Sunday, February 27, 2011


Say What?! 


H[EAR] ON MUSIC by N. Arthur

Despite intensified crackdowns on drug traffickers in Kenya, dealers are increasingly becoming smarter at eluding police dragnets as they continue to profit from the trade.

SAY What!? investigative journalist, N. Arthur, tells of his run-in with a notorious drug dealer, who plies her ruthless trade under the cover of being an instrumentalist in a band.
It was the subtle sign that first attracted my attention.  I was taking my regular evening walk, when the setting sun cast a ray of light on a crude mabati sign nailed onto an electric pole.  It had two lines, “Problems?” followed by a phone number. 

On dialling the phone number, I was given a set of directions which led me to a location in Nairobi's westlands area.
When I arrived at the location, I found the band, Murfy’s fLaW, playing.  I dialled the number again, believing I was lost, and was shocked to see the bassist pick her phone and walk off the stage.  My reporter instinct kicked in.

“I can see you have a headache.  The spirits tell me everything.” she said when we met, even before I asked anything.  She started counting out some tablets from a brown bottle.

“I don’t have a headache,” I said, “I actually wanted to talk about - ”

“Your backache!” she interrupted, waving the tablets at me, “The spirits sometimes have problems translating to English.  It’s okay, this medicine will also work for backaches.”

“My back is fine!” I cried, “Your sign said ‘Problems?’ I thought you meant - ”

“Women!” she interrupted again, “Yes, this same tablet is also a love potion.  Just grind it into the girl’s tea, and she will follow you forever!”

“When I read ‘Problems?’, I thought I was calling a plumber!” I eventually shouted.

“Yes! I was right!” she said, “I was only confused because the spirit word for ‘plumbing’ is the same as the spirit word for ‘headache’ Luckily, if you put one of these same tablets in the cistern every day then flush, it will fix the toilet.”

So, I bought the tablets. I surreptitiously took a picture of the notorious drug dealer.

After this, I then watched the rest of the Murfy’s fLaW show.

Rosemary Owino, a deputy chief State counsel at the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, said better training of prosecutors and enactment of relevant control laws are needed to curb rising cases of drug trafficking in Kenya. [Source]

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Say What?!


H[EAR] ON MUSIC by N. Arthur

Residents in the leafy suburbs of an upscale residential area in Nairobi were on Monday night kept awake by the one thing their high-priced security companies cannot keep away. Nightrunners.

SAY What!? investigative journalist, N. Arthur, happened to be on the scene:

The first clue was the strange noises. I was taking my regular evening walk, when from the darkness, I heard rhythmic chanting. The eerie sound chilled me to the bone. Strangely though, the chanting felt strangely familiar. I then noticed a shape approaching with unnatural speed.

Instinctively, I ducked behind a tree, keeping an eye on the road.

Within the shadowy form, I noticed two bright green spots. I watched transfixed as the green orbs floated towards me, before I realised that they were actually a pair of eyes, glowing with a radioactive glare. The darkness took the shape of a person, and all the pieces fell into place!

The chanting… The unnatural speed… The glowing green eyes… I was looking at a night runner!

With no regard for my safety, I leaned towards the road, took a picture with my handy camera, and hid behind the tree again.

Reema with Radioactive Eyes But the shock wasn’t over! As I sat later at my computer, downloading the pictures, I realised that I recognized the nightrunner! No wonder the chanting was familiar! For there, before me, was a picture of none other than Reema, lead singer of Murfy’s fLaW.

Thinking back, I realised that the night runner’s chant had sounded like the chorus of one of their songs!

The residents of the neighbourhood seem familiar with these strange goings on.

“She does this regularly,” an unnamed source said, “Usually about 3 times a week. She talked some of us into accompanying her, and I have to say, these runs have really improved my life”

According to local lore, the typical behaviour for Night Runners is to kick people’s doors, throw sand through any opening, throw things on the roof, and especially iron sheet roofs which make a lot of noise. They take pleasure in disturbing people’s sleep. [Source]