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Friday, November 16, 2007

Kumekucha’s Old Schoolmate Mounts A Scathing Attack On The Popular Blogger

Although this was an annonymous comment left at this blog, I have a very good idea of who the author is and I am a little surprised at the venom that emerges in certain parts of the message. I hereby reproduce his entire comment in full;

I have read your blogspot almost since it started. I have a little advice for you.

1) At the beginning when you were more neutral, you got more balanced readership. There are young entrepreneurs of Kenya who will survive P.N.U and O.D.M and you should have retained their faith in you as a balanced commentator. This group is critical to you as a businessman.

2) When you write about your frustrations as a publisher in Nairobi, you omit the following basic reasons for your failure:

a)You had zero knowledge about marketing. In addition, your opinions were shallow and could only cater to the type of people who had been reading 'Scandal' at Lenana School.

b) Your failure to go and study Architecture limited your general Education and scope of life. You could still have gone on to University and pursued a better Education, which would reflect in the quality of your articles. Currently your lack of further education comes through in your writing, e. g you are unable to support your views on issues like Majimbo with well reasoned argument.

3) Your grammar also requires some improvement, but this is tied to number 2(b) above.

4) I know you must add colour to your stories but at times, it is a tad much for those of us who know you well. You were a pretty good sportsman no doubt, but you were not the star player you implied playing for the first eleven in Form One. In Rugby you did well but failed to stay at the top long enough because you lacked some real hardness, you were surprisingly timid for a big guy.

Most of all, your sporting ability was not derived because you were naturally athletic, it had much to do with the fact that you came to Form One a couple of years older and hence much bigger than the average boy. Age advantage in the tender years gives clear sporting superiority.

Your recent suffering at the hands of your son and grandson reported by you are not because of age. Unless you have done something about it, I last saw you ten years ago and you were at least 20kg overweight..

Many international sportsmen today are 40 plus and doing well, so your analogy was misplaced. The problem is how you have handled your age.

5) I recommend you to be a bit more open and balanced. Avoid personal attacks, after all how would you feel if all those old stories about you and the likes of the young beautiful Muchiru made their way to the web? I do wish you success in Kumekucha however and do try to cater for all the readers that you have. This is part of that business savvy I mentioned above, and you must appreciate that lobby groups fade all the time while real business ventures survive regimes.

A business in which I have substantial shares is advertising on Kumekucha. Let me know when you are in Nairobi and I will take some time to say hello. I hope you are coming for the Elections...

Publish Reject (Anonymous) 12:48 AM


My (Kumekucha’s) answers in bold below


I have read your blogspot almost since it started. I have a little advice for you.

1) At the beginning when you were more neutral, you got more balanced readership. There are young entrepreneurs of Kenya who will survive P.N.U and O.D.M and you should have retained their faith in you as a balanced commentator. This group is critical to you as a businessman.

Thank you for your constructive criticism. Point taken. Although my being neutral has got more to do with perception than reality. Still I am working hard on that. By the way I do agree that both groups are important to me as a web entrepreneur.

2) When you write about your frustrations as a publisher in Nairobi, you omit the following basic reasons for your failure:

a) You had zero knowledge about marketing. In addition, your opinions were shallow and could only cater to the type of people who had been reading 'Scandal' at Lenana School.

I would hate to be seen to be bragging so I have to be very careful how I put this; But the fact is that my knowledge of marketing (especially online marketing) is much more than what you think it is and is one of my major strengths. I have read a lot and observed a lot to get to where I am today.

My friend you were an avid reader of Scandal yourself. Do you include yourself in this group?

What you refer to as "shallow" is my deliberate policy of simplifying complex issues so that people can grasp and understand them quickly. I was wildly sucessful with it in my Nairobi publishing operations. It is one of the reasons why Kumekucha is so popular. The publisher I admire most is Alfred Hamsworth (Lord Northcliff) whose guiding principal was "simplify, explain, clarify." No wonder he was the greatest publisher who ever lived. Surely even you do not come here at the end of a hard day to read some thesis, do you?


b) Your failure to go and study Architecture limited your general Education and scope of life. You could still have gone on to University and pursued a better Education, which would reflect in the quality of your articles. Currently your lack of further education comes through in your writing, e. g you are unable to support your views on issues like Majimbo with well reasoned argument.

OK I have no problem with constructive criticism and I will revise and refine my arguments on Majimboism amongst other topics that will be covered here in the days to come. But what does architecture have to do with publishing and writing?

Your quick judgment about my failing to take the opportunity to study architecture at Nairobi University and attributing my early struggles to that is misplaced and confirms a lot of what I already know about your conservative old hat values and outlook in life. Whatever assets you gained from your University education, a sober understanding of what life is really all about was not one of them.

Read any biography and you will observe that every successful person went through early struggles to arrive at their destiny. It is called paying the price to reach your destiny. It is an experience that is critical in building character and which to me (in retrospect) is the most valuable education I have ever had.

You take an arrogant assumption about my life and education not withsanding the fact that education is not always formal learning. Especially in this Information age.

I am also aware that many guys from our year in school support the view that the end justifies the means and have no problem making money from corruption or as a result of contacts with corrupt persons (some of whom feature prominently in the Kroll report.) This eliminates the need for any "struggle". And as long as they can impress everybody else in town, nothing else matters. Sad, because they never stopped being school boys.

You seem to be sure that I struggled at the beginning because I did not do architecture at the university. Correction, it is because I chose to follow the straight and narrow. One of our schoolmates once told me; "it is so difficult to make it in what you are doing."



3) Your grammar also requires some improvement, but this is tied to number 2(b) above.

My grammar seems to be good enough to allow me to generate content for very fussy clients (all based in North America). I suggest that you study the nature of blogs a little more and you will quickly realize that your criticism is a little on the harsh side. Read any leading blog in the world today and compare the grammar standards there to Kumekucha's and then judge me on that.

Still I always endeavor for very high standards and I will be more careful in future amid all the chaos and hectic nature of creating content for blogs.



4) I know you must add colour to your stories but at times, it is a tad much for those of us who know you well. You were a pretty good sportsman no doubt, but you were not the star player you implied playing for the first eleven in Form One. In Rugby you did well but failed to stay at the top long enough because you lacked some real hardness, you were surprisingly timid for a big guy.

FACT: I played for the school first 11 towards the end of the season when still in Form 1. Was in the starting 11 for the first match of the season in Form 2 but was cut down by a serious ankle injury.
FACT: This chap you say is surprisingly timid for a big guy, was invited for Kenya national rugby team trials when I was in Form 5. In that same year I was voted the best combined schools player in Kenya. I played for Kenya in the year I did my form six (shortly after my final exams).


Correction: what ended my rugby playing career a little prematurely was not the fact that I lacked “real hardness.” Rather it was women and booze in that order. Rugby players are of course famous for these vices, but then I was an extreme case. Mercifully I met JC and all that changed. You see, you really don’t know me as well as you think you do.

Most of all, your sporting ability was not derived because you were naturally athletic, it had much to do with the fact that you came to Form One a couple of years older and hence much bigger than the average boy. Age advantage in the tender years gives clear sporting superiority.

Please elaborate and clarify what you mean by that last sentence. You appear to be contradicting yourself. And besides how was this “age factor” an advantage when I was playing International rugby with much older people while barely out of school?

Your recent suffering at the hands of your son and grandson reported by you are not because of age. Unless you have done something about it, I last saw you ten years ago and you were at least 20kg overweight..

Many international sportsmen today are 40 plus and doing well, so your analogy was misplaced. The problem is how you have handled your age.

I know you visit a gym regularly, but I wonder how fit you are after that stroke you suffered shortly after the Central Police issue.


5) I recommend you to be a bit more open and balanced. Avoid personal attacks, after all how would you feel if all those old stories about you and the likes of the young beautiful Muchiru made their way to the web?

Are you suggesting that I was a homosexual in school? I challenge you to publish here evidence that I was involved in that kind of relationship. The truth for the record is that I have never had a weakness for my fellow men, if anything my biggest problem/weakness shortly after high school was women and NOT men. The fact that I befriended persons in lower forms was not a unique thing in the strict rigidly hierarchal system that relied a lot on bullying and the creation of fear at Lenana in those days. The fact that I hated the system and went against it by befriending people whom I should have bullied instead probably speaks volumes about my true character, but let me not be the judge of that. By the way, you too had quite a number of very close friends in lower classes, and I know you are straight. So where did this come from?

I do wish you success in Kumekucha however and do try to cater for all the readers that you have. This is part of that business savvy I mentioned above, and you must appreciate that lobby groups fade all the time while real business ventures survive regimes.

Thank you fo the advice. Will carefully consider it.

A business in which I have substantial shares is advertising on Kumekucha. Let me know when you are in Nairobi and I will take some time to say hello. I hope you are coming for the Elections...

How do I let you know when I am next in Nairobi and yet your comment is anonymous? To be honest, although I strongly suspect I know who you are, I could be wrong. Please drop me an email at umissedthis@yahoo.com if you are serious about this invitation. It seems that in a way you’ve accepted me for who I am, I gladly extend my hand of friendship to you on the same terms. You were not such a bad guy.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is what is great about our country. You two have handled the difference in opinion very maturely. kudos

macs34 said...

I am seriously considering posting here, after what i have just read.

Chris by publishing this guy's attacks and even answering him, gives me ashiver of some kind in my spinal. In away, i really sympathize with both of you; how on earth can you just put such a thing in public like this? - What is in for you? And what is it in for the guy attacking you?

And as someone has posted something on the same that he/she likes the way you have settled; i kind of want to differ, it looks like this is the start!

Anyone can start a blog, no marketing skills needed, no language skills and if you could send him or i do some of differnt blogs, he would wonder if they even stepped inside a classroom.

About being bias or neutral! At one point everyone of us has to come to terms with what is best for him or her. And if you chose to go the ODM or PNU way Chris that is your choice. Has this guy ever gone in a journalism class? He sounds to be a businessman; is everyone who supports ODM or PNU in the company or the party he prefers whom he deals with! If you you buy a matatu, you really have no choice of who comes in or not no matter what what party; The balance in here should not be taken on you Chris as a person for as i know there is Taabu, there is PKW and others who support ODM or PNU, and they make the balnce in here!

THE BALANCE IS THERE! WE DONT WANT TO SEE PERSONAL ATTACKS IN HERE, Even if this is open to anyone.. it doesnt help! (Sorry wakubwa for the Novel i have written).

Anonymous said...

I can only conclude that both of you are great guys. That the two of of you chose to display it for the whole world to read is a mark of true maturity. I challenge the anonymous guy to come into the open too; Note that many of us have really ugly skeletons out here but tightly locked in the cupbourds....

Silaha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Can the anonymous vitriol launching guy get a life? You must not have a lot going in...despite the fact that you claim to have vast business interests. How petty are you? All these years later you are still questioning if your high school mate/buddy had the requisite talent to make the rugby team??? Is that relevant today, no matter the reasons he made the team? And so what if he is not well educated? How does that affect your net worth? Some of the wealthiest people on earth (and I don't mean the Kenyan Kleptomaniacs) challenged the status quo and built amazing careers, developed ideas that have had life-changing impacts in various fieleds, and launched global businesses after dropping out of college. Whatever path Chris chose to pursue his dreams is only relevant to him. If he is happy with the direction his life has taken, that's all that matters. So, grow up and find something more important to grouch about! You obviously are insecure and feel the need to cut him down in order for you to stand tall.

Finally, I hate to bring this to your attention but this is a blog, not the local news @10:00PM. Therefore, Chris has a right to express his opinion, however divergent it may be from yours or those of other readers. Besides, you always have the option to stop reading this blog...after all, you wouldn't miss out since it is sooo poorly written and lacking in intellectual dexterity, right????

Keep up the good work Chris. And yes, those of us in North America do not have any problems with your "substandard diction" or education.

All the best.

Silaha said...

'Tis the season to be petty.

In every democracy, elections seem to bring out the worst in people. In Kenya we seem to be afflicted by election-itis worse than most. You see brother pitted against brother (e.g. Norm, pre-"Mapengo" vs Joe), son against father (e.g. Norm, again, vs Jeremiah in 1992; Jonathan's "Family Values" platform tossed out by his "Single Dad" father in 2002)

Now we see estranged schoolmates who obviously, as has been noted, have natural affection for each other (I mean that in the most honorable of ways), launch a public cat-fight. Stop it. It is not worth it.

In 41 days all this will seem so petty, whoever wins the elections. Remember Kenya will go on, Kumekucha will go on. So, let's keep away from personal vitriol.

-silaha
(Fellow mwananchi who wants Kenya to win on Dec 27th.)

Anonymous said...

I have never left a comment before but I just have to.

Who is this so marinated in his own sense of self-worth that he thinks the rest of us should have a taste of his 'succulent' idiocentrism?

In this day and age one is still extolling whether or not a person went to campus as the only real measure of true success? From his comment on writting and publishing, it is clear to me that he has never seen the inside of a Journalism class.

In my humble opinion, I think Chris is doing a great job and whether or not he was a sterling sportsman, had skeletons in the closet in High school or went to campus is a none issue.

Deal with your issues man and keep your insecurities to yourself. And Chris... keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

Sincerely, Chris congratulations for how you have handled this. As a trained journalist i can attest to the fact that it doesn't always take unversity education to succeed or write/market "successfully." Thanks for the lessons learnt.
Pic

Anonymous said...

Dear Chris,
I have read your response. By now, you have realized that I did not ‘attack’ you, and your initial reaction was more from realizing that I know you. Unfortunately, you are still fighting the fact that you were identified, rather than concentrating on the message.
Due to this, you wasted a lot of time trying to guess my identity. Let me save your agony.
1. I am not your former schoolmate
2. I am not around your age, I went to school at least six years after you finished
3. I was not in privileged schools like Lenana
4. I have never suffered a stroke, nor been incarcerated at Central Police Station.
My age bracket is not yet ripe for strokes.

My interest in writing to you is that I work in an institution that must help keep this country stay together through balkanized elections like this.
Our experience shows us that in places like Rwanda, any media organ that started being taken seriously would have helped the situation by being neutral.

The media was the fuel that lit the guns and machetes. These would have been no genocide without it. Ditto Kosovo, Bosnia. Your blog’s content and readership qualifies you to be appealed to, and I will monitor its content henceforth. Though you reproduced my private note to you, I see that you left out your names…

As for your history, talking with 25 of former schoolmates and team players gives an excellent picture.

I also knew Wambua well. Write responsibly, and balanced. Your country calls for it. I will meet you when you come. You just won’t know me.

chris said...

Now this is getting very interesting.

You still don't want to do this on email. And your choice of words is interesting in certain places.

For example you say; "Though you reproduced my private note to you, I see that you left out your names…"

So the comment you left at Kumekucha was a private note to me was it? How come you did not say so?

And then how does the personal stuff about Muchiru fit into all this?

And the 25 former school mates gave you details about my past so that you were so cockily able to dispute my school games record?

Come off it mate!

Take the time to read the original note and then read this one again and you will see everything very clearly.

What is most shocking about this latest message is your attempt to abuse my intelligence with your amazing tale.

Strange how a guy who is supossed to promote peace goes out of their way to provoke and to dig up old petty issues.

If you want me to take you seriously why don't you use your real names? And why don't you want to use email. Huh?

-Kumekucha-

chris said...

By the way I know why you don't want to use email. But for your information comments are easier to trace at this blog.

-Kumekucha-

Anonymous said...

Chris;
The way you have handled this obnoxious, self-loathing control freak shows your intellectual superiority over his.

One thing you can take from a reader like me is, if this guy is better than you as he seems to be asserting, he would not bother trying to talk down at you. He seems like a dude having some mental breakdown or something. Ignore this bloody jerk because his power to control the internet is one dream he will never realize.
The genocides in Rwanda and Cosovo were caused by ethnic hatred, known in Kenya as tribalism! Let him work to solve that wherever he is!!

Keep on the good work, Chris.

Anonymous said...

Chris, Keep doing what you do, and may I say that you do it well. why is he hiding behind the anonymous banner? If he has nothing positive or constructive to add, stay out the blog, get one that is more intelletually challenging and adquate, or rather start one and see how much traffic you will generate.
Keep up the good work Chris.

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