KOT roasts Sonko over 'ridiculous' lion statue on Uhuru highway

KOT roasts Sonko over ‘ridiculous’ lion statue on Uhuru highway

The lion statue erected by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko at the University Way roundabout has elicited mixed reactions from Kenyans online. Majority of Kenyans on Twitter said the statue is poorly sculptured and only serves to ridicule the city instead of beautifying it. “Even the lion himself appears not convinced he’s a lion,” Njeri Maina said. Another user by the name Laura asked “Why, Sonko, why?” Vasco da Gama said, “Now that we are on the topic of beautification, does anyone have pictures of those disco-looking lights on the highway roundabouts? Please share… we need to stop this while we can.” “No! This is not my city. First Christmas and Disco Lights (that are still on in March) then this… no,” another user tweeted. “What is going wrong with our Kamba bratha?”Asked Cess Mutungi. Idris Mukhtar said Sonko’s administration has a great sense of humour. “Don’t you just love Nairobi county government, his administration’s sense of humour is on another level. Lord of mercy!” he said. ”What is this for?” asked Akel love. In 2015, the Nairobi City County government under then governor Evans Kidero allegedly splashed more than Sh140 million to beautify the city. This was done just days before former USA President Barack Obama and Catholic Pope Francis made their inaugural visits to Kenya.  Read more:  Kenyans on Facebook roast Sonko over fake accent at London conference Click here for the latest political news.
See all stories on this topic

Up all night with Taika Waititi in London

New Zealander Maha Albadrawi went to an all-night Taika movie marathon in London, and managed to st…
See all stories on this topic

At the Vancouver International Dance Festival, Japan’s Dairakudakan conjures high-tech doom

Serpent men with flicking red tongues, antlike insects in silver masks, and ghouls contorting in white body paint: watching Japanese master Akaji Maro’s butoh-inspired dance work is the stuff of nightmares. In 2017, Paradise wielded chains, roller skates, and a mountain of flowers to bring a surreal hell on Earth to the Vancouver International Dance Festival. Two years before that, Mushi no Hoshi—Space Insect conjured bug people, larvae, and giant cocoons. With its next visit, his Tokyo-based Dairakudakan dance company will present an even darker vision at the fest, parading out eerie Franken-borgs bent on taking over the world. Pseudo human/Super human grew out of Maro’s obsession with technology and the implications of artificial intelligence. But rather than feeling scared, the artist finds a kind of existential humour in the dire subject matter. “Reflections and my daydreaming brought me to the conclusion that AI and AGI [artificial general intelligence], and especially AGI, was several hundred or even thousand times more powerful than mankind, and that upon the Last Judgment, they would condemn mankind for being the most dangerous species on Earth,” Maro says through a translator from his home in Japan. “Then, eventually, AGI would also self-destroy. So rather than this being frightening, I feel like I am laughing in a huge crucible full of contradictions.” The resulting work, like the other Dairakudakan mind-blowers that have come to VIDF, should be an all-out carnival for the senses. In Pseudo human, 21 dancers stalk the stage, some suspended and writhing in glass display cases, like lab experiments, along the back of the stage. At the centre of the action sits an ominous, illuminated metal-and-glass structure created by artist Katsuyuki Shinohara, known as KUMA. Maro describes it as a “20-centimetre wide, five-metre-tall glass column that towers at the centre of the stage, emitting various colours. It works in many ways, being alternatively a core nerve, a tree, or at times an energy source for AI.” In butoh, the bald, half-naked dancers often seem to come from a different dimension, suspended between life and death. Here, the contorting half-human, half-machine figures are unearthly messengers from the future. Maro has an uncanny ability to summon the primal, the mechanical, and the alien out of his dedicated army of performers. “A body in which reality, fantasy, and daydreams are intermingled no longer has the shape of a human body rooted in reality,” says Maro, who makes an appearance in Pseudo human in his signature fright wig, long gown, and white makeup. “My approach on each dancer is based on such an idea.” Pseudo human, the septuagenarian says, ties in thematically to other works that have explored our impending doom on this planet—but always with touches of his twisted black humour. “My fundamental theme in butoh since my early days consists in constantly questioning what mankind is, from various perspectives,” he says. “When you consider my work from the last few years, Space Insect explores the relationship between mankind and insects, Virus the relationship between viruses and mankind, and Paradise the relationship between the fruit of wisdom and mankind in Eden. In this context, I was necessarily brought to consider the future of mankind, determined by the products of human desire and wisdom, in the form of contemporary technologies such as AI, genetic engineering, biotechnology, or cyborgs.” Vancouver audiences are becoming familiar with Maro’s take on the universe thanks to the work VIDF coproducers Barbara Bourget and Jay Hirabayashi have done to hone their relationship with Dairakudakan. The Kokoro Dance founders first saw the troupe on a visit to Japan in 2009, and it made an impression: “We had seen a lot of butoh artists that focused on a lot of virtuosity through slowness and concentrate on the drama of a tiny finger movement or something,” Bourget tells the Straight over the phone. “This had joyful playfulness, where he was also tackling serious issues.” The couple headed to Tokyo four years later to attend their first summer workshop with the company. Their connection with Maro’s work, as well as the support Dairakudakan has received from the Japanese government, has helped bring the large company here. “We’re really, really excited about this new work because it’s questioning artificial intelligence in a really profound way,” Bourget says of Pseudo human, pointing out Dairakudakan’s nightmare visions speak ever more directly to the state of the globe: “The whole world feels destabilized and peculiar. We’re all holding hands and jumping into the abyss. Still, his work also has a quality of surprise and exceptional dancing and wonderful characters. “There’s even a monster in it,” she adds with excitement. “And you gotta love monsters.” The Vancouver International Dance Festival presents Dairakudakan’s Pseudo human/Super human at the Vancouver Playhouse on Friday and Saturday (March 8 and 9). This beautifully produced coffee-table book brings together over 100 of Georgia Straight’s iconic covers, along with short essays, insider details and contributor reflections, putting each of these issues of the publication into its historical context. This is super random, but I was leaving work for the day, from the Lululemon office on Burrard St… I’m glad I’m not working on Game Of Thrones so I don’t get any spoilers like on…
See all stories on this topic