Deadline Monster


Friday 30th June 2017 at 11: 59pm, I kuwad Mkenya mtrue. I file my tax returns and they send me an acknowledgement via email. I breathe a sigh of relief. That’s another twenty thousand saved. Just like that. I had wanted to do it early but for some reasons Kenyanisim, i do it on the eleventh hour. On the very brink. Just at about a time the clock was to tick right and seal my freaking fate. Kudos to me. See God is a gentleman, he allowed his servant keep his twenty gees when destiny had earmarked it for government. But next time you guys of KRA don’t bombard us with those ads of sijui Kenya sio sponsor wako, file tax returns. That sounds like Duale telling someone hii pesa sio ya mamako. And it’s very bad. Ya all know that word sponsor is threatening Jimmie Gait’s career. Plus we don’t want to live in a society where people spit others nasty stuff. Let’s address each other with some decorum if you please. Bottom line, we know we owe you filing returns and if we don’t we will dip in our pockets with a grin on our faces and hand you over our hard earned 20 gees with a pint of the salt of our tears of course.

Talking of things Kenyansim, there are things that are uniquely Kenyan. My case in point I will speak about Power blackouts. Normally when blackout happens this side of town where I live, it doesn’t stay past an hour. So on this particular day 1,2,3,4,5,6….. hours. Nothing! I lost truck. Then I started thinking was it that those Kenya Power chaps had silently disconnected the whole lot of us or what. Wait, did I even pay bill for the coming month? But Kenya Power why? Why should a country experience 7 hour blackout in fuckin 2017. Just why? Why am I even cursing? Am cursing because this is on Thursday. It’s 29th of June and the clock is ticking faster than no one business. It’s like it’s in competition to seal my damn fate around that our overly publiced 30th kuwa Mkenya mtrue deadline. I freak. I freak because as matters stand am not yet Mkenya mtrue. My taxes remain unfiled, the deadline is staring and I stand the dire risk of losing a humongous twenty freaking thousands. Am humbled. I have canceled every other possible engagement. I want to do everything within reach to salvage the situation. But the lights are out. My laptop seats on my working table Grey faced and helpless. The Internet router from a far corner lies on its back idle like a child’s toy whose owner drowned. Kenya Power have done what they do right. They have kept us under blackout for seven hours now. I want to throw caution to the wind and say KRA if ever I don’t meet this deadline, I have Kenya Power to blame. But someone will wear a grin face like a primary school headmaster and say “but you had six months mister. Save us that crap. its our twenty thousand or the highway that leads behind bars!”

Recently we had a Purpose dialogue. The purpose dialogue if you will ask, is all about what people choose to do or not do with their lives. Every one gets to advice; find your purpose in life and pursue it. Purpose in the simplest form will be that which you deem fits your time. You enjoy doing it and it means happiness for you.

Tucked deep amid our archives is something on Experience Economy. Yes that day Joe Pine was in town and he brought up his Narrative of “Work is play and the workplace is theater” The experience economy he says is what we are undergoing currently having navigated through the commodity economy(coffee beans), goods economy(powdered coffee), Service economy(coffee shops) to come to the experience economy (think Starbucks and Java locally) He asserts we are headed towards the transformational economy. Under the Experience Economy, individuals want to be given a personalised attention. It’s how by comparison, the business people of the 60’s struggled with Mass production whereas the current bunch of businesses toil with Mass customization. In essence, Time is Limited, attention is scarce and money is consumable! So the customer; yourself and myself seek to spend our money where our attention is commanded and our time respected.

And If you read this blog regularly and or rather you happen to know people and among them you know one who visits here often, they will tell you once upon a time we wrote about Apologies. Now see how knowing people in Kenya is an in thing these days. You should know people. Ahem! Apologies is a narrative about how each one of us chooses to prioritize how to spend (or not to spend) the twenty four hours bestowed on us by the generous guy in the clouds. It’s truth you can choose to take to the bank that atleast all of us have twenty four hours to spend and each individual chooses to attend to those errands they think are important for them. It’s hard truth but it’s true nevertheless.

Why are we even talking about purpose, experience economy and apologies? We have to talk about them because all those narratives in one way or the other affect or effect the Deadline Monster we are exploring here. How and why? The world is fractured and people are pursuing happiness. It’s how they get to choose their purpose wisely and pursue them earnestly. Yes we are living in the Experience Economy where money is consumable, attention scarce and time limited! That leads us to why people will apologize. They will apologize when you try to drag them into stuff they consider not a priority because they are fighting to utilize the limited time on matters they deem top priority. Again I will tell you for free that ideally no one is deadlock busy. People can always ‘squueze’ time when they think that Agenda is important for them! Yes they will.

But we are talking about deadlines here right? Deadlines tend to follow the same trajectory of fate. All and sundry have deadlines staring at them. Deadlines as tough as Satan’s left palm. That job report for the new boss. The newspaper article that is due for press. Jims wedding commitee pledge this evening. They trickle in like chat Conversations in a teenager’s Whatsaap group. So we tend to list them and put them in the order of either time, urgency, penalties attached and so on. We face them like you’d face your troubles and knock them out of order in the decided priority. On we move and tuck them behind us. Then some of the times shit happens. Like on my case, black out! Just about that time you were determined to make good of that deadline. Then it throws you on a deadlock.

Take Personal finances in particular for example. And there’s no bad a nightmare as bills. Especially when say you are in ‘shiaras’ and for some crapy reason the economy is in a turmoil and the financial gods are experiencing mood swings. My friend things go south. Land lord says please remember 1st is the deadline. The milk man out if the blues says a random ‘hi’ but your instincts are right to connect the damn dots with the two months outstanding bill. Power bill trickles in the water bill. The chaps for garbage shows at the door with an empty bag like he wants garbage but in real sense it’s money he needs. The telco sends a subscription renewal reminder just about the same date the cable TV is disconnected. Then the final nail to the coffin comes from your banker to remind that your monthly repayments are due in a week. But in between Jeymo calls to ask whether he can get his bucks back. What would Matang’i do? (hehe) not Matang’i, you! Obviously chaps seat down and analyze the financial deadlocks in the order of ‘most threatening’ You ask why those get loans instantly on your handsets apps are on an unmatched rise? The inventors are smiling all the way to the bank but that’s a story for another day.

We have deadlines always but I will just but talk of the famous two after the Mkenya mtrue deadline which happened in the recent past. Which happen to be the 2030 inspired global Digital migration (Tumetoka analogue tunaeza digital_ say that in smart joker’s tonation. Smile.)

Digital migration was a shocker! Lie. It wasn’t a shocker. It was well advertised just in time but I guess that was new word in town. No one thought whoever was behind that ad was serious. You would think they imagined he was on hard stuff. How on earth will you cut our TV signals. How? Speaking of TV signals I think personally I miss those days. The TV will be showing just right. That program will be inching towards the climax. Nature would shake and the screen would miraculously turn black and white struggling between displaying some quarter cut images and splashes of rice grains. You will dash out and climb the roof top determined to adjust the aerial view. You will employ both your hands your phone huggling between your ear supported by the right shoulder. You will continuously speak to the mouth piece as you fumble with the feeble post taking caution not false. You will hear the remainder viewers chorus in your ear piece “hapo hapo hapo!” Then a resounding “Noooo. You missed!” This will repeat over and over you will miss the whole show😢

Then digital migration happened. Not to forget the unmeasured rejection. People said No! Media owners said No! Advertisers said No way. Content creators said we are not ready yet. Stockists said but the set boxes are not on the shops yet! The government will always laugh last and last is loudest. They went “our people” like that naughty friend who addresses you by your third name when he’s about to reach for your wallet. “This is not a matter of choice but reason. The world is changing and sorry we can’t be left behind. The west is conformed already and once again we can not be left behind!” The deadline came. That manual transmission station in sijui Limuru was mugged down by undercovers serving CCK (Now communication Authority) order. There was no TV for like almost two months. Some of us swimming in the glory of WiFi streamed 7pm news online. The rest of them reverted to print and social media and grape vine.

IEBC. I think that word; IEBC is been said the most of times over the past five years. The only other word that can come near is perhaps “Raila” Independent Electoral and boundaries commission is been the boss around town since the days of tear gas Mondays (rubs a tear😢) but they have been famous for the billion reminders they bombarded Kenyans with over registering to vote. Then confirming whether you really did register to vote. But you did. Damn! Then again going to check whether you are still on the voters register or for some reason KPMG confusing you for a ghost voter (them that form the bulk of Tharaka Nithi) chucked you off from the grid! But of humongous attention are the numerous deadlock deadlines they give backed with a thousand and one TV ads. So over and over they appear on those TV ads on person and even beg “people the August Eighth election is first approaching, we are behind time. Please note the voter verification process will not be extended. Not by even a single day.”

Kenyansim will live long. Deadlines will come and go but we Kenyans; world record holder last minuters will always wait the very last day then pile on the queues. Then go jam the KRA systems. Kudos once again hard working people!

PS: Am selling my laptop. For no apparent reason I chose to call her Virginia. She’s black beauty but I have tainted her face with my ego serving stickers. Some people say she appears cool in them. Like a teenage tattooed kid. I have lived on her for two years now. Ours has been a calm relationship. No cat fights. No moods swings. Nothing. When we disagree, she fires red alarms and turns Grey faced. She can stay powered on working mode up to three continuous hours. She has typed above a million words that’s average ten thousand words a week for two years. That’s experience! Am letting her go because there comes a point in time when a man got to do what he got to do! And that time is now. If you are willing to exchange your 300 dollars for her, I will let you own her with a bonus pint of the dried salt from my tears.




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