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Poems

Budding Dirt Nov 2017
"Nyamama owada in e mara ma oingo nyiri duto"-Ongoro Jakarachuonyo.

Busy listening to luo music; What a cool evening of inspiration.

I felt a lot of connection hearing my brothers defining love with such honesty.
   "Nindo otama yawa nindo tama yaye kaparo nyadundo"

The purity of rhythm was soaking my blood . Rhumba is soothing with notable songs like “Elector Nyarkano” by Madanje Perimeter.

Prezda “Igwe” Bandasson
“Nyisuba” one of his best creations. What i love most about Bandasson is that he got unique style and writing skill not like his fellow benga artists; If you like  Ferre Gola, now this the man to listen to.

My evening was going on well with some ohangla likes of ; "Kanungo".

“Kanungo is one of the song that you must have heard wherever you are in this country. Its one of the top songs of both 2014 and 2015 even though it's not my musical taste but Otieno Aloka defines Ohangla in a creative way; The drums are well arranged and composition is just amazing.

That brings me to a funny question who is Emma Jalamo?  He is not old in the game but the guy has come up with a unique Ohangla sound that takes him at par with the rhumba musicians as old fork and young people alike listen to his music with zeal. His new album, “Sherry” is a master piece with hits like “Wivu mbaya”.

Luo music is intelligent entertaining and soothing .

Tony Nyadundo is another seasoned musician who has traveled wide with his Ohangla beat which spread across the country like bush fire. He released hits like "Mapenzi Kizunguzingu".

My playlist couldn't be complete minus The bird aka Osogo Winyo;
he has taken a low profile of late, musically, but he has some of the best Ohangla sounds of this decade.

Musa Juma and Limpopo Band is so common in luo with sweet resonating songs like ; "Aggrey ,Maselina,Lake Victoria" .

It didn't stopped their; i went deep to discover heartbreak sounds likes of "Our Only John Juniour".
John juniour, is one of current trending names in Nyanza due to his sweet voice and romantic writing skills. "Nyoremo and kalisto baba" are well crafted when it comes to composition.

Another talented artist is ; Wuod Phiby who is also a producer and sound engineer at Barikiwa studio. He's the owner of hit songs like " Cham gi ****'i" and many more.

Makadem is one of the the artist signed to Ketebul music is known worldwide with a brands that precedes him as he is commonly known as the Ohangla man.

We have alot of talented luo artists but let me focus on our own few who are so creative when it comes to fusing . I'm talking of Owiyo ; She is one of the first female artists to fuse the Nyatiti beat with modern fusion and with songs like “Kisumu 100”, she still remains so relevant in the industry that her new song, “wamiel” is doing quite fine.

I've listened to a lot of modern Benga maybe ones played on the radio. I was not well informed that much on old sounds but when i dug the tapes and crates to so called luo "thum gi timbegi".
Abila gi thum machon ; I discovered names like;
1) George Ramogi
George ramogi died but left a name for himself with songs like Affline the Pretty and Wiya Chandore Malit.

2) Ochieng Kabaselleh
When we were growing up we use to hear  songs like," Zainabu,Achi Maria and Dunia mokili".  Kabaselleh and Luna Kidi Band were the voice of love within Nyanza at that time.

3) Okatch Biggie
"Nyathi nyakach atimni ang'o?"
Before his death he sold thousand of copies of the same record. He had countless hit songs like "Okatch pod ngima,Hellena nya kabondo e.t.c".

4) Osito Kale
Osito and Ogina Koko termed to bring some of remarkable songs like "Rapar Angelina" .Asembo born artist is one of luo musician with aggressive thoughts and creativity.

5) Ouma Omore
Many of new generation might not have known him but he got massive Jams like "Atwech Nyaduse" were so common in my parents mouth. He wrote many songs on him like "Perry Odhi Chuth,To Natimi Nade e.t.c".

5) D.O Misiani
The late misiani and Shirati band was and still one of the voices who spoke against corruption in moi regime with songs like "Bim en Bim,Lee tinde mor and Amolo piny Pako Te". Tanzania born Benga star rose to fame with songs like "Auma Lando and Wich Teko Ok Kony".

6) Collela Mazee
I don't have much to say about Collela but lyrics like;
"Kare piny luoro ka aleki nya john" caught my attention. Collela was a great composer with every rhyme and sense falling at their place".

We have thousand artists(some died)who did and still doing music from Nyanza i couldn't mention all even though there are different genres associated with Luo music like Benga , Ohangla, Rhumba, Afro-fusion and the likes, the musicians have always strive to be at the top of the music game. By Luo music, I mean those music sang partly or fully in Dholuo,the music is honest,creative and enjoyable.

I'm blessed to say;This artists have done great with their music and still doing it.

By Quoting The Late Ongala lyrics..."Mziki haina mwenyewe", As long as you can create;
Educative
Entertaining
And melodical changes a persons life don't stop doing it. Music is power. Let's support our own.

   Compiled By Budding Dirt.
By
Alexander K Opicho

(Eldoret, Kenya; aopicho@yahoo.com)


Spiritual scholars of Christian Science have a concept that there is
power in the name. They at most identify the name Jesus and the name
of God, Jehovah to be the most powerful names in the spiritual realm.
But in the world of literature and intellectual movement, art,
science, politics and creativity, the name Alexander is mysteriously
powerful. Averagely, bearers of the name Alexander achieve some unique
level of literary or intellectual glory, discover something novel or
make some breakaway political victories.

Among the ancient and present-day Russians, most bearers of the name
Alexander were imbued with some uniqueness of intellect, leadership or
literary mighty. Beginning with the recent times of Russia, the first
mysterious Alexander is the 1700 political reformist and effective
leader, Tsar Alexander and his beautiful wife, tsarina Alexandrina.
The couple transformed Russian society from pathetic peasantry to a
middle class society. It is Tsar Alexander’s leadership that lain a
foundation for Russian socialist revolution. Different scholars of
Russian history remember the reign of Tsar Alexander with a strong

bliss. This is what made the Lenin family to name their son Alexander
an elder brother to Vladimir Ilyanovsk Ilyich Lenin. This was done as
parental projection through careful   choice of a mentor for their
young son. Alexander Lenin was named after this formidable ruler; Tsar
Alexander. Alexander Lenin was a might scholar. An Intellectual and
political reformist. He was a source of inspiration to his young
brother Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, who became the Russian president after
his brother Alexander, had died through political assassination.
However, researches into distinctive prowess of these two brothers
reveal that Alexander Lenin was more gifted intellectually than
Vladimir Lenin.

Alexander Pushkin, another Russian personality with intellectual,
cultural, theatrical and   literary consenguences. He was a
contemporary of Alexander pope. He is the main intellectual influence
behind Nikolai Vasileyvich Gogol and very many other Russian writers.
He is to Russians what Shakespeare is to English speakers or victor
Hugo is to French speakers, Friedriech schiller and Frantz Kafka is to
Germany readers or Miguel de Cervantes to the Spaniards. Among English
readers, Shakespeare’s drama of king Lear is a beacon of English
political theatre, while Hugo’s Les miscerables is an apex of French
social and political literature, but Pushkin’s Boris Godunov, a
theatrical political satire, technically towers above the peers. For
your point of information my dear reader; there has been a
commonaplace false convention among English literature scholars that,
William Shakespeare in conjunction with Robert Greene wrote and
published highest number of books, more than anyone else. The factual
truth is otherwise. No, they only published 90 works, but Pushkin
published 700 works.
Equally glorious is Alexander Vasileyvich sholenstsyn,the, the, the
author of I will be on phone by five, Cancer Ward, Gulag Archipelago’
and the First Cycle. He is a contemporary of Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor
Dostoyevsky, Alfred Nobel and Maxim Gorky. Literary and artistic
excellence of Alexander Sholenstsyn,the, the anti-communist Russian
novelist was and is still displayed through his mirroring of a corrupt
Russian communist politics, made him a debate case among the then
committee members for Nobel prize and American literature prize, but
when the Kremlin learned of this they, detained Alexander sholenenstyn
at Siberia for 18 years this is where he wrote his Gulag Archipelago.
Which he wrote as sequel five years later to the previous novel the
Cancer Ward whose main theme is despair among cancer patients in the
Russian hospitals. This was simply a satirical way of expressing agony
of despair among the then political prisoners at Siberia concentration
camps .In its reaction to this communist front to capitalist
literature through the glasnost machinery, the Washington government
ordered chalice Chaplin an American pro-communist writer to be out of
America within 45 minutes.
Alexander’s; Payne, Pato, Petrovsky, and Pires are intellectual
torchbearers of the world and Russian literary civilization. Not to
forget, Alexander Popov, a poet and Russian master brewer, whose
liquor brand ‘Popov’ is the worldwide king of bar shelves?
In 1945 the Russians had very brutish two types of guns, designed to
shoot at long range with very little chances of missing the target.
These guns are; AK 47 and the Molotov gun. They were designed to
defeat the German **** and later on to be used in international
guerrilla movement. The first gun AK 47 was designed by Alexander
klashilinikov and the second by Alexander Molotov. These are the two
Alexander’s that made milestones in history of world military
technology.
The name Alexander was one of the titles or the epithet used to be
given to the Greek goddess Hera and as such is taken to mean the one
who comes to save warriors. In Homer’s epical work; the Iliad, the
most dominant character Paris who often saved the other warriors was
also known also as Alexander. This name’s linkage to popularity was
spread throughout the Greek world by the military maneuvers and
conquests of King Alexander III. Alexander III is commonly known as
Alexander the Great .  Evidently; the biblical book of Daniel had a
prophecy. It was about fall of empires down to advent of Jesus as a
final ruler. The prophecy venerated Roman Empire above all else. As
well the, prophecy magnified military brilliance, intellect and
leadership skills of the Greek, Alexander the great, the conqueror of
Roman Empire. Alexander the great was highly inspired by the secret
talks he often held with his mother. All bible readers and historians
have reasons to believe that Alexander of Greece was powerful,
intellectually might, strong in judgment and a political mystery and
enigma that remain classic to date.
In his book Glimpses of History, jewarlal Nehru discusses the Guru
Nanak as an Indian religious sect, Business Empire, clan, caste, and
an intellectual movement of admirable standard that shares a parrell
only with the Aga Khans. Their   founder is known, as Skander Nanak
.The name skander is an Indian version for Alexander. Thus, Alexander
Nanak is the founder of Guru Nanak business empire and sub Indian
spiritual community. Alexander Nanak was an intellectual, recited
Ramayana and Mahabharata off head; he was both a secular and religious
scholar as well as a corporate strategist.
The American market and industrial civilsations has very many
wonderful Alexander’s in its history. The earliest known Alexander in
American is Hamilton, the poet, writer, politician and political
reformist. Hamilton strongly worked for establishment of American
constitution. Contemporaries of Hamilton are; Alexander graham bell
and Alexander flemming.bell is the American scientist who discovered a
modern electrical bell, while Fleming, A Nobel Prize Laureate
discovered that fungus on stale bread can make penicillin to be used
in curing malaria. Other American Alexander’s are; wan, Ludwig,
Macqueen, Calder and ovechikin.
Italian front to mysterious greatness in the name Alexander
spectacularly emanates from science of electricity which has a
measuring unit for electrical volume known as voltage. The name of
this unit is a word coined from the Italian name Volta. He was an
Italian scientist by the name Alesandro Volta. Alesandro is an Italian
version for Alexander. Therefore it is Alexander Volta an Italian
scientist who discovered volume of electrical energy as it moves along
the cable. Thus in Italian culture the name Alexander is also a
mystery.
Readers of European genre and classics agree that it is still
enjoyfull to read the Three Musketeers and the Poor Christ of
Montecristo for three or even more times. They are inspiring, with a
depth of intellectual character, and classic in lessons to all
generations. These two classics were written by Alexander Dumas, a
French literary genious.he lived the same time as Hugo and
Dostoyevsk.when Hugo was writing the Hunch-back of Notredame Dumas was
writing the Three Musketeers. These two books were the source of
inspiration for Dostoyevsky to write Brothers Karamazov. Another
notable European- *** -American Alexander is  Alexander pope, whose
adage ‘short knowledge is dangerous,’ has remained a classic and ever
quoted across a time span of two centuries. Alexander pope penned this
line in the mid of 1800 in his poem better drink from the pyrene
spring.

In the last century colleges, Universities and high schools in Kenya
and throughout Africa, taught Alexander la Guma and Alexander Haley as
set- book writers for political science, literature and drama courses.
Alexander la Guma is a South African, ant–apartheid crusader and a
writer of strange literary ability. His commonly read books are A walk
in the Night, Time of the Butcher Bird and In the Fog of the Season’s
End. While Alexander Haley is an African in the American Diaspora. An
intellectual heavy- weight, a politician, civil a rights activist and
a writer of no precedent, whose book The Roots is a literary
blockbuster to white American artists. Both la Guma and Haley are
African Alexander’s only that white bigotry in their respective
countries of America and South Africa made them to be called Alex’s.
The Kenyan only firm for actuaries is Alexander Forbes consultants.
Alexander Forbes was an English-American mathematician. The lesson
about Forbes is that mystery within the name Alexander makes it to be
the brand of corporate actuarial practice in Africa and the entire
world.
Something hypothetical and funny about this name Alexander is that its
dictionary definition is; homemade brandy in Russia, just the way the
east African names; Wamalwa, Wanjoi and Kimaiyo are used among the
Bukusu, Agikuyu and Kalenjin communities of Kenya respectively. More
hypothetical is the lesson that the short form of Alexander is Alex;
it is not as spiritually consequential in any manner as its full
version Alexander. The name Alex is just plain without any powers and
spiritual connotation on the personality and character of the bearer.
The name Alexander works intellectual miracles when used in full even
in its variants and diminutives as pronounced in other languages that
are neither English nor Greece. Presumably the - ander section of the
name (Alex)ander is the one with life consequences on the history of
the bearer. Also, it is not clear whether they are persons called
Alexander who are born bright and gifted or it is the name Alexander
that conjures power of intellect and creativity on them.
In comparative historical scenarios this name Alexander has been the
name of many rulers, including kings of Macedon, kings of Scotland,
emperors of Russia and popes, the list is infinite. Indeed, it is bare
that when you poke into facts from antiques of politics, religion and
human diversity, there is rich evidence that there is substantial
positive spirituality between human success and social nomenclature in
the name of Alexander. Some cases in archaic point are available in a
listological exposition of early rulers on Wikipedia. Some names on
Wikipedia in relation to the phenomenon of Alexanderity are: General
Alexander; more often known as Paris of Troy as recounted by Homer in
his Iliad. Then ensues a plethora; Alexander of Corinth who was the
10th king of Corinth , Alexander I of Macedon, Alexander II of
Macedon, Alexander III of Macedonia alias  Alexander the Great. There
is still in the list in relation to Macedonia, Alexander IV  and
Alexander V. More facts of the antiques have   Alexander of Pherae who
was the despotic ruler of Pherae between 369 and 358 before the Common
Era. The land of Epirus had Alexander I the king of Epirus about 342
before the Common Era and Alexander II  the king of Epirus 272 before
the Common Era. A series of other Alexander’s in the antiques is
composed of ; Alexander the  viceroy of Antigonus Gonatas and also the
ruler of a **** state based on Corinth in 250 before the common era,
then Alexander Balas, ruler of the Seleucid kingdom of Syria between
150 and 146 before the common era . Next in the list is  Alexander
Zabinas the ruler of part of the Seleucid kingdom of Syria based in
Antioch between 128 and 123  before the common era ,  then Alexander
Jannaeus king of Judea, 103 to 76  before the common era  and last but
not least  Alexander of Judaea  son of Aristobulus  II the  king of
Judaea .  The list of Alexander’s in relation to the antiquated  Roman
empire are; Alexander Severus, Julius Alexander who lived during the
second  century as the Emesene nobleman, Then next is Domitius
Alexander the Roman usurper who declared himself emperor in 308. Next
comes Alexander the emperor of Byzantine. Political antiques of
Scotland have Alexander I , Alexander II and Alexander III of Scotland
. The list cannot be exhausted but it is only a testimony that there
are a lot of Alexander’s in the antiques of the world.
Religious leadership also enjoys vastness of Alexander’s. This is so
among the Christians and non Christians, Catholics and Protestants and
even among the charismatic and non-charismatic. These historical
experiences start with Alexander kipsang Muge the Kenyan Anglican
Bishop who died in a mysterious accident during the Kenyan political
dark days of Moi. But when it comes to  The antiques  catholic
pontifical history, there is still a plethora of them as evinced on
Wikipedia ; Pope Alexander I , Alexander of Apamea also the  bishop of
Apamea, Pope Alexander II ,Pope Alexander III, Pope Alexander IV, Pope
Alexander V, Pope Alexander VI, Pope Alexander VII, Pope Alexander
VIII, Alexander of Constantinople the bishop of Constantinople , St.
Alexander of Alexandria also the  Coptic Pope and Patriarch of
Alexandria between  then Pope Alexander II of Alexandria the  Coptic
Pope  and lastly Alexander of Lincoln the bishop of Lincoln and
finally  Alexander of Jerusalem.
However, the fact of logic is inherent in the premise that there is
power in the name .An interesting experience I have had is that; when
Eugene Nelson Mandela ochieng was kidnapped in Nairobi sometimes ago,
a friend told me that there is power in the name. The name Mandela on
a Nairobi born Luo boy attracts strong fortune and history making
eventualities towards the boy, though fate of the world interferes,
the boy Eugene Mandela ochieng is bound to be great, not because he
was kidnapped but because he has an assuring name Nelson Mandela. With
extension both in Africa and without ,May God the almighty add all
young Alexander’s to the traditional list of other great and
formidable  Alexander’s that came before. Amen.

References;
Jewarlal Nehru; Glimpses of History


Alexander K Opicho is a social researcher with Sanctuary Researchers
ltd in Eldoret, Kenya he is also a lecturer in Research Methods in
governance and Leadership.
Sharon Talbot Jul 2018
We three met
Beneath the Eye In the Sky,
Above the green-blue lake.

You two were sent for a lesson;
I met you to escape.

Stories from long ago
And old films that you two know
Are shining new to me.

One of you loves me
And to the other
I made love.

But in teaching me your lessons,
(Balzac is our favourite!)
You have taught me not to love.

Let us lie here under the sky
Unwatched by others’ eyes,
Away from what you know.

One day you will accept this place,
But then, I will need to go.

Years from now, if you return,
You will still not find me.

Look for my name
On a candle-lit, paper boat,
In the twilight of
Zhongyuanjie
On the blue-green lake.
On the last day of Zhongyuanjie (Hungry Ghost Day), Many families float river lanterns on little boats in the evening. People make colorful lanterns out of wood and paper, and families write their ancestors’ name on the lanterns. The ghosts are believed to follow the floating river lanterns away. Mai’s name may be one one of the lanterns. Luo swims out into the lake to find her.