Antholgy Call Out 2019

The Will This Be A Problem Anthology is back this year and we are looking for works of speculative fiction, science fiction, fantasy and horror by authors from the African continent.

While we tend to gravitate toward the weirder and darker side of things, our aesthetic is always in flux. We value risks, surprises, rude shocks, and voices that haunt us long after the story is done. Be brave. Send us the stuff you never thought would get published anywhere else. Send us the thing you have to take a deep breath over before submitting or running by your critique group. We strongly encourage submissions from women, members of the LGBTQIA community, and members from other underrepresented and marginalized communities.

Here are the submission guidelines.

  1. Your story can be speculative fiction, science fiction, fantasy, horror or an unholy mash of any them.

  2. Our target length is between 2000-5000 words. However this is just a baseline, if the story is strong enough it can be longer or shorter.

  3. We are open to receiving stories around many themes, but we will immediately reject stories that feature any of the following:

  •  Graphic depictions of rape or sexual assault
  •  Needless brutalization of women and children
  • Depictions of brutalization or abuse of people with (physical and mental) disabilities
  • Graphic abuse of animals
  1.  Send your work to willthisbeaproblem@gmail.com in doc, docx, odt or rtf formats. Do not send it in the body of the email.

  2. Send a small bio about yourself, what country you’re from and what name you would like the work to be published under.

  3. We only consider unpublished work, and we do not consider reprints (work that has been published in another magazine or on your blog or other social media) or fan fiction.

  4. By submitting a story the author allows Will This Be A Problem to include it in the WTBAP Anthology should it be selected.

  5.  Submissions should primarily be in English though pieces of dialogue and the text may contain other languages.

  6. If your work is published somewhere else after the Anthology is released we request that you mention Will This Be A Problem as the first place of publication.

  7. Submissions close on the 22nd of November, 2019

The WTBAP anthology is provided for free. We do not make any money off it and thus we do not (as of yet) pay for submissions. However, this year, there will be prizes for our favourite story.

  1. If the winner is from Kenya, the prize will be:  Ksh 3,000

  2. If the winner is from any other country: 30$ paid via paypal or other viable money transfer platforms.

We look forward to seeing what you come up with.

Ethical Sex : Part III – Difficult Questions

Consent can be a complicated topic. Even to me, that sounds like a controversial statement, but it is complicated, and that should inform how we approach it.

When the conversation of consent went mainstream, it was initially very binary. It did not always aim for nuance. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a criticism, it was a necessary measure at the time. When an idea like “no means no” was widely controversial and incited debate among large swathes of the population, where else would you start but the bare bones basics? The conversation has grown since then, and it’s echoes are being felt in institutions around the world. Even so, I feel like the full potential of this discussion has not been realized. The conversation is still largely one of condemnation, or to put it another way, centred around the clearer boundaries of consent. This is important, but it is not the only subject.

I want to address the difficult questions about consent that we don’t normally ask. You may have thought of them, but felt inclined to say nothing. Part of this hesitation no doubt comes from how a number of the conversations are framed; that there are no questions to be asked, that you should already innately know these things. But I think the larger part is a fear of the answer. The fear that asking that question will lead to a conclusion that you would rather not be true. Or if it is, you might prefer not to know. It might say something about you, or it might shine a new light on someone else. Either way, sometimes it seems easier to just stick to what is already clear. What is already known.

Unfortunately, while the big, clear cut categories might be safer ground, they are only part of the story. For those of us who consider consent important, which should be all of us, we would like to have ethical sex lives. And for us to do that, it requires a deeper inspection of consent. We have to delve into areas that may make us uncomfortable because of our past conduct. We have to take a look at behaviour from people close to us that is simpler to just leave alone. We need to go to where it is complicated and messy and through our combined effort, find answers. Perhaps these conversations are going on somewhere, but we need them out front — where everyone can learn.

For a while now, I have been asking people who speak on this subject a question. When both parties are drunk, what are the dynamics of consent? The most common reaction is a hesitation and usually, there is no answer. That seems like a pretty big gap in the conversation because for many people, that is not a hypothetical scenario. Drunk sex is incredibly common. Odds are, you’ve had it. Is this a question you’ve asked yourself? Do you have an answer? I know I don’t have a clear one. And I think, if we are to have ethical sex, it is a question we should be asking and trying to answer.

Can a drunk person give consent? For most people, this is an easy question when only one party is drunk. But when both are intoxicated, there’s a lot less debate or, really, any kind of conversation. What are the rules and boundaries here? What accountability can there even be? With the memory loss and impaired judgement that some experience, is this an environment that ethical sex can even occur in? I’m going to go out on a limb and say, probably not.

Of course, many of us have had drunk sex in numerous circumstances where all the parties involved enjoyed it, where it was consensual. The problem here, is the doubt. The uncertainty of whether knowing consent was given or not.

Drunk sex offers a good entry point into this kind of conversation because it highlights the kind of situation where there is no clear villain. Where it’s not really that simple, or if it is, it certainly doesn’t feel that way. How many people prefer to drink for a confidence boost, for lowered inhibitions, for that adventurous push that make social interactions easier? How much of the prevailing sexual culture is learned and practised around such interactions?  How many people just enjoy drunk sex in and of itself?

I don’t think I have dug enough into this topic to unequivocally say that drunk sex is always wrong. What I can say is that it certainly is not the easier option it is often portrayed to be. It is dangerous. It opens doors of where consent is blurred. It might not have been given, it might be given and forgotten, it might be given and remembered but compromised because it would never have been done sober. It creates an environment where you may violate a person’s boundaries and more than that, leave them feeling that they were the ones at fault. In the end, it comes down to one simple question. Is the risk that your partner(s) is not actually consenting ever worth taking?

At a minimum, it requires more introspection, more communication between parties and more boundaries set when sober than it gets now. If you are going to engage in drunk sex, it is imperative to know beforehand how to hold yourself accountable and how to ensure you are always within your partner’s boundaries.

But having ethical sex is not entirely based on your own attitudes because sex is not an individual activity. It is important to know what views other people bring and how they affect your sexual relationship.

The other day, I was among a group of men talking about how to avoid having sex with a woman. I’ve listened and been part of these discussions often, I’ve just never given them the level of inspection they deserved. There was a dynamic of sex that I had never truly questioned and so some things that should have never set off alarms in my mind.

The entire premise of the discussion was that when a woman initiates a sexual encounter, she is unlikely to take no for an answer. A question that seemed to resonate with almost everyone was what to do when you turned her down, and she said “what’s wrong, don’t you find me attractive?” Another was how to proceed after you said no, and she refused to accept it (“I know you want to”) and went straight for your pants. The offered solutions were “you just have to physically run away” which was met with the kind of laughs that said, I find that funny but only because of how true it is. The other was, “sometimes you just have to go along with it, what else can you do?”

We saw the matter of women and consent dealt with last week and so I won’t go into again. What is important here is the attitude many men carry about how to handle this. It is a common misconception that men should always be ready for sex, that they can’t and don’t say no. Many women receive a “no” with hurt or anger or as a challenge. As a result, it is often easier to just accept and “go along with it”. When you, as a woman, receive consent, it might be important to be sure that it is actual consent, not resignation. Not damage control.

I have read about and heard from women who have sex when they do not want to. They are not forced, there is no coercion, but prevailing attitudes say that this is what is supposed to happen especially in relationships. Verbal consent is given, sometimes with the performance of enthusiasm, and all the apparent forms are observed. Still, there is something wrong with that. Something unhealthy about someone having sex with you because they believe they would be a bad girlfriend, or a bad partner if they did not.

In these cases, it is not your fault, but that is not the same thing as saying you are completely free of responsibility. And what is your responsibility? There’s no easy answer to that. Sexual relationships are varied and how you interact, and what you are willing to share, is not a constant. People bring a lot of thoughts and beliefs with them, some completely uninspected, and it is not always possible to dig into that. What you can always do, is make sure that your partners understand that it is okay and consequenceless to say no. That they can always change their minds. That what they want is important.

And so, while consent can be a complicated topic, the answers are what they’ve always been — you only have to think about them deeper. Receive consent, yes, but with what society is, that is not always just a simple yes or a seemingly enthusiastic response. Communicate, yes, but the depth and breadth of that communication must encompass a wider range. Consent is not a matter of limiting your liability, it is about engaging ethically and honestly with someone else. The effort must extend beyond your needs and wants and what is easy.


As we roll out the Ethical Sex series, we would like to receive your contributions and thoughts, which we may post, add on or talk about in our final article. We do not claim to be experts by any means, we are simply willing to undertake this journey, learn something and be better. Join us and hopefully we can help each other find the right path.

Email us at: submissions@34.193.184.231

Ethical Sex : Part I

Every now and then, something so significant happens that it immediately creates a clear line of demarcation between the old world and the new. The effect is so sudden and pervasive that on the timeline of human progress it resembles nothing so much as an explosion. In my reckoning, social media belongs on this list. While it’s ubiquity makes it easy to take for granted, it is without a doubt the greatest facilitator of discussion and thought the world has ever seen.

Social media does not just give us information, it steps past the systemic bias that shapes narratives and avoids the hands guiding the lens to what is and isn’t important. I’m not going to act like there are no negatives to this, there are several significant ones, but it cannot be denied that there is power in receiving information firsthand. In hearing personal experience and seeing it echoed in different forms around the world. To see the discussion happening and growing before our eyes in language we understand and contribute to. There has never been a better time to learn or to understand.

Few areas show this effect more starkly than the field of feminist thought. Not too long ago in the Kenyan sphere, sexist viewpoints were regularly aired and executed without much regard to their rightness or wrongness. It was not something that regularly invited comment or frankly, widespread attention. It was common, banal even. While this fact did little to blunt the effects of what was happening, many people simply didn’t know any better.

Since then, through the tireless work of many incredible women paired with the explosive effect of social media, we have a different story. Now, everyone who regularly uses twitter has a fairly good understanding of feminist concepts — even the hard line misogynists. After all, they are always the first to comment “the feminists will come for you” under a problematic tweet. They wouldn’t do this so efficiently without a keen understanding of what was and wasn’t problematic and I think we can safely assume that they didn’t decide to dive into feminist literature. It was social media that brought the information their way and in this, proved to be an effective tool for teaching even those who were not looking to learn. (The fact that they clearly know better but refuse to change condemns the content of their character more than anything else.)

I say all this to emphasize that as we acknowledge the power of social media to fuel powerful conversation, we must ensure to use it to its full capacity. It is not enough to simply have these conversations, but they must evolve as well. We must have the conversations that are easy to avoid, because perhaps we are implicated or they are complicated with no easy answers; because they make our lives harder.

Over this month, Will This Be A Problem will run a series on ethical sex. The running theme will be consent. While we have heard a lot about consent, it has been one of the most consistent topics on social media for a long time, there are areas that remain lightly explored. This is not to say that they are not being discussed, only that they could be louder. The information could find people easier.

We intend to ask questions and, if not find answers then perhaps encourage a deeper search for them. This series is for those of us who already accept that consent is essential but want a more examined view of it to ensure they live ethical sex lives. To do this, we have to delve into areas that may make us uncomfortable because of our past conduct. We need to go to where it is complicated and messy and through our combined effort, use this platform to find our way.

We shall look at how women navigate receiving consent and their reaction to its withdrawal. I think it is obvious why much of the conversation has targeted men, they are the main offenders after all. But issues need not be equivalent to be worthy of examination. It is time we had a serious conversation about the toxic assumptions regarding men and sex, and how many women do not truly consider violation of consent a topic that affects them.

We shall also tackle the harder more complicated aspects of consent. Away from the clear boundaries that we should all understand by now, we will explore situations that are common but many of us do not think about deeply. Questions we should be asking ourselves and how to come together to find answers.

The aim of this series is not to attack or condemn, but to grow. You cannot fix a problem if you do not understand it. You must look at it, define it and only then can you have a reasonable chance at finding a solution. We want people to think better about sex. Safe sex is not just about condoms and the physical aspects, but the thought process that leads up to it as well.

In the beginning I said there has never been a better time to learn or understand. This is true. But it also requires effort on our part to work. As we carry on with this series, we hope to hear from you. To receive your contributions and thoughts, which we will add on and talk about in our final article. We do not claim to be experts by any means, we are simply willing to undertake this journey, learn something and be better. Join us and hopefully we can help each other find the right path.

Email us at: submissions@34.193.184.231

Speculative Fiction: The Final List

It’s about that time of the year where we here at Will This Be A Problem present our annual anthology. This year, we tried something a little different from the usual. For the 2016 anthology, we opted to incorporate an open call for submissions. The theme was Speculative Fiction and we received stories from across the continent.

And so, I present the stories our judges picked for the anthology.

“The Mortuary Man” by Mark Lekan Lalude (Nigeria)
“What Happens When It Rains” by Michelle Angwenyi (Kenya)
“Future Long Since Passed” by Lausdeus Otito Chiegboka (Nigeria)
“The World is Mine” by Kris Kabiru (Kenya)
“The Real Deal” by James Kariuki (Kenya)

A bonus story from WTBAP:

“The Last History” by Kevin Rigathi

And the prize winning story –

“Rise of the Akafula” by Andrew Charles Dakalira (Malawi)

The 3rd issue of our anthology will be released in the coming days. For now, see this beautiful cover art by Peter Marco, based on the winning story.

final-cover-small

 

Speculative Fiction Call Out

This time, we’re doing something a little different for the Will This Be A Problem Anthology. A public call out.

The theme this year is Speculative Fiction set in African countries and we will be accepting short stories from any African citizen.

wtbap

Here are the submission guidelines.

  1. Your story can be Horror, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Magical Realism, Alternate History or an unholy mash of any them.
  2. While your story must be set in an an African country, feel free to place it in any timeline you please. You may also set it in alternate versions of these countries. i.e. A Kenya that was never colonized.
  3. Our target length is between 2000-5000 words. However this is just a baseline, if the story is strong enough it can be longer or shorter.
  4.  Send your work to submissions@34.193.184.231 in doc, docx, odt or rtf formats. Do not send it in the subject of the email.
  5. Send a small bio about yourself, what country you’re from and what name you would like the work to be published under.
  6. Only submit your original work.
  7. By submitting a story the author allows Will This Be A Problem to include it in the WTBAP Anthology should it be selected.
  8.  Submissions should primarily be in English though pieces of dialogue and the text may contain other languages.
  9. The submission should be previously unpublished.
  10. If your work is published somewhere else after the Anthology is released we request that you mention Will This Be A Problem as the first place of publication.
  11. Submissions close on the 1st of November, 2016.

The WTBAP anthology is provided for free. We do not make any money off it and thus we do not (as of yet) pay for submissions. However, this year, there will be prizes for our favourite story.

  1. If the winner is from Kenya, the prize will be:  Ksh 3,000 and the Imagine Africa 500 Anthology edited by Billy Kahora delivered from the Magunga Book Store
  2. If the winner is from any other country: 30$ paid via paypal and a kindle (or kindle app) book gift of A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar OR Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor.

We look forward to seeing what you come up with.

The Thieves In Uniform

Last night I went to see a movie with a friend (Star Trek Beyond if you’re curious). There was some weird mix up at IMAX and we ended up at a later showing than we had intended. When we left the theatre, it was around midnight.

When I think of scary places at night, the image that often comes to mind is full of darkness, shifty strangers and narrow alleyways. That’s not what this night was like. We were on a wide street, it was perfectly lit and while we didn’t know the people on the street, most of them were policemen on patrol; recognizable figures. Perhaps in some places in the world that means you’re safe — Nairobi is not one of those places.

We weren’t really panicked or anything. We only had one street to cross after all. A minute or so and we’d be on our way home. We just acted casual and walked. That’s the thing with situations like this, you see the police and you want to believe that these are the good ones. There’s always that little bit of hope that things will turn out well this time. You’re not doing anything wrong and so they won’t bother you, right?

One of them stepped right in front of us and asked to see our IDs.

When I was telling this story to my boss today, he stopped me before I got to that part to ask “Police? Did you have your IDs?” He asked because he knows what most of us know. There’s a kind of step by step to an encounter like this with the police and this is where it usually begins. They don’t want the ID to identify you, they’re just probing. They’re looking for a mistake, an error on your part. Your ID is a bit of a shield. Having it won’t protect you exactly, but it will likely determine how far they’re going to push you, how much they feel they can squeeze. If you don’t have it, you’re likely in for a long and terrible night.

We pulled out our IDs and he didn’t even pretend to look at them. When an ID is only interesting in its absence, you know what kind of story this is going to be. What happened next might as well be part of a script or a handbook.

There was the leading question: “What are you doing walking around at this time of night?”

The false incredulity: “A movie!? What kind of movie shows at this time? No no no. I don’t believe it. Let me see the receipt.”

The first hint: “Oh, I see, you have a lot of money to be spending on movies.”

The handcuffs on my wrists followed by the threat: “Lorry yetu iko pale. Mtalala cell.”

The I’m-doing-this-to-teach-you-a-lesson speech: “You people make our work very hard, you know that? Your friend here, if she were to be walking at this time and she got raped, you know we will be blamed? When you report, will you say you were coming from a movie, eh?”

A mix of threats and meandering speeches suggesting that some great crime was committed, though never specifying exactly what it is, all leading to the finale. The ask for a bribe. “If you want to go…you have to pay a fine.”

At this point I started getting angry. Not because we were getting robbed by police but how familiar it all was. I knew this, all of it. I’ve heard of and seen and gone through so many variations of this scene that I know the steps. I’ve been robbed more times like this by policemen than I have by what we normally call thieves. It’s just how it is. And surely, how can that be normal? How can that possibly be so normal that I was getting impatient for him to get to the punch? To just ask for his bribe and then leave us alone?

So, I thought about calling his bluff. Seeing what happens if you don’t capitulate. I wanted to fight, to push back, to do something other than the usual song and dance. But a quick look around told me to do none of that. First, there were a lot of them. I think there were 10 on that street alone, and we had seen others walking around. There was almost no one else. Second, they were in military garb with no identifying number or anything I could see. I don’t know what that means and I didn’t want to find out just then. Third, My friend was somewhere to the side surrounded by about 4 of them. I don’t know what they were telling her but I figured maybe today was not the day to be testing boundaries. Best to end this as quickly as possible and leave.

I paid, he gave me a stern warning about this vague crime I should never repeat and uncuffed me.

I’ve heard people say that the police get a bad rap. That people only report the negative, never the good they do. This is probably true. But I know that my image of the police is not just from the media, it’s from experience. It’s from how I, and the people I know, have interacted with them. Because, when you think about it, what happened last night was a robbery wasn’t it? It was a shake down … and it was business as usual. Even as we talked with the policeman, he knew I knew what this was and he expected me to act accordingly. It was a role he was familiar with and he accepted it easily.

Just this Friday, a friend’s workmate was stopped by the police in Westlands. He and his friends were leaving a club going to look for some food. It was pretty much the same story but he didn’t pay up and so they locked him up for being drunk and disorderly. He doesn’t drink.

One of my friends has been in the same situation twice recently. Once he got arrested for running to the police because he was being chased by thieves.

None of this is new. We have all heard and seen things like this. But for some reason, last night actually got me thinking. Not of solutions, I have none. It made me wonder the last time I didn’t at least in the back of my mind think of the police as some kind of danger to be avoided. When it became so commonplace that I stopped noticing how crazy all of this is. And most of all, it made me wonder if I can even imagine this country when the police not only feel safe, but like they’re the people protecting us. Wouldn’t that be something.

Of Schools and Students

This year has seen quite a number of fires in schools and it appears the students are the ones setting them. I’ve kept up with the questions asked and the solutions discussed but I don’t intend to throw my hat into that particular ring today. I will only say that, as many have already suggested, if you actually want to get to the why of the fires, you must involve students in that conversation. What I do want to discuss is a spin off topic that’s grown from all of this; the relationship between schools and their students.

There is something very wrong with how Kenyan schools view their students. I am of the opinion that many don’t see students as people. At least, not really. They see them as potential, as expectations, as blank slates in need of shaping and direction. More often than not, they are ‘almost people’ with no wants and desires of their own. Any frustrations and grievances they may have, so long as no law has been grossly violated, are irrelevant. When their futures are being determined, they don’t get a seat at the table. When they are accused of something, they rarely get the opportunity to even state their own motive; that too is decided for them. Any attempt to protest any of this is filed under the catch all phrase– disrespect of one’s elders.

“There’s a word for people our age. They call us children and they treat us like mice”

–          Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card.

This does not always start at the schools mind you. The older generation would have their children believe that they were all first in their class, that they wasted no time on frivolous entertainment and that their school lives were spent studying at all times except when they absolutely had to do something else. While the ubiquity of this story among Kenyan parents is actually kind of funny, the hilarity tends to fade when it presents very real expectations. Impossible levels of focus and dedication to school work are often demanded without regard for how ridiculous they actually are. No one, let alone people of school going age, can possibly sustain that kind of thing. Yet, it is treated as failure if they don’t.

If you sit kids down, hour after hour, doing low grade clerical work, don’t be surprised if they start to fidget.

–       Sir Ken Robinson

The school system is founded upon impossible expectations towards a group of people that we don’t acknowledge are in fact, just that, ordinary people. It’s why so often we subject students to conditions that we would not willingly agree to endure. Parallels have been drawn between some schools and jails. The leadership systems that many schools employ lean heavily towards fascist ideals (Strong leaders who must be harsh to the point of violence and resort to rule through fear in order to maintain social order).  It is a mess.

But how is this the case? How has this system not only endured for so long but actually been defended as right? I suppose it comes down to the fact that most of it is not malicious but is actually well intended. Children are complicated and not renowned for their fine decision making, this is no secret. They are a challenge. Those charged with the responsibility of educating and taking care of them often see the difficulty of the task, want to do the job well but there is just no clear path there. And, it would be so easy if there was one, wouldn’t it? A one size fits all set of solutions that could be reached for any time. A profile of the student mind that could be referred to whenever necessary. Simple motives that could be attributed in any situation. This would all make every school’s, and even parent’s, work so much easier. Unfortunately, it doesn’t exist. Even more unfortunately, we like to pretend that it does.

If we do not do these things, we will get undisciplined, lazy brats who do not respect their elders. There is no other way that works. Spare the rod, spoil the child. That is often the root of the reasoning. It’s a good story, a safe one. Safe because it gives control. It simplifies the matter into actions and consequences that make for easy decisions. It becomes the only easy thing in a complicated, high stakes matter. It makes the responsibility bite sized and more palatable, especially if you are in charge of other people’s children. Tempting as it is, the story is flawed and must be rejected.

But if we are to dismiss this story, then what is the alternative? What has to be done? Well, first one has to accept that students are individuals. To listen to them. To treat everything on a case by case basis and find the answers that are most helpful to the people involved. I don’t say that lightly by the way, I understand just how complex that would be. The workload alone would be near impossible, not to say anything of how to do it right. And because they are young, and don’t make the finest of decisions, the students would no doubt try and take advantage of such a system. I acknowledge all of that. But this matter will never be easy. And if anyone is to accept responsibility for educating and raising children, shouldn’t they aim for the very best regardless of the difficulty?

The truth is, the easier way is clearly not the best. Worse, it encourages behaviour from teachers and figures of authority in schools that tend to create new problems. An example that holds in most schools is that If a teacher punishes someone for something they didn’t do, they are not allowed to protest. If they think they were wronged, they can only bring it up after they’ve done the punishment – if they dare.

I’ve always found it somewhat amusing that many teachers who subscribe to this principle will also turn around and complain about similar aspects in the politics of the country. As if they are not spending years demonstrating that truth and justice must come second to authority and power to their students. And this is not a one off. Many of the problems that we face in this country not only exist in the school system but are actively reinforced there. It is where we start to learn that accountability only goes down the chain and respect only goes up. Where we see that things that are otherwise wrong somehow become right if you have enough power.

All of that being said, my intention is not to slander teachers and schools; they do important work. Many Kenyans spend a great deal of their younger years in boarding schools and in truth are brought up by these people. But this is precisely why it is important to acknowledge the problem and it cannot be denied that there is one. The interaction between students and their schools is so often characterized by hostility and enmity that one wonders how much damage is caused by enduring such things for so long. It is a problem. A whole host of problems.Something has to give.

We often forget that as time passes, we know more. Students grow up knowing more than we did at their age and as a result they see the world differently. Our past is not truly their present. We do not know them; we do not know their experience and we cannot unless we listen.To ignore them is to invite consequences for all of us. Because, when you deny somebody a voice, ignore them unless you want to put them to work or to punish them, it cannot possibly end well. Eventually, they will find a way to make themselves heard. A way that you cannot continue to ignore. I cannot say that this is why we have been seeing these fires but we’re all paying attention now, aren’t we? It would not surprise me that if we keep ignoring the words of students, we might have to contend with learning to read smoke signals.

A Time For Heroes

My dear friends, for the longest time, I have said that the age of heroes is long past. Alas, the 21st century is no place for vigilant groups of the righteous. King Arthur and his knights of the round table are no longer with us. Jesus and the 12 disciples are more than 2000 years gone. It appears that the virtuous no longer come together to fight the good fight. The forces of evil that corrupt the minds of men have been given free reign upon our world. And so it is with tears of unrestrained joy that I write these words, dear friends. I was wrong. The heroes are not gone. In one place, in my very own nation, they have returned.

I need not tell the virtuous among you that I can be referring to none other than the Kenya Film Classification Board or KFCB as they have styled themselves. These individuals have taken upon themselves a responsibility that many would shy away from. They have appointed themselves the thankless task of not only safeguarding the national, cultural and moral values of Kenya, but also determining what they are.

I remember the first time I saw the now infamous coca-cola advertisement. A man and a woman, kissing in broad daylight on my television before 10pm. I nearly had a heart attack. The onslaught of urges to sin and fall into temptation almost consumed me. For hours I was in a panic imagining how much worse it would be have been, had I been a child possessed with none of the mental armour of an adult. I remember how I wailed at the fall of this great nation’s morals. Which would we be if this was allowed to continue? Sodom, or Gomorrah?

Imagine my relief when I heard that someone was looking out for us defenseless Kenyans. Someone wanted to protect our feeble minds from this filth. They would watch these things and weather the storm of temptation so that we would not have to. A last line of defense. I salute and acknowledge your sacrifice great ladies and gentlemen of KFCB. Well Done. You could have been satisfied with rating films and handing out licenses, but no, that is not the path of the hero. You aspire to be more as all those meant for greatness should.

The public however, have not been kind to you despite all you have done for them. They have questioned you at every corner. Criticized all of your great work. But did you let the pressure break you? Did you relent? No you did not. You know better. You know that Kenyan citizens cannot be allowed to determine their own national values. Someone must tell them what they are. Someone wiser than they.

Their utter lack of wisdom has been shown in how some have said the horror and offensiveness we witnessed in that advertisement was just a kiss. What is harmful in a kiss on television, they have asked. The answer, dear readers, is everything. Everything about it is harmful. These things are all connected you see. A kiss on television can lead to hug in real life (yes, a hug! One with real contact between the unmarried sexes. Perish the thought). And a hug can lead to a real kiss and a real kiss can lead to things virtuous people do not speak of. If you do not believe me, look to our history, my dear Africans. Do you know how Shaka Zulu was born?

Wikipedia tells us that:

Shaka was conceived during an act of what began as ukuhlobonga, a form of sexual foreplay without penetration allowed to unmarried couples, also known as “the fun of the roads” (ama hlay endlela), during which the lovers were “carried away”

You see how so called “harmless” behaviour can escalate? And, worse, what did this Shaka do after being born? He went and fought the coming of Christianity. CHRISTIANITY! And so you see my fellow Kenyans how these TV kisses will lead to our young producing Shaka Zulus who will in turn erode our long held and cherished christian values. That is the danger, KFCB in their infinite wisdom, have seen and diligently strive to avoid.

But now that I have spoken of your good work KFCB, I need to make some suggestions. Do not take this the wrong way, I do not mean to criticize you brave souls, but there is still more to be done. There is still more evil lurking in our televisions waiting to pounce upon and corrupt our young.

Let me direct you to an advertisement that has evaded your sharp eyes (through no fault of your own I’m sure. The wicked are indeed cunning). It is the JTL Faiba ad. The one that contains this man.

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Look at him. A man strutting around in a dress and carrying a handbag. And it’s not just any dress, it is an indecent one. Baring the chest and leaving the thighs almost entirely exposed. In the Same Love video incident, you told us what we should think about the unspeakable breach of our values being carried out here. Yet, this animated miscreant has been allowed to run amok on our televisions (DURING THE PRECIOUS WATERSHED HOURS) with impunity. What is this fellow encouraging our youth to look for on this internet he is peddling? Just imagine it (but do not imagine too much lest you fall into temptation and require the services of KFCB to censor your thoughts).

The next figure is even more disturbing than the last. This man has been hosted on television several times even appearing on the news.

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I have asked about him and some people have made the truly shocking accusation that he is not only part of KFCB but is the CEO. I refused to believe these rumours. You would surely not fraternize with such a man as this. Surely not the great KFCB. Imagine my horror at finding out that this accusation was nothing but pure truth. I will not lie to you KFCB, it broke my heart. I felt betrayed. How could you?

Now, many of you may be too virtuous to know his crime, for this I commend you. But those of us with darker pasts know what this man is doing. How he must be taking advantage of the ignorance of the devout and moral people at KFCB. Direct your attention to this man’s face dear readers. Do you see it? Just above his his lips. You see it don’t you? That thing is something the seedier parts of world call, a 70s pornstache.

Yes, a pornstache. I know, it is shocking to speak of such things, but sometimes we need to learn of what the forces of evil are up to. That mustache this man sports was for a long time a loud and proud indicator for those men who took part in the pornographic industry. It could perhaps even be called, a badge of honour.

See google:
pornstache

Now we have spoken of how small things can lead up to Shaka Zulu fighting Christianity. Imagine oh dear readers, a thing as great as the leader of Kenya’s greatest heroes, the KFCB, flashing such a thing on our televisions on all hours of the day. Imagine it’s power. The message it sends. I fear the KFCB have been infiltrated and a subliminal message is being passed on to our youths. A message that may serve to undermine all the good work KFCB has strived for.

So, KFCB, I come before you with my humble appeal. If you care, if you stand for what you claim you do. Please, I beg you, get this man off of our televisions and, if possible, away from a place anyone can see or hear from him and thus be taken down the path of darkness. In the name of all that is holy, do not allow the fibres of this wicked man’s pornstache to corrupt and entangle the moral fibre of the Kenyan people. Do your duty KFCB. Let no one ever hear from this man ever again.