectual
Property; his upstairs
In a cave like structure
Proportionally suspended
Like a rock pure with gold
Network of electric connect
Filled up to the brim with oil
In underground tunnels of pail
Plantations of forests without
Small grinding stones within
Conveyer belt lies beneath
A gate of furnace opens
Couple antennas rise
Binoculars aside
Heavily built tones of framework
Holds together in either side the fork
Pushing       quick pumping         pulling
Lifting         the mighty store        holding
Left          centre that holds          right
Feel          processing factory       shake
Tie           fill the unfilled dam             do
Peace comes in giving
Strong and heavy duty
Take a stride the pride owner
With the gift mercy enough
Move weight beyond the path
Holds tight       ground below
Flee attack         save the king
The kick                  break neck
Mark                            stick
Park                              duck
Man                                  fun
copyright Tabu Bin Tabu 2009