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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bismillahi Gargar to Perform in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Bismillahi Gargar, an all-female music group of Somali origin based in Kenya, is set to perform in Bulawayo during the annual Intwasa Arts Festival.
The show is a collaboration between Intwasa Arts Festival and the Alliance Fran├žaise de Bulawayo.
“The women will perform at the Bulawayo Rainbow Hotel on the opening night of September 19,” said Gilmore Moyo, cultural coordinator with Alliance Francaise de Bulawayo.
“Their performance in Bulawayo is part of our cultural and arts exchange programmes that we hold on a regular basis throughout the year as an association in conjunction with the Embassy of France in Zimbabwe.”
Their music is a fusion of pop and traditional beats in keeping with Somali language and style arranged and recorded with modern instrumentation.
The group’s name is derived from the Somali word bismillahi which means- “in the name of Allah (God)” and gargar meaning -“joining or bringing together”.
Formed in 2003 with the purpose of reminding people of their traditional culture, Bismillahi Gargar focuses on their own empowerment in an area where cultural practices sometimes marginalise women.
“Music is just one of the activities they engage in.
Besides performing on national holidays, at weddings, harvests and other festivities, the women also run a self-help group weaving mats and ropes,” said Moyo.
Their debut album titled Garissa Express was recorded over a period of two years at Nairobi’s Ketebul Studios.
“This project involved the four founding members namely, Lulu Bashir Muge, Anab Gure Ibtahi, Amina Basher Elmoge and Asha Ibrahim Yussuf. The album’s release in Nairobi was a huge success,” he said.

This of course is an article about the group written by  Zimbabwe's 'News Day', a daily in Mugabeland.

Here is a sample of the Groups music.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Kamukunji Goes To Yusuf Hassan

On behalf of Garissa and its residents, this blog congratulates Mr. Yusuf Hassan on his victory. May Allah grant him the wisdom of Prophet Suleiman and the Leadership of Prophet Mohammad (SAW).

From left: Lawyer Stephen Njiru, PNU candidate Yusuf Hassan and Mr Osoro Moikoyo leave the Court after a ruling on July 29, 2011. The Court of Appeal has lifted an injunction that stopped IIEC from conducting the Kamukunji by-election. Photo/WILLIAM OERI

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dear Garissan: Take Pride in your City

The conventional view in Kenya has been that Garissa is Kenya's gateway to poverty. Well, what I'm about to tell you will most definitely induce some cognitive dissonance into your psyche.

Garissa has been genuinely a poor county. Many of its residents have not been in the good graces of  Mother Nature and fate. Yet, midst this gloomy history is emerging a new Garissa. One that is setting the tone not just for NEP but for an entire republic.

 When did Garissa become an economic blueprint for sucess? For anyone old enough to remember the 90s and before, the very adjective "Garissa" cries out penury and reliance on relief food.To some extent, this still rings true for many of our people who are now suffering under the debilitating effects of a once in a century drought. That said, Garissa has turned the tide in its favour...whether she will ride it to economic self sufficiency will rely on how we respond to the political landscape post 2012.

Figures released by "Kenya Open Data" shows that Garissa is one of the few counties in the country where less than one in two live below the poverty line. On volume and on average, Garissa is more prosperous than Baringo (former President Moi's constituency), Machakos , Kisumu, Kakamega and Uasin Gishu.

But this seems to make a contrast between Garissa and the less than vigorous economies of supposedly big cities in Western and Rift Valley. Also, these poverty rates are from 2005-2006 and do not reflect the cities boom years of 07, 08, 09 and 2010. Even though there are reliable figures available for the poverty rates post 2006, its obvious to even the casual observer or the sociological empiricist that our city has experienced tremendous growth.

There is no doubt the current drought is reversing some of our admirable gains but our improvement is none the less impressive. More-so when you can consider this was done without that help of a government or an aid group. In fact, it can be said the Government has been more of a hindrance than help.

Garissa proudly stands as a monument to self-empowerment. Our methods are the panacea to what ails this regressive country.

Our county government post 2012 should try to limit regulation and attract investment from Somalis in the diaspora. It should also work to make many of our unemployed youngsters get employed in the construction sector which has been taken over by labour imported from Ukambani.

I would say to whoever becomes the Governor of Garissa County; Go to Minneapolis, London, Toronto and Melbourne. Ask all Somalis in those places to come and invest in our county. The new Kenya will be ruled by those who invest early and invest smart.

Here is some of the raw data on Garissa:

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Population of Dujis: 190,062

Population of Fafi: 95,212

Population of Ijara: 92,063

Population of Lagdera: 245,123

Percentage of Children between the ages of 6-17 attending school: 59.5

Number of Cattle: 266,878

Number of Goats: 1,000,856

Number of Camels: 101,548

Poverty Rate In Garissa

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1 Child Killed and Two Injured by an Explosive Device

  One boy was killed and two were injured when they mistook a bomb for a camera and started playing with it. The three boys are from Dertu village, 120KM away from Garissa.

We send our sincere condolences to their families. May the Almighty grant them the senility necessary to bare this tragedy.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Garissans For Garissa

Garissans for Garissa, an initiative aimed at alleviating the extreme penury that has become synonymous with NEP is getting off to a great start.
Last week, the initiative fed about 500 families in different parts of the city largely from the donations of  generous citizens like you.
Rashid Issa, one of the founders of this non-profit group, says their target is to raise about Kshs. 200 000 before the end of Ramadan and plan on feeding about 10 000 families.

Please give generously. Sadaqa (charity) is the greatest multiplier of wealth.

Admin Police Officers Manhandle self-entitled Hassan Barre Dualle

Three days ago Mr. Hassan Barre Dualle, brother to our National Man of Idiocy and Dujis MP Adan Barre Dualle, was beaten up by Administration police officers in Garissa after he visited the Ministry of Immigration's offices seeking to renew his passport.

Admin Police officers claim that Mr. Dualle was overly rude and indignant towards immigration officers. However, the businessman refutes those claims and alleges the officers are operating as a cartel extorting money from Garissians seeking government services.

Civic leaders including the Mayor have added their voices to this mini-controversy and called for the transfer of these corrupt officers. However, our unelected dictator and Kikuyu Supremacist, Samson Macharia has accused  Garissans of wanting to "bulldoze" through the layered channels and "using forcing" to get services.