Visa Denied

I have always wanted to see the River Thames. It’s the only thing I have ever really wanted to see in England.Louis Vuitton I am not interested in seeing the Old Trafford. Or Soho. Or China Town (what with the thousands of Chinese coming to build our railways, we will anyways soon be sending SMSs in Mandarin). Or the London Eye. I don’t even want to see the Tower of London, which just looks anaemic. Or Posh Spice (who also just looks anaemic, besides America took her away). I would however like to meet AA Gill.

All I wanted to see was the Thames.

Last week I spent four hours applying for a visa to travel to the UK.  Yesterday when I picked up my passport,Louis Vuitton outlet with it was a letter from the Home Office denying me a visa. The letter reeked of British snobbery, delivering underhanded “insults” with words like “onus”. The letter made me feel like a criminal, like I unknowingly belonged to some underground movement which despises anything British.

“You have not provided any evidence to demonstrate your financial circumstances in Kenya. I am not satisfied that your financial circumstances are as claimed,” suggesting that a.) I’m a liar and/or b.) I’m living off hand-outs. Before I could fully process this affront, the letter continued, “There is no evidence that you are supported on a daily basis/you have not provided enough evidence for your personal and economic circumstances.”Louis Vuitton bags Basically implying I’m one of those chaps who NGOs claim live under a dollar a day. Please. My car ignites with 56bob.

The Home Office wasn’t done with me yet. “You have also not provided evidence of any strong family and social ties to Kenya.” It proceeded breathlessly, “I am therefore not satisfied that you are a genuine business visitor or that you intended to leave the United Kingdom at the end of your proposed visit.” I’m reading all this in my car, parked at the parking of 9-West building. And I’m trying not to get irked, because then they will have won. And they can’t win. The Mau Mau said they couldn’t win.

“In light of all of the above, I am not satisfied as to your intentions in wishing to travel to the UK now,” the missive went on, rubbing insult to my now festering wound. “I have therefore refused your application because I am not satisfied on the balance of probabilities that you meet all the requ…” I had had enough. There was no signature at the end of the letter. Like those cowardly guys who use anonymous twitter handles to pick fights online.

I had submitted a letter of invitation from my host (a respected British company), confirmed flight details, hotel bookingscheap louis vuitton at the Grosvenor House Park Lane (I hear it’s swanky as hell), an itinerary, and even a letter from my employer. But it seems it is easier for a camel to go through a needle, than for a young luo man to access London.

You know, maybe the chap from the Home Office was right. That homeboy saw through me after all. He saw that all I ever wanted was to leave the comfort of Kenya, disappear in the UK, and never return to my homeland. I love the way the letter occasionally refers to it as the United Kingdom and not just the UK. So imposing. The Kingdom! It sounds biblical: Let thy Kingdom come. A place where milk flows from the taps, and people chill with deer in green meadows. A place where you are healed of all sickness. A place of white waterfalls and butterflies. A place where nobody sits in jams and the harp plays continuously in the streets. The United Kingdom!

I’m not worthy of the United Kingdom because of the risk I may refuse to come back home. Because I may cling onto the next white man’s leg, as immigration drags away me to Heathrow, to toss me back to http://www.fosig.co.uk/ Africa on the next flight out. The lure of the United Kingdom is so overpowering that once I step on that hallowed soil, I will instantly forget my wife and two kids and all my friends. The homeboy at the Home Office isn’t convinced that I’m content with what I have at home. He thinks I would just about give up my kidney to snare a pale, grim-faced bloated minger from Sherbourne, and sire her with her a litre of Rooney-worshipping pointie Zulus. My social ties didn’t impress the boys and girls from the Home Office. My social ties are weak. I don’t have friends back home. I sit in bars alone, staring at my empty glass of whisky (remember my financial position is dire) wondering when the United Kingdom will save me from such a desolate existence. The Kingdom in its unfailing wisdom assumes that if you are an orphan, you must be desperate to leave, because nothing could possibly keep you here. The same goes for the unmarried. Or those in-between jobs. Or if you are mad about Manchester United.

It pontificates that I’m desperately unhappy with this glorious weather of ours. That I wake up in the morning, stare at the rising sun in the east and grimace in sheer annoyance, because what I want, what I really really want is to be in the United Kingdom with its dreary, gloomy, wet weather. That I want nothing more than to be stuck in my house, unable to leave because the snow is piled up to my window. That I hate elephants and the Mara. That the Lion King is a stupid cartoon for pubescents battling acne. Mufasa my ass. That I will never start living until I set foot in the Kingdom. The United Kingdom is my saviour. It’s in the Kingdom that we shall all seek redemption. I’m ready, ye great United Kingdom, please swing open your pearly gates and honour me with an entrance so that I can thrive with your friggin’ pigeons that waddle everywhere.

I wonder what they meant about my “personal and economic circumstances” being unimpressive. I wonder how poor I must look. How desperate my financial situation must appear to them. They probably don’t need any more beggars on the streets of UK. The lads from the Home Office probably don’t know or care that I’m from Kendu Bay, and that down, although we are poor, we don’t know how to beg. We sleep hungry until one of two things happen; it rains, or the wind blows the hyacinth towards Siaya.

But those words, “balance of probabilities” stayed with me. They will haunt me for a while. The Home Office meant that the probability of me hiding in the United Kingdom was too much for their great kingdom to fathom. That I would leave my flourishing career, my family and my friends, our sandy beaches to disappear among the unappealing misty rain soaked hills of England. That Kenya is too dangerous, too poor, too lacklustre, too stifling, too unimpressive, too uninspiring for me to possibly thrive.

I was a tad peeved to be honest. I don’t mind being denied a visa, but their reasons really got my goat. They almost made me feel desperate and poor and unworthy. They made me feel like a “chav”- to use their slang. They made me feel like I was in a sinking boat and I stuck my hand out for help, and they put a croissant in it instead.  Like they think so little of my country or what I think of it, that they imagine I would walk away from everything I have worked for, everything I own, every relationship I have built, to start out at the very bottom of the barrel in the United freaking Kingdom. It’s utter poppycock.

I read that email again at night, but this time I read it aloud with a cockney accent. I stopped in the middle, made a pot of tea and then read it some more, slapping my thigh as I went along. All that was missing in the ensemble was a pipe. Then at the end, I noticed again that it wasn’t signed. That’s like knocking on your neighbour’s door to borrow their pliers and them slipping a note under the door written, “We don’t have.” So cold. So Bri’ish.

It’s at times like these, you want Dedan Kimathi to buy you a drink and tell you not to worry. I wonder what Dedan would drink anyway, apart from Murats of course. I know he would want to meet at Njuguna’s because Dedan is the kind of guy who would know which part of nyake to cut. I need Dedan to tell me the Thames isn’t all that anyway. And to tell me that my “financial and economic circumstances” aren’t that grave and that with all the “balance of probabilities” I’m still a child of God, and I won’t need to spend four hours on some questionnaire to access a kingdom on earth because there is only one Kingdom. Can I have a hallelujah?

And to the lad from the Home Office, I want to tell you something, and be sure that unlike you I will sign it off, because where we come from, we don’t hide behind pretentious words like “onus”. We sign our shit because we stand by our words no matter how uninformed they may be.

You aren’t sure about my social ties? Here are my social ties. I come from Kendu Bay, Kanyasoro, from a long line of gentlemen who stand for something. My great grandfather fought in World War II, your war, not ours. My grandfather was a doctor. He was simply called H.J. You know a man is great when he is referred to by his initials. How about that Smith? My father, Ougo, is a scholar, a lover of history and English, your language.  And I’m Bikozulu, the bearer of the long spear. My son is called Kimani; the son of a monkey is a monkey, which means he is Kanyasoro at heart. Those are my social ties, rooted firmly in Nyanza. We may not have blueblood, but we are who we are and I would never walk away from that for all the chips and gravy in London.

Now, it is your prerogative (turns out I can also write in English) to deny me entry into your Kingdom, but I’m also putting you on notice. You can go to Kisumu. You can go to Siaya. You can even go to Migori (if they don’t throw shoes at you). But as for Kendu Bay, it will be a different kettle of fish. In fact, when you get to Sondu, you will find a desk with papers, where I will require you to fill in a questionnaire longer than the Thames. You will prove that you are worthy of setting foot in my humble village. That you are worthy of touching our children. Let’s see how you like that. Smith.

Maybe I will never set foot in the Kingdom of Great Britain. Maybe it will be my eternal loss.  Maybe in my final moments on earth, my failed dreams to see the Thames will wash up before my eyes, filling me with horror, as I’m sent off to my maker clutching desperate on this English mirage. Maybe the Thames would have finally healed my British itch. But all that isn’t nearly enough for you to use the word “onus” on me because it’s too close to the word “anus.”

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549 Comments
    1. Well My friend u hv my sympathy as a Welsh man from the UK and hving worked with the SAMBURU for 12yrs, and taken 47 Moran and children to Wales on a cultural visit in 2003 And 2004 paid for by us, had a bit of trouble but got over it with some hard work, and now that am married to a Kenyan { Massai } tryed for a visa for my wife and step daughter to come on a visit, we were refused 3 times on little details that didnt make sense at all, even letters from my MP here in the UK telling them in visa office Nairobi, about the work That had been done by me here in Wales, They must hv had all the paperwork stored in the visa department out there, but they still refused the visas. THE SAMBURU PEOPLE THAT CAME OVER ALL WENT BACK and the British visa department have this there in their office. The Samburu that came here were warmly welcomed by the WELSH people in the streets and schools and the towns, on tv and the news papers. But because they were my kenyan family they were refused, Boniface I think that I hv spoken to you before about what I hv done for the Samburu people, with medical aid, Ambulance, 200 wheel chairs , 6 baby incubators, ultra sound machine, Tractor plus implements, and two nissan pickups working in the bush saving peoples lives. I KNOW THE FRUSTRATION THAT YOU HAVE GONE THROUGH. Yet they let some people in who have no right to come just they paid some corrupt people working in that department money. There was two people convicted if I remember right about Jan time when I was out there in kenya with my family. Some people working there play with words to confuse people like us. YOU HAVE MY SYMPATHY MY FRIEND. Ask STACKWELL FROM S,HORR HE WILL TELL YOU ABOUT ME.

      THANKS JOHN

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  1. I have not laughed this hard in ages..startled my poor baby.
    You are not a tad peeved. You are breathing fire my friend.whoooooosah!!!

    3
    1. I am reading this master piece for the umpteenth time and just can’t stop laughing.My Kamba accent to the bins, I have now mastered a ‘Cockney’ accent. Let me make a pot of tea and read it some more…

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    1. “t’s at times like these, you want Dedan Kimathi to buy you a drink and tell you not to worry.” The Home Office don pissed off the wrong guy. The balance of probabilities of him getting a VISA after this tirade just shot up….

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  2. Hell hath no furry as a man denied a U.K. Visa and the word ‘Onus’ used in the deny letter. This is just awesome and am so keeping this for use in future if Uganda ever denys me a visa.

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  3. Right on point. They are so full of themselves. One of them at work was complaining about everything here and I just told him to go back home. You should have seen the shock on his face, please!!

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    1. That was a good answer! They think they are saviours of this world. And their fake smiles when they see you in the streets. Cant stand them sometimes.

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    2. The Chinese put it rightly that theirs is no longer a Kingdom but a museum to visit for history! Wait till Scotland votes to separate!

    3. Those are the most tiresome. They’ll complain about the country while frantically scrambling to renew their contracts and pulling all sorts of strings so they can stay and not go home. And those of us who’ve been privileged enough to be allowed a brief visit to ‘the Kingdom’ know they don’t live in anything approaching the comfort they enjoy here.

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    1. Michelle. I have the heaviest of them all Bri’ish accent but still couldnt secure one. My grandfather had Bri’ish roots but they called me a street urchin.

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  4. Sorry about that. You provided as much info as was necessary for a conference invite. A #KOT intervention may change this ..happened last year to a famous group

    1. I agree with Bankelele. A #KOT intervention is needed! Same thing happened to me as I was planning to attend an ICT conference in Spain – provided all the necessary requirements but was still denied. I lodged a complaint and sent it to everyone I knew including the ICT PS at the time, Bitange Ndemo. Nothing much happened but I felt better about myself…at least I didn’t take it lying down.

      In consolation Biko, for the UK visas, I don’t think they were really talking about you…my brother also got a UK visa denied and what you have related sounds EXACTLY like the letter he got…two years back!! It’s a template!!

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  5. I am from Kendu Bay and we are a very proud people in fact we can trace our lineage longer than the queen, yet we did not have books.
    What Africa needs to appreciate is that we have the resources hence we should not allow our peoples to be bullied.
    What would be the repercussions if all African states were to nationalise all their extractive industries?
    If we encouraged intra Africa trade the only thing we would need from the west would be weaves; oh wait those are from India

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    1. I totally agree with you Odada. if only we could promote intra-africa trade…have better plans with our natural resources…the possibilities are endless. Ghadhaffi had this dream…a unified Africa. too bad he was eliminated before it even grew legs. I seriously wonder what they talk about in those AU meeting apart from wars….
      Pole Biko. they can shove up their visa up their olundi!!!

  6. Yenyewe ‘onus’ sounds like a close cousin of ‘anus’…not cool. that Dedan kimathi part is awesome, especially coz he knows what part of nyakee to cut at Njugunas!!

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  7. air hostess ako wapi leo? nataka jua kama ameona hii mto thames.
    Biko labda waliona utaenda ka fishing huko? ama utabeba ka hyacinth?

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    1. Bikozulu permission to laugh inspite of…Ati utaenda ka fishing river Thames…you leave all our rivers to go ka-fishing kwa her Majesty

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    2. 😀 La, Dan..sijaona mto Thames bado, lakini for Biko’s sake i may visit there since I can travel without a visa. But i happen to have visited all the places Biko isnt excited about..e.g London Eye et.al

  8. I am English and have several good Kenyan friends (which is how I came upon your website). On behalf of this crappy island on which I live, I apologise. England is still run by out of touch posh boys who are so far removed from the world in which we live they make ridiculous decisions, poor policies and unfair laws.
    I am lucky enough to have looked upon the colour and vibrancy of Kenyan vistas and have met many proud, interesting and welcoming Kenyan people. I am sorry the UK has treated you and many other Kenyans so poorly over so many years and continue to do so today.

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    1. harriet add me please,take me to the UK with you..i want to live there,am not married yet,get me your contacts now i like & love you now..get back to me on 254720705354 or email me (baia0960@yahoo.com)danke!!

  9. Of Onus and Anus…and the fury of a man denied access to “The Great Kingdom”! Hell is at peace Mr. Smith. Jatelo here has something to tell ya in Bri’ish àccent!!!!!!!!!!

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  10. “Then at the end, I noticed again that it wasn’t signed. That’s like knocking on your neighbour’s door to borrow their pliers and them slipping a note under the door written, “We don’t have.” So cold. So Bri’ish.”

    Don’t worry. The Thames isn’t all that anyway 🙂

    Hilarious post Mr. B

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  11. “When you get to Sondu, you will find a desk with papers and .. a questionnaire longer than the River Thames”. Hahaha!!

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    1. if you think being denied visa is humiliating wait till you get to the country and your treated like a second class human being !!! he might have dodged a bullet in more ways than one

  12. Point On! The Great Britain right there rolling at unassailable velocity towards pettiness and condescending ignorance that Africa has become of age…of age for them to want to bring their military to train, their companies to trade, their diplomats to uphold relations, their everything…but the colonial mentality they refuse to let go will still remind us who they are…the United Kingdom, united for whatever it is.

  13. You made my afternoon, I’ve been giggling on my desk. That term ‘onus’ indeed if it were used in reference or in a letter addressed to me I would sure be irked…. LOL

  14. Take it from me Biko. Nothing in the ‘kingdom’ is worth seeing. I have been to more cities than I care to count. Nothing beats the fresh air in Africa, the authenticity of our people and the freshness of our food. Kenya is, hands down, the best place to live or visit.
    I hope one day, every Kenyan realises this.

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    1. Well put Sandra. Africans, especially Kenyans, are still colonised in mind. We still think the best is in the West, and out there. Not realising the best is still with us, and if not, we can make the best with what we have. But the lesson takes a lot of time, pain and experience to sink! Kenyans need to travel more instead of drinking and infighting more, so that this lesson can sink faster.

  15. waah si you can vent… blame the Nigerians, they make all blacks look bad in the UK…and to them you could just be another Nigerian con man. posing to be a successful kenyan writer.(ahem..few of those actually exist).LOL
    p.s i hope in your next application they don’t come across this rant in their background check..coz its bye bye Thames..

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      1. I am Kenyan in the UK and Nigerians are true Africans, not fake. They dont boot-lick. They are more reliable than our Kenyan brothers. Your are more likely to be misled/mistreated by a fellow African than anEnglish man. Look at South African blacks killing other ‘foreign’ blacks in their country. What if Bitain was an African country? No other black person would step in their.

        1. Ogutu. Please stay there and never come back? The nerve to diss the continent and black people from that island whilst talking about “boot-licking” without the slightest hint of irony. Sadly, it is you who’s been whitewashed into thinking Britain = great, and that all of Africa is dying to move there. You have no business on this blog.

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    1. I’m a Nigerian and I was reading this and laughing along because I feel exactly the way he does, even though we are from different countries. Then I read this comment and I had to stop. All kinship gone.
      Aunty Kate, this is the internet ma. Because a Kenyan wrote this in Nairobi doesn’t mean a Nigerian in Lagos won’t read it.

      1. Ijeoma, i agree with you, but you’ve got to admit, our “Oga bros” have done a number in discrediting the “good” African name. I live in Singapore and every time i encounter authorities for whatever reason, the first question is always “are you Nigerian”?

        1. Ijeoma, leave these people be….they forget there’s a Kenyan in Australia all over the news, for less-than-stellar behaviour. Not to mention the ones at the hague.

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    2. The same way the UK denied visa to BikoZulu is the same mentality you are using to make reference to Nigerians. For me Nigerians are the most successful blacks in the UK.
      With all the white shit thrown at them, in the UK, they still proud, strong, toiling and thriving.Nigerians can be found in every works of life in the UK. Above all they are always willing to help their fellow Africans.
      Bikozulu you are a very good writer. Am writing a book, please kindly be my unofficial editor.

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    3. Kate I was having a very good laugh until I read this. You sound very stereotypical, opinionated and judgmental, all based on ignorant assumptions. This can make a lot of people stop reading, not least Nigerians. Please rethink. It may not be my place, but if I may apologise on behalf of others who feel this comment is out of place and hurtful to our most beloved Nigerians brothers and sisters.

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  16. This is brilliant! My mum suffered the same fate at German Embassy. The reasons were exactly the same but in German! I am still “….. a tad peeved” at those Germans.

    1. Were you going to see the Rhine or the Danube?
      Did you also stop mid-sentence, prepare a Frankfurter and sip a German beer?
      And in World War II, which side did your grandfather fight exactly?

  17. Biko Zulu its the same mail I read when I had been invited for work training related issues.River Thames is a great River I hope you get to see it.Grosvenor is close to Westminster Abbey a great place to hang around parliament.Am sure next time you apply they will give you because you are genuine but someone believed otherwise.Great article

  18. I was denied entry on the same pretentious reasons. I reached from deep my throat and whispered “stupid racists” as I left the Commission!

    Great read. I am taking away: “My car ignites with 56bob.” hahaha

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  19. Great read Biko! I love satire. The desk should be in London though; where they get to fill the questionnaire. Keep writing… Love reading your great writing.

  20. Hahahahahah! This is one of the funniest pieces yet. But also sad because it represents a certain reality. Oh Bike! You have made me laugh

  21. Hehehehehe, great piece wuon Kimani… please school them a bit, that the word ‘onus’ sounds like the male version of ‘anus’ at least according to our lakeside naming style and that they can keep their awful accent and miserable weather to themselves…

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  22. Hilarious! Did your cuppa have a spot of milk in it? Ah the English, first they get the Scots miffed and now they got the Kenyans sweating like a gypsy with a mortgage (coz of anger)

    1. and madder than a chicken on a june bug! ha ha ha beautiful read… and spot on every point. I wonder how they qualify terrorists and other dangerous peeps into their nation and when you are truthful they throw you out… very poor profiling skills right there… but they are semi illiterate

  23. Great read Biko. Being denied the visa saed you the indignity of showing up at Heathrow and some guy still with a tinge of Kashmir accent stopping you and treating you like you made the visa in River road and after you answer all his questions, he goes like “You speak good English”. Thames is Nairobi River before Michuki intervention, As for the countryside, drive past Timau and you have seen all their
    famed countryside

      1. Not really Nyeri; Kiuk from Maragwa; there was Little zulu not so long ago and some other article sometime last year; read through! Congrats Man

  24. Great read. Something for our so called ‘great’ friend of Kenya who treats actual Kenyans with disdain to ponder about.

  25. Oh, and the Bri’ish accent you put there should surely mesmerise Mr. Smith. I can almost bet you are more Bri’ish than all the home boys and home girls at the Home Office. Oh I digress. Great read.
    Look @Bikozulu, you are a true son of soil. You spoke like an army of a thousand men. Representing Kenia in no lesser way than THE BEST.

  26. Wow..I love reading your articles. You challenge me in my writing alot and I look up to you..Don’t worry, you live in a higher kingdom than the United Kingdom and the world is yours..Those people should style up..I know that your feet will step there, that is for sure,…keep writing biko zulu

  27. I think the embassies are in dire situation financially and came up with a strategy to fund themselves by denying people visas with the prop ability that they will reapply.

  28. Love the way you write and express yourself, Biko. Love it more when you are on the war path! Well written.

  29. I have never posted a comment, but this one just got me. The author is so good. You are humorous and I can read your blog any time! Laughed so hard, I forgot I was in public. Nice piece of writing

  30. Give it to them Biko. Oh, how desperate we are!!!!

    “A place where milk flows from the taps, and people chill with deer in green meadows. A place where you are healed of all sickness. A place of white waterfalls and butterflies. A place where nobody sits in jams and the harp plays continuously in the streets. The United Kingdom!”

    Your sarcasm is refreshing 🙂

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  31. Biko, a good rant….a great reply to the Bri’ish….God was generous when he blessed Kenya with you and your writing skills….p.s. you didn’t mention Tamms directly…sema limelight ya the baby 😉

  32. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a Biko Zulu to go to the “United Kingdom” (which is no longer united because Scotland wants out!)…

    Thank God that going to heaven is so much easier!

  33. Haven’t I loved it. Do you think Smith will read it, hell, absolutely no way.
    Well said.
    What I’d like is to smith read your message and reply, which he won’t anyway.
    And to think there are some people out there who still kiss the white ass, excuse my language Smith.

  34. Brilliant piece! Laughing my head off…all the way from Abuja. Don’t mind those egoistical pricks! The Thames ain’t all that

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  35. Interesting read, same experience in the German Embassy Last year,,, same wordings with no signature… The United Kingdom… crap

  36. Biko, appeal. Reapply for that Visa via a letter of complaint. There’s what you want/ed, -besides the River Thames, and the work you were going to do in the Kingdom. Reapply and get your Visa. If for nothing else, then out of respect for your host. And the River. And AA Gill. Balance for them the probabilities. NKT!

  37. Aiee, Jakom, pole.
    Lakini its winter time.. Ngai.. the way those buggers are coming here… travel advisory withstanding.. coz those winters are brutal.. That River Thames of your’s will be more frozen then a stiff drink. And those guys dont even have tea.. ie there is not a single tea bush there for you to have your chai saucer! All the tea (and coffee and rice) actually all the food they have there comes from here~ie places they enjoy denying visas because of ‘onus’. BUT i know you know that. Pole, hope you can ‘attend’ what you were going for on skype.
    P.S, This “Onus’ chap, has been busy lately. Amejulikana!

  38. How I wish every African that is denied a visa to the dreary and wet land of gloom would stand up and say “Amen” to this words that have flowed from the mouth/pen of my East-African brother.

    Screw the “United Kingdom”… a land inhabited by thieves who stole my ancestors’ works of art only to have me pay to get into their museums to view same.

  39. Wooo hoooo….you penned down your feelings right there. River Kathita i Meru will give you the same feeling and River Thames brother, just take a drive

  40. Oh wow, my visa rejection letter was very very similar to yours but minus the word “onus”. I was basically told I would not come back from the UK because I had nothing to come home to, no assets, no “strong social or family ties” and a that my salary was barely enough to survive on. I’ve been to the UK three times before but I guess this time round I was too poor to be allowed back.

  41. ”pole sana brother biko”. i must say that with laughter! We the people of the kingdom are humble and fully understand what you went through, their decision though tough is carried out with surgical precision and the outcome is normally backed up with ‘sorry’. The river Thames is not as such compared to lake victoria and tourism rests in kenya. For now accept my apology on behalf of her majesty and try again but remember to stick to your words. Biko you are my hero hahahaha, tuko juu

  42. ..” The lure of the United Kingdom is so overpowering that once I step on that hallowed soil, I will instantly forget my wife and two kids and all my friends.”……nice one.

  43. This is a nice article to read. It brings together satire and reality in the same page. That your car ignite with 56bob (but you don’t say)……lol
    Haven’t laughed like this in a long time.

  44. “that they imagine I would walk away from everything I have worked for, everything I own, every relationship I have built, to start out at the very bottom of the barrel in the United freaking Kingdom. It’s utter poppycock.”
    I suppose they imagine we couldn’t possibly have lives, seeing as we’re still swinging on branches. Loved this post. Pole lakini :).

  45. And we also suspected you were straight going to flout these “Acceptable Bri’iiish Mannerisms” —– Do not burp in public. Do not pass wind in public.

    Yesus!

  46. awesome read… great command of their language, that they struggled s hard forcing it on us. Now they can pay attention.

  47. I haven’t read such a great piece in a long while! I read it went to bed… Woke up and read it again this time noting more punchlines while ‘re- laughing’ the old ones. Thumbs up.

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  48. Good read…. funny and sarcastic, but very on point! Hope you still get a chance to see the River Thames 🙂

  49. The same happened to me in 2007. I was to join The University of Manchester but never happened. Just appeal and then reapply. I love the sacarsm though.

  50. humans flossing over ground that they don’t own,will die and leave behind….its interesting to note that the tone of the article is not a begging…” please reconsider my application” but that “I am Bigger than your idiosyncrasies ! ” kind of article.We are living in the 21st Century we know our worth ! ~SomeonetellTHEBRII..SH

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  51. Right on point. These people don’t even have half of what Kenya has…wonderful and kind people, beautiful green land. our food is all natural and the weather…ooh i love the Kenyan weather. Let them stay with their visa. They think visiting their country is like winning a lottery or being given a ticket to go directly to heaven. Nkkkt!!!! Best article i have read in a long time. Good Job Biko!

  52. Oi- you nailed it Biko. Too bad we are still forced to live in this “stone-age” attitude. When will the British accept that we are happy to be black, proud to be Kenyan and happy right here? It is sad to see any black man treated like this in this day and age- someone needs to style up!

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  53. Somewhere in that letter must’ve been the phrase ” the burden of the proof lies with you….” All too familiar. The day I decide to take my kids to a tour of Europe, including Disneyland, the United Kingdom! won’t feature in those plans. I hear there are more beautiful places.

  54. The fury…let them have it! Good grounds for #KOT convening. Hope you get to see the Thames in this lifetime because your dreams are valid!

  55. Am irked as well Biko, surely there is not enough ground to deny you a Visa, but this dress down is the best ever, you did not mince any words and I hope that home office guy gets to read this, I don’t think he even measures up to your brilliance. I think UK has been throwing tantrums given that the goverment has gone east and so they are hitting back, quite unfortunate and immature.

  56. my car ignites with 56bob…………..UK may be better if not so the best but i believe Kenya will be the someday….

  57. So well written….it’s funny and sarcastic, but most importantly it strikes a chord in me – you need to paste this when they ask you for feedback on your application “experience”, the usually do. Jokes aside, it sounds to me like this is a template they use for visa denial, and it seems to me they simply toss a coin heads you’re in, tails you are out. It doesn’t make sense that you would be seen as not having ties, you are a family man for Pete’s sake! On your behalf, I am also rather peeved – on the brighter side, maybe you can try your luck with Scotland once they are seceded from the ‘kingdom’ :). Very good piece.

  58. The British never change that insulting template, do they? I got that same same letter in 2007 or 08 with an invite from no less than the BBC and all supporting documents provided. By then I thought the world revolved around the Queen’s halo so I wasn’t a tad peeved, I was heartbroken. I’ve known better now. Sad but a good read.

  59. Kudos Biko Zulu…same fate befell me at the “hallowed” US Embassy in Gigiri last June. With your permission lemme substitute United Kingdom and other British landmarks with USA and Liberty Statue 8n New York, and sign off your cogent, sarcastically delivered reprisal, in pedigree English to boot, as myself, Wallace Gichunge. I have not a comma to add. I had choice epithets for the officers who conducted an interview lower in candour that that for my 5 year old son on entru to kindergarten. I then realized I have no reason to get livid over a white fool who thinks I, at 40, was intent on leaving my meticulously built social and economic legacies in Kenya and begin a squalid life in New York!!

    1. “…who thinks I, at 40, was intent on leaving my meticulously built social and economic legacies in Kenya and begin a squalid life in New York!!” Hahahahahahahaha… the full never ever! You’ve made my day!

  60. ……..Basically implying I’m one of those chaps who NGOs claim live under a dollar a day. Please. My car ignites with 56bob. #Ujaluogarama!!

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  61. I am wondering how those freaking idiots see themselves. That same shit happens to me few years ago & I was really mad, coz my intent was only to take a fully sponsored professional training. But, the stupids thought I would run in to their refuge camp and pray for their asylum. That was an insult. The problem is they always think that their country is a safe heaven while Africa is hell. Believe me I don’t feel comfortable leaving away from my mother land washing your dishes and tolerating your undermining view towards me and my fellow Africans. We do have our own home with its ups and downs. We do have our own country with as many opportunities as much as the challenges. So suck it, I am ok with it. I never applied for any sort of training in the UK since then and I will never ever do that again. Come on, who want’s to be insulted over n over by people with an absurd mentality after all. So dear UK, fuck your visa!

  62. …But even the Scottish people are fed up with the snobbish English who love dominating everyone else and have asked for an independence referendum. Thanks God the large empire that once ruled the world is shrinking faster than Kendu Bay mandazi. Home- after all- is where the heart is and there’s no place like home!

  63. We do not travel to UK or USA simply because of filling in over 20 pages of forms.i would rather take my money to a country with less or no visa requirements.

  64. So Smith thinks you can trade your Don status in your motherland for their snobbish kingdom? He should think again! The piece is awesome and the comments mighty hilarious, kudos!! UK new definition “A place where milk flows from the taps, and people chill with deer in green meadows.”

  65. I bet “Smith” has to meet his “Visa Denied” quota in order to justify his position hence keep his job therefore ….see the Mara, walk with Mufasa (barefoot) and feel like a colonial master of yesteryear.

  66. Hilarious! You’ve made my day…!! Thumbs up from Sénégal. Never knew the same shit happens there with the Brits. French Embrassies are a zillion times worse!!
    Lets work and develop our continent. There is so much more to see in Africa!!
    Merci!

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  67. Kendu Bay dalawaa, Ka’Nyasoro dalalwaa…… Lovely piece!! You should think of doing some short stories and compile it into a book.

  68. Kesho the Scot’s have the onus to let rip away from Britain. The world order has changed irreversibly and Kingdoms shall surely tumble. River Nyando has always roared mightier than the Thames.
    On a related note – someone tell me why Nato took out Ghadaffi on the pretext of bringing democracy to Libya (now a basket case). When Scotland, Catalonia, Crimea et al are splitting, Africa should unite now.

    1. Well, turns out they are not seceding. And I am happy. I have issues with breaking ties that have been built over time…

  69. ….. I wonder what Dedan would drink anyway, apart from Murats of course. Ooooh, I wonder too!!!!
    I didn’t know any bikozulu before today, but thankfully smith’s action has gifted me with an awesome piece maker. From today i will forever look forward to reading your works.

  70. *sigh*
    I believe this piece has included bits of emotions, words and imagery from people in similar situations have felt be it in their Visa applications to the UK or US. Biko just finally got to let it out and share it out. For that I say Thank (well I have never attempted a VISA application anywhere. The only long application I have done was for a degree).

    Now if the day and time ever comes that this your “show of evidence” (if I may call it) that all that the Home Office thinks you haven’t got you actually do have and in plenty; gets them to review their current decision. It should be your onus to say No Thank you! and instead go try catch fish in Kendu bay (its over seas right).
    I think Dedan would do that…well I sijui but just maybe he would. I think

  71. I haven’t laughed this hard in ages. Thank you Bikozulu, you always manage to brighten up even the dullest days. Hahahahahaha. The sarcasm is on point.

  72. Something about those responses sounds like they are cranked out by some custom designed software/cranked out by faceless soulless button pusher, that never comprehended the application to begin with.

  73. Its true, Grosvenor House is something…hautaiona…nye nye nye nye…should see their ballroom and chandelier…i forget, hauendi

  74. The lads from the Home Office probably don’t know or care that I’m from Kendu Bay, and that down, although we are poor, we don’t know how to beg. We sleep hungry until one of two things happen; it rains, or the wind blows the hyacinth towards Siaya… Hehehe this killed it for me..lol

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  75. Hahaha..I remember applying for a VISA to Uk a while back and they gave me almost the same reasons ” My social ties in Kenya were not strong enough bla bla bla bla…”Like I would live my beautiful family and friends to go live like a rogue in that cold lonely country! I didnt even bother “appealing”. Thanks for putting this out to them so well . I have been smiling all day!

  76. No worries dawg, they denied Snoop entry back then, that’s why a dogg will always be a dogg, no messing with em bri’sh cats

  77. Love! Love! I’m Bikozulu, the bearer of the long spear. My son is called Kimani; the son of a monkey is a monkey, which means he is Kanyasoro at heart. Those are my social ties, rooted firmly in Nyanza. We may not have blueblood, but we are who we are and I would never walk away from that for all the chips and gravy in London.

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  78. Apparently, what the letter suggests is that as yet, you do not know how enticin the UK is. Once you get there you arenever coming back. That therefore speaks to your moral fibre and the kind of chap you are or ‘seen’ to be.

  79. Mr. Biko, this is a brilliant piece. Should be published as a short story, man. Do you teach English Literature? You can give Smith some lessons for free, sir! ei…

  80. Hilarious. Sorry for that experience. I was also denied a work permit after I got a job in a neigbouring European country after years of study in the same country and lots of hard work searching for a decent job. The grounds of refusal were that there is high unemployment in Europe and that the job could not be classified as ‘professional’ as required if one is to be given a full-time work permit. Never mind that the job was actually without question professional (isn’t auditing professional?!) but as they explained, my new job would be in the same category as cleaning, plumbing and the like. Talk about using bullshit excuses to tell a foreigner off. I was sooo mad; I just decided to pack my bags and come back home and honestly I have never been happier. We want so much to go to some of these countries because we think so highly of anything that’s ‘abroad’ but the truth is, true happiness lies where your home is.

  81. “They made me feel like I was in a sinking boat and I stuck my hand out for help, and they put a croissant in it instead”. Hilarious! I really hope Smith gets to read this.

  82. I’m irked on your behalf, how dare they!! Aii Nyar Nyakach, abe I will lwero them while standing on the table…Fantastic read!!

  83. I totally agree with you Biko, so we are so tired with our great weather, our families and we’re too poor for the Kingdom..Truth be told, knowledgeable folk are so over immigration. We know we have it good here, and the likes of Mr Smith need to realize this.

  84. This is raw talent UK or should I say Mr. Smith. By denying a great mind like Biko’s, you have lost a chance for someone to market you on social media for free. Someone in that office should man up and rush that visa to his office, that is if you have a communication depart. Sad but nice article Biko

  85. Cultural continuity is maintained by educating children in the ways of their culture. And they are educated in the ways of their culture to MAINTAIN their culture, to advance its interests, and ultimately to try to maintain its very survival. That is the fundamental reason people are educated. What does it matter if you learn physics and computer science and everything else and you cannot defend yourself against a military assault by Europeans or a germ warfare assault? A knowledge of computer science, a knowledge of law, a knowledge of all of these other things matters not at all if you are unable to use that knowledge for your self defense. If Bush decided to wipe the face of this earth clean of African people there’s not an African nation that could defend us against these people.

    And as long as we are not educated to defend ourselves against these people then we are being incorrectly educated. Nothing else matters. Ultimately then, intelligence must be defined in terms of the degree in which it solves YOUR PROBLEMS. The nature of education today prepares you to solve THEIR PROBLEMS and not your own. That’s why you study THEIR books, you go to THEIR schools, you learn THEIR information, THEIR language, THEIR styles, THEIR perceptions, so when you come out of school you can do a humdinger of a job solving Europeans’ problems, but you can’t solve your own. And then you DARE call yourself “intelligent?” C’mon. That’s the height of stupidity. – Dr. Amos Wilson

  86. Funny that the article is laced with sarcasm and anger, but appears to show that he doesn’t care. Sure, a real firebrand. As for the shameless self promotion. Please.

    1. Did you read the same article that I read? Sorry that you missed the intended entertaining, informing and thought provoking read that Biko intended for us all, followed by the equally hilarious comments by happy readers.

  87. Every week you think you have read the best article just to read the next! amazing read Biko, you can now apply for a visa to the moon… they cant dare mess

  88. Wo…the damage done to the UK brand, in this hilarious and intelligent piece, was certainly not worth the visa denied. Biko with his wit and righteous fury spoke for millions around the world who are insulted everyday in various embassies

  89. Oh God of all creation
    Bless this, our land and nation
    Justice be our shield, and defender
    May we dwell in Unity, Peace, and Liberty

    Plenty be found within our borders…so that the Brits don’t think am so desperate. Anus!!!!! Oh. Onus! Sorry.

  90. I immediately went to the dictionary to check what ‘onus’ is since its the word that upset you the most. I read in the papers that smith called you for a meeting…will you accept the visa if they offer it?

  91. Someone had to give these Britons a piece of their mind!!!!!!Well-put!!!!….I just can not stop laughing though..:D

  92. Unfortunate.. Especially when you think of how visas on arrival are dished out to them at some paltry fee! However, this article is simple fresh! I’ve had a good laugh!

  93. Aha now this got to the ears/desk of one Turner!!! MMMM let us know how this turns out and please write a followup when you return (ofcoz you will go now!!) and tell us more about the Thames etc LOL….. cann’t wait!!

  94. Pole sana Bikozulu, recently I applied for a relative of mine to join me in UK and had exactly the same wording as in your email. Had quite a sizeable bank statement with >£30k and stil that did’nt seem enough to cover for travel and living expenses for her for a period of 1month. I think they have a quota for the number of pple allowed in and its a shame they just pocket your application fee plus all the time wasted in filling out the stupid questionnaire and also the travel time/money.

    Please do keep us updated on to your reply from Chris Turner

  95. I hardly comment but Biko made me proud to be a Kenyan. Maybe because my name is Kimani, might be a Kanyasoro too by association. Great piece Biko, hallelujah!!!!. Having gone through the same too sometimes back, its unfortunate to think till this age and time, many of these people have the presumption that we are very desperate to sell our souls to the devil, to set our eyes on their “glorious” lands. Can you imagine when a mother goes to their offices for visa so as to visit her grand kids and they have the “balls” to ask if she want to go and get married there and what ties does she have? Sometimes, me thinks if they want us to show our ties to our beloved country Kenya, they can tell their kinsmen to invent a rope or whatever, such that every-time we are heading theirs, they just need to “tie us” to our beloved country, maybe that way they can always literaly see out ties to our country. Barikiwa Biko, and lets continue to be proud of our Motherland, Kenya!!! INSHALLA

  96. A good one my bro. I wish all East Africans can finally say NO to this humiliation once and for all. My bro just cross over to River Nile……you will experience more soulful comfort and fresh breeze than you would get with the Thames minus “onus”….

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  97. Even the scots have had enough……..just remain England. Let them mask their true identity under the guise of a union that is spectacularly falling apart

  98. As someone who has been to both the Thames and the Nile…. the Nile is better by far. You’re missing nothing. Save your time, money and dignity, and forget the UK.

  99. Soon to be FUK( former united kingdom)!! When Scotland says YES.! BTW Biko Thames is a sore to look at always brown and dirty river tana is beautiful!!

  100. I like your penmanship and humor. Lets not mourn but rather stand up against bureaucracy and stupidity by organizing ourselves against the system. Your story is a good start. Thanks.

  101. Biko you just killed it! It seems you can get really funny and satirical when you are mad. Sorry, that this ‘balance of probabilities’ nonsense knocked down your chances of setting foot in the Kingdom. You are a victim of neocolonialism. Man. How am glad that China is looming large over the friggin Brits!

  102. I want to tell you something, and be sure that unlike you I will sign it off, because where we come from, we don’t hide behind pretentious words like “onus”. We sign our shit because we stand by our words no matter how uninformed they may be. Wah! The Battle of Pen and Paper. Hope this song motivates – Something Inside so Strong by Kenny Rogers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRgeudBT-Bw

  103. What a Fantastic piece of satire, intertwined with sarcasm, and dry wit. Your words are powerful and flow brilliantly. WHY HAS NO RADIO STATION PICKED THIS UP and ran with it ? Hello ? anybody home ?

    You can call someone a Dog, or you can create the image of a dog in ones mind.Just there are many ways to skin a rat, there sure are many ways to insult someone.
    Kudos and hoye Africa !

    A kenyan in UK.

  104. Bless your socks BikoZulu! as they say here up North of this Kingdom that had the gall to put ‘onus’ in a sentence and mail you that twaddle. You remind me its time we quit being ashamed of our roots and continent. The other day one fool of a took ofisini goes: “why is it you Africans eat chimpanzees? My retort: why the hell do you fry eggs for breakfast? Suffice to say, that odiero has kept off me kabisa. Nonsense.

    1. Agalwanga LOL. Don’t get me started on the things I’ve been asked/told and the retorts I’ve made to good and not so good people of this “United Kingdom” united in their ignorance. Reminds me of when President Zuma was here and some journalist demanded to know how he picked which wife to bring with him to this KINGDOM and why he had more than one wife … and Zuma shut him up with, “Are you suggesting that your culture is superior to mine?”

  105. Great writing the humor, the sarcasm. Anyone that has ever received a ‘visa denial’ can identify…..

    Then they go ahead and say what???

    “There is no evidence that you are supported on a daily basis/you have not provided enough evidence for your personal and economic circumstances.” Basically implying I’m one of those chaps who NGOs claim live under a dollar a day. Please. My car ignites with 56bob – eish yawa…..tell them!!!

  106. #Harriet your ‘apology’ on behalf of the British* calmed me for a moment. Ja Kendu, I feel you. This was a low for these folks. Fact – Kenya is the best place on earth to visit and to live in. The Best. The worldly ‘kingdom’ can be. You got my Hallelujah back. Hilarious and sad too

  107. You know what Biko, just come to Kisumu we will sit by the lake and call it Lolwe (just to defy the British) and blow our cigars away. The sunset at Dunga Hill Camp is more breathtaking than the Thames

  108. Internationally known and locally respected Nyakwar Ougo…i wish you well in your meeting today with the homeboy. Its their turn to negotiate with you to pull down this post with the vigor of a canine quadrupling its posterior extremity (we know its a dog wagging its tail you Bri’ish nincompoops!)

  109. Biko..I am delighted that our foreheads look the same…this one killed me…”Then at the end, I noticed again that it wasn’t signed. That’s like knocking on your neighbour’s door to borrow their pliers and them slipping a note under the door written, “We don’t have.” So cold. So Bri’ish.”…ohh its so true…

  110. Incredibly disgusting how people are treated when they go to request for a visa..this article is timely. Even with my dutch resident permit, I even get held up while traveling some places and have to answer very strange questions. I do hope this article gets the attention of the Bri’ish High Commissioner..they are not all that!!!

  111. Well said……and heartily too…..Bikozulu a heavenly Kingdom awaits you, where no Home Office exists…..and I believe you will have a rare glimpse of the Thames…..I have touched the waters of the Thames, and it’s nothing close to the great Sondu River!!

  112. Actually, i have been to london several times because I reside in u.s. i have also been in migori, though i am from kiambu. Given the chance, i would rather hug the shores of our beautiful victoria and my sisters and brothers who walk its shores. Biko, if you miss the thames, stand in any open sewage, then breathe.

  113. I also got the same kind of letter in 2005 after being invited for a job, they had indicated that I can appeal but I said I can’t bother I better stay at my lovely home country. Since that day I said I will never bother myself applying for a visa

  114. Tell it to them ‘bruitish’..
    It is a benchmark for how to tell them off.. all – they of white racial bigotry.

  115. The same people who swindle up everything from our land to built theirs including sucking Biko’s grand father to fight their war are the same people whom their blood is inked with colonialism, a masterpiece and an infection as well.

  116. This article has inspired me to start a campaign to petition the UK Home Office to investigate corruption at their Nairobi High Commission. These folks should face justice. Please sign up:

    Please join this campaign: https://www.change.org/p/the-british-government-home-office-investigate-corruption-in-the-visa-office-at-the-british-high-commission-in-nairobi-2?recruiter=154133655&utm_campaign=mailto_link&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition

  117. When you get to meet Mr. Turner, tell him I will be there next week for my Visa to the UK…….United Kingdom! he should know people!!

  118. Hilarious post. Loved it and related to it. Just wanted to mention, that the Kingdom treats everyone the same shitty way. It’s not only the Africans, but also Middle-Easterners, Asians, Indians… pretty much everyone from the “3rd world”.

  119. “But those words, “balance of probabilities” stayed with me. They will haunt me for a while. The Home Office meant that the probability of me hiding in the United Kingdom was too much for their great kingdom to fathom. That I would leave my flourishing career, my family and my friends, our sandy beaches to disappear among the unappealing misty rain soaked hills of England. That Kenya is too dangerous, too poor, too lacklustre, too stifling, too unimpressive, too uninspiring for me to possibly thrive.”

    I have never been in “thy kingdom” but now I have no wish to go there… ever. The Brits are assholes (arseholes). Great piece Biko.

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  120. Its been long since I laughed this loud!!! Wish I put the same script as this one when these Obama folks denied me a visa last year on some flimsy and rather rhetoric ground….This serves them right!!! Big up Steve!!!

  121. While reading every sentence in your letter i felt proud ,proud of being a kenyan en being part of the great Africa.By the way my Hallelujah u got.in afew days scotland is breaking out en their kingdom will be no more,’ history as they call it’

  122. I am the type to read and leave no comment,on this I just have to, I have laughed and all I can say is I love our country with its good and bad and there no place like It and more so Its the only place we call home the only requirement being an ID na si lazima,Hope they treat you with the respect you deserve in the said meeting,the ‘Onus’ has come to pass.

  123. I have read this article 3 times and it still feels so nice to read. Someone needed to tell those homeboys (they need to be called something else by the way), that UK is not ALL that.

    I much prefer other European countries anyway. And Biko is right. Their weather sucks.

    Thanks Biko! Haaaalleluyah!
    Halafu please stand we all sing the national anthem…..

  124. I was a tad peeved to be honest. I don’t mind being denied a visa, but their reasons really got my goat. They almost made me feel desperate and poor and unworthy. They made me feel like a “chav”- to use their slang. They made me feel like I was in a sinking boat and I stuck my hand out for help, and they put a croissant in it instead. Like they think so little of my country or what I think of it, that they imagine I would walk away from everything I have worked for, everything I own, every relationship I have built, to start out at the very bottom of the barrel in the United freaking Kingdom. It’s utter poppycock.
    I read that email again at night, but this time I read it aloud with a cockney accent. I stopped in the middle, made a pot of tea and then read it some more, slapping my thigh as I went along. All that was missing in the ensemble was a pipe. Then at the end, I noticed again that it wasn’t signed. That’s like knocking on your neighbour’s door to borrow their pliers and them slipping a note under the door written, “We don’t have.” So cold. So Bri’ish.

    You are both peeved and pouring with fury….

  125. is this rule in effect “Kenyans will be required to deposit £ 3000 (Ksh. 400,000) as a guarantee that they will confirm to its immigration rules.” in relation to getting a uk visa.

  126. ”But as for Kendu Bay, it will be a different kettle of fish. In fact, when you get to Sondu, you will find a desk with papers, where I will require you to fill in a questionnaire longer than the Thames.” hahahaha….fantastic piece!!

  127. I’m a Kenyan, living in the diaspora and I’m desperately trying to make my way home. I STRONGLY condemn the words of my fellow Kenyan in the comments section that uses this article as a segway to talk smack about Nigerians. It is with that exact brand of self hatred that the west has managed to perpetrate their theft of every damn thing in sight. If you have nothing nice or uplifting to say SHUT UP! Africa for Africans!

  128. P.S – It is insightful to note that a growing number of extremists are British…
    And interestingly, they happily welcomed many immigrants from the middle East in the past as they shunned Africans. Read about the ISIS extremists especially. Girls leaving ‘the kingdom’ to be wives to Syrian rebels. See these links

    http://www.channel4.com/news/syria-rebels-jihad-british-foreign-assad

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/09/02/the-british-jihadi-janes-who-have-left-to-fight-with-islamic-state_n_5752804.html

    This may or may not be related to this post I am ‘just saying’.

  129. The interesting thing is they get a visa to enter Kenya at the airport (JKIA) after paying 50 bob. They think all Kenyans are beggars rushing to the UK for salvation- just the same way we seem to think all Britons coming to Kenya have their pockets sagging with Sterling pounds.
    An interesting world this one!

  130. But it seems it is easier for a camel to go through a needle, than for a young luo man to access London. I’m still a child of God, and I won’t need to spend four hours on some questionnaire to access a kingdom on earth because there is only one Kingdom. Can I have a hallelujah?- Love this!!!!!!!!!

  131. This is my best BikoZulu piece yet. If such witty creativity is what you come up with when angry, perhaps people should ire you more? No? Don’t ever put the pen down Biko. Not even to sip English tea.

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  132. This is my best BikoZulu piece yet. If such witty creativity is what you come up with when angry, perhaps people should ire you more? No? Don’t ever put the pen down Biko. Not even to sip English tea.

  133. I am British. While I loved your post and chuckled at the irony and canny observations, of course I feel a sense of shame for any injustice done here. I have visited Kenya many times as a tourist and on business and I have always been welcomed. So of course I feel embarrassed that this same spirit and respect is not reciprocated by ‘my country’.

    Unfortunately some low-level bureaucrats try to compensate for their lack of real power by exercising the power to be mean to others. I have experienced this the world over from the US to the UK, from Russia to Australia. You can no doubt find these kind of people in Kenya also. Judging by your account and the fact that you provided the required paperwork, I would like to think that you were unlucky to have come across one of these ‘types’ at the British embassy. Or perhaps they are just too used to saying no…. perhaps there is something more endemic in the British culture and attitude to others as you suggest.

    I am the first to admit that the British tend to be a little frosty, standoffish and arrogant in their attitude – not only to foreigners but to each other also.The British are without a doubt a quirky bunch of extraverts with an attitude. There are plenty of reasons for this – from the good old island mentality to Britain’s imperial history with plenty of other factors thrown in – you can find scores of essays and hypotheses on the internet or indeed invent your own.

    But things are changing – Britain is going through an identity crisis right now as it comes to terms with being less globally important than it used to be. Britain is still struggling to find its place in Europe and is struggling to accept that it can’t write the rule book itself. If Scotland votes for independence tomorrow it will be another smack in the face for Britain.

    All of this is helps to knock a once over-assertive and arrogant nation a few rungs back down the ladder. Britain needs an international dressing down. It is a great country but it isn’t the best. British people are smart but they are not the smartest. Britain is beautiful but its not the most beautiful place on earth. British history is interesting but its not the only history. Britain is an island but it needs and loves the rest of the world. Let’s face it – that’s why we set sail in our boats in the first place – to escape the cold and the fog and enjoy brighter, more colourful and vibrant lands overseas – unfortunately we just arrived with an overinflated sense of our own importance which too often remains to this day.

    So keep writing your blog posts and your comments. Keep highlighting the arrogance, unfair treatment and double standards you experience and perhaps Britain will slowly change. Slowly but surely Britain will figure out a new identity for itself – recognizing and celebrating the good bits from its past and present (and there are lots) while becoming a little more humble in it’s view of itself and the world.

    I hope you get to see it for yourself one day and feel as welcome as I do in Kenya.

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    1. This comment I read to the very end…especially seeing I just put in my Bri;ish application today….and the waiting begins….wish me luck!

  134. “(turns out I can also write in English)”.
    Lol! Very good read. You have surely given them a piece of your mind…more like half of it but still a piece none the less.

  135. Biko, I’m in tears! Your wit, sarcasm, is just out of this world! They denied me a visa too then turned around and gave it after an appeal…now I feel I should have laughed in their face too and told them to go to hell.
    That ‘onus’ ‘anus’ is just the icing on the cake.

  136. Hahahaha
    “balance of probabilities”
    “You have not provided any evidence to demonstrate your financial circumstances in Kenya. I am not satisfied that your financial circumstances are as claimed
    “You have also not provided evidence of any strong family and social ties to Kenya.” Haha like WTF?? I have just died LOL

  137. I really do hate this country sometimes – such arrogant, snide, officious rubbish.

    My apologies, if I had my way you’d be allowed to visit without needing a VISA, stay and work or not as you liked. This country has only ever benefitted from immigration, either temporary or permanent. Sadly xenophobia is the order of the day right now, and doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon – unless you’re rich, then you can buy government policy…

    1. Tristan, you mean unless you are Arab/Moslem and have oil to speak of? Africans only come to your countries to see snow, work and see a different kind of life from theirs not to blow you up! You are up there because you stepped on us to get there.

  138. Oh My God! I had a similar experience with the French Embassy when I applied for a study visa for my beloved daughter who was interested in studying nursing in France. Even with holding a diploma in french language and having the requisite qualifications, I was told to provide my financial capacity to show that Im able to meet my obligation to pay college fees while she is studying there. I wrote a letter telling them yes Im able and should they find it necessary, I can pay the tuition fees well in advance for the three years of study. Round one of the application the declined and told me to show proof that in deed my daughter had been admitted to the said college, I then produced the admission letter and the first year’s fees receipt. They then said we wait for a month, and come the date, the application was still rejected without any reason given despite having paid some fees to the college. Im equally peeved!!!! These guys should know people!

  139. Great read but I have to wonder about how legit this story is. If you had all the required documents and the required amount of money in your account, you should have got the visa. Applied 4 times for a UK visa, got it every time, except the 1st when i didn’t explain where I had got my funds, after giving the necessary financial statements they gave me the visa.

  140. BLOODY EXCELLENT! BRILLIANT WRITING. i remember once going to the UK…ONCE … haven’t been again…on a zambian passport and i was quizzed by an official of indian extraction ( i am white) about why, in fact, did i want to visit england now because it wasn’t exactly christmas….? the suspicion was palpable. this after scrutinising my return tickets, asking how much money i had, enquiring how i knew the friends i was visiting and on and on. i let her have it. i said that i had no intention of coming to live on their small, crappy, cold over crowded sinking little island and will you please stamp my passport and let me pass. which she did, reluctantly. so BRAVO for your piece. Wa’Thiongo would be dead proud. And the rest of The Denied Access. Fuck ’em.

  141. we need people to come up like this. thank you Biko for this. i was pissed off in 2003 and to this day I feel the UK Embassy owes me an apology. I wanted to write something then but my hands were too full. I am glad you wrote this. UK embassy has made it turning the visa issue into a business product. I had been with my kids to UK and traveled with them to Kenya for research. the Embassy refused to renew my kids visa. my kids were aged 3-8yr old. they minted hundreds of pounds from me. the UK department of health was providing support for the children under their own scholarship program but the UK embassy claimed that it was all a forgery despite presenting letters from UK Government and my University in UK. I pursued the case in court in UK, my UK MP, etc but the embassy refused to release my file from Nairobi. It hurts. I was forced to separate from my children for a period despite having sufficient funds to meet their needs. Eventually I had to suspend my studies so as to be with my children as my wife completed her studies. It meant I had to be away from my wife, and the children to be away from their mother and motherly care. It meant my wife was to be alone in UK. All these because of a very STRANGE decision by the UK Embassy staff in Nairobi. I still plan one day to demand refund of the hundreds of pounds from the embassy which they took from my family yet they provided a very strange service. I am also analysing if I may launch a suit against the UK Embassy in Nairobi on human rights grounds of forcible family separation of such young children under the UK or EU Laws

  142. Couldn’t agree more and my grandfather fought THEIR war and was dropped back to mount Kenya with no compensation, those bastards!

  143. Come to America instead, my brother from another mother. Our weather is much nicer and we don’t look down on you.

  144. They were concerned about your bank account. Please, find a publisher to put your piece in a book-form. Your blog will sell more copies than David Mailu’s ‘After 4:30.”
    Reading Kenyans will make you an instant millionaire. A brilliant mind like yours need not be bullied by the British Foreign Office beauracrats. The problem will be that as a millionaire, you will overfly the tiny British Isles on your to California. Britain is too small an attraction for Kenyans with your brains.

  145. Ujaluo ni gharama!Okbichalone Britain…Tell them even Obama traces his roots back here and we don’t give a shit about it..!Hell hath no fury like a Luo scorned.Well penned Bro.Comical and serious in the same mix.Wow!

  146. And those Brits have nothing on us Africans. They have useless names like Smith. Our names have meaning and purpose, they should be clamouring to know us and our rich cultures. In Uganda for example we give names with purpose ie ekyenyanja meaning that which lives in the waters. Biko you are far better off being Kenyan than they ever will be Brits. Their lives have no meaning or purpose. Denying us visas gives them something to live for.

  147. “The lads from the Home Office probably don’t know or care that I’m from Kendu Bay, and that down, although we are poor, we don’t know how to beg. We sleep hungry until one of two things happen; it rains, or the wind blows the hyacinth towards Siaya.” PREACH!

  148. Hahaaa ati its like u were in a sinking boat and you put your hand out for help and they put a croissant instead. Damn, made my day. Great read and good semantics too.

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  149. No wonder the Scots want to split from them, after reading this I hope the Yes side wins the referendum, it will hopefully bring them down to earth.

  150. i Love this… most people dont see the discrimination and some even laugh it off, ofcourse i laughed at this but my mind never veered off the point you were making wuod Kindu.

  151. I read this piece of 16th and I couldn’t avoid the urge to re-read it again……Such a great piece as usual. You never disappoint Biko…. I’ve never seen any of your articles with this number of comments.

  152. Bro. Stop being a cry baby. Being Biko means nothing outside your sphere of friends, and I think a few drinking wannabe “celebs”. As a matter of fact I would rather regale Buzz Generation than a mistakely important guy like you. You have a mountain to climb Biko boy. You simply did not fill the questionnaire as required. You can throw tantrums but fact is you are yet to earn Writer’s License and even then become known to be noted. And even after that know that even Mike Tyson is not welcome in UK. This not United Kisumu where you arrive by Nyanza Roadways or Wajir where a grenade will blow you. Na. , with ‘You Should Know People,’ nonsense, you are headed nowhere. I was once denied a Visa for acting like you. Then when I met all requisite criteria. It was all smooth sailing

  153. “……I read it aloud with a cockney accent. I stopped in the middle, made a pot of tea and then read it some more, slapping my thigh as I went along…”
    This article had me in stitches from start to end. It’s great that you’ve highlighted an issue that many people are facing, not just here in Kenya!

    PS: If ‘Smith’ decided to read this piece, I’m sure he realized your command of English, both oral and written is muuuch better than that of certain citizens of the ‘kingdom’…

  154. Wow…great wrting and this guy knows his roots….loved it…musyoka was irked too on how when they get to Kenya they use Kenyan citizens side bila respect…spot ja Kendu bay!!

  155. As a Brit I am truely embarrassed by what has happened to Biko. There was a story a few years ago where the Chelsea football club owner who visited Mount Kilimanjaro wanted to invite his African guides to see a match at the Chelsea football club. Despite the fact he guaranteed they would return, he was unable to get them visas the the UK. Abramovitch eventually had to fly them to Russia to another of his clubs.

  156. Sometime back I got two visa refusal before they finally granted me a visa to the UK, the whole thing resonate to one mindset that you will go to the UK and get stack in some bush or building etc.

  157. One day Africa too will be a land of milk and honey where all the western Countries will be begging for a visa to reach Africa. Who ever knew that blacks in South Africa would be the admired in south Africa than the white people like its today. If only our leaders would stop corruption and use the resources wisely.

  158. These the problem of having a choice of where one need to be born,thanks Biko you choose kenyan.well displayed men a MUST read story.

  159. I swear that’s the same reply I got… hence, I’ve been traveling to most of Asia, Africa, US and Mexico.. so, purely I have no intention to stay in the broke United Kingdom … their ego is killing them…

  160. Kudos Zulu. I am from Burundi. I remember in 2009, while in transit at Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris on my way back home, I was denied entry with disdain. The immigration officer looked at my passport and with arrogance, he told me that i could not get into their country. I had no intention of going any father than the airport where I was to pick up some gifts to deliver home. I was peeved and without mincing words,I told the guy that I am contented with where I come from and there is no reason in the world would make me stay their miserable country. The officer wasn t impressed. Rather than letting things go and continue with his work, he unceremoniously screamed that i can’t enter their country of which I informed him that I do not regret it. Last time, 2011, I happen to be forced to spend the night in Paris due to flight cancellation. I was pissed to say the least!

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  161. In a twisted though funny way this piece also presents a very parochial view of the world likely to appeal to Kenyans on the ground- maybe that is necessary as a counterweight to the perceived arrogance or maybe more precisely ignorance of his personal circumstances exhibited by UK immigration. It is easy to understand why the author would feel slighted by the unwarranted rejection of visa application in light of his personal circumstances.

    Nevertheless, this reaction also overlooks the realities that a) illegal immigration is a reality in the Western World contributing to massive backlash by on the ground population and increased appeal of right wing parties and b) a significant Kenyan diaspora have left the ‘domestic nirvana’ .

    On a lighter note, it is puzzling why the United Kingdom reference irked much more than the UK

  162. Biko, hats off! You Rock! I am not Dedan Kimathi but I would love to buy you a cuppa o’ tea. PLEASE? By the way, I have been to Kendu Bay, great place, precious people. I hope you get to read this..my twiiter: @poshmanagers

  163. Wuod dala these pple think that we really need them that much that they have to make money from us by countless reapplication of visa.pole sana by the way hiyo river TAMES as they pronouns it is not great my hse is not far from it.you are a great character watu huogopa ksema kulvyo but you have delivered the facts. niko apa nothing great its not paradise.

    1. Yes i agree the Thames is dirty and oily and LONDON isnt a patch on anywhere in KENYA I am Welsh and support this bad way that the visa department treats people, its the TORY Government they are not in touch with real people. They have all been brought up with no understanding of the real world, they treat the people of the UK in the same way, THEY ARE A LAW UNTO THEMSELVES. i am married to a kenyan and they have refused my wife and daughter as well.

  164. wow what a beautiful and funny piece, if and when smith sees this he will surely know that words like “onus” belong to his judgmental mind hehehe cant stop laughing

  165. Weep not my child. I had an covering letter from Barclays Bank Kenya for my business trip, import spare parts and been there twice.No wonder VANDEVELL at Berkshire was sold.Thank you ALIBABA.

  166. Weep not my child. I had a covering letter from my bank, Barclays Bank Kenya for my business trip, import spare parts and been there twice.No wonder VANDEVELL at Berkshire was sold.Thank you ALIBABA.

  167. Bikozulu, this would be the funniest thing I have ever read if it were not so close to home!!! I lived and studied in the UK, left the country in 2001 on my own free will and I am now living and working as a senior executive in our beautiful continent. I have never been back to the UK despite trying to go twice on company paid trips. Yes you guessed it, the British make so hard to get a visa and treat you like dirt when it comes to the application itself that I have decided that I cant be bothered to ever try again. I have been to many other countries in Europe ( Thanks Shengen nations for treating Africans like Human beings….) , been to the US severally and of course many Asian & African countries. None of the Embassies behave in the arrogant manner that the Brits do!

  168. Bwana Biko, Black people must provide good reasons for wanting to travel other than simple tourism, don’t you know? I repeat: Black people can never be tourists. Imagine how hard it is for someone like me: single guy over thirty. My family consists of my beloved parents and two brothers. No wife. No kids. All by choice. That there, to them, is indicative of “insufficient social ties”. Yet I love Kenya and being Kenyan more than life itself and I have never wanted to live abroad. But I do like to travel because I can afford it, not being closed-minded, I like to expand my horizons and also because it’s important to see the world in order to understand how, for all our ups and downs, Kenya remains one of the most wonderful places in the world to live.

    But you’re a better man than I because so help me Lord if I have to endure their standard humiliating and intrusive line of questioning about where I get my money (like it’s stolen) or to prove I don’t intend to apply for asylum and live off their welfare whilst washing their dishes, sweeping their streets or cleaning their loos. Not that I have anything against good honest work mind you, but the cheek to think I’d leave a job I love in my country to do THAT for them? Please.

    There’s a whole world to see, not just that miserable, wet island. The Amazon and Orinoco are better than the Thames; Machu Pichu far more impressive than Stonehenge; And we still have the Mara, Amboseli, Mt Kenya, Lake Nakuru, the Rift Valley and Diani Beach in our own country. Najivunia kuwa mKenya.

    I’m curious by the way, what kind of car ignites with 56 Bob?

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  169. I’ve never applied for Visa to any country, I’m just thinking of how many people have been denied visas on baseless (condescending even) grounds before Biko wrote this. Sad if you think about it No? Najivunia kuwa mkenya, na siendi kokote kuishi. Kenya, with all the terror scares, and the Mara, and the ugly politics, and the South coast beaches and the hour long traffic jams and the delicious swahili food and the safely chain secured Toyota side mirrors and the lovely weather even when it rains and fluctuating matatu fares and the road trips to Nakuru/Nanyuki/Naivasha/Magadi with friends,family and lovers…is the only place that raised me the girl I love. Thank you Biko for giving me more reasons to stay loyal to my country.

    #HearThatBritishConsulate?

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