alexa Man Talk - The Oyunga Pala awards - Daily Nation

Man Talk - The Oyunga Pala awards

Saturday December 31 2005

By Oyunga Pala, [email protected]

Each year, this column throws barbs and bouquets at certain Kenyans for their deeds and misdeeds 

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the second edition of the self-funded/self titled Oyunga awards of distinction. These special mentions are reserved for Kenyans from all walks of life who contributed in some way or the other to the disturbing but sometimes refreshing nature of our national character.


In this year's time capsule, you will find some public gestures that were worthy of note, others you may even consider inspirational but the majority I can safely say, were shenanigans. The range moves from displays of excellence to what some might term as odd behaviour. The selection of nominees was random and the lessons are of national relevance. You will be pleased to note they are not bogged down by gender as alleged by critics. The cash prizes promised last year are absent as the anticipated lucrative sponsorship from organisations that support struggling publicity stunts wasn't forthcoming.

Without further ado, rolling drums, lights and the list of 42...


1. Nameless - the artist formerly known as David Mathenge for losing the bandana. Thank you for hearing our pleas.

2. Wahu the girl who called us 'Liars'- For teaching us that if you are going to have a grand wedding, hold it off until you become rich and famous. It makes for a more lasting memory.

3. Esther Wahome - For staying true to her self and leather while paying total disregard to critics and the weather. Kuna dawa.

4. Bishop Gilbert Deya - For demonstrating how a photo opportunity with the Queen on an official Royal engagement can be exploited to advance a struggling career.

5. Redykulass - for showing us that though we think politicians are ridiculous on TV; we prefer to take them very seriously outside the box.

6. Ruffstone - for that timely reminder. The lord helps those who help themselves. Even gospel artistes need a clothing line, a BMW and a trace of bling bling to be taken seriously in showbiz.

7. Poxi Presha - for 'otonglo time' and teaching us the often diluted value of speaking your mind always. Rest in peace my brother.

8. Ann Wambui - for teaching us the importance of paying income tax especially in the UK. She is the brothel owner in London who lost The equivalent of Sh44.5 million.

9. Charity Ngilu - for retrogression. A delegation to State House to earn special favours! That's was so unoriginal.

10. Alfred Mutua - for confirming that a statement from the government must be taken with a pinch of salt.

11. Lucy Kibaki- for showing us the importance of discretion. Slapping an awarding-winning journalist on the world press, in front of camera isn't a very smart move. 

12. Francis Atwoli - for that useful speech tip; your voice projection should be appropriate to your purpose, audience and presentation environment. It is possible to get your point across without raising your voice or popping your eyes out.

13. Kingsting and Bed Bug - for originality. Never underestimate the potential of a corny name in the music business.

14. Wangari Maathai - for revealing that an environmentalist is not taken seriously in her own backyard. It takes more than a Nobel Peace prize in the relevant field to head a ministry.

15. Steven Cherono - alias Saif Saeed Shaheen our very own Qatari for perpetuating the Kenyan legacy in middle and long distance running.

16. Ketan Somaia - for proving that the prison authorities have nothing personal against smokers. Every tycoon has a right to his comforts. He was reportedly seen smoking cigars in the hospital corridors during his incarceration.

17. Chris Murungaru - for illustrating the delusions of grandeur. Know Who You're Dealing with. Do Not Offend the Wrong Person. The underdog is not always guaranteed the backing of the crowd.

18. Jeff Koinange - for teaching us never to dismiss a guy in dreadlocks again.

19. Zain Virjee - of the CNN fame. For assuring the legions of doubting men, that there is such a thing as beauty and brains.

20. Mongolo - for proving that looking the part is essential to success in comedy. There is such a thing as a naturally-looking comic features.

21. Fai Amario - for staying in the news for all the wrong reasons. The original jack of all trades. 

22. Barrack Obama - for giving Kenyans a clear shot at the White house. We hope the Illinois senator will find time to visit his offshore constituents in Kenya with bags of dollars for 'development.'

23. Mrs Deya - for juvenile crap. If you are going to pull a scam of those proportions, get your elementary biology facts right.

24. Dennis Oliech - for behaving like a true star and throwing tantrums at the other Stars. It was so cute. Success is a large screen TV.

25. Paul Tergat - for proving that age is merely a number. The dramatic down-to-the-wire finisher during the New York marathon was an inspiration for couch potatoes.

26. Vincent Makori - of VOA, presenter of the Africa Journal show for trying too hard. You can always tell when a Kenyan develops a twang.

27. Bernard Lagat - for introducing the disturbing prospect of an American with Kenyan features winning the 1500m gold in the next Olympics.

28. The foreign recipient is Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra for finding a new home for endangered Kenyan wildlife. Now Kenyan students in Asia will get a chance to see exotic Kenyan wildlife in Thailand at discounted rates.

29. KCB rugby club - receives the team award for finally coming of age. Contrary to some female opinion, excellence in sport has nothing to do with good looks.

30. The team members of the African Queens get the positive influence award - for confirming the theory that men are visual creatures. I hope female footballers are listening. The sudden increase in the popularity of volleyball among males is not coincidental. 

31. Raphael Tuju - for a handy lesson in succession politics. If you are not David, do not go after Goliath with a sling shot.

32. City hall gets the institutional award for behaving like the mob levying rates, fees and charges for non-existent services. In some countries, they call it extortion.

33. Maurice Odumbe - for teaching us the importance of keeping girlfriends out of your personal affairs. There is such a thing as the wrath of a woman scorned.

34. Uncle Moody Awori - for giving prisoners more privileges. Now high risk offenders can have a regular dose of crime on TV while serving their jail terms.

35. Robinson Githae - for a simple reminder. Think before you speak.

36. President Mwai Kibaki - aka the leader banana. Mostly for refusing to keep his word every time he gives it.

37. Ojwang of Vitimbi - for reminding us that hard work and sustained popularity doesn't always pay the bills.

38. David Sadera Munyakei - the Goldenberg whistle blower - for illustrating the danger of assumption. You may risk your neck for the country but the country won't notice.

39. Big pin - for showing that a little exaggeration never hurt anyone. A small almost puny guy can pass for a big bloke with the right attitude.

40. Swaleh Mdoe - for cracking his own jokes in a foreign language (Swahili sanifu) in the middle of a prime time news broadcast and enjoying the thrill of leaving his audience flummoxed.

41. The wooden mace award goes to the current Parliament for allowing old men to masquerade as stakeholders. All I see are steak holders

42. The incompetence award was won easily this year by KFF for turning soccer management into a martial art

Who said we lacked role models? It was a long year. Thank you for keeping me company. The column will resume next year. Be happy.