My Land, Your Land, Our Land

As far back as our collective memory as a species goes, land has played, and continues to play, an important role as both an economic resource and the basis on which we organize ourselves, be it in ethnic groups, nations, continents and so on. In economics, land comprises all natural occurring resources whose supply is…

A Pound Of Flesh

English literature classes were one of the few things I liked about the Kenyan high school experience. In my year, we studied William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, a play about many things, but central to which was the plot about the Venetian moneylender Shylock (who was Jewish), who lends the Christian shipper Antonio money….

The Dangers of Speech

In the aftermath of the 2007 general election that ended in violence and the death of over 1,000 Kenyans, we decided “never again” and set up the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), to promote ethnic harmony and investigate complaints of ethnic or racial discrimination or any issue affecting ethnic and racial relations. The National…

And Then There Were None

The evolution of man has seen us explore various ways of existing – from hunting and gathering to feudalism, to capitalism as supported by democracy, which is where we currently linger, wondering what comes next, because this no longer seems to be working. According to Thomas Hobbes in Leviathan, we are first and foremost concerned…

The Predictable Nature Of Corruption in Kenya

Corruption scandals have become a “fact of life” for many Kenyans, who have come to regard them as just another facet of Kenyan life, alongside high taxes, poor service delivery, our “cult of personality” approach to politics and religion, and the misfortunes occasioned to us by terrorism. These burdens seem to be ours for the…

My Day at Industrial Area Police Station

by Dennis Ochieng On Friday the 30th of October, in the morning, I was driving through the traffic from Syokimau headed towards Mukuru via Mombasa road and turning to join Enterprise Road. On a normal day, it would have taken 15-20 minutes. On this day, however, it took me 45 minutes to arrive at the…

Made in Kenya: Forensic Files

This essay is taken from Brainstorm’s third e-book, Ha!Kuna Matata: Security in Kenya, which is available for free. DOWNLOAD IT HERE to read more such essays. by Sophie Gitonga I’d never met a murderer before – and it never featured on my to do list. Pete (not his real name) was a guest at the Kamiti…

And Then They Came For Me

by Asha Jaffar “I have been living in Kibera for 34 years. I’m now moved to an 8×8 room with my family.” Victim of the demolition It has always been happening. I can’t remember when it started but it’s been going on for very long and I’m tired of it. It gets tiring having your homes destroyed…

Women and The Law: A Spotlight On Recent Kenyan Legislation

This past weekend, I was fortunate to attend the second Atieno Project Unconference and learn about how the law affects women, especially bills and acts written with women in mind, such as The Protection against Domestic Violence Bill (2013) and The Reproductive Health Care Bill (2014). The discussion was lively and informative, and there were…