Blogs by Alexander Nderitu
The Quotable Alexander Nderitu
9/20/2012 1:24:17 AM
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Considered thoughts, accidental wit, motivational quotes, book excerpts and one-liners from the author of 'The Moon is Made of Green Cheese'
'It's easy for me to rap because I talk fast anyway...Just add a beat and I'll be in there like swimwear.'
'These are the guys who ruined Kenyan hip hop: they jumped in like rapists when hip hop was in the middle of a seduction...In the early '90's, rap music began to gain popularity thanks to acts like MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice, LL Cool J and others. But the new guys didn't bother to understand the culture behind rap. They have for the last two decades or so been raping our ears with meaningless sonic garbage.' - Complaining about wannabe rappers who took the pimping/gangsta facade so far, they became caricatures of the hip-hop heroes
'I love jazz. I just wish it had more lyrics.' - On why his music is clearly influenced by jazz licks
'I am not wedded to any genre.' - Refuting claims that he is an aspiring hip-hop artiste
'How is Lady Gaga a "lady"? Saying "Lady Gaga" is a contradiction in terms. It's like saying "hot ice" or "Kibera millionaires".'
'I don't know why people say Madonna isn't a good singer. She's a great singer. Her work from the late '80's to the mid '90's was especially good. As a vocalist, she's right up there with Celine Dion and Mariah look-at-my-boobs Carey.'
'Kenyans are very helpful. When Michael Jackson was alive, they offered to help him find his other glove.'
'I am so old-school, I still refer to rock music as "Rock & Roll".'
‘I don’t wear bling because I have a heart of gold.’
'Yes…the memory is as bright as movie lights in the summer
All I wanted was a chance like Tom Cruise in ‘Days of Thunder’
I always knew I would be great man some day
It was no coincidence I was born on Shakespeare’s birthday'
- 'The Bookman Cometh'
'Of course Italy is a fashion capital - the entire country is shaped like a boot.'
‘Kenyan publishers are not that bad: at least when they reject your manuscript, they write the rejection (note) personally.’
‘I was born to be a storyteller – even my dreams have a full cast of characters and a twist in the tail.’
‘One of the reasons I like writing so much is the flexibility of the hours: they bend like rubber.’ – ‘Angela On My Mind’ (short story), Angela On My Mind
‘At heart, I am just a guy who likes to tell stories.’ – On why he doesn’t stick to one genre, writing everything from stage plays to novels.
‘I will never retire from writing. I’ll probably die in the middle of (writing) a sentence.’
'As a spy writer, I approach the drama genre like a tourist, taking note of anything that’s mildly interesting.'
'I have seen the furure and e-books work.'
'I want to talk about humility. But before I talk about humility, let me reiterate that I am the greatest living writer.'
' "I write what I want." Steve Biko said that, but I use it so often, it might one day be attributed to me.'
'I have written so many books that I haven't read some of them.'
'It's not that I'm anti-establishment, it's just that I'm always looking for easier and faster ways of doing the same old things.' - On his many innovations, especially in literature
‘I’ve got all these ideas running through my head like migrating wildebeest.’ – On planning to release several books in the year 2008 alone
‘Like Panasonic, I have ideas for life.’ – On being the first Kenyan to put out a POD book / e-novel
‘The Internet made me.’ – On relying on Internet technologies for most of his earnings.
'Talent is not enough...Dreams are not enough...You have to learn to market and sell your product, even if your "product" is yourself.' - Talking to Spanish interviewer
'Makeshift goalposts were designated using pullovers or shoes and referees were as rare as European royalty at a reggae concert.'- ‘A Game For Heroes…If You Believe the Hype’ (short story)
'As all golfers and surfers know, the wind is a fickle mistress and cannot be relied upon.' - ‘A Game For Heroes…If You Believe the Hype’ (short story)
' "Exciting" is a dull word to describe the pro wrestling business.'
'These guys (politicians) lie all the time. They can tell you they buy Playboy for the articles and expect you to believe it.'
'It’s not like Western governments were doing any cheerleading for us when we were peaceful.' - Addressing Kenya's descent into chaos after the 2007 presidential election.'
'Reactions to emerging details (about the 1994 Rwandan Genocide) were slower than a striptease.' - 'Harvest of Blood', (short story), Angela On My Mind
‘I don’t remember the collapse of the first East African Community, mainly because I wasn’t born yet.’ – During the 2007 talks to restore the EAC which collapsed in 1977
'If religion is the opium of the masses, then politics is the marijuana: It is cheap, commonplace, highly addictive, can be good but is often harmful and gives people a euphoric high that only lasts for a short time before reality comes crashing in.'
'If I'm politically correct, it's by accident. Even when I was a child, I never cared much for political correctness or conformity.'
'What we need is Africa 2.0 - A new version of Africa. A United States of Africa.'
'There are 50 states that make up the US; there are 53 countries that make up Africa. If we can have a United States of America then there's no reason why we can't have a United States of Africa.'
'There's food for though here, but let us not go into a feeding frenzy. There's enough for everyone.' - On the feasibility of a United States of Africa.
'Kenyans are way too obsessed with politics. I knew this shoemaker when I lived in Lang'ata who wouldn't even turn up for work if there was a political rally to be attended. His makeshift workstation had no shelter and he lived in the nearby Kibera slum and yet, he was still content to discuss duelling politicians all day. The politicians themselves lived in mansions and were flush with money...Many Kenyans are like that shoemaker. Politics are inevitable but do we have to dwell on them 24/7? There are other things in the world - there's tourism and agriculture, there's sports and entertainment.'
‘I love people – and I have the scars to prove it.’
'I don't like know-it-alls. In other words, I don't like competition.'
‘I see things in black and white. To me, Robin Hood was a thief and Cinderella was a social climber.’ – ‘I Tell You True’ (unreleased)
'You know the world is upside down when Zsa Zsa Gabor, who never accomplished anything of note, is many times more famous than Nikola Tesla, whose inventions affect every person on earth.'
'I once dated a Miss Tourism model who turned out to be more like Miss Disappointment...it turned out that she wore padded bras."
‘I never pay critics any mind: I just let their criticisms pass harmlessly through me, like neutrinos.’
(A neutrino, in physics, is an elementary matter particle with no atomic mass. Neutrinos, shot out of the sun, pass through our bodies every day.)
‘Old age creeps up on you like a mugger on the streets of Nairobi.’
‘If men like clean girls, then how come prostitution is the world’s oldest profession?’ – Sex and the City: Kenyan Prostitutes in London (article)
'Don't make fun of women. If anything, they're the cornerstones of the community.' - Reacting to an online ad that suggested that a winged sanitary pad is the ideal pack for an Apple iPad
'I once cracked a joke at a funeral. That was a grave error. No-one laughed - it was as if someone had died.'
'Patience pays - but the cheque takes so long to clear.'
'I never interfere with nature unless it is absolutely neccesary. I don't even interrupt insects if I catch them mating inside my house. I do, however, wish they would be more discreet about there sexual encounters: a white wall provides very little camouflage.'
'Her eyes were as blue as the cloud-starved African sky / that arched above us like the Sistine painting by Michaelangelo.' - Someone in Africa Loves You (poem), The Moon is Made of Green Cheese
'The El Nino weather phenomenon was in force and the icy wind was as deadly as the Devil’s own breath.'- A Cold day in December, 'Angela on My Mind'
‘They were enjoying their first date at a small restaurant a few days later when a tornado ripped through the area like the wrath of God.’ - What’s Wrong With This Picture? (play)
'A blood orange African horizon, and the rising sun like a raw egg yolk.' - Life as a Disease, 'Angela on My Mind'
'It was another cold day, the morning breeze a worthy rival to arctic winds.' - A Cold day in December, 'Angela on My Mind'
'...the sky was an abstract painting of purple and pink and orange.' - Kiss, Commander, Promise, 'Angela on My Mind'
'It didn't even look like the sun! It was so big and full and beautiful, it looked like a sister planet - something out of a Flash Gordon comic strip.' - A Game for Gentlemen
FROM LITERARY WORKS ...
‘A spray emanates from the shoe and the Henchman collapses, dead as chivalry.’ – What’s Wrong With This Picture? (play)
'As we wait and watch, a sulphur-yellow Hummer 3 zooms past, sticking out from the mostly dark vehicles like an albino in the Million Man March.' - 'Kiss, Commander, Promise' (spy story), Angela On My Mind
'My first port of call was the mortuary where the MP’s cadaver lay on a slab, post-autopsy, like the victim of an alien abduction.'- A Cold Day in December, 'Angela on My Mind'
'A few drunkards stagger home or lie on the filthy ground like broken dolls.' - Life as a Game (film script)
'... and although the sari she wore exposed her presentable mid-riff, her breasts were carefully concealed, like weapons of mass destruction.' - 'Rude Was the Shock' (short story), Angela on My Mind
‘A virus is the smallest parasite in the business.’ – Life as a Disease (short story), Angela On My Mind
‘There is a time to walk and a time to run; a time to spy and a time to refrain from spying.’ - 'Kiss, Commander, Promise' (spy story), Angela On My Mind
‘The police residence was densely populated – rumours would swirl around us like flies over a dead dog.’ - ‘Angela On My Mind’ (short story), Angela On My Mind
'...the seven Israeli legislators...were now sitting around an elliptical Formica table, as silent as the faces on Mt.Rushmore.' - The Tommorrow Soldiers, 'Angela on My Mind'
‘Hard words they were and they hurt like punches.’ – The World is Upside Down (poem), The Moon is Made of Green Cheese
'As the getaway car zoomed down Uhuru Highway, navigated the roundabout with Haile Selassie Avenue and headed on towards Nyayo Stadium, the Hyundai stuck to it like a cheap pair of trousers.' - 'Kiss, Commander, Promise' (spy story), Angela On My Mind
'Nonsense! I avoid cliches like the plague!' - Character in 'The Smartest Guy in the Boardroom'
'... and although the sari she wore exposed her presentable mid-riff, her breasts were carefully concealed, like weapons of mass destruction.' - Rude Was the Shock, 'Angela on My Mind'
'I don't remember saying that - but it sounds like something I'd say.' - Asked if the line 'Police intelligence is an oxymoron' is attributable to him. (He actually wrote in the script for the movie 'The War Room')
'Doctors are the gods of the new millennium.' - The Tomorrow Soldiers, 'Angela on My Mind'
'Night and day, Maggie fumed. Her mind went to and fro like a caged tiger.' - When the Whirlwind Passess
'The Mercedes lurched forward and managed to catch the tail-end of the yellow light. ' - Life as a Disease, 'Angela on My Mind'
'Tall, lean and with greying hair, he (the doctor) wore a white dustcoat and smiled like a magician entertaining kids.' - A Cold day in December
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The Quotable Alexander Nderitu - Thursday, September 20, 2012