I Got The T-Shirt

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I’m sure you have, at some point, thought; I need to start writing again. You once took a stab at writing but then life sort of happened; you got a new career, made some decisions, your life took a different path and writing ended up on the back burner.

But that itch didn’t quite go away. It just lurked around in your subconscious and, often, it gets stimulated, stirred and the ache to write pulsates like a festering antiseptic wound.

You love words; you love when they spoon together. You love that low beautiful hum when they get into a rhythm and when they purposefully and singularly strive to build emotions.You keep beautiful sentences in your head, next to the dreams you are embarrassed to share with anyone. You are a closeted writer. And you need to come out.

One day you might do what everybody in your shoes eventually does; you might start a blog. You will write about “your life” or “your observations” of life because your observations are more astute, more revelatory, more third dimensional and people will sit up to read what happened to you in a matatu or at church. Or you might even write about your passions. If you look terrific you might write about your love for clothes using your long legs and curves to push readership. And eventually, you shall be known as a blogger, which is a word I have become increasingly cynical of because of its limiting connotation.

If you become a blogger you might get nominated by readers for the annual Blogger Association of Kenya -BAKE – Awards whereupon if you are lucky you will win, like I did this year – Best Creative Writing Award. Third time in a row. Happy days. Thank you, again.

You must be wondering, OK so what does the winner of the Creative Writer category take home? The short answer is cool things -at least that was the case in previous years. But who does short answers? So here is a long answer.

For my trouble this year I received a lovely plaque. Of a woman. A Maasai woman, to be precise. Last year I won two awards; Best Blog of the Year and Best Creative Writing Blog of the Year. I got two Maasais that year, both male. They have been sitting on my shelf at home for the past year, staring at each other, wondering who will blink first. So you can imagine how these two Maasais were thrilled when they saw me walk in with a female Maasai. Spears will be planted in earth. Maasai babies will be made. A nation shall rise.

This year I got an Infinix phone from Tecno Mobile. Don’t pretend you have heard of this phone. Wait, have you? I hadn’t. To be honest, for me it sounded like a pharmaceutical company that manufactures antibiotics. But it’s actually an android phone that feels plastic-y. Like if you left it in the sun for too long it will just harmlessly melt away.

I was happy to learn that it costs a little over 6,000 bob. I’m not sure if that is before or after VAT, but I can always confirm if you are in no hurry. On the box it promised me 500-mb of free data upon activation. 500mb. Free. Whoa! Goodbye wi-fi -for an hour. But wait, activation to what? What does one do to activate? No further instructions could be gleaned from the box, just the words 500mb free.

For purposes of context, I have a Samsung Note 4 currently, (excellent phone), before that I had the Samsung Note 3-neo (lousy phone) and before that I had the Samsung S5 (brilliant phone), so going by this trajectory you can imagine my glee when I was told I had won this antibiotic worth 6K! It placed me on crossroads; should I let go of my Note 4 and magnanimously embrace this gift? So I did what any noble man would have done – I handed it over to the house help. Only problem with this gesture is that the house help is Kisii, and sometimes she will play radio loudly from her phone while doing laundry – those dreadful Kisii songs where everybody sings in shrill, shrieky voices. I pray this Infinity phone, or whatever it’s called, doesn’t have a radio because I may have to one day leave her phone in the sun for long period of time.

The other goodie I received along with the phone was a Tecno power bank. Of course. Because who doesn’t need an extra power bank? Nowadays corporates are giving everybody power banks. Power banks are the new calendars. But mine was silver and came branded – bikozulu.co.ke- just in case I lose it and someone finds it and goes on my FB wall and says, “Hey Biko, I got your power bank, if you want to see it again alive you will have to bring me 20K, in unmarked bills. Carry the money in a brown envelope and meet me at the corner of Denis Pritt and Chaka Road at 4am tomorrow, come alone or you will never see your power bank again!”

The other goodies included stuff from the sponsors – Airtel. Well, when I heard they were the Gold sponsors of the awards, I thought, who knows these big boys will pull a rabbit from their hats. And they did pull something out of the hat, only it was a t-shirt. Hang on, don’t cheer just yet, it wasn’t just any t-shirt, it was a branded t-shirt. Red and white. 100% Cotton. Made in Kenya. And on the left side, around the breast area, is a red blotch with the words: Unlock your potential. For a moment I thought that perhaps I was required to attend an open-truck roadshow and dance to Fally Ipupa for hours on end. Or maybe it was to be used during an open-bus triumphant parade through the streets of Nairobi. No?

I don’t know about you but I have always wanted to own a branded shirt with inspirational words. You know, something I can wear to a bar. Or to a wedding. Or to a nyama plan. Anywhere where I will get complimented and have an inspiring conversation: “Hey nice tee Biko! Where did you get that from?” “Oh, This? I won it at the Bake Awards, courtesy of Airtel.” This is the kind of t-shirt that can die for the sins of all branded shirts.

But then I suspect that this gift of a t-shirt could be more than just a gift. That it’s a tool for irony that Airtel has employed, one which will be lost on shallow people like me. Could it be that they built the irony on the phrase , “been there got the t-shirt?” Is the joke on me, finally? Does Airtel actually have a sense of humour?

Here is the cherry on the pudding, the folks at Airtel, figured (on their own) that I’m a Medium size! I don’t know how they guessed my size right! I don’t know if my writing sounds like I’m medium size but they did. If anyone at Airtel is reading this, please tell me how you could get this t-shirt size right! I’m astounded by your astuteness. Can you guys also guess my shoe size, but only for shits and giggles?

Whatever it is, it is indeed a fine time to win a writing award.

The other goodie from Airtel was those nametag holders that you hang around your neck. I’ve never been employed long enough to wear these things, so some posh person told me they are called lanyards. I wondered why the good folk at Airtel could possible think that I, or any blogger for that matter, needed a branded lanyard! If I had a poodle, I’d tether him with that lanyard – if I was being cruel. But then later I thought of keeping it because one day if I ever need to commit suicide I think it will come in handy. I will be found dangling from the that thing with a note that says, “I’m sorry but I couldn’t unlock my potential. I just couldn’t!”

The last gift I received from Airtel was a notebook. Spiral. Branded. A notebook for the love of God! It’s not a notebook with inspirational quotes on it (not counting the “Unlock your potential” wise words on it), it doesn’t have drawings or fancy watermarks. It’s just a notebook.I figured the only reason they gave me that book was because it’s a magic notebook that will, I don’t know, unlock my potential just in case the t-shirt and the noose doesn’t quite get me there.

I’m not one to look at a gift horse in the mouth, but truly these gifts have thrown me into a spin, they have confused me. Dumbfounded is me. I wonder what their intentions were because it’s unlikely that I will turn the t-shirt into my Friday-best. I don’t see myself wearing it on a Saturday for a whisky plan. I don’t know what my neighbours will make of me when suddenly they see me ambling around the estate in a branded shirt. I’m not fashion forward, maybe branded t-shirts are in vogue. Are branded t-shirts in?

No matter, I doubt if I will use the notebook, maybe if it was a branded Moleskin I would. That might unlock my potential.

Writing isn’t easy as many writers like to pretend it is. It’s a labour of love. You don’t sit before a laptop and have words simply roll out; you egg them, you seduce them, you cajole them until they come out. And so, after you have toiled and battled through the demons of the pen for a whole year, to be commended with a 6K phone, a t-shirt, and a spiral notebook, you can’t help asking yourself; is this how much these guys think of my art? Is this the vibe I give? Do I come across like I would appreciate a lanyard? Why would anyone think I’m a medium size anyway? Does medium size insinuate that I’m starving? Struggling with my trade? At the very bottom of the professional food-chain?

To be honest when I went to pick my gifts from the BAKE offices (I wasn’t around for the ceremony) it felt like I was in high school and my team had won the national debating championship and we had been handed these gifts of t-shirts and notebooks. Were the loaves of bread and sodas handed out at the ceremony perhaps?

To the folks of Techno and Airtel, I don’t know what the rest of the categories won but I suppose since they are quiet they are happy with it and so this question is only on my behalf; why a t-shirt? why a notebook? and why a lanyard? Are these – in your books – the tools a creative writer can use to unlock his/her potential? How many chaps sat in this meeting that decided that the person who won this category deserves a lanyard?

Ps. Last quarter we organised a very successful Writing Masterclass. We had twenty people in a class at The Panafric, from various professions – PR, NGO, budding writers, corporate, lovers of the written word – and for two and a half days we shared ideas on how to write better.

Beginning of next month we will be holding the second writing Masterclass, and we have opened registration. Click here to register.

Hope to see you there. It’s good fun.

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157 Comments
  1. I like the way words dance around on a piece of paper, the way they kiss, cuddle and do the nasty with each other to create sentences that breathe life into characters. I would however hope that ones I earn my stripes the accolades that come fourth won’t be in the form of Techno phones and Airtel branded T-shirts. That is the same as undervaluing the craft. Call a spade a spade, sponsors need to pull up their socks and throw in goodies worth the art, and if not let them not attach their names against the art with colorful brouhaha for exposure, it’s downright disgusting.

  2. Hey Biko

    Always wondered what you guys get when you win these awards. Now I see that the debate or sports prizes I got in primary are even better; at least then you would use the notebook for class notes showing it off to the other students. I want to say sorry but only you would know what other benefits are there (or is that all? In this case I am really really sorry). But all in all sarcasm itakuua. 🙂 Nice piece as is always.

  3. You probably get this all the time but you are truly the best creative writer I have had the pleasure of reading (and I do read a lot). Your post was brilliant and literally had me in tears.
    I also think it’s important that you know that we (your ardent fans) appreciate your writing and the craft and if we could, we would give you a lot more than a t shirt, lanyard and notebook 🙂

      1. Magunga don’t you want to follow this closely for next year? Looks like bars are being set….and then raised 🙂

          1. Not high Magunga, even Bikozulu the great did not win first nomination but has gone ahead to win three years in a row…”this gang is LOYAL” 🙂

  4. Biko,I feel your sentiments. I hope the people that awarded you the tee will call you and ask to brand the T-shirt…to read,Baba Tamms. If they don’t,it’s a Kenyan thing to accept and move on.

  5. This part killed me “Hey Biko, I got your
    power bank, if you want to see it again alive
    you will have to bring me 20K, in unmarked
    bills. Carry the money in a brown envelope
    and meet me at the corner of Denis Pritt
    and Chaka Road at 4am tomorrow, come
    alone or you will never see your power bank
    again!”

  6. “Hey Biko, I got your power bank, if you want to see it again alive you will have to bring me 20K, in unmarked bills. Carry the money in a brown envelope and meet me at the corner of Denis Pritt and Chaka Road at 4am tomorrow, come alone or you will never see your power bank again!” made my day 🙂

  7. Biko, I have an infinity phone, o sorry, Infinix and I think its a pretty good phone, great value for my money. But somehow it manages to always fall from my hand or head, depending on where I put it. I previously owned a Samsung S4(dashed some cab man) and it never had any great crashes or falls. Is it possible that my subconscious secretly tells my brain “you do not have to hold the phone too tight its pretty cheap”, or “hey grab tighter don’t let the phone fall o”?

  8. There you go again Biko, humour and sarcasm all rolled in one piece not to mention that am the closeted writer who once had a thing for the pen before i got a sabbatical..but i think time is nigh that reclaim my former love.

  9. Have just stumbled on your blog. do not think even for one second that you are a superstar because our paths are yet to cross each other. Question how can I discover your website just now after winning an award, you are lucky I never entered the Kenyan blog contest. That You have won three years in a row defeats my raw imagination. dont we have have creative writers in a country of over 40 million. How can one soul be creative and more imaginative that the rest of the populace battling not imaginative poverty but real one day in day out. The poor souls had over 40 million stories to tell but you BIkozulu were more crafty in the trade and more imaginative with your two Maasai morans. You never slept, dipped your two feets and the third eye imagination of creativity in motion 24/7 to win the awrd of wrods. Its unfair because while you were turked in your leafy subarb other worthy crative writors were stuck in the floods of Elnino rains with their borrowed cars and caving walls. The most unlucky ones were swept alive. The loan is fully paid in rivers of tears. This time come next year I will wink fast to creatively and un-imagined imagination. I will imagine in 3 languages and be fluently creative in 7 languages. I will surely walk away with the award of the next winking Masai generational creative writer and will be happy reading your conceptualized remarks on my winning. All this time while I will be sipping my imported ‘Muratina beer’. Congratulations my Kenyan comrade.

    1. When you slowly and gently understand that that the word ‘feets’ doesn’t exist…. Then you’ll be a true contender.

    2. When you realize how “Have just stumbled on your blog…” is, then you can become a contender. In the meantime, have a seat, sip a drink and enjoy good writing from Biko… If possible kindly enroll in his Writing class..wouldn’t hurt..you know!

  10. congratulations for the gifts there are many of us down the aisle who could do with a t-shirt notebook and a lanyard? Pass the gin will you though not in the package

  11. I am with you on that one. These are big corporate sponsors, they could have done better. The award was an honour but the gifts were a joke!

  12. YoUr not a medium?\o/..you sound like a medium..like for real!!!.you talk of jogging from time to time.aren’t avid joggers medium?LOL

  13. on one hand you are given discovery sport!! which you don’t want to return then on the other hand an antibiotic, hehe pole sana but i hope you always “thanks”?

  14. Hey Biko. Is this meant to be a PR piece for those brands or you just got pissed off by their choice of awards? But really am with you there after how many years of BAKE existence and grown ups-professionals if you like sat and decided to gift with a lanyard and t-shirt- #StillSulking….

  15. But Biko, didn’t you also get 1 million worth of publicity from X-News?
    You also got the power bank? Hahahaha. Usijali..in some categories people were getting cash prizes. I think Buoart ponyokad with kitu Ksh. 30, 000. The truth is, in our category we did not have sponsors. So the most valuable thing you got was the bragging rights for the year.

  16. Dear Biko,

    I have read through your post, great writing as always. Airtel’s sponsorship to the awards was based on Power of potential. This is important to us as a brand, we believe in the potential of our customers, partners and employees. We believe in providing the right tools and forums for each one of us to succeed in achieving whatever is important for each individual including promoting and supporting internet local content. It was in this spirit that we were and still are delighted to be part of the Kenya Blog Awards. As a platform that seeks to recognize exciting new ideas and talent and as one that promotes solution based thinking and good storytelling. Something that is a definite fit with Airtel culture, and a direct mirror of our country’s exciting and innovative approach. In short, we are proud to be associated with such an exciting event and to interact with such stand up content creators.

    As Gold sponsors of the event, part of this entailed our receiving of two categories to award the winners on. These were the Best New Blog and Kenyan Blog of the Year Category. For these two categories we awarded the winners with phones, data and unlimiNET for several months for each winner. We also issued out the now famous lanyard, notebook, bag and t-shirt to all other categories as a way of recognizing them for their excellent work. As you have pointed out, there were also other sponsors who all received their own award categories-one of them being yours. Well we felt that it was important for us to remain professional and not seem to bully our way into other categories by outshining the sponsors. You know what they say about outshining the bride on her day?

    I would love to give you a t-shirt that is your size, and would be honored if you chose to have it as your Sunday or any day best. I can be reached on [email protected] and will then exchange my direct contact details with you.

    All the best, Muthoni Maingi.

    Manager, Brand Assets, Experiential and Digital.

      1. Give writers what they deserve!For a writer to sit behind a laptop wield words to dance around on a piece of paper,kiss each other, cuddle and do the nasty with each other and to create sentences that breathe life into characters is not worth a lanyar…(think about it.

    1. Well that’s unlimiNET internet for Biko’s mboch. If he can’t see the upside to that….too bad right? And there you go calling him fat….or thin who says the medium T didn’t fit?

    2. You totally missed the point, madam airtel representative.
      Biko doesn’t want your shirt. He, and we, want honorable and worthy remuneration for our work. Stop the jokes…if you want to gift the winners, gift them honorably…YHOW! COME ON NOW!!!!

    3. It’s great to see feedback from Airtel on this issue, however it was a wet blanket moment for most of the nominees to be honest. In some categories the sponsors were absent both in person and had zero visibility in the branding of the event, which either means they dropped out of as sponsors of their respective categories or something else other worldly occurred. Who knows. Airtel as the Gold Sponsor did well to sponsor the Awards, no doubt about it, but there are vast areas for improvement for the BAKE organizers as well as the sponsors who came out loudly to sponsor categories and then vanished mysteriously at the last minute.

    4. Congrats for the win Biko and yenyewe as a felow blogger i totally feel your frustration. You are right, writing is not easy; many are the times that we just stare at blank word documents after ideas vanish in thin air. It’s never easy. We all expect better results from the efforts we put into our writings but kusema kweli Biko no amount of money or gifts can fully compensate the efforts of a writer.

      I guess the compensation comes from the lives you touch as a writer. For instance the case of Joe Black, see how he got help after you show cased his talent here. Imagine the many people you will change through the writing masterclass.

      Muthoni has a point though, and the fact that she was honest and courageous enough to post her comment amidst others from your most loyal fans is commendable. I imagine her posting the comment and sitting back, biting her nails, heart beating, not knowing how the gang will react. Biko, this is one courageous woman, kubali tu akutaftie Tshirt ingine siza yako na hio risto ife namna that.

      Am waiting to see what Tecno has to say about this!

      But am really proud of you bro, must feel nice knowing you can say something (with the gang behind you) and get big corporates all around you sending tailors so they can get the right size for the tshirt!!

      1. enyewe Kudos to Muthoni for taking up the mantle. Biko ask Ms. Domestic Manager her size and quickly get the Tshirt right. Give the kijana the note book he needs to start practicing his writing from an early age. Line yards are good for hanging ID cards when you visit places and you do not want to toboa your shirt with Pins (I hate those badges in govt offices btw!)

    5. Unliminet? with a connection so poor and painfully slow u call that a gift? c’one Airtel!!!! u guys have a great bundle but very poor quality!!!!
      STYLE UP!

      1. Hey Lucy, I hear you and I sincerely apologize for any speed issues that you may be experiencing. During the month of May we (Airtel Kenya) are upgrading our network to offer increased 3G coverage nationwide and in readiness for 4G. This may cause some service interruptions but I guarantee you that we are 100% committed to improving your internet experience ASAP. Again sincere apologies.

    6. Hey, a dinner for two at a 5 star hotel where you guys provide WIFI would have been a better idea, an ipad maybe with its cover bearing https://www.bikozulu.co.ke? a better phone maybe? S6 edge? What I am are saying, is that you guys need to be more creative. Are you recruiting for that department? Contact me. Branded t shirts are given on the streets during brand activation campaigns to guys who dance and sweat their hearts out, surely giving the same to a writer whose works have grown him a gang of followers is a joke. I think Biko draws more satisfaction just seeing the comments here than he did with those gifts.

  17. Have just stumbled on your blog. do not think even for one second that you are a superstar because our paths are yet to cross each other. Question how can I discover your website just now after winning an award? you are lucky I never entered the Kenyan blog contest. That You have won three years in a row defeats my raw imagination. Dont we have have creative writers in a country of over 40 million. How can one soul be over-creative and more imaginative that the rest of the populace battling not imaginative poverty but real one, day in day out. The poor souls had over 40 million stories to tell but you BIkozulu were more crafty in the trade and more imaginative with your two Maasai morans. You never slept, dipped your two feets and the third eye imagination of creativity in motion 24/7 to win the award of imagined fictional words. Its unfair because while you were turked in your leafy subarb other worthy creative writers were stuck in the floods thanks to Elnino rains with their borrowed cars and caving walls. The most unlucky ones were swept alive. The loan is fully paid in rivers of tears. This time come next year I will wink fast to creatively and un-imagined imagination. I will imagine in 3 languages and be fluently creative in 7 languages. I will surely walk away with the award of the next winking Masai generational creative writer and will be happy reading your conceptualized remarks on my winning. All this time while I will be sipping my imported ‘Muratina beer’. Congratulations my Kenyan comrade.

  18. Maybe Airtel comes out of this looking bad (a Corporation); but the recognition and commendation of the award has to mean something.

  19. It would have been better to try with unliminet bundle for 3 or 6 months. Keep the lanyard Tamms will put her desk keys if they still have those lockers in school. Congrats on the award

    1. Lol Mike….think about it. What would you, if you were Biko, a free lance writer, who doesn’t work for airtel do with a lanyard? Lets see….Put your photo ID in it and wear it inside your (branded medium sized) shirt in case you go senile or get burnt beyond recognition and have to be identified urgently by the airtel lanyard you religiously wear around your neck (which magically wasn’t affected by the fire) All the man wants to know is WHY. As would anyone of any thoughtless irrelevant gift. Maybe theres a hidden meaning.

  20. Imagine Tams or Kimani responding to your Christmas gift in the same way you have here. No one owes you anything

  21. “To be honest when I went to pick my gifts from the BAKE offices (I wasn’t around for the ceremony) it felt like I was in high school and my team had won the national debating championship and we had been handed these gifts of t-shirts and notebooks. Were the loaves of bread and sodas handed out at the ceremony perhaps?” This killed me!! hahahahahaha
    Congratulations Biko all the same.

  22. I handed it over to the house help. Only problem with this gesture is that the house help is Kisii, and sometimes she will play radio loudly from her phone while doing laundry – those dreadful Kisii songs where everybody sings in shrill, shrieky voices. I pray this Infinity phone, or whatever it’s called, doesn’t have a radio because I may have to one day leave her phone in the sun for long period of time….haha

  23. Hahahaha… I think I need that noose more than you do Biko. I too failed to unlock my potential. I just couldn’t do it!!!! Hahaha. Nice piece as always

  24. Hey Biko!
    I love how you play around with words. That’s your gift. Keep on churning your articles. But pray I ask? Do you write for the love of it or for the gifts?

  25. Yap, am one of those who have really taken a back seat at writing. I last updated my blog in 2013 but am inspired to continue.thanks Biko:-)

  26. A pleasure as usual Biko.
    May all young and upcoming writers grow up to wine the BAKE awards some day…. T shirt, phone and all included!!!! 🙂

  27. To be honest when I went to pick my gifts from the BAKE offices (I wasn’t around for the ceremony) it felt like I was in high school and my team had won the national debating championship and we had been handed these gifts of t-shirts and notebooks. Were the loaves of bread and sodas handed out at the ceremony perhaps? congrats Biko

  28. Keep writing, your words will outlive you, like Shakespeare, or Thoreau. And people, 300 years from today will say, wow, there was one Biko, who wrote and won for himself a T-shirt

  29. But Biko, I suspect the tee unlocked some potential. This here, is art my friend. Tied up in a bow of pretty words, incredible humour and unmatched sarcasm. See….unlocking potential.

    1
  30. think about it, the best gift you ever had are these ardent readers; the gang! no other blogger will ever take your gang away from you.

  31. Biko, I enjoy your writing. This rant however….. I do not. Ungrateful much? How about a big thank you to all the people who bothered to log in & vote for you. I feel that this is an unconscious slap in their faces.
    You want proper appreciation for your work? That’s not BAKE’s or their sponsors responsibility. That you get from all your paid writing gigs. This award, gives you invaluable exposure which opens doors to even more paid writing gigs. How about talking about that?
    But thanks for the extra airtime you have given Airtel & Techno with this post. The irony!

    1. Biko and the other bloggers who won the BAKE awards deserved better awards. Period. Niko is not disrespecting the sponsors by questioning the value and relevance of the awards but rather putting the sponsors at task. I am sure if we, as the gang, were to award Biko for his invaluable writing, we would have done better. Much better. Biko we value your work and on that note I propose that we, as readers of Biko’s blog, reward him for the laughter and ‘feel good factor’ that his writings have given us for so long. Let us buy a gift that he deserves and will value.

    2. Don’t be too quick to judge! He did thank the fans who voted for him…. “If you become a blogger you might get nominated by readers for the annual Blogger Association of Kenya -BAKE – Awards whereupon if you are lucky you will win, like I did this year – Best Creative Writing Award. Third time in a row. Happy days. Thank you, again.”

  32. Am a closet writer and I have lots of small, medium, large and extra large t-shirts with me in the closet.( just in case I need one in my next life ) Though we live in the same closet we don’t talk. We just stare at each other like your three masais( waiting to reproduce ) .. We look at each other waiting for a sign (the second coming of the Messiah, maybe just maybe ) and have the courage to write a book, Sorry The People of Earth, Am Alien. Until then dear Biko, I have achieved more, compared to my tweet_twerking generation. The only thing I haven’t owned yet, is that name tag my village hangs on a fat bull when they are taking him to the slaughter house, ati its name again?

  33. I love your posts biko. You truly deserve those 3 awards which, as you were quick to point out, were won back to back to back. With that said, I have to say that i would give an arm and a leg to get that medium sized tee and that lay…. (whatever you called it) if only to be reassured that I’m the best creative writing blogger back to back to back. I mean, if need be I would even tell them to keep the maasai woman. Shit, I can buy that anywhere. Just winning is quite enough thank you.

  34. Awaiting the maasai statues to blink, fight for the sole female and produce us some statuelets. Congrats, dont whine at least you got a tee shirt.
    just wondering tho’ we still got phones that go for 6k?

  35. So you can imagine how these two Maasais were thrilled when they saw me walk in with a female Maasai. Too funny 😀
    Maybe the lanyard and notebook were to be used during the event? Which would mean a pen was missing! 😀 just thinking!

  36. If the ‘Gold Sponsor’ was dishing out 6k phones and t-shirts to the winners, I shudder at the thought of what runners up got………Airtel sim cards perhaps?

    1. They got power banks from Techno. Some sponsors were good enough to reward nominees in the categories they sponsored… other sponsors just like in Biko’s case were absent at the podium.

  37. How many chaps sat in this meeting that decided that the person who won this category deserves a lanyard? 🙂 🙂

      1. Eff me sideways!!!! Here I was thinking he’d made an error like most people thinking Chaka goes all the way to Denis Pritt. Most folks overlook Nyangumi road which joins the two. I stand corrected. Awesome creativity that was.

  38. just love the way everyone is throwing around the word lanyard…

    Next time you get nominated just write a blog about the kind of gifts you expect to get,just in case you get a baby maasai,a branded cap( adjusted to accommodate the forehead) and another antibiotic….As for the lanyard,I am not sure what can be used as an alternative. An actual noose perhaps?Branded

    The upside, seems you got a 20k worth power bank…that should be able to unlock some potential,no? ata kama ni kidogo

  39. The sarcasm in the piece is spot on. Writers deserve better, you did too… Society ha always celebrated the result and not the process. But you said it – writing remains a labor of love. So we soldier on…

  40. I am not pleased. Is it just me ama you are waay to bitter lately. Your last three posts have awakened an emotional turmoil.. of sad sad feelings. ‘Your mother will break your heart’ I identify. Your rant about our MU’s(Mother’s Union) harsh but I do not identify hehehe. I have cute ones, they are still MU’s though. While we are on the topic my colleague and I were bitching about your article after I sent them this really funny pics of animal-print plus shocked yellow emoji with huge forehead, and I learnt there was a term you needed to learn in regards to Mu’s. VPL -Means Visible Panty Lines. I do not know how that could be relevant to you, but I said it! Then now you are at it again… they could have done so much better yes, but going on and on about it. You sound a little moppy, No? Midlife crisis maybe? Have you written anything positive on other platforms maybe? If yes send me a link I miss your cheery stories.

    1. Agreed. Biko, you know you are appreciated by your legion of fans. If that has not yet translated to lovely gift packs yet, don’t fret.

  41. At first I though, wonderful, a post about writing. And then I got to the end and realised it was actually a very well articulated middle finger. My condolences and great writing as always!

  42. when whispers died I thought we would never see such literary genius ever again. I was broken till you came along. I am a big fan! Keep writing and God bless

  43. Ladies and gents, this is how you throw shade….and no!!!!!branded t-shirts are not in hunnay!!! they never have.

    1
  44. I applaud your work. Its an obvious oversight on someones end. They were probably written an email being reminded that they are sponsors. So in a huff sent someone i’m assuming downstairs to find out what merchandise they had. Sadly only Lanyards and tee’s were available. I bet you if they are sponsors the next time, they will up their game.

    1. Mukami? Shoot! Could this be the Mukami from Biko’s post “Busia?” Biko, what happened to that guy really? Is he still stuck in Busia reading wise swahili words from Kangas?? Ama he quit and ran back to Nairobi to fight the boss for Mukami’s love? ? At the end of that post you asked, ”Gang, is this guy’s goose cooked?” You must have an answer to that now, just wonder what happened. And also, my favorite Guest writer you hosted here (Muganda) promised a second post explaining what happened between him and the girlfriend he had in India. Every time i get an email of a new post from Bikozulu i bite my finger and pray it is that part two… I hope Clay Muganda will indeed return with that story…

  45. What was her name again Anatyla Anatalya??? That curvaceous beast of a car. The one that’s suffocated by the Nairobi breed that only let it out to do grocery shopping at Nakumatt and perhaps rev past a tired matatu teasing the heart of the beast that lies within? Anyway, imagine whats-her-name plastered with windscreen decals saying “Mungu ni bwana” and blasting those god-awful vernacular radio stations what a disgrace. That’s exactly how sponsors/corporates are treating writing as an art. They milked their money’s worth in publicity and then left much like you would do after getting your money’s worth down at sabina ironically with a hooker named Joy. My point though writing is an art that should, no, must be appreciated. On the bright side give the kisii mboch the lanyard and tell her she got promoted, send her links to her infinix and she can now not only contribute to housekeeping but to increase your readership.

  46. Bit bitchy. Kinda telling that you actually picked them up? You and your ego should have left them at the BAKE offices no?

  47. “If you look terrific you might write about your love for clothes using your long legs and curves to push readership…” Lol! Am I reading too much into this. Does not seem innocuous from where I am seated. The sarcasm is dhick! vey dhick!

  48. I surely can never get enough of u Bikozulu! I soooo much love your Pieces.. I call them so because they are a treasure and should be treated like the souvenir pieces the treasured kind we keep in our homes… So as much as we wld love to say that its the thought that count?? Really I beg to state that they should appreciat the work of the writers alittle more and honestly award more!!
    Once again Biko Great work!!

  49. In the words of the German filmmaker Werner Herzog (to Elizabeth Gilbert’s friend who was complaining about his unsuccessful career as an artist): “Quit your complaining. It’s not the world’s fault that you wanted to be an artist. It’s not the world’s job to enjoy the films you make, and it’s certainly not the world’s obligation to pay for your dreams. Nobody wants to hear it. Steal a camera if you have to, but stop whining and get back to work.” Repeat those words back to yourself whenever you start feeling entitled with regard to your writing.

  50. Biko, please realize your potential,don’t commit suicide. Corporates ougth to show some respect for writers, the same kind of respect they accord singers or else they should not even sponsor the event. The gifts are so high school, surely!!

  51. Biko,keep doing what you do best…..writing! Do not despair with the weird and the less creative stuff that one gets as a reward.It is the feedback that you get when we read your pieces that leave us in stitches that we go back again and re-read them! I think the lanyard was really pushing it!

  52. It’s just a notebook.I figured the only reason they gave me that book was because it’s a magic notebook that will, I don’t know, unlock my potential just in case the t-shirt and the noose doesn’t quite get me there…..That had me loling soo loudly. Hilarious piece and a work of genius. The sarcasm is un-rivalled. Keep it up. The sponsors need to style-up. Airtel how about advertising on Biko’s blog for example??

  53. Well Biko, you’ve sure opened a big 1.2 kgs of worms with this one! I applaud the courage that the airtel lady has though…considering the gang that is. As for the gifts, my guess is most of us dnt know where the writing shoe pinches so being one of the unlucky few i shall not judge your frustration. All-in-all however, i loved the piece! Hilarious as always. Keep it up!!

  54. cheers bro, Biko, for the win at BAKE awards. However i would agree with you on the gifts issue, surely as they look(the gifts that is) they cannot measure up to your un-ending effort to pen and type what we read through at your blog. But good thing u thought of being appreaciative before criticising be sure in the next event, they will up game.

  55. Now that you bring it up, I have always wondered how you look like. There is google, I know, but I am afraid that when I finally get to see you either on google images, the newspaper or by having someone point you out to me in a crowded street, that I may be disappointed and go like, ‘you mean?!’

    Unlike the Airtel guys I imagine that you are a bit on the plus size side. Not fat just slighly hefty. You are light skinned-ish and rock the ‘ I am a responsible guy’ look. You don’t wear glasses and prefer slacks to jeans, shirts to t-shirts (that instagram post about Charles Njonjo has burst that bubble ). You wear your hair not to short and maybe or maybe not wewe ni wale wanao’karanga’ nywele.

    Amiright?

  56. Woiyie sorry Biko I feel you……that’s our country,we never appreciate our own.Smile now…..you got the gang

  57. Biko thanks for putting this in writing. It was about time someone did and who could have done that better than you? But aren’t we responsible of this to a great extent? We know how badly editors need great writers, but how many of the later demand to be paid the value of their craft? I’ve come across so many who just say “Oh, we do this out of passion!” as if passion is not supposed to be rewarded.
    Congratulations for putting this across. Maybe corporates will think twice before deciding on the prizes that writers deserve in the future.

  58. i feel for you being put in the same category of bloggers with those idiots who write gutter e.g on Facebook. They should have their own name …..kudos again… air-tel should have bought you new trainers or a new mac….

  59. excellent work as usual, Biko…. though i could not help thinking that you were laughing at the likes of myself in that first part of your post. my blog baby is just a week old and i hope to soar to your heights somehow:-)

  60. I think that the Airtel notebook is a magic notebook. It will unlock your potential when you write in it using an Airtel pen. Too bad they didn’t give you one. Perhaps it will come next year.

    PS: Branded T shirts are in. Seng’enge ni ng’ombe.

  61. Reads like self entitlement… a well articulated middle finger (quoting above)… to your readers! The Gang voted for you to show appreciation for your art (despite you putting your nose up & trying to get us to vote for Magunga (no offense intended)). An affirmation that we think that your writing is still superior.

    Yes, we are enthralled by your tales and picture ourselves driving out on an open road in a high end SUV christined (not named) Antalya as our souls sigh at the thought of eating bacon while sitting butt-naked watching hippos in luxury camps at the Tsavo (that is what good writing does); Yet Sanjiv (honcho RMA Group) would probably collapse with a heart attack (if not laughing fit) if I asked for the Discovery Sport for just half a day. A good percentage of us would probably not be let in past the reception of the luxury camp. How about some sensitivity to your readers? There is a gang member reading your work on a solar powered KA-DU-DA (that’s KAmera DUal sim DAta enabled basic phone, put your nose back down) – owning an Infinix could start them on their conceited journey of ‘I own a note 4 and formerly note 3’. Another gang member could be longing for a medium sized branded t-shirt from Biko. What if you came back to the gang and said ‘Thanks for your votes, I would like to give back to my audience’; Heck even the lanyard of the CEOs do break (no respecter of persons lanyards!).

    Short of the long, we voted for you not the sponsors/organizers. Your middle finger needs a buddy finger to correct the sign. Peace.

  62. Biko you aren’t a good man. I have laughed so much the people in the office think I am certified insane! I salute the lady from Airtel for her guts to reply in this forum…however these are my thoughts. Nowadays many brands want to ride on the equity of being associated with such prestigious events and they don’t want to pony up to the people who make this event to be what it is. Many times they are counting on no one saying exactly what the prizes were. In other cases after the event is over the winners struggle to get what was promised to them. Anyways I got a great laugh and I absolutely would vote for you again!

  63. Hahaha, I haven’t laughed so hard in a long while. So Biko who did you give the Airtel tee and notebook to? You probably don’t have a potential to unlock, someone else might just finally find the key to their potential.

    Shame i missed the registration again! I always seem to arrive last. Isorait, i will try again.

  64. I pray this Infinity phone, or whatever it’s called, doesn’t have a radio because I may have to one day leave her phone in the sun for long period of time. love this piece.
    between i’m more than willing to meet you and i believe the story of my life is a movie that will sell if you won’t mind

  65. I have a dream that one day, I will win a T-Shirt. Some of us blog for so many years and hope to one day win something. And here you are making fun of red t-shirts with an emblem.

  66. Hi Biko,
    Great piece as always. Great work deserves great rewards. Even if they won’t honor you now, keep at it. It will surely come.

  67. Hi Biko,
    I feel your frustration, I don’t know why all corporates just give giveaways for the sake of doing so. A liitle creativity is harmless but goes a long way. I hope they hear you and next time you will be smilling on your way home. I’d also be more than honoured to share my ideas at no cost for the next awards if need be 🙂