Thursday November 14 2019

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge (white jersey) celebrates as he crosses the finish line at the end of his attempt to bust the mythical two-hour barrier for the marathon on October 12, 2019 in Vienna, Austria. Some critics deem the race as fake. PHOTO | ALEX HALADA | AFP

‘Ugali’ headline alarmist

I refer to the headline, “How ugali is slowly killing you” (Sunday Nation, November 10, 2019).

If there was a headline on the front page of a local newspaper that stopped me cold, it was that one.

I got the impression that scientists had finally discovered a very harmful component in the maize grain from which the flour for cooking ugali is produced.

Given that most Kenyans consume ugali almost on a daily basis, I felt like there was going to be a plague that was going to wipe out most Kenyans.

But before I was done reading the first sentence of that article, it immediately dawned on me that there’s no inherent problem with the maize grain or maize flour.


The problem is that some millers are selling maize flour that was produced from maize that wasn’t properly dried or stored. So, was there a need for such an alarmist headline?

I’m alive to the fact that journalists are prone to exaggerating things but, this time around, they went beyond what I would regard as acceptable.

— John Omondi

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Prof Mutua was right

I fully agree with Prof Makau Mutua that Eliud Kipchoge’s marathon run under two hours in Vienna was ‘fake’ (“Eliud Kipchoge says no human is limited. Folks, that’s not true” — Sunday Nation, Nov. 10, 2019).

The race was aided, shielded from wind, on a made-to-measure track and with technology help.

Social media has taken the columnist to task, criticising him for his opinion and analysis. But I stand with Prof Mutua, who did not shy away from the truth.

I accept that Kipchoge is a world champion and hope he will run under two hours in real conditions. He has the blessings of all Kenyans.

In the meantime, the race in Vienna served commercial purposes of a European company.

Even the World Athletics, previously known as the International Association of Athletics Federations, does not recognise the record — and for valid reasons.

— Zoeb Tayebjee

Intellectual arrogance

Nation columnist Makau Mutua’s piece was on a subject with which he has little, if any, ability to write about — that is, athletics, and more specifically, marathon runners (“Eliud Kipchoge says no human is limited. Folks, that’s not true” Sunday Nation, Nov. 10, 2019).

I am an avid supporter of sports and even have a marathon I founded 16 years ago, The Ndakaini Marathon.

Prof Makau has upset me because of something we used to call “intellectual arrogance” — particularly in an area he knows little, if anything, about.

— Prof Joe Kimura

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Monday ‘Nation’ is best

From Sunday to Saturday, the Monday issue of the Daily Nation is the easiest to read. The editors know that ‘Monday blues’ do exist. But what is Monday blues?

An online definition is: “The low-spirited, cool, annoyed, sad, unlucky mood of those workers, students or employees who feel that a mundane, difficult, unexpected weekday is arriving to force them into going back to work, killing their joys and annoying them.”

By the way, what led to the discontinuation of Chege Mbitiru’s column in the Monday Nation? He always wrote in a relaxed manner.

— Githuku Mungai, Nairobi

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